02/01/16: Sean McManus’ Super Bowl Odyssey; NHL books a return trip to LA; State Farm’s Woj policy


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Good morning. It’s Monday February 1, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With less than a week before Super Bowl 50, CBS is preparing to come off of the highest-rated AFC Championship in 29 years with for what will likely be the most-viewed telecast of all time on Feb. 7. The network’s 19th Super Bowl has already delivered the channel with all-time highs in ad pricing, up 11% over last year to hit the $5 million mark, according to reports. In addition, the company laid out is tech plans for the Broncos/Panthers, with elements that include a camera placed on the Needle at California’s Great America that will be solely focused on Levi’s Stadium; a Post Production Center that includes 11 fully loaded Avid suites, 1 V.O. booth and 10 graphics stations; three aerial camera systems; four sets, 70 game cameras, 256 microphones, and a 65,000 square foot Super Bowl compound.

Pregame show, The Super Bowl Today, begins at 2p with host James Brown, with the action starting at 6:30p as Jim Nantz and Phil Simms handle microphone duties, with Tracy Wolfson and Evan Washburn reporting on the game. Cynopsis Sports chatted with CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, who has overseen six Super Bowls as Executive Producer, about the long ties between the game and the network, advertisers and CBS Sports’ upcoming redesign.

McManus on CBS’ history with the Super Bowl: The NFL and the Super Bowl have always been very important touchstones for CBS. We were there for the first Super Bowl, we will be there for the 50th Super Bowl. We’ve had some unbelievable experiences with the game itself and we consider it part of our heritage, just as we do with the NFL. When you think back to some of the games that Pat Summerall and John Madden did, there’s a legacy there and an association with CBS that I think is very valuable for both the NFL and for the CBS Corporation.

On a favorite memory: One of my most vivid memories is the kickoff for Super Bowl 35 in Tampa. When we kicked off, that was the first Super Bowl we did after we reacquired the NFL having lost it to FOX in 1994, and that was an affirmation and a culmination of a company-wide effort to bring the NFL back to the network. I never felt it was going to be or feel real until we produced a Super Bowl.

On also being an Executive Producer for the telecast: I’ve always loved production and started out as a production assistant at ABC Sports. I love the production of NFL games and I just try to provide an overview for our production teams. I like being in the truck. When I’m negotiating a deal for Thursday Night Football that involves our production or when I’m overseeing other parts of our NFL programming at CBS, being the Executive Production and having my hand in the production helps me to get a feeling of what the priorities are for the product and how we can best utilize those priorities.

On tech innovations: In Tampa, we utilized EyeVision for the first time, which was a Matrix-like view of the field and plays. We’ve not got a better version of that at this year’s Super Bowl. We’ve got cameras that will give us a 360 degree view of the stadium, which will give us a full moveable look at plays where you can look at the plays from any perspective. We’ve also worked hard to perfect the Pylon Cam, which we and ESPN have used very effectively, and we are now going to add audio to it. So technology has always been an important part of our NFL and Super Bowl coverage and this is no exception. We pioneered the use of super high speed cameras both in golf as well as with the NFL and I think you’ll see more high speed cameras at this game than you’ve seen at any other CBS game since the last time we carried the Super Bowl.

On Super Bowl advertisers: The demand is always there for the sponsors and despite the fact that it is a very expensive buy, it is also a very efficient buy. It’s very rare for us to ever have a sponsor say that they didn’t get the value they thought they were going to get. They always get the value. It is the highest-profile media property in the world and there are certain sponsors for whom it provides the perfect platform. Fortunately, there are enough sponsors every year to make it the high revenue-producing day in all of television.

On the new CBS Sports redesign: As much as we love our current logo, we’ve been using it for 35 years. We thought that since we were redoing our graphics look, including our insert graphics, animations and openings, we thought it was time to look for a new potential logo for CBS Sports. We worked with Troika and they gave us almost a 100 different designs and we narrowed that down to five or six we liked, before narrowing it down to the new logo that we will be debuting during Super Bowl week. It’s clean, it’s modern looking but it also has the traces of the great tradition that it CBS Sports. So there isn’t a better time than Super Bowl 50 to premier a new look and we are very excited about that. 


Speaking of Super Bowl 50, Burson-Marsteller and Penn Schoen Berland revealed the results of a consumer survey examining the fans POV on viewing experiences as well as how they interact with each other, and brands, on social media. Findings saw that:
·       39% of Americans think of the Super Bowl as an entertainment spectacle (up from 36% in 2015), while 46% consider it a sporting event;
·       Nearly half of respondents say they would be disappointed if the Super Bowl was broadcast commercial-free
·       84% of football fans say they prefer having the surprise factor of seeing the Super Bowl ads for the first time during the game
·       More than 80% of fans are excited to see new technology being used in football (85%) and agree advancements in technology are changing the game for the better (84%)
·       During the Super Bowl, 64% of Millennials are likely to seek out social media posts from brands or companies and 62% are likely to respond to or interact with these posts
The NHL is heading back to Los Angeles for the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star celebration. The game will take place at Staples Center on Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game. This will mark the third time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in LA.

Elsewhere at the NHL, NBC Sports announced that, through 50 games, NBCSN is scoring its most-watched NHL regular season ever. The channel is averaging 347,000 viewers for a 3% markup over last year’s numbers at this point. Its Wednesday Night Rivalry franchise is generating 554,000 viewers per game, rising 2% over last year’s equivalent scores.

MLB Network announced plans to honor Black History Month and will spotlight a different Negro League player daily on MLB Tonight starting today and every Thursday on Hot Stove. Each player vignette will examine contributions to the game both on and off the field beginning with Satchel Paige and well as Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, James "Cool Papa" Bell and Buck O’Neill throughout the rest of this week. 

Ask and you now receive. Due to heavy requests, we’re extending the deadline for the Cynopsis Sports Awards to Feb. 5. That’s it, no more extensions so get them in here.

The weekend saw Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos announce that, despite locking in a deal with the Rams to share a venue in LA, the team will continue to play in San Diego in 2016. Spanos also announced that we will work with the community to find a way to lock in a deal for a new stadium before making a decision next year about whether or not to remain in San Diego or finally move to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the Raiders flirtations with a move to Las Vegas to play in a new $1.2 billion venue right off the Strip was deemed serious enough to see the league send a memo to its teams. The memo, first reported by the Los Angeles Daily News, addresses the talk of Las Vegas as a possible destination for an NFL team, which pundits say will have issues overcoming its legalized gambling laws. The memo directed the teams to not assume that a move to Las Vegas would be vetoed by the league and that the NFL would take the city as seriously as any other prospective home for relocation.

SiriusXM is lining up an army for its coverage of Super Bowl 50. In addition to offering access to 10 broadcasts of the game in eight languages, a lineup of special programming throughout Super Bowl week will also come from the Bay Area, including SiriusXM NFL Radio, Mad Dog Sports Radio, Fantasy Sports Radio, and Bleacher Report Radio from Radio Row. Other programming at Radio Row will take place on Friday and see the likes of Jamie Foxx, Jenny McCarthy, Joel and Victoria Osteen and Sway Calloway all special episodes form the location. In addition, SiriusXM will offer a special pop-up channel, Super Bowl 50 Radio on Thursday with broadcasts of past Super Bowls, historical vignettes on all 49 Super Bowls leading up to this year’s game, highlights from SiriusXM’s programming on Radio Row, replays of interviews with coaches and players from both Super Bowl teams, and more.
beIN SPORTS en Espanol notched three of the top five sports telecasts of the day among Spanish-language cable networks on Jan.24, according to Nielsen. The Real Madrid/Real Betis match delivered a total average audience of 454,000 viewers on the network, to take the honors for the evening.



Join Cynopsis on Tuesday, March 1st at 1:30-3:30PM (ET) for the latest webinar New Social Media Strategies to Reach the Young Demo to get the tools you need to engage young viewers and drive tune-in.

For more information visit: http://www.cynopsis.com/?p=53548 or contact Trish Pihonak..


Intuit Quickbooks Small Business Big Game contest named Death Wish Coffee as the winner of its promotion, and the company will now receive a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday. The ad will run during the third quarter courtesy of Death Wish Coffee being selected from more than 15,000 entries and hundreds of thousands of votes in the contest. “Winning this commercial is beyond our wildest dreams, and we could not be more grateful for this opportunity or eager to maximize it,” said Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee. “This contest has brought my team closer, and has already helped us grow the business. It’s amazing to think that our 11-employee company will be on the same stage as well-known brands we’ve always admired. This is just the beginning for us.”

It’s another go-around for Team Penske and Coca-Cola, which inked a multi-year extension for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to feature Coca-Cola on Joey Logano’s Team Penske Ford Fusion. “Coca-Cola is excited to extend our partnerships with Team Penske and Joey Logano,” said Ben Reiling, Coca-Cola North America Director of Sports Marketing, Motorsports. “Joey and the Coca-Cola Racing Family continue to be an integral part of our NASCAR platform and help us connect Coca-Cola with the fans of the sport. We are excited about the future of the NASCAR portion of this partnership as well as the business opportunities with Penske Corporation.”

DICK’s Sporting Goods says in its Jersey Report that the Carolina Panthers ranked as the No. 2 overall team-seller this season. The team is also the only NFL franchise to see three players rank inside the Top 15 in overall jersey sales: Luke Kuechly (#2), Cam Newton (#5) and Greg Olsen (#14).
ESPN reports that its 2015 Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research raised a record-setting $3.2 million for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, marking a million more than the 2014 previous fundraising record of $2.2 million. In nine years, Jimmy V Week has raised $13.7 million for the cause. “This campaign was created to tell the powerful stories of the brave cancer fighters, survivors and supporters,” said Kevin Martinez, ESPN VP of Corporate Citizenship. “It’s these stories that inspire us to keep fighting. We are incredibly thankful to everyone who has joined us in this fight.”


Yahoo formally launched The Vertical with Woj, its new basketball-centric digital destination run by Yahoo NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski. State Farm signed on to serve as one of the first brands as a premier sponsor of The Vertical. “We are excited to launch this project with Woj and a powerhouse group of writers, editors, analysts, producers and contributors,” said Bob Condor, Vice President for Yahoo Sports Media. “Fans will quickly regard it as essential to following their favorite NBA teams and players.” “State Farm has used storytelling to tell its brand story through advertising and to shine a spotlight on the amazing people we encounter in the communities in which we live and work,” said Ed Gold, State Farm Advertising Director. “With an all-star editorial team and a unique take on sports storytelling, The Vertical offers a chance for us to continue great brand storytelling through effective advertising that’s relevant for this audience.”

FOX Sports and Twitter added more detail to its Super Bowl team up spanning Feb. 2-5, in which FOX Sports’ Garbage Time with Katie Nolan, Outkick the Show and @TheBuzzer shoot live at Twitter headquarters and feature taped segments with athletes, celebrities and other notables. F OX Sports will be the only media company to work out of Twitter HQ during Super Bowl week. “Garbage Time, Outkick the Show and @TheBuzzer were developed for social media audiences and have seen tremendous success on Twitter and Periscope,” said Pete Vlastelica, Executive Vice President, Digital, FOX Sports. “The ability to work out of Twitter HQ leading up to the Super Bowl gives us unparalleled access to guests and allows us to bring our viewers and followers content like they’ve never seen before.”

The ACC Digital Network announced the return of its “Guest Reporter Search” for basketball, which will see the ACCDN seek college students and alumni interested in a chance to join its coverage team on site, with an all-expense paid trip, to the ACC Tournament Semifinals and Championship Game in Washington, D.C., on March 11-12. In addition to the grand prize for the winning Guest Reporter, theACC.com now features a ‘Student Section’ showcasing content from the campaign, as well as content submitted from other ACC students providing a platform for aspiring journalists. 


Gary Bettman will continue to guide the NHL as its Commissioner into the next decade. The AP writes that inked a contract through 2022, and continues his run, which began in 1993.


North Carolina/Louisville on ESPN at 7p.


Twitter, YouTube, Facebook & Social TV
When social giants like Twitter & Facebook want to introduce video ad buying with sales & tracking metrics akin to TV, you gotta pay attention.
– How Facebook is partnering with Nielsen to verify its ads
– How YouTube, selling guarantees to advertisers is now upping the ante
– What’s next for Twitter, now that the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings Weekly Top 10 is a staple for programmers & advertisers looking for which programs most resonate with viewers

ON THIS DAY in 1984: David Stern becomes NBA Commissioner.

In The Know: The 2003 Super Bowl saw a Pepsi commercial in which Ozzy Osbourne saw his children, Jack and Kelly, transform into what famed tandem? (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: In which sport could an athlete win the Grand Challenge Cup? Answer: Rowing/Crew. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery/NY; David F Baer-RISE & SET/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
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