08/19/15: Danica goes from green to blue; ESPN preps for its Marathon; Golden Boy takes a Peeq


Good morning. It’s Wednesday August 19, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Danica Patrick has a new partner and colors, as Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Nature’s Bakery, a snacks and food brand, has signed on to replace GoDaddy as the primary sponsor of Patrick and the No. 10 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2016 where her primary color will now be a light blue. The multiyear sponsorship agreement will see Nature’s Bakery and its signature tagline, “Energy for Life’s Great Journeys”, adorn Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet SS for 28 races a year.

“Danica Patrick is one of the most fit and health-conscious drivers in all of racing and she embodies the Nature’s Bakery customer,” said Dave Marson, founder of Nature’s Bakery. “We make great products that complement Danica’s lifestyle and the always on-the-go environment in which she competes. Nature’s Bakery provides ‘Energy for Life’s Great Journeys’ and we’re very proud to embark upon this NASCAR journey with Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing.”


ESPN has its lineup for the eighth annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, slating 16 men’s and women’s college basketball games that will run from Nov. 16-17 across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU for more than 24 hours of game action to start of the 2015-16 season. The action tips off with UConn/Ohio State in women’s action at 5:30p on ESPN2, followed by Virginia/George Washington in men’s action at 7:30p. Subsequent games on the 16th include Kennesaw State/LSU on ESPNU and well as San Diego State/Utah and Baylor/Oregon on ESPN2. At 1:45a on Nov 17, ESPn2 starts the day with BYU/Long Beach State, Nevada/Hawaii at 4a, Green Bay/East Tennessee State at 6a, Stephen F. Austin/Northern Iowa at 8a and Valparaiso/Rhode Island. ESPN then hits the court to deliver Alabama/Dayton at 1p, followed by Colorado/Auburn, Oklahoma/Memphis and Kentucky/Duke. ESPN2 then caps the night with Georgetown/Maryland while ESPN delivers Kansas/Michigan State.

Mobsteel started fast for NBCSN with the new automotive reality series snagging an average of 965,000 viewers to become the channel’s most-watched original series premier of all time. The show grew 54% over NBCSN’s average post-Sprint Cup Sunday programming and scored a 0.62 HH rating.

Big news across the Pacific, as the Australian Football League locked in a six-year, $1.84 billion rights deal that will see Channel Seven, Foxtel and Telstra serve as the League’s broadcast partners through 2022 in the country. The 67% markup represents a record amount for the sport. (Go Crows!)

Today will see Golf Channel announce the 2015 Payne Stewart Award recipient during its Morning Drive program, which starts at 7a. The award recognizes an individual in the game who “embodies charity, character and sportsmanship, mirroring the way that the late Stewart lived his life.” Wednesday’s Morning Drive will include a live interview with the award recipient. In addition, next month during the week of the TOUR Championship, Golf Channel will feature a 60-minute Golf Central Special on the Payne Stewart Award recipient on Sept. 22 at 7p.

On the regional front, SEC Network unveiled its first stops for SEC Nation, which returns to the Saturday morning lineup on Sept. 5 at 10a. The series will first hit the University of Arkansas, followed by Vanderbilt and LSU.  Host Joe Tessitore will be joined by analysts Greg McElroy and Marcus Spears, alongside Paul Finebaum and reporter Kaylee Hartung with the morning headlines, matchup previews and a taste of each school’s tailgating scene.

FOX Sports Southwest saw the Rangers’ eighth straight win on Monday score a season best rating, drawing a 5.3 in Dallas-Fort Worth. That also marks the highest-rated Rangers game on the regional sports network since 2013, according to Nielsen. That score was also up 83% better than the team’s season average rating going into the game (2.9).

Meanwhile, SNY announced the launch of Amazin’ Finishes, showcasing the Mets’ “most exciting comebacks, big hits, clutch performances and walk-off homers.” SNY’s Steve Gelbs hosts with the debut set for Aug. 21 at 7p.

In radio news, ESPN Radio’s national coverage of Sunday afternoon NFL regular-season games will begin on Sept. 13 at 1p with an AFC doubleheader pitting Colts/Bills followed by Broncos/Ravens at 4p. Subsequent weeks will see Giants/Falcons on Sept. 20, Eagles/Jets on Sept. 27 Jaguars/Cols on Oct. 4, and Seahawks/Bengals on Oct. 11. Marc Kestecher, Bill Rosinski and Ryan Ruocco will provide play-by-play. Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara and Bill Polian will serve as analysts.


Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards Breakfast

Three reasons not to miss the fourth annual event:

1) Celebrate the Winners and industry achievements of 2015 (view finalist list)

2) Hear from programming pioneers from Amazon Studios, Cartoon Network, Disney Channels Worldwide and Nickelodeon Group

3) Network with the industry’s best executives

Register now to reserve your space at the event


FIFA is set to meet with its sponsors tomorrow to discuss reforms, according to Reuters. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke made the announcement after Coca-Cola and Visa urged FIFA to support the creation of an independent body to reform in the wake of recent scandals. Coca-Cola confirmed in a statement to the outlet that they would be involved. "The Coca-Cola Company will be participating in the working session with FIFA. We are not providing any further details at this time," it said.

The Collegiate Licensing Company, the licensing affiliate of IMG College, announced a five-year extension of its ties with the Big 12 Conference to continue serving as the conference’s trademark licensing representative. CLC manages the officially licensed merchandise programs for the conference’s full lineup of championship events and works with Big 12 member institutions on co-branded products that use the Big 12 marks. “The expert staff, relationships and resources that CLC delivers has made them a valuable part of the Big 12 team,” said Bob Bowlsby, Commissioner of the Big 12. “We are pleased to renew our partnership as we continue to seek new ways to protect and market the Big 12 brand.”

Elsewhere in university athletics, Adidas continues to lock in deals, announcing a new partnership with Indiana University for eight years through 2024. The agreement is worth $53.6 million and nearly doubles the annual commitment to $6.7 million over their previous agreement. "Since 2004, we’ve worked closely with the Hoosiers to bring our best and most innovative footwear, apparel and accessories to all men’s and women’s sports," said Chris McGuire, senior director of Sports Marketing at Adidas. "We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with Indiana and look forward to continuing to collaborate to help their athletes perform at the highest level."


Golden Boy Promotions inked a strategic partnership with Peeqsee designed to enhance Golden Boy’s online presence using PeeqSee’s platform and tools. "PeeqSee has a remarkably simple solution that draws people to interact with the posts," said Ed Celis, PeeqSee’s Director of Business Development. "Each post – called a peeqsee – consists of a photo with small overlays masking parts of it. The viewer has to touch the overlays to reveal what’s underneath: the peeqsee either opens instantly, or a message is sent to the creator of the peeqsee to get special permission. And if the overlay is shaped like an arrow, it takes the viewer to another photo or video to continue the story started on the first photo."


Looks like Buzzfeed has punched its ticket to the Olympics. NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed announced that NBCUniversal has agreed to make a $200M equity investment in the company. NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed will now explore strategic partnerships across both organizations, with Kenneth Lerer, BuzzFeed’s Executive Chairman, stating that part of the deal includes working together on next year’s Summer Olympics, according to reports. “It’s a fascinating time for the media industry; social, mobile, digital, and broadcast platforms are converging to create new opportunities to connect with global audiences, and we’re excited to partner with NBCUniversal to combine our respective strengths to build the future of news and entertainment,” said Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s Founder and CEO.

WWE is entering a partnership with Vuclip, a mobile VOD service for emerging markets designed to engage WWE fans around the world with video clips on their mobile phones. Through this partnership, Vuclip will make available WWE’s video clips on the Vuclip service in the markets of India, Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.


ChyronHego locked in a partnership with Hybrid, a manufacturer of virtual reality and robotics solutions for the digital media and broadcast industries. Under the OEM agreement, ChyronHego will work with Hybrid to develop and market solutions based on Hybrid’s line of advanced tracking and trackless virtual studio and robotic camera head technologies. “Virtual and augmented reality solutions for broadcasting have existed, in various forms, for several years, but only recently has the technology advanced enough to provide a truly viable and photo-realistic option for the studio environment. Hybrid is leading the way with its world-class solutions for virtual sets and robotics,” said Kevin Prince, Senior Vice President, Business Development, ChyronHego.


Scarlet and Gray Days: Inside Ohio State Training Camp makes its debut on BTN at 7p.




ON THIS DAY in 2010: A federal grand jury indicted retired baseball player Roger Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress about steroid use.

In The Know: What two schools traditionally play for the Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze trophy in the shape of a pig? (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 was the last team of any of the major professional sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS) to win three championships in a row? Answer: The Lakers (2000-02). Kudos: Joe Brucia-NBC Universal/NY; Nello Pesci-Discovery/NY; Jon Sabal- Apartment Therapy Media/NY; Chip Johnson-SPORTS at SMG/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs/Tampa; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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