01/07/15: George Pyne makes his move; New York Life gets an ACC policy; NHL hits the track


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 7, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

George Pyne, former President of Sports & Entertainment at IMG Worldwide, offered a peek into the next step of his career, announcing the launch of Bruin Sports Capital as well as the conclusion of a $250 million equity round, providing $500 million in buying power. The new venture will serve as a privately held media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle company and “leverage Pyne’s 25-year track record of building businesses and creating shareholder value.”

“This is an unprecedented capital raising milestone for Bruin Sports Capital, which we reached in a very short time,” said Pyne. “Our partnership with WPP, whose global resources and record of accomplishments for delivering results, along with the capabilities and influence of the other global investors, provides Bruin Sports Capital with unmatchable reach and the ability to execute. Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP are builders of global businesses, which will benefit Bruin Sports Capital greatly. I am thrilled to be partnering with Sorrell, WPP and a truly global syndicate of investors. These relationships will allow us to maximize the opportunities we have identified throughout the sports and entertainment spaces and create exceptional value for our investors.”


FOX saw its 21st NFL on FOX regular season wrap up with America’s Game of the Week projected to rank as the most-watched show on television in households and among all key male and adult demographics for the sixth straight year when the television season concludes in May, according to the network, with 15.5/29 household rating/share, with 26.9 million viewers. For the season (excluding the early-morning NFL London Special in October), the NFL on FOX 2014 regular season averaged a 12.0/25 household rating with 20.7 million viewers. Meanwhile, FOX NFL Sunday saw its 2014 season average 4.9 million viewers, for a 2% rise in average audience vs. 2013.

2014 helped Golf Channel lock in its four best years ever with increased ratings of 57% and total-day average viewership up 40% over that span, according to the channel. Golf Channel matched its highest-rated year (.11 HH Cvg Rtg, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM), and posted its second most-watched year (98,000 average viewers, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM).

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As Oregon and Ohio State prepare to play for a championship, so too are their corresponding networks. BTN will showcase Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Glen Mason on Saturday with coverage of National Championship Media Day from the Dallas Convention Center, and be joined on set by a number of special guests during a 60-minute BTN Finale airing at 4:30p.  On Sunday, the foursome return for the College Football Playoff Championship Preview Show at 5p to break down the matchup and discuss keys to victory. Monday’s coverage begins at 6p with BTN Live, followed by the College Football Playoff Championship Pregame Show at 7p. Following the game, Revsine, DiNardo, Griffith and Mason will have highlights, analysis and interviews with select Ohio State coaches and student-athletes on the College Football Playoff Championship Postgame Show.

On Pac-12 Networks, coverage includes reports from Jill Savage on the ground in Eugene Wednesday and Thursday and a special College Football Playoff National Championship microsite within Pac-12.com. Sunday at 7p will see host Mike Yam, along with analysts Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway bring viewers Win the Day: National Championship Preview, a 60-min special offering a look at the Ducks’ road to Dallas and what it will take for Oregon to bring home its first national title in football. On Monday, the channel will offer the College Football Playoff Championship Pregame Show, Presented by GameFly beginning at 4p PT, which will include a live interview with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.

Former world No. 1 David Duval is becoming part of the Golf Channel team, signing on as a studio analyst and on site at selected PGA TOUR events, at major championships and other events. Over the past three years, Duval has worked as a guest analyst for both Golf Channel and other sports networks, while continuing to pursue competitive golf.


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ESPN announced that New York Life is aboard as title sponsor of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. The three-year deal begins with the 62nd annual New York Life ACC Tournament held at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. on March 10-14, 2015. The deal features entitlement of telecasts across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and Raycom Sports’ syndicated ACC Network as well as branding in-venue for the New York Life ACC Tournament. 

The NHL tapped Undefined Creative for its international its 2015 NHL All-Star promo campaign in a move to draw fans to the annual vote-driven tally. The New York-based design hot shop, which bid and won the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM project for the third time, was tasked to develop the campaign around the theme, “It’s Your Choice.” Spots are now airing on 53 different broadcast and digital networks, including NHL Network and NHL.com, as well as in radio adaptations. This month, the team will deliver all elements again with a focus on letting viewers know it’s their “Last Chance to Vote.”


The NHL is looking to up its game with the annual All-Star game, and will reportedly utilize player-tracking technology at the event. Sportsnet reports that officials from the league will be in Columbus for testing early next week, “with the goal of employing the Sportvision system during the Jan. 24 skills competition and Jan. 25 All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena” which would see computer chips placed in the sweaters of each player, plus the puck, to chart what is happening on the ice.


NFL Network hired Steven Graciano as the new Vice President of NFL Network Marketing where he is charged with developing the strategy and the implementation of consumer and affiliate marketing plans and serving as a liaison within the NFL and the NFL media group in order to highlight league priorities and initiatives.


Kansas/Baylor on ESPNU at 9p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1927: The Harlem Globetrotters play their first-ever road game in Hinckley, Illinois. The club has now won 25,284 games and have only lost 345 for a .987 winning percentage.

In The Know: Which NFL star had to run for his life during a cameo on The Dark Knight Rises? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the name of Keanu Reeves’ team in The Replacements? Answer: The Washington Sentinels. Kudos: Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Don Gorski-Westwood One/NY; Matthew Meyer-Havas Media/NY; Rob Abruzzese-Scout Sports & Entertainment/NY; Jamie Palatini-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Matthew Laramee-MMSI/Warwick; Patrick Costello-ESPN/Bristol, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Steve Hirsen/Sherman Oaks; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg.

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