• Andy Marston

92: FIFA and UEFA ban Russia, 'BuyTheBroncos' DAO, and PFL want Jake Paul

The matters concerning this weekly sports business newsletter all feel rather pointless in comparison to what is going on in the world right now...


I'm sure I'm not alone in this thinking, so, before I go any further, I'd like to offer my thoughts and prayers to those in Ukraine, as well as to the Russian citizens opposing this war, often at risk to their own freedom and safety. 💙💛

 

TOP STORY

FIFA and UEFA impose ban on Russian football

Russian football clubs and national teams have been banned "until further notice" from all competitions by FIFA and UEFA after the country's invasion of Ukraine.


The move means that the Russian men's team will not play their World Cup play-off matches next month and the women's team have been banned from this summer's Euro 2022 competition. Furthermore, Spartak Moscow have been kicked out of the Europa League.


The Russian men's team had been scheduled to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final later this month. However, the Polish FA had already stated their intention to not fulfil that fixture – as had Sweden and the Czech Republic, who were set to play the winner for a place at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.


FIFA had previously ruled that Russia must complete their upcoming games in neutral territory, under the title Football Union of Russia, and without their flag or anthem. However, that announcement drew serious criticism - and the English FA among others joined the likes of Poland and Sweden in refusing to play against Russia at any level.


The IOC then further heaped pressure onto football’s governing bodies yesterday by recommending that all sports enforce a total ban on Russia and Belarus. It was this move that has seemingly caused FIFA and UEFA to act.


There is a strong hope that it will also prompt other sports to quickly follow suit. Formula 1 had already suspended the Russian Grand Prix, however, it is thought that the FIA, which is an IOC recognised body, could now impose a ban on Russian athletes.


Our Take: Given the recent influence which Russia has had on their showpiece events (2018 World Cup, 2014 Winter Olympics), it is (unfortunately) not all that surprising to see FIFA and the IOC take such a long time to come to the right decision.


While sport becomes largely insignificant in the face of war, it can undoubtably be a vehicle for unity and togetherness and I hope that (however small) this decision can play a part in helping to bring back the peace...


... assuming it isn't overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport


📚 Further Reading

  • ‘Money or morals?’ Uefa pressured to extinguish Gazprom sponsorship amid Ukraine invasion - The Drum

  • Roman Abramovich hands over stewardship of Chelsea amid Russia-Ukraine conflict - Evening Standard

  • Haas driver Nikita Mazepin faces uncertain future with F1 team along with Russian sponsor Uralkali - Sky Sports

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

The Denver Broncos are up for sale, and a group of crypto enthusiasts are aiming to raise more than $4 billion using a DAO to make it their own.


For anyone wondering, a DAO is an organisation represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organisation's members and not influenced by a central government. In other words they are member-owned communities without centralised leadership.


In this case, the "BuyTheBroncos" DAO aims to establish an infrastructure so that fans from all walks of life can be owners of an NFL franchise.


Thomas Alomes, Head of Market Insights at Sports Tech World Series, suggests that while being able to invest in and control the running of their team has obvious appeal for fans, "as it stands the legalities of this applying to team ownership, especially in the walled gardens of US sports franchises, are insurmountable for collective ownership."


While the MLB and the NBA are allowing private equity groups to own as much as 20%, "the NFL requires a controlling owner to hold at minimum a 30% stake in the team and forbids ownership groups of over 24 people, or any publicly traded corporations from purchasing NFL teams outright."


Alomes thinks that, "this Broncos sale will highlight that there's only so many billionaires left on the planet with pockets deep enough to get involved without consortiums and [private equity dollars]."


"Even though 'BuyTheBroncos' is unlikely to make much of an impact on the sale process, it is already raising the profile of DAO as a future vehicle for sports investment. This is only a good thing so watch this space for how practical use-cases emerge in the coming months and years."

📚 Further Reading

  • Pussy Riot Founder, Trippy Labs, PleasrDAO Members Launch 'Ukraine DAO' - Decrypt

  • Links DAO create NFT golf membership model as it shops for a course - John WallStreet

  • How the Marshall Islands is Trying to Become a Global Hub for DAO Incorporation - CoinDesk

 

WEEKLY ROUND UP

Celebrity

  • Rapper Wiz Khalifa could be tasked with recruiting Jake Paul into MMA, according to PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis. Khalifa, a part investor in PFL, even told TMZ Sports this month that "it would be tight" if Jake Paul "fought for PFL."

Equality

  • Sarah Taylor joins Manchester Originals men as assistant coach for The Hundred. Released by Welsh Fire following the 2021 tournament, the ex-England wicketkeeper will work alongside Simon Katich at Emirates Old Trafford.

Social Media

  • MLB Players, the business arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, is partnering with Influential, an influencer marketing company, to help MLB players maximize on their growing social media influence.

Broadcast

  • The Drone Racing League has more than doubled its broadcast reach from last season, offering its high-speed drone racing to audiences across six continents with 13 sports networks broadcasting into more than 250 million households in over 140 markets worldwide.

Sponsorship

Metaverse

 

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