Qualcomm Becomes Official Global Partner of Manchester United
Defending Singles Champion Naomi Osaka (age 24 /Japan) Commits to Compete
World’s Top Women Tennis Players to Gather in Ariake for the First Time in Three Years! Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament 2022
Polo Team USA Presented By Hotels at Sea and Celebrity Cruises Wins the World Cup
Velocity Global becomes Official Partner of the DP World Tour
HowToBet road to the Superbowl - It’s the underdog year
President Infantino's New Year message: “Solidarity and dialogue crucial in 2022”
Will NFL and Video Games Become One Singular Technology Reality? - by Aron Solomon
APGA Champ Kevin Hall partners with Velocity Global
Hotels At Sea’s Polo Team Wins Back To Back US National Championships Presented By Celebrity Cruises & AmaWaterways
Virgin Money London Marathon using Restrata technology to help keep elite athletes COVID-Safe
As the Virgin Money London Marathon returns to the city’s streets this Sunday, Restrata, a global contact tracing specialist, will be helping to keep the elite runners COVID-Safe with their cutting-edge technology. Already adopted by businesses and venues, as well as being used at international sporting tournaments, Restrata Platform is now being used to help ensure the world’s top marathoners arrive at the starting line in Greenwich for the 41st London Marathon. In addition to daily Covid testing, the 100 elite athletes scheduled to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon, including defending champion and world record holder, Brigid Kosgei, as well as their support staff, are wearing a Restrata tag in the elite hotel. This device means that if a positive case of Covid is recorded, it’s fast and simple to identify who else has shared the same space, at the same time, so that the necessary safety measures can be put in place to prevent any spread of the virus. Restrata Platform was initially designed to protect workers in the energy and industrial sector and ensure their safety. Having been further developed and successfully implemented at cricket tournaments for the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Indian Premier League (IPL) and the English Cricket Board (ECB), Restrata is proud to be part of bringing back large-scale sporting events in a safe, controlled way. Botan Osman, CEO, Restrata, comments: “Supporting the Virgin Money London Marathon this year is incredibly exciting for Restrata. As an international business much of our work is carried out overseas, so with the final stage of the race just a short sprint from our London office, and being a Londoner myself, this project is close to our hearts. “Helping to keep the elite team and their support staff safe with Restrata Platform and our contact tracing technology will ensure that the runners enter the race in top form and with 100% confidence. We're delighted to be able to support Hugh Brasher and his team in staging such a prestigious sporting event.” Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, adds: “London Marathon Events is delighted to be working with Restrata to ensure we have accurate data to keep our elite athletes safe and healthy as they prepare for the Virgin Money London Marathon. “In this uncertain world, the Restrata technology gives us certainty in planning for some incredible racing between our elite athletes and para-athletes on Sunday 3 October at the 41st London Marathon.”
Legendary NFL Insider Josina Anderson Returns to National Airwaves with ‘THE CREW’
Legendary NFL journalist and former ESPN insider Josina Anderson is making her return to national airwaves with the launch of ‘The Crew’, a new NFL-centered talk show featuring actor Morris Chestnut, NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, actor Deric Augustine and 49ers star cornerback Josh Norman. Episodes will live stream bi-weekly on Josina Anderson’s Twitter and the show’s YouTube and Facebook pages Sundays at 7:30 PM ET and Tuesdays at 8:30 PM ET. Additionally, USA Today will air each episode on its OTT digital streaming channel at www.USAToday.com. ‘The Crew’ is leveling-up NFL conversation by elevating the cast first, combining a fascinating mix of star personalities with an order of comic relief. Each episode is hosted by legendary NFL journalist and former ESPN insider Josina Anderson and will feature a Rolodex of VIP guests and a unique blend of funny skits for appointment-making NFL conversation plenty of laughs. “I am thrilled to announce the launch of our new show ‘The Crew’ alongside such an eclectic and respected cast of professionals such as Morris, Brian, Deric, and Josh,” said Josina Anderson, host of ‘The Crew’. “Since leaving ESPN I have been studying the market and focusing on providing content that today’s audience craves. I believe we have found this with ‘The Crew’, which will fuse highly engaging and comical content on the backdrop of NFL news and stories that brings all of us together.” The partnership with USA Today, which will air each episode of ‘The Crew’ on its OTT digital streaming channel, is the first in a series of media partnerships and national syndications that Anderson and ‘The Crew’ will be announcing. An additional announcement is forthcoming about Anderson joining a national network. ‘The Crew’ is being sponsored by North Sixth Group, a family office operating company based in New York with wholly-owned and minority interests in sports, entertainment, media, and marketing all sharing a common vision of Passion, Purpose, and Progress. For more information on ‘The Crew’ visit www.TheCrewShow.com. To tune in to live streams of ‘The Crew’ visit Josina Anderson’s Twitter and the show’s YouTube and Facebook page at 7:30 PM ET on Sundays and Tuesdays at 8:30 PM ET beginning on September 28 with premier guest Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints.
ThriveFantasy Partners with NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers for 2021 Season to be Daily Fantasy Sports Partner
ThriveFantasy, the leading player prop daily fantasy sports, announced today it has signed on as a proud daily Fantasy Sports partner of the Los Angeles Chargers. The partnership provides Chargers fans with opportunities to participate in Thrive’s customized daily fantasy contests throughout the season. Of equal importance, ThriveFantasy will donate $25,000 to the Chargers Impact Fund to help those within the greater Los Angeles community who are most in need. “The Chargers are a great organization in so many ways,” says Adam Weinstein, founder and CEO of ThriveFantasy. “This partnership allows us to both give back to those who need it most, at a time when so many are hurting, as well as offer creative ways to help the Chargers engage their fanbase.” ThriveFantasy was created to give everyday fans a better chance at winning by challenging them to pick Chargers-only contests within its app to offer Chargers fans the chance to win tickets to Chargers Games at SoFi Stadium. Fans can visit their mobile app store to download the ThriveFantasy app today. “We’re excited to welcome ThriveFantasy into the Chargers family, especially as fantasy sports continues to grow in popularity. We also thank them for this wonderful donation to the Chargers Impact Fund which will truly help so many in the Los Angeles Community,” said A.G. Spanos, Chargers President of Business Operations and the Chargers Impact Fund. “Thrive will give our fans a unique and engaging way to interact with their favorite team and, in this case, win cash prizes and tickets to Chargers Games at SoFi Stadium.” In the coming months, Chargers fans can download the ThriveFantasy app and keep an eye out for: Match first time deposits up to $100 Custom Chargers-only contests throughout the 2021-2022 season
Velocity Global named the presenting sponsor of PGA TOUR University
Velocity Global has partnered with the PGA TOUR and GOLF Channel to become the presenting sponsor of PGA TOUR University, the PGA TOUR announced Tuesday. Additionally, Velocity Global, which delivers a global work platform for employers to grow compliant distributed workforces in 185 countries and all 50 United States, has been named the Official Global Workforce Solutions Platform of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions as part of the multi-year agreement. [PGA TOUR University Presented by Velocity Global PGA TOUR University Presented by Velocity Global] Entering its second season, PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global rewards elite college players with access to Tours operated under the PGA TOUR umbrella, while upholding the principles and virtues of collegiate athletics. At the end of each college golf season, the top 15 players in the final Velocity Global Ranking earn status on the Korn Ferry Tour or a PGA TOUR international tour. The Class of 2022 Ranking will be finalized May 30 following the conclusion of stroke play at the NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We’re excited to welcome Velocity Global to the PGA TOUR family as the first-ever presenting sponsor of PGA TOUR University,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Velocity Global shares our passion in supporting the top collegiate golfers on their journey to the professional game, and we look forward to their partnership in growing PGA TOUR University together.” As the Official Global Workforce Solutions Platform and Official Professional Employer Organization of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, Velocity Global will have a presence in programming throughout PGA TOUR media properties, align with PGA TOUR players and host customers at PGA TOUR events. “This partnership highlights access to opportunity. The Velocity Global Ranking identifies the top players in college golf and rewards them with access to the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA TOUR’s international network of competition, just as we make global work accessible to employers and talent,” said Ben Wright, Velocity Global Founder and CEO. “We’re proud to partner with the PGA TOUR to open doors for these players and support the game’s future stars, as Velocity Global supports the future of work.” Billy Horschel, a six-time PGA TOUR winner and the 2014 FedExCup champion, is a global brand ambassador for Velocity Global and an avid supporter of college golf. During his four-year career at the University of Florida, Horschel was a two-time SEC Player of the Year and a four-time All-American. “Velocity Global is the perfect match to present the top college players in the world of golf because it is the company that drives how work gets done for the next generation,” said Horschel. “They cheer for hard work and success, and that’s exactly what the PGA TOUR University presented by Velocity Global does. It creates access to global opportunities for these players to compete right away which is so important for their development as pros. I look forward to competing against these guys really soon.” In addition to being the presenting sponsor of PGA TOUR University, the agreement also includes a partnership with GOLF Channel. PGA TOUR University and the Velocity Global Ranking will be featured each Wednesday on Golf Today and within weekly live tournament coverage, as well as across GOLF Channel and PGA TOUR digital platforms throughout the season. GOLF Channel’s first college tournament broadcast of the season is next week’s Maridoe Collegiate Invitational (September 13-15). Additionally, GOLF Channel will collaborate with Velocity Global to highlight a new PGA TOUR University charity program to be announced at a future date. “As the television home of college golf, we’re excited to continue the growth and development of PGA TOUR University alongside our partners at the PGA TOUR,” said Tom Knapp, EVP, Partnerships and Programming, NBC Sports. “The addition of an international partner like Velocity Global enhances our ability to cultivate this important platform, and ensure the top collegiate players will be showcased on GOLF Channel as they progress toward competing throughout the professional ranks and ultimately on the PGA TOUR.” The PGA TOUR University Class of 2021 made their marks in their first summers as professionals. Arizona State’s Kevin Yu finished 4th in the 2021 Velocity Global Ranking, and he posted five top-25s and two top-five finishes in eight starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. On the Forme Tour, Arizona’s Trevor Werbylo and SMU’s Mac Meissner both have wins after finishing 9th and 8th, respectively, in last year’s Velocity Global Ranking. With one event remaining this season, Werbylo leads the Order of Merit and Meissner is fifth, and both players are in position to be promoted to the Korn Ferry Tour next season. For more information, please visit www.pgatour.com/university or velocityglobal.com
UTE Mountain Casino Hotel Announces its First-Ever Sportsbook, Set to open August 24
Ute Mountain Casino Hotel has announced its plan to open the first-ever retail sportsbook powered by IGT’s market-leading PlaySports platform within the Four Corners on August 24. Located beside the front entrance of the main casino floor, the Ute Mountain Sportsbook will lead the way for Colorado’s sports betting industry and establish a beachhead for the UteBet mobile app. “This passion project has been our best-kept secret over the past year, as we’ve persevered through the global pandemic and brought together all the moving parts in order to make this happen,” said General Manager, Rick Scheer. “On August 24 we will make history as we open the doors to our first-ever Sportsbook.” - BETTING ON UTE MOUNTAIN Led by Jay Petrick, Sportsbook Manager, the Ute Mountain Sportsbook will surround guests with sixteen 55” LED screens and a dominating 98” LED screen to display featured events and odds. Positioned in the center of the venue exists a relaxed seating area with over 25 spots available for reservations. Players will have access to three operated betting stations, four self-serving kiosks and a designated cage for large bets. “Our goal is to create the ultimate betting experience by fusing the world-class services provided by IGT with the local essence of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe,” said Petrick. For more information about Ute Mountain Casino Hotel and its new sportsbook, call 1-800-258-8007 or visit utemountaincasino.com
Phil Steele Releases 2021 College Football Preview - The Most Accurate College Football Magazine For 23 Years
Proven as the most accurate college football magazine for the last 23 years, Phil Steele’s 2021 College Football Preview has become one of the top-selling books at Barnes & Noble in 2021. Steele spoke to 110 head coaches out of the 130 FBS schools to compile 352 pages of analysis, predictions, and unmatched information for every team. “The season officially starts, every year, when I get my copy of Phil Steele’s preseason magazine,” said ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. “Really appreciate the hard work and relevant material.” Steele is a member of the Heisman Voting Committee and 14 other prestigious award committees in college football. His loyal readers and over 133,000 Twitter followers anticipate his preseason predictions. Here are a few highlights and excerpts from the 2021 edition: National Champion: Oklahoma Sooners\ Most improved team: Penn State Nittany Lions Heisman Trophy winner: Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler Surprise team of the year: Washington Huskies Largest margin of victory per game: Alabama Crimson Tide (+28.6 PPG differential) Team projected to lose games by the largest amount: Bowling Green (-25.8 PPG differential) Largest yards per game differential: Clemson Tigers (+257.1 YPG differential) Worst yards per game differential: UMass Minutemen (-241.2 YPG differential) Steele’s analysis and predictions go well beyond the Power Five conferences. He projects the Cincinnati Bearcats will be the top non-Power Five team in 2021, followed by the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, and the UCF Knights. He believes the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the 11th best offensive line unit and the Wyoming Cowboys have the 59th best linebacking crew. The magazine boasts hundreds of predictions across all conferences and player groupings. “The magazine has come a long way from the 1995 black and white first edition that covered just 86 FBS teams,” said Steele. “I appreciate all of my followers and readers who look forward to my magazine every year. It’s not only for the diehard fans but also the casual fans. With the legalization of sports betting in states across the country, many fans are looking to increase their knowledge of the teams and access to data across college football.” On Friday, Aug. 27, Steele and his team will update their projected stats and forecasts after factoring in injuries, suspensions, and transfers that have taken place since the book went to print. Updates are available via the digital version of the magazine at https://philsteele.com/digital-magazine-links/. This year, Steele tapped LEARFIELD to assist with production and distribution for the magazine, as well as sales promotion for both the print and digital formats. Once the season is underway, Steele’s work continues through Phil Steele Plus, a digital platform where Steele and his staff pour in countless hours to revise stats, analysis, power ratings, and individual team grades for all 130 teams after every game. Phil Steele Plus provides full access to his innovative color-coded stats system that is not available anywhere else. According to Chris Stassen (Stassen.com), Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is the most accurate preseason college football magazine over the last 23 years. Stassen uses simple, judgment-free mathematical scoring systems to assess the accuracy of the leading college football preseason magazines.
GENESIS Becomes Title Sponsor of the SCOTTISH OPEN
Genesis has announced that it will become the title sponsor of the Scottish Open, one of Europe’s most prestigious golf tournaments, with the tournament to be renamed ‘the Genesis Scottish Open’ starting in 2022. The Scottish Open has been held since 1972 as part of the Rolex series, the European Tour’s premium series of golf tournaments. The tournament will take place annually in Scotland, known as home of golf, during the first week of July. It will take place just before The Open Championship, the world’s oldest golf tournament and one of the most prestigious. Genesis’ title sponsorship of the Scottish Open comes at an important milestone as the PGA TOUR and European Tour announce updates to their historic Strategic Alliance. As a part of the Strategic Alliance, the Scottish Open will be co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and European Tour starting next year, marking a first for the event in the history of both tours. “Adding an existing strong title sponsor in Genesis to our Strategic Alliance in the form of the Genesis Scottish Open is a significant step for the global game,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Coupled with their support of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera, we’re incredibly proud to forge a deeper relationship with this premier brand across the global game.” With the Scottish Open now part of the official schedule of the PGA Tour and European Tour, the event takes on even greater importance with higher status and wider exposure to players and fans around the world. Seventy-three professionals each from the PGA Tour and European Tour will compete in the tournament along with additional invited professionals. Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said, “Genesis has a strong history of sponsorship on the PGA TOUR through The Genesis Invitational and their commitment to the Scottish Open will further enhance one of our premier events of the season.” Genesis has shown a strong commitment to the sport of golf with a history of tournament sponsorships. Sponsorship started with the Genesis Invitational, which has been part of the PGA TOUR since 2017, and has included other renowned golf tournaments including The CJ Cup and The Presidents Cup. Genesis also runs the Genesis Championship within the KPGA and Korean Tour Genesis Points. By adding another top-level tournament to its track record with the Scottish Open, Genesis expects to further enhance its position as a luxury lifestyle brand and partner of the game on the global stage. “We are extremely excited to become the title sponsor of the Scottish Open at this historic moment, as the PGA TOUR and European Tour announce their Strategic Alliance,” said Jay Chang, Global head of Genesis brand. “Genesis and golf share a culture centered on respect, mutual admiration, and innovation. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with both tours to deliver this spirit to golfers, communities, and individuals around the world through successful tournaments.” In recent months Genesis has taken strides to consolidate its brand position in the European market. In May, Genesis announced its upcoming European debut, and in June, it marked its arrival with the largest-ever 3D projection on a mountain in the Swiss Alps. In July, Genesis officially began sales in Europe, starting with the G80 and GV80, while also participating in the 2021 Goodwood Festival, where it premiered the G70 Shooting Brake, its strategic model for the European market. With a title sponsorship for the Scottish Open, Genesis aims to further strengthen its brand position within the European market by offering authentic and elevated driving experiences.
InsideTexas Joins the On3 College Sports Network
InsideTexas, the oldest, independent news source covering University of Texas athletics announced today it will be joining the new On3 media network as an affiliate member. On3, which is launching on August 15, 2021, is creating the premier college sports and recruiting digital media company, featuring the most talented and experienced news breakers and storytellers, partnered with iconic fan publications, and featuring a next-gen database tracking players from high school to the NFL draft. Its leadership team includes the founders of Rivals.com and 247Sports.com InsideTexas’ ownership, editorial team, and its commitment to the leading coverage of Longhorn sports all remain unchanged. The affiliation with On3 provides InsideTexas subscribers’ substantial enhancements to the platform including national-level recruiting evaluations and constantly evolving news from all angles. This move adds an early, foundational presence for Texas fans in the On3 footprint, in what will become the nation’s most innovative digital sports platform. “When Shannon and our team first started talking about InsideTexas and On3, it was clear aligning our resources would accelerate our products, together,” said Eric Nahiln, managing partner of InsideTexas. “Our subscribers are the real winners here. Nothing changes with our coverage, our community, and brand personality, but the richness of resources of the new On3 platform will be the best in the business. We take pride in always working to increase the value of an IT subscription, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this move.” “As On3 launches this fall, adding the premier Longhorn sports publication and community is a cornerstone win for On3. And it’s a win for the InsideTexas readership,” said Shannon Terry, On3 Chief Executive Officer. “I have tremendous respect for the Inside Texas editorial team. That’s an All-Star group of reporters that brings its A game every day. InsideTexas represents the quality and caliber of the fan sites On3 will continue to add to its family.” The partnership between InisdeTexas and On3 is a long-term affiliation agreement. In addition to rich content, recruiting coverage, and a national perspective, On3 will bring the newest digital platform to InsideTexas readers. InsideTexas brings to On3 an instant and substantial footprint with the fanbase of one of college sports’ most recognizable teams. “Simply put, this is the most exciting advancement in Longhorn sports coverage in more than a decade,” said Nahlin.
INEOS Grenadier makes dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – with some two-wheeled company
The INEOS Grenadier made its first ever run up the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s iconic hillclimb, with the support of the wider INEOS family. The new 4x4 was accompanied by a peloton of cyclists from the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team. Among those representing the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team in the peloton were British Olympic gold medallist, Owain Doull, emerging Belgian star Laurens De Plus, and British road race champion, Ben Swift. Taking the Grenadier up the hill - Esteban Gutiérrez, driving on behalf of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. As well as its first dynamic show outing, this was also the first public viewing of the Grenadier’s newly unveiled production interior. “It's great to be at the Festival of Speed and to see the Grenadier on the hill - another milestone in our development programme,” said Mark Tennant, INEOS Automotive’s Commercial Director. “Clearly we weren’t looking to break any speed records, but we have been delighted with the opportunity to show the vehicle off, following hard on the heels of our reveal of the interior last week – and equally delighted at the reception we have had from Goodwood visitors.” The interior of the INEOS Grenadier is designed on purpose, to deliver the space, practicality and versatility owners need from a hard-working 4X4. Starting from a clean sheet, the design also cleverly incorporates the modern technology and comfort expected of a vehicle for the 2020s and beyond. Visitors to the Festival of Speed can see the Grenadier in the event’s First Glance Paddock, where the off-roader is enjoying a conspicuously high-riding presence alongside low-slung supercars and luxury coupes. Reservations will open in October 2021 and deliveries will start from July 2022.
Cancellation of Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2021
It is with great regret to announce that the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Executive Committee (headquartered in Tokyo’s Minato ward and led by tournament director Yutaka Nakagawa), after much consultation with WTA, decided to cancel the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2021 (WTA500) which was to take place this September. The Executive Committee, together with WTA, looked at every possible way to make this international tournament happen, by implementing various measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) including the idea of restricting admissions, in order to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved including players, officials, ball boys and girls, stewards, sponsors and partners, suppliers and contractors, media, guests and all other staff. However, also in consideration of the border enforcement and quarantine measures for those traveling to Japan, the Executive Committee made a heartrending decision that it was best to cancel the tournament. This will be the second cancelation, following the first last year, since this tournament commenced in 1984. This is a regrettable outcome not only for the international tennis players but for all tennis fans inside and outside of Japan who were looking forward to watching top quality tennis. The Executive Committee will now shift its focus on making 2022 tournament a great success.
Qatar World Cup Tickets Go On Sale in January 2022
FIFA has announced that the FIFA Qatar World Cup tickets will go on sale in January 2022. The association has also added that only vaccinated fans will be allowed inside the stadium. “Tickets for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Qatar in the United Arab Emirates will be up for sale in January 2022,” says the spokesperson for FIFA Qatar World Cup. “Those planning to buy the tickets to the most-awaited sporting event in the world must note that they must get vaccinated for COVID-19 before they give shape to their travel plans. Only those fans who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed inside the stadium.” This FIFA World Cup is unique in many ways. Unlike previous World Cups when fans had to fly around the host country to catch their favorite teams and matches, this time around that won’t be necessary. Qatar has built eight stadiums for the FIFA 2022 World Cup tournament and they are all within close proximity of the capital Doha. This is a major step taken by the Qatar administration to address the risk concerns as the pandemic is still around and it is very important to plan every step carefully. Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani has announced that Qatar is trying to secure one million doses of vaccines to offer the to those fans who want to watch the 2022 World Cup but are unable to get vaccinated in their country. “FIFA takes note of the plan announced by Qatar’s prime minister and is grateful for the host country’s continued efforts to provide the best possible conditions for fans attending the FIFA World Cup in 2022, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” FIFA said in a statement. At the end of 2019, when the coronavirus first emerged and extended its stay into the start of 2020, and beyond, few could have imagined that the health crisis would stretch into 2021. Midway through 2021, the world is still battling the pandemic and finding ways to restore normalcy in every area of life. The public health measures introduced across the world to control the pandemic has affected sports the most. Football tournaments came to a grinding halt across the world. Mid-2021, things are looking a bit better and some countries are running trials by allowing a limited number of fans into stadiums to watch games. With vaccines being rolled out by nearly every country rapidly, there is hope that the situation might become near-normal – just in time for FIFA 2022. The FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar is still some time away and the FIFA President is confident that venues will be packed for the FIFA matches. Nasser Al-Khater, Qatar World Cup chief said, “With two years to go until the FIFA World Cup in 2022, we do hope that the world goes back to normal and that people can enjoy their lives as they previously did.” For more information, visit www.fifa.com
The world’s elite coming to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
The 44th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix features one of the strongest main draw fields in its history. Headed by Ashleigh Barty, the world No. 1, a total of seven Top 10 players will be appearing in the Porsche Arena from 17 to 25 April. They are joined by eight grand slam winners on the entry list published by the WTA for the long-standing Stuttgart tournament. This year’s main prize for the winner is a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. For Ashleigh Barty, it is her first participation at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. “I’ve heard lots of positive things about the tournament and I’m really looking forward to taking part for the first time,” said the Australian. As the winner of Porsche Race to Shenzhen, she won the prestigious WTA Finals in addition to the French Open in 2019. The other Top 10 stars are Simona Halep (Romania/3), Sofia Kenin (USA/4), Elina Svitolina (Ukraine/5), Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic/6), the Stuttgart winner in 2018, Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus/8) as well as the title-holder Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic/10). Other top players on the list are Iga Swiatek (Poland), the winner of the 2020 French Open, the Australian Open runner-up, Jennifer Brady (USA), Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) as well as the former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka (Belarus). Wildcards for Laura Siegemund and Andrea Petkovic The depth of the quality is also underlined by the fact that 14 Top 20 players will also be in the line-up at the tournament. Three Germans are also in the main draw. In addition to the Porsche Brand Ambassador Angelique Kerber, who won in Stuttgart in 2015 and 2016, Laura Siegemund (2017 winner) and Andrea Petkovic will take part. They have both received wildcards. The eight grand slam winners in the Porsche Arena are Ashleigh Barty (Paris 2019), Simona Halep (Paris 2018, Wimbledon 2019), Sofia Kenin (Melbourne 2020), Petra Kvitova (Wimbledon 2011, 2014), Iga Swiatek (Paris 2020), Victoria Azarenka (Melbourne 2013), Jelena Ostapenko (Paris 2017) as well as Angelique Kerber (Melbourne, New York 2016, Wimbledon 2018). The originally entered Naomi Osaka (Japan) will now begin the European clay court season a little later in May. “Huge proof of the confidence the players have in us” “It’s a unique field for a tournament in our category. I know of no other comparable event on the WTA Tour with so many top stars,” says Tournament Director Markus Günthardt. “The fact that these players are also coming here in these difficult times is huge proof of the confidence they have in us and speaks for the popularity of our tournament. It shows they trust us to provide safe conditions and to also ensure a certain feelgood factor despite all the restrictions. The efforts we’ve made together with Porsche and all the partners to hold the tournament even in these difficult times have all definitely been worthwhile.” Talents from the German Tennis Association’s junior teams have also been given the opportunity to get a taste of the big WTA atmosphere in the Porsche Arena. The Porsche Talent Team’s Nastasja Schunk and Alexandra Vecic have received a qualifying wildcard as has the reigning German champion Noma Noha Akugue, who is supported in the Porsche Junior Team. Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo as the winner’s trophy The winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix traditionally receives a Porsche sports car as the main prize. “The nicest winner’s trophy on the WTA Tour” as Angelique Kerber once put will have a purely electric drivetrain for the first time. With the recently premiered Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo as the main prize, the stars can look forward to a quite special winner’s car. The first derivative of the all-electric Taycan is a real all-rounder among electric sports cars. As visitors are not allowed into the Porsche Arena due to the uncertain development of the pandemic after consulting with the local authorities and the WTA, the range of multi-media services for tennis fans will be significantly expanded. This means for the first time, all the singles matches will be streamed live – with professional commentators – on www.porsche-tennis.com. The long-time TV partners SWR, Eurosport and DAZN have also extended their live coverage of the most important matches in the Porsche Arena. A daily highlights show can be viewed on the n-tv news channel. Internationally, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will be televised in over 100 countries. Tennis fans can also experience the tournament emotionally and interactively on Internet and in doing so see the 2011 winner in a new role. The Porsche Brand Ambassador Julia Görges will provide an interesting insight in the players’ world on the tournament’s social media channels. Porsche in tennis Porsche has been sponsoring the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix ever since 1978 and has also been the organiser since 2002. The tournament in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena was voted by the players as their favourite event in its category once again in 2019. Within the scope of its global partnership with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Porsche is also the title partner of the “Porsche Race to Shenzhen”, the official qualifying ranking for the Shiseido WTA Finals. The Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer is also the exclusive automotive partner of the WTA as well as the WTA Finals, and this year the WTA tournaments in Lyon and St. Petersburg. As a premium partner of the “Deutsche Tennis Bund” (DTB – German Tennis Association), the company supports Porsche Team Germany in the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Fed Cup) and fosters up-and-coming players in the Porsche Talent Team and the Porsche Junior Team. Angelique Kerber, Julia Görges and Maria Sharapova give Porsche a face in tennis as Brand Ambassadors.
LIQUI MOLY enters the French handball league
From the 2021-2022 season, LIQUI MOLY will be the main and name sponsor of Starligue, the highest handball league in France. The motor oil and additive specialist concluded a five-year contract with the LNH national handball league. “This will help us to become even more well-known in France in order to expand our distribution and significantly increase our sales,” says Ernst Prost, Managing Director of LIQUI MOLY. Starting next summer, the Starligue will be called “LIQUI MOLY Starligue”. The logo of the oil and additive specialist will be visible on the shirts as well as on the pitch. “Handball is one of the most popular sports in France,” says Ernst Prost. “We are proud to be represented with our brand there.” David Tebib, President of the LNH: “In the current situation, in which many brands hesitate to invest in sport, LIQUI MOLY is placing its trust in us and in the fact that we can help the company achieve its goals in France. We feel honored by this approach.” The decision to opt for the Starligue is part of LIQUI MOLY’s long-term strategy in France. In most countries, the company works with independent importers who then independently take care of sales. In France, on the other hand, LIQUI MOLY founded a subsidiary in 2019 with LM France, in order to be able to address the market directly. “This shows how important France is in our plans and what potential we see here,” explains Ernst Prost. This is why the company invests in its own subsidiary, in its own personnel, in advertising and also in sponsorship. “Our goal is to generate 50 million euro in sales in France in five years,” Ernst Prost declares. LIQUI MOLY is currently only skipping over this threshold in its domestic market of Germany – France would thus be the most important export market. “Our involvement with LNH is an important component of this success,” says Ernst Prost. The contract with Starligue is LIQUI MOLY’s largest sponsorship commitment to date in France. Even though LIQUI MOLY is primarily known from Formula 1 and MotoGP, handball is not an unknown sport for the company. It was already the sponsor of the past European and world handball championships and is also the title sponsor of the highest handball league, the LIQUI MOLY Handball Bundesliga, in its home market of Germany.
Latvian men’s and women’s national hockey teams take part in tournaments in Korea
From 6 to 8 February, the Latvian men’s national hockey team took part in a special tournament in South Korea’s Olympic city Gangneung held to celebrate the first anniversary of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and played against South Korea, Japan and Kazakhstan. The Latvian team, consisting mainly of players from Latvian hockey clubs, with two wins and a loss to Kazakhstan in overtime, placed second, representing our country excellently. From 9 to 12 February, the women’s national team, taking part in a tournament of a similar format and competing with South Korean and Hungarian teams, won one point and placed third. Our girls fought hard but fortune was on their adversaries’ side this time. The Latvian-South Korean match, broadcast live on television, was watched by several hundreds of thousands of viewers. In the context of bilateral relations between Latvia and South Korea, the tournaments were a unique opportunity to raise Latvia’s profile in South Korea and demonstrate the high level of Latvian hockey in the Gangneung Hockey Centre, where regrettably the Latvian national team did not have a chance to play during the 2018 Olympics tournaments. This is part of public diplomacy, in which our athletes hold an important place by both popularising ice hockey and making the name of our country heard in South Korea. The Embassy offers special thanks to the Latvian Hockey Federation and its Vice President Viesturs Koziols, and the Korea Ice Hockey Association for organising the Legacy Cup tournament with participation of the Latvian teams. The Korean national ice hockey team might visit Latvia at the end of the year and play in a tournament hosted by Latvia.
Reds fans to score at the Kop in world-first VR experience
Liverpool Football Club is giving Reds fans the chance to score a goal in front of the famous Kop, thanks to a world-first Virtual Reality (VR) stadium experience. Available exclusively to LFC stadium tour visitors, the unique ‘Score at the Kop’ experience replicates the sights and sounds of matchdays at the home of Liverpool FC and allows supporters to immerse themselves in the incredible atmosphere from a player’s perspective. Every detail of Anfield has been meticulously reproduced and, using the world’s only full-body VR technology MiHiepa, fans will be transported onto the penalty spot in front of a sell-out Kop Stand, which will celebrate every goal in full-voice. Liverpool FC are the first club in the world to adapt the elite training tool for use by its supporters, with the platform typically implemented by professional teams to measure and develop players’ performance, cognitive responses and decision-making capabilities. The technology was debuted during the Club's recent LFC World roadshows in Mumbai and Jakarta, and will be available as part of stadium tours at Anfield from Saturday (28th July). Paul Cuttill, General Manager for Conference and Events, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to bring this experience home to Anfield for our visitors to enjoy. “Scoring a goal in front of the Kop is usually something only players can experience, but now our fans can enjoy that euphoric feeling too. The level of immersion is above and beyond anything else in the world, so fans can truly get a taste of what it feels like to be a Liverpool legend out on the pitch at Anfield.” The ‘Score at the Kop’ experience will be included free of charge with any stadium tour purchase between 28th July and 26th September 2018. For more information visit https://stadiumtours.liverpoolfc.com
LFC News Video Flash Briefing Now Available on Amazon Echo Show
LFC fans will be the first in the Premier League to be able to request a video flash briefing of club news on Amazon’s new Echo Show. With a simple voice command Amazon’s new Echo Show will respond with a video Flash Briefing of Liverpool FC’s daily news headlines presented by familiar LFC TV voices. Like Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, Echo Show is powered by the Alexa voice service. Just by asking Alexa, you can play music, get the news and weather, make calls, send messages, control your smart home, set alarms and timers, get traffic and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, and more. With the launch of Echo Show, Alexa can now show you things, and Liverpool FC fans will be the first to get video briefings from the club – simply by asking. Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Liverpool Football Club said: “For Liverpool FC to be the first Premier League club with a video Flash Briefing on the Amazon Echo Show is a great coup. I’m delighted that we’re at the forefront of innovation when it comes to bringing LFC news to our fans.” “We’re excited to provide Liverpool fans with an easy and natural way to get the latest news from Anfield and Melwood,” said Fabrice Rousseau, Director, Alexa Skills Kit EU. “Reds fans can now get the same high quality briefings they are used to with the LFC News skill, but now with images to match—just by asking Alexa” Reds fans using Echo Show will be able to request news immediately by enabling the LFC News skill via the Alexa app. Reds fans with the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Dot devices will continue to get also get the same high quality, informative audio briefings they do today.