Here are some stories you may have missed from the last two weeks:
I Don’t Need No Agent
Last week, I read an interesting article about how a few of today’s sporting stars and personalities are choosing to conduct their own business and have no agent. [Why show me the money doesn’t always make cents] Superstar cricket commentator Richie Benaud doesn’t have one, and this is probably due to the fact he is mainly focused on his work with Channel 9.
Shane Webcke, the now retired rugby league star, is glad he didn’t have an agent throughout his career and now has landed some post-career media deals, all of which he handled himself. Shane states that if he did have an agent, he would not nearly have been able to build the corporate relationships that he has had. Despite this fact, he still thinks agents an integral part of sport, just not for him.
There has been little movement during the English Premier League transfer window, with Nicolas Anelka’s move to Chelsea the only big name move. However, this year’s January window has seen more spending than last year. With still over a week to go, the figure is up over 40% from last year. With the massive gap between Premier League and Championship revenue, it comes as no surprise clubs are bringing in new players to stay afloat. [Transfer records smashed by Premier League clubs]
UFC continues to grow
The ever growing UFC has announced their first major sponsor: Harley-Davidson. [UFC signs its first major sponsorship deal] Harley-Davidson will have signs placed around the arenas of certain events. I can see this being the first of many corporate partnerships for the UFC.
Sponsorship by North American companies of sports has increased from 2007. [North American sponsorship spend $16.78 billion in 2008] The figure of 2007 was $9.94 billion, while in 2008 it is estimated to be about $11.6 billion, making a hike of over 17 percent. It is obvious the figure will increase, but the large increase could be due to the Olympics and slightly due to other major sporting events this year such as Euro 2008.
The Indian Premier League have sold their TV rights for $1 billion over 10 years. At 59 matches per year, this represents a figure of about $1.7 million per game. [IPL’s 10-yr TV rights sold for $1 bn] Intially, the BCCI wanted at least $1 million per match, so they must be happy with the outcome. This is only the first step. Next up, the ICL will accept eight franchises for the league, and shortly after a player auction, where teams will bid for stars such as Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar. The naming irghts still need to be finalised as well.
Snooker goes Global
Snooker is getting a revamp with the introduction of a Snooker World Series beginning in May this year. The four event series will encompass locations throughout Europe. [New Snooker World League for 2008] The Series is expected to grow to eight events in the near future, which should enable the sport and it’s athletes to increase in popularity.