The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sport sponsorship and digital.

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

The revamped Team Sky will “raise the bar” thanks to their wealthy new sponsor, rivals believe.

The team has won itself a new backer in the shape of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is the wealthiest man in Britain. Ratcliffe is set to invest heavily in the team, with insiders believing that the budget will far surpass the current £43 million pot.

Though this keeps one of British cycling’s biggest brands alive, it means that other teams may struggle to keep the pace.

“They’ve raised the bar, we are just trying to keep up with it,” Matt White of rival Mitchelton-Scott told Cycling Weekly.

“It’s made teams with less budget, which is nearly everybody, spend their money wisely and really scrutinise how they spend their money and really target specific goals in the year and where they do spend their budget.

“We can’t afford to buy the depth that Sky’s got, so you have a bit of Moneyball situation and you have to go looking for talent in other places, and develop talent, not just buy talent.”

For more on this story, please visit Cycling Weekly

BARCLAYS SPONSORSHIP IS ‘WATERSHED MOMENT’

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes believes that Barclays’ new sponsorship of the Women’s Super League is a “watershed moment” for women’s football.

The bank recently announced a £10 million deal with the league that will begin next season and include a prize-pot of £500,000. This marks the first time the league has had financial rewards for succesful teams.

“You need somebody like Barclays to say ‘I’ll be the first’.” Hayes told the BBC. “The interest is growing. It’s a snowball-effect and I can’t see anybody getting in the way of England becoming the best place in the world to play.

“The women’s game is at a tipping point. We’ll see more deals like this announced over the next year or two from around the women’s football world.

“There had to come a point where somebody said ‘I’m investing in this for all the right reasons’, not just as an add-on. I’ve been saying for some time that I felt this would be the watershed moment, where we would commercialise the game.

“The next big moment is to find a broadcasting platform, putting the game in a position where it has got regularity, a slot, and the best exposure. That’s got to be the next big priority of the domestic game.”

For more on this story, please visit BBC Sport

LA LIGA LAUNCHES STREAMING SERVICE

La Liga is launching a streaming service to help raise the profile of Spanish sport as a whole.

The platform will be free and available across all devices, as well as on Samsung Smart TVs. Though it will not air live La Liga football matches, it will provide highlights and interviews with players.

It will also shine a light on badminton, hockey, snooker, table tennis and a range of other sports in Spain.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “The aim is to offer less high-profile sports greater and improved visibility via a platform where content is quickly and easily accessible, allowing fans to enjoy their favourite sport wherever, whenever and however they want.”

Spanish Sports Association president Jose Hidalgo added: “LaLigaSportsTV is a platform that will bring about a digital transformation and will offer exposure to the work carried out by each of the Spanish sporting federations.”

For more on this story, please visit Sports Pro Media

MAJOR LEAGUE MEETS ROCKET LEAGUE

Rocket League will feature Major League Baseball branding after the MLB struck a partnership with the game’s publisher Psyonix.

Players will be able to customise their cars to feature team paraphernalia and a new ‘Baseball Rocket Boost’ feature will also be added.

It’s likely to be the start of a wider move into esports for MLB, whose commissioner Rob Manfred highlighted the importance of gaming earlier in 2019.

Speaking at the SportTechie State of the Industry conference, he noted: “Strategically, we see esports has kind of been a weak spot for us.

“It is a real priority for us going forward. It is tough to say more than this but I’m pretty confident that in 2019 we will have a nice announcement in that space in terms of platform-based games.”

For more on this story, please visit Sports Pro Media

GOOD SHOUT

ESPORTS INSIDER: Comcast Spectacor to Build $50M Esports Arena for Overwatch League Team

SPIKED: Leave Guinness Alone

SPORTSBUSINESS: F1 to launch blockchain-based game

SPORTSPRO MEDIA: Six Nations unions warned against going down private equity route

SPORT INDUSTRY GROUP: BT to screen every IPL game

SOURCE: The Briefing #077 | POWA index