Fri. Nov 26th, 2021

In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: BodyArmor’s new billionaire, big changes in Nascar and online sports betting in New York. Plus: the college kicker who’s already building a business.

Sports Business
Kitman Labs, a sports-tech company that uses artificial intelligence to maximize player performance, has raised $52 million in a Series C funding round as the use of analytics continues to spread like wildfire across the sports world.

New York state regulators approved online sports betting licenses for nine operators. It’s a big deal: New York’s online sports betting market is expected to hit $1 billion in annual revenue.

Auto Racing
After 20 years, Chip Ganassi is saying goodbye to the Nascar Cup Series with the sale of both of his team’s charters to Trackhouse Racing. He has no plans to retire, though, choosing to focus on his other motorsports endeavors.

Having survived the pandemic, Nascar appears to be on the rise, thanks in large part to a radical overhaul of its stale schedule and some behind-the-scenes changes. More changes could be on the way: A merger of track operators should give the series more flexibility to rearrange race dates and venues.

College Football
South Florida kicker Spencer Shrader might have a future in the NFL, but his fallback option looks pretty appealing: He’s turned his passion for finance into a lucrative hobby, doubling his money on energy investments during the pandemic, and he’s the founder of a startup.

Baseball
How fast is MLB bouncing back from the $3 billion in pandemic-related operating losses Rob Manfred said the league suffered in 2020? Pretty quickly if you ask the Braves, who are owned by the publicly traded Liberty Media.

Soccer
Amid financial struggles, FC Barcelona is trying to tap a new revenue stream: non-fungible tokens.

It remains relatively rare for top women’s soccer players to have children during their playing careers, with the majority of players still employed on short-term contracts. Iceland captain Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, who is expecting her first child this winter, could offer a blueprint on how to navigate the transition through a series of editorial pieces and a feature-length documentary being produced by a sponsor.

The English Football Association released a plan to lift the average attendance in the Women’s Super League past 6,000 per game by 2024. The FA’s women’s soccer director tells us the group’s secret weapon.

Volleyball
Volleyball is growing at the high school level in the U.S., and a new women’s club league founded by a former Lululemon executive could create a definitive prep-to-pro pipeline.

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