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Southampton FC scouting sports tech startups for Future of Football challenge

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The Future of Football challenge is open to innovative companies ready to shape and test their solutions for updated football experiences in either the football development or fan engagement space. In spirit with its values of innovation and doing things differently, Southampton FC will offer a 4-week virtual programme — powered by Sport Republic and Yolo Group — to create opportunities and break away from conventional methods.

The challenge welcomes Web3 and sports tech startups and scaleups with novel solutions to:

  • Football development (scouting, training, recovery, game analytics etc.)
  • Fan engagement (gamification, loyalty programmes, matchday experiences, global fan engagement etc.)

Selected teams will rapidly test and pilot their solutions, participate in tailored workshops, and have regular and direct access to Southampton FC, Sport Republic, and Yolo Group decision-makers. At the St. Mary’s finale, teams will pitch for a commercial relationship with SFC and a £100k discretionary prize pool for post-programme solution development.

“Southampton FC’s commitment to innovating and creating a positive impact is central to the way we operate and make decisions. We’re excited to see programme participants create the future of football” said Sarah Batters, Director of Marketing and Partnerships as SFC.

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Sport Republic, the owner of Southampton Football Club is a London-based investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry. Founded by Henrik Kraft and Rasmus Ankersen and backed by Lead Investor Dragan Šolak, Sport Republic’s vision is to grow high potential sports businesses and sports tech companies.

“Sport Republic are really looking forward to being part of the Future of Football challenge to power innovation in sports tech. We are continuously seeking the most innovative sports tech companies to join our portfolio and leveraging our clubs to drive growth and achieve digital transformation. ” said Henrik Kraft, Sport Republic and SFC Chairman.

Yolo Group is the managing partner for the Future of Football challenge. Yolo Group is a leader at the cross section of gaming, fintech, and blockchain, and operates the Sportsbet.io brand. Sportsbet.io is Southampton FC’s Main Club Partner.

“This programme is designed to push boundaries, to bring together a spectrum of solutions from startups around the globe. It’s a chance to create truly unique approaches — and test them. We’re driven by innovation; so, we’re looking forward to seeing the results,” said Tim Heath, GP at Yolo Investments, and founder of Yolo Group. The application deadline is 23 February 2023. Find more information and apply here: https://www.southamptonfc.com/saints-partners/future-of-football-challenge

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partnerships

Casino Crypto Giant Bitline Partners with Ciphertrace for Enhanced Compliance in Digital Asset Transactions

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BitLine, the only industry provider for casino chip access directly from digital assets, announced a strategic partnership with Ciphertrace, a global leader in digital asset transaction monitoring known for its technology widely used by governments and law enforcement worldwide.

The collaboration follows recent developments in the digital assets industry, where regulatory actions and leadership changes have been observed. By integrating Ciphertrace, Bitline enhances its capabilities for real-time transaction monitoring and compliance with global regulatory standards. Ciphertrace automates the screening of incoming and outgoing transactions.

Bitline CEO and co-founder Richard Jones stated: “In the context of the Web3 industry today, competition is not just about bringing in a product that solves a problem, it is also about ensuring that we all stay way above the line when it comes to compliance and regulations. We are enthusiastic about this collaborative journey with Ciphertrace, reinforcing our commitment to security, compliance, and the seamless integration of innovative technologies into the digital asset landscape.”

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Acquired by Mastercard in 2021, Ciphertrace is a global leader in digital asset transaction monitoring. Trusted by governments and law enforcement, Ciphertrace provides solutions for compliance, security, and risk management in the cryptocurrency space.

Bitline will implement Ciphertrace Traveler to support compliance with “Travel Rule” regulations and FATF recommendations, strengthening efforts against financial crimes. Bitline launched its service in 2023, facilitating direct access to cryptocurrency and digital asset liquidity in just minutes. The Bitline platform can be used in casinos around the world 24/7.

The latest addition of Ciphertrace’s risk threat detection tools underscores Bitline’s commitment to upholding the highest standards within Web3 compliance.

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Riot Games Announces VALORANT Esports EMEA Partnership With Unilumin

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With the start of the 2024 competitive VALORANT Esports season now underway, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Unilumin, a world leading LED display solution provider!

Unilumin has been instrumental in helping us level up the fan experience at the all-new Riot Games Arena with their industry-leading LED display technology, of which 250 square meters will now feature across the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. We’re so excited to welcome them on board as an official supplier for VCT EMEA, VALORANT Game Changers EMEA, and VALORANT Ascension EMEA.

Unilumin’s screens will light up the stage at the Berlin arena – and their logo will feature across various VALORANT Esports EMEA broadcasts throughout 2024. They’ve supplied display solutions globally from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, a mere stone’s throw away from us at the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. They’ve also worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment venues and global sports stadiums to illuminate events across the globe with grandstand, perimeter, and centerhung screens alongside scoreboards in major competition venues.

As we continue to level up the fan experience throughout 2024, we know Unilumin is the perfect partner to help us bring the most immersive experience and exciting atmosphere to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin, for our fans.

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“Unilumin Sports is pleased to bring our solutions and technologies to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin and be a partner of VALORANT Esports in EMEA”, said Oscar Feng, the Global Director of Unilumin Sports. “We will use our well-designed products and fast response services to cooperate with Riot Games for their events and show the ultimate audio-visual experience to their fans.”

“After working with Unilumin for the refit of the Riot Games Arena, we’re delighted to welcome them as a supplier for our various VALORANT Esports EMEA events in 2024,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of VALORANT Esports EMEA. “Unilumin has helped us enhance the fan experience for those watching from home and joining us on-site, and we can’t wait to use their display technology throughout the season.”

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Racing TV Secures Exclusive British Rights to World’s Richest Horserace, the US$20 Million Saudi Cup

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Racing TV is the only place to see the Saudi Cup in the United Kingdom

Racing TV has secured the exclusive British broadcast rights to the world’s richest horserace, the US$20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh tomorrow (Saturday, February 24).

The showpiece race, run over a distance of 1,800 metres at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse, has attracted some of the finest thoroughbreds from around the globe.

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Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, the big American hope, White Abarrio, heads a strong 14-horse field but will face a stiff challenge from Japanese duo, 2023 Dubai World Cup winner Ushba Tesoro and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Derma Sotogake.

The day itself boasts a combined prize fund of US$37.35 million and the card is enhanced by two Group 2 races and three Group 3 races for thoroughbreds as well as two Group 1 contests for purebred Arabians.

There is a strong British and Irish contingent and one of the highlights will be the US$2 million Howden Neom Turf at 4:10pm, in which Aidan O’Brien’s classy Luxembourg takes on Sir Alex Ferguson’s Spirit Dancer, who won the prestigious Bahrain International Trophy in November.

The leading horseracing channel will broadcast the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia’s official World Feed programme, fronted by Racing TV presenters Nick Luck and Tom Stanley.

Saturday’s feature races are (all GMT): 3:25pm, 4:10pm, 4:50pm and Saudi Cup at 5:35pm. The final fields are here: Saudi Cup Saturday (jcsa.sa).

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Racing TV is available on Sky 424, Virgin 536 (Britain) and 411 (Ireland), Apple TV and Vodafone (Ireland). For more, please visit www. RacingTV. com.

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