InsiderSport: On The Ball – Amazon Prime, Socios and Liverpool FC

Joe Streeter – InsiderSport

From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, InsiderSport has you covered. This edition looks at cryptocurrency and the Forbes rich list. 

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Forbes breakthrough for LFC

UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool Football Club has for the first time in its history broken into the top 50 list of Forbes’ most valuable sports teams in the world.

The Premier League runners up ranked 45th on the overall list, with a valuation of £1.7bn, and was the last of an eight football team lineup to be featured. 

Taking top spot for the football teams is Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid, ranking third overall with a valuation of £3.4bn, with FC Barcelona, who are valued at £3.2bn, finishing a place behind. Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal were the remaining clubs on the list.

The ranking system used by Forbes is based on enterprise values and pre-existing commercial deals. Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes Media, discussed the rising valuations: “The values of teams in major sports leagues are booming thanks to sky-high TV deals, both local and national. And with revenue growing faster than player salaries, franchises are more profitable than they have ever been.”

LFC’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), took over the club back in 2010 and has overseen the club’s valuation sky-rocket in the years since. When they took over, the Reds were valued at £437m, indicating a £1.3bn value increase in the nine years following the American takeover. 

Leeds United docuseries set for Amazon release

Amazon Prime has announced that its next fly-on-the-wall football documentary will focus on Leeds United‘s dramatic 18/19 Championship season.

Titled, Take Us Home, the series gives an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the club’s 2018-19 campaign under head coach, Marcelo Bielsa. With the six part series narrated by Academy Award winner and avid Leeds United fan Russell Crowe.

Chris Bird, EU Head of Content, Prime Video commented: “Take Us Home: Leeds United joins the great collection of live sports and behind-the-scenes docu-series on Prime Video. We saw that All or Nothing: Manchester City was a hit not only with Man City fans, but also football fans across the UK and around the world, so we’re excited to give Prime members an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into a fascinating year in Leeds United’s history.”

Produced for Prime Video by Eleven Studios in partnership with The City Talking, the documentery follows the hugely successful ‘Blue Moon Rising’ series, which gave an insight into Manchester City’s successful Premier League campaign under the influence of manager Pep Guardiola.

This series will place a focus on manager, Bielsa, the 63-year-old coach who famously managed the national teams in Argentina and Chile as well as European clubs including Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille, had an immediate impact at Leeds United following his announcement in June 2018.

An Arsenal of beer awaits at the Emirates

Weeks before the Premier League season is set to kick off, Arsenal has unveiled a new partnership with Camden Town Brewery, as it becomes the club’s official beer partner in the UK and Ireland.

The three-year partnership will see Camden Town Brewery providing beer across Emirates Stadium from the start of the season, the brewery are offering one supporter the prize of a lifetime.

Arsenal’s commercial director, Peter Silverstone, commented: “We are always working to improve the matchday experience at Emirates Stadium, so to partner with the local and hugely renowned Camden Town Brewery is very exciting. Camden’s enthusiasm is infectious and their desire to support our fans is clear to see through their incredible competition offer to kick-start our partnership. We look forward to working with them on more exciting initiatives to capture the hearts and taste buds of Arsenal fans.”

As part of this partnership, Camden Town Brewery will have use of our IP and imagery for marketing purposes, with rights across our digital, social and online platforms. Bar branding will feature throughout the Emirates Stadium and Champions Bar will be transformed into a Camden Town Brewery tavern.

Jasper Cuppaidge, Camden Town Brewery founder, added: “If you’d have told me 10 years ago that the beer I was creating in my basement in North London would one day be the beer of Arsenal Football Club – the club I love – I would have thought you were crazy, but I would have loved the idea of it.”

AS Roma enters cryptocurrency partnership

AS Roma has announced a partnership with Socios.com which will see the fan engagement platform launch the football club’s first ever fan token.

Roma has joined the likes of West Ham United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus to become the latest football club offering tokens to its supporters – digital assets that give fans the right to vote in certain club-related decisions.

Francesco Calvo, chief revenue officer at AS Roma, discussed fan opportunities: “AS Roma, as a club, has a duty to always be very attentive and pro-active towards new technologies and innovation. Thanks to Socios.com’s blockchain platform we can guarantee new opportunities to our fan base around the world, giving them the possibility to interact in an innovative way with their favorite team.”

Socios.com is now the club’s official cryptocurrency partner and aims to create a closer connection between the fans and the football club through the ‘AS Roma Fan Tokens’ initiative.

Alexandre Dreyfus, chief executive & founder of Socios.com, discussed the addition of Roma:  “With the addition of another legendary Serie A club, we are fast building a strong ecosystem of top tier clubs, as well as a huge community of football fans, and a unique platform for fans to engage with their club in a new and innovative way.”

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