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Fanatics now in talks to buy sports betting company Tipico....NBA Draft preview: Magic hosting watch party at Amway Center....LIV Golf players banned from Scottish Open

Fanatics in talks to buy betting company Tipico

Fanatics is "in talks to acquire sports betting company Tipico," though a deal has "not yet been reached." The two sides are "currently at an impasse on price," though "talks are still ongoing." Tipico has a small U.S. gambling operation, holding licenses in Colorado and New Jersey, but it is the "leading sports betting provider in Germany." Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin's statement on the sale of his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment referenced Fanatics' "soon-to-launch sports betting operation" as one of the reasons he was selling his stake, as NBA rules "don’t allow owners to operate a gambling platform" (CNBC.com, 6/23).

NBA Draft preview: Magic hosting watch party

By Eric Prisbell

The Magic, own the No. 1 pick in tonight's NBA Draft, and they are hosting a draft watch party at Amway Center, with presenting sponsorship from Socios.com. The event is free and open to the public, but requires a ticket for entry. It will start at 6:30pm ET, featuring food and drink specials, Magic team shop discounts, opportunities to meet mascot Stuff and special activities and price giveaways. The Magic are also teaming up with Arcade1UP, a leader in at-home retro gaming entertainment, for a special fan giveaway of Arcade1UP's NBA Jam: Shaq Edition. Finally, the Magic will host a draft edition of "Magic Drive Time" on WYGM-AM, live from Amway Center.

Meanwhile, MSG Networks will telecast a live, one-hour draft show at 11:00pm ET, focusing on the Knicks, who own the No. 11 pick. The “Knicks Draft Special, presented by Michelob Ultra,” will be hosted by Bill Pidto, with Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak, offering analysis.

This after NBA Draft prospects Jaden Ivey and AJ Griffin attended yesterday's graduation at Dual Language Middle School, which has a longstanding relationship with the NBA. They shared advice and congratulatory wishes with the graduating class. In addition, the NBA and NBPA hosted a youth basketball clinic and NBA Cares packing project in partnership with New Era for local youth. Some prospects led athletes through basketball drills, while others packed kits to benefit residents of Covenant House, an organization that supports young people facing homelessness. Also, the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge National Finals was held in N.Y. and integrated into the Draft experience. Following the competition, the Jr. NBA hosted an interactive Q&A with prospects TyTy Washington and Shaedon Sharpe.

LIV players banned from DP/PGA Tour event

LIV Golf players "will be banned from next month’s Scottish Open," which for the first time will be "co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA Tour." Because of the PGA Tour’s involvement, the sanctions "were expected." The two tours signed a “strategic alliance” 20 months ago in "response to the LIV threat." But this still is a "highly significant decision," as this is the first time the DP World Tour has "suspended players for appearing on another Tour." The DP World Tour for events that only it sanctions will "continue to ponder how best to react" to those appearing in LIV events. Fines will "likely be issued," yet it is thought that the policy going forwards after the Scottish Open will be to "take it on a tournament-by-tournament basis." There is still time to "reach a decision" on the Ryder Cup, with "concerns growing that the 95-year-old match is under threat" because of LIV (London TELEGRAPH, 6/23).

Sodexo adds 60 POS to Nashville Superspeedway

By Bret McCormick

Sodexo Live! handles food and beverage for the Nashville Superspeedway and has added 60 new points of sale around the venue to increase transaction speeds ahead of the track’s triple-header this weekend. The venue hosts three races this weekend -- the Rackley Roofing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, the Xfinity Series' Tennessee Lottery 250, and the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 -- starting June 24 and running through the 26th. Bottled waters run $4 and Busch Light Beers $5, considerably cheaper than many live sports events. Jerry Infantino is Sodexo Live’s head chef at the Superspeedway, which is the concessionaire’s lone NASCAR facility client.

Nike pulls plug on doing business in Russia

Nike is "leaving the Russian market entirely after suspending operations in March, joining other U.S. companies that have pulled out in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine." In May, Nike said that it "wouldn’t renew an agreement with its biggest Russian retail franchisee, which managed dozens of Nike stores, and that it would not make any new business commitments." Even earlier this year, the company "halted sales in Russia," telling customers that it "couldn’t guarantee product shipments." Nike at one point "had more than 100 stores" in the country. CFO Matt Friend has said that "less than 1% of Nike’s total sales come from Russia and Ukraine" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/23).

Bud Light activates around Tight End University

NFL sponsor Bud Light is backing the Tight End University program for a second straight year, and it is expanding on its commitment by gaining the designation "Official Beer Sponsor Of Tight Ends." The three-day event starting today carries presenting sponsorship from Charmin, and it brings together the league’s best tight ends for a skills showcase ahead of the '22-23 season. 49ers TE George Kittle revealed the sponsorship via Instagram, sharing photos of himself on a throne of Bud Light and showcasing his very own ‘Kittle Light’ product.

This comes after three of the TEU participants -- Kittle, the Chiefs' Travis Kelce and Fox Sports' Greg Olsen -- collaborated with Bridgestone on a two-week competition to raise funds for the hometown Boys & Girls Clubs of NFL players participating in this year’s TEU (SBJ).

Speed Reads....

Fanatics Chief Strategic Retail Officer Gina Sprenger is retiring, effective Sept. 1. The 38-year retail vet has been full-time with Fanatics since '16. Fanatics Brands’ Chief Merchandising Officer Molly Adams will succeed Sprenger as Chief Strategic Retail Officer, reporting to Co-President of Direct-to-Consumer Jack Boyle. Adams has been with Fanatics since December '20 (Terry Lefton, SBJ).

An investment group led by former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has bought second-division Spanish soccer club Leganes. Luhnow heads Blue Crow Sports, an investment group that earlier this month "completed its acquisition of Mexican club Cancun FC" (ESPN.com, 6/23). See SBJ Global for more.

The city of Cleveland will launch Hoops After Dark powered by the Cavaliers, a six-week basketball tournament and development program designed for men ages 18-26. Tournament action runs July 11-Aug. 19 (Cavaliers).

Richmond Raceway and logistics provider Worldwide Express partnered on entitlement of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race on Saturday, Aug. 13. The official name of the event be the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation (Richmond Raceway).

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"CBS Sunday Morning" looked at a sports bar in Portland that is the first in the U.S. to exclusively show women's sports on all its TVs.

Daily Digit....

$25.6M -- The difference between median total expenses for men’s and women’s programs at FBS schools in '19, according to an NCAA report released today entitled "The State of Women in College Sports." The '19 figure is up from $12.7M in '09 (AP, 6/23).

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