09/05/18: The Cardinals will now nest at State Farm Stadium

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 5, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The Arizona Cardinals are renaming their Glendale home, with the University of Phoenix Stadium set to become State Farm Stadium courtesy of an 18-year agreement with the insurance brand. Most of the rebranding will be in place for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Redskins.
 
“We were intent on finding a relationship that was an ideal fit with our organization and this community in terms of values, priorities and culture,” said Cardinals president Michael Bidwill in a release. “With State Farm, we absolutely did that. While this is a comprehensive marketing agreement, there will be a major focus on community programs that will have a positive impact across our state. State Farm is one of the most-respected and recognizable brands in the world and Phoenix is fortunate to be one of its three hub markets.”
 
 
ON THE AIR

After striking a deal with Showtime, Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions has now landed a second long-term home, inking a deal with FOX where fights will appear on both the broadcast network and FS1 that will include an annual boxing budget that tops $60 million, according to multiple reports, including the Wall Street Journal and The Ring. The deal will kick off in December and calls for 10 championship-level fights on FOX, with at least another 12 shows on FS1.

With more Nielsen numbers in the books, ESPN and ABC report that they combined to carry five of the six highest-rated games on any network across college football kickoff weekend, spanning Aug. 30 – Sept. 3. ABC’s third annual Sunday night presentation between Miami and LSU delivered a 4.1 overnight, the network’s highest-rated game of the weekend, while ESPN’s annual Labor Day game between Virginia Tech/Florida State earned a 3.8 overnight for the traditional telecast on ESPN, up 15% from the network’s Labor Day night game last season. Earlier in the day, Oregon State at Ohio State on ABC earned a 2.6 overnight and Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech on ESPN earned a 1.2 overnight. Both windows generated ratings increases year-over-year, with ABC up 63% and ESPN up 9%. College GameDay Built by The Home Depot started on a high note, delivering a 1.4 overnight, an 8% increase from last season’s season premiere.

 
Meanwhile, NBC Sports saw Total Audience Delivery for Notre Dame’s win over Michigan average 7.179 million viewers and set numerous viewership milestones, according to Fast National Data provided by Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. The game marks the most-watched Notre Dame Football on NBC broadcast in 13 years, and ranks as NBC’s most-watched primetime Notre Dame game on record. Viewership of Saturday night’s game was up 73% vs. last year’s first primetime Notre Dame game vs. Georgia.
 
With the 2018 NFL season set to begin this week, NFL Network laid out its weekend programming schedule, highlighted by a revamped NFL GameDay Prime and the expansion of Good Morning Football: Weekend to Saturday and Sunday.Good Morning Football: Weekend returns this season and expands to two days with a three-hour edition Saturday at 9a and a two-hour edition Sunday at 7a. On Sunday, Good Morning Football: Weekend airs at 7a in the timeslot occupied previously by NFL GameDay Morning and NFL GameDay First. At 9a, NFL GameDay Morning airs from Los Angeles with host Rich Eisen. NFL Network’s Sunday GameDay programming continues with NFL GameDay Live at 1p.. At 7:30p, Cole Wright and Chris Rose host NFL GameDay Highlights, and at 11:30p on NFL Network and on FOX affiliates, a revamped NFL GameDay Prime airs recapping the weekend’s games.
 
The National Independent Soccer Association formally petitioned the United States Soccer Federation for admission as a Men’s Division III Professional Soccer League, asking the US Soccer Federation to approve the league for play in 2019. NISA expects to be approved, with professional teams throughout the country bringing an exciting new brand of soccer to the American landscape.
 
Take a dive in The Beta Tank and get your free chance for funding!! The Esports Business Summit is now accepting candidates to take part in The Beta Tank, featuring an all-star lineup of judges from Infinite Esports and Entertainment, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, SeventySix Capital, and Podium VC. Start-ups from the world of esports will make their case live on the main stage on Oct. 2, with each judge offering a private meeting to their selections to discuss the business plan and possible investment. Are you a start-up looking to break into esports? Do you have technology that supports esports event production? Are you a leading team or league looking for new partners to take you to the next level? This is your chance to shine and entry is free! Click here and apply today.
 
The 2018 USA Basketball Women’s National Team’s three domestic exhibition games will be carried live on NBA TV, including the USA’s Red-White intrasquad game on Sept. 5 at 7p, and the USA’s games against Canada on Sept. 8 and Japan on Sept. 10. Kara Lawson will handle play-by-play on Sept. 5 in Columbia, South Carolina; and Sept. 10, in Washington, D.C.; Ed Cohen will do play-by-play on Sept. 8 in Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Debbie Antonelli will serve as analyst for all three exhibition games.
 
PBR and IMM are announcing a new partnership to create new bull riding events, including a proprietary tour in Brazil as a stepping stone for sport’s elite tour in the U.S.  The new tour is slated to expand to cover six Brazilian cities in 2019 and up to 10 by 2020
 
Karate Combat began a push into Asia after inking a new distribution deal with Philippine’s biggest media company ABS-CBN to broadcast content in primetime on Friday and Saturday nights on ABS CBN Sports + Action.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
CALL FOR ENTRIES
The 2nd Annual Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
 
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival is searching for the most cutting-edge creatives from individuals and teams worldwide, including: production companies/studios, producers, networks, composers, lyricists, animators, video game developers/producers, website developers, mobile & app developers/producers, marketing companies, PR firms and more. Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts and finalists will be announced in mid-November.
 
 

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Pepsi is activating around the 2018-2019 football season with “a robust, 360-degree program that brings football to their cities and into their homes like never before.” Included will be a Pepsi Tailgate Tour, open to all fans with stops at key college and NFL matchups and featuring a mainstage performances by Wheelhouse Record’s duo LOCASH, a full gaming area featuring all-time tailgate favorites and more. In addition, to a slate of new national ads, for the first time, every weekend of the NFL season, Pepsi will be integrated into the “NBC Sunday Night Football” show open. The first stop of the tour will be in Philadelphia during the 2018 NFL Kickoff Experience.
 
UFC announced a new, multi-year global marketing partnership with Nemiroff to become the promotion’s first-ever “Official Vodka” Partner. In return, Nemiroff will have a branded presence inside the Octagon at all UFC events, including UFC’s remaining Pay-Per-View events in 2018. Additional partnership activations will include the integration of Nemiroff branding throughout UFC’s telecasts, as well as sampling, digital media, and other promotional opportunities.
 
New Era Cap Co. locked in new line-up of ambassadors for the 2018 NFL Season. These ambassadors will be featured in New Era creative campaigns for the brand’s NFL line of products with this year’s line-up set to include NFL athletes Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ju Ju Smith Schuster, and Jamal Adams, musician Kane Brown and model Victoria Brito to create a group that intersects sports, music and lifestyle.
 
Furniture Row Racing announced Tuesday that it would cease operations following 2018 after being unable to lock in a sponsor and funding for the season. “I’ve always felt that we could be a competitive team and run for a championship even when it seemed like a pipe dream to many racing insiders,” car owner Barney Visser said in a statement. “But to be successful in any business you need to assemble the right people and make a strong commitment to succeed. We achieved what we set out to do and feel like we climbed Mount Everest. To continue with anything less than a competitive team would not be acceptable. It’s been one incredible ride.”
 
Jaguars player Leonard Fournette teamed with iFLY Luggage to launch a new travel collection, called the “iFLY X Series 7,” a tribute to Leonard’s roots in the 7th ward, his jersey number at LSU, and his current number.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

CBS Sports unveiled plans to stream Super Bowl LIII across more platforms than ever, with coverage of the game available non-authenticated online at CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports app for connected TV devices, tablets and now mobile phones as part of an expanded agreement with the NFL. CBS Sports’ broadcast coverage of Super Bowl LIII will also be available to stream live via the CBS All Access subscription service.
 
ESPN and eBay are partnering in a move that will make eBay’s sports equipment, fashion apparel, memorabilia, and collectibles more discoverable on ESPN.com web and mobile web. eBay will deliver this experience via contextually integrated shopping modules – including licensed fan apparel of the teams they care most about – to fans on ESPN.com web and mobile web, allowing fans to easily find officially licensed products from their favorite sports while following their favorite athlete or team.
 
NBC Sports Philadelphia announced a newly formed partnership with Eric Emanuele and Gayle Saunders to bring the popular “4th and Jawn” podcast under the network’s umbrella. As part of the partnership, Emanuele and Saunders will continue to produce the content, which will live as part of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s podcast offerings on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com.
 
La Vida Baseball reports that the platform is reaching more than six million English-preferred Latinos per month and generating more than 1.2 million video views per month across all digital platforms. In September, La Vida Baseball will celebrate Roberto Clemente Day on Sept. 5 and then turn their attention to the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico. In the spirit of Clemente, major league players from Puerto Rico have stepped up and played a major role in the rebuilding efforts that continue. In addition, La Vida Baseball partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation to host a special event discussing philanthropy through the lens of Latino baseball.
 
 
ESPORTS

704Games, NASCAR’s exclusive esports partner for simulation-style video games on console platforms, unveiled NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami, a weekly esports competition featuring the upcoming video game NASCAR Heat 3. The series will span this year’s 2018 NASCAR Playoffs, and culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend with over $500,000 in potential prize money up for grabs. 704Games will fly weekly finalists and a guest to Miami for Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Heat Champions: Road to Miami esports finale will take place Sunday, Nov. 18. In 2019, 704Games will look to expand NASCAR Heat Champions as a mainstay of the sport. The game hits stories on Sept. 7.
 
HyperX locked in a sponsorship and will participate at this year’s FACEIT London Major. Taking place at a sold-out SSE Arena in Wembley, London from Sept. 20-23, the event will see a slate of key CS:GO teams compete for a share of the $1 million prize pool. In addition to sponsoring the event, HyperX will offer a booth for fans to visit and play their own one versus one tournaments and play with the latest HyperX peripherals at exclusive show prices. HyperX-Europe will also be showcasing their newly launched licensed clothing from European company Rubber Road which includes esports jerseys, hoodies and t-shirts.
 
Worldgaming Network is teaming up with the Minnesota Twins to launch a special Fortnite streaming party at Target Field on Sept. 9, titled Fortday with Trevor May. Both gamers and baseball fans will be able to watch pro gamers BasicallyIDoWrk and Jordan Fisher join Twins pitcher Trevor May go for the Victory Royale Live on the video boards at Target Field at 10a. Twins catcher Mitch Garver will serve as the events’ special emcee. The event will be sponsored by WorldGaming Network.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Corporate development executive Rob Schneider has joined Learfield as Chief Strategy and Development Officer. Schneider, former Global Head of Corporate Development for GroupM in New York, will be responsible for leading the development of the company’s strategy, guiding its activities in mergers and acquisitions and providing executive leadership to Learfield’s service businesses in tickets and marketing, venue technology and licensing.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Red Sox/Braves at noon on MLB Network.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
SAVE THE DATE
November 9th, 2018 | ThreeSixty, NYC
 
Save the date for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D & It List Awards. Join in on the action as digital’s best and brightest honor those who have excelled in digital content, marketing, advertising and social media.
 
 **Finalists will be announced in mid-September**
 

ON THIS DAY in 1995: Cal Ripken Jr. ties Lou Gehrig’s record of 2130 straight games.
 
In the Know: The Steelers have only retired two numbers, including #75 which honors which player? (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: Who is the Raiders’ all-time career sack leader? Answer: Greg Townsend. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
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