FIFA Having Its Best Year Ever – Front Office Sports

November 22, 2022
Front Office Sports
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College athletes like Blake Corum are putting their NIL earnings to very good use. The Michigan running back purchased 300 Thanksgiving turkeys for the school’s Ann Arbor community — the second year the junior has redistributed NIL proceeds for the cause.
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A steady stream of controversy hasn’t stopped FIFA from earning an incredible sum from this year’s World Cup.
Soccer’s global governing body said Sunday that it banked a record $7.5 billion in commercial deals for the four years associated with this World Cup.
The tournament could reach over 5 billion viewers, more than 60% of the world’s population.
The nature of the media coverage and treatment of media members have both received ample negative attention in the tournament’s early stages. 
Writer Grant Wahl said he was detained and had his phone temporarily confiscated for refusing to take off a shirt that showed a soccer ball surrounded by a circular rainbow. Security officials said the shirt was political and could lead to issues in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal. 
New York Times reporter Andrew Das was also briefly detained after Wahl told him what was happening in the middle of the incident.
Fox, which holds English-language rights to the World Cup in the U.S., has received broad criticism for ignoring Qatar’s human rights issues.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Max Verstappen is Formula 1’s highest-paid driver — though rival Lewis Hamilton makes up the gap off the track.
Red Bull’s Verstappen, who wrapped up his second consecutive driver’s championship on Sunday, booked $60 million in 2022, with $20 million coming from bonuses, according to Forbes.
Retiring legend Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, whose contract with McLaren is being terminated early, tied for sixth in earnings with $17 million. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, eighth with $15 million, and McLaren’s Lando Norris, $11 million, filled out the top 10.
While Forbes’ tabulation only included salaries and bonuses from drivers’ F1 teams, Hamilton brings in an estimated $8 million through endorsements and investments. The revered driver’s deals include ones with IWC, Monster Energy, Puma, and, naturally, Mercedes-Benz.
He also owns a stake in the Denver Broncos and launched a film and TV production company called Dawn Apollo Films.
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The FIFA World Cup is the biggest soccer event in the world — but this year, it’s facing competition from America’s most popular sport.
World Cup matches will compete for viewers in the U.S. with college and professional football games over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The tournament is normally a summer event but was pushed to the fall this year due to Qatar’s extreme temperatures. 
The difference in time zones will also create a challenge for Fox and Telemundo  — who bought U.S. rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments for $1 billion — but the two networks don’t seem to be worried about numbers.
Between the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving (as part of an NFL triple-header), Black Friday’s U.S.-England World Cup match, Saturday’s University of Michigan-Ohio State University game, and Sunday’s slate of NFL games, Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks expects 120 million viewers.
Fox is reportedly charging advertisers an average of $300,000 for 30-second spots, but $700,000 for Friday’s U.S.-England match. In 2018, the tournament reportedly generated $384 million in national TV advertising for Fox and Telemundo.
Viewership is already up overseas. 
The tournament’s opening match — Ecuador’s 2-0 win over Qatar — averaged 6.2 million viewers in the U.K., 2 million more than 2018’s opener.
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The owner of a golf-related leisure and entertainment business weathered a literally stormy third quarter.
Drive Shack generated $88.7 million in revenue in Q3 2022, a 16% increase compared to the same period last year. Its entertainment golf business — comprising both Drive Shack and Puttery venues — saw revenue reach $16.7 million for the period ending Sept. 30, a 47% uptick year-over-year. 
In September 2021, Drive Shack gained access to more than 130 million people who play mini-golf each year with the launch of Puttery — an indoor golf experience. Puttery opened its first venue in Texas and currently operates 11 locations, most recently with an opening in Chicago.  
The mini-golf industry has an annual total revenue that exceeds $1 billion
Puttery received an investment in 2021 from four-time golf major champion Rory McIlroy and his investment group, Symphony Ventures.
Symphony has committed at least $10 million for 10% ownership of each Puttery venue that opens through 2023.
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