Industry Shorts: RLWC2021, NFLUK, Fifty Digital

22 Apr 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has announced a new partnership with global headwear brand New Era.

The pair will launch a collection of caps and sports knits with designs to celebrate the 21 nations and 32 teams that will compete at the event, set to take place across England later this year.

The partnership will celebrate New Era’s ‘Fit for Glory’, and will kick off with the release of a range of caps in New Era’s iconic curved visor silhouette - the 9FORTY -  which will include all of the competing teams.

Paint manufacturer Valspar has announced a new three-year partnership with NFL UK, becoming the league’s Official Colour Partner in the UK & Ireland.

Valspar will use the partnership to engage with UK-based NFL fans throughout the 2021 season and will launch a new partnership platform, ‘Bring the Colour’ to host activations designed to ‘add to the fan experience’.

The brand says that will include ‘dynamic digital content’, physical gameday activations, and competitions including a trip for two to Super Bowl LVI at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in February 2022.

Fifty Digital has announced that it has become climate neutral certified as a business, making the announcement on Earth Day.

The agency, which won Young Agency of the Year at the Sport Industry Awards 2020, is working with climate action company ClimatePartner to measure and reduce emissions, which it did for all operations in 2020, as well as offsetting its ‘unavoidable remaining 2020 footprint’ by investing in a hydropower project fighting global warming in DR Congo, which the agency says simultaneously protects the habitat of mountain gorillas in the region by preserving forest.
The agency says it has also grown a ‘Fifty Digital Grove’ where it plants a tree for every employee and client, which it says it hopes will communicate the dangers of global warming in sport and counteract the effects of climate change.  

French football referee Stephanie Frappart is set to become the first female match official at a men’s UEFA EUropean Championship, after being included in the list of referees for EURO 2020.

Frappart is not listed as one of the 18 referees to take charge of the 51 Euro 2020 games but she will be involved as a support match official, working either as a fourth official or a reserve assistant referee.

In the past two years, Frappart became the first female to referee a men's Champions League match and a French Ligue 1 game.

A new documentary, produced by Zig Zag productions as part of YouTube’s Originals Series, will shine a spotlight on England manager Gareth Southgate.

‘Raise Your Game with Gareth Southgate’ will launch in the build-up to UEFA EURO 2020, which takes place this summer, and will include a line-up of YouTube creators such as ChrisMD, SV2, Yung Filly, and StuntPegg, to explore the manager’s life lessons, his career journey, and his ambitions for the future. 

Each YouTube creator story will break off from the ‘intimate interview’ with Southgate to tell a tale of an inspirational young person in the UK, linking back to one of his three core motivational beliefs of "Be Kind, Be Brave, and Follow Your Dreams". 

The film culminates at St George’s Park as the YouTube Creators come to meet Southgate for an ‘epic finale’. 

The NBA has partnered with UK-based mobile payment and marketing specialists PM Connect on an international deal for its live game subscription service, NBA League Pass.

The multiyear partnership will allow fans to subscribe to NBA League Pass through their mobile phone, and will launch in multiple territories across European, including the UK.

The technology caters to fans on mobile, who can pay without ‘leaving the mobile environment’ through direct carrier billing, which the company says will also allow the NBA to ‘convert new and existing fans into paying subscribers’. 

Matchroom Boxing will sign a media rights deal with DAZN in a ‘nine figure deal’, according to reports in The Athletic.

The move would see the OTT sports service DAZN replace Sky Sports as the UK broadcaster for Matchroom fights, although the reports say the deal would not include fights involving Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, for which DAZN would have to negotiate again.

DAZN launched in the UK in late 2020, and has since carried fights such as those with  Callum Smith and Luke Campbell and next month will broadcast Billy Joe Saunders’ clash with Canelo Alvarez

The PGA Tour has launched a new ‘bonus structure’ for golfers based on their off-the-course engagement.

The Player Impact Program rewards the top ten players who ‘positively move the needle’ of the sport, with a $40 million (£28.8 million) prize pot distributed among the group.

The top ten will be ordered based on their ‘impact score’ which is based on a number of factors such as Google searches; the player’s Nielsen Brand Exposure rating; Q Rating (which measures public awareness of their personal brand); MVP Index rating (which measures social and digital engagement with the player); and Meltwater Mentions (which measures the coverage a player generates across the media)