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McLaren shine a light on the NBA at Silverstone.

The Formula 1 team showed their support for the Phoenix Suns with a subtle change to their livery during the British Grand Prix. 

Photo Source: Twitter/ McLaren F1
With the British Grand Prix being the home race for several Formula 1 teams, it would have come as no surprise to see them pay homage to their ‘British-ness’ by customising their livery. However, McLaren, who made headlines for their retro Gulf Oil livery in Monaco, instead focused their support on an NBA franchise. 
The Phoenix Suns – who were heading into Game 5 of the NBA Finals vs Milwaukee Bucks post-Silverstone – had their logo emblazoned across both Lando Norris and Daniel Riccardo’s cars. And the team were also wished good luck via McLaren’s social media accounts, who stated, “We are backing Suns in their papaya jerseys”. 
However, their reasons for supporting the Suns go beyond just colour schemes. Jahm Najafi, co-owner and vice president of Phoenix Suns since last December has also recently become the vice chairman of McLaren Racing. As a result, a victory for Phoenix could also have been seen as a victory for McLaren. 
Furthermore, McLaren Racing has ambitions to increase their footprint in the U.S. after returning last year as a full-time team in the IndyCar Series, alongside Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chevrolet. Conversely, the timing for the NBA, which has just launched their first store in the UK, couldn’t have been better either. 
The promotion is a wonderful example of the convergence of sports, which are now happier than ever to break the confines of their individual disciplines. Arguably, this is a trend that can be traced back to the NBA, who have long sought to transcend basketball and ingrain themselves within music and culture.
Photo Source: GIPHY
Scrolling through Twitter this week, I came across a question from Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer at Adobe, who asked, “Will every business ultimately be owned by a set of token holders who, as owners have a set of entitlements and a degree of liquidity at all times?
This was followed by a proclamation from Belsky that, “From local ice cream shops to the next great social network of marketplace, decentralization has fascinating implications.”
As such, I thought it would be interesting to consider it from the perspective of sport.

Of course, Socios, who have recently announced partnerships with Inter Milan and Valencia, immediately come to mind. Furthermore, their recent Fan Token Offer with Federação Portuguesa de Futebol has been reported as a huge success. All 1,000,000 $POR Fan Tokens made available sold out in minutes, making $POR officially the most demanded Fan Token within the marketplace with a record-breaking number of holders. 
As a result, Group Chief Executive Officer at ELEVEN SPORTS, Luis Vicente, is “following with interest” the advent of Crypto and Blockchain as a new engine of growth for the sports industry. He also goes on to explain via a LinkedIn post that these tokens provide a, “unique opportunity to engage fans as a powerful fan marketing tool.”
He continues, “Expect a quick evolution of fan tokens as a real opportunity vehicle and ecosystem for fans to have real equity in clubs and sports organisations and expect as well betting, gaming and crypto to become owners of leagues, sports and rights holders in the next years as businesses that have the investment capability to rescue and growth but above all business that are prepared and equipped to interact, monetise and engage with the consumers/fans from scratch. Interesting years ahead...” 

When you consider discussions around team ownership, from rising franchise values in the NFL pricing out even some of the wealthiest individuals, to fan representation in Europe post-Super League, the concept becomes even more interesting still.

What do you think? Let me know by replying to this email. 
Here's a few of the top articles that I've come across this week. I hope you enjoy!
Photo Source: Getty Images/ Forbes
Governance and Finance
  • City Football Group, the Abu Dhabi group that owns Manchester City, has raised $650 million as it steps up global expansion plans.
  • The UEFA Executive Committee has approved a ‘settlement agreement’ with Dublin and Bilbao, who were stripped of key hosting rights.
  • The new United Rugby Championship competition has revealed that it is to engage in a strategic consulting partnership with Roc Nation.
Photo Source: Getty Images
Sponsorship and Marketing
  • Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix and her sponsor Athleta have created a $200,000 childcare fund for athletes competing this year.
  • Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team has launched its inaugural fan and partner engagement platform, I/ AM, at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. 
  • The Premier Lacrosse League has brought in as the league’s inaugural official investing app.
Photo Source: Warner Bros
Broadcast and Media
  • LeBron James is in early talks with Nike (among others) for sale of his SpringHill Company at a valuation of $750m
  • Amazon will charge €12.99 a month to watch 80% of Ligue 1 & Ligue 2 on top of Prime subscription.
  • Netflix is planning an expansion into video games, hiring former EA and Facebook executive, Mike Verdu, to serve as their VP of Game Development
Photo Source: Business Insider
  • Kayla Itsines and Tobi Pearce have sold Sweat to iFIT Health & Fitness for $400m. Their fitness empire started in 2015 as a PDF document. 
  • As part of ECB’s drive to ensure the Hundred attracts a young demographic, TV coverage will include augmented reality “avatars”.
  • AWS played a vital role in the data crunching behind Formula 1’s new car for 2022, which was launched last week. 

For the latest edition of the Sports Pundit Networking Series, I caught up with Sam Shosanya, Co-Founder at Undiluted Media. After gaining experiences through a number of internships, Sam decided to capitalise on a current trend sweeping the sports industry. 

Introducing Sports Pundit Explains... Sponsorship with Andy Marston and Murray Barnett. The series aims to deep-dive into the industry.

In Episode 2, Andy and Murray are joined by Tim Ellerton, Commercial Director at the British Olympic Association, to discuss his move from brand to rights holder side and how he views the sponsor protections around the Olympic Games.

Available on all (good) podcast platforms now. Simply search 'Sports Pundit Explains...
Quick ask. It takes me hours each week to put these newsletters together so if you enjoyed this edition, it would mean a lot to me if you could share on social or forward to friends and colleagues! Thank you. 

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