06/14/18: World Cup sponsorship values decline 11% since 2014 matches

Good morning. It’s Thursday June 14, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.


With the World Cup kicking off today in Russia, it’s worth noting that soccer (football) remains the world’s most popular sport, with more than four out of every 10 people considering themselves a fan, according to a recent Nielsen survey. However, the sport isn’t without its issues. World Cup sponsorship revenues, which have risen significantly in recent years, are on the decline for this year’s event. From 2015 to 2018, revenues for the World Cup will drop to $1.45 billion, according to FIFA’s budget projection, compared with the record $1.63 billion generated between 2011 and 2014, Nielsen reported. While FIFA said it expects to exceed this year’s projected budget, the governing body will likely still fall short of its 2014 numbers. Many top brands such as Emirates, Sony, BP’s Castrol, Johnson & Johnson and Continental have pulled out of sponsoring the tournament.


MSG Networks, starting on Monday, June 18, will launch its first-ever “Rookie Week” to coincide with the upcoming NBA and NHL Drafts. Programming will showcase the best NBA and NHL rookies to ever play in New York, as well as feature interviews with many of the top rookies in this year’s NBA Draft class as part of a new partnership between MSG Networks and SLAM Magazine. Interviews with the incoming rookie class will air on MSG Networks, MSGNetworks.com and on MSG Networks’ social media channels, as well as on SLAM’s website and social media channels, beginning on Wednesday, June 20. As part of “Rookie Week,” MSG Networks will air past games featuring top performances from rookies on the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Liberty. One of the marquee games will include the debut of former Knicks great Bill Bradley, when he took the court for the first time alongside fellow rookie Walt “Clyde” Frazier during their rookie season in 1967.
NBCSN will televise its first-ever FIFA World Cup match in Spanish this Sunday, June 17, live at 1:30 p.m. ET when Brazil faces Switzerland at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The match will be simulcast in Spanish from Telemundo and livestreamed in Spanish via the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports apps. Sammy Sadovnik will call the match on Telemundo and NBCSN, joined by Eduardo Biscayart and former Argentine national team member Juan Pablo Sorin.

NBC will air the finale of its documentary series Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday, June 15 at 5 p.m. ET. The behind-the-scenes show, narrated by actor Josh Duhamel, culminates with Oklahoma State defeating the University of Alabama to win its 11th NCAA Golf National Championship. An encore of Driven’s finale also will air Sunday on Golf Channel at 10 a.m. ET.

ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language telecast of the NBA Finals finished as the most-watched NBA Finals in network history, ESPN said. Viewership of the Finals, the fourth-consecutive matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, was up 12%, producing 162,000 impressions, making it the most-viewed since ESPN Deportes started airing the NBA Finals in 2013. Game 2 of the series, a win for Golden State, was the most-viewed game with 205,000 impressions, the network said.


Pac-12 Networks will premiere a special 30-minute program with “Pac-12 Sports Report: NBA Draft Special” to recap all of the Pac-12 action and analyze the road ahead for the newest talent headed to the NBA. The program will begin at 9 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network. Hosted by Mike Yam, Pac-12 Networks coverage will also include men’s basketball analyst Don MacLean in studio as well as reporter Lewis Johnson on-site at the draft from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Coverage can also be followed across Pac-12 and Pac-12 Networks’ digital and social media channels.

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Empower Retirement, the nation’s second largest retirement services provider, reached a multiyear marketing partnership with PGA Tour player Webb Simpson, winner of this year’s Players championship in Florida. Simpson, 32, is currently ranked No. 21 in the world and has won five PGA Tour titles, including the 2012 U.S. Open. The sponsorship, which will include Empower’s logo on Simpson’s golf shirt, will debut at this week’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York. 
Jersey Mike’s Subs will sponsor the 2018 Summer Split of the North American League of Legends Championship Series as part of a new esports agreement announced by the submarine sandwich chain. Beginning Saturday, June 16, the Jersey Mike’s logo will be featured in on the NA LCS stream and NA LCS arena. Jersey Mike’s customers will be given promo codes for in-game League of Legends items and prizes, such as Hextech chests and keys, loot skins, and RP packages. There will also be a sweepstakes competition, awarding an all-expenses-paid trip, and VIP ticket to the 2018 NA LCS Summer Finals at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California this September.


FOX Sports will produce a live show, FIFA World Cup Now, exclusively for Twitter with host Rachel Bonnetta, from Moscow’s Red Square each match day during the World Cup. Featured guests on the show will include FOX Sports’ Rob Stone, Landon Donovan, Kate Abdo, Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore, and other personalities. The show will provide match action previews, recaps and Twitter reaction as well as original segments produced by FOX’s team in Moscow, the network said. The live coverage is available in the U.S. to Twitter’s logged-in and logged-out audience and can be viewed at live.twitter.com/worldcupnow or via @FOXSoccer.
FloSports reached a multiyear agreement with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) to air the Finning Pro Tour events and finals, the Grass Roots Final, and Canadian Finals Rodeo, exclusively on FloRodeo.com. With the addition of CPRA events, FloRodeo will now carry 27 events this year, spanning 93 days of live rodeo coverage, including the International Finals Youth Rodeo, National Little Britches Association Finals, and American Junior Rodeo Association Finals.


In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming…       
  • Jersey Mike’s custom NA LCS order
  • Fortnite’s esport building blocks
  • IEM hits China
  • LA Valiant back Uncle Drew
  • Which Overwatch League sponsors got social benefits?
  • Cloud9’s Mammoth content
  • E3 wraps its up


Tampa Bay Rays/New York Yankees – on FS1 at 7p
Thursday, July 12th at 1:30PM
Millennial and Gen Z men are an elusive group for networks and marketers, but a valuable one. A report from Engagement Labs, “The Remarkable Influence of Millennial Men,” shows they’re 50% more likely than millennial women to be word-of-mouth influencers. During our upcoming webinar on July 12, “Connecting with the New Young Male Demo,” our experts will share how to align your marketing efforts with millennial male interests, at a time when the definition of masculinity is undergoing a major shift. 

On This Day in 1994: New York Rangers defeat Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of Stanley Cup Final to win first NHL championship since 1940.

In the Know: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies hit his second grand slam of the season in Tuesday’s 8-2 win over the Mets. Since 2012, only one other Atlanta player has hit two grand slams in a season. Name the other player. (Email

mikebuteau@gmail.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)


Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: With a chance to win the U.S. Open, what score did Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) card on the final hole in the 1996 movie Tin Cup? Answer: 12. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Gabe Alfaya-XL Worldwide NYC/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; John Langermann-WINKTV/Fort Myers; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside
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