Industry Shorts: UEFA, RFL, Genius Sports

04 May 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

UEFA has confirmed that it will allow teams competing at this summer’s rescheduled EURO 2020 an increased squad limit of 26, instead of the usual 23.

European football’s governing body says the move will ‘mitigate the risks’ of teams being depleted by positive coronavirus tests, but the maximum number of players permitted on the match sheet will remain at 23.

Meanwhile, UEFA will also allow players who have tested positive - as well as close contacts of that player - to be replaced before the first match of the tournament. The new regulations will now also allow goalkeepers to be replaced before each match during the tournament owing to the smaller numbers of goalkeepers included in the squad.

Once replaced, a player will not be allowed to be readmitted into the squad again.

The RFL has moved from its Leeds headquarters, at Red Hall House, and relocated to Manchester’s Etihad Campus.

The move sees the organisation leave the Grade II listed building on the Wetherby Road - four miles north-east of Leeds - where it had been based since moving in 1995, the year of the sport’s centenary.

The governing body says it has operated from two headquarters since 2014, with a marketing and media office created at Media City in Salford either side of hosting the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. In 2018, a decision was taken to relocate to a new purpose-built office at the Etihad Campus, and the RFL will move in two stages, with the RFL relocating to Quay West in Salford until work on the new RFL headquarters at the Etihad is completed later this year. 

Genius Sports has agreed a deal to acquire free-to-play (F2P) games provider FanHub.

The deal will see Genius also acquire FanHub's suite of F2P games, including fantasy sports, trivia, bracket challenges, pick 'em, and polling games, complementing its already-established offering.

Building on Genius Sports’ official data capabilities, the business will integrate FanHub’s solutions across its media services, delivering content solutions as well as tailored marketing campaigns alongside live odds, rich data and statistics, video highlights, and messaging.

Google has announced a new multi-year partnership with the WNBA and ESPN, which will see it become a ‘WNBA Changemaker’, committing to furthering visibility and coverage of women’s sport.

The tech giant will become Presenting Partner of the WNBA on ESPN, working to deliver ‘25 for 25’ - 25 regular season games on ABC and ESPN for the 25th season of the league. That will build on work to launch content with ESPN Films' celebrated ‘30 for 30’ documentary series featuring WNBA stories.

Google will also become the Official Trends & Fan Insights Partner of the WNBA, aiming to amplify coverage of the league by increasing its visibility on Google Search as well as including highlights.

Global sport streaming service DAZN will release the company’s first-ever collection of NFTs ahead of the upcoming fight between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders.

The NFT drop includes four collections which are accompanied by ‘real-life rewards’, including never-before-sold memorabilia and exclusive boxing experiences. Most collections will offer both an Alvarez and Saunders edition, allowing fans to champion their winner before the opening bell.

The fight will take place on 8th May, with the NFT launch aiming to give boxing fans an opportunity to be part of the action throughout fight week.

Ospreys and Umbro have signed a five-year partnership which will see the brand become the Welsh rugby side’s Official Technical Kit Partner from the 2021/22 season. 

The brand will create kits for the men’s, women’s, academy, and wheelchair teams, while Ospreys will work closely with Umbro to provide match kit, training wear and off-field kit as well as offering supporter wear including men’s, women’s and children’s ranges.

The deal sees Umbro further its position in rugby, complementing recent partnerships with the RFU to make England kits, as well as with Gallagher Premiership leaders Bristol Bears.

The European League of Football (ELF) - the European-based American football league -  has partnered with OTT agency StreamAMG to provide live match streaming and on demand content.

The ELF will aim to introduce a professional top tier league to the European continent, serving its growing interest in the sport. 

StreamAMG will provide a full suite of OTT technology for live match streaming, on-demand content, and subscription management, and will also work with Novel Media - the ELF’s web design and development partner - to integrate its technology into ELF Online. 

Chelsea have signed a new agreement with sports travel provider, who will become the Premier League side's Official Supporter Travel Supplier. will provide services for official domestic and European supporter travel Chelsea fans, as well as becoming a resale provider for hospitality match Breaks at Stamford Bridge.

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