09/13/17: Warriors land jersey patch sponsor for $60 million

Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 13, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NBA-champion Golden State Warriors have picked up their first jersey patch sponsor: Japanese tech company Rakuten. Rakuten’s logo will adorn all of the Warriors’ jerseys – regular season and playoff in addition to the team’s practice and summer league uniforms – from the start of the 2017-18 NBA season. The three-year contract will earn the Warriors $20 million annually, according to ESPN, almost doubling the league’s second-highest jersey patch sponsorship deal signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers.The partnership will help the Warriors continue to build their brand globally and connect with fans in Asia and Europe. Meanwhile, it’s the second major sports sponsorship within the past year for Rakuten, which in November 2016 inked a four-year, $235 million deal to become the new sponsor for Spanish soccer powerhouse Barcelona.
The Big East Conference released its 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule and all 90 conference regular-season games set to be nationally televised, most by FOX Sports, the league’s television partner. FS1 will carry more than 100 Big East games overall, while the FOX broadcast network will televise at least 17 regular-season games. The CBS Sports Network schedule includes 16 conference contests and at least two non-league games.

NBCSN’s NASCAR America will offer a week of exclusive interviews with all 16 drivers heading to Chicago for the first race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Kurt Busch, the 2017 Daytona 500 winner, will join NASCAR America host Marty Snider today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. NBC Sports Group’s race coverage from Chicagoland Speedway begins Saturday at 3:30p on NBCSN, with XFINITY Series racing, and concludes Sunday at 3p on NBCSN with NASCAR Cup Series racing.

NHL Network’s slate of preseason games will feature more than 20 matchups in 16 days, including the Vegas Golden Knights’ first-ever game on Sunday, Sept. 17, against the Vancouver Canucks. Vegas will be showcased in four of the preseason games on NHL Network, which will also air a game between Vancouver and the Los Angeles Kings from China on Sept. 23 that starts at 3:30a ET.

, a first-of-its-kind, 24/7 multiplatform sports network, is now available on broadcast television in 57 U.S. markets via digital subchannels. A joint venture from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Silver Chalice and 120 Sports, Stadium will premiere in 40% of the country and continue to aggressively expand in coming months. The NHL, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the PGA Tour also have an ownership stake in Stadium, a free, ad-supported sports network that will feature live games and events, extensive highlights, classic games, original programming and daily live studio shows. This Saturday, college football games airing on Stadium include North Carolina at Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech visiting Western Kentucky.
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Stewart-Haas Racing has added Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, as its primary team sponsor beginning in 2018. The Stewart-Haas entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series include Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch. Smithfield makes the switch to SHR after having been aligned with Richard Petty Motorsports since 2012 and winning one race.

An NBA Basketball School is coming to China as part of a partnership between NBA China, Mission Hills Group and 18-time All-Star Kobe Bryant. The school, which will be open to male and female players from the junior level to professionals, is part of a first-of-its-kind NBA destination that will include an NBA interactive experience and store in Haikou, Hainan Province. Construction will begin this year and the facility will be completed in 2019.

The NHL and adidas announced the new adidas adizero authentic pro hockey jerseys for all 31 teams that will be available at retail across North America on Sept. 22. The league’s new jerseys, which sell for $180 US, will make their on-ice debut with the start of the 2017-18 regular season on Oct. 4.  

Panini is launching a marketing campaign that features top NFL rookies including Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the SportsBusiness Daily reports. The exclusive trading card licensee of the NFL and NFLPA, Panini’s ads will run on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and NFL Network.

The Anaheim Ducks announced a multiyear partnership with Toshiba America Business Solutions as the NHL team’s official document solutions partner. Toshiba’s printers will help improve productivity throughout the team’s Honda Center home, corporate offices, training facility and functional areas from the marketing department to the press box.

The PGA TOUR partnered with Latino-focused digital media company mitú, seeking to share the tour’s players, tournaments and fan experiences with a younger, cross-cultural audience in a relatable way. The partnership, which includes content development and distribution, will launch with the debut of “Watcha Golf,” a series that features PGA Tour members Jon Rahm, Jhonattan Vegas and Camilo Villegas. The players will face a team of Latino comedians in a unique challenge where “some of the misconceptions and realities of golf will collide,” the tour says.

United World Sports, which owns and operates the largest annual rugby events held in the U.S., announced an affiliate marketing program for the Silicon Valley 7’s tournament that allows participating rugby clubs to raise funds through ticketing while helping fill San Jose’s Avaya Stadium for the Nov. 4-5 event. “We like to think of this as a kind of `Girl Scout cookies’ of rugby,” said Jeff McDowell, executive vice president at United World Sports. “The local clubs get to network and generate exposure while raising awareness for the sport and most importantly, generating revenue to support their club initiatives.”

The Olympic Channel will present live online coverage from today’s IOC session in Lima, Peru, where host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games are set to be awarded. The Olympic Channel’s coverage will include presentations of the candidate cities, the vote to confirm the host cities and the signature of contracts. There will also be live interviews and crowd reactions in Lima, Paris and Los Angeles.

Bleacher Report has collaborated with NFL running back Marshawn Lynch and his Beast Mode Productions to develop a new series titled, “No Script,” that will debut on Facebook’s Watch tab this fall. A blend of comedy and reality, the unscripted series showcases Lynch and his unique personality in a variety of scenarios: interacting with guests at the show’s Oakland-based studio, riding military tanks, drifting racecars with movie stars, or testing virtual reality at Lucasfilm.

Amazon will follow the University of Michigan football team and coach Jim Harbaugh throughout the current season as part of an untitled Amazon Prime docuseries which will be produced by BTN Originals, the Montag Group and Jim Jorden Productions. Cameras will follow the Wolverines’ coaches and players on and off the field, providing an inside look – from practice and game day to life in Ann Arbor — of the winningest program in college football history.

Miesha Tate and A.J. Hawk have joined the roster of hosts covering mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel, which is the home of SiriusXM’s combat sports programming on satellite radio and the SiriusXM app. Tate, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, and Hawk, a former Green Bay Packers linebacker and MMA enthusiast, will be featured hosts on MMA Today, which airs new shows every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Vivicast Media, a leading licensor of branded cable networks to affiliates throughout the U.S., announced a multiyear distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company. The partnership will distribute Disney’s lineup of sports, news and entertainment (including all ESPN networks) to Vivicast’s roster of video operators that deliver content to TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices nationwide.

fuboTV, a sports-first streaming TV service, has launched its first national advertising campaign that emphasizes viewers can stream the most live sports for the least money. The company’s first TV commercials are part of a multi-platform campaign to air during the NFL season on CBS, FOX and NBC; on top cable networks, including 24/7 sports channels; and on regional sports networks in key markets.

Blizzard Entertainment closed deals with its next two Overwatch League buyers, with rights for the cities of Houston and Philadelphia going for $20 million each, ESPN reports. Comcast Spectacor, the sports branch of cable company Comcast and owner of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, purchased the spot in Philadelphia. Landing the spot in Houston is OpTic Gaming, which closed an investment deal with a group led by Summer Energy CEO Neil Leibman, a co-owner of MLB’s Texas Rangers.

A new report from Limelight Network finds that U.S. males ranging in age from 18 to 25 prefer watching eSports over traditional sports and TV shows. Limelight’s latest “State of Online Video” report digs into consumer preferences for different types of video content, including the rise of eSports and online gaming against other, more traditional media. Also among the findings: 22% of American millennial males watch eSports regularly.

Comcast Corp. has agreed to pay about $5 million for a new National League Lacrosse franchise in $5 million, Bloomberg reports. The deal comes less than a month after Alibaba billionaire Joe Tsai paid about the same amount for an expansion team in San Diego. The new Philadelphia team will begin play in the 2018-19 season and would give Comcast another sport to stream via its paid streaming service, NBC Sports Gold.

Chad Millman is leaving ESPN to join The Chernin Group, the parent company of Barstool Sports, according to USA Today’s The Big Lead. The expectation is that Millman will oversee an information and personality-driven gambling content platform, the latter being a topic he’s written about (magazine, book and online) for years. Millman was most recently a vice president and editorial director of domestic digital content for ESPN.

Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy has joined mobile golf technology startup 18Birdies as a strategic advisor and an equity partner. McNealy, the chairman of Wayin, is a former captain of the golf team at Harvard and has four sons (15-21) who are all accomplished golfers. His eldest son, Maverick, turned pro this week after being named the NCAA’s top golfer at Stanford and helping the U.S. win the Walker Cup. 

Oakland A’s at Boston Red Sox, at 7:10p on ESPN
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ON THIS DAY in 1991: Joe Carter became the first Major League Baseball player to have three consecutive 100 RBI seasons with three different teams: (Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays)

In the Know: Which player had an American League-leading 32 home runs for the New York Yankees in 1976? (Email ematuszewski24@gmail.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who is the Washington Redskins’ all-time career leader in passing yards? Answer: Joe Theismann. Kudos: Nate Hammond/New York; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/New York; Eric Wright-D S Simon/New York; Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/New York; Troy Perlowitz-ESPN/Charlotte; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/ Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG AFTRA/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/Los Angeles; John Ferlazzo/London
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