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A month after launch, Netflix's ‘Squid Game’ reached 111 million viewers - making it the biggest series launch in the streaming service's history.

Last week, Mr Beast launched his own recreation of the show, modifying the challenges and offering up $456,000 to the eventual winner. The YouTuber racked up 42 million views in the first day and has since surpassed 120 million! 🤯

TOP STORY

Adidas moves into the metaverse. It's Probably Nothing

Adidas has revealed a new partnership with Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange that went public in April at an $86bn valuation.

They announced the collaboration on Wednesday as “probably nothing” – NFT twitter jargon that really means the opposite. (The term is also the name of Alexis Ohanian and TZ’s new NFT focused podcast).
 
The company has revealed few details on the partnership so far, but it does follow a proclamation that Adidas will launch an ‘Adi-verse’ in partnership with Animoca’s open-world blockchain game, The Sandbox, a toolbox which lets users people develop virtual worlds.
 
The timing of the two announcements is far from a coincidence.
 
A spokesman for Adidas confirmed to CityAM that the Coinbase partnership is part of the company’s strategy to gain a foothold in the metaverse. “The Metaverse is currently one of the most exciting developments in digital, making it an interesting platform for Adidas”.
 
Weeks earlier, their American rivals paired with Roblox to create ‘Nikeland’, where users have access to Nike-branded apparel, mini-games, and buildings modelled after Nike’s HQ. 
 
While it is not yet known what to expect from the Adi-verse, companies in the crypto space have long been working on the idea of a blockchain-based Metaverse which blurs digital and physical ownership. 
 
For instance, back in 2019, Nike was granted a patent for “cryptographically secured digital assets,” which included “Cryptokicks,” which include token data and attributes from an accompanying physical Nike shoe in the real world. They’ve recently filed for a number of other patents, too. 
 
Our Take: Ever since that infamous Meta rebrand, there’s been a growing acceptance of the metaverse future. While Adidas has cheekily labelled the move as probably nothing, with this many companies piling in, you can be sure that this is probably something.

Partnerships with the brand have also since been hinted at by Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney, and PUNKS Comic

📚 Further Reading

Metaverse
  • Grayscale Report says Metaverse is a trillion-dollar market opportunity and revenue from virtual gaming worlds could grow to $400 billion in 2025 - CoinDesk
  • Man City partners with Sony to create digital fan community within an online ‘metaverse’ recreation of the Etihad Stadium - Manchester City
  • Virtual land within Metaverse sells for record $2.43m in Decentraland - Independent
  • The British Fashion Council and Gucci cement fashion’s place in the metaverse - The Drum
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK 
Last week, Premier League newcomers Brentford announced they will be extending the life cycle of their current home kit for the 2022/23 season.

Corey Pellat, Editor in Chief at VERSUS, commented on the news that, "it does feel like we're at a tipping point in terms of kit releases – especially with conversations about the game's relationship with sustainability progressing quickly." 

Pellat continued, "While Brentford are taking one step back and extending the life of their current home kit to next season, Napoli have dropped a staggering nine kits so far this season and the sell-out success of fashion-forward shirts from a club like Venezia FC shows how valuable product drops are to a club’s revenue."

Similarly, James Fieldhouse, a Partnerships Executive at SportsPro, agrees that "With millions of football shirts thrown away each year and the staggering impact that producing new kits each season has on the environment, this is a great first move made by Brentford Football Club and Umbro."

He goes on to suggest, "Why not use technology to bring an added layer of engagement to sports apparel, diversify revenue streams and take a lead on sustainability... Matt Hymers I think this is your time to shine."

Hymers is the founder of Connected Fanatics, a company that 'connect physical products to digital experiences' which enable business such as football clubs to build direct and more valuable relationships with their fans. 

What do you think? Is this a good move from Brentford? Should they look to add an extra element of engagement to their apparel? Let me know by replying to this email.
📚 Further Reading

Sustainability
  • The Forest Green Rovers dream: Why football success is just as important as climate action for Dale Vince - iNews
  • Climate emergency accelerates F1’s efforts to clean up its image - The Guardian
  • FIFA, Premier League and LTA to launch climate and sustainability strategies - Sky Sports News
  • Qatar touts dismountable stadium for 'sustainable' 2022 World Cup - DW.com
WEEKLY ROUND UP 
Fantasy 
  • Dream 11 parent Dream Sports has raised $840m at a valuation of $8bn. The Indian firm had raised $400 million in its previous funding round at a $5 billion valuation in March this year. The company has an existing user base of 140 million fans and is focused on building one of the world’s largest sports ecosystems. 
Ownership
  • Fenway Sports Group has agreed to purchase a controlling interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins, adding the NHL team to a ownership portfolio that includes the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. The sale is believed to be for around $900 million, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
Governance
  • Juventus could be relegated to Serie B and stripped of their most recently Scudetto if they are found guilty of false accounting. The Old Lady's offices in Turin and Milan were raided last week, with invoices and financial statements seized. The investigation from Italian authorities is related a total of 42 transfers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Cancelo, Arthur Melo and Danilo, between 2019 and 2021.

Sponsorship
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India has ruled that Indian Premier League teams are no longer allowed to agree to cryptocurrency exchange sponsorship deals until the Indian government passes regulations surrounding the sector, which are expected this winter. A number of franchise owners are upset with the decision.
Fan Power
  • Bayern Munich’s recent AGM saw heated exchanges between fans and the board amid calls for the German soccer giants to end their partnership with Qatar Airways. The meeting saw 77.8% of the club's members vote in favour of aligning with ‘internationally acknowledged human rights’ standards, a move designed to end the club’s relationship with the Qatari state-backed airline.

PODCAST
In Episode 6 of Sports Pundit Explains… Sponsorship, Andy and Murray are joined by Tim McLoughlin, former Head of Sponsorship at Cinch and Hotels.com, to discuss building a brand, the unique benefits of sponsorship, and how rightsholders could improve their pitches.
 
Apple | Google | Spotify
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Andy 
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