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Window Shopping: Fanatics Adds Sports Content to Cart 🛒
Plus the Tottenham Hotspur Ninja Turtles, and Tom Brady's minority investment into Birmingham City FC
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In today’s email;
Fanatics Adds Sports Content to Cart 🛒
Tottenham Hotspur Ninja Turtles 🐢
From American to English Football 🏈 🔜 ⚽️
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Window Shopping: Fanatics Adds Sports Content to Cart 🛒
Fanatics, the leading digital sports and apparel platform, is entering the realm of livestream commerce with the launch of Fanatics Live.
The platform, which merges sports collectibles and merchandise retail with exclusive and engaging content, is now available in North America on iOS (web and android versions coming later this year).
Here you'll discover new content tailored to your interests, while sellers can seamlessly run their broadcasts through the robust "LiveOS," offering top-notch stream management, logistics, and operations.
The app has already teamed up with various partners, from individual creators to iconic brands and sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB). In fact, the app made its debut at MLB’s All-Star Weekend in Seattle just last month.
There’s also future opportunities to create content and commerce offering through the company’s other divisions such as Fanatics Authentic and Topps.
Sports Pundit says
🤔 While commerce features have been tried on social platforms, they have typically been entertainment first, with commerce an afterthought – at least in the mind of the user (See: Instagram Shopping).
Platforms like Fanatics Live, as well as Kick, launched by online casino Stake.com, potentially have an opportunity to reverse that user mechanism – and in the process to create an entirely different monetisation model for sports content (particularly the shoulder content) than what currently exists today.
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Tottenham Hotspur Ninja Turtles? 🐢🤔
Over the summer months, fans meticulously monitor their respective club’s social media pages in the hope of new signing announcements.
To my surprise, this week saw an announcement of an entirely different kind – an agreement between Tottenham Hotspur and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT).
This agreement with Paramount Global sees the club collaborate on the promotion of the new TMNT movie, which opened in cinemas in the UK on July 31, including a range of apparel launched in Spurs’ retail stores and a host of marketing activities, including a TMNT-inspired stadium tour where ‘families will search for the Turtles in their sewer lairs as well as eat the Turtles’ favourite meal – pizza’.
It’s a fun activation that helps the club to engage with a young audience in a new, novel way. It also provides an example of a movie promotion activating in one of the few collaboration categories that the much-celebrated Barbie campaign neglected – as Rich Johnson pointed out at the time.
Whilst to most it may not seem a problem [that Barbie didn’t collaborate with any sports properties], the fact one of the biggest partnership centric campaigns of the last decade with a budget of $150m hasn't deployed in sports, I think it should be considered why.
Lack of value? The traditional approach to long term partnerships just isn't appealing when the promotional hyper period only lasts for around 4 weeks.
Performance question marks? Did they see bigger reach across the variety of other channels.
A lack of opportunities? Maybe they didn't see any opportunities that brand matched within sports, or perhaps timing was prohibitive.
In reality it's possibly a combination of the above.
While this campaign with Spurs and the TMNT certainly doesn’t entirely remove those question marks that Rich has posed, it does offer a glimpse of how a rightsholder can leverage their IP alongside major cultural moments (such as a movie release).
P.S. It’s another example of Spurs’ best-in-class stadium activation, too 🏟
Kenny Annan-Jonathan appointed as creative director at Crystal Palace, a first for the Premier League ⚽️
Nickelodeon and CBS are joining forces to present a slime-filled telecast of Super Bowl LVIII specifically for kids and families 🏈 (+ Formula 1 and Sky debuted their children’s broadcast at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix 🏎)
Jake Paul's Betr has debuted a real money fantasy sports offering, Betr Picks 🎰
Budweiser launch campaign to ‘put the Bud back in Budweiser’ as part of campaign to address growing evidence of a friendship recession 🍻
Former NBA player, Tracy McGrady is going all-in on 1-on-1 league, Ones Basketball League 🏀
Everton announce shirt sleeve partnership agreement with their front-of-shirt sponsor Stake.com’s streaming platform, KICK.
BRADY MAKES HIS PLAY
American to English Football: How Brady Hopes to Influence Birmingham City 🏈
NFL legend Tom Brady is making a move from American to English football.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion, who retired from the sport in February, has become a minority owner of Championship side Birmingham City, entering a partnership with Blues' new owners Knighthead Capital Management.
It follows a trend with several other American stars making minority investments into English football clubs in recent months, such as former NFL defensive end JJ Watt becoming a shareholder at Burnley in May, as well as PGA Tour golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, alongside NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook, becoming minority stakeholders in Leeds United last month.
Sports Pundit says
🤔 No doubt popularised by Ryan Reynolds (much more active) co-ownership of Wrexham AFC, there is a realisation from investors that they can bring a lot of value to the table that would be hard to buy - both in terms of their skillsets and the narrative they can help to mould.
With Reynolds’ more recent minority investment in Alpine F1, this was focused on his leverage off-the-pitch.
He boasts incredible marketing acumen (See: Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile), global reach through social platforms with 50 million followers on Instagram alone, and an understanding for what makes truly engaging content (See: Welcome to Wrexham).
For athlete investors, while also able to harness their reach on social media, they have a wealth of performance knowledge that can potentially apply across disciplines to boost on-the-pitch performance, too.
In the case of Brady, Knighthead’s co-founder Tom Wagner has said that NFL legend is committed to “make Birmingham City a respected leader in nutrition, health, wellness, and recovery across the world of football."
Having had the longevity to prolong his career at the top of the NFL until the age of 46, it will be interesting to see how tangibly he is able to influence what happens on the training ground, as well as how this story becomes reflected in the commercial partners the club is able to attract.
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