JUAN MABROMATA, FRANCK FIFE/ AFP
In the wake of Sunday’s World Cup final, football fans around the world have rushed to buy merchandise, with demand for Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe club jerseys more than tripling, sports merchandise retailer Fanatics Inc told Reuters.
Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties after a dramatic 3-3 draw, with Messi scoring twice and France’s Mbappe netting three times.
It was Argentina’s first World Cup win since Diego Maradona hoisted the trophy 36 years ago.
Global sales of football gear were up more than 700 per cent for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar versus the 2018 World Cup in Russia across the Fanatics network of online stores.
Fans flocked to buy Nike-brand Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) club jerseys, with sales in particular for Messi and Mbappe jerseys on the official PSG online store surging by more than 200 per cent on Sunday.
Messi, Argentina’s 35-year-old team captain, said the final would be his last match in the World Cup, though he intends to play a few more games for the national side.
Mbappe also shone with three goals in the game, becoming only the second hat-trick scorer in a World Cup final after England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966.
Fanatics, which operates the official online Paris Saint-Germain store, said 40 per cent of all PSG sales on the day came from the United States.
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Capri and Adani join IPL party with Women’s Premier League
Capri Global and Adani Sportline will join the Indian Premier League (IPL) when its newest version – the Women’s Premier League (WPL) – takes off later this year. The two teams bookended the winning bidders for five cities. The rest of the teams were picked up by IPL franchises. All, except Chennai Super Kings, showed interest in the process.
The WPL is running against the clock to be played from March 4 to 24 – after the T20 Women’s World Cup and the IPL in March-April. According to sources close to the proceedings, headline.ae understands the WPL will be held in the first year in and around Mumbai to reduce travel times and fit into the calendar.
The inaugural version of the WPL is a landmark development in the history of Indian cricket, the richest board in the world. The WPL will fetch a total of US$527 million (Dh1.93 billion) for the governing Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Five cities were picked by the winners after an auction arranged at short notice in Mumbai. In 2008, Rajasthan Royals proved to be a Moneyball team as the lowest bidders but going on to win the tournament on debut.
Capri Global will be hoping to emulate Rajasthan Royals, while picking Lucknow as their choice venue. Adani Sportsline (Ahmedabad), Mumbai Indians (Mumbai), Royal Challengers Bangalore (Bangalore), Delhi Capitals (New Delhi) are the other owners of the teams.
|Company||Franchise||Winning bid (Dhs)|
|Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd||Ahmedabad||586 million|
|Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd (MI)||Mumbai||415 million|
|Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd (RCB)||Bangalore||409.5 million|
|JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd (DC)||Delhi||368 million|
|Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd||Lucknow||344 million|
“Lucknow holds a special place in the north of India. Although Mumbai remains our corporate headquarters for operational reasons, the northern belt of the country is also equally important from the viewpoint of our customer base,” said Rajesh Sharma, Director of Capri Global Capital Ltd, which also owns the Sharjah Warriors franchise in the inaugural six-team ILT20 being played in the UAE.
The leading Indian Non-banking Financial Company also owns the Bengal Warriors team in Pro Kabbadi League and the Rajasthan Warriors franchise in KhoKho.
“Capri Global’s association with WPL has been strategic in achieving our vision of encouraging sports across all strata and genders and establishing a deeper connect with our stakeholders and customers. We believe cricket is the most natural route to further that vision given its history in India,” said Sharma, pictured.
Proud to be at the forefront of revolutionising women’s cricket ⚔️
— Sharjah Warriors (@SharjahWarriors) January 26, 2023
With the amount of sale from franchise and media rights, the WPL will become the second-richest cricketing league behind the IPL only.
Among women’s team sports in the world, the WPL will take third spot among the richest behind the Women’s NBA and the Super League football in the UK. The auction for players, with seven from overseas allowed, will happen in the first week of February at an undisclosed date yet. Registration for players has started.
For the moment, Capri Global is content basking in the company of the highest bidder Adani Sportsline as the two non-IPL teams out of the five winners of the day. “We are happy to associate with the Women’s Premier League and extend our vision for sports in India while shining light on the women of India,” Sharma said. “With the Lucknow WPL team, we are extremely proud to be a part of this historic moment in cricket and especially in being able to extend our support to some of the most tremendously talented women in sport.”
Viacom18 has secured the Women’s Premier League (IPL) media rights value for the 2023-2027 cycle for Rs 951 crores ($2.5 billion).
Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in total bid. This marks the beginning of a revolution in women’s cricket and paves the
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) January 25, 2023
InsurTech company Wellx straps on free Fitbit for UAE residents
UAE’s insurance platform Wellx has partnered with Fitbit to encourage insurees to stay healthy throughout the year while covering them with a policy linked to their well-being.
Wellx plans to connect their platform with the API of Fitbit, Google’s fitness wearable company, and have access to activity data upon user consent to enable them to set fitness goals and unlock rewards while achieving them.
Founded in 2021, Wellx is an insurtech company which combines digital medical insurance and wellness. The startup is also part of the DIFC Fintech Hive’s 2022 Accelerator Programme.
“Our association with Fitbit will enable us to turn a traditional financial product into an engaging lifestyle product by gamifying the individual wellness journey,” said Vaibhav Kashyap, Wellx co-founder & CEO. “By incentivising our customers to care for themselves, and rewarding them financially, we expect to change the way customers perceive insurance. Our aim is to become their everyday health companions and remind them of the benefits of staying healthy.” Javed Akberali is Kashyap’s founding partner at Wellx.
Wellx has brought together an ecosystem of wellness-focused services and products, with the singular goal of making insurance fun, engaging and impactful.
“By associating with locally grown companies whose prime focus is health & wellbeing of people of UAE, we at Fitbit are supporting our bigger mission of helping everyone in the world become healthier. Through this association, Wellx customers will be able to get even the recently announced Fitbit smartwatches & trackers including Sense 2, Versa 4 and Inspire 3, that feature some most advanced wellness capabilities; these devices will enable users to have a holistic view of their health and wellness.” said David Amehame, Regional Sales Manager, Middle East & Africa, Fitbit at Google.
Nicola Maxwell, Head of Fitbit Health Solutions EMEA, said: “This association shows how Fitbit can help to support innovation in health tech in the region. Over the years, Fitbit has worked globally with leading health insurers to promote healthy behaviour change. We’re happy to collaborate with Wellx here in the UAE to support them on their journey to launch unique insurance plans that will provide lifestyle benefits when customers achieve their health and wellness targets – tracked by Fitbit devices.”
You can sign up for an insurance plan with Wellx digitally using any web browser or smartphone on www.wellxai.com.
Usain Bolt claims $12 million stolen from investment account
Lawyers representing Usain Bolt, the world-record sprinter, claim that a significant portion of his funds held in an account with a private investment firm, Stocks & Securities Limited, have gone missing.
The account, which originally held $12.8 million, is now allegedly at just $12,000.
The lawyers have stated that they will take legal action, both civil and criminal, if the money is not returned within the next 10 days.
“If this is correct, and we are hoping it is not, then a serious act of fraud larceny or a combination of both have been committed against our client,” Bolt’s attorneys told The Associated Press.
The Jamaica Financial Services Commission has announced an investigation into the firm, and have assumed temporary management of the company. The firm is allowed to continue operating but needs government approval for any transactions.
“We understand that clients are anxious to receive more information and assure you that we are closely monitoring the matter throughout all the required steps and will alert our clients of the resolution as soon as that information is available,” the commission said.
On Tuesday, Jamaica’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced that it had taken over temporary management of SSL after discovering alleged fraud committed by a client relationship manager at the company.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Everton McFarlane, executive director at the FSC, stated that to the knowledge of the FSC, this level of fraud had never occurred before.
McFarlane went on to say that employee theft is a risk all businesses face and that businesses, especially financial institutions, take this risk very seriously. He also emphasised that the alleged fraud at SSL is not indicative of the risk for the entire industry.
According to Reuters, SSL had previously issued a statement on January 12, acknowledging fraudulent activity by a former employee and stating that the matter had been referred to law enforcement.
“To the knowledge of the FSC, this level of fraud has never happened before,” said McFarlane.
“Employee theft is a risk all businesses face and is a risk that businesses for the most part, and in particular financial institutions, take very seriously … This despicable act of dishonesty by an employee at SSL, and possibly with collaborators, we believe cannot be taken as symptomatic of the risk for the entire industry.”
Usain Bolt gained fame and recognition for his gold medal wins at the Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016 Olympics. He holds the current world records for the 100-meter and 200-meter races, which were set at the 2009 world championships in Berlin with a time of 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds respectively.