Sports Ticker (16 November 2022) – Hope for Wasps and Worcester, Hamilton's production company and Man City record revenues – a speed-read of commercial updates from the sports world

Published on 16 November 2022

In a fortnight which saw the Red Roses fall agonisingly short in a brilliant Women's Rugby World Cup final against hosts New Zealand, and Man United reportedly taking legal advice before responding to Ronaldo's TalkTV interview, we bring you updates on Amazon's sponsorship deal with Sage and BT, and the BBC's acquisition of broadcasting rights for the Billie Jean King Cup. We also cover reports of a Liverpool FC sale and Manchester City's record-breaking revenue.

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

Light at the end of the tunnel – hope for Wasps and Worcester

Following Wasps and Worcester Warriors entrances into administration (see Ticker 71 and Ticker 72), recent developments have seen the clubs move closer to takeovers. Wasps have reportedly accepted a bid (which excludes Coventry Building Society Arena) made by a consortium of former players. The bid requires approval from the RFU and Rugby Players' association. Worcester have chosen their preferred bidder, a consortium led by former chief executive Jim O'Toole. Separately, Amazon Prime have agreed a partnership with UK based software company Sage, for the Autumn Nations Series. Under the deal Sage will provide real-time match analytics.

Hollywood Hamilton - production company launch for F1 champion

Seven-time Formula 1 Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton has announced the launch of his own film and TV production company named "Dawn Apollo Films". The company plans to back several projects currently in production with Apple TV+, including an upcoming F1 film starring Brad Pitt as well as a documentary of Hamilton's life and career. Hamilton will be the executive producer under the banner of his new company. In an interview with Deadline, Hamilton discussed his plans for the company which he will give his "full focus" to when he retires from F1. The iconic driver is keen to inspire people through storytelling and says that the company will have a focus on "social impact, community and causes".

You'll Neverrrrr Want A Loan? Liverpool FC open to investment amidst sale rumours

Fenway Sports Group ("FSG") has announced that it is "open to investment but fully committed" to Liverpool Football Club. The American Group bought Liverpool FC in October 2010 in a £300 million takeover, and it is rumoured that the club could be valued at around £5 billion. Since FSG's takeover, the Merseyside club has lifted its first Premier League title alongside success in Europe. FSG has also invested heavily in the club off the pitch, with the Anfield Main Stand development adding an extra 8,500 seats. Following the £4.25 billion sale of Chelsea Football Club earlier this year to an investment group spearheaded by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, FSG may be seeing this as an opportune time to sell.

BBC and BT serve up the Billie Jean King Cup

In the week leading up to the Billie Jean King Cup, the Lawn Tennis Association ("LTA") confirmed that BBC Sport and BT Sport will offer extensive broadcast coverage of the 2022 tournament. The event, which took place at Glasgow's Emirates Arena from 8 - 13 November, was the first time the Billie Jean King Cup Finals were played in Great Britain since 1991. Marketing and Communications Director of the LTA, Richard Daish, when speaking on the Cup Finals, said having “the world’s best players coming to Britain for such a prestigious tournament offers a wonderful platform to promote our sport and maximise visibility. Hopefully the images that will be going into homes across the UK will inspire some girls and boys to pick up a racket for the first time”.

Money-making Man City's record revenue reports

Manchester City has posted the highest revenues in the club's history for the 21/22 financial year. Player transfers, increased fan attendance and wider engagement have been cited as contributing factors to the £613 million revenues. Despite a drop in broadcasting revenues, Manchester City bounced back well after the pandemic thanks to new sponsorships and revenues generated from concert performances at the Etihad stadium. Manchester United is still top of the league when it comes to revenue generation (£627 million in 2019). Separately, Brentford Football Club is also benefitting from the sponsorship industry as it has announced a new partnership with Sega's Football Manager 23 simulation game. Fans will see FM23 branding in the stadium and new matchday experiences. Brentford FC Community Sports Trust are also working with Sega on community initiatives.

Extra time...

...and finally, one of the UK's most prominent rappers Stormzy has unveiled a new partnership led by Adidas to help provide football career opportunities and mentoring. The #MerkyFC initiative is also supported by companies such as LADbible, Sky Sports, Fulham FC and Manchester United. Figures from the FARE network show that only 6.7% of senior roles within football are held by those from a Black or mixed heritage background. This is in stark contrast to the English Premier League in which 39% of players identify as having a Black or mixed Black heritage. Those companies involved aim to provide work placements, ranging from operations through to marketing.