02/17/16: MLS takes a Stand; NFL/Hall of Fame Game ready to rumble; NASCAR is all aTwitter



CYNOPSISSPORTS
02.17.16

Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 17, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Just ahead of the new 2016 MLS season, the league unveiled its new marketing initiative, dubbed “Stand as One.” The campaign will be rolled out throughout the season, serving up creative elements including TV spots, in-venue visibility and social media content. The tagline and creative was produced by The Brooklyn Brothers marketing agency and MLS’ in-house marketing and creative team, and designed to boost the sport in North America by showcasing the fan and stadium experience and the action from the league’s players each week.

“‘Stand as One’ is an invitation to join us, to declare a favorite team and to become part of our growing league and infectious fan culture that you can shape and define,” MLS chief marketing officer Howard Handler said in a statement released by the league.

ON THE AIR

The NFL will see the Colts and packers square off in this year’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7. The preseason matchup will close out the 2016 Enshrinement Weekend one day after three of their stars are formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Brett Favre, Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison.

NBC Sports Group announced plans for this year’s Hockey Day In America, which will feature a tripleheader this Sunday across NBC and NBCSN, including the Blackhawks/Wild on NBC at 3:30p. The action begins at 12:30p pitting the Penguins/Sabres on the network, before concluding with the Red Wings/Rangers on NBCSN at 7p. Hockey Day In America studio coverage will originate live from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis throughout the day with Liam McHugh anchoring alongside Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick.

Don’t miss out on the likes of STRIVR Labs Founder/CEO Derek Belch, FOX Sports SVP of Field & Technical Ops Michael Davies, Gatorade’s Director of Digital Marketing Jeff Miller and LiveLike VR Founder/CEO Andre Lorenceau as Cynopsis Sports presents our latest webinar about the future of VR and Sports. Hear from the drivers who are changing the game by registering here.

Gerard Butler, who will be starring in the upcoming movie "London Has Fallen,” was named the Grand Marshal for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Spring Cup Series race on Sunday at 1p. Butler will deliver the famed, "Drivers, start your engines,” and take part in other pre-race ceremonies, including riding in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the race and attending the drivers meeting.

MSG Network will premiere Breaking the Ice tonight at 11p, a 30-minute special hosted by NHL veteran and MSG studio analyst Anson Carter. The program spotlights Willie O’Ree, the first black hockey player in the NHL (1958) and Val James, the first black American to play in the NHL (1977) and marks the first time the two have done an interview together.
 


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Mack Trucks locked in a multi-year national sports partnership with NASCAR in a move that will make the brand the “Official Hauler of NASCAR.” Mack will provide custom-designed Mack Pinnacle high-rise sleeper models to assist NASCAR in transporting equipment and technology to travel 450,000 miles a year. “The Mack Trucks brand has been a part of American culture for more than a century and is globally recognized for manufacturing a best-in-class product,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Executive VP and CMO. “The custom-designed Pinnacle models are masterfully engineered and we are proud that they will lead the NASCAR convoy to the track each race weekend.”
 
UFC is extending ties with Toyo Tires, inking a new multi-year deal to serve as the Official Tire of UFC. Toyo Tires branding will continue to have a presence inside the Octagon on horizontal bumpers and canvases during select events and continue its run on UFC.com, as well as being integrated across UFC social and digital assets.

This year’s edition of THE PLAYERS Championship will continue the PGA TOUR tradition of honoring men and women in uniform, with the tournament lining up a slate of military appreciation activities and programs, including a special performance by music legend Toby Keith on May 10 during Military Appreciation Day. This year will also see the additions of the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony at 6p and Concert at 6:30p on the 17th hole. The tournament will also offer all career military active duty, Reserve, military retirees and dependents) with complimentary admission to the tournament all week and discounted admission for veterans.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter announced that on a worldwide basis, Tweets about last weekend’s NBA All-Star were seen 1.7 billion times spanning Feb. 12-14.

DIGITAL & STREAMING

NASCAR continues to forge new platform partnerships ahead of the Daytona 500, announcing a partnership with Twitter in a move to boost the #DAYTONA500 conversation. Plans to promote Daytona 500 weekend include a new Twitter emoji, Vine and Periscope content from Daytona International Speedway and the first-ever Hashtag 500, a Twitter race among fans that will reward winners with memorabilia from Sunday’s race. “We’ve seen tremendous growth on Twitter and this collaboration only makes it easier for fans to engage and follow the DAYTONA 500 conversation,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president, marketing and industry services. “This level of activation and support from Twitter is truly unprecedented, and the big winners are the NASCAR fans.”

The NBA is making another mobile content play, partnering with Binbit in a multiyear deal that will offer fans across Latin America, Europe and Asia access to extensive NBA content, including promotions and experiences from the NBA for Binbit subscribers. Content will include pictures, videos, and audio files tailored for feature mobile phone devices within certain territories. Binbit mobile phone subscribers will also have access to a free official NBA Fan Club, which will feature NBA game highlights and photos and NBA-themed ringtones.

ROSTER MOVES

MP & Silva is bringing some familiar faces to the new Americas Champions League competition, announcing that Sen. George Mitchell will join the league’s Advisory Board alongside for NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. The annual soccer club competition will be played in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean and create “an economic windfall to soccer in the Americas by generating revenues of at least $440 million to be shared with participating clubs annually, resulting in a minimum of $5 million in prize money per club, increasing each round, with up to $30 million for the winner.”
 
Entertainment brand consultancy and marketing innovations agency Troika hired Amy Palmer as Senior Account manager for its business development team. She joins from bpg Advertising where she was SVP, Broadcast.

THE MAIN EVENT

Blackhawks/Rangers on NBCSN at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1943: Yankee Joe DiMaggio enlists into the US Army.

In The Know: Who was the first woman to run a Daytona 500? (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 club did Alan Shephard use to hit golf balls on the moon? Answer: The 6-iron. Kudos: Keith Marder-Halstead Property/NY; Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Jeff Miller-CW69/Atlanta; Dan Shugart-WEAR-TV/Pensacola; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Pam Tierney-Lily Barks Productions/Chicago; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
02.17.16

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