Press Review - October 2022

FIFA rejects TV offers for 2023 Women's World Cup

Considering they were too low, FIFA has turned down, on October the 21st, TV bids from Germany, UK, and France broadcasters for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

FIFA wanted to capitalize on the strong publicity and media success of the 2019 World Cup, the new format of the 32-player World Cup, as well as the general growth of women's football, in order to maximize the media rights prices of its next major competition. However, the first offers from broadcasters did not match expectations, and the time zone likely did not help.

This is not a case of being priced out, but rather testament to a lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women’s game deserves. […] Audience figures show that the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France was a catalyst for change in terms of TV audience. A combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned into official broadcast coverage across all platforms of the final between America and the Netherlands, which became the most watched FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever. […] We know the opportunity for women’s football is there. Now, together, we need to capture it”, said FIFA’s Chief Business Officer Romy Gai in an interview with Bloomberg.

Lionel Messi launches a sports investment firm

Argentinian football star Lionel Messi has launched a new investment firm, Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC, focusing on global investments in the sports, technology, and media advertisement.

Based in San Francisco, Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC aims to fund football technology firms as well as to invest in clubs. It has already “poured money into two football-centric startups: the upcoming interactive website and market app AC Momento”, indicates. Messi’s company will be led by Razmig Hovaghimian, a partner at the venture capital firm Graph Ventures and co-founder of, a fantasy sports platform which is expected to launch just prior to the FIFA World Cup in November.

I am excited to extend our roots into Silicon Valley, and I am thrilled that Play Time will collaborate with daring entrepreneurs from all over the world”, Messi said in a statement. For the 2022-23 season, the Argentinian player earns, according to Forbes, $120 million. He is also in the fifth position in terms of global marketability, in the latest SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable (50MM) Athletes ranking.

Sony reinforces its sports umbrella by acquiring Beyond Sports

Beyond Sports, an artificial intelligence-based data visualization company specializing in fan engagement, has been acquired by Sony. Sony’s sports business portfolio already includes the optical tracking provider Hawk-Eye and digital media platform Pulselive.

The main concept of Beyond Sports is using player tracking data to create photorealistic simulations used by professional sports clubs. On the BtoB side, Beyond Sports is already used in some well-known sporting events such as Nickelodeon’s Emmy-winning, AR-powered NFL Wild Card game broadcasts the past two seasons and the NHL Stanley Cup Blocky livestreams during last June’s Playoffs. On the BtoC side, the Dutch company has developed a particular niche in rendering graphical representations that target the young public.

We firmly believe that we’re experiencing a once-in-a-generational shift in terms of how fans are consuming sports content, and there’s very much a move from this passive, lean-back, viewing experience to much more lean-forward, interactive, immersive experiences. And we believe that Beyond Sports is very much on the cutting edge of some of those contextual trends and has the tools and the technologies to help the world’s top sports rights holders — our clients — think about how they can drive new commercial opportunities and also try new ways of engaging with fans”, Rufus Hack, CEO of Sony’s sports businesses said.

Italian club Udinese launched its $UDI Fan Token on

Udinese has launched, on October the 26th, its official Fan Token $UDI through the specialized and leading platform Fans that will purchase the $UDI Fan Token will have the opportunity to participate in some “money can’t buy” experiences.

From October the 26th and during three days, 25.000 $UDI, at 2€ each, have been be available on platform. The sales process has been made through 3 different waves: “During the first two waves, the number of Fan Tokens each fan can get is capped, to make sure that everyone gets the chance to participate in this new opportunity”, the club said in a statement.

Concerning the awards that the $UDI Fan Tokens will offer, fans who hold it could interact with the team, participate in decisions by voting in polls, have access to exclusive content and promotions, and be eligible to be awarded with prizes, official signed merchandising, free tokens… “One $UDI Fan Token is all you need to vote in this poll and in future polls launched by Udinese on the app, and that's because Fan Tokens are never spent and never expire. The more Fan Tokens you have, the higher the weight of your vote and your chance to win prizes. During 2022 is planning to launch more than 500 polls to give Fan Token Holders the possibility to vote to choose kit designs, jersey numbers, celebration songs and much more”, the club added.

UEFA and the European Commission joining forces to address the energy crisis

For the second season of a three-year campaign, UEFA and the European Commission are launching a new advert aiming to raise public awareness about Europe’s climate and energy priorities.

Saving energy and encouraging people to take everyday steps to help face the current energy crisis in Europe is the key message of the new advert. “The next few winters will be tough, but we have what it takes to rise to this challenge. Simple steps like the ones we see in the video can make a big change, if we all turn down our heating by 1 degree Celsius we can save 10 billion cubic meters of gas. Energy savings are also hugely important in our fight against the climate crisis. In the end it needs a team effort: if everyone contributes, we will get through the next winters and be ready for a greener future”, Frans Timmermans, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, said.

The advertisements of this collaboration between UEFA and the flagship EU Green Deal will be shown across UEFA’s pan-European men’s and women’s club and national team competitions, including UEFA men’s Champions League and UEFA Women’s Champions League. “Combining the EU’s leadership on climate action with European football’s visibility and influence, this key pillar of the close partnership between the EC and UEFA aims to help achieve the EU’s vision of a climate neutral economy by 2050”, UEFA said in a press release.