Sports Ticker (1 February 2021) - Investment in esports, Snodgrass omission and Sixth Street's takeover

Published on 01 February 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

Access the full Sports Ticker here.

In this edition, we take a look at the rejection of Project Big Picture by Premier League clubs, the UK horseracing crisis and the recent Court of Appeal breach of confidence judgment in The Racing Partnership v Sports Information Services. We also consider the cost-cutting measures at next year's Tokyo Olympics and the LA Lakers clinching a 17th NBA title. 

As always, if there are any areas you’d like more information on (or if you have any questions or feedback), please let us know or get in touch with your usual RPC contact.

1. Esports investments for German discount supermarkets

Following in the footsteps of esports partners such as Louis Vuitton, Puma and Adidas, Aldi and Lidl have sought to invest in international esports organisations Team Vitality and SK Gaming, respectively.

2. Premier League to investigate West Brom over Snodgrass omission

Robert Snodgrass’ omission from the West Bromwich Albion squad, who were beaten at West Ham last week, is due to be investigated by the Premier League.

3. Former Real Madrid marksman signed using bitcoin

Former Real Madrid striker David Barral made history last week as he signed for Segunda B side DUX Internacional de Madrid (Inter Madrid) in a deal funded entirely through the use of bitcoin.

4. Sixth Street deal to take control of sports group Legends Hospitality

Global investment firm, Sixth Street Partners, is near to closing a deal to take a majority stake in Legends Hospitality LLC, the sports and entertainment events company co-owned by New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys.

5. French ski resorts facing “life or death” struggle

Last week, the French Government announced further news for those reliant on the country’s winter sports industry - confirming that ski lifts in France may not open as planned from 1 February in the light of rising COVID-19 infections. 

Extra time... 
…and finally, last week the BBC were given an exclusive glimpse inside the world’s richest esports player’s mansion. Denmark’s Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, who is currently the captain of esports team ‘OG’, has already made more than $7.4m in prize winnings  through the sport, all at the tender age of 27. The BBC was invited to visit Johan at his new 17-bedroom mansion in Lisbon to see how he and his team have adapted to train and compete for high stakes esports tournaments remotely. Team houses are increasingly common in the esports world, with teams sharing a living space as they practice and improve together. In a fascinating interview, Johan also discusses the darker side to competitive gaming, including the emotional and physical strain of competing at the highest level. (See the full interview here).