Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
Tempus Ex Machina Taps Amazon Vet as Vice President of Product
Tempus Ex Machina, a cutting-edge sports technology company, is adding to its leadership team as executive Felicia Yue joins the tech startup as vice president of product. Yue will lead the product team, as well as define and drive initiatives that support long-term growth and new opportunities. Yue has spent the last seven years at Amazon, building a product team in Prime Video, focused on emerging technology for live sports. Prior to that, she was the only female technical crew member on Monday Night Football, where she helped develop and launch virtual enhancements such as the Emmy-winning “1st & Ten line” for NFL fans. Her credentials also include products for the Olympics, Major League Baseball, the NBA and UEFA Champions League.
Pair Joins Excel Sports Management
Shannon Sangster and Andy Nelson are the latest to join the team at Excel Sports Management. Sangster, who was previously a marketing manager at Kiva Confections, will be director, brand marketing and based out of the New York office. Nelson, previously an investment associate at Linden Capital Partners, will be manager, corporate development and strategy in the Chicago office.
Gaming Society Announces FanDuel as First Sportsbook Partner
Gaming Society has inked an deal with FanDuel, marking the society’s first official sportsbook partnership. As part of the agreement, FanDuel will sponsor Gaming Society’s NFL-focused newsletter, which is distributed every Thursday and examines trending topics on and off the field through the lens of sports betting and gamification. Gaming Society’s newsletters focus on introducing new fans to sports betting by emphasizing storytelling and betting education. The NFL-focused newsletter will include betting tips and explainers in a weekly segment titled “The Betting Academy,” the company’s educational vertical.
Chelsea FC Gets Into Scouting With A.I.
Chelsea FC has negotiated a deal to secure AiSCOUT, a fully automated talent analysis and development platform, as its official academy research partner. The platform will become an integral part of the club’s recruitment and scouting process for academy players over the next five years. Behind the scenes, AiSCOUT has been working with Chelsea’s academy for the past two years during the platform’s research and development stage. So far, 65 players using AiSCOUT have been trialed or signed by professional clubs and national squads.
Sorare Partnering With Five EFL Teams to Launch Digital Trading Cards
Sorare will partner with five English Football League teams—Burnley, Coventry City, Millwall, Norwich City and Watford—to launch a collection of digital trading cards that can be collected, played with and traded on the digital platform. The partnership aims to bring the clubs new revenue streams, as well as grow their international reach by engaging new fans; Sorare has two million registered users worldwide. Additionally, Sorare is introducing a new competition in its game called “Second Division Europe,” where Sorare managers can compete with player cards from second divisions of Europe’s top football leagues.
TrafficGuard Partners With Gaming Affiliate Tracking Platform RavenTrack
TrafficGuard will partner with online gaming affiliate tracking platform RavenTrack, aimed at helping brands and advertisers maximize their ad spend on affiliate marketing with invalid-traffic and ad-fraud prevention. A global statistic from Casino.org suggests that almost 26% of the world’s population bets, and the global market is expected to grow from $76.79 billion to an impressive $127.45 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets. Affiliate marketing is employed by gaming and sports betting companies for faster, quicker customer acquisition. However the level of financial and competitor growth within the industry has created a strong attraction from fraudsters, and companies can fall prey with little to no knowledge it is occurring. Through TrafficGuard’s Affiliate Protection service, brands and marketers can combat and prevent misattribution in common types of invalid traffic (IVT) such as cookie stuffing, domain spoofing, anonymised traffic and compliance fraud.
USL’s SD Loyal and Driblab Sign Big Data Partnership for Talent Evaluation
San Diego Loyal Soccer Club and Driblab, a consultancy specializing in soccer analytics and big data, will collaborate to integrate advanced statistics and data into the club’s talent search and performance analysis. SD Loyal is the first team in the United Soccer League (USL) to partner with Driblab, emphasizing its commitment to growth and competition. Through the partnership, SD Loyal management and scouting will have access to the extensive DriblabPRO database, with the ability to search, measure and analyze more than 200,000 players through more than 180 competitions. SD Loyal will first utilize the data to evaluate its current roster, before putting it to use in the upcoming transfer window.
Startup Cycling League Boasts $1 Million Prize Purse
The National Cycling League, a startup crit racing series cofounded by NFL agent David Mulugheta and entrepreneur Paris Wallace, will have a $1 million purse—the largest in U.S. crit racing history—for its inaugural 2023 season. The purse will be distributed among the top five teams, which are made up of eight men and eight women, with 70% of the prize going to the first-place group.
NBC Sports Next Adds Choice Hotels Brand as Preferred Hotels for Youth Sports and Golf
NBC Sports and Choice Hotels International Inc. have established a collaboration, integrating the Choice Hotels brands across the brand portfolio of NBC Sports Next, the technology and innovation subdivision of NBC Sports which includes youth and recreational sports and golf. The digital businesses within NBC Sports Next, operating across multiple industries, equip more than 30 million people with more than 25 sports solutions products. Choice Hotels recently completed its acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas, creating a portfolio of 22 brands—7,500 hotels in 46 countries and territories—making it one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. Coaches, parents and golfers alike will be able to book stays at Choice Hotels brands directly from the various NBC Sports Next platforms.