07/31/18: FloSports and ELEVEN are teaming up for a content/distribution partnership

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Tuesday July 31, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FloSports and ELEVEN Sports are teaming up for a “first-of-its-kind” deal that will see FloSports pick up digital-only rights to distribute an ELEVEN Sports programming feed that would include nearly 500 men’s and women’s live events over the next 12 months running on platforms that include FloHoops, FloWrestling, FloHockey, FloSoftball, FloTrack, FloFootball, FloCombat, FloRugby, FloBikes, FloGrappling, and FloVolleyball. Coverage available digitally across FloSports will include New Mexico State Aggies football games, men’s basketball games from the Big Sky Conference, World Judo Championships, and much more.
 
“The addition of hundreds of new live events to our network is exciting for both us and our subscribers,” FloSports Vice President, Global Rights Acquisition, Mike Levy said. “This deal with ELEVEN SPORTS reflects a new sports media order where linear and digital sports distributors work together to best serve sports fandom. We’re thrilled to see where this partnership leads.”
 
 
ON THE AIR
 
FOX Sports’ faces of the NFL are cemented as the company unveiled its broadcast teams for the network’s upcoming season of NFL coverage. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman return for their 17th season as FOX Sports’ lead NFL broadcast team with Erin Andrews joining the duo as reporter where they open Week 1 with FOX’s first edition of America’s Game of the Week on Sept. 9 at 4:25p Kevin Burkhardt teams with Charles Davis and reporter Pam Oliver, with other combos set to include: Kenny Albert/Ronde Barber; Thom Brennaman/Chris Spielman and Shannon Spake or Peter Schrager; Chris Myers/Daryl Johnston/Laura Okmin and Dick Stockton/Mark Schlereth/Jennifer Hale. FOX NFL Kickoff will open Sundays at 11a,  hosted by Charissa Thompson with studio analyst Tony Gonzalez, Michael Vick, Colin Cowherd, Dave Wannstedt and Cooper Manning, who contributes weekly segments. FOX NFL Sunday, of course, will run at noon with hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, with analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan.
 
FOX Sports also laid out its lineup for the inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship, with eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter joining FOX Sports play-by-play announcers Mark Followill and Brandon Gaudin, analysts Donny Marshall and Sarah Kustok, host Charissa Thompson and Gus Johnson to cover the action.The action gets underway on Aug. 7 at 6:30p on FS1 with Pool Play form the tournament.
 
NBC Sports lines up from the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in England for the Ricoh Women’s British Open this week, with 28 live hours of the tournament, the most ever for the event starting Thursday. Golf Channel will air live coverage from 6a-1p on Thursday and Friday. Saturday sees Golf Channel and NBC combine to air third round coverage (7-11a on Golf Channel; 11a-2p on NBC.); and on Sunday, coverage will begin on Golf Channel at 7:30a and continue on NBC at 11:30a. Rich Lerner and Judy Rankin will call the action from the 18th hole.
 
ESPN is on deck to highlight the events surrounding the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend, culminating with a live telecast of the Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday at 7p. Trey Wingo will once again anchor ESPN’s coverage from Canton, Ohio, with Darren Woodson and Chris Mortensen. ESPN’s Chris Berman will return for his 19th year as the Hall of Fame’s Master of Ceremony, and national correspondent Sal Paolantonio will conduct interviews for SportsCenter.
 
Speaking of football, NFL stars will join Carrie Underwood for her performance of the opening theme for NBC’s Sunday Night Football this season. Ten NFL players, who have accounted for 19 Pro Bowl selections, five Super Bowl rings, and four first-round draft picks, participated in the open and took part in shoots this summer including: Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, Saquon Barkley, Carson Wentz. Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Brown and Russell Wilson
 
MLB Network will air wall-to-wall coverage of the MLB’s Trade Deadline, which is set for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. ET. The coverage will begin on “MLB Central” at 10:00 a.m. ET, followed by a special edition of “MLB Tonight” at 1:00 p.m. ET, and it will include breaking news updates from insiders Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Jon Morosi, Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman. 
 
ESPN2 will serve as the exclusive English-language home of NBA Africa Game 2018 on Saturday at 11a, joining ESPN Deportes for coverage. ESPN NBA play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco will provide commentary for NBA Africa Game 2018 alongside analyst Seth Greenberg on ESPN2. On ESPN Deportes, Robert Abramowitz and Pablo Viruega will handle the call. The game will also stream via the ESPN App.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

MedStar Health and Monumental Sports & Entertainment locked in an expanded medical partnership deeming MedStar as the naming rights partner for the Washington Capitals, Capital City Go-Go, Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and Washington Wizards District Gaming training facilities. Specifically, the Capitals training facility will immediately become MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The new practice facility, opening this fall at the St. Elizabeths campus in southeast Washington, D.C., for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go, will be named MedStar Wizards Performance Center. The Wizards District Gaming training facility immediately becomes the MedStar Wizards District Gaming Studio. Additionally, MedStar continues to serve as the Official Medical Provider of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Capital City Go-Go, Washington Valor, Baltimore Brigade, and Wizards DG.
 
Rogue Fitness and Professional Bull Riders entered a multi-year partnership for Rogue Fitness to become the “Official Strength Partner of the PBR.” The partnership will connect the Rogue Fitness brand to PBR athletes through branded-content story telling on RidePass, the PBR’s western sports digital network where Rogue will highlight the training and preparation “needed to survive and thrive in the world’s most dangerous organized sport.”
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

The NFL and Snap Inc. struck a multi-year partnership extension ahead of the 2018 NFL season to distribute NFL content to Snapchat’s more than 190 million daily active users. As part of the partnership, the NFL will add a new Sunday Publisher Story to the daily content it produces and Snapchat distributes throughout the NFL season and on a weekly basis in the offseason. These new Sunday Publisher Stories will be updated every hour with highlights and news uniquely packaged for the Snapchat audience. NFL content will be available on the Discover page and past editions of the Publisher Stories will be available using Snapchat’s Search feature. Additionally, Snapchat will continue to produce and distribute NFL-partnered Our Stories throughout the season.
 
Speaking of Snapchat, NBC Sports Group partnered with the platform for Premier League: Extra Time, a new Premier League-focused weekly original Show that will debut exclusively on Snapchat’s Discover page at the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season. Each Monday throughout the season, the Show will bring Snapchatters in the US a recap of the weekend’s top action and standout storylines, while also spotlighting the super fans that make the league, starting Aug. 9 and hosted by Francis Maxwell.
 
Twitter and MLS launched special hashtag-triggered emojis for both the MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer and All-Star Game presented by Target. Fans can trigger the All-Star Game emoji by Tweeting with #MLSHomegrown and #MLSAllStar in the lead up to and during the event. The #MLSHomegrown hashtag will be sewn onto the players’ jerseys and the emoji will be spray-painted onto the field during the Homegrown Game!
 
MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corporation unveiled a new partnership to offer online and mobile gaming platforms – including sports betting, casino gaming and poker – in jurisdictions where either Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate physical casino resorts and online licenses are available. Under this market access agreement, each company will have a path to expand their online and mobile gaming presence across 15 states. 
 
 
ESPORTS

Twin Galaxies is expanding its offerings with the debut of the TGFC (Twin Galaxies Fight Club), a new esport event series that blends top-ranked fighting game stars for tournaments. The inaugural event, TGFC 1, is slated to take place during EVO at the Esports Arena Las Vegas in Las Vegas on Aug. 4 with 17 competitors squaring off in eight matchups across popular fighting games, including the Street Fighter franchise, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.  The main event showcases rivals Goichi “GO1” Kishida and Dominique “SonicFox” McLean in Dragon Ball FighterZ in a first-to-five exhibition match. The co-main event, meanwhile, will be a battle of dominance between Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi and Lee “Infiltration” Seon-woo.
 
With EVO 2018 on deck this week out of Las Vegas, tournament organizers revealed their streaming and talent lineup for the event, with eight main state games ready to rumble. A lineup of championships will begin on Saturday at noon local time with Injustice 2, followed by BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle at 4p and Super Smash Bros. for WiiU at 8p. Sunday then brings a full day lineup of finals that include Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 at 8a, Super Smash Bros. Melee at 10:30a, Tekken 7 at 1:30a, Dragonball FighterZ at 4p and Street Fighter V at 7:30p.
 
Reality Gaming Group locked in a major sponsorship for its upcoming mobile AR combat game Reality Clash with Denmark-based esports community, Sørby. The deal will see the Reality Clash logo on Sørby team shirts, throughout the Sørby Academy and during Sørby’s participation in the upcoming Supreme Masters Counter-Strike tournament in Switzerland, marking the first move into eSports for the Reality Clash brand, which will launch tournaments of its own when the game is released later this year.
 
After laying claim to the crown at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018, Astralis followed up with a new partnership in tow. The team announced a partnership with the makers of fitness drink NOCCO, which will now incorporate Astralis into its group of NOCCO Ambassadors, which now include the Swedish national ice hockey team, NFL pro Andreas Knappe and the two Olympic swimmers Michelle Coleman and gold medalist Pernille Blume.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Twitter named TJ Adeshola as Head of US Sports where he will now lead all of the country’s sports partnerships for the platform. He previously managed Twitter’s partnerships with major US sports leagues, including the NFL and the NBA. He will report into Laura Froelich, who was recently named the new Head of US Content Partnerships.
 
The Pac-12 appointed Teresa Gould as Senior Associate Commissioner, Sports Management and Institutional Services, effective Aug. 6. In her new role, Gould will manage sports administration and championships for Pac-12 women’s basketball and all Olympic sports, oversee governance and compliance and serve as the conference’s senior women’s administrator.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Phillies/Red Sox on ESPN at 7p.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1981: MLB players’ strike, which caused the cancellation of 713 games, ends.
 
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