01/18/18: Coca-Cola is renewing vows with NASCAR and ISC in a new deal

Good morning. It’s Thursday January 18, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Coca-Cola is tapping International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR through an extension to each of its long-standing partnerships through 2023. Described as a “first-of-its kind integrated agreement,” the deal with ISC will continue Coca-Cola’s position s at 21 race tracks in 2018 while the brand continues its role as the ‘Official Soft Drink of NASCAR’.
“This renewed relationship highlights how committed Coca-Cola is to engage the most brand loyal fans in sports. Coca-Cola is deeply integrated across our sport, including track pouring rights, race entitlements and relationships with drivers– all adding up to a valued partnership,” said Daryl Wolfe, chief sales and partnership officer, NASCAR and ISC. “The company has been a longtime supporter of NASCAR, and we are thrilled to embark on the next expanded phase of our partnership.”
“We’re elated to announce an extension to this winning formula,” said Stuart Kronauge, SVP of Marketing & Business Unit President of USA Operations, The Coca-Cola Company. “The association with NASCAR, iconic tracks across the country, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400, and the drivers of the Coca-Cola Racing Family creates an ideal relationship between the brands, the sport and fans. It allows for a fully integrated experience that connects Coca-Cola with NASCAR fans at every level – locally, nationally, at the track, in store, at home and elsewhere.”

Katie Couric is heading home to NBC, where she will co-host the Opening Ceremony for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Couric will join host Mike Tirico in the booth for the Opening Ceremony, which will air on Feb. 9 at 8p. Also joining NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage will be Joshua Cooper Ramo, Co-CEO of Kissinger Associates, who discussed culture and geo-political issues for NBC during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of athletes from around the world. The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it,” said Couric. “I’m also looking forward to working with Mike, who brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to everything he does.”
Meanwhile, NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a new live, daily figure skating show running nightly at 7p on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. The hour-long Olympic Ice studio show will preview the day’s Olympic figure skating action while Liam McHugh and Tanith White host.
In other talent news, FOX Sports announced that veteran MMA analyst Jimmy Smith will hit UFC on Saturday, joining Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian and Karyn Bryant on the FOX Sports desk in Los Angeles studio for UFC 220: MIOCIC VS. NGANNOU.
Speaking of which, Sunday’s UFC Fight Night scored its best viewership in almost two years. Headlined by Jeremy Stephens’ second round TKO of Doo Ho Choi, the program scored 1,285,000 viewers on FS1 according to Nielsen, up 18% over the Rodriguez/Penn Fight Night on the same Sunday last year. The prelim bouts for Sunday’s Fight Night tallied 1,079,000 viewers, up 31%.
ESPN announced that the State Farm Champions Classic will open the 2018-19 season on Nov. 6 to coincide with the new start of the college basketball season as announced by the NCAA. The 2018 Classic will once again feature Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State.
Formula 1 announced a new partnership with FOX Sports Latin America that will run through 2022. The deal sees FOX Sports hold the exclusive broadcasting right of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship on TV and digital platforms throughout Latin America (excluding Brazil) and includes coverage of the three free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, qualifying sessions on Saturday afternoon and race on Sunday.
Nickelodeon will bring back viral sports clip series Crashletes for season three on Feb. 11 at 10a as part of the NickSports programming block. The series sees co-hosts Brandon Broady and Stevie Nelson joined by a guest athlete in each episode who will help provide in-depth analysis of viral sports bloopers, blunders and absurdities. 
Experiential Marketing has become the most vital strategic and competitive edge in sports and entertainment. Being able to provide fans, viewers, consumers and users not only content but unbelievable, unforgettable, high touch moments is a primary differentiator.”
-Damon Haley | Head of Sports Marketing – Toika


The Reese’s brand inked an extension of its title sponsorship of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where the brand has served as title sponsor of the game since 2014. New this year, the Reese’s brand and 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl players will host a community event to build upon The Hershey Company’s ongoing partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charity with a network of 200 member food banks.
UFC locked in a renewal of its global partnership with Monster Energy through a multi-year extension, in which the leading distributor of energy drinks will continue to serve as the “Official Energy Drink” of UFC. As part of this extension, Monster will continue to have center canvas and entrance logo placement inside UFC’s world-famous Octagon at events. The two brands will also work in conjunction on retail promotions during UFC events in select markets.
Bridgestone Retail Operations launched a new contest in advance of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 that celebrates the “clutch performances” of parents who support their young athletes. Designed to honor the roads that parents and families travel to participate in youth sports, the campaign will run through February 28 as part of Bridgestone’s activation around its first Olympic Winter Games and the winner will receive a visit from an Olympian at their child’s team practice later this year.

Verizon and the NBA sunk a multi-year partnership designed to bring NBA content – ranging from live out-of-market games via NBA League Pass to highlights, fantasy basketball, original programming and more – to Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Fantasy and across Verizon’s family of media brands. The deal kicks in with NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles, where the orgs will unveil a series of innovative collaborations. In addition, the NBA and Verizon will work together on enhanced global Yahoo Fantasy experiences, including a new, simplified Official NBA Fantasy format, flexible entry for fans to start their fantasy season at any time, and customized fantasy highlight packages. “We are absolutely thrilled to extend and grow our unique relationship with Verizon and its various media platforms,” said Bill Koenig, NBA President, Global Content and Media Distribution.  “This expanded partnership allows us to tap into Verizon’s expansive reach and new technologies to engage our fans through a variety of innovative experiences.”
Thirty Five Media, owned by NBA star Kevin Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman, are set to work with athletes and YouTube to help sports stars launch their own YouTube channels, as well as create new and innovative sports programming as a development partner for YouTube. YouTube’s deal with Thirty Five Media will look to help other athletes and sports figures launch similar YouTube channels. NFL All-Pro Richard Sherman, NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns, and Golden State Warriors JaVale McGee and Nick Young among the first of these channels.
Stadium is now available on Roku devices. The Stadium Roku channel will run 24 hours a day, integrating and moving among live games and events, extensive highlights, classic games, original programming, and daily live studio programming featuring news, analysis, and opinion across each day’s most important storylines. Stadium Plus will also be available on Roku, with an additional 500 live college games including basketball, football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and more for $4.99 a month.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…       
  • Overwatch League’s 10 million week
  • NA LCS gets ready to rumble
  • FlyQuest hooks 5-hour ENERGY
  • 100 Thieves pulls trigger on Heist
  • Updating the Caster rosters
  • Rogue gets ReKT
  • Providence goes recruiting
  • DICE Award nominees

STATS announced the hiring of software executive Carl Mergele as Chief Executive Officer. Mergele will oversee the company’s next phase of growth, empowering STATS’ customers—the most innovative and successful sports teams, leagues, and brands—with the best data, intelligence and technology, giving them an edge over their competition.

76ers/Celtics on TNT at 7p.

Proud of your team’s work in sports?
The best and brightest in sports media will be gathering in NYC on April 12 th to honor the incredible work that has been done in the space. Whether you’re shining a light on content, campaigns or the incredible individuals who have elevated the industry this past year, we want to hear all about it.
Entries are due 2 weeks from today! ( Get started here ). 

ON THIS DAY in 1963: Al Davis becomes the head coach and GM of the Oakland Raiders.
In the Know: In which sport would you see a Salchow jump? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which action star did Dennis Rodman team up with in the movie Double Team? Answer: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Brian Schweibert-Publicis Media/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Randy Ingram-WISH/WNDY-TV/Indianapolis; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; John KuklaKDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later – Chris

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