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West Brom signs record shirt sponsorship

Premier League side West Bromwich Albion has announced a record shirt sponsorship deal with K8 Group.

The two-year deal with the online casino company will run from 2016/17 to 2017/8 and reports suggest it is worth in excess of £5m over the course of the contract.

China-based K8 Group will use the sponsorship to help launch its European brand, and will work with the club to create and distribute video content.

adidas seeks golf buyer

adidas has revealed it aims to sell the bulk of its golf business in order to focus on shoes and clothing, stating it would focus on retailing golf shoes and clothing under the adidas label. The move will see the brand seek to sell its TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth brands. 

The announcement comes after its core adidas brand reported strong quarterly sales, particularly in the United States.

The Jockey Club posts record annual turnover

The Jockey Club has announced record turnover and an increase in profits on the back of record attendances last year, which comes in spite of making record reinvestments back into racing.

The owner of many of British horseracing’s assets, including the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival, The Investec Derby and The National Stud, has put more than £415m back into horseracing over the last 10 years through contributions to prize money and upgrading facilities for customers and participants, according to its annual results.

Bolton Wanderers agrees takeover deal

Championship football club Bolton Wanderers has agreed a £7.5m takeover by the Sport Shied Group consortium.

The group, headed by former Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth, will takeover the club subject to Football League ratification.

The club owe HMRC £3m in unpaid tax and VAT bills, which is currently gaining £175,000 interest a week, and threatened with administration and possible liquidation.

Holdsworth’s group also confirmed that current owner Eddie Davies will become the club’s president, but not involved financially.

ASICS acquires FitnessKeeper as sales grow

ASICS has announced it has acquired FitnessKeeper Inc and also revealed sales have more than doubled in the last five years, with above-market growth.

ASICS will now have 100% shares in FitnessKeeper, the operator of fitness tracking app Runkeeper, an application that can track and record fitness activities.

The app has over 33 million registered users in the US and worldwide, providing notifications of running distance and pace during exercise. It also has functions to record, manage and analyse activities to achieve fitness goals.

Fanatics acquires Kitbag

Fanatics, Inc., provider of licensed sports merchandise, has completed the acquisition of Kitbag, a UK-based sports eCommerce company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Findel plc. 

A multi-channel company across the UK, Europe and international markets, Kitbag runs its own site and also operates the online and retail business for more than 25 partners across European football, motorsports, rugby, tennis and golf.

Gloucester Rugby announces fifth year profit

Gloucester Rugby has announced an operating profit for the fifth year for the period up until June 30th 2015.

The club increased turnover by 21.3% over the previous year, driven by growth in key income streams, notably with new sponsorships and commercial partnerships, whilst match day and season ticket income remained flat.

Overall, the club’s long term debt was reduced by 18% and profit on ordinary activities before taxation was £286,026, which reflects the fifth year of profit in a row.

Palace confirms American investment

Premier League side Crystal Palace has confirmed American businessmen David Blitzer and Josh Harris have acquired a large stake in the football club.

The pair will join chairman Steve Parish in control at the club, with the chairman stating that the shareholders had agreed an “initial £50m injection of capital” to develop Selhurst Park – the club’s stadium.

Chinese investors secure Man City stake

China Media Capital (CMC) Holdings has acquired a minority stake in City Football Group (CFG), the owners of Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, and a minority shareholder in Yokohama F. Marinos.

CMC, a China based media, entertainment, sports and internet dedicated investment and operating company, has teamed up with CITIC Capital investment management firm, to invest £265m ($400m) for a 13% shareholding in CFG, valuing the group at $13bn.

RFU announces record revenues

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced record revenues of £207.9m for 2014/15, exceeding the £200m mark for the first time, with a retained profit of £7.7m.

Despite a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign, the RFU’s annual reports shows revenue exceeded £200m for the first time last season.


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