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Sports Tech Live #61 - Kobe's entrepreneurial legacy, YouTube & Activision deal, Barstool sells 36% for $163 million

Hey Sports Tech Fans, As I am sure you are all aware, sports and the basketball world lost a legend o
Issue #61  •  January 30  •  view online
Sports Tech Live
Sports Tech Live
All your Sports Tech news in one place, covering topics like AR/VR, Data Analytics, eSports, Live Streaming, Sports Betting, Wearables, etc.
Hey Sports Tech Fans,
As I am sure you are all aware, sports and the basketball world lost a legend over the weekend in Kobe Bryant.
An outpouring of emotion, sympathy and stunned silence emerged with teams in the NBA taking an 8 second and 24 second violation penalty in honour of Kobe’s shirt numbers while at the Lakers.
Kobe’s influence was worldwide.
He spoke fluent Italian and Spanish and as a result had a huge following in both countries.
He was also a giant of the game in Asia and was often the face alongside Yao Ming when the NBA went all in on China.
He was also an ambassador for Kobe beef and even had a cut named after him.
But his influence went far beyond the court and by a lot of estimations was on the path to being a billionaire sports star with his investments and companies he had started.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that he was helping promote the partnership of Body Armour with the MLS.
Body Armour was among his early investments, he invested $6 million in 2013 and with Coca Cola investing as a minority shareholder in 2018, that investment was worth $200 million on paper.
That is just one example of Kobe’s business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit that will live on.
There are some great articles below that outline his influence off the court in business, in content creation, book writing, Oscar winning animation from his studio among others.
Sports has lost a true great but his influence will live on with his business interests, his academy and in his highlight reel of a career.
RIP Kobe
————————
Elsewhere we saw Activision and YouTube sign an exclusive deal for esports streaming for massive titles like Call of Duty and Overwatch as the streamer wars take on a different form in deals between gaming publishing giants and tech giants who are taking aim at Twitch’s 75% market share.

A report suggests that $6.8 billion will be wagered on the Super Bowl in a mix of legal, illegal and social betting.

ESPN will have 500 shows airing on streaming platforms like ESPN+ as well as on others like YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat. This is a huge turn around as the company was the poster child of the cord cutters and cord nevers, with traditional TV subscriptions falling year after year in recent times.
They are making massive waves in digital now and have a clear vision of how to expand this to reach new audiences and most importantly as a way to bring users back into their subscription services. Digital revenue grew 92% year over year!

Barstool Sports have sold 36% of their stock to Penn National Gaming for $135 million in cash and $28 million in stock in the first of what I expect to be many deals involving content businesses in the sports space by gambling companies.
Gambling companies will be looking for content companies to give them a huge fan base of sports fans to convert to gambling customers in the US.
In the UK a conversion to a gambling customer can cost $300 per user, so having your own content creation company that has an existing following is a clever way try and convert users.
Barstool is a fascinating brand that is loved and loathed in equal measure, but their ability to generate mind share in an industry as competitive as sports news is telling as they understand digital.
Their move to video and podcast/radio was a great way to increase their following and minutes spent per user in their brand.
Writing blogs on news that changes so quickly in an effective race to the bottom to generate content was an unsustainable model as ad blockers have surged.
They have created personalities and a brand that people are passionate about.
It remains to be seen how this move will pan out but I expect them to continue as normal and to win over just as many fans as they piss off.

We also have a great video from the Wall Street Journal looking at the controversial Nike VaporFly running shoe that can improve a runners time by 4%.
Have a great sporting week,
Will

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Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant leaves behind a business empire that stretched beyond the basketball court

Inside Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy

Kobe Bryant fans urged by fans to change logo, honoring late Lakers legend - CNN

Kobe gov't mourns death of basketball star Bryant who supported quake-hit Japan city - The Mainichi

Streaming Wars
ESPN+ set to land PGA Tour streaming rights | SportBusiness

RedeTV lands Liga MX, Süper Lig rights in DAZN deal | SportBusiness

UK Olympic, Paralympic bodies pool media rights, plan OTT platform | SportBusiness

Sports Extra customers to get every LaLiga match at no extra cost

FOX Sports strikes multi-tournament TV deal with Concacaf - Insider Sport

Gambling
Survey -- $6.8 billion could be bet on Super Bowl

Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 | 2 a.m. - When Jim Murren arrived in Las Vegas in 1998, the thought of a gaming company like MGM Resorts International becoming a partner with an NFL …

I Used a Sports Betting Subscription and Won a Whopping $63.60 - Bloomberg

DraftKings user sues MLB over Astros sign-stealing scandal

eSports
YouTube signs exclusive streaming deal for Activision e-sports like Call of Duty and Overwatch - The Verge

Atari Announces Video Game Themed Hotels Across the U.S. Featuring Esports Studios

Misfits Gaming Announce COD Pro-Am in Miami with NFL Stars Ahead of Super Bowl | The Game Haus

Content
ESPN to Debut 500 New Shows Across Streaming Platforms – The Streamable

Seifert: AI-powered archive footage among possibilities in long-term Amazon deal | SportBusiness

Bleacher Report Tackles Super Bowl With Gridiron - Broadcasting & Cable

PSG in House of Highlights content collaboration - SportsPro Media

Intel’s Immersive, Real-Time Video Could Be the Future of the Super Bowl

Marketing & Social
NFL Reveals Hacking Of League, Teams’ Social Media Accounts – Deadline

Knicks Will Get Makeover From Firm That Helped Make the Nets Hip - Bloomberg

Planters “Pauses” Mr. Peanut Campaign In Wake Of Kobe Bryant’s Death - 01/28/2020

How Pringles trapped Rick and Morty in a Super Bowl ad | The Drum

Why Super Bowl ad teasers have become as important as the commercials

Why brands are using in-house agencies for Super Bowl work - Digiday

Fox Adds More Super Bowl Ads Despite ‘Sold Out’ Declaration - 01/27/2020

How Northwestern women’s basketball went viral on TikTok

Nascar Sets a Fast Pace in Its First Three Months on TikTok – Adweek

Partnerships
Panini America and Pelicans sign multi-year agreement and team up to celebrate team's top stars and performances with real-time trading cards | New Orleans Pelicans

Deals
Penn National Gaming to Buy Minority Stake in Barstool Sports - WSJ

MinuteMedia Enhances Sports Portfolio, Acquires ‘FanSided’ - 01/27/2020

The Infront agency has acquired a stake in the AI-based video tracking and analytics company, Videocites, and will introduce the firm’s technology to its rights…

AR & VR
Can VR concussion education save youth football? | ZDNet

Concussions
In 2017, the recorded number hit 281, a six-year high, but the 214 concussions in preseason and regular season games during the 2018 season reversed that trend. In 2019, the NFL diagnosed 224 concussions. While this was a small increase, the league hopes it is a sign that the number per season can be contained within the low 200s.

Crypto
Paris Saint-Germain partners with cryptocurrency CoinCasso | SportBusiness

Voice
Real Madrid launch own Amazon Alexa ‘skill’ - SportsPro Media

Data
The San Francisco 49ers Are Utilizing Big Data At Levi’s Stadium In Their Efforts To Modernize The Fan Experience

Hardware & Wearables
MLB umpires will wear mics to explain review rulings to fans starting this season

WTA to trial electronic line calling | SportBusiness

Women in Sport
Microsoft Super Bowl commercial thanks Katie Sowers, first woman to coach in the big game

Long Reads
‘It’s thoroughly complex’: How City Football Group is redefining soccer club ownership

Barca's growth points to future off-field rivalries played out far away from home | 23 Capital - SportsPro Media

What can be learned from private equity's surging interest in sport? - SportsPro Media

Private equity in the NFL, NBA and MLB: Is the old boys' club opening up? - SportsPro Media

Best of the Rest
Plans revealed for $240m Premier Golf League | SportBusiness
The Controversy Behind Nike’s Vaporfly Running Shoe, Explained | WSJ
The Controversy Behind Nike’s Vaporfly Running Shoe, Explained | WSJ
Japanese Olympic Committee approves Sapporo’s 2030 Winter Olympics bid | SportBusiness

Miller Park cups will be recycled into Scrubbing Bubbles bottles in a partnership with SC Johnson

How Under Armour Lost Its Edge - The New York Times

Russell Okung Wants to Disrupt the N.F.L. Establishment - The New York Times

Anthony Joshua in line for ‘Rumble in the Jungle 2’ - SportsPro Media

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Techstars Startup Digest Sports Tech Live is curated by:
Will Martin Will Martin
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