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

MARCUS RASHFORD AND THE NEW PLAYER POWER
Just when you think that 2020 can’t throw up any more surprises, Marcus Rashford, a 23-year-old footballer, becomes the government’s loudest source of opposition. At the time of writing there’s been no U-turn on extending the provision of free school meals when faced by Rashford’s campaign. But by generating support and sentiment through his 3.7m Twitter followers, there looks like being only one result.
For more on this story, head to City AM

NBA PRESERVES $1.5B IN REVENUE AT DISNEY BUT LOSES ARE STEEP
The NBA spent $180 million to operate 100 days of basketball in its Disney bubble, but the steep investment allowed the league to stop the loss of $1.5 billion in projected revenue. According to sources familiar with the league’s finances, the Disney restart allowed the NBA to stem the loss of about $1.5 billion in expected revenue, the bulk of the money tied to national and local television revenue followed by league sponsorships.
For more on this story, head to SBD.com

THE ERASURE OF MESUT OZIL
Everything started with a tweet. Mesut Özil knew the risks, in December last year, when he decided to offer a startling, public denunciation both of China’s treatment of the Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority in the region of Xinjiang, and the complicit silence of the international community.
For more on this story, head to NYT.COM

PLAYER FIRST STRATEGY BY BRANDS IN BID TO WIN FAVOUR WITH GEN Z
The battle for Gen Z consumer spend is forcing major sports brands to turn their attention away from soccer clubs and towards top players, a leading executive in the kit supply industry has told Sportcal. This process of ‘iconisation’, as described by Ron Wiegand (pictured), vice-president of international kit and athlete partnerships at Sportfive, the international sports business agency, has developed during the coronavirus pandemic of the last eight months as even greater scrutiny is placed on balance sheets
For more on this story, head to Sportcal

SPORTS SPONSORSHIP AGREEMENTS IN THE CORONAVIRUS AGE
A collaborative approach to contracting could help sports bodies and prospective commercial partners to negotiate sponsorship agreements that appropriately account for risk and uncertainty arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more on this story, head to Pinsent Masons

GOOD SHOUT
SPORTSPRO: EA Sports, Pizza Hut and esports’ evolving sponsorship potential
FORBES: Liv Cooke: The TikTok Star Newbies Manchester United Should Call
SPORTSPRO: Amazon adds Juventus TV amid links to Italy’s Champions League rights

SOURCE:The Briefing #128| POWA index