Hyundai is taking on the NFL Draft with a second season of Rolling with the Rookies, presented by Hyundai. The four-episode series bring athletes back home to visit the people, places and moments that defined their journeys. This year saw the auto brand team up with four prospects projected to be taken in the first round, including Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and LSU running back Derrius Guice, to profile their road to the NFL and their personal stories of triumph and perseverance.
ESPN is once again teaming up with recording artist and Grammy Award-nominee J. Cole in a new NBA Playoffs campaign that features the exclusive broadcast debut of J. Cole’s song “ATM.” Entering its second weekend of NBA Playoffs coverage, ESPN and ABC’s viewership is off to its best start in seven years with the two networks combining to generate an average of 4,045,000 viewers during opening weekend, up five percent year over year.
Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire locked in a stadium naming rights deal with SeatGeek. The accord will see the club’s 28,000-seater home renamed SeatGeek Stadium after the conclusion of the current season. Bloomberg reports that the contract is likely to be worth between $2.5-$4 million per year.
Nathan’s Famous detailed activations plans for the current MLB season, continuing its partnership as the Official Hot Dog of MLB. Nathan’s Famous will once again be a supporter of the league’s “PLAY BALL” initiative and has launched a national sweepstakes through which fans can enter for a chance to win an All-Star experience. “Last year, our partnership with MLB helped us share Nathan’s Famous premium, all-beef franks with baseball fans across the country,” said Michael Paribello, Smithfield Foods senior director of marketing. “The energy and enthusiasm that fans have for the game is incredible! By returning as the Official Hot Dog of MLB and working with the league on our national sweepstakes this year, we’re thrilled to bring the signature flavor of Coney Island to fans nationwide and celebrating this exciting sport in an even bigger way.”
Meanwhile, ESPN reports that Major League Baseball and the NBA are in talks to drop their stakes in DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings first saw MLB as an investor in 2013 while the NBA picked up an ownership stake in FanDuel in 2014. Both leagues, however, report that they will continue to work with the companies. In a statement, MLB said: “While we have initiated discussions regarding potential changes to the structure of our relationship, we look forward to continuing our valued partnership with DraftKings,” adding that “MLB and DraftKings will continue to collaborate on innovative approaches to enhance the fan experience.”
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke his own record at his Fortnite event at Esports Arena in Las Vegas where – at its peak – his stream drew over 660,000 concurrent viewers, topping the recent record on Twitch previously set when he played with the rapper Drake. Overall, $50,000 was awarded at the event.
76ers Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League team of the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment portfolio, named Raynor Group as its Official Gaming Chair Provider of the team. The company will equip 76ers GC players and front office executives with 76ers GC-branded gaming chairs.
Meanwhile, Knicks Gaming inked a partnership with Turtle Beach for the NBA 2k League. The deal sees Knicks Gaming utilize the audio brand at the team’s gaming facility, and the two companies will look to produce a slate of content together during the inaugural season.
Intel Extreme Masters announced that it will once again team with HyperX for the next season. The partnership marks the sixth year in a tow the two companies will join forces, with HyperX serving as the exclusive peripheral and memory partner for season 13. HyperX products, including headsets, keyboards, mice, mouse pads, and PC memory, will be used to support IEM, and to provide competing players with equipment of the highest quality, ensuring the best competitive experience possible.
Bruins/Maple Leafs on NBCSN at 7p.