Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Innings. Burger King added a unique twist to its Stevenage FC sponsorship from last year. The NBA announced that there would be relaxed player resting rules and drug testing policies. Also, the MLB wrapped up an incredibly cold Winter Meetings as the league’s teams seem to be holding out on a decision on fan attendance.
Burger King is continuing its partnership with Stevenage FC by sponsoring its women’s football team. The Burger King logo will now be proudly displayed on the uniform with a twist, reading “Burger Queen,” to bring more awareness to the women’s side.
Burger King earned great positive recognition from its original partnership with the men’s team, so it makes sense to continue its connection to the Stevenage FC brand. Said the Burger King marketing director, “The women’s team faces the same challenges and hurdles as the men’s team and it’s only fair that it receives the same support from our brand with an equal sponsorship.” By creating a unique and entertaining way to incorporate its brand with the women’s team, Burger King can bring excitement to an otherwise underappreciated part of the club.
The NBA will introduce new resting rules and a relaxed drug testing policy. The league will discourage teams from resting more than one healthy player per game for nationally televised games. This new policy will be favorable to teams who made a deep postseason run during the 2019 / 2020 season as the offseason is only 71 days this year. Teams that are found in violation of these rules will be fined at least $100,000 and could incur other penalties.
In addition to the load management policy, the NBA will begin to focus its drug testing policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The league will also be looking for “drugs of abuse” while stepping back from marijuana testing. The NBA did not test for marijuana during its postseason bubble this year. All four major North American sports leagues have now relaxed their marijuana testing protocols in one way or another over the last few years.
Notable Information From the Sports World:
UK: The UK is joining Spain in reviewing gambling laws and betting sports sponsorship. Currently, 10 of the 20 Premier League teams have some sort of jersey partnership providing an income of £69.6 million. Any decision to restrict betting partnerships would increase losses that UK football teams are facing from the Coronavirus.
MLB: Each of the 30 MLB teams has formalized their four minor league affiliates. In total, 40 additional minor league teams will lose affiliation with the MLB. The future of these teams has not been determined.
NHL: Due to the number of teams north of the US / Canada border, the NHL Commissioner says that it is probable the NHL will create an all-Canadian division. This will mean that the remaining 24 teams will be divided into three, eight-team conferences. The normal 82-game season will likely change.
EFL: Europe will have a new American football league set to debut in 2021. The EFL will be an eight-team league with six teams in Germany and one team each in Poland and Spain. The league has plans to expand to 20 teams in 10 countries. This league is a pseudo reboot of NFL Europe, which ceased operations in 2007.