Industry Shorts: Barney Francis, DAZN, WTA, Tottenham

13 May 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Barney Francis has been promoted to the new role of Chief Executive Officer of Future Sport at Sky and will report to Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch.

The role will focus on the changing world of sport, with Francis (pictured) to work with colleagues across both Sky and NBCUniversal to look at growth opportunities for Comcast. Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, acquired Sky last year for $39bn.

Francis has been at Sky for more than two decades and has served as Managing Director for the past 10 years. Rob Webster will now become Managing Director of Sky Sports, reporting to UK and Republic of Ireland Chief Executive Stephen van Rooyen.

DAZN has revealed details of a new docu-series that will launch in the lead-up to the heavyweight boxing clash between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz on 1st June at New York's Madison Square Garden.

‘40 Days: Joshua-Ruiz’ will be executive-produced by recording artist Meek Mill and Roc Nation, with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn to also serve as producer. It will be presented as a multi-part, short-form series and premiere exclusively on Meek Mill’s YouTube channel.

From 21st May, new episodes will be available each Tuesday and Thursday in the two weeks leading up to the fight, with a special final edition to premiere on NBC Sports Network and other regional sports networks prior to the fight.

DAZN confirmed in February that Joshua’s first US fight would be carried exclusively on its streaming platform in the American market. DAZN launched in the US last summer following the agreement of a $1bn, 16-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing USA.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has launched ‘It Takes’, a new global marketing campaign designed to showcase female players and iconic WTA tournaments.

The WTA has consulted over 140 players about the driving forces that have formed their personalities on and off the court. Players’ responses included “It Takes Heart”, “It Takes Fight”, “It Takes Belief” and “It Takes Purpose”.

The campaign will launch across the WTA’s digital channels, social media platforms, Tour events and broadcast channels. A series of mini-documentary-style player features will also be launched to provide existing fans and new audiences with an insight into players.

The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will host the finals of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup rugby union competitions in 2021.

The 62,000-seat stadium will follow in the footsteps of Bilbao, Newcastle and Marseille as a host of the Finals Weekend event.

The venue was awarded hosting rights by European Professional Club Rugby, which carried out a “robust and detailed” tender process in conjunction with The Sports Consultancy. The 2021 European Cup final will be the seventh to be played in England and the first to be held in London outside of Twickenham Stadium.