This Week’s Most Interesting Sports Business Stories

In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: baseball’s most valuable teams, a tech revolution for trading cards and NFTs hit MLS. Plus: Why St. Peter’s isn’t trying to become the next Gonzaga.

Sports Business

With its PSA division, Collectors is the dominant player in trading-card grading, certifying the collectibles as authentic and judging their physical condition. Back under private ownership—and worth five times as much as a year ago—the company wants to lead a tech revolution.

College Basketball

After a loss in the Elite Eight that ended its Cinderella run—and spared sportsbooks from historic losses—can March Madness darling st. Peter’s become the next Gonzaga? Even the school’s president doesn’t think so—and he doesn’t really want to follow that path, either.

No matter who cuts down the nets at Monday’s men’s national championship game, the real winner will be New Orleansthe Final Four host city expected to see an economic injection of more than $170 million.

Soccer

Soccer players were nowhere to be found on Forbes‘ latest list of the highest-paid female athletes. UEFA Women’s Champions League career goals leader Ada Hegerberg thinks the sport needs to be rethought from the ground up.

Soccer has long been called the “English game,” but the sale of Chelsea is set to provide one more example of a powerhouse English club being purchased by wealthy Americans. Slowly, the foreigners have started to win over local supporters.

MLS is launching NFTs for all of its clubs and players, in partnership with Sore. The blockchain fantasy gaming company sees the formula translating to other sports as well.

Auto Racing

IndyCar‘s transition to a hybrid assist engine has been delayed until 2024, a victim of the global supply chain crisis. The news came as a relief to team owners staring down mounting expenses.

At least ten major sportsbooks are taking action on Nascar‘s featured matchups, pitting head-to-head drivers. The betting operators saw 67% year-over-year growth in the Nascar handle in February.

Volleyball

What do you do when a league with an emphasis on civic engagement conflicts with the politics of its host state? Athletes Unlimited Volleyball‘s Cassidy Lichtman explains why the upstart organization returned to Texas for its second season.

Featured Story

Baseball’s Most Valuable Teams 2022: Yankees Hit $6 Billion As New CBA Creates New Revenue Streams

Weeks after coming to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, MLB clubs are already reaping the benefits. An expanded postseason and the introduction of ads on uniforms offer new revenue opportunities, driving up the average team value to a record $2.07 billion. See where all 30 teams rank.

Hot Reads:

Upon Further Review

Italian soccer clubs remain far behind England’s Premier League in terms of revenue generation, with only one sneaking into the top ten of Deloitte’s annual Football Money League report. But that’s actually one more than Serie A could manage in the top ten of Forbes’ most recent ranking of the world’s most most valuable soccer clubs.

The Last Word

“I did the test on the morning of the game, and then in the afternoon, I scored from a free-kick like it was on the game.” Sara Cordeiro

Portugal’s SC Mirandela is testing a new training technique with its elite women’s youth players. The morning before matches, players like Sara Cordeiro can be found sitting at a table with wires strapped to their heads, allowing them to simulate gameplay using only their minds. The result? Cordeiro scored free-kick goals in back-to-back matches. Here’s how the brain games work.

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