02/10/16: NASCAR’s Charter deal; Albert extends the play; NBA rookies activate


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Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 10, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NASCAR detailed its Charter system plans, courtesy of a nine-year agreement with Sprint Cup Series team owners, which an eye to bolster participation, governance and economics to a move to “promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model.” Overall, 36 teams will be given the charters that guarantee entry into the field of every Sprint Cup Series points race, with charters being transferable. In addition, the deal establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and offers Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.
“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”
Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart stated that “Our sport is well positioned for growth and sustainability with this new charter agreement. I’m very proud of the work the teams and NASCAR have put into this new system, as many people have worked tirelessly to secure the health of our sport. Stronger communication, more team stability and shared goals equal a better product that we can showcase to our fans week in and week out.”


Marv Albert will continue to make Turner Sports his home for the foreseeable future. The company locked in a long-term extension with Albert to continue his work for the NBA on TNT, calling the network’s signature NBA events including regular season games, NBA All-Star coverage and the NBA Playoffs. Albert will, however, no longer take on microphone duties for Turner’s carriage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, according to multiple reports,

Meanwhile, FOX Sports added Fernando Fiore to its army, where he will serve as a co-host and general contributor for the network’s slate of soccer events, including the 2016 Copa America Centenario, Mexican National Team home matches, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He begins his role tomorrow with Mexico/Senegal on FS1 at 8:30p.

ESPN reports that its Warriors/Thunder clash on Saturday drew an average of 3,230,000 viewers, making it the most-watched regular-season NBA game on ESPN since Oct. 31, 2014, according to Nielsen numbers. The telecast pushed the network to win the night on Saturday across all of cable television.

FS1 is going deep for coverage of the FIFA Presidential Election from Zurich announcing wall-to-wall coverage that will begin on Feb. 25 with a one-hour pre-election special at 6p, hosted by Rob Stone with interviews with each of the five candidates. At 3a the next day, Stone anchors more than six hours of live coverage from the FOX Network Center in LA as the process to elect a new FIFA president plays out. Analyst Alexi Lalas and contributor Mark Young will join Stone in-studio, while Sky Sports’ Kate Abdo and Grant Wahl serve up live coverage from the Hallenstadion in Zurich. Expanded coverage continues post 9a on FS2.

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger told analysts on the company’s fiscal Q1 earnings call that ESPN has been adding subscribers that to new deals the company reached with distributors such as Sling TV via skinny bundles. "We fully expect our media networks, including ESPN to continue to deliver bottom line growth, which means ad revenue growth will continue to outpace spending," Iger said on the call, according to Reuters.


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With NBA All-Star on the cusp of tipoff, the league unveiled its partner activations for the festivities, with over 25 partners on deck. Among rookies activating for the first time will be Mountain Dew, which is serving as presenting partner of both the All-Star Celebrity Game and the NBA All-Star DJ Platform and will debut the brand’s first DEWxNBA TV spot during NBA All-Star. The brand is also offering Court Vision: An Interactive Virtual Reality Art Experience over the weekend, and launched a creative advertising takeover of Union Station in Toronto. Other first-timers will include Verizon (offering go90 users with exclusive BTS content), Tissot (producing a half-court activation with a “Tissot Time Crunch” basketball contest), Canada Goose (creating custom coats for both East and West All-Stars), and Intel (capturing simultaneous video streams via 28 cameras of key All-Star moments for a 3D experience featuring 360 degree perspectives).

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, United World Sports and NBC Sports Group locked in an extension and expansion of their partnership for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. The expansion of the deal sees Penn Mutual holding title sponsorship for both events through 2019, a significantly expanded year-long presence across all NBC Sports Group and UWS rugby properties, including dedicated coverage of the women’s CRC final; and expanded marketing connections to more than 900 colleges and universities through official equipment and apparel provider, Rhino Rugby.

Delta Air Lines inked a new six-year, multi-platform agreement with AEG to remain the official and exclusive airline of Staples Center, the official and exclusive airline and exclusive charter partner of the LA Kings, and an official partner of the Grammy Museum at L.A. LIVE. Delta also snags naming rights to the luxury suite levels at the venue. Delta will continue to be recognized as an official Founding Partner of Staples Center, which entitles the airline to receive extensive in-arena signage displays and, through Delta’s affiliation with the Kings, maintain sponsorship rights inside and outside the arena throughout the NHL season.

With Barclay’s out of the picture, the English Premier League unveiled its new visual identity for the organization that will be used from the 2016/17 season onwards. The new logo was debuted on its official site, working in partnership with global agency Design Studio and Robin Brand Consultants, with a modern take on the lion icon.


On February 24, join the Cynopsis Sports Virtual Reality Webinar with Gatorade, FOX Sports, LiveLike VR and STRIVR Labs, Inc. and learn how to leverage your content into this transformative technology. Register here: cynopsis.com/webinar/virtual-reality-get-game.
Perform Media’s Sporting News officially hired Michael McCarthy to serve as its New York-based reporter and producer covering sports, business, media and marketing.


Nike named Adam Sussman as the brand’s first Chief Digital Officer, where he will lead the team responsible for the development of industry-leading digital products and services across Nike.com, Nike+ and Brand Digital platforms. Sussman’s team will also drive Nike’s consumer engagement, while accelerating the collective power of all of Nike’s digital products and services for consumers.

The Madison Square Garden Company named Jordan Solomon as Executive VP of MSG Sports, effective February 11 where he will lead all aspects of the business operations of the company’s sports franchises that play at Madison Square Garden, as well as the Westchester Knicks. Solomon joins MSG from the National Basketball Association where he was VP, Team Marketing and Business Operations.


Rangers/Penguins on NBCSN at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1920: The American and National League Joint Rules Committee banned the spitball, emeryball, and shineball.

In The Know: On which show did Marv Albert traditionally present the Albert Achievement Awards? (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 Western Conference All-Star gave up his starting spot to allow Magic Johnson to play in the 1992 All-Star Game? Answer: Tim Hardaway. Kudos: Brendan Awerbuch-Barclays Center/Brooklyn Nets/NY; Bob Dudelson-Leverage Agency/NY; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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