Sports Ticker (12 February 2021) - Super Bowl LV, NBA investment and Ligue 1 broadcasting

12 February 2021. Published by Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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 a fortnight which has seen TikTok become an official UEFA EURO 2020 sponsor (see here), we consider advertising at last Sunday’s Super Bowl and EA Sports’ exclusive rights deal with UEFA. We also take a look at the latest developments in the Ligue 1 broadcast crisis and McIlroy’s take on proposed rule changes to limit the length of golf clubs. 

1. Super Bowl LV: The GOAT v The Kid
Sunday’s much hyped Super Bowl LV saw Tom Brady lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a historic victory against  the Kansas City Chiefs.

2. EA Sports: Champions League - it’s (still) in the game
EA Sports, publisher of the highest-selling sports video game franchise FIFA, has signed a multi-year extension for the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup for forthcoming FIFA games.

3. NBA owners agreed on framework allowing investment funds
The NBA Board of Governors have agreed a framework whereby institutional investors, such as private equity funds, will be permitted to own part of NBA teams.

4. Canal Plus strike discount deal for remaining Ligue 1 matches
Canal Plus has reached a final hour agreement with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) to broadcast the season’s remaining  Ligue 1 fixtures following the “spectacular collapse” of the contract with former broadcast partner, Mediapro.

5. Rory McIlroy slams USGA proposed rule changes
Rory McIlroy has strongly hit out against proposed rule changes to limit the length of golf clubs. The four-time major winner was highly critical of the Distance Insight Project report last week, which was issued by the R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA), describing it as “a waste of time and money”. 

Extra time... 
…and finally, the last fortnight has also seen the release of Trailblazers, an excellent new series showcasing sport’s greatest stories and heroes who inspired meaningful change. Episode 1 features the Serena Williams story - and provides an amazing insight even to those who think they’ve heard her story before. There are 9 more episodes to come, covering athletes such as Jesse Owens, Cathy Freeman and Colin Kaepernick. The series is shown on Eurosport and was created in collaboration with Refresh, a boutique sports consultancy and production company (see here).