01.23.15 Good morning. It’s Friday, January 23, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
Kaiser Permanente is now covering the NBA via a new multiyear strategic partnership that will “focus on building healthier communities.” The deal makes Kaiser Permanente the Official Health Care Partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA Development League (NBA D-League), and USA Basketball. Kaiser Permanente is also serving as the presenting partner of NBA FIT Live Healthy Week in which Kaiser Permanente and the league push a social media campaign to encourage fans to make a pledge toward healthier living. In addition to this program, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will conduct 14 community health and wellness events annually across NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League markets.
ESPN delivered its Super Bowl plans, lining up 130 hours of TV and radio programs from Scottsdale Fashion Square starting Monday at 6a. Super Bowl Sunday will see a Postseason NFL Countdown with Chris Berman and crew previewing the matchup starting at 10a. Other programming highlights include Jay Crawford and Hannah Storm hosting weekday morning editions of SportsCenter from the city, while John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak handle evenings, with NFL Insiders, NFL Live, PTI, First Take and ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, The Herd with Colin Cowherd,SVP & Russillo and Sedano & Stink also coming from the city’s production hub.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, NBC Sports is once again reeling in the services of Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who will serve as reporters for the event, offering “their unique take on the big game and the events surrounding it.” The pair will be based at the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party and interview celebrities who annually attend the NFL’s championship game as well as provide their own Super Bowl observations. NBC’s pre-game coverage of Super Bowl XLIX begins at noon on Feb. 1.
The NFL is maximizing a fourth broadcast window on Sundays next season, announcing that all three games played in London will take place at 9:30a. Contests are set to include Jets/Dolphins on Oct. 4, Bills/Jaguars on Oct. 25, and Lions/Chiefs on Nov. 1.
The YES Network struck a deal with Tribune Media Company for a multi-year agreement that will bring over-the-air rights to New York Yankees games in the New York DMA to Tribune’s PIX11 starting this season. PIX11 will carry around 20 games this season with its broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.
FOX Sports tapped the services of John Strong to call play-by play for its coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS), FIFA Women’s World Cup, international soccer events and more. Most recently, Strong served as lead play-by-play announcer for MLS and called Barclays Premier League matches for NBC Sports.
The NBA booked Ariana Grande to headline this year’s All-Star Game halftime show during the Entertainment Series presented by JBL on Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden. The game will air live at 8p on TNT.
Spike TV is getting into the boxing ring, announcing the launch of Premier Boxing Champions, which will debut on March 13 at 9p. The multi-yeardeal will see the show run each month on Fridays with the first event set to feature Andre Berto/Josesito Lopez and Shawn Porter/Roberto Garcia. The series is being created for television by Haymon Boxing Management.
On the documentary front, a new film about the life of Manny Pacquiao debuts on cable systems nationwide today. Narrated by Liam Neeson, Manny: Untold Story of Boxer Manny Pacquiao will be available on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) as well as Pay-Per-View (PPV) channels for $6.99.
Meanwhile, following her record-breaking 63rd World Cup victory last weekend, NBC debuts Lindsey Vonn: The Climb, a one-hour documentary about the famed skier on Sunday at 3p. Produced by Red Bull Media House, in association with NFL Films and NBC Olympics, the film will give viewers an inside look into the past 22 months of Vonn’s career.
GLORY Sports International locked in two television broadcast renewals to maintain the presence of its programming in over 170 global territories through 2015 and beyond. Partnerships with Kombat Sport and Fight Channel will deliver live GLORY events, GLORY SuperFight Series and GLORY Rewind content to approximately eight million subscribers in Europe.
HRTV re-airs the Eclipse Awards show in its entirety tonight at 8:30p. The show originally aired on Saturday, Jan. 17
Lots of heavyweights chiming in on Jeff Gordon’s decision to retire from full-time NASCAR racing following this season. In a statement, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said, “Jeff Gordon transcends NASCAR and will be celebrated as one of the greatest drivers to ever race.” Meanwhile, FOXSports President Eric Shanks said, "Jeff Gordon belongs in the same breath as icons like Derek Jeter, Mario Lemieux and Michael Jordan. He defined the entire sport for a generation – from the race track, to morning television to Saturday Night Live. Simply put, Jeff Gordon IS NASCAR!"
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How does your social media game measure up to your competitors’? Cynopsis Sports’ latest webinar,Monetizing and Maximizing Your Sports Content on Social Media on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 will show you the best practices and strategies for turning a mere following into a powerful revenue channel, and help your partners and fans alike connect across multiple platforms. REGISTER YOUR TEAM TODAY.
NASCAR inked a multi-year partnership with power tools brand Ingersoll Rand, naming it the “Official Power Tools of NASCAR.” The agreement also designates Ingersoll Rand as an Official Partner of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) and as a contingency sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series.
Hulu is launching Toyota AdZone, an annual experience designed to showcase the best in Super Bowl advertising to one place. Now in its fifth year, the sight allows consumers to watch leaked ads, teasers and commercials from Super Bowl XLIX before game day, as well as hundreds of ads from previous years. "Hulu is thrilled to renew our partnership with Toyota to bring you the Toyota AdZone for the fifth year in a row. The Super Bowl is a great American tradition and we are excited to bring fans a comprehensive space to check out the most memorable Super Bowl commercials, past and present,” said Peter Naylor, Senior Vice President, Sales, Hulu.
After a dozen years as title sponsor of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) elite Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS), Ford Trucks locked in a new, multi-year agreement with the bull riding circuit. Ford’s sponsorship activation includes partnering with the PBR in the Built Ford Tough Good Works program and the brand will award one lucky fan with a VIP trip for two to the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals. In addition to Ford, several other key PBR sponsors have extended their association with the league including Jack Daniel’s and Stanley Black & Decker.
Budweiser released new images and animated teasers for its “Lost Dog” ad slated to run at Super Bowl XLIX. The spot features the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales and their puppy companion, who lost his way and learns the true meaning of friendship.
NBC Sports Group laid out the menu for its social media smorgasbord at Super Bowl XLIX. During Super Bowl week, the company’s “Social Central” will see Arizona Cardinals DB Patrick Peterson serve as its social and digital media correspondent during Super Bowl week, who will look to break the Guinness World Records record for the most selfies taken in one hour. In addition, the company teamed with trick-shot experts and comedy stars Dude Perfect to create a trick shot video that will debut Feb. 1, during NBC’s Super Bowl pre-game show with content pushed out on NBC Sports’ social media platforms. Using the “Twitter Mirror,” NBC Sports will also collect photos and picks from celebrities and athletes on-site at “Super Bowl Central.” Overall, outlets are slated to include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.
ESPN Digital Media saw 88.4 million unique visitors in the US last month, climbing 36% from year ago numbers. With the last month in the books, ESPN averaged 76.8 million unique visitors per month in 2014, including ESPN averaged 18.4 million unique users per day. Overall, users spent 82.8 billion minutes with ESPN digital media content. Meanwhile, ESPN’s slate of apps averaged 21.7 million monthly unique users and amassed 28.5 billion total minutes of usage over the course of the year.
Athletes galore as the NHL and NFL show off their stars. The NHL All-Star Game hits the ice at 5p on NBCSN, while the NFL’s Pro Bowl kicks off at 8p on ESPN.
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ON THIS DAY in 1984: Hulk Hogan bests Iron Sheik to win the WWF title.
In The Know:From what city did the Kansas City Chiefs relocate? (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: Bill Walsh twice served as head coach at what university? Answer: Stanford. Kudos: Marc J. Beck-Major League Baseball/NY; Brendan Bryant-Bedrocket Media/NY; Phillip Park-ESPN/NY; Bobby Coyle-Mets Radio Network/NY; Michael G. Hawkins-FrancIs Marion University/Florence; Fred Petrosino-JBG/Jupiter; Tim McGhee-MSP Sports/Summit; Mike Antolini-Tiger Woods Foundation/Boston; David Ross-Ross Enterprises/Cape Girardeau; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Tony Tortorici-Fox Sports North/Wisconsin/Minneapolis; Jonathan Lau-Aon/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Daniel Hanson/Vail; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Lawrence Fan-San Jose State University/San Jose; Steve Hirsen-Producer/Director/Sherman Oaks; John Baghdassarian-Olympusat/LA; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA.
Later — Chris
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