Lagardere Sports and Entertainment launched Lagardere Plus, a global agency with a mission to “transform traditional brand sponsorships into highly inventive and impactful marketing platforms.” The new agency incorporates Lagardere Sports and Entertainment’s existing global consulting businesses, including agencies akzio! and Zaechel Int. in Germany, and Sponsorship 360 in France, all of which will be rebranded as Lagardere Plus and will see offices in Berlin, Dallas, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong London, Manchester, Munich, New York, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, and Tokyo,
Meanwhile, Fanatics announced the formation of Fanatics College, a new division of the company that will focus exclusively on “elevating the comprehensive offerings it now provides for collegiate partners across the country, which include e-commerce, omnichannel arena and stadium retail operations and brand management services.” In addition, Fanatics announced it has acquired the collegiate licensing services practice of Atlanta-based Fermata Partners from CAA Sports.
NBA League Pass will serve up a variety of new subscription packages for the 2017-18 NBA season with options that include a new premium package with continuous in-arena coverage during all breaks to bring fans footage from team huddles, live entertainment and other experiences from the venue. Additional options include the signature full-season NBA League Pass plan, Team Pass offering, Single-Game selection and virtual reality experience, as well as new monthly pricing options. In addition, NBA Digital and NextVR will offer fans a new season-long virtual reality subscription package – in addition to Single-Game options – with access across Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Windows Mixed Reality.
The NBA also announced the launch of the NBA AR app, a new augmented reality experience that allows fans to play virtual pop-a-shot from any point in the world through AR technology, marking the first augmented reality game by a US sports league according to the org. The app captures a player’s surroundings, pins an authentic NBA backboard and court into the real-world environment, and then uses the accelerometer in the iPhone to flick shots at the hoop before the 30-second shot clock expires.
Another team brand launched for Overwatch League. NRG Esports, which was awarded the san Francisco franchise, announced that the team would be known as the San Francisco Shock, with its name and logo representing the “seismic energy and activity of the region.” The seismograph logo is presented in gold, honoring San Francisco’s historic gold rush heritage. The seismograph waveform presents itself as a silhouette of the Bay Bridge. “There is no better market to establish as the epicenter of esports than San Francisco,” said Andy Miller, Founder and CEO of NRG Esports, parent organization of the San Francisco Shock. “We are so excited to bring a hometown esports team to the region that has been central to the growth of gaming in North America.”
John Fitzgerald is heading back to ESPN Audio team where he will serve as VP, ESPN Audio ad sales. Fitzgerald will oversee all aspects of ESPN Radio national network ad sales, including talk programming, event play-by-play and Audio on Demand, which includes podcasts.
Outdoor Sportsman Group Publishing’s Game & Fish Magazine named John Geiger its new Editor-in-Chief.
The NBA season tips off with Celtics/Cavaliers on TNT at 8p.