04/29/14: Sponsors step away from Clippers after Sterling remarks, FOX Sports reveals draft plans, NFLPI ranks player sales


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 29, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Sponsors for the Clippers began their exodus following team owner Donald Sterling’s remarks, with a slew of companies either suspending or terminating their partnerships with the team. Brands such as CarMax and Virgin America both stated that they were ending their deals. "CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable," the company said in a statement Monday. "These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship." Meanwhile, partners who are now hitting the pause button also include the likes of Kia, Red Bull, AQUAHydrate and State Farm.

The NBA announced that it will report its findings on the league’s investigation into Sterling today.


Speaking of the Clippers, the team’s battle against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday delivered a 5.0 rating for ABC, marking the highest-rated game of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Game 5 between the teams is slated for 7:30p tonight on TNT.

Fox Sports 1 is pulling Crowd Goes Wild from its lineup. Sports Illustrated writes that the move was due to low ratings and growth and that some of the crew, such as Katie Nolan and Jason Gay, will appear elsewhere on the channel. "As the channel evolves so must our programing commitments," a Fox Sports spokesperson told the publication. "Fox Sports wants to thank CGW’s loyal viewers, talent and all the terrific people behind-the-scenes, especially Embassy Row, for their hard work and commitment to producing a phenomenal and unique sports talk show." The final episode of CGW will air May 8. In addition, the channel is shifting The Mike Francesa Show from 1-5p on the network before shifting it to Fox Sports 2.

Speaking of FOX Sports 1, the channel is teaming up with FOX Sports Radio to offer coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft beginning Thursday, May 8 live from Radio City Music Hall. Charissa Thompson anchors alongside Jay Glazer and analysts Mike Garafolo, Joel Klatt, Donovan McNabb and Peter Schrager with updates, opinion and analysis on picks, trades and other news. In addition, Glazer will appear on FOX Sports Radio with anchor Don Bell for live broadcasts during the Draft’s first three rounds on Thursday, May 8, from 8p-12am and Friday from 6-10p.
In other radio news, NBC Sports Radio has passed the 400 station mark, with new additions that include Tribune’s WGWG-FM, Chicago; Cumulus Media’s KTCT-AM, San Francisco; Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston; Grand Slam Sports’ KFNS-AM, St. Louis; and Cumulus Media’s WISW-AM, Columbia, SC.
RIP to "Dr. Jack" Ramsay, the Hall of Fame coach and NBA broadcaster who died at 89 after battling cancer. Following his championship coaching career, Ramsay later went on to deliver color for the 76ers and Heat, and worked national TV and radio broadcasts for ESPN until 2013.

Pac-12 Networks announced that season two of its documentary series The Drive: Pac-12 Football will focus on the 2014 UCLA Bruins football program. The show will debut in early September and consist of fifteen 30-minute weekly episodes airing across all seven Pac-12 Networks. Season one split time between the Arizona State and California football programs, UCLA Bruins players and coaches will be the primary focus throughout the college football season, with Pac-12 Network film crews capturing the ins and outs of their lives, both on and off the field.

The National Basketball League of Canada locked in a broadcast deal with beIN Sports Canada to serve as its broadcast home. The three-year deal will offer fans live NBL Canada games in HD to Canadian households via Bell TV, Bell Fibre, Eastlink, MTS TV, Rogers, and Videotron throughout the 2014-15 season with games slated for Thursday and Saturday nights in primetime.


Cynopsis: Digital BIG Monetization Summit
June 19 | 10 on the Park, NYC | Sponsored by: FreeWheel

A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Carolyn Johnson, Head of Media Solutions [Google]
Steve Kraus
, SVP & Chief Insights Officer [Ipsos MediaCT]
Paul Kontonis
, SVP, Strategy, [Collective Digital Studio]
James Rooke
, General Manager, Business Solutions [FreeWheel]

View the complete list of speakers & register:


The NFL Players Inc. revealed its Top 50 Player Sales list to wrap up its fiscal year, with Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson finishing atop the charts. Wilson bested Super Bowl rival Peyton manning, who ranked second on the list. Rounding out the top five were Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Aaron Rodgers, with running back Marshawn Lynch the best-selling non-quarterback at #7. In addition, the organization announced new licensing agreements with Athlitacomics, FBF Originals, From The Bench, Masterpieces Puzzle Company, New Era and Original Retro Brand.

The North American Sports Group locked in a deal with Earl Enterprises, owner of the popular Italian family restaurant chain Buca di Beppo. The deal will see the restaurant chain become official family casual dining restaurant of Kick It and Hoop It Up, and will provide participants with coupons redeemable at Buca di Beppo restaurants in markets with Kick It and Hoop It Up tournaments.


eSports company Major League Gaming is joining ESPN’s X Games for the first-ever MLG X Games Invitational at the inaugural X Games Austin from June 6-8. For the first time, MLG Pro Gamers will be awarded X Games medals and MLG’s Pro Circuit competition will be showcased with Skateboard, BMX, Moto X, Rally and Stadium SUPER Trucks. Fans can watch via MLG.tv, MLG.tv apps, and MLG.tv app for Xbox 360.


Rangers/Flyers on NBCSN at 7:30p.


Cynopsis Digital Presents…
Monetizing the New Generation of Pay TV, OTT and TV Everywhere Webinar

Date: May 20, 2014 | Time: 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST | SIGN-UP TODAY!

Speakers Include
Laurie Lawrence,
Chief Marketing Officer, {Vubiquity}
 Dan Sacher, SVP of Connected Content , {VH1}
Ed Lee, VP of Content Acquisition, {Roku}
Brent Gaskamp, SVP, Corporate Development, North America, {Videology}

ON THIS DAY in 1986: The Red Sox’ Roger Clemens strikes out 20 batters in a single game.

In The Know: In 2011, this NBA player set the record for most consecutive free throws made in a postseason game, hitting 24. Who was he? (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: Bob Uecker was honored with a statue by the Brewers last week, placed in the last row, as an homage to his line "I must be in the front row!" in a commercial for what brand? Answer: Miller Lite (aka Lite Beer from Miller). Kudos: Mitch Burg-SNTA/NY; Rick Alessandri-Univision/NY; Tim DeLaney-Showtime Networks Inc./NY; Michael Lee-BPN/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Joe Guarnieri-ESPN/Bristol; Keith Allo-Golf Channel/NBC Sports/Orlando; Matt Deprey-Discovery Communications/Silver Spring; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Steve Johnson-Intersport/Chicago; Alicia Smits-Potawatomi Bingo Casino/Milwaukee; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Warren Weideman-Producer/LA; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Jeff Mirkin-The Game Plane/Hollywood; Dennis Treleven-Fox Networks Group/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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