This Week’s Most Interesting Sports Business Stories

From this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: A sports owner’s billion-dollar artwork auction, the NFL star investing in the game and Malta’s push into esports. More: Why Mattress Mack ‘didn’t make a dime’ on her big Astros bet.

professional soccer

Juju Smith-Schuster tells us that he loves to play with it Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefsbut he gets even more excited when talking about esports and his investments in the gaming space.


Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale won a record $75 million with his World events bets on the Astros but “did not make a penny” – he explains why.


Joe Tacopinaan American lawyer and owner of B-seriesit is SPALspoke to us about the challenges and opportunities of foreign ownership in Italian football after a decade as a senior manager at four clubs.

Wilfried Zaha won’t play this year world Cup after deciding to represent his native country, Ivory Coast, instead of his adopted country, England. He is one of the many stars for whom nationality is not always easy.

Interest in women’s football is growing worldwide. Television ratings for the NWSL set records just as the league’s media contract was coming to an end. Meanwhile, for seven weeks, Germany Frauen Bundesliga has already beaten its attendance total for the entire previous season.

Car race

Nascar Legend jimmy johnson will come back to Cup Series next season in a deal that will give him a minority stake in Small supermarket. But he’ll still have a chance to tick two more errands off his to-do list.

Despite inflation across the country, Nascar is keeping ticket prices steady and seeing sales soar, series chairman Steve Phelps said.


Tecnifibrethe racquet manufacturer, which has sponsored the highest-ranked player in men’s and women’s tennis for much of the year, is aiming to double in size in 2022. Babolata 147-year-old tennis brand, is also finding new momentum.


A golf apparel brand aimed at young players focuses on ICT Tac in its marketing. That works.

Professional basketball

Through a partnership with OpenSponsorship, NBA gamers will have access to a marketplace to connect with brands, showing the impact that college sports’ NIL policy change is having on pros.

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Inside Paul Allen’s Billion Dollar Art Auction

Before Paul Allen’s death in 2018, the Microsoft co-founder and owner of the Seahawks and Trail Blazers amassed an art collection that was expected to fetch more than $1 billion at auction this week. A Christie’s executive called the collection “an achievement to which I know of no parallel”. Find out what makes it so valuable.

Hot readings

After a closer examination

The European island country of Malta wants to be the esports capital of the world, starting with a deal to host the ESL Pro League. It’s a big bet on the emerging industry, whose biggest teams continue to have higher valuations, but increasingly rely on non-esports revenue streams. See our ranking of the most valuable esports companies.

The last word

“Especially as a young girl, I always felt like I was more capable than people would hold me back.” — Nora Vasconcellos

Professional skateboarder Nora Vasconcellos is the first woman to receive an Adidas skate shoe. She knows the deal is more than just a personal professional achievement; she wants to inspire the next generation of non-male skaters.

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