DAZN – the $4 billion sports-streaming service that owns the rights to Katie Taylor’s fights – has brought the possibility of a clash between Taylor and Serrano at Croke Park one step closer.
DAZN confirms that a record 1.5 million subscriptions – in 170 markets worldwide – were sold for last Saturday night’s fight at Madison Square Garden – with more downloads of the service in Ireland than any other sports app on iOS or Android. It’s estimated that four people watch each subscription, meaning an estimated 6 million viewers in 170 countries worldwide made Taylor-Serrano the most-watched female fight in history.
Fears that a rematch in Dublin would be inconsistent with the platform’s valuable US audience were dismissed in comments made to The Pitch by DAZN.
When asked if such a fight could take place in Ireland despite late night calls for a US fight, Fred Mellor, Global Head of Platform Communications at DAZN, said emphatically: “Of course. We are huge believers and admirers of Katie and will continue to support her dream of fighting (Serrano) again in Ireland.”
The Sports Ministry has also stated its desire for the fight to continue. Sport Secretary Jack Chambers told The Pitch that that was his voiced position and “hope a fight like this can be organized” in comments that may aim to allay fears voiced by Eddie Hearn earlier this week that he has concerns because of “political problems”. prevent the fight.
It’s not clear, but it’s likely Hearn was speaking about the fallout surrounding Daniel Kinahan – who has now been publicly shunned from world boxing – following sanctions and a US Treasury Department warrant.
With Kinahan seemingly coming from world boxing, the government has the consolation of publicly supporting professional boxing, which has been tarnished by the alleged Dublin cartel boss and his involvement in the sport – albeit never with Katie Taylor.
Minister of State Chambers said he hoped Katie Taylor could bring her “undoubted ability and prowess in the ring” to Ireland for a rematch.
“It would be absolutely fantastic to see those two fight again in Dublin, in front of Katie’s home crowd where she would receive phenomenal support and I hope a fight like that can be organised,” he said.
A fight like this happening here can only happen through a confluence of various interests and with the broadcaster, promoters, fighters and venue all at the lodge, the chances of a Taylor Serrano fight taking place increase .
Political support is also vital, especially in a country that has no record of hosting such mega boxing events, and will surely boost confidence for everyone.
Croke Park has still not been contacted by any side involved in the fight but is enthusiastic about such a suggestion.
In comments to the Irish Examiner this week, Croke Park boss and GAA commercial director Peter McKenna said the “mood music” surrounding such a fight was extremely positive.
With no special permits or permits required for sporting events at the venue, and the GAA season ending much earlier this year, the stadium would be available for August and September dates.
The Pitch has been informed that Aviva Stadium will not express any interest in hosting the event, leaving the way open for GAA HQ as the only outdoor option.
Hearn was silent when his Matchroom Boxing firm was contacted, but the government’s support should certainly soften his view, which was unusually pessimistic from the normally assured master promoter.
“There were some political issues in boxing, we didn’t do any shows there, there wasn’t a lot of boxing, there’s a lot of trouble and hoops to jump through,” Hearn said.
However, in the same interview for The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani he added: “This is Ireland’s greatest fighter of all time, perhaps its greatest sporting star of all time. How can she not fight in Ireland? She deserves it so much.”
It now appears that such a fight stems directly from Hearn and Amanda Serrano’s Most Valuable Promotions partner Jake Paul coming to a deal that fits all.
SPORT IRELAND’s sponsorship of the Irish Open, which costs the government €10m, is unaffected by Horizon’s appointment as lead sponsor.
The legal body has confirmed to The Pitch that despite the arrival of longtime commercial partner and a significant increase in sponsorship ratings for the tournament over the next six years, the deal will remain in place.
At the Irish Open, to be held at the K Club in 2023, 2025 and 2027, the total sponsorship value will reach more than €50 million, with an additional €70 million in PR and media improvements for the DP World Tour event and its host courses .
Sport Ireland has sponsored the Irish Open since 2016 and entered the market with an initial investment of €250,000 which grew to €500,000 and then €750,000 in the third year.
For the first three years of sponsorship of the Irish Open – which does not include the 2017 or 2020 competitions hosted in the North – the combined statutory investment by Sport Ireland and Failte Ireland was €3m. Figures released to The Pitch show that Sport Ireland undertook this investment exclusively in 2021 with a payment of €1m per annum which will remain in place until Ryder Cup year 2027.
Sport Ireland stated that its sponsorship agreement “pre-dated Horizon being named as the main sponsor of the event and is independent of any other sponsorship agreement for the event”.
It added: “Sport Ireland entered into this sponsorship agreement with the aim of promoting the sport of golf in Ireland.
“In coordination with Golf Ireland, Sport Ireland has taken this opportunity to give a positive showcase to competing professional players who were previous members of the Team Ireland Golf Scheme and associated Golf Ireland development paths.”
Meanwhile, Sport Ireland will today commit around €11m to fund the High Performance Program and the International Carding Scheme when it releases its Tokyo 2020 Games Review.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is all about a quadruple. But the boardroom at Anfield and at FSG in Boston is all about doubling the value for headline sponsorship.
According to reports in the last few days, the cost of the club’s kit space will increase from €47m to €95m when the current deal with British bank Standard Chartered expires at the end of next season.
According to Mailsport’s assessment of the new sponsorship deal, Liverpool will lead Manchester City in shirt sponsorship – City’s deal with Ethiad Airways is estimated at around €80m a year for the current Premier League champions.
Manchester United are third with a €55m-a-year deal with tech brand TeamViewer, while Tottenham Hotspur both charge €47m-a-year through AIA (insurance) and Arsenal (Emirates).
Chelsea and their frustrated partner ‘3’, who continue to feature on club shirts despite ending their deal after Russia invaded Ukraine, have also been linked in a €47m deal.
Matej Kraus, who is in charge of research at Sponsor.Online – a leading platform for professional football sponsorships with Christian Karembeu – expects the Standard Chartered deal for Liverpool to be extended.
“Liverpool, through the incredible success of their own brand and now making a third appearance in the Champions League final in five years, have the perfect leverage to claim a premium for their rights,” Kraus told The Pitch.