Huddle Up

Huddle Up is a newsletter focusing on the intricate business and financial dynamics within the sports industry, covering major leagues, individual athletes' impacts, media rights deals, and strategic moves by sports companies. It transitions into a paid subscription model offering exclusive insights into the evolving sports economy.

Sports Business Models Media Rights and Broadcasting Deals Athlete Endorsements and Brand Impacts Emerging Trends in Sports Industries Financial Implications of Sports Events Strategic Expansion of Sports Leagues Sports Marketing and Sponsorships Digital Streaming in Sports

The hottest Substack posts of Huddle Up

And their main takeaways
175 implied HN points 12 Feb 24
  1. A new sports-only streaming service is being launched by ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery, bundling various sports rights into one package.
  2. The pricing for the new service hasn't been finalized but is expected to be more than ESPN+ and cheaper than YouTubeTV, likely around $40/month.
  3. This move highlights the trend in the industry where companies either bundle or unbundle content to make money, showcasing the evolution in how media services are structured.
217 implied HN points 22 Jan 24
  1. MLS needs more than just Lionel Messi to thrive.
  2. Inter Miami's preseason schedule covers 23,000 miles over three weeks.
  3. A peek into the future of major US sports leagues is being discussed in the newsletter.
122 implied HN points 14 Feb 24
  1. ESPN secured a lucrative $7.8 billion exclusive deal for the College Football Playoff, emphasizing the importance of premium sports rights in the current media landscape.
  2. The agreement, pending commissioner and president approval, solidifies ESPN as the go-to network for the new CFP 12-team tournament, showcasing their persistent dedication to college sports.
  3. Previous reports speculating on broadcasting rights for the expanded College Football Playoff proved inaccurate, indicating a potentially unrealistic expectation of the market dynamics.
Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:
203 implied HN points 17 Jan 24
  1. Nick Saban's management style ran Alabama football like a successful business.
  2. Saban's long-term strategies contributed to his extraordinary success, earning multiple championships and producing top NFL draft picks.
  3. Alabama's financial success under Saban turned them into a national powerhouse through leveraging athletic achievements.
83 implied HN points 02 Feb 24
  1. The PGA Tour secured a $3 billion deal, signaling a strong response to LIV Golf's impact on golf.
  2. LIV Golf has been challenging the PGA Tour by luring top players with lucrative contracts.
  3. The PGA Tour has faced significant legal battles and sponsor withdrawals but is fighting back with new developments.
20 implied HN points 13 Mar 24
  1. Deion Sanders' coaching at Colorado led to a significant increase in applicants, showcasing the Flutie Effect where athletic success boosts academic interest.
  2. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan's lack of communication and handling of the LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger raised concerns among players and media.
  3. NFL free agency deals often involve intricate negotiations, with insiders getting details from agents and shaping the narrative of the contracts.
25 implied HN points 06 Mar 24
  1. FC Barcelona is thinking of ending their $100 million Nike deal to create their own clothing brand, potentially setting a new trend in the industry.
  2. Viewership stats show women's college basketball attracting more attention than men's, indicating the power of certain players and stars.
  3. Nike has not only sponsored FC Barcelona for 26 years but also subsidized player wages, highlighting the significant financial relationship between the two.
16 implied HN points 15 Mar 24
  1. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund made a $2 billion offer to merge men's and women's pro tennis tours, signaling its growing interest in sports investments.
  2. The Kansas City Chiefs threatened to leave the city if they don't receive $500 million in taxpayer funds for stadium renovations, showcasing the dynamics of professional sports teams and public financing.
  3. Professional sports teams often leverage relocation threats to secure public funding for stadium projects, even when viable relocation options may be limited.
22 implied HN points 08 Mar 24
  1. The NFL is developing optical tracking technology to replace the traditional 'chain gang' for measuring first-down yardage.
  2. The NFL has been using RFID chips in footballs and players' gear for tracking player movements and collecting Next Gen stats.
  3. Introducing additional video review technology in the NFL could complicate the game over time and may not necessarily be a positive change.
22 implied HN points 04 Mar 24
  1. Red Bull's dominance has transformed the Formula 1 investment landscape with significant team valuations and profitable operations.
  2. The economic shift in Formula 1 is attributed to Liberty Media's acquisition strategies and sustainability efforts, including introducing new regulations and the Drive to Survive series on Netflix.
  3. Red Bull's purchase of the Jaguar Formula 1 team for $1 in 2004, requiring annual investments of hundreds of millions, contrasts sharply with its current $2.4 billion valuation.
16 implied HN points 11 Mar 24
  1. Netflix canceled the show Break Point due to low popularity, highlighting challenges in tennis and sports content on the platform.
  2. Fox will air college football games on Friday nights, expanding primetime football options and potentially impacting high school football.
  3. The UFC's upcoming media rights deal may involve ESPN, Netflix, Amazon, or Apple TV, showcasing its significant growth and value in the sports broadcasting landscape.
31 implied HN points 21 Feb 24
  1. The NBA's All-Star Game had issues with lack of defense and high scoring, but this highlights broader problems like declining viewership and owners selling stakes.
  2. Adam Silver is a unique NBA commissioner loved by many for his approach balancing on-court and off-court business, though the league faces challenges on the court with lack of defense and player engagement.
  3. The NBA's decline in viewership, financial-savvy owners selling stakes, and upcoming retirements of key players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry pose challenges for the league's future success.
10 implied HN points 18 Mar 24
  1. Scottie Scheffler won the Players Championship, earning $4.5 million for the win and setting records with his earnings in the PGA Tour.
  2. Members of the PGA Tour's policy board are meeting with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, potentially leading to Saudi investment in the PGA Tour's new enterprise.
  3. The NBA's Clippers have a new $2 billion arena, reflecting major investments in sports infrastructure.
31 implied HN points 16 Feb 24
  1. Caitlin Clark is not only a star on the basketball court but also making a significant impact off the court by driving media rights deals higher and elevating women's sports.
  2. Caitlin Clark recently broke the NCAA women's all-time scoring record, showcasing her exceptional skills and dominance in the sport.
  3. Clark's performance and charisma have drawn large audiences to women's basketball, solidifying her position as the biggest superstar in college basketball.
20 implied HN points 23 Feb 24
  1. EA Sports is paying college football players $600 to use their name, image, and likeness in the new video game, sparking debate over the adequacy of the compensation compared to NFL players.
  2. Amazon secured rights to stream an exclusive NFL playoff game by paying a hefty $150 million, highlighting the competitive landscape for sports broadcasting among tech giants.
  3. Apple is making strides in the sports industry with its new Sports app, underlining the company's expansion into the realm of sports entertainment beyond its traditional tech offerings.
16 implied HN points 28 Feb 24
  1. The NFL Combine remains a significant event in the NFL pre-draft process, starting in 1976 and becoming a key moment for teams to evaluate potential draft picks.
  2. The NFL Combine is a major business opportunity for the league, creating economic impact and serving as a platform for negotiations and sponsorships.
  3. Despite some criticism and calls for its end, the NFL Combine is unlikely to go away soon, as it continues to evolve and grow as a central media and business event for the NFL.
14 implied HN points 26 Feb 24
  1. The record salary cap increase in the NFL for 2024, set at $255.4 million per club, is an unprecedented $30 million rise, driven by a $110 billion media rights package.
  2. The salary cap system in the NFL, introduced in 1993 alongside free agency, benefits owners significantly by controlling costs, setting a profitability floor, and promoting parity across teams.
  3. The NFL's business model, with national media deals and innovative approaches like international games and sports betting, provides a solid foundation for revenue growth, making it a global sport leader.
1 HN point 01 Mar 24
  1. Formula 1 involves intricate logistics due to the extensive global travel involved in the sport.
  2. The teams deal with different challenges for European races, which are easier due to truck transportation, versus flyaway races, which require complex shipping arrangements by sea and air.
  3. Back-to-back races pose a significant challenge, requiring quick disassembly, transportation over long distances, and rapid rebuilding at the next race location.