January 11 – Sticker albums, the staple collectable and ‘education’ tool for growing football fans, are back in fashion. Panini have announced it will almost double revenue on the back of the Russia 2018 World Cup to about €1 billion.
By Paul Nicholson in Abu Dhabi
January 9 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has issued a statement condemning the Saudi-backed pirate broadcaster beoutQ’s theft of live matches from the Asian Cup currently being played in the UAE.
January 9 – The timing is presumably co-incidence but having cast off the oppressive shadow of Jose Mourinho’s management regime for the more free-flowing joy of Ole Gunnar Solsjaer (albeit interim), Manchester United has announced it will open three “experience centres” in China by 2020.
January 7 – Real Betis, currently in sixth in LaLiga’s top flight, have expanded their agreement with Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo who will now become one of the club’s main partners.
January 4 – LaLiga has distributed more than €1.32 billion from broadcast revenue to with Barcelona and Real Madrid taking almost 25% of the pot with a combined €302 million.
December 21 – A record audience of more than 3.5 billion people watched this year’s World Cup in Russia, with the final between France and Croatia attracting 1.12 billion viewers, according to FIFA.
By Paul Nicholson
December 19 – The European Union, China and Canada all spoke out in support of Qatar’s case against Saudi Arabia at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting today discussing the beoutQ piracy of broadcast programming. All three backed the contention that Qatar had the right to pursue protection of the intellectual copyright through the organisation.
December 19 – FC Bayern’s Digital & Media Lab has expanded its business with three new long term partnerships with Swiss club FC Basel, Austria’s FK Austria Wien and Bundesliga 2 club Dynamo Dresden.
December 18 – New launch player transfers app Soccer Mandate has announced a strategic partnership with China’s Sport 8 International.
December 17 – beIN SPORTS, battling industrial scale piracy of their sports rights in the Middle East by Saudi Arabian broadcaster beoutQ, are now being forced to fight for fair treatment for their channel distribution in the US.
December 14 – LaLiga has brought in sports marketing agency IMG to boost its global sponsorship sales as it continues its international revenue drive.
By Paul Nicholson
December 12 – Qatar-based pan-regional broadcaster beIN Sport has written to Serie A to ask the Italian league to reconsider the recently announced three-year deal for the staging of the Italian Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia.
December 12 – As Spanish football manages an international transition from the individual appeal of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the KPMG Football Benchmark team has taken a look at the impact this could have on LaLiga’s business.
December 12 – Atlanta United’s 2-0 win over Portland Timbers at the weekend is the most watched MLS Cup since 1997.