As the calendar turns to July this week, there continues to be news in the world of sports business amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. This past week saw the United States National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) return with the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.
Big news surrounding the NWSL centered on Google becoming one of the league’s major sponsors. The partnership begins immediately with the use of the Google Meet platform hosting virtual cheering parties for different teams’ fans all across the country. In addition, Google will also hold presenting rights for the player of the tournament award and will share exclusively captured content on all of its social media channels. The month long tournament will see its final take place on July 26.
Another big story in the world of sport business this past week features turmoil between sports apparel company Under Armour and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The company and university entered into the record sponsorship partnership at the time only a few years ago. The 15 year, $280 million deal was signed in 2016 and went into action in 2017. Under Armour, the Maryland based sports apparel and shoe company, saw 23% sales dip in first quarter sales due to the Covid-19. The pandemic forced store shutdowns and a huge decrease in customer spending. The company is looking to get out of the deal, especially since UCLA hasn’t featured a competitive football or basketball team in years. The school, meanwhile, obviously wants to keep the deal in place to continue receiving those massive yearly payments.
Other sport business news from this past week sees both of tennis’ international team events, the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, finals being delayed until 2021 and Eleven Sports and the Belgian Pro League agreeing to terms on a five year media rights contract.