The AST Wrap: Innovation, partnerships and culture

Happy new year one and all! There’s no better time to catch up with the sports business news before the week begins! KFC enters the gaming industry, and Reebok looks to make a comeback in the sports lifestyle scene. Saudi Arabia strives for equality with a new sports tournament, and Messi scores again for Budweiser and JD Sports undergo a new collaboration! Co-written by Omari Coates, Founder of The Final Whistle.

KFC look to deep fry the gaming industry with the KFConsole

The global fast-food chain is launching a bizarre games console that can allegedly heat chicken while gaming. KFC has collaborated with a worldwide hardware maker, Cooler Master, to create the KFConsole. 

The device was initially an advertising campaign launched in June that acquired over 11 million video views on KFC’s Twitter page where most thought it was a hoax. The machine can run top-level game specs while using the heat produced from the console to keep your meal warm. The development phases have included custom-built casing, an innovative cooling structure and integrating the ‘chicken chamber’.

Fast-food chains have always been significant stakeholders in the sports industry, but KFC’s initiative is taking the competition to another level. Burger King received considerable attention from the ‘Stevenage FC Challenge’, could KFC become recognised under the same wing?

Who could become Reebok’s new $2.4 billion buyers?

Percy Miller and Baron Davis: https://thegrio.com/2020/12/29/master-miller-baron-davis-reebok/

Adidas has decided to offload Reebok, which has attracted interest from one of hip-hops wealthiest icon, Percy “Master P” Miller, and retired NBA star, Baron Davis. The pair look to combat the sportswear company’s struggles to keep up with the era’s culture wave.    

Bringing Miller and Davis into the brand could prove a significant win for Reebok’s bounce-back strategy. The two are substantially integrated across sport and music culture, which will shift Reebok’s psychology to transform into a lifestyle brand.

Saudi Arabia makes groundbreaking moves to increase female sports participation

Twitter announcement relating to the Global Goals World Cup: https://twitter.com/ggwcup/status/954359377057652736

The Sports For All Federation (SFA) confirmed Saudi Arabia would deliver it’s first-ever Global Goals World Cup (GGWC) to boost the population’s health through sport. Women are welcome to participate by hosting activities, events and programs orientated around promoting endless positivity across their local communities.

The tournament will kickstart in 2021 and involves a 5-a-side football competition where the winning team can play at the GGWC finals in New York, sponsored by the SFA.

The competition embeds all the values Vision 2030 stands for. Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s strategic framework to diversify its economy through sport, tourism, health education and recreation. The Land of the Two Holy Mosques has established many breakthrough female sporting stars such as Rasha Al-Khamis as their first female boxing coach, Sham Al-Ghamdi as their first football referee and Roa’a Al Sahhaf creating the Kingdom’s first Aerial Arts Yoga Studio.

Budweiser score with marketing activation commemorating Lionel Messi

Written by Omari Coates, Founder of The Final Whistle

With Budweiser recently signing global football icon Lionel Messi to a partnership deal, the two parties collaborated to produce content highlighting Messi’s goal-scoring achievements. In December 2020, the FC Barcelona forward broke Pele’s record by scoring his 644th goal at the club.

To mark the occasion, brand partner Budweiser sent out 644 personalised beers to the 120 keepers who were on the receiving end of Messi’s goal-scoring ability. This marketing activation was unique as it celebrated such a huge milestone for an all-time great athlete. Nonetheless, it also shows how brands and athletes can utilise each other’s platforms to create organic content that is both engaging and entertaining.

JD Sports buys Shoe Palace for $325 million to expand within U.S. footwear market

Written by Omari Coates, Founder of The Final Whistle

Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports has recently acquired U.S.-based shoe retailer Shoe Palace in a deal worth $325 million. Shoe Palace was established in 1993 and has remained a family-owned business run by four brothers from the Mersho family. JD Sports representatives stated, ‘the deal would expand its footprint in the U.S. West Coast and increase its appeal among Hispanic and Latino consumers, who form a significant proportion of Shoe Palace’s customer base’.

JD Sports are continuing to grow their presence within the U.S after acquiring Finish Line in 2018 for $558 Million. JD Sports has also recently opened a flagship store in Times Square, New York, highlighting its strategic approach to expanding retail operations in the U.S.


That’s a wrap! How competitive will the KFConsole prove in the gaming landscape? What challenges still lie for Reebok’s comeback? Is Saudi Arabia entering a new era with the GGWC? Is Budweiser already contenders for the best marketing campaign of the year? And, could other sports retail brands follow suit to JD Sports’ latest initiative?

Published by Ash

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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