October 3, 2022

This Week’s Most Interesting Sports Business Stories

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In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: the most valuable soccer teams, the WNBA’s possible prisoner swap, and behind the scenes with All Elite Wrestling. Plus: The United Arab Emirates wants to shake up cricket globally.

Pro Basketball

In an effort to free WNBA star Brittney Griner from detention in Russia, the Biden administration has offered to make a prisoner swap involving a convicted arms dealer, Forbes has learned.

A longtime sports executive wants to recharge the Los Angeles Sparks, an original WNBA franchise that has struggled to build brand awareness.

Cricket

The United Arab Emirates has ambitions of creating the world’s second-most-influential cricket league, behind the Indian Premier League. It just might have enough juice to lure high-profile players.

The outgoing USA Cricket chairman tells us he has long planned to step away, rejecting a report that his resignation was a condition for a lawsuit against the board to be dropped. In any case, he will remain a key member of the effort to get cricket added to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

College Sports

Keeping track of all the changes to college sports can be difficult for schools that don’t boast hundred-million-dollar budgets. So here’s a checklist for what schools might need to do to keep up.

Auto Racing

Even as it approaches the end of its deal sponsoring Kyle Busch‘s No. 18 car, M&M’s will be the title sponsor for a Nascar Cup Series race for the first time.

This weekend, more than 250,000 people will fill the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first full capacity Indy 500 since 2019. It’s a dream finally realized for speedway owner Roger Penske.

Pro Wrestling

AEW founder and CEO Tony Khan sat down with us for an extended interview about the opportunity he saw in 2019 for an alternative pro wrestling TV product.

MMA

Alex Rodriguez is betting big on the Professional Fighters League, joining the MMA promotion’s board as part of a $30 million funding round to aid its global expansion and establish a pay-per-view division.


Featured Story

The World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams 2022: Real Madrid Back On Top

After a record 2021-22 season that included its 35th domestic league title and eighth Champions League final appearance (to be played Saturday against Liverpool), Real Madrid has regained its position as the most valuable soccer club in the world, with a valuation of $5.1 billion. See which clubs rounded out the list.



Upon Further Review

Roger Federer hasn’t played competitive tennis since July, but his agent says he wants to hit the Wimbledon court at least one more time, in 2023. Regardless, the absence hasn’t made a dent in Federer’s endorsement portfolio, which keeps him among the world’s highest-paid athletes. See how he stacks up against the rest of the sports world’s ten top earners.


The Last Word

“I was just talking about my piece, and they kind of pricked up their ears and went, ‘Oh, actually I might get a piece of artwork.’” — Callum Wilson

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson’s burgeoning art collection has inspired teammates to start collections of their own. For Wilson, what started as a business investment has become a genuine hobby that could continue well after he hangs up his cleats. Read more about Wilson’s progress, on and off the pitch.


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