04/22/14: ESPN makes a run for Chick-fil-A, NBC Sports deepens ties to the Breeders’ Cup, The NHL names its venue, host for annual awards show



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CYNOPSISSPORTS
04.22.14

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

NBC Sports is deepening ties to the Breeders’ Cup, announcing a new deal for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. The agreement will see 18 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races that will be broadcast by NBC Sports Group and supported by an integrated marketing campaign that will span NBCUniversal properties as well as Time Inc. properties Sports Illustrated and People.com. The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In will be made up of 11 telecasts on NBC and NBCSN that will see winners automatically qualify for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The expanded NBC Sports partnership includes multiplatform rights to the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. In addition, several NBC Sports Regional Networks will offer replays of select races after their initial airings on NBC and NBCSN.

In addition, the Breeders’ Cup will launch a multi-channel marketing effort to attract new fans to the telecasts and sport that will utilize Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassadors (such as Kate Upton, Joe Torre, Bobby Flay, Elizabeth Banks and more) along with interesting and diverse horse owners who are trying to win their way into the Breeders’ Cup via a series of custom content pieces that will run SI.com and People.com.

ON THE AIR

The NHL announced plans for the annual NHL Awards to return to Las Vegas on June 24 at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. George Stroumboulopoulos will host with the event set to be televised at 7p on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC in Canada. The Awards will once again honor the best regular-season players in categories that include most valuable player, outstanding goaltender, outstanding defenseman and outstanding rookie.

The University of Alabama is set to cash in, and will reportedly ink a multimedia rights deal with Learfield Sports that will be worth $150-$160 million over 10 years, according to SBD. The deal will run through 2024 and place the university in the revenue ranks of Texas and Notre Dame. Learfield will not have rights to Alabama’s third-tier football and basketball games, as they are part of the upcoming SEC Network.

Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment is getting in the PPV business, announcing that the company will deliver PPV programming beginning with Ring of Honor: Best of the World 2014 on June 22 at 8p. Suggested retail is $24.95.

The NFL will apparently release its 2014 regular season schedule on Wednesday or Thursday, according to NBC Sports. The slate of games had been expected to be released today.


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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Representatives from Peach Bowl, Inc., Chick-fil-A, ESPN, the College Football Playoff and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed officially announced the name change for the post-season contest to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. In addition, Chick-fil-A became the first of the new College Football Playoff bowl sponsors to announce a new six-year agreement with ESPN. "This is a remarkable day in our history when we can all come together as partners to celebrate these milestones," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl president and CEO. "This not only represents the beginning of our new era in the College Football Playoff, but a reconnection to our history and tradition by bringing the peach back into our name. Chick-fil-A’s agreement with ESPN and the Bowl allows us to continue a 17-year relationship regarded as one of the most successful in the industry."

FOX Sports is partnering with the American Youth Soccer Organization in a deal that makes FOX Sports and its family of networks the premier sponsor of AYSO and presenting partner of AYSO’s 50th Anniversary. Under the five-year agreement, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus, the FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX Sports Radio and the Big Ten Network will work together to engage families in playing and watching soccer. Platforms through on-air promotions, public service announcements and in-program messaging.

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

The US Golf Association launched usopen.com and uswomensopen.com to serve as the official websites of the 2014 US Open championships. The sites will look to offer "enhanced" design and functionality with features that include live, second-round scoring from the 10 domestic US Open sectional qualifying sites on June 2. In addition, other USGA digital products will include enhanced apps that will offer live video, real-time scores, news and highlights throughout the 114th US Open. The official apps will launch in early June.

ROSTER MOVES

MLB Network promoted Senior Director, Business & Legal Affairs Erick Van Tuyl to Vice President, and upped Manager of Media & Music Clearances Stephanie Scarpulla to Director. Van Tuyl is responsible for business and legal affairs matters for MLB Network including program acquisition, talent and affiliate distribution agreements. Scarpulla oversees all aspects of music, footage and image licensing, including supervision and placement, throughout all of MLB Network’s 24/7 programming.
 
NASCAR announced two new hires to assist strategic growth plans for segments that include youth, millennial and multicultural. Peter Jung joins NASCAR as Senior Director of Growth Segment Marketing, jumping on from MasterCard International, where he served as VP of Global Consumer Marketing. In addition, Nicole Smith has been tapped to serve as Director of Growth Segment Marketing at NASCAR, joining NASCAR from the San Diego Padres.

High school athletics website and software systems company BigTeams named Clay Walker as its Chief Executive Officer and also announced an investment round, led by Capital Sports Ventures. Walker assumes his new role after most recently serving at USA TODAY as Vice President of Publisher Relations.

THE MAIN EVENT

Wizards/Bulls on TNT at 9:30p.


 A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


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ON THIS DAY in 1915: NY Yankees wear pinstripes and the hat-in-the-ring logo for the first time.

In The Know: The Padres retired #19 in honor of what player? (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: While the Spurs easily have the longest streak of consecutive NBA Playoff appearances at 17, what team is second with 7? Answer: The Atlanta Hawks. Kudos: Andrew Feingold-Nielsen Sports/NY; Noah Coslov-CineSport/NY; Ivette Herrera-WestwoodOne/NY; Troy Perlowitz-Diamond Dollars Inc./NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Ryan Nolan-Sportsman Channel/New Berlin; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Claudia Howard-FOX Sports 1/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
04.22.14

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