Picks of the Week: January 16, 2017
Pacific Pro Football League for Non-NFL-Eligible Players to Debut
A group of stakeholders, including Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee, and former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey, have announced the formation of the Pacific Pro Football League. The new league will include four franchises located in LA and San Diego area, and is set to launch in the winter of 2017 (during the NFL’s offseason). The league will target non-NFL-eligible players straight out of high school, and provide them with an alternative to playing college football. Yee expects the average salary to be approximately $50,000 with the league, while also providing players with paid tuition and books to local community colleges. In addition to Yee and McCaffrey, the league has secured a number of high-profile names for its advisory board. Members include former NFL Senior VP Jim Steeg, former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira, former lead Campaign Strategist for John McCain, Steve Schmidt, and NFL Reporter Adam Schefter. Currently, the league has finished a round of angel investing and is seeking sponsors. The league could prove to be a property to watch for a brand without the necessary budget to invest in the NFL. Additionally, brands would have the added upside of supporting a start-up property in its infancy and could be seen as first movers in this space.
Professional lacrosse player, Paul Rabil, has forged a partnership with Amazon that will now give Amazon Prime members free one month access to the Paul Rabil Experience. This partnership is one of the first sports sponsorship integration into Prime for Amazon, who recognizes that sports programming and content continues to gain momentum. Over the last couple years, Rabil has built a digital footprint that encompasses Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In 2015, Paul launched the Paul Rabil Experience, which includes online video instruction, nutrition advice, and general tips to young aspiring lacrosse players. For Rabil, this is a great opportunity to increase his brand equity and expand his reach through the Amazon Prime partnership. The new partnership could result in future lacrosse sales for Amazon and overall promotion for the sport of lacrosse.
Paul Rabil Expands His Digital Presence
Majestic Partners with Intel to Launch Swing IQ Smart Apparel for Use during Baseball Games, Hitting Analysis
Majestic Athletic has partnered with Intel’s IQ technology department to produce Swing IQ, a line of smart apparel aimed at improving baseball player’s swing. The Swing IQ shirt which is lined with motion sensors that provide a 360-degree tracking of wrist, shoulder and hip movement throughout the swing. The new Swing IQ shirt provides a unique alternative to competitor’s product that places such sensors on the bat, rather than the body. This new initiative provides a way for Majestic to remain in baseball and be seen as a tech leader. While the early stages of wearables have been seen as very useful tools, they have also been identified as irritating and even a distraction in the likes of in-game performance. Majestic has worked to develop a product where each senor is strategically placed and aimed to be unnoticeable. With three years until Under Armour takes the MLB partnership, Majestic Athletic is already making significant strides to re-insert themselves within the baseball market.