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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The outcome of the 2020 election will greatly impact the sports world. And through its efforts to increase voter turnout, the sports world could greatly impact the outcome of the 2020 election.

Where it stands: College sports are off. The NCAA is requiring that all Division I programs give their student athletes the day off from sports today, an idea that was first introduced in June by Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach Eric Reveno.

  • Sports ads: The Trump and Biden campaigns spent $41.1 million on 2,801 ads that aired during sports telecasts from Aug. 17 through today, per SBJ. Biden spent $26.7 million ($19.7M on national; $7M on local), while Trump spent $14.4 million ($5.2M on national; $9.2M on local).
  • All eyes on Georgia: State Farm Arena has been one of the most active in-stadium voting sites, the Falcons recruited high schoolers to be poll workers, and Kelly Loeffler's feud with WNBA players could cost her a Senate seat.
  • NCAA reform: The future of college sports will be shaped by 2020's Senate races. If Democrats win control, they're likely to pursue legislation that would completely reform the NCAA, while Republicans support a more limited bill that focuses on name, image and likeness.
  • Latest from LeBron: LeBron James and Michael Bloomberg are leading a multimillion-dollar effort to pay off court fees for Florida felons, which could make nearly 13,000 of them eligible to vote today, per the Tampa Bay Times.
  • "NFL Votes" initiative: 15 NFL stadiums will be used as polling sites today, and all NFL, NFLPA and team facilities are closed to ensure that everyone has the chance to vote.

The big picture: Through repeated attacks on athletes and ongoing feuds with leagues, President Trump has toppled the walls between politics and sports.

  • The president has support in the sports world, with household names like Jack Nicklaus and Brett Favre recently endorsing him.
  • But he's also made enemies — and now the battle is being waged on the ballot, with Election Day promising more drama and higher stakes than any sports competition ever could.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."