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February 9, 2022

Byron Allen Assembles Bid for Broncos

Byron Allen is pursuing ownership of the Denver Broncos. The former TV host tells Bloomberg that he was encouraged to move forward by Roger Goodell and Bob Kraft, who approached him on the matter back in 2019. If successful, Allen would become the NFL’s first-ever Black owner with a majority stake in a franchise. The Shield has faced ongoing criticism about the lack of diversity in the executive ranks. The team is expected to sell for a record-setting $4 billion, the most of any professional franchise in the history of American sports.

Paige Bueckers Inks Deal with Cash App

The timeline for Paige Bueckers’ return from a knee injury is being kept mum by the UConn Huskies, but in the meantime, the sophomore sensation has inked her third major deal. The point guard announced that she has teamed up with Cash App, and together they will launch the Paige Bueckers Foundation. Bueckers is an outspoken advocate for racial equity, and the Foundation will address social justice causes. Cash App will give a $100,000 donation to the Foundation and give away $100,000 to Cash App users.The reigning Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year joins an all-star group of athlete ambassadors that includes Klay Thompson, OBJ, and Aaron Rodgers. Bueckers also has deals with StockX and Gatorade

CryptoPunks Head to Auction at Sotheby’s 

Sotheby’s is in on NFTs. The auction house announced a historic auction, entitled “PunkIt!”, of 104 CryptoPunks as a single lot. The event is scheduled to take place on Feb. 23. Early estimates signal that it could bring north of $20 million. The current floor price for a CryptoPunk is 67.4 ETH ($258,855).

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Sports Betting Heats up Leading into Super Bowl LVI

From prop bets to player performance, there’s something for everyone on the sports betting menu this year. According to Morning Consult, one in four Americans are planning to place a bet on the big game. This is expected to bring in more than $7.5 billion, an increase of more than 75% compared to last year. The bump comes as sports betting is legal in 30 states across the nation, 19 of which offer mobile sports betting options. 

Backbone of the Blockchain, Alchemy Triples Valuation to $10.3B

The future is Web3, and San Francisco-based Alchemy is positioned to serve as the backbone of its development. Led by Lightspeed and Silver Lake, the company completed a follow-up $200 million funding round. The fundraise comes in the wake of a successful $250 million Series C at a $3.5 billion valuation in October. 

King Richard Picks Up Seven Oscar Nominations 

It’s one of the greatest stories in sports, and Will Smith’s “King Richard” got the shine it deserved at the 2022 Oscar nominations. The film, which documents the story of Richard Williams and his daughters, Venus and Serena, early in their careers, picked up seven nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Will Smith). Additionally, in the Best Documentary Short category, two sports films received nominations including “Audible,” which documents the story of a football team at a high school for the deaf, and “The Queen of Basketball,” which tells the story of Lusia Harris and was produced by Shaquille O’Neal. 

ESPN Launches All-female Production for First Time in NBA History

The Warriors and Jazz square off on Wednesday night in a battle for the West, and for the first time in history, a production team of exclusively women will produce the event. Beth Mowins, Doris Burke, and Lisa Salters will serve as the on-air talent, but the production team behind the camera will also be all women.

FanDuel and Buzzer Team Up for In-game Integration

Buzzer, a streaming platform that’s reimagining the way we discover and consume live sports, announced a brand-new partnership Tuesday. The company is joining forces with FanDuel as part of its first-ever pact with a sportsbook. The deal will integrate FanDuel Sportsbook odds into the Buzzer app and send push notifications to allow users to drop in on the most crucial live moments of the games they’ve wagered on. FanDuel Sportsbook’s platforms will, in turn, feature Buzzer ads and branding.

MSG Network Launches Betting-centric Knicks Coverage 

The launch of legalized mobile sports betting is changing the game in New York. The state has already smashed single-month records in the volume of bets placed, and now the local broadcasts are adjusting to accommodate the new lens that fans are bringing to the game. Variety announced that the MSG Network is set to launch a new slate of programming, entitled “Bet-A-Palooza” that will offer key insights based on betting, including props, odds, and much more. 

Y. Michele Kang Secures Majority Ownership of Washington Spirit 

The future of the Washington Spirit is now. After an ongoing battle, Y. Michele Kang is set to secure a majority stake in the team as Steve Baldwin agreed to sell his share in a $35 million deal, putting an end to a year of tumult. The team, which won the 2021 NWSL title, has faced extended controversy both in the executive offices and on the field. With the majority stake, Kang has expressed her plans to continue to build the team’s operational capacity and infrastructure.

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