02/15/19: MLS signed Commissioner Don Garber for another five years

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Friday February 15, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
 
 
MLS Commissioner Don Garber inked a new deal that will keep him in the role for another five years, running through the 2023 season in addition to serving as CEO of Soccer United Marketing. Garber, 61, has presided over MLS’s dramatic growth and consolidation since taking the post in 1999, with the league expanding from 12 to 27 clubs, adding 25 new owners and developing 19 soccer stadiums across the United States and Canada.
 
 
PROGRAMMING

NBC Sports celebrates Hockey Day in America on Sunday with an NHL tripleheader on NBC and NBCSN, in addition to a collection of stories and features which explore hockey’s impact and influence across the country. The action starts at 12:30p on NBC with Randers/Penguins, followed by the Blues/Wild at 3:30p, with NBCSN closing with Flyers/RedWings at 6p. Pre-game studio coverage begins at noon on NBC with NHL Live, which will be on-site in Hockeytown at The Rink at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Throughout Hockey Day in America on Sunday, NBC Sports will shine a light on various stories that celebrate the impact of hockey has had in the U.S. Feature stories that will air throughout the day include: Team USA’s Shelley Looney, Charlie and Will Capalbo Detroit Ice Dreams and The Hughes Brothers.
 
Jimmie Johnson will call his first race for FOX Sports on Saturday when he serves as a guest driver analyst on Saturday for the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES season opener at Daytona. He will pair with Kevin Harvick, who assumes the lead analyst role alongside play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander. In addition to Logano, Johnson and Wallace, 2012 champ Brad Keselowski, 2004 champion Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney and Regan Smith return to the booth this season. See complete schedule below for specifics.
 
UFC Fight Night on ESPN makes its television debut Sunday with a main event heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez. The event will be live from Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix with main card bouts beginning at 9p and prelims beginning at 7p. ESPN+ will feature an additional 1.5 hours of early prelims beginning at 5:30p. Calling the action will be lead play-by-play man, Jon Anik, alongside former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz as the color commentator. The desk team will be on site featuring analysis from Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping.  Karyn Bryant will serve as host and Megan Olivi will handle reporting duties.
 
Concacaf announced that the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League will stream live in English on the Yahoo Sports app as well as at YahooSports.com. First leg matches of the region’s premier club championship are scheduled to be played from Feb 19-21, opening Tuesday with three matches – Deportivo Saprissa (CRC) vs Tigres UANL (MEX), CD Guastatoya (GUA) vs Houston Dynamo (USA) and Club Atletico Independiente (PAN) vs Toronto FC (CAN).
 
The Olympic Channel presents live streaming coverage of the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships starting Saturday. Competitors will vie for the championships in 38 medal events, 20 in cross-country and 18 in biathlon, including sprint, middle distance, long distance and relay for cross-country, and sprint, individual and middle distance for biathlon.
 
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Esports Business Summit
September 10-12, 2019 | MGM Grand Las Vegas
Join us this September in Las Vegas for the Esports Business Summit. The summit brings together all sectors of the Esports ecosystem for three days of networking, education and inspiration. Attend EBS and you’ll meet and learn from key executives from brand marketing, television, sports and technology who are growing their businesses by leveraging the passionate global audience that Esports delivers.
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Xtreme Concepts Inc., specializing in turnkey security solutions, is boosting its existing sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing by forming an alliance with the team that will see Xtreme Concepts Racing (XCI Racing) field its own racecars in two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and five NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2019. “We are taking a very deliberate and methodical approach to becoming a NASCAR team,” said Landon Ash, founder of Birmingham, Alabama-based Xtreme Concepts and owner of XCI Racing. “Having a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing makes the learning curve a little less steep and allows us to field competitive racecars right out of the gate.
 
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, administrators of the Naismith Awards, inked a multi-year agreement to make Jersey Mike’s Subs the title sponsor of the Naismith High School Trophy for Boys’ and Girls’ Player of the Year. Jersey Mike’s also will be the title sponsor of the Naismith High School Boys’ and Girls’ Coach of the Year and the Naismith High School All-America Teams and the official sub sandwich of the Naismith Awards.
 
National Pro Fastpitch and Big League Chew announced a new partnership with fans set to see in-game and collaborative promotions beginning immediately in individual team markets and throughout the 2019 season, as well as the upcoming NPF College Draft.  “This year we’re celebrating the launch of our new softball character that’s inspired by girls who play hard and dream big and what better way to do so than by teaming up with National Pro Fastpitch whose athletes epitomize just that.” said Big League Chew inventor Rob Nelson.  “Big League Chew is bubble gum fun for everyone and we can’t wait to see the teams, players and fans of NPF sharing in that fun with us this season.”
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Stadium announced the launch of its 24/7 network on Sling TV, available to subscribers of both the “Sling Orange” and/or “Sling Blue” services. “We first teamed up with Sling TV in 2016 for the launch of Stadium Plus, and we look forward to this next evolution as we launch Stadium 24/7 to its subscribers,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle. “We’ve made a commitment to provide sports fans the opportunity to watch Stadium across virtually any platform, and as a premier, industry leading streaming service, we’re thrilled to be on Sling TV.”
 
The Players’ Tribune is teaming with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson for a new podcast series, Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles, described as “brutally honest and totally unguarded conversations.” Eleven episodes will run overall starting Feb. 19. Ahead of the debut, The Players’ Tribune will host a three-part, activation during All Star weekend in Charlotte, NC. The event will include an influencer tasting, a live podcast featuring Quentin Richardson, Darius Miles and two special guests as well as an exclusive gaming lounge.
 
 
ESPORTS

ESL is getting a rebrand, revealing a new logo, typeface, and brighter colors, anchored by yellow. “Now we have an identity to join all that up. A simpler, more powerful logo. Our own typeface so we can speak up louder. A visual world, made from hidden worlds that only people in our world can spot,” the company said in the announcement. In addition, the league is reclassified its esports leagues and tournaments, designating an “Open” tier for newcomers, a “Challenger” tier for rising stars, and “Masters” for top competitors.
 
The NBA 2K League is beefing up its prize pool this season to $1.2 million on the line in 2019, and four opportunities throughout the season for teams to win prize money: three tournaments and the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs: The Tipoff tournament with $120,000; The Turn and The Ticket, each with a prize pool of $180,000; and the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs with prize pool of $720,000, and the NBA 2K League champions receiving $360,000 from that pool. In addition, the season will now have three types of player contracts for all players who were retained from season one or are drafted in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft: returning veterans at $37,000, first-round selections in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft drawing$35,000 and players who are selected in the second round or later of the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft being paid a $33,000 base salary.
 
 
INDUSTRY/ROSTER MOVES

Hannah Keyser is heading to Yahoo Sports as an MLB writer on Feb. 25. She joins as a writer and reporter who has covered sports and food for Major League Baseball, Deadspin, and Vice.
 
Outsports announced the addition of Dawn Ennis as its managing editor, a newly created role. Dawn will now oversee the editing of content and story development for the website.
 
USA Hockey and the North American Hockey League announced an enhanced long-term partnership agreement designed to further improve the junior hockey development program in the United States.As part of the enhanced partnership, USA Hockey will provide additional resources to the NAHL to continue to improve all facets of the league, including player development, coaching, officiating and overall visibility and the NAHL will continue as the only Tier II junior league within the USA Hockey landscape.
 
Overtime raised $23 million in new funding, led by Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet. In vestors in the new round, which marks Series B, include Sapphire Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, MACRO Ventures, MSG Networks Inc. as well as NBA players such as Victor Oladipo; Baron Davis; and Carmelo Anthony.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Sunday sees the Daytona 500 at 2:30p on FOX, with the NBA All-Star Game on TNT/TBS at 8p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
Wednesday, March 6th | The SVA Theatre, NYC
Strategy is essential for short-form content since we’re in a time of transition regarding business models. Whether you’re looking to attract brands, to incubate new ideas or drive audience to longer content you should know your strategy and endgame.
 
– David Tochterman, CEO of Canvas Media and SFVF moderator of the panel Finding the Right Platforms for Premium Short Form Video.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1996: Boxer Tommy Morrison announced that he has contracted HIV.
 
In the Know: What was the name of Michael Jordan’s team in Space Jam? (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 Billy Joel Song makes reference to Joe DiMaggio, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Roy Campanella, Mickey Mantle, and Sonny Liston?  Answer: We Didn’t Start the Fire. Kudos: Jamie Euster-Endeavor/NY; Danny Turk-Tough Mudder/NY; Lori Paterson-Spectrum Reach/NY; John Ward-Deluxe Creative Services/NY; Roger Furman-Sports Marketing Communications/Greeentown; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Jay Rossi-Dick’s Sporting Goods/Pittsburgh; Matt Fumagalli-NBC/Chicago; John Tingue-Hulu/Chicago; Vickie Broughton-KTTC/Rochester; Charles Crossno-KWES/Odessa; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Wendy Holmes-KCNC-TV/Denver; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks S&P/LA; Rich Greene-Casa Del Verde Entertainment/LA; Brian Robin- Pechanga Resort Casino/Temecula.
 
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