The NFL Players Association, through its licensing and marketing arm, NFL Players Inc., locked in a partnership renewal with athlete marketing platform opendorse. The partnership follows NFL Players Inc.’s launch of REP Worldwide, the athlete brand management and sports licensing business and the NFLPA will be leveraging opendorse’s instantaneous distribution platform for athletes to approve and share content from their brand partners. Since partnering in 2013, the NFLPA and opendorse have helped nearly one thousand NFL players connect with hundreds of brands to share social media campaigns, reaching more than one billion fans worldwide.
Running through the end of the Olympic Games this year, the Coca-Cola Company is offering Team USA fans a slate of limited edition Coke mixes, each inspired by partnering Olympic hopefuls. Fans can sample the custom flavors—including ice skating sibling duo Alex and Maia Shibutani’s ‘Frosty Honor,’ Olympic freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon’s ‘Downhill Glory’ and bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor’s ‘Bobsled Rush’—at more than 40,000 Freestyle machines nationwide. The limited flavors can be unlocked through the new Coca-Cola Freestyle app, which offers 100s of special combinations, in addition to these golden pairings.
US Ski & Snowboard announced that airweave will become the latest brand to join the Olympic sports organization’s growing roster of partners as the Official Bedding Supplier, where it will supply mattresses to US Ski & Snowboard’s athletes “to help them maximize performance throughout the year ahead.” The sponsorship includes airweave’s total sleep solution of mattresses, toppers, pillows, duvets and a limited edition travel blanket.
Outdoor Sportsman Group’s Sportsman Channel plays host to the first-ever Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest, where more than 500 vendors and 15,000 patrons are expected to converge on the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from July 20-22. Comcast Houston has signed on as the event’s first major sponsor. “Besides plenty of proud Astros fans, we know Houston has its share of outdoorsmen and women too,” Outdoor Sportsman Group President and CEO, Jim Liberatore said. “With Houston’s rich tradition in hunting, fishing and outdoor lifestyle activities, the Sportsman Channel Outdoor Fest will remind all of us about the positive wonders of the outdoors in spite of the fury nature sometimes displays.”
FloSports and Alliance MMA of New York (entered into a multi-year partnership for Alliance MMA’s top promotions, Cage Fury Fighting Championships and V3 Fights that will see all CFFC and V3Fights events aired live and on-demand only on FloCombat.com, with the first event kicking off March 2018. “This new agreement with FloSports is a milestone for Alliance MMA and its CFFC and V3Fights marquee brands. This multi-year contract gives us access to a targeted, sports-centric US audience and reaffirms the value we place on the brands in our portfolio,” said Paul Danner, Alliance MMA’s CEO. “Today’s news is the culmination of much good work and is further confirmation of Kings Highway Media’s commitment to delivering total global penetration for Alliance MMA.”
Major League Soccer today announced that MLS SuperDraft 2018 presented by adidas will be streamed live on Twitter today at 11a. The live show will serve as the official destination for comprehensive SuperDraft coverage, featuring first interviews with draft picks, and expert analysis from both MLSsoccer.com personalities and celebrity guests.
For the first time, NBCUniversal will stream live an Olympics Opening Ceremony. The live coverage from PyeongChang will begin on Feb. 9 at 6a on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, and run with world feed graphics and the event’s natural sound without commentators. NBC’s fully-produced presentation of the Opening Ceremony, hosted by Couric and Tirico and featuring interviews and profiles will then air at 8p on NBC.
WWE is reporting record-breaking digital results in 2017, which includes: 20 million subscribers for WWE on YouTube and a record 20+ billion views across digital & social platforms in 2017. Overall, WWE now boards more than 850 million social media followers.
On the local front, NBC Sports Regional Networks are also reporting big streaming upticks over 2016 numbers. The RSNs’ streaming of MLB, NHL and NBA saw a 124% increase in minutes streamed, compared to 2016. In all, the RSNs streamed more than 417 million minutes across 1,589 games during the 2017 calendar year on local regional network websites, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. In addition, NBC Sports Regional Networks combined to have 3.6 million social media followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in 2017, up +31%, compared to 2016.
Sportsdigita announced today the completion of an investment round from Chicago-based PEAK6 Sports. The transaction enables the firm to more quickly grow its technical, sales, and support teams as it begins to target businesses outside of sports. “Our mandate at Sportsdigita is to build technologies that solve business problems. We’ve proven that the Digideck platform is the missing piece in the sales enablement chain and the best way for businesses to fully maximize their existing investments in CRM and Marketing Automation programs,” said Angelina Lawton, Sportsdigita’s Founder and CEO. “When the decision was made to scale our business, PEAK6 Sports quickly emerged as the partner best suited to our needs.”
ESL announced that the world’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition, CS:GO Pro League will now run exclusively to Facebook in 2018. In partnership with WESA, the deal kicks off with the upcoming Season Seven starting Feb. 13 and run for four seasons of Pro League, through December 2019. ESL will also broadcast one of its flagship circuits, ESL One on Facebook, featuring Dota 2 and CS:GO with the first event being ESL One Genting 2018. ESL will also produce and broadcast a weekly five-minute show celebrating the Dota community on Facebook Watch, while competitions will be streamed exclusively via Facebook Live in English and Portuguese, with other languages available as well.
Overwatch League picked up a heavyweight non-endemic, announcing a deal with Toyota to serve as a North American Launch Partner for the league. The automaker plans to have additional broadcast integrations, as well as a vehicle presence at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. “Toyota is excited to be a launch partner of the Overwatch League,” said Steven Curtis, vice president, media & engagement marketing for Toyota Motor North America. “We love the passion of esports fans, and the goal of our partnership is to help take the Overwatch League and the fan experience to the next level.”
Turner and IMG’s coverage of The ELEAGUE Major: Boston continues today with The New Legends stage starting at 10a on Twitch, featuring the top seven finishers from the previous Major and the nine teams that advanced from The New Challengers stage, split into four pools. Joining the set this weekend will be pro player Jordan ‘n0thing’ Gilbert as a guest analyst throughout live coverage of the stage, joining Jason ‘Moses’ O’Toole, Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic, Daniel ‘DDK’ Kapadia and Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer on the commentary team.
Psyonix is kicking off the year with a new website dedicated to Rocket League Esports at rlesports.gg. The site will serve as the main hub for RL Esports news from the company as it gears up for RLCS Season 5, which will see teams from NA, EU, and OCE compete for a $500,000 total prize pool for RLCS, which is our largest prize pool to date. North American qualifiers begin on Feb. 17.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports is teaming up with BeRecruited, a college recruiting platform, to improve the recruiting process for prospective collegiate esport gamers and college coaches. BeRecruited has now added esports as part of its college recruiting network, allowing gamers to create a free recruiting profile with all of their game stats, academics and video.
Jeff Gerttula has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Sports Digital. CBS Sports Digital ranked second in comScore’s sports category for the 5th consecutive month in December and saw 9% year-over-year growth in 2017.
ESPN unveiled a slate of new roles for its senior leaders, including the appointment of Mike Morrison as Vice President, ESPN Business Development. With Morrison’s transition, Tim Bunnell, Senior Vice President, International Programming, Production & Marketing, will add regional responsibilities to his functional roles. He will now also oversee ESPN’s businesses in China and North Asia, including the relationship with Tencent. Additionally, Charly Classen will expand his role to Vice President & General Manager, EMEA, South Asia & Australia/New Zealand. As part of his new responsibilities, Classen will now manage ESPN’s businesses in South East Asia, Australia/New Zealand and India, in addition to EMEA.
Who is going to the Super Bowl? Jaguars/Patriots on CBS on Sunday at 3p, followed by Vikings/Eagles on FOX at 6:30p.