The LA Rams unveiled their championship rings, NASCAR teams want more of the TV money and the NFL is experiencing some softness in ticket sales.
The Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night unveiled their Super Bowl 56 rings, featuring what the team said is the most karat weight in the history of sports championship rings. The rings were unveiled in a private ceremony the night before the Rams coaching staff has scheduled to report to training camp. Each ring has approximately 20 karats of white diamonds, set on white and yellow gold to represent the official opening of SoFi Stadium in 2020. The ring design was a collaborative effort between Rams players, team leadership, and Los Angeles based jewelry house Jason of Beverly Hills. No details on the cost for each ring or how many were distributed.
Good morning. It's Friday, July 22nd. This is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright, filling in for Abe Madkour.
The University of California system on Thursday said that it will scrutinize UCLA's PAC12 exit, and issue a public report on the effect on student athletes and the ripple effect on Cal and other campuses. Their quest for review came from the UC board of regents and Governor Gavin Newsom, who demanded an explanation from UCLA on its planned move. Cal, the only UC campus that will be left behind in a weekend conference without UCLA and USC, will probably take a big financial hit. UC president Michael Drake's office will conduct and publicly present its findings and recommendations to the regents on or before August 17th.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said the sanctioning body is preparing to offer teams a fair relationship with the split of media rights dollars for the next deal that will start in 2025, reports our Adam Stern. The current split is 65% to the tracks, 25% to the teams, and 10% to NASCAR, per the 10 year 8.2 billion agreement that took effect in 2015. Teams have made clear and recent months that they are intent to have serious negotiations with NASCAR about increasing their share in the next TV deal. Teams are believed to be preparing for talks with NASCAR about this topic as soon as the next couple of months. Phelps told SBJ, "We're not going to negotiate in the media. It doesn't make sense to. But behind closed doors, we are going to do what we believe is fair."
The Baseball Hall of Fame has selected Candy Digital as its official licensee of digital collectables under a new product line called The Baseball Legend Series. Fanatics own Candy Digital is already the official digital collectable partner of MLB, MLBPA, and the WWE, among others. The first iteration of the Baseball Legend Series is the 2022 Hall of Fame Icon Series. On sale beginning August 2nd, there will be two digital packs available. There'll be 1510 packs available selling for $249 a piece with each guaranteed to have at least one digital icon with a rarity of at least rare. That's the third tier out of five. There also will be 5000 packs with four icons a piece, selling for $99 each, with at least one collectable graded as uncommon. That's the second tier. In all, there are 30 Hall of Famers included in the icon series, including Ken Griffey Jr, Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench, and Ryan Sandberg. Candy Digital will offer free digital collectables to all attendees at this weekend's induction weekend in Cooperstown, New York.
Digital fan engagement company Socios has signed on as a sponsor of AEGs soccer champions tour, a series of five friendly matches featuring top international soccer clubs that begins on Saturday. Partnership comes with the company on the verge of launching a US specific version of its platform this summer. The nine day event features La Liga, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, Sirius, Juventus, and Liga MXs America and Chivas. Las Vegas's Allegiant Stadium will host two matches, including the matchup of the two Spanish powerhouses with San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles each hosting one match. The matches will air on FS2 in English, and Fox Deportes in Spanish. As part of the deal, which was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Socios will offer fans exclusive onsite experiences at the matches through online contests such as field access and the opportunity to compete for the chance to present the man of the match award. Three of the five participating teams, Barcelona, Juventus, and Chivas are existing Socios partners that offer fan tokens through the site, which allow their holders to participate in various low level team decisions and access exclusive experiences.
The NFL will treat July 30th as a second on sale date for single game tickets, reviving an onscreen QR code on NFL Network that sends viewers to Ticketmaster. NFL senior VP and club business development Laura Lefton and told our Ben Fisher the QR code will be embedded in all 13 hours of coverage on Back Together Saturday, the name bestowed by the league on the first weekend day when all 32 teams are in training camp. The QR code debuted during the May schedule release. In the inaugural edition of back together Saturday in 2021, single game ticket sales jump 34% compared to a similar window in 2019. Left and call ticket sales, the most important KPI for the league. But Back Together Saturday is aiming to raise attention in interest in every measurable way. Fans may need a reminder to buy tickets, according to Patrick Ryan, co-founder of the ticket advisory firm Eventellect. Interest in his company's NFL ticket inventory has been a little soft, but he believes that's the result of a return to summer activities that declined during the height of the pandemic.
The XFL has lost two key executives in the last month, even as the league plans some big announcements in the coming days, and prepares for a season in February. Chief business officer Jordan Schlachter left the league earlier this month, and then on Tuesday, senior VP of ticketing, Lisa Feigenbaum, who joined the league in June, left for a job with the Flyers and Wells Fargo center. The circumstances around Schlachter's departure are unknown. The XFL declined to comment, but sources said Schlachter will not be replaced in the CBO role. Chief marketing and content officer Janet Duke will assume his oversight of merchandise and his sponsorship duties go to president Russ Brandon. The SVB ticketing role has been posted on the job boards and the league is expecting to name a ticketing partner next week.
That's your recipe SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Friday. I hope everyone has a great day and even better weekend, and we'll see you back here Monday morning.