10/30/18: The NHL cemented a deal with MGM Resorts to serve as a sports wagering partner

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday October 30, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
MGM Resorts locked in its second sports betting partnership with a major league, announcing an agreement with the NHL to forge a “groundbreaking, multi-year strategic relationship.” MGM Resorts will now be able to market many of its products and services to the league’s fans through its media platforms and events. MGM Resorts will also use official NHL branding to amplify the relationship across a range of the company’s land-based and digital sports betting offerings within the United States.
 
As part of the relationship, MGM Resorts will receive access to previously unseen enhanced NHL proprietary game data that will be generated by the League’s state of the art tracking systems currently under development. Access to this data will allow MGM Resorts to provide its customers with specialized NHL game insights, as well as unlocking new and innovative interactive fan engagement and betting opportunities for its U.S. customers wherever legally available.
 
MGM Resorts will also reach NHL fans through communications to subscribers from the NHL’s fan database that will market MGM Resorts’ portfolio of destination resort brands, as well as promote MGM Resorts’ M life Rewards program, which currently has 31 million members. In addition, MGM Resorts will leverage promotional opportunities in connection with the NHL’s calendar of marquee events — including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Winter Classic and the NHL Stadium Series — to showcase a variety of offerings across its portfolio.
 
 
ON THE AIR

FOX saw the Red Sox’ World Series clinching 5-1 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday night reel in an average audience of 17,635,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. That viewership should mark the network’s sixth evening in a row atop the primetime rankings to mark the second time the network has accomplished the feat. Boston’s victory scored 18,452,000 viewers across FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports streaming platforms.FOX Deportes delivered 577,000 viewers for Game 5, up 16% from last year’s Game 5, while FOX Sports streaming platforms garnering an average-minute audience of 240,000, up 40% from 2017’s Game 5.
 
Breeders’ Cup and NBC Sports Group locked in a three-year extension of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, showcasing Thoroughbred horse races from around the world whose winners earn automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports Group will continue its exclusive presentation of the series across all media platforms through the 2021 season. America’s Best Racing will also continue to serve as the presenting sponsor for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series for the next three years. As a part of this extension, select Challenge Series races will be televised on NBC and NBC Sports Network, with additional races livestreamed on NBC Sports Digital platforms NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.
 
NBC Sports Group also tied up rights with the International Biathlon Union for a four-year media rights agreement beginning in Dec. 2018. The deal sees NBC Olympics showcase more than 90 hours of biathlon coverage throughout the 2018-19 season across NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. Coverage begins Sunday, Dec. 2 from Pokljuka.
 
Back to ratings, CBS Sports reports that its NFL singleheader average on Oct. 28, drew a 13% uptick for Week 8. The NFL on CBS coverage earned a 10.3/22 average household rating/share versus last year’s 9.1/18 in the metered markets.
 
NBC saw its Saints/Vikings matchup on SNF draw a 9.7/16 overnight rating against deciding Game 5 of World Series, which is actually up 3% over last year’s Week 8 SNF game.
 
Finally, FOX Sports saw its Game of the Week deliver a 15.0 metered market rating for its Packers/Rams matchup. That marks the best NFL meterd market rating on any network since week 3, according to FOX.
 
HBO Sports’ 24/7 reality franchise will spotlight professional golf for the first time with 24/7 The Match: Tiger vs. Phil debuts on Nov. 13 at 10p. The behind-the-scenes show chronicles Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as they prepare to go head-to-head for a live pay-per-view event at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas on Nov. 23. at 3p.
 
ESPN is slated to reveal this season’s top MLB defensive via the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods on Nov. 4 at 9p on ESPN and the ESPN App. The 60-minute special from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight studio will be led by veteran host Karl Ravech and ESPN MLB analyst Eduardo Perez.
 
CBS Sports announced its SEC on CBS football game for the 3:30p slot on Nov. 10 and will feature Alabama taking on Mississippi State. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and reporter Jamie Erdahl will call the contest from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
 
Raycom Sports and Legacy Motorsports Events are partnering on a new joint venture called Raycom-Legacy Content Company to launch large-scale live entertainment touring properties and related commercial opportunities. Raycom-Legacy Content Company will create live sports and entertainment events to own and grow. The partnership will extend beyond live events to include digital and linear content production and distribution, as well as other commercial extensions. The company will also look to license new tours with existing entertainment properties.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The PGA TOUR and Technogym penned a multi-year partnership that makes Technogym an Official Supplier of the PGA TOUR Player Performance Centers. The Player Performance Centers include four traveling fitness and wellness centers with two dedicated to performance and training and two dedicated to therapy and recovery. Each Player Performance Center will be equipped with SKILLRUNs, an innovative performance treadmill designed for both fitness training and rehabilitation. As a result of a new innovative technology known as MULTIDRIVE (patent pending), the SKILLRUN is both a motorized and non-motorized treadmill which allows it to be instantly changed from cardiovascular training to power training. This technological innovation also allows for the SKILLRUN to be used for physical therapy assisting players in rehabilitative and preventative care.
 
ASICS America moved forward on the next chapter of the I Move Me campaign in North America, featuring producer/DJ Steve Aoki and a new cast of storytellers from the worlds of music, sport, art and food. The new campaign builds upon its first iteration to explore the dynamic relationship between a sound mind and a sound body. Additional influencers and ASICS athletes will also share their own personal stories of finding inspiration through movement.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

With the World Series in the books, social media analytics firm Talkwalker reports that – since Oct. 19 – the event drew more than 7.3 million interactions (likes, retweets, shares, and comments) and more than 522,000 unique authors.Out of the MLB sponsors, Taco Bell saw the most traction on social media and among online news outlets. Its annual “Steal a Taco” promotion, which provides free tacos across the country if a player steals a base in the World Series, gained more than 2,100 mentions when Boston player Mookie Betts stole a base in game one.
 
Meanwhile, Evolution, WWE’s first-ever all-women’s PPV event that took place Sunday night, trended #1 worldwide on Twitter for two hours on Sunday night up against the MLB World Series and NFL Sunday Night Football, according to WWE. Evolution was the second most social show in primetime last night, surpassed only by the MLB World Series.
 
 
ESPORTS

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. and Twitch unlocked details for the TEKKEN World Tour 2018 Finals. This year’s event will conclude in Amsterdam starting Dec. 1 with two days of competition that will see top TEKKEN players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia throw down with a livestream on Twitch. The Last Chance Qualifier event will be held on Dec. 1 at The Theater Amsterdam, with 256 player slots open for potential contenders.
 
WWE and NXT Superstars announced a partnership with Riot Games that will see League of Legends streamers imaqtpie and Tyler1 each coach teams in a move to settle their “rivalry.” Hosted by WWE’s Xavier Woods on WWE’s YouTube gaming channel UpUpDownDown, WWE vs NXT: League of Legends will follow imaqtpie and Tyler1 as they train their respective teams of WWE and NXT Superstars to prepare for a 5 vs. 5 showdown that will determine which League streamer can call himself the better coach and player. Additional WWE League Of Legends content will appear on UpUpDownDown throughout November and during the NXT Takeover Wargames event, streaming live on WWE Network on November 17 from Staples Center in LA.
 
Team Dignitas announced today that former Women’s World Champion Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Heather Garozzo and esports executive Maurice Eisenmann have been named Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Business Development, respectively.
 
 
ROSTER MOVES

Turnkey Search announced the addition of long-time media executive Rick Alessandri to the talent recruitment/executive search firm. Alessandri joins Turnkey as Managing Director and General Manager of Turnkey’s media practice and will oversee talent recruitment/executive search for media, digital and tech companies. Alessandri spent 35 years at Disney/ ESPN, Dow Jones, SportsTicker and, most recently, as Univision’s Executive Vice President.
 
 
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ON THIS DAY in 1974: The Rumble in the Jungle sees Ali KO Foreman in the 8th round.
 
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard made up what famed pro wrestling stable? Answer: The Four Horsemen. Kudos: Michael Strauss-CoxReps/NY; Greg Conner-Tennis Media/NY; Len Appel-TMZ/NY; Steve Rogan-E-Poll/NY; Matt Marini-NFL/NFL Films/New Jersey; James J. Pepe-American Cancer Society/Bethlehem; Nick Casanova-NBC Sports/Stamford; Scott Beams-ESPN/Bristol; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Akosa Akpom- UFC/Las Vegas; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Jacob Ullman-FOX Sports/LA
 
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