The NFL’s 2022 regular-season schedule will be announced this Thursday, but teams already know their opponents and how far they’ll be traveling this season.
The Seattle Seahawks will travel 29,466 miles and change time zones 34 times, while the Pittsburgh Steelers will log just 6,442 miles — and won’t even leave the Eastern time zone.
Max Verstappen won the first ever Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix on Sunday, taking the podium surrounded by turquoise walls in front of around 85,000 fans, capping a huge week for Oracle Red Bull Racing and F1.
Red Bull — and now Oracle, which joined the Formula 1 team as a title sponsor in February in a deal worth a reported $500 million — have seen major benefits from Formula 1’s rapidly growing presence and fanbase in the U.S.
On Thursday, Oracle Red Bull gained a sponsor with a distinct tie to the race: Hard Rock, which holds naming rights to the Hard Rock Stadium race site in an 18-year, $250 million deal.
“We obviously have engaged very heavily in the corporate world,” said team principal Christian Horner.
Uniting with Oracle has been uniquely fruitful for both sides.
“We knew we needed to start looking into tools like AI and ML to advance our capabilities as a business,” Zoe Chilton, Oracle Red Bull Racing’s head of partnerships, told Front Office Sports.
Oracle lends technical expertise to Red Bull’s fan platform, The Paddock, as well as its race simulations.
The weekend also brought heaps of exposure to its title sponsor, Crypto.com.
“It became very clear that this wasn’t going to be just another race,” Crypto.com’s chief marketing officer Steven Kalifowitz told FOS. “This was going to be a global event that might only be rivaled by the FIFA World Cup in terms of international attention.”
The crypto exchange announced last week that its user base rose from 10 million at the end of Q1 2021 to a current tally of 50 million.
RedBird Capital Partners is reportedly in talks with AC Milan following the expiration of Investcorp’s exclusive negotiation period at the end of April.
Investcorp, the Middle East’s biggest alternative asset manager with around $41 billion in assets under management, was in exclusive talks with current owner Elliott Management to purchase the team for $1.26 billion including debt, but the pair have yet to agree on a deal.
They are reportedly still in negotiations.
Should RedBird Capital come to an agreement with AC Milan, the investment group will further strengthen its sports portfolio.
RedBird is an investor in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool FC, the Boston Red Sox, an 80% stake in the New England Sports Network, and a 50% stake in Roush Fenway Racing.
In November, FSG agreed to acquire controlling interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins.
RedBird also has a controlling stake in France’s Ligue 2 club Toulouse, which will soon be promoted to Ligue 1.
In November, the group invested in Dream Sports, whose primary brand is Dream11.
Elliott Management became the owner of AC Milan in 2018 after Li Yonghong defaulted on debt obligations.
Far From Settled
Investcorp is reportedly unphased by RedBird’s negotiations — the latter has around $6 billion in assets under management.
Investcorp is reportedly trying reach the team’s asking price with the help of other investors, which could include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Ares Capital.
Under Armour suffered a net loss in the fourth quarter of the 2022 fiscal year and posted a 2023 financial outlook that appeared less than impressive for investors.
After the numbers were released on Friday, its stock price dropped about 25%.
The company posted a net loss of about $60 million and an adjusted net loss of $3 million.
But total revenue did increase 3% compared with the same period in 2021, totaling $1.3 billion.
Apparel revenue rose 8%, for a total of $877 million — though footwear sales dropped 4% for a total of $297 million.
Under Armour expects revenue to increase 5% to 7% in fiscal 2023. The company projects to reach $375 million to $400 million in operating income, compared to a baseline figure of $424 million.
The sports apparel giant attributed the underwhelming numbers to factors such as the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation.
In North America, Under Armour saw revenue increase 4% to $841 million.
In Asia-Pacific, however, revenue dropped 14% while Latin America saw a 6% drop. In total, international sales only rose 1% to $456 million.
Vista Outdoor announced record fourth-quarter and fiscal-year results in its latest earnings report.
The outdoor recreation and sports company posted $809 million in sales in fiscal Q4, a 36% increase year-over-year. The results were driven by strong demand across the company’s sporting goods and outdoor products segments.
Vista Outdoor also announced a plan to split those two segments into two publicly traded companies. The transition is expected to be completed in FY2023.
The company’s sporting products segment saw $464 million in sales in fiscal Q4, up 56% year-over-year, while its outdoor segment generated $345 million in sales during the quarter. Total sales in FY2022 reached a record $3 billion, a 37% increase compared to the year prior.
Vista Outdoor has diversified its portfolio through a series of major acquisitions.
In May 2021, the company acquired Hevi-Shot, adding to its ammunition portfolio.
The company acquired e-bike maker QuietKat and female-focused hunting brand Venor.
It purchased golf tech company Foresight Sports for $474 million last September.
Earlier this year, it acquired Montana-based hunting gear company Stone Glacier.
Investment in Sports
Vista Outdoor is looking to build on its recent success with further investment in sports and is actively seeking investment opportunities.
“We’ve positioned ourselves as the acquirer of choice within the industry,” CEO Chris Metz told Front Office Sports.
Eighty PGA Tour pros have reportedly requested their release to participate in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series’ first event in June.
UKG has struck a deal with the NWSL that will directly increase player compensation and see UKG become the title sponsor for the 2023 Challenge Cup.
For the 12th consecutive season, the New York Knicks were the most expensive ticket in the NBA.
Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures and Carli Lloyd have taken minority ownership stakes in Gotham FC. Lloyd spoke with Front Office Sports about the investment in her home team.
Did you watch the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix over the weekend?
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