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Roundup: Sports & Sportswear News

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Athletic specialty retailer Hibbett Sports will acquire City Gear, a city specialty retailer of premium athletic footwear, apparel, and accessories with 135 stores in 15 states, by early December. The transaction includes $88 million in cash to be paid at closing and the potential for up to $25 million in additional consideration paid over the next two years. Last year, City Gear reported roughly $190 million in revenue.

Canada Goose enters the outdoor footwear market with its acquisition of boot company Baffin. The outerwear manufacturer closed the transaction with $32.5 million Canadian dollars; as well as cold-weather performance footwear, Baffin also caters to the hiking, hunting lifestyle and fishing categories.

Fortnite creator Epic Games secures a funding round worth approximately $1.25 billion from more than half a dozen companies including KKR, Iconiq Capital, Smash Ventures, Vulcan Capital, aXiomatic, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. They join existing minority shareholders Disney, Tencent, and Endeavor. With this additional support, the North Carolina-based company is now valued at more than $15 billion.

MGM Resorts locks in a multi-million dollar gaming partnership with the New York Jets—the first NFL deal that goes beyond a straight casino sponsorship. The deal also includes in-stadium signage and the sponsorship of the Jets studio.

Altered Reality Corp. crafts a licensing partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), to create the first shareable 3D imagery of NFL Players. The athletes will become “virtual presences” in ARC’s mobile AR app, which will feature seven stars at launch: Josh Allen, Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The NCAA is forming a new ad hoc committee designed to take a “hard look” at the impact of sports wagering and its “potential impact on current NCAA rules, educational efforts, player availability reporting, and any associated risks as more states legalize sports wagering.” Current rules prohibiting sports wagering by student-athletes or athletics employees remain in effect.

Girl Up and WWE unveiled a multi-year partnership to support the creation of  Sports For a Purpose, which will launch in the fall of 2019 and “create a culture of sports participation for girls around the world.” The program will equip Girl Up’s girl leaders to help tackle gender-based barriers girls face to playing sports, including access to safe play spaces and sporting equipment.

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment strikes a multi-year partnership with Caesars Entertainment and the sports and entertainment conglomerate’s sports properties: the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. The partnership introduces New Jersey sports fans to Caesars’ new sports book experience at two of its Atlantic City properties and mobile app through special promotions and activations inside the Caesars Club at Prudential Center.

FIFA’s plans to launch a Club World Club and Global Nations League have been put on hold because of resistance from UEFA and European clubs. A task force will be launched to look into tournament options before reporting back to the FIFA Council when they meet again in March 2019.


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