Posts Tagged ‘Business Partnership’

Recently, The Rock appeared as a guest on the popular show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The Brahma Bull was asked about the upcoming XFL American Football League next year, a company he acquired along with a group of other investors in 2020, after former owner Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy. 

“We wanted to take our time, do it right- this is the third iteration of XFL.” The XFL ran for one reason in 2001, where the league attempted and failed to be a competitor to the NFL. In 2017, it was announced that the XFL would be returning, this time as a spring league, after the NFL ended its season with the Super Bowl in February. In 2020, the XFL would run its first season after the rebuild, though stopping ultimately halfway through the first season after the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the world. This resulted in the eventual filing for bankruptcy.

The Rock went on to say that the NFL and XFL have partnered in a unique way. “The NFL has an Alumni Academy, that if you don’t roster throughout the NFL season, you automatically get a contract to go to the XFL, to play there,” said Rock. The Rock also said that NFL coaches will be able to come to watch and evaluate players in the XFL and that if the players are deemed ready, they will be able to move on to the NFL in the following fall season.

“My goal and my dream was to play pro football. I went to the University of Miami, played with some great players, great teams,” Rock said about his early football career. Before eventually joining the WWF in 1996, The Rock attempted to pursue a career in pro football; however, it wasn’t to be. “There are 53 men on an NFL Roster. I was always number 54. I was that guy the coaches always said, ‘DJ, you’re good, but not good enough.’”

It was announced on Tuesday at Disney Upfront, that the XFL has reached a multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company and ESPN.

The multi-year agreement is from 2023 to 2027. Each season’s 43 games will air on ABC, ESPN networks, and FX.

The 2023 season will kick off on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Below is the full press release:

NEW YORK – May 17, 2022 – The XFL today announced a new, global multi-year agreement with The Walt Disney Company (“TWDC”) and ESPN, which includes exclusive broadcast rights for all gameday content, tentpole events and more, for its upcoming 2023 season through 2027. Each season, all 43 games (40 regular season games, two playoffs, one championship) will be featured on a combination of ABC, ESPN networks and FX. Additionally, the agreement includes exclusive content rights across TWDC and ESPN’s digital, social and direct-to-consumer outlets such as ESPN+. The XFL is excited to officially announce its 2023 season will kick off on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

The announcement was revealed today at the Disney Upfront, where XFL owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson were in attendance and presented the news.

“Without question, we have long admired Disney’s distinct ability to engage an expansive consumer fanbase across verticals, while also maintaining a deeply authentic, nuanced and heartfelt approach to storytelling much like our own,” said Dany Garcia, Chairwoman of the XFL. “To find a partner that honors our foundation and to be able to root our vision of unwavering passion, accessibility and the future of football with Disney as our home, is a dream come true. We are extraordinarily excited to explore the endless possibilities of this partnership – today is surely just the beginning.”

“The XFL will tap into sports fans’ deep love of football by emphasizing competitive action while dedicating itself to innovation and entertainment,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “You can see a great path to success when you combine the reach and influence of ESPN and Disney with the collective vision of XFL leadership led by Dany, Dwayne and Gerry.”

Dwayne Johnson added, “This is a definitive moment for the XFL and the beginning of an incredible, long-term partnership for the league, building on my longstanding, very successful legacy relationship I’ve had with Disney throughout my career. We’re excited to be working with global visionaries that are aligned with the XFL’s values, are true team players and share our ambitious goals to grow the XFL as a global sports and entertainment business. Through the combined power of Disney, ESPN and the XFL, together we will create a new powerhouse on the sports calendar and bring a dynamic game of football to fans everywhere. Time to ball out.”

Gerry Cardinale said, “With today’s announcement, the XFL has launched a truly innovative partnership with The Walt Disney Company and its world-class platforms across media, culture, sports and entertainment.  It is a privilege to join forces with the incredibly talented team at Disney and ESPN and bring Dany and Dwayne’s vision for world-class football and live event entertainment to our fans and players.”

For more information, visit XFL.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

As we’ve noted, the XFL went into bankruptcy after the COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to their return season in the spring of 2020. WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon had sold the league to The Rock, along with business partners Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital in August of 2020, for $15 million.

The NHL suspended its dealings with the Russia-based KHL on Monday, a move that could make it more difficult for teams to sign players from there.

The NHL told its teams to cease contact with KHL counterparts and Russia-based agents as part of the suspension of the memorandum of understanding between the leagues. They can continue to communicate with North American agents certified by the NHL Players’ Association but may have more difficulty completing agreements.

Daily Faceoff first reported the NHL cutting cites with the KHL. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the decision in an email to The Associated Press.

It’s the league’s latest move to sever ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement last week, the NHL announced it was suspending relationships with business partners in Russian and pausing Russian-language social and digital media sites — including terminating the NHL’s Russian broadcast agreement.

There are roughly 40 Russia-born players currently in the NHL. The KHL is in the midst of its playoffs, though Finland-based Jokerit withdrew after Russia invade Ukraine.

The owners of the Toronto Argonauts are fans of the CFL’s potential partnership with the XFL.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment officially purchased the Argos in January 2018, mere months after the double blue pulled off a miracle Grey Cup win in the Snow Globe CFL title game in the nation’s capital.

“The losses have been substantial. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, it’s a company that ultimately has parent companies that are shareholders, it’s about driving value and making profit,” TSN reporter Dave Naylor said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.

“That’s what they did in real estate, that’s what they do in hockey, that’s what they do in basketball, that’s what they do in soccer, they drive franchise values. That’s there business, and their business does not line up right now with the business of the Toronto Argonauts.”

Enter the XFL, The Rock, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital. The owners from both leagues have agreed to work together to identify opportunities to innovate, collaborate and grow the game of football.

“From the early days of the XFL-CFL story going public, I started hearing that the Toronto Argos were very enthusiastic about this idea, and were among the most bullish teams that wanted to pursue it — maybe the very most bullish,” Naylor said. 

“The other teams are not getting dragged along on this. They may have been forced to this, to look at it and examine it, but there is broad support across the league for exploring this idea, seeing how far they can take it and what it amounts to. There’s no question the Toronto Argonauts are very much into this idea.”

The Rock has stated he’s excited for the ‘unique opportunity’ the CFL and XFL ‘can potentially create together.’ The most recent incarnation of the XFL lasted just five games before the COVID-19 pandemic put their season on hold, which led to Vince McMahon filing for bankruptcy and selling.

Johnson, Garcia and RedBird Capital were selected as the winning bidders last August for all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL. It cost $15 million and the goal is to make the XFL a stable league in the future, which could be an agreement with the CFL.

“I don’t know that MLSE would walk away from the CFL if the XFL deal doesn’t happen, but would it shock me? No, it would not,” Naylor said.

“I think there are scenarios where you could have some dominoes drop very quickly if you try to pursue the status quo in the CFL with this business model. At the very least, it could be the way to keep all nine teams invested in their franchises.”

Bell Media and Larry Tanenbaum bought the Argos from David Braley in May 2015 after nearly a year of talks. Rogers did not get involved at that time, with speculation that it was not interested in the franchise because the CFL was tied to Bell, through its broadcast affiliate TSN.

“If your business model for Toronto is that those guys will just keep paying the bills, every week, forever, when 12,000 to 15,000-thousand people show up, that’s a very risky assumption about the future,” Naylor said.

“In the backdrop has always been, but what about Toronto? That’s been the elephant in the room even during good times in the CFL. Until you really solved that, the league’s potential was always going to be held back.”

AEW star Nick Jackson made it clear that there is zero chance for an AEW and NJPW partnership. 

The former NJPW star was asked on Twitter if there would ever be a potential partnership between the two companies. Nick Jackson simply replied, “Not happening.” 

Another user tweeted, “I mean not really, you think he would say Yes it is happening over twitter? Of course he would deny it and say not happening. They would want it to be the biggest surprise yet.”

Jackson replied to him, “It’s really not happening. Been asked this thousands of times and telling the truth is always best. Don’t want fans holding onto something that has zero chance of happening.” 

In the past, The Young Bucks have said that NJPW had never valued them.

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After unveiling All Elite Wrestling on New Year’s Day, along with their well documented Double Or Nothing rally in Jacksonville, Florida this past Tuesday, AEW has been causing waves in the pro wrestling community in early 2019. An interesting decision mentioned at the rally was AEW’s choice to join forces with China’s Oriental Wrestling Entertainment, a organization that American wrestling fans may have yet to be exposed to.

OWE’s management team recently spoke with South China Morning Post about their intentions concerning All Elite Wrestling, and how they hope their roster, mostly composed of marital arts students and Shaolin monks, can positively contribute to AEW’s future plans. Although the details surrounding their newly-formed partnership are still being mulled over, OWE says they’re mutually as excited to begin working together.

“It’s not an official announcement yet—how to work with each other, what the whole thing will look like, we haven’t had the thorough conversations yet,” OWE Vice President Michael Nee explained. “But they made an announcement that they’re happy to work with us, and we’re really happy about that too. We’ll just try to give them all the resources we have.”

According to South China Morning Post, OWE officials are setting up a plan to travel to the US and meet everyone involved with All Elite Wrestling before making an official announcement. OWE is optimistic about the influence their performers will have on American audiences, and they hope this partnership continues the globalization of professional wrestling.

“AEW knows OWE is doing really good in China with the Chinese kung fu and everything, and we have many talented wrestlers,” Nee said. “We are based in China, they’re in the US, but working together we can be huge in the future, that’s the intention. From the very beginning, we’re willing to do global matches like Japan, China, Asia, US and everywhere – we think wrestling is an international sport and entertainment. It should be global. AEW also would like to globalize and work with many countries, so on this point we have something in common. OWE will do everything to support AEW to bring the best wrestling to the world.”

OWE’s hope is for the partnership with AEW to give the best OWE performers exposure to American audiences while also encouraging the people of China to see more beauty in pro wrestling. Nee acknowledged that the future of their collaboration is unknown, but still bright.

“We are really working hard to let Chinese people know what wrestling is, the beauty of it,” Nee said. “If all the Chinese people know OWE can work with the best leagues like AEW, it’s really good for us, and also we can get approval from the international fans. We’re young, we’re just beginning, but we have the skills trained by CIMA, the martial arts schools, to compete and challenge with the best people globally. Everything from our perspective, we are thinking that’s good for us. What’s gonna happen in the future no one knows.”

All Elite Wrestling’s next event will be Double or Nothing on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Berlin – Bayern Munich announced on Tuesday a partnership deal with Major League Soccer team FC Dallas in their bid to expand into North America.

Bayern, who already have an office in New York, say twinning with Dallas is to help both clubs develop players and coaching methods.

“As part of our international strategy, we opened an office in the US in 2014,” said Bayern’s head of international strategy, Joerg Wacker, in a statement.

“Right from the beginning, we wanted to be more in touch with our fans while supporting the development of football in the United States.

“The promotion of young players is the focus here.

“FC Dallas stands for excellent youth work and is the ideal partner for us.”

A group of FC Dallas players visited Bayern’s academy in Munich last December.

“The primary goal is to build a youth academy and club of world-class excellence,” said Dallas’ CEO Clark Hunt.

“A partnership with one of the world’s most successful clubs is a significant step in that direction.”

The New Jersey Devils recently became the first NHL club to announce a formal partnership with a team from the National Women’s Hockey League.

The Devils will support the Metropolitan Riveters by allowing them to play the majority of their home games at their practice facility in Newark, assist with marketing and promotion of the team, and host a Riveters/Devils doubleheader at the Prudential Center on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“They are marketing us like a real sister team – everything from the website, social media, to the broadcast and in arena,” NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan told Melissa Murphy of The Associated Press. “You name it, they’re going to be helping us market the Riveters.”

The NWHL played its inaugural season in 2015-16, and currently has three teams in addition to the Riveters: the Boston Pride, the Buffalo Beauts, and the Connecticut Whale. Their 16-game season spans from October to March.

Their biggest competitor is the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, which has been around since 2007, and has seven teams, including two based in China.

The Toronto Argonauts and Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment are partnering on a new practice facility for the CFL team.

The Argos made the announcement in a statement Thursday.

The facility will be located at Downsview Park in Toronto, next to Toronto FC’s training ground.

It is expected to be ready sometime next month.The Argos have been practising this year at York University and will continue to do so until the new facility is complete.

The CFL club had practised at the campus of the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus for 18 years before moving to York.