Liverpool FC and Kodansha announce long-term extension
Perifery to Discuss Content Storage Strategies at SVG Sports Content Management Forum
Liverpool FC partners with Peloton in community focussed first
Experience the Coca-Cola 'Believing is Magic’ campaign at the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023
Samsung Partners International Olympic Committee to Present Inaugural Olympic Esports Week in Singapore
NTT takes Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift to edge of innovation with enhanced technology solutions
OPPO and Global Brand Ambassador Kaká Inspire Miracles with Unmatched Experiences at the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final
Russell Bedford Fiduciaire Genève SA sponsors Gonet Genève Open
OPPO Announces Kaká as Global Brand Ambassador for its UEFA Champions League Partnership
Liverpool FC & CRC Thailand renew for a third term
Liverpool FC partner with All Star Partners for official retail partnership in China
Liverpool FC are pleased to announce a new official retail partnership with All Star Partners (ASP) in China. All Star Partners are a leading sports and e-commerce retail company in China, focussing on sports licensing, merchandising and retail for top global sports clubs and organisations. Their mission is to help and support brands to get involved in the booming Chinese market. Working together, this new partnership will bring Chinese fans closer to the Reds with easier access to official retail merchandise via digital ecommerce marketplaces on the Tmall, Douyin and JD platforms. This partnership will support LFC's ambitions for growth in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The club will collaborate with ASP on product development, market expansion, e-commerce development and growing the LFC fanbase in the market. LFC already has a wide fan base in China linked to the 1989-90 season where local TV channels aired the highlights of the FA Cup final attracting Chinese fans to the club. The decades of support have continued to expand and the new e-commerce shop-in-shop will combine LFC's glory and history to the Chinese vibrant consumer market. Mike Cox, Senior Vice President Merchandising at Liverpool FC, said, "This is a huge moment for LFC to have a new official retail partner in China, and to do this working alongside ASP. Together we can be closer to our Chinese supporters who now have easier access to official club merchandise. "This partnership is helping to further grow our digital global retail business. We're looking forward to seeing what we can bring to the Chinese supporters and make them feel a part of the LFC family". Luo Bin, CEO of ASP, said: "For us, it's a great honor to be an official retail partner of Liverpool FC in China. The Liverpool spirit of unity inspired generations of Chinese fans, many of them can even sing the song 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. So, we believe they deserve the best. "We will bring them more and more great LFC official products, and make sure they will have shopping experiences better than ever. We are very confident that the Reds lifestyle and spirit will keep inspiring more fans in China." A collection of LFC label product will be available at launch, with LFC x Nike product to follow later in the month.
LUX stands with female athletes and challenges sports media to "Change The Angle"
Unilever's global beauty brand, LUX, is rallying people once more to stand up against everyday sexism. This time it is calling out the objectification of women's bodies in sport, highlighting how the media zeroes in on female intimate body areas rather than focus on their sporting prowess. At South Africa's highly anticipated Durban Open Women's Beach Volleyball tournament this week, female athletes sported QR code on precisely those areas the cameras tend to focus on. Upon scanning, these 'viewers' were directed to a short film – 'Hey Camera', which calls on those behind the cameras to end the blatant objectification of women and, instead, focus on their strengths. Bringing this campaign to live, LUX partnered with one of South Africa's leading broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC Sport, which has an audience of 19.7 million in South Africa to livestream the event on 15th and 16th of April. LUX's #ChangeTheAngle campaign aims to get broadcasters and photographers reconsidering their portrayal of women in sport. The integrated campaign has also been pulled through online, social and PR channels with thousands of generated content via influencers, celebrities, athletes and media such as Gsport4girls, 2 times olympic gold medal Caster Semenya, Cricket commentator Kass Naidoo, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi. LUX understands the need to stop objectification of women as it can lead to more serious forms of sexism. According to its research, women are 10 times more likely to be objectified than men. While this objectification is rife across society, the brand saw that sports was the perfect, attention-grabbing example to call this out. Men in sports are frequently portrayed as strong role models who are at the top of their game. On the contrary, women's body parts are what receive the most attention, with cameras zooming into their breasts or exposed butt cheeks. LUX believes this objectification can diminish female achievements and also undermine confidence. The #ChangeTheAngle campaign aims to create a sense of urgency among people to call out what are increasingly unacceptable behaviours in real time and put pressure on broadcasters to change the camera gaze by sharing 6 guidelines for them to adhere to while filming women in sport. "Women in sports are 10 times more likely to be objectified by camera angles that focus on certain body parts compared to their male counterparts. When we found out that this is also an issue for top female athletes who have achieved incredible things, we knew we had to act," Severine Vauleon, Global Brand Vice President of LUX says, "This doesn't only devalue the female athletes' professional performance and achievements, but also perpetuates the objectification issue many women face every day. At LUX, we believe that beauty should be a source of strength, and that the focus should be on celebrating the beauty of their strength, skills and achievements in sport." "This is a bold and powerful move for a beauty brand like LUX to take, and it makes me even prouder to be a part of the LUX family. I am hoping to see the change that we need in the sports fraternity so that women athletes are celebrated for the amazing talent that they have rather than being objectified in a sexual manner. I encourage everyone to do what they can to participate and push media in South Africa and across the world to #Change the Angle" Says Zozibini Tunzi former Miss Universe. "This initiative is part of our Positive Beauty mission, which is at the heart of our Beauty, Wellness and Personal Care category, championing progressive commitments and actions for our brands into a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive. LUX is one of South Africa's most iconic heritage brands representing women, earning itself a heartfelt voice to challenge stereotypes by supporting woman in different aspects of their lives. A woman's beauty is inclusive of her strength, her capabilities and her talent. LUX #ChangeTheAngle", amplifies the voices of women in sport and their strength on the field or on the court." - Sphelele Mjadu Unilever Beauty, Wellbeing & Personal Care Senior PR Lead for Africa. Hinoti Joshi, Global Business Lead, from Wunderman Thompson, Singapore, who spearheaded the campaign says, "The media and broadcasters have the power to change the sexist portrayal of women. We are actively calling them out so that they can recognise the flaws in this antiquated practice and become change agents to end everyday sexism."
Samsung Electronics Celebrates Next Generation Asian Female Golfers
Samsung Electronics celebrated the newly crowned Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) champion, Eila Galitsky of Thailand for her astonishing performance at the fifth edition of the championship held recently in Singapore. As champion and player with best round on the final day, Galitsky had brought home the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy Buds2 Pro – in addition to her championship prizes, and the opportunity to advance to three other major championships. Ronnie Ng, Head of Mobile Experience, Samsung Electronics Singapore (right), presenting newly crowned Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific champion, Thailand's Eila Galitsky (left), with the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy Buds2 Pro "Samsung is proud to partner with R&A and APGC in this journey to nurture amateur golfers from the region. It is exciting to see a growing crop of young, female talents who are passionate about the sport of golf, and we are proud to be part of their journey at WAAP," said Ronnie Ng, Head of Mobile Experience, Samsung Electronics Singapore. "At Samsung, we believe that diversity drives innovation and growth. Through our support for the WAAP, we hope to celebrate women in sport and to also better engage with our consumers who are passionate about golf and sports," Ng added. Dominic Wall, Director – Asia-Pacific at The R&A said: "Samsung has been a longstanding partner of the WAAP, and we appreciate their support for the tournament which also creates greater exposure for the players. Many of them are in early stages of their careers, and support from global brands like Samsung can help propel these young talents onto international stages. In addition, we want to be exploring how technology can support us better. Samsung's partnership with us also allowed us to use their Galaxy tablets to keep score, which was efficient for our tournament team." During the WAAP Championship which was held at the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Samsung also arranged on-ground activities for young golfers, championship officials and visitors to see and try out the latest Galaxy S23 series. Visitors also tried out mobile gaming with the smartphone and learned about how they can maximise their mobile experiences with One UI 5.1's customisation and personalisation options. WAAP golfers also had the opportunity to use the latest Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture epic moments at the tournament. The Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts a 200MP Adaptive Pixel sensor and 100x Space Zoom, which is perfect for capturing sporting moments in epic details when users are far from the putting greens.
Cambodian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team Heads to Thailand for Transformative Training
The Cambodian Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team will be embarking on a journey to Thailand for an immersive and intensive 9-day training program from March 28th to April 5th. Supported by Prince Foundation and Cambodia Airways, the team of 16 members is traveling to the Asia Oceania Zone (AOZ) Women's Development Camp in Suphan Buri, Thailand in preparation for the upcoming 12th ASEAN Para Games. The program is organized by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, with support from the Agitos Foundation and the World Wheelchair Express Foundation. Participating nations include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, with players building their skillsets and tournament experience through intensive training and match simulations. Senior Minister Ly Thuch, President of the Cambodia Wheelchair Basketball Federation, expressed his gratitude to Cambodia Airways and Prince Foundation. "We are incredibly thankful for the unwavering support that has enabled the team to reach their full potential. Our female athletes, who have already won gold in the 2022 ASEAN Para Games, look forward to participating in the AOZ Women's Development Camp program and further honing our skills on the international stage," he commented. Gabriel Tan, head of Prince Foundation, expressed his support for the team and wished them well on their journey. "At Prince Foundation, we are dedicated to empowering people with disabilities and promoting inclusion through sports. As Cambodia prepares for the 12th ASEAN Para Games and 32nd SEA Games, we are honored to support the Cambodian women's wheelchair basketball team in their quest for excellence," he said. The Cambodian Wheelchair Basketball Federation, led by H.R.H. Princess Sisowath Kanthireth (Honorary President) and Senior Minister Ly Thuch (President), is an organization dedicated to promoting wheelchair basketball and providing opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Together with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Prince Foundation, the team is preparing for the 2023 ASEAN Para Games, which will take place in Cambodia this year. Prince Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Prince Holding Group. Founded by its Chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, Prince Foundation has been a keen supporter of sports development in Cambodia. In addition to their support for the Cambodia Wheelchair Basketball Federation (CWBF), the Foundation further sponsors the coach of the national volleyball team and facilitates friendly exhibition matches between Cambodia and other countries. Prince Foundation will continue to promote sports development as a force for positive impact in Cambodia.
Qualcomm Becomes Official Global Partner of Manchester United
Manchester United today announced a multi-year global strategic collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. The arrangement will feature the Snapdragon brand. Snapdragon platforms power many of the world's premium smartphones, PCs, gaming devices, connected cars, smart wearables and more. Bringing together the world’s most popular football club with a global leader in technology innovation, the strategic collaboration will create unique events and experiences for Manchester United fans at Old Trafford and around the world, powered by the premium performance that Snapdragon® platforms deliver. In addition, Qualcomm Technologies will advise Manchester United on planned improvements to mobile connectivity at Old Trafford, which will enhance fans’ experience on match days. Victoria Timpson, CEO Alliances and Partnerships at Manchester United, said: “Snapdragon platforms will enable ground-breaking experiences for fans across the globe, deepening their engagement with the football club they love.” “Manchester United has always pushed boundaries of what’s possible and we are excited to be partnering with a company at the forefront of innovation.” Don McGuire, SVP of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and CMO of Qualcomm said: “We are proud to bring the power of Snapdragon together with one of the most iconic names in world sport.” “We look forward to showcasing Snapdragon to Manchester United fans everywhere and joining the new era of technology innovation at Old Trafford.”
Defending Singles Champion Naomi Osaka (age 24 /Japan) Commits to Compete
Naomi Osaka, the defending singles champion from the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis last held in 2019 announced to the Executive Committee (headquartered in Tokyo’s Minato ward and led by Tournament Director Yutaka Nakagawa), her intention to participate in this year’s tournament scheduled to be held from Saturday, September 17 to Sunday, September 25 Naomi Osaka’s current ranking is WTA 38. However, she has set an ambitious world ranking target “to be back at the top again”, and many Japanese fans await to see her play to defend her championship. Since its inception in 1984, the TPPO has attracted many Japanese tennis fans. It is a sporting event that showcases the intense competition of the iconic superstars who are inspiration to the women’s tennis world. This year will mark the tournament’s return after three-year hiatus and the first time in five years that it will be held at the Ariake Coliseum. Don’t miss this nine-day event, which will be the focus of many enthusiastic tennis fans worldwide. Tickets for the tournament has already started, with the second presales to start on Friday, July 22 at noon, available at e+ (https://ib.eplus.jp/toray-ppo), Ticket Pia (https://w.pia.jp/t/toray-ppo/), and Rakuten Ticket (https://r-t.jp/toray-ppo/). Visit the official website (www.toray-ppo.com) for tournament and ticket sales details.
World’s Top Women Tennis Players to Gather in Ariake for the First Time in Three Years! Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament 2022
The Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Executive Committee (headquartered in Tokyo’s Minato ward and led by Tournament Director Yutaka Nakagawa) will host the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament 2022 (Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2022) from Saturday, September 17 to Sunday, September 25 on the courts of the Ariake Coliseum & Ariake Tennis Forest Park. Since its inception in 1984, the TPPO has attracted Japanese tennis fans as a sporting event that showcases the intense competition of the iconic superstars who inspire the women’s tennis world. The 2020 and 2021 tournaments had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year will mark the tournament’s return after three years and the first time in five years that it will be at the Ariake Coliseum. What kind of drama awaits at the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament, where you can see up close the skills and athleticism of the world’s top players? Don’t miss this nine-day event, the focus of enthusiastic fans worldwide. We will announce any news on ticket sales and players on the official website as soon as it is available.
Polo Team USA Presented By Hotels at Sea and Celebrity Cruises Wins the World Cup
The highly talented and popular USA Polo team, has won the World Cup. It is a mammoth win for the team and the country and reflects its never-say-die spirit. “We are delighted to win the World Cup in the sport of Polo,” says Tareq Salahi, owner of the Hotels at Sea Polo Team USA. “It was a nail-biting final which went down to the wire. We won the extremely tough game by one goal at 6 to 5.” This win is a massive deal for the Horse Polo Team USA presented by Hotels at Sea and Celebrity Cruises. It is as big as winning the Super Bowl or the World Cup of Soccer for the sport of Polo. Polo Team USA presented by Hotels at Sea, U.S. Polo Assn. Global Polo TV & Celebrity Cruises won by one goal with the final score of 6 to 5. Teammates included pro players Ivan Maldonado, Jonas Larguia, Debbie Nash and team captain Tareq Salahi. The last 30 seconds of the match was a thriller in every sense. Polo Team USA was leading by a slender goal when Team Ecuador was awarded a penalty shot. They took the shot, but it was brilliantly blocked by Polo Team USA Captain, Tareq Salahi, mid-air with his mallet followed behind with the only female player playing, Debbie Nash keeping the ball in possession for the USA team remaining few seconds. Great teamwork prevented the other team from tying up the match in the last 30 seconds. The playing conditions were extremely challenging as the match was being played at nearly 10,000 feet. The Polo World Cup final was a spectacular success; with several thousands of fans attending the event and will be aired on Global Polo TV in the near term. According to the Polo Team U.S. spokesperson Colleen Kantas, the Galapagos World Cup Trophy is one of its kind. Individual trophies valued at $25K per trophy and the unique tortoise perpetual cup valued at over one million USD. It has been crafted and designed by the official jeweler, Flor de la Vida and now remains for generations ahead to win her. The International Polo Tour Galapagos World Cup is the world’s largest perpetual trophy. It weighs over 500 lbs and is the size of an actual Galapagos turtle. The trophy stands nearly four feet in height and is almost the same width. After their win, the polo team and other guests celebrated onboard the Celebrity Flora, specifically built to explore the Galapagos Islands, for a one-week adventure cruise! To book into the IPT Polo Tour & Galapagos cruise next year, contact Hotels at Sea online.
Velocity Global becomes Official Partner of the DP World Tour
The DP World Tour today announces that Velocity Global, the world’s leading provider of global talent solutions, has become an Official Tour Partner in a multi-year agreement. Velocity Global serves as the Official Global Work Platform of the DP World Tour. Speaking about the partnership Rob Wellner, Chief Revenue Officer of Velocity Global said; “We are excited to become an Official Tour Partner and the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour. Golf is truly a global game that spans national boundaries, leading to increased competition in an effort to find the best golf talent wherever it is. Finding and hiring top talent - anyone, anywhere - is at the heart of what Velocity Global provides to our customers. We give a competitive edge to leading companies to get ahead in the global marketplace. This partnership is a perfect embodiment of that work." Max Hamilton, Commercial Director of the European Tour group, added; “The DP World Tour has a truly global footprint, with 45 tournaments across 25 countries in our 2022 schedule - and in Velocity Global, we have found a partner who matches that globality. As an ever-expanding Tour, their Global Work Platform will support our business operations for DP World Tour personnel working abroad. Their footprint in golf is substantial and given our close ties to the PGA TOUR and both the LPGA and Ladies European Tour with our mixed events, Velocity Global can create synergies through its deep partnerships across golf’s biggest tours. We look forward to supporting each other in the years ahead.” As an Official Tour Partner, Velocity Global benefits from a range of marketing opportunities to grow its brand, including on-course signage and live television branding during DP World Tour events, bespoke social media content and access to tournament hospitality services. Throughout the partnership Velocity Global and the DP World Tour will develop a multi-channel content series to showcase some of the top players in the world and share their Work from Anywhere story. Velocity Global also enjoys elevated partnership status at three of the DP World Tour’s premier tournaments each season. These are two Rolex Series tournaments - the BMW PGA Championship and the DP World Tour Championship - plus the ISPS Handa World Invitational, which is an innovative mixed gender tournament run in partnership with the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. The company’s Global Work Platform enables employers to grow compliant distributed workforces in more than 185 countries. Serving as the Official Global Work Platform for the DP World Tour, this partnership will see the Tour use Velocity Global’s services to help its employees work anywhere in the world. With this announcement, Velocity Global is now a partner of the four leading Tours in the men’s and women’s professional game – the first global tech company to have such a presence in elite golf. The company is already the Official Global Workforce Solutions Platform of the PGA TOUR, as well as the presenting sponsor of the PGA TOUR University. Last month, Velocity Global also announced a new agreement as the Official Global Work Platform of the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour. In addition, Billy Horschel, the winner of the 2021 BMW PGA Championship on the DP World Tour and a six-time PGA TOUR winner, is a Velocity Global brand ambassador, along with 12th-ranked Lexi Thompson and Albane Valenzuela on the LPGA Tour. Kevin Hall, a four-time APGA Tour champion, is also a Velocity Global brand ambassador.
HowToBet road to the Superbowl - It’s the underdog year
After 272 regular season National Football League games (the most ever), and another 12 playoff contests, we are pretty sure that most of you know How to Bet. But with the biggest game still left, now is not the time to get cocky: this is the time to seek even more guidance, as you try to navigate the betting market that is the Super Bowl. Thankfully for all bettors, whether they are new to the game (welcome Louisiana, and of course, all my New York people) or grizzled veterans of the sports betting new wave (since way back in 2018), How to Bet podcast co-hosts Daryl Fein and Sean “The Genius” Miller (as well as the whole cast behind the scenes) will work until the final minutes before kickoff on Sunday, February 13 trying to give bettors the most up-to-date betting information. “The weeks off before the Super Bowl are always loaded with hype,” Fein said. “We are going to try and break through that hype and come up with solid prop bets, break down the game, and lead you to the money.” The regular season was very interesting, but was just an appetizer for what has happened so far in the NFL playoffs, which many have already proclaimed as the best in the history of the league. The Wild Card Round got rid of the pretenders, and set up the most intriguing 36 hours of action ever: all four Divisional Round games went down to field goal on the final play of the games, with three won, and a fourth heading to overtime. Both top seeds, Green Bay in the NFC and Tennessee in the AFC, fell, which set up two fantastic Conference Championship contests. Cincinnati, which you could have gotten before the 2021 season at odds of +6500 (65/1) to win the AFC and +20000 (200/1) to win the Super Bowl, stunned Super Bowl favorites Kansas City in the AFC Championship game, winning 27-24 in overtime to clinch its first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1988 season. That victory won bettors who backed the Bengals early, and even once they clinched the AFC North, a lot of money: a win in the Super Bowl will make some early backers very wealthy. “What can you say about the Bengals, other than they definitely earned it,” Miller said. “Of course, I had backed Kansas City on my main ticket way back in October at 16/1, so I was a little bit shocked. But when Andy Reid did not kick that field goal at the end of the half, I thought it could come back to haunt the Chiefs. It did. “But this guy Joe Burrow is a winner. Ja’Marr Chase is a winner. Both led LSU to its best season ever and the National Championship two years ago, and have a chance to add another trophy to their haul. You have to remember, Burrow tore his ACL last November in his rookie season, after he came in with so much hype as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. There were a lot of people who said he was a one-season wonder in college, and now he is the first top pick to go to the Super Bowl in two years or less. “Cincinnati won four games last season, and is beat up all over the place. Wait until they get healthy!” And then, of course, you have the Los Angeles Rams, who became the second team ever to host a Super Bowl (and the second in a row after Tampa Bay). Stan Kroekne gets to show off this fantastic new SoFi Stadium, and possibly win a NFL title. LA had to beat the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in seven games to do it, and it was a titanic struggle, but they got back to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years after mortgaging the future to win now. “Look, if the Rams did not win the NFC–and maybe Super Bowl LVI–this would have been a disaster of a year,” Miller said. “They picked up Super Bowl LV MVP Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham Jr., Matthew Stafford, and others to make this run, and it has worked out. Just. I am not sold on the play calling right now, but I think we all knew LA would be one of the favorites to win the NFC before the season. “I think this has the potential to be one of the best Super Bowl games in recent memory, and it is going to be a hot ticket in Los Angeles.” Speaking of the ticket prices, right now, they are going for north of $6,000. With the Bengals in for the first time since the 1988 season, and the Rams hosting, there is going to be a lot of big money changing hands for those lanyards with the big tickets in them.
President Infantino's New Year message: “Solidarity and dialogue crucial in 2022”
- Gianni Infantino addresses football family with hopes for 2022 - FIFA President looks forward to “celebration of football and social inclusion” in Qatar - Mr Infantino calls for solidarity to protect football’s future Wherever you are in the world and whatever your relationship with our beautiful game, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year and that all your hopes and dreams are realised in 2022: a FIFA World Cup year. Global attention will be on Qatar in November and December as the tournament is held for the 22nd time and the ground-breaking first edition in the Middle East. The finals will take place in a world that is very different from the one in which France lifted the trophy in Moscow four years ago and we know that the biggest stage of all will offer hope and inspiration to people around the world who have suffered difficult times through the pandemic. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a truly unique occasion to re-unite the World again in a celebration of football and social inclusion. We all need it! Whether in the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup, Costa Rica for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, India for the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup or indeed Qatar, FIFA tournaments will continue to operate with the consideration that #HealthComesFirst. At the same time, we also continue to pledge solidarity with the whole football community in our daily action, as we are doing with our “COVID-19 Relief Plan” which was crucial to the survival of football in many of our Member Associations. Football has many different levels but in its magical essence it is the same game: the people’s game. For everyone. In every continent, every region, every country. FIFA is the only governing body that looks after and cares about the entire world. We will continue working hard to live up to the mission of not forgetting the ones who need most and who have no voice, while also protecting the healthy growth of everyone else and the global football movement. We continue to strive towards making football truly global through football and corporate governance, through competitions and events and through the development of our sport, widening its impact on the youth and wider society. For women and men, for girls and boys. 2022 will be a year of action, but it will also be a year of dialogue. The new FIFA is a democratic body and together with our stakeholders, we will design the path for football’s future, making the game fit for purpose in the modern era and ensuring that we can boost global competitiveness. To do that, we count on the collective unity and strength among the football community in order to ensure that the future of our sport is globally sustainable. We count on the vast majority who is looking forward to new exciting opportunities to dream, to develop the game, to feel truly part of the global football community. And we count also on those at the top to show solidarity - without which, even football at its most elite would not exist. We thank them for their valuable contribution to the popularity of the game and we count on their support, respect and strategic vision as we strive to successfully conclude the discussions around reform of the international match calendar. We will work together for unity and the ultimate benefit of everyone. 2022 will be a special and memorable year and I would like to wish you all the very best.
Will NFL and Video Games Become One Singular Technology Reality? - by Aron Solomon
What led me to examine this question was being manipulated by my massive TV on Football (I mean “Thanksgiving”) Day. Leaving Berlin for Montreal on short (read: “pandemic”) notice, I sold a great TV and acquired an equally good one here. This is a Very Big TV and when I watch an NFL game on a high quality stream, I notice something I haven't noticed before this season: After a touchdown, the camera takes a unique image. It’s field level and it seems to be in ultra high-definition. They often focus on the person who just scored the touchdown, then one or two of his teammates follow and they walk away together. Not that a pic taken from the game does it justice, but it gives you at least a sense: I’m convinced that these shots are intentionally trying to replicate a video game quality as seen in remarkably popular games, such as Madden. As someone who loves watching NFL football and has for a good number of decades, this really is something that’s a small but new and maybe meaningful fan experience. Electronic Arts, maker of the wildly popular Madden game franchise, earns over $1 billion per year. It is absolutely not unintentional that reality (real, in-person professional sports) is trying to imitate what people like me think of as fiction but many other people know better and much more intimately that the real sport itself. This reality led me to imagine a question that I think is due for consideration: How far away are we from being able to play a video game of an NFL game, broadcast it on TV, and have practically no one realize that it’s a video game? This is the question I set out to answer. And given that I’m not a gamer (honestly, the last video game I played was intellivision baseball in the early 1980s), I asked some amazing technology and gaming people to help me figure this out. Aaron Silvers, a data guru and sports nut based in Philadelphia, argues that: “We’re already there in terms of quality and video speed. Precisely because of Madden and the like, when it comes to sports video gaming, they actually have fantastic libraries. From a ‘can they produce it and scale it today’ perspective, yeah, they can.’” Silvers adds that a threshold issue, an NFL game has a massive number of factors that can come into play. “Is the artificial intelligence real enough and encompassing enough, or do they have independent AI monitoring conditions in the environment to impact real-time decisions about how to render the rain correctly when it’s raining against the virtual player? It’s one thing to make a touchdown celebration look like a video game, but we may be years away from AI being able to predict and replicate NFL game conditions nanoseconds after they happen on the field or to create a gaming situation so realistic that no one knows it’s a game.” At this point, of course, the delineation between game and reality would lose all meaning, which would be the exact point of actually trying this. Back in 2018, Hugo Hueber, a Swiss graduate student developed a game that sought to blur the lines between digital reality and, well, reality reality. While this is now light years behind the most bleeding-edge virtual reality today, Hueber’s goal is aligned with what it would take to make virtual sports seamless: “My goal was to develop a video game that combines the latest technology with the 3D interactive research we’re carrying out at the lab. That will let video gamers interact physically with a virtual environment that can be transferred to any location – a living room, office or even classroom – instantly.” This is the key. NFL fans don’t want to enter some generic virtual environment to experience their games, they want the virtual environment to exist in their living room, in a sports bar, or wherever they choose to consume content. Part of our attraction to things like Thanksgiving NFL football is the familiar - it brings us back to years of fun and comforting memories of the experience of watching the games on the holiday. The NFL could build off the platform of the familiar to create an experience that feels far more normal and comfortable than it should. Angela Natividad, an author and experienced esports entrepreneur in Paris, points out that tech is only one piece here - another is level of interest: “With existing tech like Unreal Engine, a case can be made that it's possible to prove your thesis here within the next couple of years. People are the real sticky wicket but we shrink that gap all the time. Natividad adds something I never even considered - that while I know little nothing about video games but love NFL football, many gamers and esports people aren’t in to actual “sports”: “What you're suggesting would definitely be a good esports TV feature. But it certainly merits saying that less than 8% of esports fans are into actual sports esports - hence the sticky wicket of interest and ability intersecting.” Silvers adds the final thought to show that while we aren’t at the finish line, we are at least at the first checkpoint to make this alternate reality real: “If you wanted to do an experiment and model a huge play in matrix bullet time view, that can be almost instant now if they imagined the right scenario.” The right scenario here would be where technology and demand intersect. As our capability to create lifelike events improves exponentially, when our desire to have alternate experiences catches up, true “fantasy” football that is indistinguishable from today’s reality will become tomorrow’s. Whether it will be the same game is open to interpretation and opinion. But I’d point out that the NFL we experience today is markedly different than it was decades ago. Not only are the players so much bigger, faster, and stronger, but advanced equipment sometimes makes an NFL game look more like an 80s Sci-Fi movie than the old mud and blood NFL. Maybe what we’d be left with is a more interesting game, an experience based upon professional football that allows us to transition from passive observer to participant. Imagine being a fantasy football team owner in which your entire experience was enhanced by some kind of virtual reality, then infused with a hyper-convincing version of whatever the sensation of your experience could become. This, or something very much resembling it, could become the reality of the NFL experience. [About Aron Solomon] Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor of Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in CBS News, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, and many other leading publications.
APGA Champ Kevin Hall partners with Velocity Global
Velocity Global today announced a partnership with 4-time Advocates Pro Golf Association (APGA) Tour champion Kevin Hall. Hall competes on the APGA Tour in addition to Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR appearances. He joins 6-time PGA TOUR champion and recent European Tour BMW PGA Champion Billy Horschel as a brand ambassador for Velocity Global. “I met Kevin at Billy’s APGA tournament this summer and knew immediately that we had to work together,” said Ben Wright, Velocity Global founder and CEO. “He embodies our values in everything he does and his personal story of breaking down walls to access opportunity is an inspiration to all of us. I am honored that he will share these stories, along with his electric smile and contagious laugh, while wearing our brand on the front of his hat.” Hall plays each round in silence. He lost his hearing at the age of two due to a life-threatening illness, H-flu meningitis. Determined, he committed himself to the game of golf and earned a full academic and athletic scholarship to The Ohio State University - the first African-American player to receive a golf scholarship at Ohio State - and went on to win the Big Ten Championship by 11 shots. He most recently added his fourth APGA victory at TPC Deere Run in July, shooting an 8-under par 63. “Hard work earns your next opportunity, but it takes partners to open doors for our chosen path in life,” said Hall. “When I learned about Velocity Global’s platform to make work available to anyone, anywhere, I knew they understood the idea of partnership. Opening doors to people everywhere is something I can get behind. I am proud to represent them on and off the course.” The APGA is a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf through hosted tournaments, player development, and mentoring programs. Billy Horschel hosted his inaugural AGPA Tour Billy Horschel Invitational at TPC Sawgrass this summer. “Kevin is a fantastic guy and heck of a golfer,” said Horschel. “I’ve worked with Velocity Global for a couple of years and Kevin is a perfect fit for their people-first approach to the world. Kevin and Velocity Global’s values align as they both understand that hard work is just as important as being successful.” Hall will join the Velocity Global team this week at the company’s annual party in Denver, Colorado.
Hotels At Sea’s Polo Team Wins Back To Back US National Championships Presented By Celebrity Cruises & AmaWaterways
Hotels At Sea presents stunning teamwork to win the US National Championships Presented By Celebrity Cruises & Amawaterways. Hotels At Sea has captured the crown in the United States Arena Handicap, at the Twilight Polo Club in The Plains, Virginia Final. The team comprising of the world’s best polo players such as Tareq Salahi, Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr., and Marcos Bignoli helped the team repeat their success of winning the recently held National Arena Chairman’s Cup. The championship was hosted at the brand new arena outside downtown Middleburg, Virginia, on Saturday, October 2. Hotels At Sea was engaged in a captivating final in this high-stakes fall horse polo. It was evident that Hotels At Sea, the polo champions, were determined to repeat their recent success at the National Arena Chairman’s Cup. Riding on their recent arena dominance, they did a great job capturing the United States Arena Handicap 18-14. Hotels at Sea won the winner’s purse of $40,000.00. Despite trailing early, Hotels At Sea knew they were at an advantage because of superior team chemistry and communication. Tareq Salahi shared, “We know how to switch strategy and sometimes we do it in the middle of a chukker. It was this familiarity that led to the successful two-goal lead in the third chukker.” Ocampo Jr. shared the importance of releasing the ball quickly, “The idea was to find a position for Tareq, and where to be when Marcos (Bignoli) and I hit the ball.” Tolito says playing unified is important, “As the highest handicap on your team, your job is not to play more than your handicap. It’s making your teammates play higher than their handicap.” Tareq Salahi also acknowledged the role of fans in creating an electric finals atmosphere. “It’s great to see [them] here. It really drives us to play stronger and more aggressive polo.” Hotels At Sea will now be planning to field a team for the 2022 U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship to be held at Twilight International Polo Club next year. Visit www.InternationalPoloTour.com for information about the luxury market and cruise line polo tour schedule.
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