LaLiga, Spain’s top-flight football league, and Galaxy Racer (GXR), the world’s largest esports, gaming and lifestyle organisation, today signed a 15-year Joint Venture (JV) which will transform the Spanish league’s brand’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa region and Indian subcontinent.
The JV establishes an historic first for the world of sports rights in the territories and positions GXR as LaLiga’s local partner in the MENA and Indian subcontinent markets. The deal is expected to generate more than €3 billion in revenue. LaLiga and GXR will each hold a 50 per cent stake in the JV.
With more than 1.3 billion people under the age of 30 in the two markets, the deal will provide LaLiga with new ways to grow its brand and reach new audiences. It will also grant broadcast and media rights in MENA and Indian subcontinent, boosting viewership of LaLiga matches in the 29 countries in which the JV is in effect.
LaLiga teams with @GalaxyRacerDxb to transform the sports media scene in MENA region and Indian subcontinent… ⤵️
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) December 9, 2022
This is an especially important time for football in the region, as Qatar hosts the first Fifa World Cup competition ever to be held in the Arab world. More than five billion people worldwide are expected to watch the tournament.
Paul Roy, CEO & Founder of Galaxy Racer, said: “The agreement marks the dawn of a new era of football in the region. Our collaboration with LaLiga offers us a novel way to share its intellectual property with GXR’s 500 million-strong global audience.”
Maite Ventura, LaLiga’s Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Partnering with Galaxy Racer in the MENA region and Indian subcontinent is of great strategic importance to the LaLiga brand and its continued expansion in these critical markets.
GXR’s extensive experience in the region will also serve as an important source of support towards our international strategy. The Middle East is growing as a dedicated sports hub and the Fifa World Cup in Qatar now is the best example of the power of the sport.”
The JV will see collaboration with LaLiga representatives in Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, India, and the UAE, which is essential in achieving true regional development.
Galaxy Racer and LaLiga are already collaborating on a number of projects, including a documentary series, competitions, merchandise, live events, and activations.
Additionally, GXR will launch a roster of influencers who will focus exclusively on LaLiga and curate creator events to promote the LaLiga brand throughout the whole year.
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.
Indian cricket board starts bid process for women’s IPL teams
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) on Tuesday invited bids for the right to “own and operate” teams in the first ever women’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
In December, the BCCI also floated tenders for the women’s league’s media rights for the 2023-27 cycle.
“The Governing Council of the IPL invites bids from reputed entities to acquire the right to own and operate a team in Women’s Indian Premier League, through a tender process,” the BCCI said in a statement.
“The (Invitation to Tender) will be available for purchase till January 21, 2023.”
The inaugural season of the women’s IPL is likely to be played from March 3-26, an ESPNcricinfo report said in December.
A three-team Women’s T20 Challenge had been staged alongside the men’s IPL since 2018, but the BCCI have been urged to set up an expanded tournament for women with more teams and players.
The Indian board also decided to give equal pay rights to the women cricketers, it announced in October last year.
India’s men and women cricket teams will be paid the same appearance fees to represent their country, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah said on Thursday.
The agreement will see women’s players at international level receive the same match fees as men across all formats – 1,500,000 rupees ($18,225) for Tests, 600,000 rupees for one-day internationals and 300,000 for Twenty20 internationals. However, the retainer fees remain in stark contrast to their male counterparts.
Australia hosts the Women’s Big Bash League as its domestic T20 league, while New Zealand has the Women’s Super Smash.
England hold the ‘The Hundred’ tournament for women alongside the men’s competition.
Huge interest for Women's IPL 🏏🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/zkmkfUkjQl
— CricketGully (@thecricketgully) January 2, 2023
UAE sends emergency humanitarian aid to Somalia
The International Humanitarian City (IHC) has promptly responded and supported the World Health Organisation (WHO)in dispatching and transporting much-needed aid to Mogadishu, Somalia, following a deadly car bombing that claimed the lives of more than 120 people and injured at least 300 others.
A consignment including 38 metric tons of trauma kits and surgical equipment – valued at approximately USD 130,000 – was airlifted earlier today and will support first responders in the Somalian capital, helping alleviate the suffering of around 55,000 people due to the overwhelming effects of the car bombing.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC, said, “In line with the commitment and mandate of the IHC, the City responded to the request of the WHO to assist with the urgent dispatch of aid to Somalia. The IHC facilitated and funded the logistics and transportation cost, accounting for 60% of the total operation’s cost through its Global Humanitarian Impact Fund (GHIF). The GHIF mobilizes resources from the private and public sectors to swiftly respond to emerging humanitarian crises, affirming the role the IHC plays, leading from the front and enhancing global humanitarian preparedness.’’
Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said, “As part of a broad United Nations response to the blasts in Mogadishu, the World Health Organization, in partnership with International Humanitarian City, is now delivering another 38 metric tons of trauma and emergency surgery medicines, infusions, and supplies to reinforce recovery efforts. On Saturday, WHO’s Logistics Hub in Dubai coordinated the first charter flight carrying supplies to treat approximately 2,500 patients for trauma and burn-related injuries. These additional supplies are critically needed to ensure that essential medicines and infusions are available in Mogadishu to care for blast victims and prevent further loss of life. Thanks to the support of the Dubai Government, the International Humanitarian City, and the Government of the UAE, WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai can rapidly respond to acute health emergencies around the world to deliver humanitarian aid to those in greatest need, in line with our collective Regional vision of “Health for all, by all.”
In 2022, Somalia was among the top 10 recipient countries to receive humanitarian aid from IHC members and partners, which in addition to the WHO, include other UN agencies and world-leading humanitarian organizations such as the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). Founded in 2003, the IHC houses aid across its 140,000 sqm warehouses at a crossroads between the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and far East and South Asia, with assistance dispatched from the city reaching two-thirds of the world’s most vulnerable populations in about four hours.