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December 20, 2021

NBA, Ticketmaster Re-Up Official Partnership

Ticketmaster has served as the official ticket marketplace of the NBA since 2012, and on Monday, the two parties announced a multi-year extension of their partnership. As part of the newly brokered deal, Ticketmaster will expand its primary and secondary ticket marketplace for NBA teams to also include the WNBA and G League. The announcement also revealed the future of ticketing, as it discussed the potential for NFTs to serve as a signature part of the ticket experience in the near future. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins Lawsuit in Unauthorized Usage of Trademark and Likeness

In July, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar brought a lawsuit against vendors who utilized his name, image, and likeness on a vast array of products sold via Etsy, Red Bubble, and a number of online retailers. Antetokounmpo holds the trademark for both the “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34k,” both of which were utilized in the contested products and, the case claimed, resembled authorized products. A federal magistrate in New York decided in the two-time MVP’s favor on the grounds of unauthorized usage and potential confusion with official products endorsed by the NBA champ himself. The decision called for the repayment of Antetokounmpo’s legal fees by the defendants. 

FTX’s Head of Partnerships Gives SNF Audience Chance at Free Bitcoin

FTX is in the running as one of the breakthrough companies of 2021. And the crypto company is not holding back in its closing weeks. During Sunday’s broadcast of the New Orleans Saints’ 9-0 defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, FTX’s Head of Partnerships, Sina Nader, turned to Twitter to offer viewers the chance to claim $500 of free bitcoin simply with a like and retweet of his message. The company offered a similar opportunity to Heat fans last month, as part of a larger strategy to increase the popularity of cryptocurrency among the general population.

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Disney, Google Reach Agreement After Impasse

On Saturday, Google announced that it was unable to reach a streaming deal with Disney and all of its streaming properties, which includes ESPN. After promising subscribers a $15 reduction in fees during the blackout, the two sides reached a deal on Sunday. Upon the announcement, the properties were immediately returned to the YouTube TV streaming platform. 

Emma Raducanu Named BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year

In 2021, the British 19-year-old tennis phenom caught the attention of tennis fans around the world. After taking home the U.S. Open trophy and securing countless endorsement deals with big-name brands, including Dior, Evian, and Nike, Raducanu was selected as the BBC‘s Sports Personality of the Year. She beat out diver Tom Daley, boxer Tyson Fury, and para-cyclist Sarah Storey to claim the award. 

Washington Mystics Secure First Pick in WNBA Draft

The WNBA Draft Lottery took place on Sunday. And for the first time since 1999, the Washington Mystics will pick first. The Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, and Dallas Wings will round out the top four selections. The WNBA Draft is scheduled to take place in April 2022. 

MLS Looks to Triple Media Deal

The MLS is on the rise. The professional soccer league saw a substantial bump in its viewership numbers this past year, with an increase of nearly 20% across all games broadcasted on ESPN. Now, reports indicate that the league is looking to find a domestic media rights deal that would more than triple their current $90 million payout from ESPN, Fox, and Univision. As it looks towards 2022, the MLS would like to increase that number to $300 million; however, early reports indicate that due to the decoupling of the USWNT and USMNT streaming rights, it is more likely to yield closer to $200 million. The deal is expected to be complete in early 2022.

Arizona Cardinals Debut Team Plane

The Arizona Cardinals had a tough day in Detroit on Sunday, losing to the Lions 30-12. However, Kyler Murray and the team also experienced an exciting first over the weekend, as the team debuted its new Boeing 777-200ER plane. With the purchase, the Cardinals become only the second NFL team to secure its own plane for team travel, joining the New England Patriots in the elite club, and introduces a new level of operational convenience and comfort for its players. The plane was customized for the oversized bodies of NFL players and coaches, with 166 of the 288 seats having an extended construction, including 28 first-class pods and 48 business class seats.

NBA Paves Way for Expanded Rosters Amidst COVID Outbreak

In the wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak ravaging the NBA, the league announced on Sunday that it has amended its replacement rules in order to allow for as many games to be played as scheduled as possible. The short-term solution, which is effective immediately and holds through Jan. 19, allows each team to sign one replacement player for each player under contract who tests positive. In addition, the expanded option ensures that teams will not face a financial penalty taking on the additional salary.

Sportradar Signs Major Deal with International Hockey Federation

The global sports technology company announced on Monday that it has signed a nine-year gaming rights deal with the International Hockey Federation. The agreement makes Sportradar the exclusive betting and gaming data rights partner. Additionally, Sportradar will work with International Hockey Federation to help manage each of the more than 300 games each year, which includes the Olympic Qualifiers and FIH Hockey World Cups.

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