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In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: inside the launch of the Seattle Kraken, the NBA’s investment pioneer and the business of being Megan Rapinoe. Plus: the Nascar owner who will race anything he can get his hands on.
The Kraken may be off to a slow start, but club CEO Tod Leiweke believes Seattle was the right place, and this was the right time, to make the huge investment. He discusses the unusual arena and breaks down how the team picked its name—a process he tells us “was not for the faint of heart.”
One of Nascar‘s most unconventional owner-drivers races for both his own team and other teams. And this year is looking like a turning point for his outfit.
While team CEO Zak Brown has McLaren succeeding in Formula 1, his push to expand into IndyCar and Extreme E may be more important to the organization’s future and his legacy.
Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos has arguably been Stuttgart‘s best player this season, and the center back’s $4 million exit clause means the Bundesliga club can steal him away at season’s end for a fraction of his value—one of the Gunners’ worst mistakes in recent memory.
Legendary Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas hung up his boots after a heart attack sidelined him in 2019. Now, he’s investing in a digital cardiology company aiming to spot heart problems early.
“World-class facilities have proven to be a catalyst in transforming all professional sports,” says Kansas City NWSL cofounder Angie Long, announcing a soccer-specific stadium that could prove to be a turning point for the women’s game. That’s not the only NWSL club building momentum. All-in-one shopping platform Klarna is betting on the sky-high potential of women’s soccer in the U.S. by partnering with expansion club Angel City FC.
Eli Manning never aspired to broadcast booth glory, but the two-time Super Bowl champion has found it with the success of ESPN‘s Eli’s Places and Manningcast. “All of them are a little off the cuff, and we’re trying to change things up and do things differently,” he tells us.
With America’s appetite for Korean culture at a zenith and the golf apparel market growing rapidly, JDX sees a growth opportunity for its fairway fashions. TRUE Linkswear, which makes footwear engineered for the walking golfer, is also on the upswing.
New state laws allowing college athletes to pursue name, image and likeness deals are causing upheaval, creating a clear opportunity for Congress to step in. In one small example of the uncertainty that now exists, Illinois basketball star Kofi Cockburn has been suspended for a now-legal infraction. But the system has benefited North Carolina‘s Jamie Ortega, one of the best in the history of lacrosse, who has partnered with Epoch Lacrosse as she approaches her final college season.
At 18, Beijing Olympics hopeful Eileen Gu is already a professional freestyle skier and a model, not to mention a future Stanford student. Massage-device maker Therabody is taking notice, signing her to a partnership deal.
Andre Iguodala Is Back In Golden State, And That Means Business
Andre Iguodala has rejoined the Warriors, grinding through his 18th NBA season, but it wasn’t just basketball that brought him back to the Bay Area. Business interests also played a factor for the NBA investment pioneer, who has picked up stakes in companies like Coinbase, Robinhood and Zoom. And the 37-year-old is now on a mission to help fellow athletes build their own knowledge and wealth. Read more about Iguodala’s commitment to financial literacy.
Upon Further Review
Steve Cohen’s first year as the Mets’ owner hasn’t exactly been a banner one—the club suffered a midseason collapse, newly acquired stars like Francisco Lindor underperformed, and team executives were mired in controversy. But Cohen doesn’t have to worry about his investment: The Mets are MLB’s sixth-most-valuable team, worth $2.45 billion by our most recent count. See the full MLB ranking.
The Last Word
“I feel like a dork saying this, but the business of Megan Rapinoe goes in a lot of different directions.” – Megan Rapinoe
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe is building out her business, adding a stake in sports data startup STATSports to a portfolio that includes mental health care, fashion and CBD companies. There’s a common thread among her investments, she tells us.
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