This is part of our "Last Week Today" series that includes a weekly roundup of the past week's most exciting and industry-altering news. Check back on our blog every week for updates! These stories cover sponsorship news for April 5 – April 11, 2021.
Major Moves for EA Sports
For the first time since 2011, the Masters Tournament is returning to the EA Sports PGA Tour franchise. The exclusive partnership announcement with Augusta National Golf Club was timely, as Tiger Woods recently announced his long-term partnership with 2K to develop a separate golf video game. While there is significant brand power behind Tiger, having the Masters, as well as the other 3 golf majors, should be enough for EA Sports to keep much of their market share in the years to come. A primary complaint of previous iterations of the EA Sports golf game has been the lack of these major tournaments.
Anta Ups the Ante
Known primarily in the United States as the shoe brand worn by Golden State Warriors star, Klay Thompson, Anta continues to increase its influence in the global sportswear market. The Chinese-based company has grown significantly over the last decade, following its involvement in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The mix of well-marketed affordability and labor controversies for Adidas and Nike in Asia helped Anta’s 2020 revenue surpass $8 billion. As an official partner, Anta will also once again be on the world stage with the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Crypto Kings: Pro Sports Buying into Bitcoin
As an early adopter of cryptocurrency in 2014, the Sacramento Kings are looking at new ways to further incorporate Bitcoin into their everyday business operations. While initially only accepted as payment for seating at their arena, the Kings are looking to now offer cryptocurrency as a salary option for both players and non-players. It remains to be seen how this will play out with the players as Bitcoin remains prohibited as a payment method through the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Passing Grades for Academy in 2020
In a year where the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted retailers around the country, Academy Sports was able to increase profits over 150% from 2019. With the combination of stay-at-home orders and amateur sports on pause, Academy could not bank on team equipment sales as much as it had in previous years. Where Academy made up for it (and then some) were in the home gym and outdoor activities categories as people needed to get creative with their workouts and hobbies. The past year has been so successful for Academy that the strategy moving forward is to more than double the number of brick-and-mortar stores in the United States over the coming years.
Be on the lookout next week for the usual round-up of sponsorship news.