The quest for the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy is literally getting animated, courtesy of a partnership between ESPN and Marvel that sees the launch of four comic book covers that feature school mascots facing off over Labor Day weekend. This will mark the fifth consecutive year that the two companies have teamed up to create one-of-a-kind artwork that pays homage to classic Marvel covers. Additionally, ESPN and Marvel have created two behind-the-scenes videos that highlight the creative process of bringing these unique visions to life.
Spain’s LaLiga and Relevent announced a 15-year, equal joint venture to promote soccer in the US and Canada. As part of the agreement, LaLiga plans to bring a regular season club match to the United States, marking the first to be played outside of Europe. LaLiga North America will work to cultivate soccer culture in the US and Canada by leveraging the league’s assets. LaLiga North America has the exclusive representation of LaLiga in the US and Canada for all business and development activities and is led by Chief Executive Officer Boris Gartner.
Toyota Motor North America announced its decision not to renew its title sponsorship agreement for the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach. “We have had a phenomenal relationship with Toyota for 44 years, a record in the racing world,” said Jim Michaelian, President and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “In recent discussions, however, Toyota has elected not to renew as the title sponsor. This has now opened up an opportunity to identify a new title partner. Coming off a very successful 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, we’re excited about the future and are exploring all possible sponsorship opportunities that might exist in the market.” The 2019 Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place April 12-14.
Telecommunications brand ROKiT announced a multi-year partnership with the Los Angeles Chargers. As part of the partnership, ROKiT will become the team’s Official Wireless Partner and title sponsor of ROKiT Field at StubHub Center. Starting Saturday, ROKiT will kick-off a slate of activations including the entitlement of ROKiT Field at StubHub Center; jointly supporting community initiatives for active and retired military servicemen and women; a season-long consumer sweepstakes; and an integrated media program.
Integrated global sports marketing agency rEvolution acquired London-based sports marketing agency Revolution Sports Marketing Group. Revolution works with a variety of clients across golf, equestrian, tennis, motorsports and rugby, and counts SAS, Land Rover and the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 among its current client partners. The acquisition bolsters rEvolution’s current roster of global clients, particularly those active in international sports, including Continental Tire, Polaris, Shell, Samsung and YouTube.
Herschend Enterprises CEO Andrew Wexler announced the formation of a new operating company, Herschend Live. The Harlem Globetrotters will be the first Herschend-owned property under the Live banner.
Thuuz Sports unveiled their first “Partner Portal,” a new web-based platform that will give media companies and rights holders the ability to efficiently produce and distribute an unlimited number of game clips and highlights using Thuuz’s automated highlight production platform. The Portal will also enable content creators to automatically produce any variation of multi-game highlights, single game highlights, player highlights, and play type highlights, and can “produce narratives appealing to the home team fan, visiting team fan, or neutral fan through the use of applied artificial intelligence.”
SB Nation announced the launch of four podcasts dedicated to Philadelphia sports. The lineup feature a total of twelve unique shows that cover each of Philadelphia’s four major professional teams from SB Nation’s perspective. A relaunched Bleeding Green Nation podcast will offer comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the popular Eagles-focused show BGN Radio. Three new podcasts, The Good Phight, Broad Street Hockey, and Liberty Ballers, will be dedicated to covering the Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers respectively.
Rotoworld launched its first-ever NFL daily fantasy sports toolkit. The offering is designed to help users build smarter lineups utilizing an exclusive simulator based on various statistics and factors for FanDuel, Yahoo! and DraftKings contests and features Lineup Optimizer, allowing users to customize their lineups in a variety of ways; Next Man Up, which allows users to select any player and statistically re-simulate how the game will turn out with that player removed, and Custom Projections.
Tencent Games and ESL unveiled plans for the start of Arena of Valor’s second competitive season. Following an exhibition at gamescom, the season will officially start on Sept. 8 and feature eight weeks of mobile esports action across three regions (North America, Europe and Latin America) with 18 teams in contention for $200,000 in prize money. Season 2 of the Valor Series will be streamed weekly every Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking of gamescom 2018, ESL announced a slate of esports competitions on two stages from Aug. 22-25. In addition to the Valor Series mentioned above, other tournaments will include Shadowgun and the ESL Meisterschaft Summer Season Finals.
ASUS ROG has been tapped to serve as Main Sponsor of CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Stockholm, supporting the event for a third consecutive year from Aug. 29-Sept. 2. As the event and official Monitor and PC partner, meaning all professional players will be competing on the ROG Swift PG258Q 240Hz 1ms monitor and the ROG Strix GL12 gaming desktop. On camera broadcast talent will throughout the event be equipped with the ROG Strix SCAR II gaming laptop for both work while on the on camera, as well as backstage preparing for upcoming matches.
FOX Sports’ Home Team Sports announced that Alyssa Zeleznik has been promoted to Vice President of Integrated Sales for the Los Angeles HTS office; while Bryan Tellado has been upped to Vice President, Corporate Finance for the HTS group, which includes HTS, FOX Sports College Properties, and Impression Sports. Finally, Rick Gomez was promoted to Manager, Partnership Activation. In addition, the company’s Impression Sports & Entertainment hired Courtney Lowry as Director of Client Services.
Chelsea/Arsenal on NBC at 12:30p on Saturday.