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Top story: Wasps land Vodafone as main partner

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day.

by Joe Levy

Top story: Wasps land Vodafone as main partner

Top Story

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Mobile technology giant Vodafone has signed a two-year deal to become the main club partner of Wasps rugby and netball teams.

The deal will see Vodafone’s branding appear on both the Premiership Rugby team’s shirts and the Netball Superleague side’s dresses.

Vodafone, which replaces car giant Land Rover from next season, will also strive to deliver 5G solutions at the Ricoh Arena, the home stadium to both teams, as well as third-tier English soccer side Coventry City.

Stuart Cain, managing director at Wasps, said: “The West Midlands is at the forefront of the UK’s 5G investment programme so it’s a major achievement for Wasps to secure a partnership with such a well-known global business that allows us to harness this technology.

“We look forward to announcing further plans along with the new shirts for the 2019/20 season in the near future.”

Sponsorship

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), African soccer’s governing body, has sealed Yamaha as a major sponsor for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

Top-flight Brazilian soccer club Avaí have sealed food and beverage group Zaeli as their back-of-shirt sponsor for the 2019 season.

Staying in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Atlético Mineiro have confirmed French sportswear brand Le Coq Sportif as their new kit supplier, replacing Brazilian firm Topper.

Golf’s European Tour has confirmed Enterprise Rent-A-Car as an official supplier for the 2019 season.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has appointed BrightView as its official field consultant, which will include renovating and managing playing fields for all domestic and international games.

The ESL Premiership, the top-flight esports league for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six Siege in the UK and Ireland, has sealed a three-year extension to its title sponsorship deal with retailer Currys PC World.

Media Rights

DAZN Italy has acquired the rights to this summer's Copa America soccer tournament, South America's premier national team competition.

SmartSeries

Over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform Hotstar recorded 300 million unique visitors to its platform during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Unikrn, an esports betting company, will launch two new betting platforms. Unikrn Streamer Betting will allow fans to bet using automated odds updated in real time whilst Unikrn Virtual will allow fans to bet on unreleased, archival competitions.

Politics & Governance

Spanish top-flight soccer club Athletic Bilbao have extended their strategic relationship with French fifth-tier club Aviron Bayonnais for two more years.

Second-tier Italian soccer side Palermo have been relegated to the third tier of Italian soccer despite finishing third in Serie B. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) ruled that the club would be forcibly relegated due to financial irregularities.

The Madrid Open set a new total record attendance with 278,000 people going to games at the tennis tournament in 2019, a 2.9 per cent increase on 2018 figures.

Bidding & Hosting

Wuxi in China will host the World Cup of Snooker for the next ten years.

The World Taekwondo Council (WTC) has announced Cancun, Mexico will host the 2020 Grand Prix Final, while Manchester in the UK will stage the 2021 Grand Prix Series and 2023 Grand Prix Final.

Scotland will host the opening stage of this year’s Tour of Britain cycling race, starting in Glasgow and ending in Dumfries and Galloway.

Personal Endorsement

New York Mets star Pete Alonso has signed an endorsement deal with memorabilia group Fanatics to produce exclusive content and materials.

Investment

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has partnered with banking group HSBC to launch AirBadminton, a new official outdoor version of the sport.

Italian soccer giants Juventus have opened a youth academy in Uzbekistan in the hope of finding talented players.