Industry Shorts: Ipswich, Alistair Brownlee, Megan Rapinoe

07 Apr 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Ipswich Town have confirmed that the club has been taken over by Gamechanger 20, an investor group that includes three members of the US club Phoenix Rising’s Board of Directors.

Gamechanger 20, which is majority-owned by Ohio-based investment group ORG, will retain the majority of the ownership of the League One club, while former owner, Marcus Evans, will keep 5%.

Former West Bromwich Albion CEO Mike O’Leary will become the club’s new chairman following the deal.

Two time Olympic Gold Medallist Alistair Brownlee has teamed up with startup accelerator Nova to support sports technology startups as part of a new pledge to invest £1 million in UK early-stage founders throughout 2021.

The programme will see successful applicants will receive mentorship, investment, industry contacts and tech development to build and grow their businesses.  

Brownlee will participate in the programme’s webinars and group work sessions, while he will also sit on the investment pitch panel. Alongside his team at Brownlee Fitness, the triathlete will work with successful founders post-investment alongside the other programme partners including Nova, Leeds Beckett University, Global Sports and Bruntwood.  

Megan Rapinoe has become an investor in startup Real, which aims to address mental health issues through on-demand group therapy.

The US company has raised some $10 million (£7.2 million) in Series A funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, but with input from a group of existing and new investors, including Megan Rapinoe and NFL star Eric Kendricks.

The company’s model sees therapists lead group sessions dealing with real-world topics ranging from anxiety to family issues, while users pay a subscription fee to have access to the sessions on demand, as well as other resources.

The US State Department would ‘consider’ a joint-boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics Games in Beijing alongside its allies across the world.

The news comes as a State Department spokesman. Ned Price, suggested that a boycott could be one of the options open to the country when tackling alleged human rights abuses in China.

However, according to the US government, no potential boycott has yet been discussed between the US and its allies and partners.

The FA has named Getty Images as its Official Photography Partner in a new long-term partnership, which will see the image platform deliver an ‘integrated visual strategy’ to support The FA’s 2020-2024 Time For Change initiative.

A bespoke ‘FA Collection’ will be launched on Getty Images, which will encompass historical FA content as well as being updated with the latest coverage of matches.

The deal will also see Getty photographers cover a range of FA matches, assignments, competitions and events, including the England Men and Women’s Senior teams, as well as covering the e-lions esports events, including in-game images and player portraits.   

SRO Motorsports Group has appointed digital agency WePlay to lead digital strategy and content marketing for the 2021 FIA Motorsport Games.

The competition is due to hold its second edition in October 2021 at the Paul Ricard Circuit, France, and will partner with up to 144 of the potential National Sporting Authorities (ASN) involved in the event to increase awareness in local markets. 

WePlay, meanwhile, will be tasked with increasing engagement and growth across the event’s social media channels, as well as driving viewers to the official event livestream, and driving incremental fanbase growth across younger demographics.

IMG ARENA has acquired data collection, audio-visual production and tracking technology company FlightScope Services, which specialises in golf and tennis.

The deal will see FlightScope Services fully incorporated into the IMG ARENA, while Jacek Gronek and Wojtek Szumilas - who currently lead the business - join IMG ARENA along with  the company’s 160 employees. 

Gronek will join the IMG ARENA leadership team as VP, Rightsholder Services, while Szumilas will be Head of Technology.

IMG ARENA says it will invest funds and resource in a bid to introduce FlightScope Services’ technology into other sports in its portfolio, including football, basketball and volleyball and major US sports, while it will also use it to introduce new products and services to federations and rights holders under the new pillar of IMG ARENA Rightsholder Solutions.