RPC Sports Ticker (25 September 2020) – esports, wearable tech and Semenya appeal

Published on 25 September 2020

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

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In this edition, we take a look at the opening of Hong Kong's first esports stadium, Apple's new personalised workout subscription service and the recent House of Commons debate on misogyny in modern sport. We also consider the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland's decision to uphold regulations restricting testosterone levels in female track athletes and  Lewis Hamilton's venture into the new Extreme E racing series. 

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. Hamilton raises Extreme impact of climate change through motorsports

Lewis Hamilton has pledged to enter a team to compete in the Extreme E racing series. Extreme E is an off-road racing series, scheduled to start in Dakar, Bangladesh in January 2021. Electric SUVs will race for 2 days in various remote locations, with the races to be streamed live on BBC Sport.

2. Apple takes further bite of wearable technology market

You might already have AppleCare, Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+ (and more).  Now, say hello to Apple Fitness+, Apple's latest subscription service for fitness and workout classes. Like many others, Fitness+ plays on competitive rivalry by letting you see how your performance compares to other users online.

3. Parliament debates misogyny in sport 

Last week saw Alex Davies-Jones MP consider sexist, homophobic and misogynistic experiences in sport during a House of Commons Adjournment debate.

4. Swiss Supreme Court rejects Semenya's appeal

Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya will be unable to defend her 800m Olympic title next year after losing her appeal against the restriction of testosterone in female athletes. 

5. Hong Kong opens its first esports stadium 

In a city where space is at a premium, the Asia Motion Esports Association (AME) is opening Hong Kong's first “esports stadium”.


Extra time...

… and finally, BDO has published its Annual Survey of Football Club Finance Directors for 2020 (available here). Following developments in football finance, across all leagues, all but two-fifths of the Premier League clubs expect to make losses before player trading in 2019/20. Player budgets are expected to be constrained with 60% of clubs intending to decrease their squad size and 74% intending to decrease their salary costs. Notably, no club is positively stating that it is increasing their transfer budget, though 30% of clubs expect to let several player contracts expire this season, and less than one in four clubs will be increasing their investment in their academy next season. Elsewhere, the report found that clubs are realising the need to capture digital media opportunities, both domestically and internationally, and the need to monetise their commercial and data brand. 

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