Industry shorts: Gfinity, F1, Under Armour, IMG...

03 Apr 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Gfinity has extended its partnership with Formula 1 for a third F1 New Balance Esports Series.  

An expanded season will begin on 8th April, split into Qualifying, a Pro Draft and the Pro Series, with prize money doubled to $500,000 for 2019.

All entrants will compete in F1 2018, the official game of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, on the PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X and PC.

At the Pro Series, official F1 teams and their drivers will now compete in four live events, compared to just three events last year, between September and December 2019.

Last season the F1 New Balance Esports Series reached a record audience of 5.5 million viewers across selected TV networks and a dedicated live stream.

DataPOWA, the tech firm behind real-time sports sponsorship valuation engine POWAIndex, has announced the appointment of Ian Penrose as its Non-Executive Chairman.

Penrose, who is currently Chairman of the National Football Museum, will join the company's board with immediate effect.

The former Arena Leisure CEO has a 20-year track record in the sport, technology and gaming markets. 

Under Armour has officially opened its new EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam's Olympic District.

The new space will house 200 employees across all central functions – including Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, Human Resources, Finance and IT – as well as showrooms for retail partners. 

The brand says the move reflects its commitment to continued growth in the region. Revenues were up 25% in 2018, bolstered by Under Armour's partnerships with top athletes and clubs. They include World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Anthony Joshua and double Olympic Gold Medalists Teddy Riner (Judo, France), Jade Jones (Taekwondo, Great Britain), and Marcel Hirscher (Alpine Skiing, Austria).

The brand also has partnerships in football with internationals Memphis Depay, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Granit Xhaka, and clubs Southampton FC, Lokomotiv Moscow, St Pauli and AZ Alkmaar, as well as in rugby with the Welsh Rugby Union, ASM Clermont Auvergne and Wasps Rugby.

IMG has been appointed by Relevent Sports Group to distribute the global media rights for the International Champions Cup (ICC) for the next two years.

The tournament, which made its debut in 2013, set a new record last year for ticket sales, with a total of more than one million spectators watching the 18 teams in action across 27 games in 22 cities worldwide.

The 2019 tournament will take place from 16th July to 10th August across the US, Europe and Asia, with each participating team playing three matches each.

The 12 teams lined up for the 2019 edition are English Premier League clubs Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur; Spanish LaLiga city rivals Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid; Italian Serie A clubs AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus and Roma; German Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich; Portuguese Primeira Liga club Benfica and tournament debutant Chivas, from the Mexican Liga MX.

Aside from organising the ICC, Relevent Sports Group also operates the ICC Women’s and Futures tournament, the Alianza de Futbol marketing and production entity, which focuses on Hispanic football programmes in the US, and a joint venture with Spain-based LaLiga to promote football in North America.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has announced the appointment of Lisa Wainwright as its new CEO. 

Wainwright spent over 30 years in the sport and recreation sector including several years as CEO of Volleyball England.

She will formally take up the role on 1st May 2019 after a short handover with outgoing CEO Emma Boggis.  

Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has confirmed that its Chair Brian Barwick will step down from July 2019, assuming a newly created role as "President."

Explaining his decision, Barwick said: “I was delighted to be the Chairman of the successful Rugby League World Cup 2021 ‎bid and subsequently the Chairman of the organisation tasked with delivering the biggest and boldest Rugby League World Cup there has ever been. 

"I will stand down from that post too, but am absolutely delighted to accept an offer to be the organisation's President and will continue to do my bit in helping deliver a stand-out international event in this country: a World Cup that will encompass men's, women's and wheelchair team competitions staged in ‎some of the country's finest stadiums and in the heartland of the game."

The RFL’s Nominations Committee will now agree the process for the appointment of a successor as Chair of RLWC2021.