Marketing and Sponsorship

Lawsuit shines light on complexity of crypto-sports deals

An investor lawsuit “has accused insiders at a crypto company of misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars” for development of deals, according to sources cited by Ephrat Livni of the N.Y. TIMES. The case “shines a light on the fast-blooming union” between sports and the cryptocurrency industry. Last year crypto firm DigitalBits, along with a related entity, Zytara, “paid around $140 million in sponsorship deals” with Serie A clubs AS Roma and Inter Milan, and also “secured the services” of soccer player Francesco Totti and boxer Floyd Mayweather. A major early investor “alleges in a suit” in New York State Court that company insiders “diverted money needed for development to those sports deals, among other things like luxury travel.” Ford O’Brien plaintiff’s counsel Adam Ford said, “There is nothing behind the project.” He said that reviews of the code “reveal little work: The defendants ‘do not have a publicly accessible blockchain or anything to show other than big-dollar sponsorship deals and constant announcements that the real thing is coming.’” DigitalBits and Zytara “did not respond” to requests for comment (DEALBOOK, 1/24).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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