By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE
- As the men’s Open Championship holds court in Northern Ireland, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) has increased the prize money for this year’s Women’s British Open by 40% to a total purse of $4.5 million. The move will see the winner of the 2019 event take home $675,000, up from the $490,000 won last year by England’s Georgia Hall. Despite the increase, which makes the tournament the second highest prize fund of the five women’s majors, the pot remains significantly lower than the $10.75 million on offer for the men, with the winner of this month’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush set to claim $1.89 million. “We recognized that more needed to be done to elevate the prize fund for this great championship and are pleased that we have been able to make a significant increase this year as part of the R&A’s commitment to women’s golf,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A. Next month’s Women’s British Open, which takes place at Woburn Golf Club August 1-4, will be the first under the tournament’s new five-year title sponsorship with finance and insurance firm AIG, which signed a deal in November last year to replace electronics company Ricoh.
- DC-based educational technology leader EVERFI has partnerships with the NFL and United Way, as well as MLB, the NHL, and NBA. But it’s a recent alignment with the EPL that is taking up much of co-founder Jon Chapman’s time these days. Chapman, who serves as EVERFI’s head of global partnerships, last Friday spoke with SportsBusiness Daily about working with some of the premier leagues in sports, his favorite places to travel, and his family’s most recent trip across the pond. “I recently got back from London after meeting with the EPL, and they’ve got a really innovative program called Primary Stars, which focuses on elementary age students. We are helping them bring that program to the U.S.,” Chapman said. “It’s a lot of fun working with this variety of leagues, and the way it came about is really just that the sports world is a small one. If you do well by one of the leagues, there’s a really strong network effect.” And as mental health issues and suicide rates climb across the U.S., EVERFI last week launched important new courses to help colleges and universities support students during transitional periods – a critical need as students return to campuses across the nation next month.
- Minor League Baseball has announced its list of Top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales for 2018, with the combined totals of all 160 teams setting a MiLB record with more than $73.8 million in retail sales. The $73.8 million total marks a 4.2% increase over 2017’s record total. The Top 25 list includes: Albuquerque Isotopes, Charleston RiverDogs, Charlotte Knights, Columbia Fireflies, Columbus Clippers, Corpus Christi Hooks, Durham Bulls, El Paso Chihuahuas, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Gwinnett Stripers, Hartford Yard Goats, Indianapolis Indians, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Nashville Sounds, Pawtucket Red Sox, Portland Sea Dogs, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Rochester Red Wings, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, San Antonio Missions, Tacoma Rainiers, Toledo Mud Hens, and Trenton Thunder. Rick recently spoke with Octagon Executive Vice President Woody Thompson, who leads that agency’s baseball practice. Here’s what Thompson shared: “Baseball has done a really great job. From a municipal standpoint, their engagement with these cities has been fantastic and the cities have really gotten behind it…Baseball has a place in this country in the hearts and minds of everybody. Whether you’re a kid or you’re an adult, baseball is there for you.”
By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE
- From an agency perspective, the NFL is moving in the right direction. Rick recently sat down with Arnold Wright, Executive Vice President and co-head of consulting for Octagon. Wright brings NFL team, league, and player deals to life for sponsors including Castrol, Delta, Bank of America, and others. “The league is obviously an incredible platform that leaps up year to year in terms of ratings and engagement,” Wright said. “The on field action is also as good as it’s ever been.” From a global perspective, Wright says, “The international piece in particular has been great for the league. You continue to see key markets like the UK, Mexico, and even Brazil growing internationally. It’s bringing other brands into the NFL ecosystem from a partner and promotional perspective.” As for the NFL’s 100th season platform, Wright says, “The league has done a lot of really great work in terms of positioning themselves, celebrating the history of the league from a player and a fan perspective. They have demonstrated a real savviness around their marketing and their connectivity to fans. The league several years ago probably would not have demonstrated that level of flexibility in terms of their marketing and what you could do with their platforms. But that’s certainly changed.”
- YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI will make their professional boxing debut. Last year, the two online sensations faced each other in an exhibition fight that generated more than 1 million pay-per-view buys on YouTube. Now they will fight each other again – this time, in an official professional fight at in Logan’s hometown of Los Angeles at Staples Center on November 9. According to ESPN, the event will be a six-round cruiserweight fight streamed on DAZN and is sure to pack the house after last year’s sold out 57-57 majority draw that happened at Manchester Arena in KSI’s hometown of Manchester, England. They are both now professional boxers, have passed their required medical exams, and will meet at a launch news conference in Los Angeles on September 14, with another news conference to be scheduled in the United Kingdom. KSI and Paul have more than 40 million YouTube subscribers between them and should bring tons of new fans to the sport of boxing, while the sport’s traditional enthusiasts can relish undercard events that will feature an assortment of more established fighters in the boxing world.
- HBO Sports and NFL Films are teaming on Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, a feature-length film about the four-decade friendship between football coaches Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. According to Cynopsis Sports, the pair grant unprecedented camera access to their annual coaching retreat, where they share conversation about their interwoven history, admiration, coaching philosophies, and more. “Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden – symbols of success not just in sports but in life,” said Ross Ketover, Chief Executive of NFL Films. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.” The film is slated air in December on HBO. Belichick and Saban have both started their 2019 campaigns off with a bang, as Alabama handily won its first two games and the Patriots obliterated the Steelers 33-3 on Sunday night.
Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole, former Miss California 2010, have welcomed the arrival of their third son.
Maverick Nicolas was born on September 9, 2019. Maverick follows Boomer Robert, 3, and Beckett Richard, 18 months old.
The parents also shared a sweet photo from Boomer's Instagram account from their hospital photo session.
Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time and most decorated Olympian of all time, is from Baltimore, Maryland and boasts 28 total medals, 23 of which are gold.
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