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US Digest | Anheuser-Busch launches incentive-based sponsorship program

Welcome to SportBusiness Group’s US Digest, rounding up the news and developments coming out of the world’s biggest sports market

Anheuser-Busch launches incentive-based sponsorship program

Anheuser-Busch has unveiled a completely new model for sports sponsorships. America’s largest beer company was its second-biggest spender on sport sponsorship in 2016, behind Pepsi, at a reported $350m. Every sponsorship from the company going forward will be incentive-based including triggers for improved on-field performance and attendances. Four partners – the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Nascar – have already signed on to the new sponsorship format. 

ESPN+ to launch on April 12

Disney’s new OTT service will launch April 12 and cost $4.99 a month. Highlights of the service include over 180 games of MLB and NHL action as well as 250 plus MLS matches as the MLS Live platform is rolled into ESPN+. The service’s fixed launch date comes just days after Turner Sports announced plans for its own OTT service, which will begin later this month.

Concacaf president paid more than Uefa and Fifa counterparts 

At $2m including bonuses, Concacaf president Victor Montagliani earned more than his Uefa and Fifa counterparts last year. This is despite Concacaf generating just a fraction of the other regional governing bodies’ revenue: roughly $140m in its best years. The role has been a trou-bled one: Concacaf’s previous three presidents this decade all left under the shadow of scandal.

Shaquille O’Neal joins the Sacramento Kings…as the GM of gaming? 

The Sacramento Kings have joined the NBA 2k eSports League. More curious is the selection of legend Shaquille O’Neal – a minority owner of the franchise – as the GM of the new esports team, Kings Guard. O’Neal will be assisted by Kings analytics guru Luke Bornn. O’Neal has no previous experience in high-level gaming and it’s unclear what his involvement in selection will be. The Kings intend to build a state-of-the-art esports training facility and center to prepare for the league.

Twitter extends live stream deal with MLB

For the third successive season, in 2018 Twitter will stream one weekday MLB game each week. The deal defies speculation that MLB’s agreement with Facebook – which also covers the live streaming of weekday games, 25 across the season – would mean the end of its Twitter partnership.

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