Naomi Osaka launching media company in conjunction with SpringHill....Audience down slightly for U.S. Open final round; East Coast strong for NBC....KPMG Women's PGA Championship raises purse to $9M

Osaka launching media company with SpringHill

Naomi Osaka is "launching a media company" in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company. Osaka and her longtime agent and business partner Stuart Duguid are "behind the production banner," which is called Hana Kuma. The company said it “will produce stories that are culturally specific but universal to all audiences" and "tackle important issues of society." Hana Kuma already has "multiple projects lined up," including a "documentary series set at Epix with Osaka, James and Carter serving as executive producers." The first project under the Hana Kuma banner will be "MINK!," an upcoming N.Y. Times Op-Doc about Patsy Mink, the "first woman of color elected to Congress, and the author and sponsor of Title IX" (, 6/21).

NBC down for U.S. Open Sunday; East Coast strong

By Austin Karp

NBC averaged 5.41 million viewers for the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday from The Country Club at Brookline, which saw Matthew Fitzpatrick beat out Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler. That’s down from 5.67 million viewers for Jon Rahm’s one-stroke win over Louis Oosthuizen last year, which aired in primetime from Torrey Pines. However, this year is the best East Coast finale to a U.S. Open since ’13 from Merion, when Justin Rose’s win over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day averaged 8.4 million.

Two years ago, Bryson DeChambeau’s win at Winged Foot over Matthew Wolff averaged 3.21 million viewers (the event was held in September due to COVID). Back in ’19 from Pebble Beach (also a primetime finish), Fox averaged 7.31 million for Gary Woodland’s win over Brooks Koepka. Sunday’s telecast peaked at 9.2 million viewers from 6:30-6:45pm ET during the final holes. Host market Boston led the way with a 5.3 local rating, followed by West Palm Beach (4.9), Jacksonville (4.2), Minneapolis-St. Paul (4.1) and Providence (4.2).

U.S. Open: final round audience trend
2022 Brookline NBC 5,410 Matthew Fitzpatrick DNP
2021 Torrey Pines NBC 5,669 Jon Rahm DNP
2020 Winged Foot NBC 3,209 Bryson DeChambeau Cut
2019 Pebble Beach Fox 7,312 Gary Woodland T21
2018 Shinnecock Hills Fox 5,088 Brooks Koepka Cut
2017 Erin Hills Fox 5,075 Brooks Koepka DNP
2016 Oakmont Fox 5,393 Dustin Johnson DNP
2015 Chambers Bay Fox 6,700 Jordan Spieth Cut
2014 Pinehurst NBC 4,600 Martin Kaymer DNP
2013 Merion NBC 8,400 Justin Rose T32
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US Open audience trend

Women's PGA Championship raises purse to $9M

By Eric Prisbell

The purse for the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, which begins Thursday at Congressional Country Club's newly restored Blue Course, will be doubled to $9M. The PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA announced the purse increase this afternoon. The $9M purse is double the $4.5M total awarded last year and represents a 300% increase since '14 ($2.25M), the year before the PGA of America and KPMG began their collaboration. The KPMG Women's PGA Championship includes 99 of the top 100 players on the LPGA's Official Money List. PGA of America President Jim Richerson in a statement said, "When the PGA of America partnered with KPMG and the LPGA Tour in 2015, we promised to elevate this event by increasing the purse, conducting it at venues with a history of hosting men’s major championships such as Congressional Country Club, and delivering broadcast network coverage with NBC Sports. As part of our shared commitment to inclusion, we have delivered on those promises.”

PGA Tour partners with Bet365 in three-year deal

The PGA Tour and Bet365 reached a three-year content and marketing agreement through '24 that includes designation as an official betting operator of the Tour. U.K.-based Bet365 becomes the Tour’s first OBO outside of North America. In the U.K., Ireland and Australia, Bet365 will be the exclusive source for odds on the leaderboard and player pages on and on the TourCast platform. Bet365 will have a brand presence across PGA Tour media properties. The betting brand also will have rights in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and Canada to use PGA Tour marks, rights to advertise within Tour media and Tour partner platforms (PGA Tour).

Tokyo Games' final cost pegged at $13B

The official final price tag for last year’s COVID-delayed Tokyo Games was US$13B, the organizing committee said in its "final act before it is dissolved at the end of the month." The cost was "twice what was forecast in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Games," but still lower than the $15.4B that they "predicted when the Olympics ended just under 11 months ago." Committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that there were "savings because of the absence of fans, which cut down on security costs and venue maintenance." But organizers lost at least $800M in "income from ticket sales because fans were banned." Muro also "talked vaguely about 'squeezing' costs and 'simplifying' operations to reach the reductions" (AP, 6/21).

Valvoline extends as Hendrick sponsor in NASCAR

Valvoline and Hendrick Motorsports have extended their partnership through '27. The motor oil brand "will continue as sponsor of Kyle Larson (three races) and William Byron (two races), along with maintaining its status as the Official Lubricants Partner of Hendrick Motorsports and as a major associate sponsor for the team’s cars." The five annual primary sponsorships in NASCAR Cup races "represents an increase of three over the previous three seasons." For '22, the company also "added a sixth primary race and will be featured on Byron’s car for Sunday’s Cup race" at Nashville Superspeedway (, 6/21).

Today in SportTechie....

Speed Reads....

Former NFLer Ryan Fitzpatrick will be joining Prime Video's "Thursday Night Football" pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage this coming season. Fitzpatrick will join Tony Gonzalez and Richard Sherman on the streamer’s wraparound coverage of each "TNF" game (Amazon). Fitzpatrick will be the "Big Get" on this week's edition of the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, which drops tomorrow (SBJ).

Chuck Menke has been named CMO for USA Pickleball. Menke spent a decade as CMO of USA Triathlon before leaving the organization in 2020, and prior to that role held communications positions with USA Hockey, the Blues and Quinnipiac Univ. He will now oversee the revenue, marketing and communications verticals for USA Pickleball, including the national governing body’s sponsorship sales and membership acquisition strategies (Chris Smith, SBJ).

Austin FC will partner with Austin skate shop No-Comply for a collaboration connecting the soccer and skateboarding communities in the city through a series of initiatives, including a product collaboration and launch event (Austin FC).

The Pac-12 named Sprouts Farmers Market the Official Grocer of the Pac-12 Conference. The multiyear partnership establishes Sprouts as the first-ever presenting partner of the Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Championships, as well as an official sponsor of the football championship game, the men’s & women’s basketball tournaments and Olympic sports championships (Pac-12).

Quick Hits....

“Watson has said every time he’s talked publicly that he wants to go to court and clear his name, and now in at least 20 of those cases that won’t be case” -- ESPN’s Sarah Barshop, on Browns QB Deshaun Watson settling 20 of the 24 civil lawsuits against him (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 6/21).

“The male football establishment, which was very rich, was reaching out to their legislators to gut Title IX, to basically remove revenue-producing sports from that equation. We had battles all the way along. So as the first president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, one of my initiatives was to make sure every year, we went to Capital Hill and we educated our legislators on the role of sports” -- Donna de Varona, on efforts to get Title IX passed (“We Need to Talk,” CBSSN, 6/20).

“It was world-changing for me. I probably would not be here right now with you had it not been for Title IX because my family didn’t have a lot of money, didn’t have a lot of opportunity. But with Title IX, I was able to get the opportunity to play soccer in school” -- Former USWNT G Briana Scurry (“GMA,” ABC, 6/21).

“This push against media is because our generation is not only having our own platforms, but because we can’t escape it” -- ESPN’s JJ Redick, on the attitude today’s pro athletes have toward mainstream and social media (“First Take,” ESPN, 6/21).

“When you’re looking at Nike a lot of what’s been priced in is already the negative news, and looking forward ... China is going to reopen at some point” -- CNBC contributor Joe Terranova, on Nike’s current share price as the company preps to report earnings on Monday (“Fast Money Halftime,” CNBC, 6/21).

Twitter Me This....

Daily Download....

Chipotle partnered with three NBA Draft prospects -- Jaden Ivey, AJ Griffin and Ochai Agbaji -- for a series of interviews before Thursday's draft. Former NBAer Cuttino Mobley hosts the interviews. The three athletes for a limited time also will have their go-to order featured as a digital menu item on the Chipotle app and

Check out Sports Business Journal's weekly issue

Don't miss this week's issue of SBJ. Title IX turns 50, and we take a look at the uncertain future of the landmark legislation that changed women's sports forever. Also in this issue: Inside the milestone deal between MLS and Apple; schools are following Boise State's early bet on NIL; and our debut finance column from writer Chris Smith examines the continuing fall of the once-trendy SPAC investment craze.

If you’d like to receive the print issue at your home office, update your delivery address at any time within your account settings here. If you have questions about how and where to receive your print copy, email

Daily Digit....

17 -- Number of "aspiring executives from the NFL and NCAA," along with 48 "up-and-coming coaches," taking part in the NFL and the Black College Football HOF's annual Quarterback Coaching Summit and Ozzie Newsome General Manager Forum, which kicked off today. NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Troy Vincent writes the participants are "getting set to take a step forward in their careers," and "they're capable" (, 6/21).