In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: the highest-paid female athletes, Jake Paul’s haul from boxing and a soccer offshoot lands an ESPN deal. Plus: why brands believe Carli Lloyd is more marketable than ever.

Sports Business

Teqball, a hybrid of soccer and Ping-Pong, is taking a step toward the mainstream with a new ESPN deal. The sport isn’t done yet, either, with aspirations of joining the Olympic program in 2028.

Animoca Brands, a video game company with an emphasis on blockchain technology and NFTs, has raised nearly $360 million in a funding round that values the company at more than $5 billion. Meanwhile, a Brazilian daily fantasy sports platform has raised $32 million, with investors hoping the company can become the FanDuel or DraftKings of Latin America.

Nike cofounder Phil Knight and Clippers owner Steve Ballmer are among America’s most philanthropic billionaires, according to Forbes’ lifetime count.


Jake Paul made the vast majority of his $45 million in 2021 earnings from boxing, with three fights last year. It was enough to land him at No. 2 on the Forbes list of the highest-paid YouTube stars.

College Basketball

Fresno State‘s Haley and Hanna Cavinder, among the biggest early winners in the college NIL market, are flexing their entrepreneurial muscles as cofounders of a new streetwear company. They’ll own 25%.

Auto Racing

Michael Andretti is expanding beyond auto racing, launching a SPAC with plans to raise $200 million for acquisitions in areas like automotive electrification and autonomous technology.

Nascar driver Ryan Preece had no ride for 2022, but he’s caught on with Stewart-Haas Racing in a role that is virtually unheard-of in the series.


Shaun White competed in four Olympics on snowboards from Burton, which first signed him when he was 7. As he eyes his fifth Games, he’s riding with a brand of his own.


Chris Evert announced that she had been diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer. Her experience offers an important lesson for doctors on genetic testing.

Horse Racing

Horse trainer Bob Baffert, who received a two-year suspension after 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a drug test, is preparing for a legal showdown. His lawyer says to expect him to be back at Churchill Downs in May.

Featured Story

The Highest-Paid Female Athletes Score A Record $167 Million

The world’s ten highest-paid female athletes earned a combined $167 million before taxes in 2021, a 16% jump from the prior record of $143 million set in 2013. Naomi Osaka leads the way, but the presence of a gymnast and a WNBA player is just as illustrative of the sponsor dollars coming into women’s sports. See who made the cut.

Hot Reads:

Upon Further Review

Tom Brady, cofounder of NFT platform Autograph and wellness company TB12, is further diversifying his business portfolio with the launch of an apparel line. Not that he needs to pad his earnings: Brady is pulling in an NFL-best $45 million off the field. See the list of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

The Last Word

“As a coach, you have to decide when to finish at a club.” Lluís Cortés

Two days after completing a championship season with FC Barcelona Femení last year, coach Lluís Cortés resigned, citing stress, the difficulties of Covid-19 and the time away from home. He’s since returned to soccer as coach of the Ukraine women’s national team, but with a catch: “I said I would only take this offer if I could live in Spain,” he tells us.

You can subscribe to the SportsMoney Playbook here.

Source: Forbes – Business

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