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SPORTIME Clubs and Hornig Capital Partners Partner to Develop Pickleball Facilitiesthroughout the Northeast

SPORTIME Clubs and Hornig Capital Partners announced today that they have signed a partnership agreement to establish a new company, SPORTIME Pickleball, LLC, that will develop and operate state-of-the-art, standalone, pickleball facilities in the tri-state area under the SPORTIME brand. The joint venture is a collaboration of SPORTIME Clubs, the largest and most sophisticated operator of racket sports facilities and programs in the Northeast, including the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, and Hornig Capital Partners, a NY-based real estate development company with a track record of success in developing value added properties.

SPORTIME Pickleball is currently preparing to offer a limited $14 million tranche of founding partner equity to qualified investors, and has executed a long-term lease for a site under development in Armonk, NY, scheduled to open in 2024. SPORTIME Pickleball is currently negotiating 8 lease transactions on Long Island and in Westchester, Connecticut, New Jersey and NYC, with the goal of having more than a dozen dedicated pickleball centers in operation by the end of 2027. Claude Okin, President & CEO of Sportime Clubs, explains, “for SPORTIME, this is a natural expansion of our business and allows us to utilize existing talent and expertise across racket sports lines. There are inexperienced pickleball start-ups everywhere at the moment, but we plan to leverage our 35-year advantage to offer the best pickleball facilities and programs and to acquire dominant market share in the geographies where we do business and nearby.”

SPORTIME Pickleball will operate dedicated indoor and outdoor pickleball sites throughout the Northeast, and expects to become the dominant pickleball club operator in the area and beyond, leveraging SPORTIME’s existing infrastructure, which already includes 70 pickleball courts, management and programming expertise and player database of more than 30,000 active members/players. SPORTIME recently opened the largest indoor pickleball facility in New York State at their Port Washington facility, consisting of 12 dedicated courts. Each SPORTIME Pickleball location will feature 10-20 state-of-the-art pickleball courts that will be available for social and competitive open play sessions, court-time rentals, tournaments, clinics, instruction, and private events. Some locations will feature restaurant and event spaces, which will be operated by food and beverage partners.

“We are continuing to see terrific growth in all racket sports, but especially in the unprecedented boom of pickleball. In response, SPORTIME is committed to bringing world-class pickleball facilities to our markets and beyond,” explained Okin. “Our goal in pickleball, as in tennis, is to develop lifelong and committed players, who choose SPORTIME Pickleball locations to enjoy best-in-class facilities, instructional programs, customer care and amenities. We plan to grow our pickleball capacity as quickly as possible, and we are launching this new undertaking with the team at Hornig Capital Partners, who are experts in real estate development and planning.”

Daren Hornig, Managing Partner of Hornig Capital Partners shared, “I am thrilled to be partnering with SPORTIME to help to build a business around a sport that I love, in markets that I know very well. My role is to source the best locations and to negotiate the best possible leases or acquisitions for our growing network of dedicated pickleball clubs.” Hornig added, “It is very exciting to be participating in this joint venture with SPORTIME Clubs, as they represent the gold standard of excellence in racket sports facilities and programs in the Northeast. The pickleball boom is bringing more people to the court every day, and SPORTIME Pickleball will be providing high quality facilities and programs for our communities to embrace and enjoy.”

For more information, email [email protected].

NLL Adopts Unified Standings Format and Updated Playoff Structure for the 2023-24 Season

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced several new structural formats, most prominently a single-table, “Unified Standings,” in which teams are ranked regardless of geography, debuting with the 2023-24 season.

It is the most significant and impactful change to the NLL schedule format in League history.

“The revamped standings, schedule and playoff formats provide a streamlined, easy-to-follow, and fiercely competitive method of determining our playoff teams and, ultimately, our champion,” said Brett Frood, NLL Commissioner. “This also affords us flexibility in matching up teams to sustain lasting rivalries, create new ones, and maximize fan and partner engagement across the league.”

In addition to the Unified Standings model, notable features of the transition include:

  • Scheduling will be rooted in competitive equitability and schedule parity, with each team playing every other team once, plus four additional “flex” games that preserve established rivalries and fan interest, showcase games with impactful storylines, and highlight star player matchups.
  • The schedule and standings format allows the NLL to definitively showcase its continental reach as a truly North American league; for example, teams in San Diego and Vancouver competing against Toronto and New York for regular season superiority.
  • Every single game, every weekend, will have a playoff atmosphere and implications on the path to the Championship, while guaranteeing that the best eight teams at the end of the regular season have an opportunity to win the NLL Cup.
  • Each fan base in every city will have the opportunity to see every team and player visit their home arena at least once every other year.
  • The “NLL March to May” playoff format will feature the regular season #1 seed vs. #8; #2 vs. #7; #3 vs. #6; and #4 vs. #5 in the Quarterfinals, with a “bracket” style advance through to the NLL Finals. The Quarterfinal round will be single elimination. The Semi-finals and Finals will continue to be best-of-three series.
  • NLL Faceoff Weekend is set for December 1-2, 2023. Buffalo will begin its defense of its 2022-23 NLL title on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Albany, then will raise its Championship banner at home on Dec. 16.
  • For the third consecutive year, every NLL game will be distributed on ESPN+ and TSN+. The schedule of national broadcast games on TSN and ESPN linear networks will be announced soon.

The complete 2023-24 National Lacrosse League schedule can be found here.

Kitman Labs Announces Deal with Legendary Irish Hurling County, Kilkenny

Kitman Labs, the global enterprise SaaS platform providing the only single, centralised operating system for performance intelligence in the elite performance industry, today announced a new deal with Ireland’s most successful county team in the GAA – the Kilkenny Senior County Hurling Team. The team will utilise several Solutions in iP: Intelligence Platform, including: Performance Medicine, Performance Optimization and Coaching & Development. The Platform combines medical, performance and talent development data into a single, interactive system that yields actionable intelligence to support specific operating and performance outcomes.

As the 36x winner of the All-Ireland Championship, 75x winner of the provincial Leinster Championship and 19x winner of the National Hurling League, Kilkenny is indisputably the most successful county team at the senior level in the history of the game. The Intelligence Platform is being deployed across the Men’s Senior Squad. The platform will serve as the singular operating system for the Organization – eliminating data and information silos, enabling cross-Departmental communication, supporting informed, data-led decision-making and providing a comprehensive, real-time view of every player in the squad.

“The Intelligence Platform has been designed to unify data, people and processes to support informed decision-making, streamline operations and ultimately, yield the action plan necessary to achieve critical performance outcomes,” said Stephen Smith, CEO and Founder of Kitman Labs. “One of the key benefits of iP is the ability to support real-time collaboration and transparency across all Departments – driving increased efficiency off the pitch to ensure more time for development on the pitch. And it goes without saying, that as a company founded in Ireland, I personally take great pride in officially welcoming our first GAA team to the Kitman Labs family.”

While Kilkenny has an established track record of success, it’s incumbent on us to ensure we continue to innovate to drive performance. Part of that strategy will be working with Kitman Labs to make sure we have the platform in place to support cross-functional communication and collaboration and best-in-class data and analytics capabilities to unlock specific operating and performance goals,” said Derek Lyng, Kilkenny Senior Hurling Manager.

Kitman labs will enable team management, coaches and their squads to aspire to better results through the power of performance data, streamlined coordination and transparent communication” Mickey Comerford, Sports Performance Coach with the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team.

Kitman Labs has an established track record of working with top leagues, teams and athletes across a variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, rugby, and American football. The Kilkenny Senior County Team represents the first Kitman Labs client in the sport of Hurling and the first within the GAA. The company’s technology is currently being used within some of the world’s most elite sports organisations, including the National Football League (NFL), Premier League, Major League Soccer (MLS) and Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).

This launch follows other recent business strategy moves Kitman Labs has undertaken including two strategic acquisitions of The Sports Office and Presagia Sports. The combined companies represent the industry’s largest network of elite and youth organisations (700+) and created the industry’s largest dataset of talent, performance, and medical data for all stages of the athlete lifecycle.

Ringers, Burn Go for ACL Title Today on CBS

The American Cornhole League (ACL) is thrilled to announce that the Pennsylvania Ringers and Arizona Burn, after a season of strong competition with 16 teams across two divisions and four regions, will compete head-to-head to determine the 2023 ACL Pro Teams Championship. The Pennsylvania Ringers came out on top of the American Division out of the North Region, led byCaptain Devon Harbaugh and Co-Captains Connie Altice and Matthew Creekkiller, while the Arizona Burn won the National Division out of the West Region, steered by Captain Doug Zafft and Co-Captains Bill Hadley and Ty Lopez. The 2023 ACL Pro Teams Championship will be broadcast on Saturday, September 23rd from 1:30-2:30pm EST on CBS, allowing viewers to tune in and catch all of the action. 

Since launching in 2016 the ACL has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS / CBS Sports. The league’s tagline “Anyone can play, anyone can win” along with its ability to be played anywhere has the league on a fast track for success.  Along with the “SuperHole” series, the ACL hosts a variety of pro and amateur events. The ACL’s strong sponsor support includes year-long partners Johnsonville, Bush’s, and AllCornhole.com, along with individual event sponsors Ultra Cornhole and Reynolds Bags.

“We’re excited for both the Pennsylvania Ringers and the Arizona Burn – after a year of tough competition it boils down to a head-to-head matchup to see who comes out on top for the Championship,” said Stacey Moore, Commissioner and Founder of the American Cornhole League. “We’re also proud to partner with CBS to bring viewers at home all of the action right in their living room.”

The American Cornhole League hosts competition and tournaments across the amateur, collegiate, and pro ranks with thousands of players taking part every year. 

New NFL and NCAA Schools Join The Lineup For Second Annual Coach Knapp Stair Climb Initiative

The Coach Knapp Memorial Fund, named in honor of veteran NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp, today announced its expanded lineup of NFL and NCAA teams participating in this fall’s “Knapp Stair Climb.” Launched last fall, the initial project had seven NFL teams and close to 200 coaches, players and staff participating in various forms on game days, easily surpassing the goal of raising $100,000. In honor of Coach Knapp, NFL and NCAA coaches, players, executives and alumni will participate in raising funds and awareness for the dangers of distracted driving at each NFL or NCAA stadium prior to team warm ups.

“It’s been very special to see so many people sign up for the Stair Climb to raise awareness for the dangers of distracted driving and to honor Greg’s legacy. We are so grateful for the groundswell of support from across the NFL and at the college level,” said Charlotte Knapp, co-founder of Knapp Memorial and Greg Knapp’s widow.

The Coach Knapp Memorial Fund designated their first grant to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), which funded TextLess Live More events in high schools across the country. TextLess Live More utilizes evidence-informed strategies to reduce technology’s prevalence in young people’s lives – especially behind the wheel, reducing distracted driving rates and deaths. This year, teams will be able to choose which middle and high schools they want these events to take place to create a local impact in their communities.

This year’s initiative will start even earlier in the season, with Head Coach Matt LaFleur leading the Green Bay Packers in taking to the steps of storied Lambeau Field on Sunday, September 24th.

In addition to the Packers, the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans, plus a growing number of NCAA colleges and universities from Division I to Division III have signed on to participate this fall. The initial NCAA list includes the football programs at Sacramento State, Stanford University, Fordham University, The University of Michigan, Caldwell University and Ripon College, with more schools joining on each week.

“Coach Knapp was a mentor and friend. I can only hope that the impact he made on me as a player, I can pay it forward to my athletes, added Bobby Fresques, Sac State Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback Coach and loyal friend. “Through his foundation, his legacy will continue to have a profound effect on Sac State Football.”

Fans, athletes, and coaches or anyone interested can also participate wherever is most convenient to them across the country, such as apartment building stairs or a high school sports stadium. Images will be shared on various social channels.

Details on how to get involved individually can be found at https://www.knappmemorial.org/stairclimb. All proceeds will benefit The Coach Knapp Memorial Fund.

San Francisco Tops Baltimore in Strat-O-Matic Simulation of 2023 Football Season

San Francisco, with an NFC-best 12-5 regular season mark and 17-14 victory over Baltimore in the championship, reigned supreme as Strat-O-Matic (@StratOMatic), the market leader in sports simulation, played out the 2023 football season through the playoffs. A 59-yard field goal attempt by Justin Tucker missed wide in the final minute to secure the sixth title for S.F.

San Francisco bested AFC #1 Baltimore after defeating Philadelphia in the conference championship game, 27-7. Baltimore outlasted rival Pittsburgh, 40-33, in the AFC title game.

Josh Allen, who paced the Bills to a 13-4 mark and #2 seed in the AFC with 4,259 passing yards, 814 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns total, earned MVP honors, edging Aaron Rodgers, who helped New York to 10 wins, throwing for 4,827 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Justin Jefferson of Minnesota had a league-best 115 receptions and 1,543 yards.

Division winners were: AFC, Buffalo (13-4), Baltimore (13-4), Tennessee (10-7) and Kansas City (10-7); NFC, Dallas (10-7), Green Bay (10-7), Atlanta (9-8) and San Francisco (12-5).

Full standings and playoffs scores below:

AFC East
Buffalo, 13-4
New York, 10-7
Miami, 9-8
New England, 5-12

AFC North
Baltimore, 13-4
Pittsburgh, 12- 5
Cleveland, 9-8
Cincinnati, 8-9

AFC South
Tennessee, 10-7
Jacksonville, 9-8
Houston, 8-9
Indianapolis, 4-13

AFC West
Kansas City, 10-7
Las Vegas, 9-8
Los Angeles, 8-9
Denver, 8-9

NFC East
Dallas, 10-7
Philadelphia, 10-7
New York, 8-9
Washington, 7-10

NFC North
Green Bay, 10-7
Detroit, 7-10
Minnesota, 7-10
Chicago, 5-12

NFC South
Atlanta, 9-8
Tampa Bay, 9-8
Carolina, 8-9
New Orleans, 7-10

NFC West
San Francisco, 12-5
Seattle, 9-8
Los Angeles, 7-10
Arizona, 2- 15

AFC Wild card
BUF over MIA 24-23
NYJ over KC 31-17
PIT over TEN 17-16

NFC Wild card
DAL over SEA 26-23
TB over GB 34-32
PHI over ATL 17-16

AFC Divisional
BAL over NYJ 33-27 (OT)
PIT over BUF 26-23

NFC Divisional
SF over TB 29-28
PHI over DAL 27-20

AFC Conf Chp
BAL over PIT 40-33

NFC Conf Chp
SF over PHI 27-7

Super Bowl
SF over BAL 17-14

CIRCA-Keenan-Love-vs Tamyrik Fields (Photo by Bryan Steffy-Getty Images for SlamBall)-2800

Gambling A Part of Impressive Metrics For This Summer’s SlamBall League: Series 6 in Las Vegas

SlamBall, the fast-paced, gravity-defying sport that combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and acrobatics co-founded by Mason Gordon and Mike Tollin, today unveiled its comprehensive look at data for the recently completed season, and announced its first official plans for what lies ahead for the property.

The numbers included massive social engagement which bested virtually any other live sports property during the period, solid numbers in its time slots on ESPN, quality attendance numbers and the attention of a global media audience, all of which is detailed below.

“We set out this relaunch season with very lofty goals, and in almost every aspect we exceeded our marks,” said Mason Gordon, SlamBall co-founder. “In addition to all the positive numbers in broadcast and the digital/social space came a wide number of parties, cities and event partners eagerly interested in what our athletes and coaches were delivering on and off the court, which has led us to re-think our event footprint even sooner than next summer. While we are encouraged, we are working through many details that will be announced soon. One thing is for sure, we have set out to be the UFC for team sports, and I know we are well on our way to getting there now.”

Some key metrics:

Digital/social:

During the time period of the build up and relaunch of SlamBall, no other active professional sports league, whether a start up or established league, came close in engagement or growth across Twitter and Instagram, even during a MUCH shorter run and season than the others.

-Close to 100 SlamBall original posts exceeded 100,000 views across social platforms during the six week run, amongst the most for any sports property during the period.

-Other major media platforms including ESPN, Barstool Sports, Bleacher Report, Overtime, FanDuel, The Score, Jomboy Media, FOS, Ballislife, Complex and more organically shared SlamBall content over 100 times across platforms, totaling over 10M additional views.

– SlamBall’s engagement far surpassed the competition of other major sports leagues during the lead up and run of the season, with engagement rates of over 6% vs the competition average of 1.62%. The only league that came semi-close was the Premier Lacrosse League at 2.7%.

– Twitter was much of the same story with an engagement rate of .464%, more than 4x the average of .111% and beating the second league, Professional Pickleball League (.140%) by a very healthy margin.

– SlamBall also saw TREMENDOUS growth vs the competition, growing 48.5% on Instagram (competition average of 18.4%) and still ahead of MLS (44.6%) during a time period in which Lionel Messi joined the league.

– This was true on Twitter as well, where SlamBall grew 46.9% vs a 16.1% competition average, and the second highest being PFL at 31.8%.

Broadcast:

SlamBall was able to secure almost 50 hours of live programming on the ESPN networks, one of the most comprehensive partnerships for a property coming back into the marketplace after a long dormant period. SlamBall’s live late night viewership window on ESPN and ESPN2 scored with audiences 18-45 across the country, delivering with the key demo brands crave. SlamBall’s average of 105,000 was on par with other live broadcasts in the time slot.

-SlamBall’s launch led to immediate international interest as well, with games being shown live through the ESPN partnership in Latin America (on DTC on Star+); in the Caribbean (via ESPN & the affiliate-authenticated ESPN App), and in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (via ESPN & the affiliate-authenticated Watch ESPN). Additionally, SlamBall China launched its broadcast on Douyin, Kuaishou, WeChat Videos, Xiaohongshu, and Weibo, with over 25 million views in the first few days.

-Additionally, SlamBall’s decision to use former athletes like Nate Robinson and Marshawn Lynch in its broadcasts alongside ESPN personality John Schriffen led to millions of additional digital views, making it one of the most talked about broadcasts not just of the summer, but of the year.

Gambling:

In its first few weeks SlamBall entered into a partnership with US Integrity which led to live gambling on games after just two weeks of play, thanks to its partnership with Circa Sports. The almost unheard-of quick turnaround for launch live money gaming is a testament to the intense and vocal interest of a young audience, and SlamBall’s ability to build the sport’s relaunch with gaming applications top of mind.

Media:

SlamBall’s earned media coverage impressions for the six weeks were in the multi millions, with consistent coverage not just from the largest media platforms, but from some of the most influential and engaged social media influencers and athletes as well. SlamBall captured the attention of everyone from Snoop Dogg, to athletes (former and current) ranging from Pat McAfee, Jalen Brunson, Rex Chapman and Alex Caruso to Patrick Mahomes, Dez Bryant, Shawne Merriman and DeAndre Jordan, all of whom were engaged viewers for games on multiple nights, with posts they shared across social media. Traditional media ranging from CBS News to CNN to GQ to SI.com and USA Today all took note and shared the growing story of SlamBall as a property. SlamBall also resonated by building the stories of its amazing athletes and leadership, with features ranging from The Philadelphia Inquirer and Indianapolis Star to the New York Post.

-SlamBall’s weekly highlights service also delivered in excess of 1.5 million views, with highlights being shared by platforms such as the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News and the L.A. Times among many others.

Brand Partners:

In addition to Circa, SlamBall secured a growing number of brand partners as the season built momentum and interest and engagement grew. They included Old Trapper as a Founding Partner, and Launch Hydrate, The PBR, Hakkasan, Betr, SunnyD vodka seltzer, MaxAir, and Hertz as supporting partners. A number of additional partnerships are in discussions to be announced in the coming weeks.

Website:

SlamBall’s website traffic exceeded expectations with over 400,000 visitors during the period. Users again were largely in the 19-30 demo and came from as many as 30 different countries.

In May, SamBall’s return became official when a new Series A round of funding of $11 million was announced. Led by IA Sports Ventures and Eberg Capital, both of which are co-owners of the Miami Marlins, among other investments. Others include: David Blitzer and David Adelman, both of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment; Fanatics founder Michael Rubin; VC investor Gary Vaynerchuk; NBA player Blake Griffin; Sacramento Kings investor Kevin Nagle; Lloyd Danzig of Sharp Alpha; Legends Growth Enterprises; Red Games CEO Brian Lovell; attorney Jesse Sharf, Accelerate Sports; and VC investor Eric Manlunas.

Attendance

This was the first time in the history of the sport that larger scale fan attendance factored into the SlamBall experience. Cox Pavilion was scaled for 2,500 seats for each of the multiple night sessions throughout the six week season. The league reached capacity six times during the run, and averaged over 80% for the season, exceeding expectations by over 15%. Fans were in attendance from over 20 states and countries as far away as China, Germany, Denmark, Canada and the UK.

Series 6:

The Mob finished a perfect 18-0 to win SlamBall’s return championship on Thursday night, August 24 in front of the second straight sold-out crowd of 2,500 at Las Vegas’ Cox Pavilion, downing the Lava, 49-36. Darius Clark (Blue Springs, MO) led the Mob’s offensive onslaught, earning SlamBall Playoffs Most Valuable Player honors with 45 total points in the two playoff wins.

Mob stopper and team captain Gage Smith (Elizabeth, CO) was named SlamBall League: Series 6 Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. The Wrath’s Ty McGee (Littleton, CO) earned Offensive Player of the Year honors and Mob gunner Cam Hollins (Avon, IN) was selected 5th Man of the Year, while the Mob’s Brendan Kirsch (Indianapolis, IN) was tabbed Coach of the Year.

Joining Smith and McGee on the All-SlamBall First Team were Mob gunner Darius Clark (Blue Springs, MO) and Slashers handler Tony Crosby II (Long Beach, CA). The All-SlamBall Second Team features Gryphons’ gunners KyShawn Jones (Danville, VA) and Justin Holmes (Roseville, CA), Mob handler Cameron Horton (Jacksonville, AL) and Buzzsaw stopper Tyquan Scott (Long Beach, NY).

Fanatics Betting and Gaming Closes First Wave of States in its Acquisition of the US Businesses of PointsBet

Fanatics Betting and Gaming, a subsidiary of Fanatics Holdings Inc., this week closed on the first eight states in its previously announced acquisition of the U.S. businesses of PointsBet USA.  The acquisition transforms Fanatics Betting and Gaming into a premier online gaming operator with proven products in sports betting and iCasino.

On June 30, 2023, PointsBet Shareholders in Australia approved a Stock and Equity Sale Agreement with Fanatics Betting and Gaming for US$225 million on a debt free basis for the sale of PointsBet’s United States sports wagering, advance deposit wagering (ADW), iCasino, Banach technology, and a license to use the company’s proprietary technology platform. 

Today, following regulatory approvals, Fanatics Betting and Gaming closed on the operating businesses of PointsBet USA in the following states: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  As each state closes and officially becomes part of Fanatics Betting and Gaming, customers in such state will see PointsBet rebranded to “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience,” with additional state closings to continue throughout the year.  Customers in Indiana and Illinois will see PointsBet rebranded to “PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience” in the coming months, but the operating businesses of PointsBet USA in Indiana and Illinois will continue to be operated by PointsBet USA without interruption until Fanatics Betting and Games closes those states later this year.

“We are excited about what we are building at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and this acquisition accelerates our plans,” said Matt King, CEO of Fanatics Betting and Gaming. “We have a ten-year plan that focuses on the customer and not market share.  We are going to acquire customers efficiently, allowing us to return savings to customers by investing in the customer experience at Fanatics Sportsbook and PointsBet, a Fanatics Experience.” 

This strategic acquisition complements the growth and diversification that Fanatics Betting and Gaming has accomplished over the past two years. Fanatics Betting and Gaming will add PointsBet’s online casino platform, which is available in four states, to continue the development of Fanatics’ online casino offerings that is scheduled to launch later this year in the United States. In addition, Fanatics Betting and Gaming will begin integrating Banach Technology’s risk management platform and quantitative driven trading models into the Fanatics Sportsbook app that is now available for download on iOS and Android for sports fans in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee.

As part of the Fanatics experience, new and current PointsBet customers will have the opportunity to become part of the Fanatics family and the global digital sports platform of legal sports betting and iGaming, team merchandise and collectibles (trading cards). In addition, PointsBet customers will experience new and engaging promotions that Fanatics is planning this football season.

PointsBet USA will continue to operate in states like Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York and Ohio until Fanatics Betting and Gaming is able to close on select states individually.  PointsBet USA will continue to employ engineers, customer service teams, traders, marketing and compliance teams with a new influx of operating capital from Fanatics Betting and Gaming.  Johnny Aitken will continue as the CEO of PointsBet USA and customers will continue to enjoy the most markets on all four major U.S. sports including up to 1,000 markets per NBA game and the quickest, most user-friendly app on the market today.

At the start of football season, Fanatics Betting and Gaming will have a portfolio of brands live in 11 legal sports betting states and PointsBet Casino will be live in four states. 

National Lacrosse League and FanCompass Announce Multi-Year Strategic Partnership

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced a multi-year partnership with FanCompass to bring an upgraded and interactive user experience for NLL partners and fans everywhere.

“The partnership officially launches our digital transformation, as FanCompass will drive the league’s ability to deliver best-in-class fan platforms and branded online experiences starting with the upcoming season,” said Kurt Hunzeker, the NLL’s Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations. “FanCompass will make it easier and more efficient for the NLL and its partners on every level to understand and customize our collective ties to the NLL’s youthful and digitally savvy fan base as we move to expand, accelerate, and amplify our fan engagement initiatives.”

“Kurt’s vision powered by the full support and backing from their ownership group understand the value and demand for a next-level digital fan experience and the data it provides,” said Jamie Pardi, FanCompass Co-Founder and CEO. “The NLL is making its mark on the industry with this digital transformation and we are excited to be a part of it.”

For more than a decade, FanCompass has been a leading provider of digital fan engagement solutions in the global sports industry. Its platform, FC CORE, offers a suite of digital tools for engaging fans, capturing valuable data, and generating digital sponsorship opportunities.

The NLL will roll out the FC CORE platform across the entire NLL portfolio of teams with a full-service league dashboard for customizable league-wide campaigns. FanCompass had previously been working with two NLL clubs, the Georgia Swarm and Rochester Knighthawks, and the successful work there helped lead to this league-wide partnership.

The NLL will hold its 2023 Draft on September 16 in Oakville, Ontario, and training camps will open the weekend of October 28-29. The 2023-24 season will commence with NLL Faceoff Weekend on December 1-2. The full schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

RealResponse and U.S. Integrity Launch New Service to Safeguard Integrity of Competition

RealResponse and U.S. Integrity (USI) today launched a fully integrated service exclusively for intercollegiate athletics to help protect students-athletes, as well as colleges and universities, from increased illegal gambling-related activity.

When a sports betting issue is raised, RealResponse’s college athletics customers will now have access to USI’s investigative support through the RealResponse platform. This new service is the fastest, most secure way for the more than 100,000 student-athletes currently using the platform to anonymously report the misuse of insider information, potential game manipulation, and physical threats helping to ensure the integrity of fair competition.

Institutions benefit from expertise on how best to navigate increased sports gambling activity at a critical juncture. When a report comes in through RealResponse, campus administrators can assign USI’s collegiate response team – composed of highly trained professionals in the wager-monitoring space – to assess, verify and route the report to appropriate authorities within minutes. The details:

  • The new service is free for existing RealResponse collegiate clients and is now accessible within their respective internal portals.
  • As an additional paid service, colleges and universities can establish an institution-branded external portal to allow anyone – from parents to friends to competitors – to report gambling-related issues.
  • RealResponse and USI will support colleges and universities in educating their communities about the integration of their solutions.

“With the significant rise of easy-to-use online and mobile sports betting, the challenges to fair competition are immense and growing,” said David Chadwick, founder and CEO of RealResponse. “Gambling is a major concern on college campuses—not just for student-athletes—and the potential harm to a student’s mental health and physical well-being is great. This expanded partnership with USI delivers instant support to student-athletes through a channel they already trust with sharing their most pressing needs and concerns.”

“Nothing is more important than protecting the health and wellbeing of the student-athletes who have committed their lives to competing at the highest levels, while simultaneously pursuing a higher education,” said U.S. Integrity Co-Founder and CEO Matthew Holt. “This new solution brings the capabilities and experience of U.S. Integrity and RealResponse together, to do just that.”

In May 2023, RealResponse and U.S. Integrity launched “Athlete Alert Powered by RealResponse,” the only national tip line that allows the public to anonymously report gambling-related issues.

Fanatics Sportsbook & Columbus Blue Jackets To Open Retail Location in Columbus’ Arena District Today

Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the online and retail sports betting subsidiary of Fanatics Holdings, Inc., a global digital sports platform, will open its retail sportsbook location today in partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus’ Arena District.

“Tomorrow will be an exciting day for Blue Jackets fans and for sports fans in Ohio as we officially open the Fanatics Sportsbook in the shadow of Nationwide Arena,” said Blue Jackets Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cameron Scholvin, on Thursday.  “I’d like to thank RJ and Ryan for joining us today, as well as extend our gratitude to our partners at Fanatics and the many others that worked very hard to make this remarkable facility a reality.”

At a special preview event today, Ohio sports legends Ryan Shazier and RJ Umberger placed the ceremonial first bets at the brand new Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus.  Shazier, a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers and The Ohio State University, placed $20 @+700 on the Buckeyes to win the college football national championship.  Umberger, a former center for the Columbus Blue Jackets, also placed $20 @+475 on the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the AFC North Division. 

“It was a great day to be a Buckeye at the Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus,” said Ari Borod, Chief Business Officer, Fanatics Betting and Gaming. “Having Columbus sports legends like Ryan and RJ come out and place the first bets shows that we plan to be the premier sports viewing and betting destination in the Arena District when we open our doors to the public on Friday.  The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will be a great complement to our online sportsbook experience for sports fans living and visiting Ohio.”  

The Fanatics Sportsbook is the most rewarding online sportsbook in Ohio, allowing customers to earn up to 5% back in FanCash on every bet and is available for download on iOS and Android for sports fans living and visiting the state of Ohio. It makes being a fan easy with fast signup, easy betting, transparent withdrawals, an industry-leading search functionality and a curated Discover page with the sports and bets that matter most to a customer. 

The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus is located at 401 North Front Street just outside Nationwide Arena. The main entrance is located in the alleyway immediately north of the entrances to Buca di Beppo and Starbucks. The new sportsbook was designed by architecture firm BLTa, a Perkins Eastman Studio, and built by Lehman Daman Construction Services.  It is more than 5,000 square feet and features four betting windows, 14 self-service betting kiosks from Suzohapp, one giant LED Video Wall and 20 TV monitors. The full-service restaurant operated by Delaware North, will have food options that every sports fan will enjoy.  The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will offer viewing experiences and legal betting markets for all major sports including professional and college football, basketball, hockey, baseball, alongside tennis, soccer, golf, MMA and boxing. The development and trading of sports betting markets will be done in house at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and supported by a number of world-class trading suppliers. 

Fanatics Betting and Gaming and the Columbus Blue Jackets believe that responsible gaming is a core tenet and a part of each company’s DNA.  On-site staff at the Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus have received responsible wagering training and can offer support services to customers when needed.

Kitman Labs Data Analytics: A Case For Why Each Team Can Win Women’s Title

Play continues in New Zealand and Australia this week, and Kitman Labs, the global SaaS platform providing the only single, centralized operating system for performance intelligence in the elite performance industry, has used its proprietary approach to analytics to provide insight into how each of the four remaining sides can win the championship.

Kitman Labs demonstrates a commitment to objectivity over opinion, highly valuing expertise and experience while keeping data as the guard-rails to protect bias and subjectivity creeping in. Nothing in the team evaluation provided is without foundation in data.

Utilizing the data gleaned from the matches to date and accounting for how that can influence play in past semifinals and finals level contests, Kitman Labs has developed paths for each of the four teams to claim the title.

Why Australia Will Win The World Cup: What is the biggest reason Australia are going to win the world cup? The Matildas have been preparing for this event since June 23th 2020 when they were announced as the hosts. The preparation they have put into their squad is bearing fruit in this tournament.

Australia have put their focus on developing a core group of young players over the past years, and giving them the tools to succeed in this world cup. Australia has started only 12 players during the tournament, while 5 key players have played every minute of the world cup. Despite the squad having 9 players with over 100 international caps, and having the joint highest number of caps on the field across each of their games, the age of the players on the field is second youngest of the semi-finalists. This is a cohort with the experience to succeed in a major tournament, while still having the youth required to manage so many matches in such little time.

For the full analytic breakdown visit: https://bit.ly/KitmanWWCAustralia

Why England Will Win The World Cup: England are going to win this world cup because they have the most balanced squad left in the competition. They do not need superstar players to be world champions – instead their key strength is for every player you take out of their starting team, the replacement is just as strong. None of their players are coming into the world cup undercooked, and the majority of their squad is in their peak years. Peak age players can go longer, and England have been able to save their depth for later in the tournament.

England have gotten to the Semi Finals of the world cup without playing their best football. Their game has mitigated risk – limiting opportunities for opposition sides to difficult chances and leading to the lowest goals conceded in the tournament. They have dominated possession, but looked to create high quality opportunities. Coming into the tournament ranked 4th, they have underperformed thus far against weaker opponents, but their stats make clear there an opportunity for additional risk taking when the lionesses face the toughest opponents of the tournament. Many teams have peaked too early in this world cup – Japan and the Netherlands having impressive group stages but going out in the quarter finals – and knowing what it takes to win and peaking at the right time can be precisely what is required to be champion.

For the full analytic breakdown visit: https://bit.ly/KitmanWWCEngland

Why Spain Will Win The World Cup: Why are Spain going to win the World Cup? They will win because they have the highest quality of player in the tournament, and have been able to bring the strongest squad onto the pitch in each of their games. This squad has bossed the game in each of their matches, averaging over 70% possession over the course of the competition.

Spain also have an elite set of goal scorers and assisters – more than any of the other semi-finalists. These players have created and scored goals at an elite level coming into the tournament, and have also performed during the FIFA WWC. Spain have scored the most goals and created the highest number of chances of any team remaining in the competition. With 8 goalscorers and 6 players having given assists this tournament they are most well insulated against an off-day from any individual player.

For the full analytic breakdown visit: https://bit.ly/KitmanWWCSpain

Why Sweden will win the World Cup: Two words give the biggest reason Sweden are going to win this world cup – set pieces. Sweden’s strength lies in their physicality; on average their players are taller than 75% of other players left in the tournament. This gives them an advantage over the opposition any time the ball is in the air and in any dead-ball situation, something they have used to devastating effect. Of their 11 goals, 7 have come as a result of set pieces. Four goals have been scored directly, two penalties have been won, and a further goal has come from post-set-piece chaos. Amanda Ilestedt, a centre back, is their top scorer with four as a result. Clearly, Sweden’s height is too much for their opponents to handle.

Sweden are the most experienced team left in the tournament. They have wise heads that have done it at international level before. Experience is going to be crucial at the business end of this tournament. While tiredness can sometimes be the downfall of older sides, this isn’t a concern for the Swedes. They got their business done early in the group stages and were able to rest players against Argentina. As a result, their players have played the fewest minutes in the world cup – Sweden are in a great physical condition to compete in the latter stages.

For the full analytic breakdown visit: https://bit.ly/KitmanWWCSweden

Mantle Memorabilia Heads Heritage’s Summer Platinum Auction

A game worn Mickey Mantle jersey from 1958 is currently at a record $3.9 million (including buyer’s premium) in Heritage Auctions Summer Platinum Sports Auction, with 11 days left to go (bidding through August 19th at 10pm/CT) The previous record for a Mantle gamer sold at auction is this one, with a winning bid at Heritage in Feb. 2020 for $2,190,000. This is the sixth-most valuable jersey sold at public auction ever, behind Jordan, the “Hand of God” jersey, two Babe Ruths and a Kobe Bryant jersey.Just one year after setting the record for the world’s most valuable sports collectible when it sold this Mantle card for $12.6 million, Heritage Auctions is back with another mint Mantle card to watch. The multi-million dollar card is part of Heritage’s live Summer Platinum Sports Auction, set for August 19th and 20th. The World Series, Super Bowl, and Final Four of auctions all rolled into a single summer weekend is filled with cool stuff from important sports moments in history, such as this game worn Mantle jersey, bidding at just shy of $1.5 million, this Tom Brady game worn NE Patriots throwback uniform, bidding at $250K, and this Babe Ruth baseball card, bidding at nearly half a million bucks!

A treasure trove of mementos from the estate of “Mr. Cub,” including his first contract, Hall of Fame ring, and honorable discharge from the Army, will be among the highlights of the Ernie Banks Collection in Heritage Auctions’ August 19 Summer Platinum Auction. A Mint Mickey Mantle Rookie Card, Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ Jersey and Shohei Ohtani’s MVP-Season Seven-Home Run Bat are also Among Historic Trophies Offered. Details and links are below. Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions Chris Ivy and other specialists (possibly longtime Banks friend Regina Rice) are available for interviews. Here’s a link to all of the mementos on the block. 2023 August 19 – 20 Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction #50063 (ha.com)

SlamBall Broadcast

SlamBall League: Series 6 Adds International Broadcast Distribution

SlamBall, the fast-paced, gravity-defying sport that combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and acrobatics, today announced its first set of International Broadcast Distribution partners for the remainder of the season, bringing the re-start of the sport to a growing global audience in the millions much faster than anticipated and outpacing the interest of virtually all growing sports in North America.

“The interest and growth of a fan base is expanding much quicker than we had ever expected in just three weeks, and is reflective of the massive social engagement we are seeing around the world,” said Mason Gordon, SlamBall co-founder. “In addition, our partners with SlamBall China are seeing very rapid growth and adoption on platforms there, all of which is reflective of the action and athleticism we are seeing improve with each passing week as we head towards next week’s championship.”

SlamBall is now being distributed via ESPN in Latin America (on DTC on Star+); in the Caribbean (via ESPN & the affiliate-authenticated ESPN App), and in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (via ESPN & the affiliate-authenticated Watch ESPN). Additionally, SlamBall China has officially launched its broadcast on Douyin, and has already seen several million views in the first few days..

SlamBall is back Thursday, Aug. 10 at 8:00 p.m. PT/11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the United States, while the SlamBall playoffs begin on Tuesday, August 15, at 8:00 p.m. ET/11:00 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2. The semifinals and championship game take place on Thursday, August 17, at 8:00 p.m. ET/11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

View Top 10 Plays From This Past Weekend Here: https://vimeo.com/852238226/467a9699eb?share=copy

View Standings Here: https://slamballleague.com/standings/

View Stats Here: https://slamballleague.com/slamball-stats/

SlamBall is back Thursday, Aug. 10 at 8:00 p.m. PT/11:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

SlamBall’s two-year ESPN partnership will combine to air more than 40 hours of live SlamBall programming across five weekends, culminating August 15-17 with the SlamBall Playoffs and SlamBall Championship Game.

CIRCA-Keenan-Love-vs Tamyrik Fields (Photo by Bryan Steffy-Getty Images for SlamBall)-2800

Circa Sports Named Founding Partner Of SlamBall League

SlamBall, the fast-paced, gravity-defying sport that combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and acrobatics, today announced that Circa Sports has been named a Founding Partner of SlamBall League. Play resumes this Thursday to Sunday from Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas at 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT on ESPN+.

“We have always believed that SlamBall was a tailor made property for sports gambling, and Circa Sports coming on at this early juncture further validates and expedites this critical part of our business plan,” said Mason Gordon, SlamBall co-creator and CEO. “Our expansive partnership with Derek Stevens and the team will be amplified this upcoming weekend when live gambling on SlamBall will take place for the first time.”

“We are excited to be one of the founding partners of SlamBall,” Derek Stevens, CEO of Circa Resort & Casino. “We’re happy to have them included in the continuously growing sports scene in Las Vegas and we look forward to seeing their growth. We also can’t wait to put up lines for the games on Thursday and seeing the action that comes in!”

Circa Sports will provide legal gambling lines for all remaining sessions. They join Old Trapper as SlamBall’s first two Founding Partners

SlamBall’s two-year ESPN partnership will combine to air more than 40 hours of live SlamBall programming across five weekends, culminating August 15-17 with the SlamBall Playoffs and SlamBall Championship Game.

National Lacrosse League Announces Key Dates for Fall 2023

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced key dates leading up to its season start in early December, including the dates for the 2023 NLL Draft and the 2023 NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, both of which will be held the weekend of September 15 in the Toronto metropolitan area.

“We are building off the momentum of a record-breaking season and these key dates officially point us firmly toward a transformative 2023-24 season,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “There is no better way to connect the past, present and future of our league and the sport of box lacrosse by bringing the NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the NLL Draft together for an exciting weekend, kickstarting our upcoming season.”

The NLL’s key dates in the coming months include:

Sept. 15: NLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Burlington, Ontario
Sept. 16: 2023 NLL Draft in Oakville, Ontario
Oct. 28-29: NLL Training Camps officially open
Dec. 1-2: 2023-24 NLL Faceoff Weekend

The NLL will induct 10 new members into the NLL Hall of Fame. Among the honorees are eight former players and two referees, under the Builders category:

Roy Condon, NLL Official
• 23-season career: 1989 through 2011
• Three NLL Championship Games: 1994, 1995, and 1999

Colin Doyle, Forward
• 19-year career: Ontario Raiders, San Jose Stealth, and Toronto Rock
• 6-time NLL Champion: Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2011)
• 3-time NLL Championship Game MVP: Toronto (1999, 2002, and 2005)
• 2005 NLL MVP Award
• 1998 NLL Rookie of the Year
• 4-time NLL All-League First Team and 7-time NLL Second Team honoree
• 2-time NLL scoring champion in 2005 and 2009
• Finished fourth all-time in goals (527), assists (857) and points (1,384) and tied for fifth all-time in games played (266)

Kevin Finneran, Forward
• 13-year career: Detroit Turbos, New England Blazers, Philadelphia Wings, and Toronto Rock
• 5-time NLL champion: four with Philadelphia (1994, 1995, 1998, and 2001) and one with Toronto (2003)
• NLL All-League First Team in 1998 and 2-time Second Team honoree (1994 and 1996)
• Retired as the all-time league leader with 143 games played, sixth all-time in goals (235), third all-time in assists (329), fifth all-time in points (564), and 11th in loose ball recoveries (631)
• Held the record for longest consecutive games played streak at 139 games and was the all-time leading scorer by an American prior to Casey Powell breaking his record.

Bill Fox, NLL Official
• 20-season career: 1992 through 2011
• Six Championship Games: 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2010

John Grant Jr., Forward
• 17-year career: Rochester Knighthawks and Colorado Mammoth
• NLL Champion in 2007
• 2007 NLL Championship Game MVP
• 2-time NLL MVP: 2007 and 2012
• 2000 NLL Rookie of the Year
• 6-time NLL All-League First Team and 3-time NLL Second Team honoree
• 4-time NLL Scoring Champion: 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012
• Selected first overall in the 1999 NLL Draft
• Retired in the top 10 all-time with 668 goals (second), 778 assists (sixth), and 1,446 points (second), and was 12th all-time with 1,202 loose ball recoveries
• Set the record for points in a season in 2012 at 116, which has since been surpassed and now ranks tied for fourth-highest in NLL history, and his 37 goals as a rookie are still tied for fourth best
• Averaged 8.29 points per game in 2012, an NLL record with at least four games played

Pat McCready, Forward
• 17-year career: Charlotte Cobras, Rochester Knighthawks, Buffalo Bandits, and Toronto Rock
• 3-time NLL Champion: twice with Rochester (1997 and 2012) and once with Buffalo (2008)
• 2011 NLL Defensive Player of the Year
• Retired as the third all-time in loose ball recoveries (1,593), second in penalty minutes (470), and seventh in games played (219)

Casey Powell, Forward
• 11-year career: Rochester Knighthawks, Anaheim Storm, New York Titans, Orlando Titans, Boston Blazers, and Colorado Mammoth
• 2010 NLL MVP (the only American to win this honor)
• All-time leader in points by an American in NLL history
• Selected first overall in the 1998 NLL Draft
• Retired 10th all-time with 33 playoff goals in only 13 playoff games

Regy Thorpe, Defenseman
• 15-year career: all with the Rochester Knighthawks
• 2-time NLL Champion: 1997 and 2007
• Rochester franchise leader with 193 games played, 966 loose ball recoveries, and 385 penalty minutes

Steve Toll, Defenseman
• 15-year career: Ontario Raiders, Toronto Rock, Rochester Knighthawks, San Jose Stealth, Colorado Mammoth, and Edmonton Rush
• 5-time NLL Champion: four with Toronto (1999, 2000, 2002, and 2003) and one with Rochester (2007)
• Named the first winner of the NLL Transition Player of the Year Award in 2007
• Retired in the top 10 all-time with 1,562 loose ball recoveries in the regular season and an additional 160 in the playoffs
• Played in 188 consecutive games between 2000-2011, which ranks tied for the third longest streak of all-time

Shawn Williams, Forward
• 17-year career: Ontario Raiders, Toronto Rock, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, and Edmonton Rush
• 2-time NLL Champion: one with Toronto (1999) and one with Rochester (2007)
• NLL All-League First Team in 2004 and NLL Second Team honoree in 2007
• Retired as one of eight players to accumulate 1,100 career points
• Finished in the top 10 all-time in games played, goals, and assists

The Class of 2021 will represent the first additions to the NLL Hall of Fame since 2016, with the inaugural members having been inducted in 2006.

Additional details regarding the NLL Draft and other preseason announcements will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

SPORTIME Randall’s Island Announces Indoor Pickleball Expansion

SPORTIME Randall’s Island, New York City’s premiere tennis facility, to add 12 indoor pickleball courts this fall. Court-time rentals, instructional clinics, social and competitive open play sessions, events and more will all be on the menu for the hundreds of thousands of City residents who have become part of the pickleball craze!

SPORTIME Randall’s Island is in the final stages of a facility expansion, which includes the addition of 10 new tennis courts, making the 30-court facility one of the largest in the world. In an effort to respond to the unprecedented growth of pickleball, and to welcome NYC pickleball players, SPORTIME will retrofit five of its bubbled, hard-surface, tennis courts, so that those courts can also provide 12 hybrid pickleball courts, which will be available for pickleball players to enjoy seven days a week.

“Pickleball is a natural expansion of our racket sports business in NYC and at our clubs across New York State, and we are thrilled to be bringing the first large-scale, indoor, pickleball facility to NYC,” explains SPORTIME CEO & President, Claude Okin. “Our goal is to welcome thousands of NYC’s most committed picklers during the indoor season, so that they can keep playing all year and experience the best-in-class facilities, programs and amenities that SPORTIME has to offer!” Added Okin, “With the unveiling of our $45 million expansion project at Randall’s Island this fall, and the addition of pickleball, SPORTIME hopes to be the go-to destination for racket sports players of all ages and abilities to learn and enjoy our lifetime sports.”

Pickleball players of all levels will have the opportunity to improve their games, to join social and competitive, level-based group play, to rent courts seasonally or by the hour, and to enjoy a host of special events and tournaments throughout the year. SPORTIME tennis and pickleball members enjoy great benefits, including 7-day advanced court-time reservations, member pricing on lessons and events and access to SPORTIME Pickleball programming.

Joining the SPORTIME Randall’s Island leadership team is Pickleball Director Lisa Scotti. A New York native, Lisa has excelled at a variety of sports, including pickleball, paddleball, tennis, softball and paddle tennis. Lisa is a member of the Paddleball Hall of Fame, but, a few years ago she shifted her focus to playing and teaching pickleball exclusively, and she has achieved great success in prestigious tournaments across the Tri-State area and nationwide. As a Professional Pickleball Registry certified pickleball coach, Lisa enjoys introducing newcomers to the game and helping players of all ages and levels improve and compete. Lisa is a devoted ambassador for the sport, and Sportime is excited to have her at the helm of pickleball at its flagship facility in NYC!

SPORTIME Randall’s Island is located at 1 Randall’s Island, NY. For more information, visit www.SportimeNY.com/Manhattan or to communicate with a member of our Pickleball team, email [email protected].

John Schriffen, Jon Dorenbos and Stormy Buonantony to Call Second Weekend of SlamBall on ESPN

SlamBall, the fast-paced, gravity-defying sport that combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and acrobatics, today announced that John Schriffen, Jon Dorenbos and Stormy Buonantony will call the Second Weekend of SlamBall League: Series 6 this Thursday to Sunday on ESPN2 and ESPN +. The games will be aired live from Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas beginning Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.

“One of our goals is to pair John Schriffen, who has already emerged as the voice of SlamBall on play-by-play, with a fun and engaged list of personalities throughout the season, and we welcome Jon Dorenbos and Stormy Buonantony to the mix,” said Mason Gordon, SlamBall creator and CEO. “Nate Robinson and LaMonica Garrett were outstanding in week one, and we are looking forward to adding Jon and Stormy to our broadcasting team in Week Two.”

Schriffen joined ESPN in August 2020 to call the platform’s coverage of the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization). He is now heard as a play-by-play voice across ESPN’s coverage of XFL, college football, basketball, softball and baseball, NBA G-league and Summer League and MLB. Schriffen also hosts ESPN’s presentation of the NBA Draft Combine. Prior to ESPN, Schriffen was an announcer at NFL Network and CBS Sports.

Dorenbos is making his SlamBall debut after a dual career as a two-time NFL All-Pro long snapper (which included 11 years as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles) and an accomplished magician. He is a frequent performer in Las Vegas, and was a finalist for America’s Got Talent in 2019.

Buonantony is a sideline reporter for ESPN college football and XFL, just concluding her third season across ESPN platforms. She is also a studio host for VSIN, The Sports Betting Network in Las Vegas, Nev. Stormy spent two years as the rink-side reporter and host for the Vegas Golden Knights on AT&T SportsNet. Her career has included stints as the in-stadium reporter for the Carolina Panthers for two seasons, the Mountain West’s reporter and host for three years on the conference-owned digital network, and as a sideline reporter for Campus Insiders.

SlamBall’s two-year ESPN partnership will combine to air more than 30 hours of live SlamBall programming across five weekends, culminating August 15-17 with the SlamBall Playoffs and SlamBall Championship Game.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming Partners with the Columbus Blue Jackets for Retail Sportsbook Location

Fanatics Betting and Gaming, the online and retail sports betting company within global digital sports platform, Fanatics Inc., today announced upcoming plans to open a retail sportsbook location in partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus’ Arena District.

“The Columbus Blue Jackets are constantly seeking new and exciting ways to engage with our fans,” said Blue Jackets Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cameron Scholvin.  “We believe this collaboration with Fanatics Betting and Gaming on a world-class sportsbook location just outside the doors of Nationwide Arena in the heart of the Arena District does just that.”

The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will be located at 401 North Front Street adjacent to Nationwide Arena. The main entrance is located in the alleyway immediately north of the entrances to Buca di Beppo and Starbucks.  It is scheduled to open its doors at the end of August.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Blue Jackets to bring a world-class retail experience to the arena district in downtown Columbus,” said Ari Borod, Chief Business Officer, Fanatics Betting and Gaming. “The Jackets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and we are excited to leverage our partnership to grow with them and complement our online sports betting experience that is currently being beta-tested in Ohio.”

The newly designed sportsbook is more than 5,000 square feet and features four betting windows, 14 self-service betting kiosks, one giant LED Video Wall, 20 TV monitors and a full-service restaurant with food options that every sports fan will enjoy.  The Fanatics Sportsbook Columbus will offer viewing experiences and legal betting markets for all major sports including professional and college football, basketball, hockey, baseball, alongside tennis, soccer, golf, MMA and boxing. The development and trading of sports betting markets will be done in-house at Fanatics Betting and Gaming and supported by a number of world-class trading suppliers.

The Fanatics Sportsbook continues its online beta testing with Fanatics customers in Ohio. The Fanatics Sportsbook app is available for download on iOS and Android, but a code is needed to access the sportsbook and is otherwise currently only available to Fanatics customers at this time.