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Sport England commits further funding to data drive

Sport England has called on sport and physical activity providers to commit to opening up their data after committing a further ÂŁ1.5m of National Lottery funding to the Open Data Institute (ODI).

The Lottery funding is designed to help the sector innovate by using open data to develop their digital offering in the wake of results from a ComRes survey commissioned by Sport England.

PL stars invest in STATSports

England international footballers Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been unveiled as among the first investors in STATSports, with the sports tech company hailing the news as a “landmark moment”.

STATSports said Manchester City star Sterling, and Liverpool’s Oxlade-Chamberlain, have become significant investors, as well as global ambassadors for the UK-based company.

Aser invests in Sports Data Labs

Aser, the global funding vehicle founded by sports industry entrepreneur Andrea Radrizzani, has become the biggest single investor in Sports Data Labs (SDL) after acquiring an undisclosed stake in the San Francisco-based data start-up.

Aser will take an active role in the global commercial strategy for the company, which provides human performance technology solutions for sports and media entities by enabling data to be captured, analysed and distributed in real time.

Taxing images

Footballers' image rights are back in the headlines, following news that record numbers of players are being investigated for tax issues by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Image rights have been used extensively by clubs and players as a tool to avoid paying employment tax. But new government guidance requires all businesses to list "image rights" as employee payments in their accounts. 

23 Capital invests in SRM Sport & Entertainment

23 Capital, which specialises in providing finance and solutions to the sports, music and entertainment sectors, has announced its investment in commercial rights business SRM Sport & Entertainment.

The knowledge-sharing partnership will see the UK venture capital firm support SRM’s ongoing growth, with SRM advising on select 23 Capital projects.

SRM was co-founded by former Formula One Legal Counsel Judith Griggs (pictured above, right) and ex-Syco Chief Executive Charles Garland.

SKINS files for bankruptcy

Jamie Fuller, the outspoken founder of disruptive sportswear manufacturer SKINS, has revealed that the company has filed for bankruptcy with the Swiss Court.

Fuller announced the news in a statement posted on the SKINS website, confirming that a trustee would be appointed to manage the firm’s assets with immediate effect.

He explained: “What has brought us to this point really started 11 years ago. When the global financial crisis (GFC) hit in 2008, I sold a portion of SKINS to a private equity firm. I also made a lousy deal.

Genius Sports Group acquired

London-based sports data specialist Genius Sports Group has confirmed it is to be acquired by Apax Partners, a US-led private equity firm.

Apax, a long-time investor in data, tech and distribution businesses, announced in a statement that the transaction will close in Q3 2018.

Under the terms of the acquisition, whose financial details have not been disclosed, Genius Sports Group’s management team will remain in place and retain a minority stake in the organisation.

Villa scores major investment

English Football League club (EFL) Aston Villa has announced that it is to receive a “significant cash injection” from NSWE, a company that is jointly owned by billionaire businessmen Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

It follows club owner Dr Tony Xia’s decision to embrace a co-ownership model. Xia will become Villa co-chairman under the new deal.

In a statement, the Championship club confirmed that the capital injection and transaction had been approved by the EFL.

UEFA boosts Champions League prize pot

UEFA has announced major increases in prize money for its club competitions, with historically successful teams also set to benefit under the new system.

The latest plans will see more weight placed on prior performance rather than the strength of individual national television market pools.

The gross commercial revenues for clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League, the Europa League, and the Super Cup, is estimated at around €3.31bn.

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