The IOC and Visa are extending their global partnership through 2032. In renewing its sponsorship, Visa will work with the local Organizing Committees to ensure a legacy of digital payment advancement in the host country during and beyond the Olympics Games, and continues its support of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Paralympic Games through the IOC-IPC long-term collaboration agreement.
Speaking of extensions, Major League Soccer and Audi of America announced a multi-year extension of their partnership. As part of the agreement, Audi will remain the League’s Official Automotive Partner and the title sponsor of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Throughout the MLS season, Audi will air MLS-themed commercials during nationally-televised games on ESPN, FOX and Univision, including the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup. “MLS takes great pride in our collaborative relationship with Audi, and we’re excited to finalize an extension of our partnership,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures. “Audi is a game-changer in the automotive industry and a forward-thinking, incredible supporter of MLS, recognizing the value of soccer and our efforts to further advance the game across North America.”
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club and AT&T inked a multi-year sponsorship agreement that will include brand integration across broadcast, digital, video, content, in-stadium exposure, and on-site activation at Chicago Fire-related events. AT&T will also become the official presenter of the Starting XI across all Chicago Fire platforms. This feature integrates AT&T into the starting lineup announcement each matchday in addition to presenting exclusive content and experiences to Fire fans, including a behind-the-scenes content series, and activations tied to competitive gaming.
Allstate Insurance Company announced the launch of its first-ever Allstate All-America Soccer platform to honor the country’s rising high school soccer stars. In collaboration with MaxPreps, Allstate will identify the nation’s top high school soccer players in their junior year and award the “Allstate All-American” title to an elite group of 125 male and 125 female players. From the total 250 high school players, 40 males and 40 females will then be selected for the unique opportunity to compete in the inaugural Allstate All-America Cup that that will take place in summer 2019 in the city that hosts the Major League Soccer All-Star Game presented by Target.
Buffalo Wild Wings is launching food and beer promotions (including five new, first-to-market regional craft brews) to help fans host Fantasy Football Draft parties. For the first time, Buffalo Wild Wings has partnered with five regional craft breweries around the nation to create new beers that pair with Fantasy Football Draft parties. Now through September 5, fantasy football leagues drafting at Buffalo Wild Wings can order a wing special or a food bundle. Leagues drafting at Buffalo Wild Wings will receive a free, one-of-a-kind 2018 Pepsi NFL Commissioner Draft Kit that includes: a draft board and stickers for every NFL player, coupons to use at Buffalo Wild Wings (10 x 15% off) and NFLShop.com (10 x 15% off) and a G.O.A.T brag flag for the league champion.
The PGA TOUR and NBC Sports Group are jumping into a new, innovative, multi-year digital partnership. Starting in 2019, NBC Sports Gold will serve as the United States’ home of PGA TOUR LIVE, the PGA TOUR’s over-the-top subscription video service. The partnership includes rights to all of PGA TOUR LIVE’s Thursday and Friday morning coverage from 28 events, starting with the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, featuring THE PLAYERS in March, and running through the FedExCup Playoffs in August. In 2019, PGA TOUR LIVE plans to stream more than 360 hours of exclusive subscription coverage, as well as hundreds of hours of free Featured Holes coverage, complementing televised coverage from 28 PGA TOUR events next year.
90min announced a deal with Sina Sport to provide fan-driven international football content to the Chinese market and help Sina Sports attract and engage with “the next generation football fan.” Content is being published within a dedicated 90min/Sina Sport section. In addition, with assistance from Sina Sports, 90min is one of the first foreign sports media to open and operate an official Weibo account. In order to service Sina Sport in its localized language, 90min has created a dedicated community team which curates and publishes all content in Chinese.
The NFL Players Association locked in an investment in SportsCastr, the live-streaming platform that allows anyone to become a color commentator. The deal comes through the NFLPA’s athlete-driven accelerator the OneTeam Collective. Through this partnership, active and former NFL players will use SportsCastr to provide live commentary across a wide range of professional and collegiate sports, share personal insights, and more. ACE Media, the NFLPA’s content and production arm, will collaborate with SportsCastr to produce NFL player and other athlete-driven content featured on the SportsCastr platform.
FloSports announced a multiyear partnership with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to exclusively stream more than 50 football and basketball conference games on FloFootball.com and FloHoops.com, respectively. As part of the agreement, FloSports will provide live and on-demand coverage of 20 college football games on FloFootball.com, as well as 10 regular season men’s basketball games, and 12 men’s and 12 women’s conference basketball tournaments on FloHoops.com.
Blizzard reports that the Overwatch League Grand Finals, running July 27-28, saw an estimated global average minute audience across both days of 861,205, with coverage spanning Twitch, MLG; in China on ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV; and broadcast to domestic audiences on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and Disney XD, along with a highlights show on Sunday, July 29, on ABC. Diving deeper, the US average minute audience hit 289,175, with an estimated 45% of that total, or 129,792, falling into the 18–34 demographic. Worldwide, the 18–34 average minute audience was 605,013.
FACEIT unveiled viewing figures for the Minors throughout July, as teams from Asia, CIS, Americas and EU competed for a spot at the Major this September. The company reports that total hours watched across the four regions amounted to over 6.4m excluding Chinese viewership which marks growth of more than three times over the number of hours watched for the last Minors. The Europe Minors alone saw 4.3 million hours watched, peaking at 147k concurrent views and 82k average viewers, excluding Chinese viewership. Average viewers and hours watched were more than triple that of the last two EU Minors.
NFL Media appointed Greg Polcsa to the new role of Vice President, NFL Franchise and Network Marketing where he will be charged with overseeing the marketing efforts for Thursday Night Football and NFL Network shows, including Good Morning Football, NFL Total Access, the NFL’s entire Sunday NFL GameDay lineup and more. He will also lead NFL Network’s marketing efforts around Preseason, Combine, Draft and Postseason.
MLS All-Star Game at 7:30p on ESPN.