08/07/18: France takes leave

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Tuesday August 7, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 

Following an arrest in the Hamptons on Sunday night for DWI and possession of oxycodone, NASCAR announced that NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the organization. France was arrested and held overnight in jail on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance. In a statement, the company announced that NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France has assumed the role of interim chairman and chief executive officer.
 
“I apologize to our fans, our industry and my family for the impact of my actions last night,” said Brian France in a statement. “Effective immediately, I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my position to focus on my personal affairs.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

 

Showtime unveiled a new three-part documentary series titled Shut Up and Dribble, described as “a powerful inside look at the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment, through the lens of the NBA.” The series is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, and will premiere in October on Showtime. The program takes its title from conservative pundit Laura Ingraham’s remarks to James in February.
 
Stadium unveiled its lineup of 32 regular season football games from three conference partners that will run across Stadium’s over-the-air network, WatchStadium.com, and its other platforms. In partnership with Facebook, all 32 games will also air on Facebook Watch, including 14 that will be available exclusively on the platform. The lineup features games from the Conference USA, Mountain West and Patriot League and will kick off with a four-game slate on Sept. 1. Florida Atlantic Owls lead the lineup with six televised games on the Stadium schedule. Stadium’s lead broadcast team will consist of veteran broadcaster Chris Hassel on play-by-play, A.J. Hawkas lead analyst and Kristen Balbonion the sidelines.
 
NBC Sports’ debuts Vantage Point with Mike Tirico tonight at 9p on Golf Channel from Bellerive Country Club, where Tirico will set the stage ahead of the 100th PGA Championship. The episode will be led by a conversation between Tirico and Jordan Spieth, who will be vying for the career Grand Slam at Bellerive. The show will also recount signature PGA Championship moments from year’s past and “uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week.” 
 
This week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, which saw the Red Sox top the Yankees, scored the show’s top rating in four years, according to Nielsen. The telecast drew a 2.2 metered market rating to rank as the best Sunday Night Baseball telecast since June 22, 2014 The game was up 83%over ast year’s comparable game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which drew a 1.2 metered market number.
 
SiriusXM lined up play-by-play and talk coverage of the 100th PGA Championship, taking place August 9-12 in St. Louis. Live hole-by-hole coverage, which SiriusXM will co-produce with Westwood One, will air starting at noon for all four days of Championship play, for a total of 30 hours of live tournament play-by-play from the course. The broadcast will be hosted by play-by-play voice Taylor Zarzour, joining analyst Mark Carnevale in the booth. Maureen Madill, John Maginnes, Dennis Paulson, Fred Albers and Bill Rosinski will provide live commentary from around the course, with Debbie Doniger covering the practice grounds and handling interviews.

On the local front, FOX Sports Midwest presents This One’s For You, the network’s annual St. Louis Cardinals telecast with American troops, on Aug. 15. FOX Sports Midwest will interview members of the 35th Engineer Brigade of the Missouri Army National Guard, deployed to the Middle East, throughout the broadcast of the Cardinals’ game vs. the Washington Nationals. Family members of the 35th attending the game will also be featured.

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CALLING DIGITAL’S TOP INNOVATORS
 
We’re searching for the most innovative executives in digital media who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media to take their place on Cynopsis Digital’s “It List.”  These are the people who shake up the status quo and are shaping digital media’s future. Honorees will be announced in early September and the awards event will take place on Friday, November 9th at ThreeSixty in Manhattan. Questions? Contact Cathy Pearson  at 203.899.8470.
 
Nominate by AUG 8
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Manchester United announced a multi-year global partnership with MoPlay, a new mobile betting and gaming brand. The deal will see the two brands create exclusive collaborative content for fans, as well as engage in innovative co-branded activations around the world. “MoPlay are an innovative and dynamic company looking to further enhance our fans’ gaming experience,” said Manchester United Group Managing Director Richard Arnold. “They are an exciting new brand that aims to modernise and improve the betting industry and we are delighted to be part of this journey.”
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

 

Speaking of betting, DraftKings announced the launch of DraftKings Sportsbook, becoming the first company to offer legal online and mobile sports betting in New Jersey. DraftKings leveraged its “best-in-class technology, advantageous positioning and extensive knowledge across sports to bring their Sportsbook product to market just a couple months after officially filing for a sports betting license with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.” “I am excited to begin this new chapter in our story by officially launching what I believe to be the most innovative, mobile sports betting product in the U.S.,” said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings. “We have put immense thought and significant resources behind the development of DraftKings Sportsbook and I’m confident that sports fans in New Jersey will enjoy using it to make the experience of watching the games even more interesting and thrilling.”
 
NBC Sports Gold has launched a “Premier League Pass” for commercial use for the first time. The offering is available to purchase for $199. In addition, NBC Sports Gold has added two new features to “Premier League Pass” — Gold Premier League Mosaic and Goal Rush. Gold Premier League Mosaicis a multi-match stream featuring all concurrent live matches on NBC Sports Gold on Saturday at 10a, while Goal Rush is a RedZone-like program with live look-ins on the best action from all five Premier League matches in that Saturday 10a window.
 
CBS Sports HQ launched its daily fantasy football programming for 2018 with Fantasy Football today. Joining CBS Sports HQ each day starting at noon, CBS Sports fantasy experts Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings and various CBS Sports guests will cover fantasy football and give fantasy players the advice they need to manage a winning team. Once the 2018 season starts, fantasy football updates and advice will also be streamed from 5-6p daily on CBS Sports HQ and CBS Sports social channels.
 
In a move to expand its social footprint and further connect with its young male audiences, Bellator MMA partnered with Instagram TV to make its big announcement for its Welterweight Grand Prix on DAZN match-ups. Bellator is among the first sports leagues to utilize Instagram TV to make a major announcement with Bellator VP of Digital, Eric Burak, creating an original short-form video for IGTV to reveal the brackets.
 
 
ESPORTS

 

Electronic Arts, the NFL and ESPN are going big, announcing the launch of the Madden NFL19 Championship Series. Serving as the largest competition in title history, ESPN will telecast the tournaments across its family of networks with all 32 NFL teams locked in to take part. Competition kicks-off today as the Madden NFL 19 Hall of Fame Edition launches on Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. The new MCS beefs up the number of tournaments by 60% with more to be added throughout the season, with the rise of live event qualification spots spearheaded by the 500-plus entry Madden NFL 19 Classic format, an extended season with competition occurring now through late spring 2019 and the showpiece Super Bowl LIII-timed Madden NFL 19 Club Championship with the $700,000 prize pool. Additionally, Madden NFL 19 gameplay enhancements like the all-new Real Player Motion system ensures the on-screen competitors move and behave like NFL athletes in how they tackle, block, run and cut — increasing the game’s authenticity.
 
ESL is making changes to its executive team, announcing a new, dual leadership approach at CEO level and a new COO. Ralf Reichert, the Founder and CEO of ESL, will now share the CEO position with David Neichel as Co-CEO. The dual leadership allows Ralf to focus on the ESL vision and strategy while David Neichel, who joined ESL in 2017 as COO, will continue to drive product delivery for fans, manage key revenue streams, develop departments and talent within the organization, and strengthen the global footprint of ESL. Meanwhile, Krzysztof Pikiewicz is being promoted from Senior Vice President of Esports Services to Chief Operating Officer.
 
Cynopsis, Chief Marketer, Event Marketer and parent company Access Intelligence, announced a partnership with Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino to produce the inaugural Tempest Esports Business Awards gala, a first-of-its-kind awards program to celebrate the esports industry’s most innovative companies and executives, with categories that span production, marketing, talent and technology. The Tempest Esports Business Awards will be judged by high-profile members of the esports community with winners announced live on stage on Oct. 2 as part of the Esports Business Summit and showcased across digital channels reaching over 300,000 key esports and marketing executives.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

 

Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns on HBO at 10p.
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>> TAKE A PEEK AT THE FUN WE HAD LAST YEAR<<

 
ON THIS DAY in 1997: 
 
In the Know: Who ranks as the Cleveland Browns’ all-time career leader in receptions? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the name of the object rubbed by Clemson football players before running down The Hill? Answer: Howard’s Rock. Kudos: Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Christian Matthews-Washington Redskins/DC; Mark Lehman-Atlanta Braves/Atlanta; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Rich Wolfe-RichKraft/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Howie Schwab-Tandem Enterprises/LA; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego
 
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