Category Archives: Sports

Pro gamer Tfue files lawsuit against esports org over ‘grossly oppressive’ contract

Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, one of the world’s premier streamers and esports pros, has filed a lawsuit against esports organization Faze Clan over a ‘grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided’ contract, according to THR. The complaint alleges that Faze Clan’s Gamer Agreement relegates up to 80 percent of the streamer’s earnings from branded content (sponsored videos) to Faze Clan, and that the contract hinders Tfue from pursuing and earning money from sponsorship deals that Faze Clan hasn’t approved. Tfue’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, took the complaint […]

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Where top VCs are investing in media, entertainment & gaming

Most of the strategy discussions and news coverage in the media and entertainment industry is concerned with the unfolding corporate mega-mergers and the political implications of social media platforms. These are important conversations, but they’re largely a story of twentieth-century media (and broader society) finally responding to the dominance Web 2.0 companies have achieved. To entrepreneurs and VCs, the more pressing focus is on what the next generation of companies to transform entertainment will look like. Like other sectors, the underlying force is advances in artificial intelligence […]

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Zone7 raises $2.5 million seed round to predict injury risk for athletes

Zone7, the company using data and analytics to identify the potential for injuries with athletes, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding. The company monitors athletes’ performance to determine when they need to be rested to avoid the potential for career-threatening injuries. The company’s technology has managed to attract investors including Resolute Ventures, UpWest, Amicus Capital, Dave Pell, PLG Ventures, along with athletes like National Basketball Association star Kristaps Porzingis. Teams in the MLB, La Liga, Champions League, MLS, collegiate athletic departments and Olympic teams are all using the […]

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Sapphire Ventures bets big on esports and entertainment with new $115M fund

Sapphire Ventures, formerly the corporate venture capital arm of SAP, has lassoed $115 million from new limited partners (LPs) to invest at the intersection of tech, sports, media and entertainment. A majority of the LPs for the new fund, called Sapphire Sport, have ties to the sports industry, from City Football Group, which owns English Premier League team Manchester City, to Adidas, the owners of the Indiana Pacers, New York Jets, San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning, among others. The firm plans to do five to six investments per […]

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With investors knocking, PlayVS opens the door to a $30M Series B

PlayVS, the company bringing esports infrastructure to high schools across the country, has today announced the close of a $30.5 million Series B financing. The round was led by Elysian Park Ventures, the investment arm of the L.A. Dodgers, with participation from five existing investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Science Inc., Crosscut Ventures, Coatue Management and WndrCo. New investors also joined in on the round, including Adidas (the company’s first esports investment), Samsung NEXT, Plexo Capital, as well as angel investors such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, David […]

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VICIS completes $28.5M Series B and launches its first youth helmet

VICIS has closed its Series B on $28.5 million, with participation from NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers via Rx3 Ventures. Rodgers joins a list of other pro footballers to back the helmet startup, including Roger Staubach, Jerry Rice, Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin. VICIS is known for its $950 Zero1 football helmet designed for adult players. The company spent $20 million over the course of three years collaborating with athletes, engineers and neuroscientists to design and finetune the high-tech head shield, which protects against impact forces and mitigates the effects of collisions […]

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The tactics behind The Athletic’s breakout success in sports subscriptions

Local newspapers may be shuttering and people may be consuming most news on social media, but don’t tell Alex Mather that a subscription news publication can’t grow like a unicorn startup. His 2-year-old sports publisher The Athletic has gained over 100,000 paid subscribers (60 percent under age 34) and has a 90 percent retention rate. Having already raised $30 million in its short life, the company announced a new $40 million Series C yesterday, led by Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital. It reportedly values The Athletic around $200 […]

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NBA All-Star Michael Jordan leads a $26 million round for esports group aXiomatic

NBA legend Michael Jordan is playing the esports game now, leading a $26 million round of funding for the ownership group aXiomatic. For Jordan and new co-investor Declaration Capital — the family office investing the personal wealth of David Rubenstein, who co-founded and serves as co-executive chairman of the multi-billion-dollar private equity firm, The Carlyle Group — investing in esports looks like a slam dunk. The company announced the investment from Jordan, Declaration Capital and Curtis Polk, the managing partner and alternate governor of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, and manager of the […]

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SoftBank leads $35M investment in sports engagement startup Heed

Heed, a startup looking to create new ways for sports leagues and clubs to engage with fans, is announcing that it has raised $35 million led by SoftBank Group International. As laid out for me by CEO Danna Rabin, the company sits at the intersection of sports and IoT — which makes sense, since it was founded by Internet of Things company AGT International and talent agency Endeavor . “Our primary mission is to connect the young audience with sports leagues and clubs,” Rabin said. “[Those] audiences are […]

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DraftKings CEO Jason Robins is coming to Disrupt SF

In May, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on sporting events in most states. That ruling is set to unlock billions of dollars in new business opportunities for online fantasy sports sites like DraftKings. That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to have DraftKings CEO Jason Robins join us on stage at Disrupt SF. DraftKings launched back in 2012 and quickly grew into a household name by offering daily and weekly fantasy sports contests across a number of sports. In fact, as of […]

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