03/03/14: iON Looks to Up Manchester City’s Game (Manchester City)



CYNOPSISSPORTS
03.03.14

Good morning. It’s Monday, March 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Last week, iON Cameras continued to build momentum when the company announced a deal with Manchester City Football Club that will see the brand become City’s Official Global Sports Action Camera Partner. The company will utilize its technology to capture behind-the-scenes training footage in a move designed to bring fans closer to the team and create a new tool in the Club’s performance analysis and coaching platform. In addition, iON cameras will also be used to enhance supporters’ match-day experience on and off the pitch, through the installation of iON fan booths in BT City Square, the Club’s purpose built fan entertainment zone.
 
Cynopsis Sports spoke with Giovanni Tomaselli, iON CEO about how teams are leveraging new technology, building the brand and how sports are impacting the business.

Tomaselli on creating the brand: We come from a strong legacy of imaging, I’ve been involved in designing, developing and manufacturing imaging-related products for 15 years. So getting into this sports world was that the products we see out there and the solutions that have been put forward aren’t to the standards they need to be, at least not to my standards anyway. So I thought what a great opportunity, I have a brand that’s related in the space and it’s starting to resonate in the space. We kicked off last year on the basis of making ourselves relevant in the space so we went after the extreme sports side of the business but that wasn’t the primary goal. The goal was mainstream sports.

On the deal: For us, the partnership with Manchester City Football Club will help us validate our ticket. The world of sports, coaching, scouting and telestrating is critical and something where there is not enough of it. That’s where we come into play. Three or four weeks ago, we announced the acquisition of PowerChalk, which is a web-based analytical tool and the official coaching tool of Little League Baseball. The Cincinnati Reds and LA Dodgers retained us to set up a private portal for a scouting platform and things of that nature. So we are now working with the Manchester City franchise and all their players and create a library of all the technical elements of the game of soccer and make that available to the general public so they can put their own soccer player or son and put them side-by-side and compare techniques. With this technology, we can now integrate ourselves into the game in a whole new way by using this in a whole new way.

On other sports: We are the title sponsor for the Dew Tour. We were there in Breckenridge for the iON Mountain Championships, we have title rights to that. We’ve been through two seasons with that, and while it’s not official yet, we are renewing for another two years. So we are going to continue with that franchise. Another big area for us is motor sports, as we are involved with the Lucas Oil motor series which offers 500 hours of programming in the US. The great thing about that is that about 20% of the content that consumers see on television is shot through the lens of our cameras. 

On the impact of sports on technology: There is a lot of innovation coming along because of sports. Eventually, we will have the ability to see what any player will see, determine how fast he is going, and more. There is no question the leagues are looking for that, but consumers are starting to look for that as well. It adds value to a franchise and naturally technology is going to be at the forefront of making that happen.

ON THE AIR

NBC’s primetime coverage of Saturday’s NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Penguins and Blackhawks delivered a win for the network, registering that best-ever overnight rating for a non-Winter Classic game. The game delivered a 2.1, according to Nielsen metered market data. That marks a 91% spike over last year’s NHL regular-season average on NBC (1.1) and up 31% over the network’s afternoon NHL Stadium Series game on January 26 between the Rangers and Devils.

Former NFL star Darren Sharper no longer has a job with NFL Network. Multiple outlets report that Sharper, who faces multiple rape allegations, has been terminated from his TV gig, as he is investigated for nine alleged rapes spanning five states. Sharper turned himself in to police on Thursday in Los Angeles to face the charges.

TNT reports that its NBA telecast featuring the Heat and Knicks on Thursday averaged 2.7 million total viewers, up 112% over the comparable telecast last year. The game averaged a 1.8 household score, winning the night across all of cable among total viewers, households and all key demos.

Boxeo Telemundo is hitting 25. The longest-running boxing program on US Spanish-language television announced that it will celebrate its first quarter century via a lineup of matches this spring, starting March 14. In tribute to the series, Telemundo’s cable channel, mun2, will air Lo Mejor de Boxeo Telemundo every Saturday in March at noon, offering defining moments in the history of Hispanic boxing.

Tomorrow will be the 100-day mark before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and ESPN will celebrate the occasion with three days of special programming from today through Wednesday, that includes extensive digital content on ESPNFC.com, coverage of seven FIFA matches and more. A special one-hour edition of ESPN FC on TV, will air Tuesday at 5p on ESPN2 and WatchESPN that will include previews and discussion of the tournament as well as the launch of "American Underdogs," a multimedia series examining the 20th anniversary of the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. ESPN Classic will offer six matches from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, beginning at 11a.
 
Voters decided that NBA TV’s upcoming NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint will feature the Heat and the Rockets as a part of a network doubleheader on Tuesday at 8p. The night’s second game will feature the Pelicans/Lakers at 10:30p.

FOX Deportes’ coverage of the Schalke 04/Real Madrid match ranked as the top Spanish-language sports program for the day on Wednesday, handing the channel 388k total viewers and 291k in the 18-49 demo. The network took the top three spots for most-watched sports programs on Spanish-language television that day with its coverage of the UEFA round of 16 and Copa Libertadores group stage match.

Bellator MMA unveiled the lineup for its first PPV, set to take place Saturday, May 17. Headlining the card will be Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez defending his title against Michael Chandler.

On the local front…

FC Dallas renewed its television deals with both Time Warner Cable Sports and TXA21 for the 2014 season. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will air 24 FC Dallas regular-season games through the deal. Meanwhile, TXA21 will air six regular-season matches. The remaining four games will be nationally televised on UniMas, ESPN2, or NBC Sports Network.
 
Oceanic Time Warner Cable and the University of Hawaii extended their partnership that makes OC Sports continue as the exclusive local home of University of Hawaii Athletics, offering live games and content, including the Game On pre-game show and live post-game reports, as part of the long-term agreement.
 
FOX Sports Regional Networks’ FOX Sports South and SportSouth announced the networks will televise a combined 156 Atlanta Braves games during the 2014 Major League Baseball regular season, with 83 games scheduled for SportSouth and 73 games slated for FOX Sports South. This marks the most Braves games ever carried by the two networks. The Atlanta Braves 2014 Season Preview will debut on Thursday, March 6 at 10:30p on SportSouth.

CSN Houston will televise at least 27 games for the Houston Dynamo’s 2014 Major League Soccer season as well as full pregame and postgame shows, along with Dynamo Weekly, a magazine show; season preview and wrap-up specials; and documentary shows. Game coverage kicks off on Saturday, March 8 at 7:30p.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Believe it or not, Upper Deck is celebrating 25 years in the business of sports and entertainment trading cards and authentic sports memorabilia, announcing a 25th anniversary celebration this week with activations that include a 250-card, 25th-anniversary multi-sport set this summer. Upper Deck will also distribute special 25th anniversary autograph, dual autograph and quad autograph cards randomly to Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealers as a thank-you for their support over the years at the 2014 Las Vegas Industry Summit in March. In addition, Upper Deck will offer a series of social media contests and promotions, including a "Happy Birthday Upper Deck" contest that will run through March 28 in which fans can create videos of themselves singing "Happy Birthday" to Upper Deck. One fan chosen for creating the best birthday tribute will receive a $2500 credit for a shopping spree at the Upper Deck Store.

MSG Sports and StarGames announced marketing partners for the 7th annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden today. Headlined by BNP Paribas, returning for the sixth consecutive year as the title sponsor, the 2014 marketing partners for the event include new partners Esurance, Financial Times, Hangzhou Tourism, MTC Limo, Penguin, RADO and SAP, along with returning partners Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Dominican Republic Tourism, Getty Images, JW Marriott Essex House, Kia Motors, Optimum, Sportime, Tennis.com, USTA and Wilson Tennis.
 
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Audubon Nature Institute are teaming up to preserve Louisiana’s coast and wetlands. The partnership will look to educate students on the effects of coastal restoration on the Region, as well as inspiring them to take action to ensure the long-term health of the coast. The first event with the two organizations will be Toast for the Coast on March 15. The event will take place at the Audubon Aquarium of Americas with all proceeds supporting coastal restoration education and research. In addition, the Pelicans will work with Audubon to execute an outreach program that visits schools and festivals with Audubon’s Wetlands Express and AquaVan to give students the opportunity to learn about coastal restoration in a fun and engaging manner.

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

At MIT’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman introduced a new plan for in-ballpark infrastructure designed to create the first complete and reliable measurement of every play on the field and delve deeper into analytics. The new datastream will look to push the industry to understand all the plays on the field, including batting, pitching, fielding and running. The first venues on deck for the technology include Miller Park in Milwaukee, Target Field in Minnesota and Citi Field in New York, which will be operational for this tracking in 2014 with all 30 ballparks operational by 2015 Opening Day.

Spain’s mammoth soccer league La Liga locked in a deal with Twitter and rights holder Mediapro to bring La Liga content to a wider, international audience. Under the new @LaLiga handle, the organization will utilize Twitter’s Amplify tool to attach videos to tweets in real time.

ROSTER MOVES

Olympian Tiger Shaw has officially taken over as President and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association as part of a long-planned transition to replace the outgoing Bill Marolt. Shaw was named COO last fall as part of the transition. Marolt had led the USSA since 1996. "When I began my role as president and CEO in 1996, I emphasized a complete focus on athletes," said Marolt. "I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve maintained that focus  from parents to clubs to our elite teams. The athletic achievements in Vancouver and Sochi are a testament to our entire USSA family never losing sight of our primary purpose  to support athletes."

The Madison Square Garden Company announced that, following a successful tenure as President and CEO, Hank Ratner has taken on a new role as Vice Chairman and will be joining the company’s board of directors. The company named Tad Smith to succeed Ratner as company President and CEO.

THE MAIN EVENT

Bulls/Nets on NBA TV at 7:30p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1984: Peter Ueberroth elected Commissioner of Baseball.

In The Know: Before moving to Philadelphia, the 76ers were originally known by what name? (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: The Baby Borg is presented to the winner of what event? Answer: The Indianapolis 500. Kudos: John Collins-Media Storm, LLC/South Norwalk; Synda Kollman/Boca Raton; Jeff Miller- Jeff Miller-WUPA-TV/Atlanta; John Bassett-John Bassett Productions/Toronto; Jim Dittemore-I Will Race You MotorSports Management/KC; Matt Sautter-OpenTV/Golden; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA.


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Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
03.03.14

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