The AST wrap-up: UFC x TikTok, Adidas & Reebok part ways and more!

Another week comes to a close, but not without your weekly dose of sports business news! The UFC revolutionises the combat sports world through partnering with TikTok. Media value results from this year’s Super Bowl are out! What’s going on in the world of Red Bull Racing? Football clubs have new codes of conduct to follow under the British Gambling Council (BGC). Plus, what’s next for Adidas and Reebok?

The UFC join forces with TikTok to get MMA trending

Global Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) property, The UFC, announced a ground-breaking partnership with video-sharing app TikTok. The two parties will collaborate to showcase live content, including weigh-ins, press conferences, interviews, training footage and arena tours.

The UFC also plan to dedicate a permanent resource committed to creating real-time and Video-On-Demand (VOD) content for their TikTok channel for the first time. @UFC, @UFCRussia, @UFCBrasil, and @UFCEurope are the four main accounts for the sports property, holding seven million followers.

Last week, TikTok became an official partner for UEFA Euros 2020, which will see the app produce exclusive content throughout the lucrative competition. TikTok’s services match-up perfectly to fill in the void of sports fans missing the up-close and personal moments they would’ve received during stadium attendances. Plus, the app has a predominantly young audience that allows the UFC to keep its brand appealing for the next-generation of sports consumers.  

Which sponsors bagged the highest media value during the Super Bowl last weekend?

TAMPA, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 07: The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Over $95 million was produced in media value last weekend at the LV Super Bowl 2021. Verizon, Pepsi, Anheuser brand Bud Light, Gatorade and DraftKings received the most visibility during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Interestingly, the LED seat tarp was the most lucrative inventory during the occasion as it created $36 million (40% of total media value) in sponsorship output. This initiative came from the National Football League (NFL) wanting to offer sponsors branded seat covering during the 2020 season. Although, these were swapped with LED message boards which have proven to pay-off significantly.

$9.4 million was acquired by Pepsi from the halftime broadcast graphic; in association with the Weeknd’s halftime show. The soft drink titans produced $31.6 million in media value throughout the event, the highest out of the five brands mentioned. Verizon followed $26.5 million generated, then Gatorade with $20.6 million, DraftKings created $11.1 million and Bud Light making $6 million.

Red Bull Racing remain fueled by Honda until 2025

The Formula One Racing Team has reached an agreement with automobile manufacturer, Honda, to use their power unit technology until 2025. This follows from last weeks announcement as the International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced they’ll freeze their power on power unit developments until 2024.

The deal has influenced Red Bull Racing to establish a new division to manage the project, entitled Red Bull Powertrains Limited. The agreement is an enormous commitment to ensure Red Bull Racing sustains it’s competitive edge in the motorsport space and supports Honda becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The British Gambling Council lays a new code of conduct for football clubs

Last week, multiple Premier League, English Football League and Scottish Premiership clubs received letters from a group of former gambling addicts about the risks of promoting betting through Social Media (SM). This raised awareness of how addicts could feel tempted to place a bet on a sports game.

The British Gambling Council (BGC) has now established a new set of directives to protect young people from getting sucked into gambling addictions. These include organic tweets from football clubs can’t include calls-to-action or links to gambling sites. Plus, clubs won’t be allowed to target betting ads to U18’s either. A letter has been distributed to Facebook, encouraging the site to introduce ‘age-gating’ for SM accounts to prevent organic gambling-related posts from reaching U18’s.

Betting companies are a huge stakeholder for football sponsorships. However, this initiative by the BGC is an important step forward to enhance corporate social responsibility towards a highly-impressionable audience of young football fans.

Adidas decides to separate away from Reebok

Adidas, the global sportswear brand, intends to dissociate their involvement with Reebok’s to optimise their efforts to grow their personal brand. Adidas has begun developing its new five-year strategy to tighten their position at the global sporting goods market’s pinnacle.

Last November saw the New York Times report that Adidas employed financial services company, JPMorgan Chase, to pen a possible sale of Reebok. The deal could be worth approximately $1bn which is lower than the $3.8bn Adidas paid for Reebok in 2006.

Bloomberg suggests Reebok could attract interest from rival sporting goods companies across Asia alongside private equity suitors. 1980 saw the brand rise to an industry titan, particularly for sneaker sales. Despite their dominance sputtering of recent, they’ve become a global sports culture icon through their classic footwear and apparel styles. Could this be a motivating factor to sustain interest from potential buyers?  


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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