Financial services firm Ally is partnering with Disney for a sponsorship package that puts gender equity front and center.
What's the deal?
Women’s sports receive less than 10% of overall media coverage compared to men’s sports. And when it comes to advertising, that gap can be even greater simply because the availability of media just isn’t there. “As a result, the leagues are undervalued. As a result, the players are underpaid,” said Brimmer. “The ice breaker on that are brands. For us and ESPN to come together in this way, it breaks that first big block of ice on that vicious cycle.” Last year, Ally pledged a 50/50 paid media spend across men’s and women’s sports within the next five years, and the new sponsorship with Disney puts the company well on its way.
“One of the biggest points of pride at Disney has been our inclusive and diversified approach to sports, specifically,” said Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising. “Everywhere we can, we look for opportunities to highlight the accomplishments of female athletes. Collaborating with Ally on this initiative was an obvious choice as we both share a common passion and shared ideals for promoting women’s sports.”
The bottom line:
SportsCenter will also have a monthly short-form feature presented by Ally called “Moments Worth Saving,” and it will run on all SportsCenter programs during the respective day, beginning Feb. 24. As well as commercials in women’s live games, there will also be monthly social women’s highlights of all sports running across TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Overtime, which disrupted basketball with six-figure salaries for some of the world's best high school players, will enter boxing in August with a four-event series on DAZN aimed at developing the next generation of fighters, the company announced Tuesday. All four shows will take place on Friday nights at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, which has a capacity of about 1,200.
"Our vision with Overtime, in launching OTX, our new boxing vertical, is essentially to help young pros have a spotlight shine on them, tell their story and give them a chance to develop as fighters," Overtime Boxing GM Brandon Rhodes told ESPN. "One of the gaps that we're seeing in the marketplace is that while Gen Z ... is saying boxing is kind of the No. 4 favorite sport, there's not a lot of storytelling that happens on a 365 basis in boxing. Rhodes said Overtime hasn't signed any fighters yet but expects to showcase boxers between the ages of 18 and 25. Those matchups will range from developmental bouts meant to gain a fighter experience to step-up fights.
Milestone birthdays are tricky for any sport. How do you honor the past without seeming stuffy? How do you look into the future without minimizing everything that came before? Following the NBA's 75th and NFL's 100th anniversary celebrations in recent years, NASCAR is celebrating its own milestone.
The sanctioning body also introduced a new creative campaign celebrating its 75th “diamond” anniversary with a set of three commercial spots showcasing the sport’s past, present, and future. “This 75th Anniversary campaign was created to honor the rich history of NASCAR and celebrate our bright future with the same adrenaline-inducing intensity that resonates with our fans,” said Pete Jung, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at NASCAR. “This is one of the biggest and boldest campaigns and creative executions in the history of the brand. We’re grateful to have incredible creative partners that helped bring the campaign to life, and optimistic this milestone will be an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NASCAR fans new and old throughout this 75th anniversary season.”
While Minute Media is actively building recruitment programs to invite more talent of color into our teams, we are also encouraging our people to bring their own personal stories and journeys, as we believe that diversity without inclusion is a story of missed opportunities.
In this intimate fireside chat, Ashly Robinson, Head of Original Development and Production at The Players’ Tribune, and Adena Jones, Director of Digital Content at the New York Knicks will flesh out the highs, the lows, the challenges, and the opportunities they seized while building their successful careers and share lessons for aspiring professionals looking to build a creative career in the sports business.
Chinese fintech giant Ant Group is joining hands with the NBA to launch a “comprehensive strategic collaboration” in China in the latest move to elevate the sport in one of its biggest markets outside the US. The marketing partnership, which was jointly announced by Ant Group and NBA China this week, will see the two parties create original online content and a customized consumer experience on Ant’s mobile payments platform Alipay through technologies such as blockchain.
NBA China, which is responsible for managing all of the league’s businesses in the country, was formed in January 2008 after its first office opened in Hong Kong in 1992. Under the deal, NBA fans in China will have access to the NBA’s video content on Alipay for the first time and services such as joint memberships, an NBA mini-program, joint marketing campaigns, and digital collectibles.
WWE surpassed 20 million followers on its flagship TikTok account during its most recent quarter, the first sports league to do so, and it’s launching three international TikTok accounts after the WWE Español TikTok handle reached nearly 2 million followers in its first year. WWE’s presence online is already broad and it does not appear to be slowing down. The company’s YouTube channel topped 92 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, making it one of only 10 channels on the platform to surpass the 90 million subscriber mark, according to Paul Levesque, the company’s chief content officer, and director who wrestled under the name Triple H.
Wall Street already appears to be very optimistic about the entertainment company. In the last 12 months shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. have jumped 50%, a period when all major U.S. stock markets have fallen into a serious funk. Rumors of a sale ramped up late last year when WWE founder Vince McMahon returned to the company and took a seat on the board after a short retirement.
LIV Golf announces first corporate sponsor for Saudi-backed league
The Saudi-backed circuit announced that EasyPost, a logistical and commerce company, will be the league’s global partner. EasyPost already had a presence in LIV Golf, as the firm is a sponsor of Patrick Reed. LIV Golf officials have touted the team franchise component of the league as a primary facilitator for future sponsorships and revenue. Twelve teams are competing in a 14-event schedule in 2023, and the captains—which include Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Cam Smith among others—have as much as a 25-percent equity stake in their teams. The plan for 2023 is that each team covers its own operating costs, using sponsorships, team prize money, and merchandise to do so.