SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
Mitsubishi Motors signed on to serve as title sponsor for the next two years for the annual college football postseason game that will now be known as the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl. The 27th edition of the game will be played this year on Dec. 15 at 12:30p on ABC. “We are extremely enthused about this partnership and how it can help build brand awareness for Mitsubishi Motors and our exciting vehicle lineup, including our all-new Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV,” said Francine Harsini, Chief Marketing Officer, Mitsubishi Motors North America. “This collaboration allows us to provide our customers and fans with fun experiences, connecting with them in a unique way.” This marks the first time Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) has been a title
Major League Baseball and The Topps Company extended their exclusive global partnership for MLB-licensed trading cards through 2025. “Baseball and trading cards go hand-in-hand, eliciting memories of the legends of our game and showcasing the stars of today and tomorrow,” said Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Commerce. “Topps vibrantly remains a part of the baseball lexicon that conjures images so many of us have cherished. They have re-invigorated the trading card business with innovative products such as Topps NOW®, which offers our fans the opportunity to memorialize great moments throughout the season. It’s with great pleasure that we continue this long-term partnership.”
Meanwhile, MLB indefinitely suspended its Papa Slam promotion with Papa John’s pizza, according to Yahoo, after company founder John Schnatter admitted to and apologized for using the N-word during a May training session. Schnatter announced his resignation as the company’s chairman late Wednesday night.
Speaking of baseball, Minor League Baseball and The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation are partnering for a second year to spread awareness about domestic violence and help end its destructive cycle. Beginning today and continuing through July 23, nearly 100 Minor League Baseball teams across the country will include Safe At Home’s educational messaging in their gameday programming to educate fans about the lifelong, traumatizing impact that domestic violence has on youth victims.
The Pac-12 and Unifi announced a long-term partnership that will see Unifi serve as the Founding Sustainability Partner of Pac-12 Team Green and as a sponsor of the Pac-12 Sustainability Conference. As part of the partnership, Unifi will provide grant funding to all 12 of the Conference’s member institutions to support sustainability initiatives and increase recycling efforts; work with the Pac-12 and Pac-12 Networks on creating custom content and media assets. The new Pac-12 Team Green initiative is a “first-of-its-kind” collegiate athletics conference sustainability platform set to promote all greening efforts taking place on and around Pac-12 campuses.
Soap & Glory inked a deal to become the first-ever exclusive beauty sponsor for all 2018 Tough Mudder North America Challenge events. The sponsorship kicks off this July, with activations at 21 Tough Mudder event days across the United States with the beauty brand taking over the Rinse Stations & Changing Tents and transforming them into tropical pink oases. Soap & Glory will also unveil a reimagined version of Tough Mudder’s muddiest obstacle, Kiss of Mud.
Paris Saint-Germain and Renault signed an official partnership for the next three seasons. The companies will now develop large-scale, global advertising and promotional campaigns and include a digital focus.
Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment and Loyola University Maryland Athletics announced a long-term agreement under which VWSE will serve as the athletic department’s exclusive multimedia rights partner and sales agent for its corporate sponsorship program. VWSE Collegiate Services will manage and sell local broadcast and digital media assets. Additionally, the team will sell and execute corporate partnerships for multimedia resources, including the Greyhounds’ in-venue signage, marketing, promotional rights to athletic marks and in-venue hospitality packages.
DIGITAL & STREAMING
A new report from comScore unleashed a study on how digital marketing channels can influence linear sports tune-in, with analysis of mobile and desktop YouTube campaigns for more than ten live sports events. Per their research of YouTube campaign data, households exposed to a video ad campaign within six hours of a game had a 26% higher likelihood of tuning-in. In addition, households that saw four or more ads prior to the event were 37% more likely to tune-in than those who saw just one ad. Meanwhile, households that conducted a sports-related search within 24 hours of the event start time watched on average two-and-a-half times more of a game than non-searching households.
Octi, an augmented video company leveraging machine learning and computer vision announced that it has entered into a strategic investment and partnership with the NFL Players Association via its athlete-driven accelerator, the OneTeamCollective. The partnership will enable fans to create videos where they interact with NFL player avatars. Octi will create and commercially distribute avatars for more than 2,000 active NFL players. Octi also announced a seed round of $7.5M with participation from Shasta Ventures, I2BF Ventures, Bold Capital Partners, Day One Ventures, Human Ventures, Live Nation, and AB InBev.
Valve is making IEM Katowice the host of its 14th CS:GO Major in 2019 where the top 24 teams from around the world will compete across a three week span starting Feb. 14 with a prize pool of $1 million on the line in addition to the IEM World Championship. The Championship Stage kicks off on Feb. 28 and runs through March 3. “IEM Katowice has grown to become one of the most iconic esports tournaments in the world,” said Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL. “I expect that coupling the heritage of IEM with the gravity of a Valve Major Championship will elevate the tournament to what will be the most incredible IEM event in history.”
Blizzard is dealing up another round of The Hearthstone Global Games, with teams competing and representing as a nation. The tournament will stream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel every week with the company lining up casters Simon “Sottle” Welch, Alex “Raven” Baugley, Neil “Lorinda” Bond, Dan Falcone, Dan Gaskin, and Darroch Brown to call the action. Overall, 48 teams will compete in this year’s edition with each team sporting four players with play beginning July 17. This year’s format will now see all countries competing in one Swiss bracket, playing six rounds and going against teams with the same record after a first set of random pairings. The top sixteen will then advance to a double elimination group bracket.
The British Esports Association unveiled plans for its first full competitive gaming Championships for schools, colleges and alternative provision schools, unlocking a partnership with Twitch Student to grow the British Esports Championships and “help give students support and opportunities. The British Esports Championships is for students aged 12-19, with each school or college allowed to enter teams for three different games with the first confirmed game being 5v5 League of Legends. Play begins on Oct. 10 and will run for two seasons, the first consisting of eight weeks of fixtures with breaks for half term and the second running in the New Year. The first six weeks will feature a Swiss tournament format, with Playoffs taking place during the remaining weeks.
Eight of the top Street Fighter V players in the world face off in the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational 2018 Playoffs tonight on TBS at 11p. ELEAGUE analysts Steve “Tasty Steve” Scott, Stephen “Sajam” Lyon, Reepal “Rip” Parbhoo and Zhi “Zhieeep” Liang Chew will join host Malik Forte and reporter Michele Morrow for complete championship coverage from ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta.
Gfinity named sports and media executive Graham Wallace to the Board of Directors and to the newly created role of Global Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. Graham will work alongside recently appointed Executive Chairman, Garry Cook, with responsibility for managing Gfinity’s global business operations as the Company focuses on delivery of its strategy and growth targets.
Three-time Olympic medalist in bobsled, Elana Meyers Taylor was named as the next preside as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Meyers Taylor, who won her second Olympic silver medal this past February in PyeongChang, will begin her one-year term in January 2019, succeeding Grete Eliassen.
France/Croatia for the World Cup at 11a on Sunday on FOX and Telemundo.