Sustainable Innovation

Top Story: Marseille go for LED lighting in Stade Velodrome sustainability push

All the need-to-know deals from across the industry.

by Ed Dixon

Top Story: Marseille go for LED lighting in Stade Velodrome sustainability push

Top Story

French top-flight soccer club Marseille have partnered with Signify, in a move that sees their Stade Velodrome home switch to LED lighting, making it the largest 100 per cent LED stadium in France.

By connecting the venue’s lights to Signify’s connected system, Interact Sports, the venue will be integrating light, sound and animations into the matchday experience.

The new lighting technology will also allow stadium mangers greater flexibility, with one dashboard centrally controlling the Interact Sports system and software.

The long lifespan of LEDs also contributes to the stadium’s sustainability policy.

Thomas Bozek, head of professional sales of Signify France, said: “[The system] supports the stadium in achieving its responsible and environmental goals enabling durability through longevity and significantly reduce maintenance. In addition, we’ve signed a 15-year service contract ensuring continuous performance of the lighting installation.”


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Major League Baseball’s (MLB) New York Yankees have agreed a multi-year partnership with Fanatics, which will see the global sports merchandiser market the franchise’s game-used memorabilia and collectibles.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has extended its deals with Italian sports equipment supplier Mondo until 2024 and Japanese electronics company TDK Corporation until 2029.

Harvest Fund has renewed its sponsorship of the China Tennis Open until 2021. The Chinese asset management company has partnered with the event since 2009 and is currently a platinum level partner.

Watford have joined fellow Premier League club Manchester United in seeking compensation over defaulted payments from a partnership agreement with mobile betting brand MoPlay, according to SportBusiness.

Betting firm SportPesa has officially ceased operations in Kenya, leaving their top-tier domestic soccer competition, the Kenyan Premier League, without one of its biggest sponsors.

Portuguese soccer champions Benfica have penned a three-year partnership with, the biggest betting platform in the country.

Herbalife, the nutritional products manufacturer, has been unveiled as a new sponsor of French women’s soccer team Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.

Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Los Angeles FC have signed a multiyear partnership with Jarritos, the Mexican soft drink brand.

Samsung will sponsor the PUBG Europe League, in a deal that will see matches for the esports tournament played on the technology company’s latest curved gaming monitor.

Australian National Rugby League (NRL) club the Penrith Panthers have retained Oak, the flavoured milk brand, as a major partner for a further two years, from 2020.

Media Rights

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has signed a new deal with pay-TV broadcaster All Media Baltics across the Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). The league previously sold rights on a country-by-country basis with this new deal covering its next four seasons, from 2019/20 to 2022/23.

MLB’s Colorado Rockies have announced a multi-year extension with AT&T SportsNet, which will carry at least 150 games a season across the five-state Rocky Mountain region.

Brazilian soccer giants Flamengo will have their domestic games broadcast in Portugal after striking a deal with Canal 11, the Portuguese Football Federation’s (FPF) in-house television channel.


The Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie has become the latest athlete to join the sports management division of Roc Nation, the entertainment company founded by rapper and businessman Jay-Z.

Marketing agency Bright Partnerships will work with sports goods company Dunlop to deliver retail experiences to tennis fans in stadiums, while promoting the brand’s position as the official ball of the ATP Tour.

ThriveHive has become the official digital marketing services firm of golf’s PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, signing a multi-year agreement.

Politics & Governance

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law a measure that allows college players to receive endorsement deals, despite the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) calling the move unconstitutional.


English top-flight soccer club AFC Bournemouth are set to have their new multi-million pound training ground approved by the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council next week. Plans for the facility had faced opposition by residents and local organisations over concerns for the strain it would put on the environment.


MLB’s Seattle Mariners have announced US$29.8 million in upgrades to T-Mobile Park for 2020. It continues their commitment to a 10-year plan to spend US$280 million on renovations and upgrades, as part of the new 25-year lease with the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (PFD).

The Haas Formula One team increased its spending by 22 per cent to US$118.7 million last year in a bid to improve their performance on track, according to their latest financial statements.

Bidding & Hosting

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has awarded hosting rights for the 2022 and 2024 Track World Championships to Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France and Ballerup in Denmark, respectively. Additionally, the French city of Nantes will stage the BMX World Championships in 2022 and Rock Hill in South Carolona will welcome the event in 2024.

The 40,000-seater Education City Stadium in Qatar has been named as the host for the final of soccer’s Club World Cup this December. The venue is still under construction.


StatSports, the GPS tracking company which monitors player performance, has added Canada, Fiji, Samoa, Uruguay and Russia to its list of international rugby union teams using its technology, after signing a deal with the organisers of the ongoing Rugby World Cup. The national sides join Argentina, Ireland, France, England, South Africa, Georgia and the US on StatSports’ client list for the tournament.

Online cycling platform Zwift and the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, have agreed terms to host the first ever UCI Cycling esports World Championships in 2020.

Animoca Brands is developing an official MotoGP blockchain manager game with collectibles.