07/09/14: FOX Sports books its All-Star plans; Good news for the IOC; Social media stumbles with US out of the World Cup


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 9, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

With FOX Sports at the plate for its 15th MLB All-Star Game since 1997, the company added more details to yesterday’s tech blueprints for the game, lining up more than 25 hours of coverage of the Mid-Summer Classic across FOX, FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX Deportes, FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports Radio. Joe Buck provides play-by-play for a record 16th All-Star Game, alongside analysts Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, both calling their first. Ken Rosenthal and Erin Andrews will be on-hand to offer reports from the field. Game day coverage begins Tuesday, July 15 at 4:30p on FOX Sports 1 with a special three-hour edition of America’s Pregame before shifting to the broadcast network at 7:30p. The 2014 MLB All-Star Game streams online for the first time on FOX Sports GO.

FOX Sports 1 is also in line to run two classic All-Star games starting tomorrow at 7p: the 1999 game in Boston, noted for its salute to Hall of Famer Ted Williams and Pedro Martinez’s record-setting MVP performance; and the 2001 game played in Seattle which saw Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. homer and take home MVP honors in his All-Star farewell. The two specials, dubbed All-Star Glory, feature commentary from FOX Sports anchor Ryan Field and former MLB outfielder Luis Gonzalez.


The IOC unveiled a presentation conducted by KantarSport about the organization, the Olympic Games and the Olympic brand. The study, using a total of 36,000 people from 16 countries, found that there continues to be considerable growth in the interest of the Winter Games globally  with a broadcast audience of 2.1 billion people and an increase of 13% from 2010 to 2014 to go along with the 114,000 hours broadcast across all media platforms. 93% of respondents recognized the Olympics rings, marking the most-widely recognized of all the brand symbols in represented. Respondents “strongly associated” the Olympic symbol with values like global, inspirational, friendship, diversity, peace and excellence.

HBO announced that its NFL franchise Hard Knocks will return on Aug. 5 at 10p on the channel. The newest season, of course, focuses on the Atlanta Falcons as players experience training camp. The five episode series marks the ninth season of the franchise.

The next installment of Golf Channel series Big Break competition series will take place in Myrtle Beach for its 22nd season. The network announced the new season will premier Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 9p and will be produced in partnership with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and South Carolina Tourism. The season will see six men and six women compete at Barefoot Resort & Golf, with the winner receiving an exemption to a 2015 PGA TOUR or LPGA Tour event, along with cash and other prizes. Tom Abbott returns as host and will be joined by Paige Mackenzie.

ESPN’s Longhorn Network announced its slate of football games for the season, including a Big 12 battle between Texas and Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8p. Kevin Dunn provides play-by-play for the game alongside analyst Ahmad Brooks and will mark the tenth Texas football game to air on LHN.

After finding success with athletes in American Ninja Warrior, A Smith and Co. are now extending those ties with a familiar face, American Gladiators. Company president Kent Weed noted the deal in a recent interview with Cynopsis Sports, and CEO Arthur Smith detailed plans to TV Guide, noting that the franchise will receive a modern makeover. "It’s a little darker, more intense, more serious," he told the publication. "It’s a little less red, white and blue. And there’s no spandex. Spandex has left the building."

AYM Sports announced plans to showcase the Copa Jalisco 2014, beginning tomorrow from the Monumental de Jalisco stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. The channel will offer eight matches over a two-day period featuring Mexican soccer teams, beginning with Los Rojinegros del Atlas/Club Santos Laguna at 7:30p.

WORLD CUP TRENDS: CSE’s Social Branding at the World Cup

Despite Tim Howard’s epic performance, USA endured a heartbreaking loss to Belgium last week and was eliminated in the quarterfinals. With USA out of the mix, have brands become disinterested in the World Cup spectacle? CSE’s analysis of top brands with World Cup-focused Twitter campaigns, suggests that brand engagement has, in fact, decreased significantly since our elimination.
USA’s involvement during the World Cup had a dramatic impact on tweets. While USA was still in the tournament, brands tweeted over 2,154 times per hour. Though it is commonly known that the US is not as heavily involved in futbol as the rest of the world, this country stays engaged when their team is in the tournament. Post USA elimination, brand tweets decreased to 1,258 per hour, a 42% decline. Were brands cognizant of the fact that Twitter users located in the US might not interact with any World Cup conversation post-elimination?
Not only did brand tweets decline with USA out of the running, brand tweets declined in general as the rounds progressed. During the group stage, brands tweeted a little over 2,071 times per hour. We saw a peak of brand tweets during the round of 16 at 2,233, then a sharp 41% decline during the quarter-finals with 1,315 tweets per hour. Although still early, the semi-finals have showed an even further decrease with a little over 1,086 tweets per hour, down over 50% from the round of 16.
As teams are eliminated, are their sponsors jumping ship as well? We’re still seeing strong engagement from major sponsors like Adidas and Budweiser, who will likely continue World Cup conversations until the championship. Should smaller brands follow suit and stay engaged through the entire tournament or are they assuming their followers will no longer be interested in the content after their team’s elimination?



Cynopsis Digital is bringing together the smartest and most nimble minds from the San Francisco Bay Area’s digital media community for a one-day summit on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. The summit offers the right mix of experts, learning and networking to discuss the future of digital video, from content development and marketing to advertising and measurement.

Questions? Please contact pete@cynopsis.com at 203-899-8483.
Sponsorships: Please contact Mike@cynopsis.com at 203-218-6480.


Just a day after Nike showcased the new Manchester United kits featuring the Chevy logo, ESPN reports that the kits will likely be the last ones under the Nike umbrella. The site reports that Nike will stop producing Manchester United shirts after this season, opting to step aside rather than get in a bidding war with rival Adidas which bid roughly $100 million per year in a 10-year agreement. According to the story, “Sources say that the world’s largest shoe and apparel maker told the club on Tuesday that it was bowing out of negotiations to pay for the privilege to make the kit, refusing to match the number put forth by rival Adidas.”


This year’s MLB.com Home Run Derby Presented by Ford mobile game has been updated in time ahead of All-Star Week. MLBAM announced that the game will include multiple ballparks, including the same look and feel of Target Field, as well as a new authentic bracket format, a live Multiplayer Mode as well as more interactive ways to earn in-game currencies. MLB.com Home Run Derby also includes higher-resolution players for all 32 participants from the 2010-13 Home Run Derby competitions.

Formula Drift’s Chris Forsberg’s new digital series, Garage Tours, debuted the second episode of the series on Network A. In the series, Chris takes viewers to some of the best garages in the U.S., from professional outfits to grassroot shops. 


Who will face Germany? Argentina/Netherlands on ESPN/Univision at 4p.


Germany? Brazil? Argentina? Netherlands?

Cynopsis wants to know – Who will win the 2014 FIFA World Cup?
You’ll have a chance to win a $25 Nike.com eGift by answering our poll.


ON THIS DAY in 1997: Mike Tyson gets banned from boxing for biting Holyfield’s ear.

In The Know: Who is the only person to win the MLB Home Run Derby three times? (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: What wrestler was known as the 8th Wonder of the World? Answer: Andre the Giant. Kudos: Teddy Coleman-Teddy Coleman Inc Prods/NY; Tom Turner-Active International/NY; Scott Henkle-Westwood One/NY; Joe Giovengo-Game Show Network/NY; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; David Desmond-PGA TOUR Media/Ponte Vedra Beach; Jeff Pomeroy-JDP.



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