The AST wrap-up edition 6; partnerships, digitalisation and innovation

The world of sports business fails to remain quiet once again. This week sees more multi-sector organisations leverage the sports industry into global entertainment business; another nation joins the race to host the 2032 Olympics, COVID19 keeps pushing sport to digitalise. Plus, boxing looks to innovate its events model.

AC Milan fly high with 3-year extension with the Emirates partnership

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Italian sporting icons AC Milan extend their involvement with the Emirates until the end of 22/23 for 10m Euros per season with bonuses. The airline giants will receive front-of-shirt branding for the men’s senior side, Rossoneri academy and youth team.

The Red and Black’s have made a significant change to sell the women’s sleeve sponsorship inventory, women’s team and training kit separately. Despite the loss in value from selling the women’s sponsorship out of this deal, it marks a new era for the club to grow their women’s team independently to inspire the community of Italy.

Could Qatar be the host nation of the 2032 Olympics?

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Qatar has joined the race to host the 2032 Olympics amongst India, Shangai, the Australian state of Queensland and a collaborative bid between North and South Korea. If successful, Qatar will be the first nation to bring the Games over to The Middle Eastern region.

Qatar has made serious investments in its sporting infrastructure to enhance Vision 2030, which has been a broader initiative to improve and diversify its global profile and economy. If Qatar secures the 2032 games, this will be an enormously positive step forward for the region. Not only will Qatar likely deliver world-class sporting entertainment, but it’s an opportunity to provide a spotlight for the next generation of athletes across the nation to have a life-changing moment.  

Esports has turned the world into a games console!

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Reported by WARC, international advertising expenditure in esports expects to increase by 9.9% to $1,084.3m from $974.3m in 2020. COVID19 has elevated esports into the sporting spotlight from the absence of traditional sports; the sector has capitalised on this opportunity by accumulating close to 1 billion worldwide viewers.

Other gaming platforms such as Twitch have been victorious throughout lockdown, garnering a 63.8% increase in gaming content during April. This figure is more than double against competitors such as Facebook Gaming, YouTube Gaming and Mixcloud. The growth of global esports demonstrates the influence young people have towards shifting mainstream culture; it wouldn’t be a surprise for the future to see official esports tournaments held on the traditional sports scene.

Sportside, the ‘tinder’ of sports participation

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Sportside is an innovative ‘connect and play’ social app providing a platform for amateur and professional athletes to network with one another. The app will allow users to search for their ‘sporting match’ through age, sporting ability and location and book a venue through the medium.

The firm’s establishment will ensure coaches, volunteers, facilities and event operatives to engage with new audiences while making grassroots sports participation more accessible. Sportside is a perfectly timed initiative considering the importance to keep active more than ever, and providing a chance for like-minded individuals to form new relationships through the passion of sport.

The NBA proving to be the new innovators in the sports world

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The National Basketball Association and US telecoms firm Verizon have penned a multi-year agreement to bring betting content and virtual reality options available through The NBA League pass streaming channel. The joint scheme will provide accessibility to Oculus VR headsets for League Pass subscribers for at least 12 live games from 31st July to 14th August.

The broader element of the deal will see Verizon-owned Yahoo Sports promote live betting and fantasy offerings for League Pass. This opportunity will find Yahoo Sports as the presenting partner for various digital assets of the NBA while leveraging exclusive content to coincide with basketball’s leading ventures.

Could we see Matchroom Fight Camp return next summer?

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What started as an experiment to keep boxing fans engaged throughout COVID19 could become a boxing branding masterclass. The Daily Mail reports Matchroom Boxing Fight Camp could potentially roll over into Summer 2021 but not just in the UK, but the Middle East! Fight Camp began yesterday and is a four-show event throughout August seeing fighters perform at Matchroom Boxing’s headquarters in Essex.

The developments of the boxing project could welcome an elimination format for fighters and a television series which documents the build-up of each event during Fight Camp. Not only does this raise the profile of the Matchroom boxing brand, but it could also prove to be efficient at cutting event costs by hosting events locally in the UK.


That’s the updates done, but what impact do you think AC Milan’s extension with Emirates will bring to their women’s game? Do we want to see Qatar host the Olympics? Will eSports and digitalisation in sport ever stop growing? Can an app hold the power to rev up sports participation? Do you think Fight Camp has potential to leverage boxing to move one-step ahead of the UFC?

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Published by Ashwyn Lall

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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