The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sports sponsorship and data.

COVERAGE STIFLES CRICKET GROWTH

Cricket will struggle to attract new audiences because of the lack of terrestrial TV coverage of the World Cup, The Guardian’s Andy Bull writes.

There are more ways than ever to watch the tournament, with the likes of Twitter, ESPN Cricinfo, YouTube and Facebook offering tidbits, and Channel 4 putting out late night highlights.

However, to watch a match live, audiences need to subscribe to Sky, and with only 500,000 tuning in (compared to 6.1 million people watching the BBC’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup) it seems many aren’t doing that.

“The one thing all these fragments of coverage can’t do – the one thing that only live, mainstream, terrestrial coverage can – is turn a sports tournament into a national event,” says Bull.

“The ECB blames the ICC, because it controls the broadcast rights. Anyone who is at all familiar with how the ICC works might be surprised to find that it has so much autonomy, especially when the chairman of the ECB, Colin Graves, also happens to be chairman of the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee, which has power of approval over all the ICC’s broadcast arrangements.

“The ICC on the other hand, point towards Channel 4, because it arranges its own schedules. But there is a significant caveat to that. The broadcast deal stops the broadcast channel from starting its highlights show within three hours of the end of play, so it is in effect banned from showing the games before the watershed.”

For more on this story, please visit The Guardian

MESSI NAMED WORLD’S WEALTHIEST ATHLETE

Lionel Messi is the highest paid athlete in the world, according to the Forbes top 100 ranking.

The Barcelona forward earns $127m (£99.8m), with Cristiano Ronaldo in second on $109m (£85.6m) and Paris Saint Germain’s Neymar in third on $105m (£82.5m).

Fourth place Canelo Alvarez is the highest non-football athlete, while there is just one woman in the top 100: Serena Williams, who earns $29.2m (£22.9m).

Basketball is the most profitable sport, with 35 players appearing in the list to total a value of £1.3bn, while American Football stars make a total of $775m.

Football (soccer) is the third most successful sport, contributing a total of $607m.

For more on this story, please visit Forbes

ROLEX SEALS TENNIS GRAND SLAM

This year’s tennis French Open marked a significant occasion in the sport’s calendar as Rolex sponsored the tournament as its ‘Premium Partner’ for the first time.

The deal means that the brand is now a key sponsor for all four of tennis’s Grand Slams, and its image director Arnaud Boetsch has explained how the approach is a signal of Rolex’s long-term strategic approach.

“The need to nurture brand image and deliver messages that connect with our values is always there,” he explained. “Why we’re here, what we do. It’s not what happens in 2020 that’s important, it’s what will happen in 2026 or 2035. We show what we do, who we’re doing it with, and why.”

Each tournament has its own unique character, and Boetsch says Rolex aims to use that to leverage the brand’s emotive element and ever-present prestige: “Throughout its history, Rolex has been associated with events that show their discipline at its finest.

“Every Grand Slam tournament has its own personality, identity and territory. And that’s very important to us. The brand associates itself first and foremost with a human, emotional side, with an experience.

“The French Open’s identity isn’t the same [as that of the other tournaments] and yet we find the same values of quality, prestige, excellence and competition at all four.”

For more on this story, please visit FHH Journal

UBER EATS TAKES A SEAT AT LIGUE 1 TABLE

Uber Eats has signed a deal with Ligue 1 that will associate the company with the French league for the next three seasons.

As part of the contract, the delivery service will be an official partner next season and be given naming rights for the two seasons after that. The deal is thought to be worth around 32 million euros (US$36.1 million).

“This major agreement reflects the new dimension taken by Ligue 1,” Didier Quillot, LFP chief executive, said. “We are very proud to be able to count on the support of Uber Eats, a major global brand, to support the development of the French championship.

“We are also particularly pleased to be able to associate Ligue 1 with a very strong brand among young consumers.”

For more on this story, please visit Sports Pro Media

COCKROFT COMPLAINS OF SPONSORSHIP GAP

Paralympian Hannah Cockroft has criticised sponsors for the significant gap between Olympians and Paralympians.

Cockroft has won five gold medals during her career, but finished second at the 2018 World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin and saw her profitability slump significantly.

“Last year, because I won a silver medal, I lost four sponsors,” she told the BBC. “If you compare it, the majority of able-bodied athletes who haven’t even won a medal still sign thousands and thousands of pounds-worth of deals.”

Cockroft believes that the lack of sponsorship impacts how she and other para-athletes are viewed, creating a damaging stigma around the sport.

“Having someone who supplies your kit, who wants you to wear that kit to every training session and every race, to me that’s when you’ve made it.

“I look at it and I think I’ve won everything that I can win. There’s one race that I haven’t performed at my best in 11 years, and there’s no one that wants me to represent them on the track.

“I have so many kids come up to me and say ‘I’m going to be the next you’. But then I think if I still can’t get equality, then how am I ever going to change it? I’m obviously not a big enough name to be worth that kit deal. Things like that definitely need to change.

“Because we can change the way people look at disabled people, we can change their perceptions. The world needs to become a lot more equal and a lot more accessible.”

For more on this story, please visit BBC Sport

GOOD SHOUT

SPORTS PRO MEDIA: The World Cup is a starting point: Women’s soccer in the media

PSA WORLD TOUR: PSA signs partnership with Dailymotion

GIZMODO: American Express Customers Can Play Tennis With Andy Murray in an Exclusive Wimbledon VR Experience

GAMBING NEWS: Betting company Betway signs with Dota 2 Team PSG.LGD

SPORTS PRO MEDIA: Eurosport clocks French Open digital viewership boost

SOURCE: The Briefing #083 | POWA index