FOS PM: Olympic odds down

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A record 31.4 million people in the United States are expected to bet a total of $7.6 billion on Super Bowl LVI this Sunday – and that includes a $5 million bet on the Cincinnati moneyline at + 170, the largest legal sports bet ever. The previous high was in 2002, when a $4.9 million bet was placed on the St. Louis Rams, who lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.



Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The Beijing Games could set an unfortunate world record: the lowest number of viewers in the history of the Winter Olympics.

So far, an average of 12.3 million viewers per night watched the games on NBC, Peacock and other Comcast-owned channels. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea nearly doubled that total with 23 million average viewers at the same point.

  • NBC expects 40% drop in ratings and lowered ad prices accordingly.
  • The network was able to compensate for lower prices with higher volume: Comcast broadcasts the Games on ICT Tac and its flagship streaming service peacockas well as its linear broadcast channels.
  • Some Olympic partner companies have been caught between the desire to expose their brand and the fear of appearing a deaf tone to human rights allegations against China.

Big game pack

Comcast also has rights to Super Bowl LVI, making it a pivotal month for Peacock. The service went to 24.5 million monthly active users and 9 million paying subscribers at the end of 2021.

Peacock brought $778 million in revenue last year, compared to $118 million in 2020, but its losses have increased to $1.7 billion of $663 million over this period.

Unlike the Olympics, Comcast was able to charge record prices for the Super Bowl, raking in approximately $7 million for 30 second spots.

Under Armor/Design: Alex Brooks

Under Armor reported a 9% increase in fourth-quarter revenue to $1.53 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.47 billion.

The sportswear company has previously stated its goal of becoming a more premium brand, similar to Nike and lululemon – and CEO Patrik Frisk said he was confident that “we are running a stronger business – one that can deliver sustainable, profitable growth and value creation for our shareholders over the long term”.

With a net income of $109.7 millionUnder Armor saw revenue rise worldwide in the quarter, driven by higher prices for hoodies and leggings.

  • North American revenue jumped 15% to reach $1.1 billionwith an international turnover up by 3% $461 million.
  • Despite a 27% decline in accessory sales at $107 millionclothing increased by 18% to reach $1.1 billionand footwear soared 17% to $283 million.
  • E-commerce sales jumped 4% year over year.

Under Armor also raised its outlook, with sales expected to rise from a low single-digit increase to a mid-single digit increase. The company will unveil a more detailed outlook in May.

Supply chain challenges

Similar to its rivals, Under Armor said the company’s earnings in the near future will be affected by rising transport and shipping costsand it was forced to scale back its order for this spring and summer due to COVID-19 outbreaks and employee shortages.

Chief Financial Officer David Bergman called supply chain issues a “temporary speed bump”.


Callaway Golf/Design: Alex Brooks

Callaway Golf generated $712 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 90% increase over the same period a year earlier. Annual revenue reached $3.1 billion, a 97% increase over fiscal 2020.

The California-based company’s impressive fourth quarter and full-year results were boosted by topgolf business and strong demand for its golf equipment and clothing. Topgolf benefited from an increase in social and corporate bookings and strong attendance from walk-in customers during the year.

  • Equipment generated $161 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, with annual revenue of $1.2 billion.
  • Topgolf posted revenue of $336 million in the quarter and $1 billion in fiscal 2021.
  • Apparel generated $215 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, with full-year sales of $817 million.

Last March, Callaway merged with Topgolf. Callaway already held a 14% stake in Topgolf after an investment in 2006 and paid $2.66 billion in stock to acquire the rest of the business.

Callaway expects an even result for fiscal 2022, with revenue expected to be between $3.7 billion and $3.8 billion.

Diversified portfolio

In November 2021, Callaway completed a $30 million Investment in five iron golf, an indoor golf and entertainment company. Launched in 2017, Five Iron has nine national locations and one in Singapore. The company is using Callaway’s investment to continue its expansion.

  • In The Leadoff, the Super Bowl could move to London in 2026, sale speculation swirls around the Los Angeles Chargers, Jaguar secures a Formula E partnership and a lawsuit targets compensation for college athletes. Click here to listen.
  • Nutrition company Elo Health has raised $5 million with contributions from former NFL player Isaiah Kacyvenski and Oura Ring co-founder Robin Thurston. Elo will use the funding to manage more customers.
  • In a letter to the House Oversight Committee, the NFL blamed Washington commanders for blocking access to more than 100,000 documents related to a survey of the team’s corporate culture. The commanders denied the allegation.
  • The Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix will remain on the motorsport championship calendar until 2036 with the signing of a new contract. Bahrain has held an F1 race every year since 2004 except in 2011 due to political and social issues in the country.


Find out exactly what’s happening in private markets every week with highlights from our Front Office Sports Insights trade tracker.

We carefully monitor public and private market data to capture a picture of what the sports landscape looks like.

Transaction tracking Highlights this week:

  • Alchemya platform used by developers to build applications on top of blockchains, raised $200 million in Series C funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Silver Lake.
  • Washington’s Spirit, the reigning NWSL champions, were officially purchased by Y. Michele Kang for $35 million.
  • Acquisition of counter pressa SPAC focused on the sports, media and data analytics sectors, as well as professional sports businesses, raised $75 million in the public market during its IPO.
  • Wanderan operator of holiday and work smart homes, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by QED Ventures, ThirtyFive Ventures, Vibe Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
  • The breakaway, the developer of a motivational coaching app designed for fitness enthusiasts, has raised $2.9 million in seed funding from Zone 5 Ventures and General Catalyst.

To try full Transaction tracking.

(Note: all at market close 2/11/22)

The Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) take on the Los Angeles Rams (12-5) in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

How to watch: 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Betting odds: Rams -4 || ML-200 || O/U 48.5* (Bet on DraftKings)

Take: Expect the Rams to overwhelm the Bengals in all three phases. Take LA to cover.

*Ratings/lines are subject to change. The T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for more details.


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