05/05/15: ESPN’s David Preschlack punches out; US Ski Team beefs up; Bleacher Report tips the scales



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CYNOPSISSPORTS
05.05.15

Good morning. It’s Tuesday May 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN Executive VP of Affiliate Sales and Marketing David Preschlack is leaving the company after two decades on the clock. He follows Sean Bratches, who announced his departure two weeks ago. Variety writes that ESPN President John Skipper sent an email to employees yesterday, writing that "David has been a key driver at every stage and has done all of that as the consummate professional, a trusted colleague, a valued friend and with a relentlessly positive spirit that touched us all…We are immeasurably better for having had him on our team.” Preschlack is expected to stay on in the near team in an advisory capacity.


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For more information, please visit www.beinsports.tv.

Follow us on Twitter @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @ESbeINSPORTS and like our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page for breaking news and real-time updates.


ON THE AIR

Speaking of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and WatchESPN will offer exclusive coverage of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship Presented by Northwestern Mutual starting May 9 with the first-round games. The top two seeds in the championship  No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Syracuse  will hit the field for first-round action on ESPNU on May 9 at 5p and May 10 at 7:30p respectively. Taking lead microphone duties will be Eamon McAnaney, along with analyst Quint Kessenich and sideline reporter/analyst Paul Carcaterra. The trio will call the two quarterfinal games on Sunday, May 17, from Annapolis, Md., in addition to the national semifinals on Saturday, May 23, and the title game on Monday, May 25. Anish Shroff will host ESPN’s studio coverage throughout the championship.

Alli Sports, a division of NBC Sports Group, and MX Sports Pro Racing revealed the complete programming schedule for the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship which will see NBC, NBCSN and MAVTV combine to present every race of the season. Overall, more than 60 hours of programming are set to air with coverage launching May 16 at 5p on MAVTV. Coverage on NBCSN begins Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET. Jason Weigandt will serve as the play-by-play announcer for all telecasts, joined by analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston.

Fresh off the fight, Showtime will carry the battle between Mayweather/Pacquiao on SHOWTIME on Saturday at 9p. The replay will feature exclusive analysis from SHOWTIME boxing experts and will be immediately followed by the premiere of Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Epilogue.

New Cynopsis Sports Summit panel announced. Have an early peek at the upcoming NBC Sports coverage of the NASCAR season and hear what executives have in store for fans, sponsors and the sport. Speakers include: NBC Sports Group CMO John Miller; Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN; Steve Herbst, SVP of Broadcasting and Production, NASCAR; and Steve Phelps, NASCAR CMO. NBC Sports race announcer Leigh Diffey will moderate. Get your tickets early here.

ESPN’s E:60 Pictures offers WWE: Behind-The-Curtain today at 8p. The new one-hour documentary offers “unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to the making of a WWE Superstar,” following three potentials on their journey from NXT to WWE, and offering interviews with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, WWE Executive Vice President Paul Levesque and WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern and ESPN reporter Shelley Smith are on deck to join this week’s episode of CBS Sports Network’s We Need to Talk tonight at 10p. Stern and Smith both sit down for in-studio interviews, while Smith also joins the conversation as guest host, along with panelists Allie LaForce,Andrea Kremer, Dara Torres and Lisa Leslie.


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For sponsor information, please contact Mike Farina at 203.218-6480.


SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The US Ski Team is broadening its horizons, announcing a deal with NASTAR to assume operational control of the program. The announcement was made at the National Ski Areas Association annual convention by USSA President and CEO Tiger Shaw  along with Active Interest Media (AIM) President and CEO Andy Clurman. AIM owns NASTAR, SKI and Skiing magazines and Warren Miller Entertainment. NASTAR is a recreational ski racing program in place at 115 resorts nationwide with over 165,000 racer days each year.  The partnership is designed to help USSA’s efforts to activate more young skiers into the sport across America. Active Interest Media will continue to lead the promotional and marketing efforts for NASTAR and become an official sponsor of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams and will activate its brands across the portfolio of opportunities at the USSA.

Panini, the world’s largest publisher of collectibles, and FIFA are extending their ties ahead of the Women’s World Cup. The event will see Panini once again launch a sticker album to celebrate the event  and has been granted by FIFA exclusive rights to produce and sell the official sticker album, collectible trading cards and trading card games for the last 12 tournaments. The collectors Album will have 56 internal pages and contain spaces for 478 stickers – including 29 special stickers. In North America.
 
Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin will serve as Grand Marshal of the 99th Indianapolis 500 on May 24. "We’re excited to have Nastia Liukin as part of the rich pre-race pageantry of the Indianapolis 500," J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President said, according to local reports. "Over the years we have welcomed many famous athletes from outside the motorsports world on Race Day and to have such a decorated Olympian visit is an honor."

Former law enforcement officer turned reality and news producer Scott Weinberger talks about what TV gets right – and wrong – when it comes to the crime genre in today’s Cynsiders.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook revealed the final data results for the Mayweather/Pacquaio fight, stating that, globally, 37 million people had more than 115 million Facebook interactions related to the bout with 17 million people talking specifically about Floyd Mayweather. The top 5 countries engaged in the social conversation about the fight were:
1.  Puerto Rico
2.  Philippines
3.  United States
4.  Nigeria
5.  New Zealand

DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

The NFL Draft helped push Bleacher Report to new highs, reporting growth across all platforms, especially in terms of mobile streaming. The brand set a new record for streaming video with 65% growth in video streams over last year’s NFL Draft window while mobile traffic spiked 27% over last year’s NFL Draft period. Overall page views were up over 8% over last year’s NFL Draft window.

GolfNow announced the release of watch-specific versions of its mobile app, which is now available for the Apple Watch and Android Wear. The app will allow golfers access to an on-course GPS function which provides hole-by-hole yardages at more than 30,000 golf courses around the world, displaying distances to the front, center and back of the green, with additional relevant yardages on each hole accessible by swiping left/right on the watch.

PRODUCTION

Slate Capital Group acquired Broadcast Sports Inc., a leading provider of wireless technology and communications systems services for use in the field of sports television broadcasting. BSI is a North American market leader in providing microwave transmission and custom remote controlled miniature camera systems to the broadcast industry. "BSI is well known for its innovative technologies and customer focused approach, and fits within our strategy of investing in market leading companies in sustainable growth markets,” said Parker Davis, Managing Member of Slate Capital Group. “We have been impressed with BSI’s products and track record of consistent execution, and look forward to working with Peter and the BSI team to build on this momentum."  

ROSTER MOVES

RAGE Fitness and Gibson Athletic named industry veteran Douglas Kelly as its new CEO. “We’re at a place in our evolution where Doug’s experience and leadership will help us scale our business and integrate processes that will continue sustainable growth,” said Brian Smith, Owner and President of Gibson Athletic.  “Doug is the right guy at the right time to steer the ship, and we’re excited that he has joined our team.”

VIDEO GAMES/ESPORTS/FANTASY

EA Sports named its semifinalists for Madden NFL 16. Fans will now be able to vote on players that include the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr., the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson. Players will choose between four of the NFL’s best playmakers by playing Madden NFL games with the two highest vote-getters going head-to-head in the finals on May 13 on ESPN.com.

THE MAIN EVENT

Wizards/Hawks Game 2 on TNT at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 2011: Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams retires.

In The Know: What team did Gary Williams and the Terrapins beat to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament? (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: Who is the only three-time winner of The PLAYERS Championship? Answer: Jack Nicklaus. Kudos: Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Michael Brown-Lagardere Unlimited/NY; Jeff Day-NHL/NY; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
05.05.15

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