Hisense USA signed on as a comprehensive partnership to become the Official TV and Appliance Manufacturer of the US National Soccer Teams with the deal running the 2018 World Cup, 2019 Women’s World Cup, U.S. Soccer Development Academy, and U.S. Men’s and Women’s Youth National Soccer Teams. “In addition to our global FIFA partnership, our U.S. Soccer partnership offers an amazing opportunity to bring families and soccer fans together throughout the year and cheer on our country during some of the biggest sporting events in the world,” said Mark Viken, Vice President of Marketing at Hisense USA. “Soccer is a global sport with incredibly passionate fans. We’re excited to introduce that passionate market to our industry-leading TV lineup to deliver the ultimate viewing experience.”
The New Jersey Devils, via parent company Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, has become the first NHL franchise to form a strategic partnership with a National Women’s Hockey League team, the Riveters. The goal of the new strategic alliance will be to support the growth of the NWHL and increase the development and visibility of girls’ and women’s hockey in New Jersey and across the metropolitan area. In addition, the Devils and Prudential Center will share resources in order to enhance the Riveters’ operations – including marketing, sales, events, game presentation and facilities. As part of the alliance, the Devils and Riveters will have a unique NWHL-NHL doubleheader on Oct. 28.
UFC unveiled a multi-year partnership with BODYARMOR Sports Drink in a move that makes the brand the first-ever “Official Sports Drink” of UFC. The deal begins in 2018 and will see BODYARMOR will supply its line of sports hydration products: BODYARMOR sports drink and BODYARMOR LYTE, to the UFC Performance Institute’s two “BODYARMOR Hydration Stations”. The brand will also serve as the presenting sponsor of select UFC weigh-in events, along with providing corner branding of stools, towels and buckets inside UFC’s Octagon during all U.S.-based events.
Clemson University, Founders Federal Credit Union and JMI Sports announced a comprehensive seven-year partnership that expands Founders’ commitment to Clemson Athletics and Clemson University. Founders is now the Official Credit Union Partner of the Clemson Tigers and Clemson University, and will have an enhanced presence in the Clemson community with expanded visibility in athletics and greater integration into campus life and student events. In addition, Founders will now be offering its members a Clemson cobranded Debit Card this fall.
Sports nutrition brand MET-Rx penned a multi-year partnership with professional baseball player Cody Bellinger. Through this partnership, MET-Rx becomes Bellinger’s official sports nutrition partner with the brand’s comprehensive product lineup that includes BIG 100 Meal Replacement Bars, High Protein Milk Shakes and Super Hydration Sports Drinks.
The United Soccer Leagues named Act Global as the Official Synthetic Turf Supplier in a three-year deal. Act Global will be an official supplier for all related properties, including the United Soccer League, USL’s Division III, the Premier Development League and the Super Y League. In addition, Act Global will have a presence at the USL’s annual Winter Summit in December.
The NFL and NextVR are bringing their partnership back for a second season for an immersive post-game experience in virtual reality featuring highlights from five 2017 regular season games. The NFL VR Experiences will be hosted by Reggie Bush and Elika Sadeghi and showcase the best VR moments from the game and be available to fans on-demand in the NextVR app. Coverage will include the Packers/Vikings on Oct. 15, Chargers/Patriots on Oct. 29; Cowboys/Falcons on Nov. 12; Broncos/Raiders on Nov. 26 Cowboys/Giants on Dec. 10.
Speaking of VR, Raycom Sports and the Atlantic Coast Conference announced the launch of football content to ACC Virtual Reality presented by Havoline. The mobile application, developed in partnership between Raycom Sports, the ACC, and EON Sports and will offer unique football 360 content from each ACC school that includes behind the scenes footage, on field and sideline perspectives, locker room tours, and more.
Sports data provider Opta reached an agreement with US Soccer to become the Federation’s Official Live Match Data Provider. The three-year deal will support the development and identification of youth players in the United States, the performance analysis of Men’s and Women’s National Teams, and the integration of data-driven digital content to further engage US Soccer fans. The agreement also includes data collection and management for all Men’s and Women’s National Team games, and data and video analysis tools to further each team’s performance analysis.
The NBA is launching a series of new fantasy basketball initiatives for the 2017-18 season with its Official NBA Fantasy Scoring, which will be embedded within NBA.com and serve as the standard across all Official NBA Games on Yahoo!, FanDuel, NBA InPlay, PlayON and Dream11. The new scoring system, which was created through data analysis and feedback from NBA partners and fans, will be: Points: 1; Steals: 3; Rebounds: 1.2; Blocks: 3; Assists: 1.5; Turnovers: -1. To celebrate the start of the NBA regular season, FanDuel will introduce “NBA Passport to London,” where fans can enter daily contests during the season’s opening week for a chance to win a VIP trip to NBA London Game 2018 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics on Jan. 11.
ELEAGUE is poised to hold its second Major Championship in two years featuring Valve’s CS:GO. The ELEAGUE Major: Boston will showcase live competition originating from Boston University’s Agganis Arena – including the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Championship from Jan. 26-28. Early round competition will come from ELEAGUE’s home in Atlanta at ELEAGUE Arena at Turner Studios in Atlanta. “We’re looking forward to hosting our second ELEAGUE Major in back-to-back years and bringing a CS:GO championship to Boston for the first time,” said Craig Barry, Chief Content Officer, Turner Sports. “Following the record-setting engagement during last year’s ELEAGUE Major, we appreciate Valve’s ongoing trust in us and all of the continued support from the esports community.”
Overwatch League unveiled its second team name and first in the US with the introduction of the Dallas Fuel. The Texas-based squad, from Team Envy, will continue the Boys in Blue tradition with colors that include blue, gray, and black with a logo that features an iconic blue flame set against a bold typeface announcing the team name. “We’re thrilled to bring a championship-caliber franchise to the area with the Dallas Fuel,” said Mike Rufail, the Texas-born owner and CEO of Team Envy. “In choosing a name, we wanted to speak to our Texas roots, connect with the legacy of our partners Ken Hersh and the Hersh Interactive Group, and provide a rallying cry for local fans as esports continues to grow. Fuel accomplishes that, and the Dallas Fuel is a team we’re proud to permanently plant in Texas.”
UFC named Paul Asencio as Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships. Asencio joins UFC after spending the past two years with Fanatics, where he served as Vice President of Venue Business Development.
Outdoor Sportsman Group named Mike Carney as Chief Operating Officer of Outdoor Sportsman Group Publishing and Branded Media. Previously, Carney was Executive Vice President and Group Publisher for Outdoor Sportsman Group.
Yankees/Indians open play today at 5p on MLB Network.