Weekly Roundup: Business of Athletes, Sports, & NIL (March 6-12)
Ivy League players suing over scholarships, Lionel Messi investing heavy into crypto, and several other fascinating developments from this past week.
(0:45) - Business of Athletes
Matchday, a web3 sports startup raised a $21m seed round, which included an investment from soccer star Lionel Messi.
LeBron James’ family office LRMR Ventures inked a lifetime deal with Fenway Sports Management.
Creed III brought in $100m through two weekends, making it the highest-netting debut for a sports film in history.
JayCee Cooper, a transgender female athlete and kid of a billionaire, won a decision in court and USA Powerlifting now has to accept a biological male competing in female powerlifting.
I also break down the Lamar Jackson contract saga and why Tiger Woods’ ex is suing him for $30m.
(7:00) - Name, Image, and Likeness
Notre Dame football player, Isaiah Foskey, said at the NFL Combine that he would have gone to a different school (citing NIL difficulties at ND).
One of the nation’s largest financial education platforms, Financial Finesse, plans to provide a free financial literacy certification program available to universities.
Former Brown basketball players filed a lawsuit arguing Ivy League schools illegally conspired to limit financial aid and not compensate athletes for their services (to note: Ivy League schools don’t offer athletic scholarships).
LSU gymnast, Livvy Dunne, received public scrutiny for endorsing an AI software to her TikTok audience of 7 million followers.
I break down all of these stories along with Nick Saban’s interesting comments and thoughts on Clemson’s new NIL facility.
(13:50) - Sports Business
Major League Soccer is launching MLS Labs, an incubator program for young sports tech startups to test and scale their products.
Danu Sports, a provider of wearable sports analytics technology, has raised $3.7m in a Series A funding round led by CastleGate Investments.
The NBA has announced the next seven sports technology startups to be admitted to its Launchpad accelerator.
Chiliz launched a $50m accelerator and incubator to assist blockchain startups with a focus on web3 and sports/entertainment.
Athlete NFT platform Blockasset received an equity investment from Chiliz, which owns the Socios fan token and rewards platform.
Indian cricket fantasy sports platform, Fantasy Akhada, has raised $11M in new funding to compete against Dream11.
Global private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners, is investing $150m in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
This is part of the reason why youth sports have gotten crazy…
As the price of college increases, the value of an athletic scholarship increases.
Add in social media + NIL money and you can see why parents go off the proverbial deep end.
Short Passage of The Week
If two people have the same goal, you know nothing about the similarity of their results.
But if two people have the same daily habits, you can infer quite a bit about the similarity of their results.
Your results are largely a byproduct of your habits.
Passage by James Clear
There’s something I find funny (and many of you will know what I’m talking about)…
2 years ago I started putting out athlete investing + business stories on social media.
No one else was doing it.
Now I can’t go on Twitter or LinkedIn without seeing someone else spinning up similar stories (often with the same format and sometimes even the same story).
And we always talk about how the American sports ecosystem is several years ahead of Europe and Asia.
Well, I’m sure you can guess where most of these people are from…
I’m glad they’re helping to prove my point further 😂
Interesting Stat #2
Most of these cities make sense to me — however, I am surprised by the vast amount of baseball players from cities that get cold in the winter.
Data shows that most companies are founded by males:
Women represented just 14% of founders in 2021 and received just 2% of the venture capital (VC) deployed in 2022.
How can we get more females to make the jump into founder roles?
Peter Frintzilas - CEO of TeamSnap (listen)
youth sports, VC vs. PE, downstream impacts of NIL
Dugald Macdonald - CEO & co-founder of Sportable (listen)
sports data analytics, creating “smart” balls, scaling globally
I’m booked out for the next few weeks but looking to get more women in sports on the podcast.
Criteria I’ve been following so far:
Investors in sports
Founders beyond the seed stage
Athletes with businesses/investments
Let me know if you match this and are interested (or know someone who would be).
“People with a scarcity mentality tend to see everything in terms of win-lose. There is only so much; and if someone else has it, that means there will be less for me.
The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, and the more we are genuinely happy for the success, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people.
The more their success adds to...rather than detracts from...our lives.”
- Stephen R. Covey
Thanks for tuning in!
Have a fantastic rest of your day.