Week in Sportbiz: Olympic chiefs offer vaccines to athletes; Israel wins French Super Cup; and Winklevoss twins return to Boat Race
Olympic chiefs have eased concerns around this summer’s Games by offering Covid-19 vaccines to any athlete set to compete at Tokyo 2020.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the offer applied to athletes and teams involved in either Tokyo or the Winter Games in Beijing in February 2022.
The IOC will buy the vaccines from China and make additional doses available to members of the public in those countries that take up the offer, to head off suggestions that athletes might be jumping the queue.
“We are grateful for this offer, which is in the true Olympic spirit of solidarity,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
The IOC’s offer, which came a day after Bach’s re-election was confirmed by an emphatic 93-1 vote, follows growing unease in Japan at the looming influx of visitors for Tokyo 2020.
The move is also seen as a PR win for China amid outcry at the country hosting the Winter Olympics while it stands accused of implementing genocide of its Uighur population.
Israel wins French Super Cup
Israel might have seen its proposal to step in as a Euro 2020 host rebuffed by Uefa, but they have won a consolation prize of sorts.
The 2021 edition of the Trophee des Champions – the annual match between the winners of the French league and cup – will take place in Tel Aviv.
The fixture has been on something of a global tour over the last decade, with three outings in China and two apiece in Morocco and Canada.
It is a first for Israel, however, which has been able to reopen shops and other public spaces due to the speed of its vaccine rollout.
Winklevoss twins return to Boat Race
More than a decade after taking part, the Winklevoss twins are returning to the Boat Race.
The former Olympic rowers turned Bitcoin billionaires are sponsoring the event, which is moving from London to Ely this year – through their cryptocurrency trading platform Gemini.
Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss competed for Oxford in 2010, the first year that the race had a title sponsor – Xchanging.
As Mark Zuckerberg can attest, the twins know a good idea when they see it.
A busy week for…
Oakwell Sports Advisory, which advised CVC Capital Partners on its £365m investment in Six Nations Rugby. Oakwell, which added former England Cricket chief Colin Graves to its ranks this year, also assisted CVC on its move into Premiership Rugby and the Pro14.
Online used car portal Cazoo, which inked yet another major sports sponsorship deal, this time with the English Football League. The company already has deals with Everton, Aston Villa, The Hundred and the Rugby League World Cup.
And lifestyle brand and occasional football club Arsenal, who revealed a collaboration with US streetwear label 424. It is the latest in a series of extra kit lines Arsenal and Adidas have released, including an Originals range that reproduces 1990s designs and a collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ Human Race brand.
Banker on her bike for Tour de France route
A London-based financial services worker will be the only female cyclist to take on the 2021 Tour de France route a week before the professional riders.
Sarah Hope, 34, who works for Deutsche Bank, is part of a 25-strong party led by former footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas.
The Tour 21 project aims to raise £1m for Cure Leukaemia, which suffered a £1.5m funding shortfall due to the pandemic.