FOS PM: UEFA Nations May Quit FIFA

FOS PM: UEFA Nations May Quit FIFA

The Milwaukee Bucks received their 2021 NBA championship rings Tuesday night. In addition to 360 diamonds on top and 4.14 karats of emeralds, the rings have a QR code that, when scanned, plays top moments from the team’s playoff run. Fancy.

UEFA Nations League/Design: Alex Brooks

Soccer governing bodies CONMEBOL and UEFA have already voiced their opposition to FIFA’s proposal of moving the World Cup from a quadrennial to biennial event, but now more than a dozen European nations are reportedly considering quitting FIFA altogether in a last-resort protest.

UEFA says FIFA hasn’t been able to “demonstrate the benefits” of hosting the World Cup every two years.

  • The IOC has opposed FIFA’s plan, too — a 2028 World Cup would take place shortly ahead of the Los Angeles Olympics, potentially affecting sponsorships.
  • An IOC executive commented on the strain additional world-stage events could have on athletes.
  • Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted voiced his own opposition. The company is the official soccer ball supplier for the World Cup until 2030.

There will likely be a meeting with all 211 FIFA member nations in December to make a decision, according to ESPN.

FIFA earned $6.4 billion in revenue between 2017 and 2020, more than 70% of which came from the 2018 World Cup. Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, expects a $20 billion economic boost.

If the member nations decide to leave FIFA, they’ll still be able to play in European competitions.

SPANX/Design: Alex Brooks

Investment giant Blackstone is buying a majority stake in apparel brand Spanx at a $1.2 billion valuation.

Founded in 2000, Spanx stands apart from many longstanding activewear makers through its digital presence: Two-thirds of the company’s sales are through its website. Blackstone believes that there is strong potential for sales growth through ramped-up marketing.

With $119 billion in corporate private equity assets under management and $35 billion in available capital, Blackstone has been active in sports, apparel, and gaming.

  • The company is pulling in a $4.1 billion profit off the September sale of Las Vegas casino and resort The Cosmopolitan in a $5.6 billion deal. MGM Resorts is buying the property’s operations for $1.63 billion.
  • In July, Blackstone bought a majority stake in Certified Collectibles Group at a valuation north of $500 million.
  • Blackstone considered investing in Serie A last year and was turned down in May on a $6.5 billion bid for Crown Resorts.
  • In April, it joined an $80 million funding round for startup basketball league and media company Overtime.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely will continue to run the company and become executive chairman of an all-female board of directors.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Drive by DraftKings, a venture capital firm backed by DraftKings, has raised $60 million for its first fund with plans to invest in sports technology and entertainment companies.

Notable investors include New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, Madison Square Garden Sports, and Arctos Sports Partners. 

The firm has already made a series of investments across its target industries. 

  • It was part of a $3.5 million seed round in May for digital media platform Just Women’s Sports.
  • Last month, the firm led a $4 million funding round in Toya, a female-founded gaming studio.
  • It is also an investor in fitness wearable maker WHOOP and Guidesly, an app that advises users on fishing trips.

Drive by DraftKings’ newly created All-Star Network — advisers of the firm’s investment strategy — includes several other big names like MLB executive Theo Epstein and Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy.

  • In today’s Leadoff, Netflix talks gaming, Fox Sports is close to a deal for UEFA Euro rights, U.S. investors keep buying into European soccer, and the NRL is near a $445 million rights deal. Click here to listen.
  • DraftKings and Entain agreed to extend negotiations over the U.S. sportsbook’s $22.4 billion bid for the British gambling giant.
  • Liberty Media, owner of Formula 1 and the Atlanta Braves, is selling its entire stake in iHeartMedia in a sale worth up to $150 million.
  • Learn how Samsung’s smart sensor-driven technology is helping venues optimize revenue in our latest webinar, Innovation in Live Sports: The Connected Venue, on Tuesday, October 26. Register Now.*

*Sponsored Content

(Note: All as of market close on 10/20/21)

The Atlanta Braves face the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at Dodger Stadium for NLCS Game 4.

How to Watch: 8:08 p.m. ET on TBS

Betting Odds: Dodgers -1.5 || ML -220 || O/U 8*

Pick: Expect the Dodgers to carry over the momentum from Game 3. Take L.A. to cover.

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