UEFA to change Financial Fair Play

Russia, banned from international competitions, is considering applying to host the 2028 or 2032 European Championships. The United Kingdom and Ireland are currently running unopposed to host Euro 2028, while Italy is unopposed to welcome in 2032.

UEFA plans to rewrite the existing financial fair play rules for clubs that have been in place for the past decade.

European football’s governing body spent more than a year crafting the new regulations with a cross-section of elite clubs, according to The New York Times. The talks accelerated after the teams saw $7.7 billion collectively removed from their balance sheets during the pandemic.

UEFA’s proposed regulations continue its efforts to promote fair competition in European football.

  • Operating expenses may no longer exceed 70% of club revenue.
  • Clubs have a three-year grace period before having to apply the new rules.
  • The regulations should not include a strict salary cap.
  • UEFA’s executive members are due to vote on the new regulations on April 7.

Existing UEFA regulations have been respected criticism from fans and clubs for their failure to alleviate financial inequality in European football. Criticism intensified in 2020 after UEFA overthrow that of Manchester City two-year ban from the Champions League for breaking FFP rules.

To take a position

In February, UEFA and FIFA indefinitely banned all Russian football teams – both club and national – following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld UEFA’s decision ban on all Russian teams after a call from the Russian Football Federation. Last week, CAS also upheld FIFA’s ban in a separate appeal.

Adidas/Design: Alex Brooks

Adidas is entering the space of name, image and likeness – in a way very different from other major sports brands.

On Wednesday, the sportswear giant announced the launch of a nationwide NIL program. All athletes from Division I schools with Adidas partners will be eligible – over 50,000 athletes in 109 schools in 23 sports.

The program deviates from the approach of other large companies such as Nike and Gatorade, which targeted specific athletes. But it’s one of many brands creating NIL initiatives that mirror campus ambassador programs.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Athletes can earn a percentage of sales they run through an affiliate program, a spokesperson told Front Office Sports. They can also earn money by creating social media posts.
  • As the movement unfolds, Adidas is also considering opportunities for athletes to feature in campaigns.
  • Remuneration will depend in part on the number of athletes who choose to participate.

The company will begin deployment in fall 2022 with athletes at Power 5 schools and HBCUs.

Elevate women’s sports

Adidas positions the NIL program as part of its “Impossible is Nothing” campaign dedicated to inclusiveness and equity in sports.

WNBA star Candice Parker called the program “an incredible step forward for the growth of women’s sport”.

During the remainder of March Madness, the men’s and women’s Adidas teams will also have warm-up shirts that say “More is possible” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

The Premier Lacrosse League continues to grow in popularity and recently entered into a four-year media rights deal with ESPN ahead of its fourth season, which is set to begin on June 4.

The agreement, which is apparently worth eight digits, will see all 47 PLL games air on ESPN’s broadcast platforms, including ESPN+ and ABC. ESPN’s deal with the PLL follows a strong year for the league with its former broadcaster, NBCUniversal, attempting to renew its deal.

  • Total viewership on NBCSN increased by 29% in 2021 compared to the 2019 season.
  • Last season’s PLL Championship on NBC had 333,000 total viewers.
  • The PLL produced four of the six highest-rated NBCSN games in its three-year history.
  • Ticket revenue increased by 56% in 2021 compared to the 2019 season.

Last June, the PLL closed an additional funding round led by Arctos Sports Partners. The round also included new investments from the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and owner of the Brooklyn Nets and co-founder of Alibaba Joseph Tsaione of the first investors in the league.

Player Safety Innovation

Earlier this week, the PLL announced a partnership with New Q30a Connecticut-based research and development company dedicated to reduce head trauma. The two entities will work together to raise awareness of brain injury and promote Q30’s products.

As part of the agreement, all eight PLL teams will be fitted with Q30’s Q-Collar, an FDA-cleared device that provides an additional layer of brain protection.

Versus/Design: Alex Brooks

Oliver Marmol replaced Mike Shildt as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in October, but the two collaborated to launch Versus, an edtech company focused on athletic skills training.

Founded by Marmol and his wife Amber, Versus offers training videos featuring professional athletes and conversational AI technology. The service will be available for a subscription fee from April.

  • The app and platform will initially focus on baseball and softball, with plans to introduce soccer and other sports down the road.
  • Athletes contributing to the project include the Cardinals legend Albert Pujol, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jessica Mendozaand Jennie Finch.
  • Versus a $8 million in total funding.
  • The company opens a $20 million Series B funding round.

Versus will partner with charities to reach underserved communities.

Sports for young people on the rise

Versus the quoted analysts who predicted that the global edtech market will reach $318.8 billion in the next five years.

Player Healtha startup focused on the health and safety of young athletes, announced a $28 million Series B funding round led by Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors, venture capital firm Mastry Ventures and insurer SiriusPoint.

TeamSnapa youth sports community and event platform, said he saw a 50% year-over-year increase in events created in 2021, up to 22 million, with daily active users approaching 2 million in some months.

  • Fifa announcement the addition of Crypto.com as a sponsor of this year’s World Cup.
  • Washington Commanders games will no longer be carried by media company Audacy, which includes Commanders flagship station The Team 980, as well as 106.7 The Fan and 910 The Fan.
  • Amr Zedan, owner of disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, is would have one of the candidates for Chelsea FC of the Premier League.
  • From 2019 to 2021, the number of crypto, blockchain or NFT sports sponsorship deals increased by more than 1000%. Learn more about changes in fan behavior and their impact on sponsorship patterns in Nielsen’s latest report.*

*Sponsored content

*All times are EST unless otherwise stated.
*Ratings/lines are subject to change. The T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

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