11.12.14 Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 12, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
NASCAR’s new-format Chase for the Cup continues to pay off as the season concludes, with Sunday’s race from Phoenix notching continued gains. The race picked up a 3.1 household score with an average 5.091 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen. Both stats are up over a 2.7 rating and 4.27 million viewers for the same race a year ago. In fact, ESPN states that both numbers were the highest on the channel since 2009.
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A Baylor/Oklahoma showdown delivered FOX Sports 1 with its most-watched game this season, according to Nielsen. The Baylor victory attracted 2,048,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, which marks the channel’s third most-watched all-time. Among Adults 18-49, the contest scored 868,000 viewers which ranks as the most-watched college football game in FOX Sports 1 history. Meanwhile, Texas’ upset over West Virginia delivered 1,318,000 viewers making it the sixth most-watched college football game in FOX Sports 1 history.
Speaking of FOX Sports, the company announced that The 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB Super Crown World Championship, which made its debut on FOX on Sunday, handed the league with its largest television audience ever. The event delivered a 1.1/2 household rating/share and averaged 1.7 million viewers over the 90-minute program.
More movement on the NHL to Las Vegas front. The Star Tribune writes that NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly met with a potential ownership group last weekend in Las Vegas and visited the construction site for the new $350 million arena being built by MGM Resorts. “It would have to take place in the West before it would take place in the East because you can’t get further misaligned,” he told the paper.
Former UFC Middleweight and Light Heavyweight title contender and former FOX Sports personality Chael Sonnen is headed to ESPN as part of a multi-fight agreement as a studio and on-site analyst. He will now offer expert pre- and post-fight insight on SportsCenter’s coverage of major UFC pay-per-view events. Sonnen makes his debut on Friday, Nov. 14, ahead to UFC 180.
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Univision launched a nationwide search for “every day heroes who harness the power of sports to serve and improve their communities and the lives of the people that live in them.” The search comes as a piece of the recently announced Premios Univision Deportes sports award show. The winner of the search will receive the “For the Love of the Game” award which consists of a $25,000 cash prize to recognize their efforts and an all-expense paid trip to attend the Premios Univision Deportes Gala in Miami. The winner will be announced during the broadcast of the show on Dec. 18 at 9p on UniMas.
ESPN is planning to team with Oakley for a slate of programs that will run as part of the World of X Games series on ABC. The first program produced by Oakley runs Nov. 23 at 4p, entitled Snowboarding: For Me. The inaugural program offers the perspectives from the world’s best snowboarders including pioneers Terje Hakonsen and JP Walker, and Olympians Shaun White, Mark McMorris and Stale Sandbech.
FOX Sports brings back the new FIA Formula E Championship from Putrajaya ePrix, with coverage on FOX Sports 1 on Nov. 22 at 1a and a replay on FOX the next day.
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After striking an accord with MLS, Heineken is now going local, announcing partnership agreements with seven MLS clubs. Starting Jan. 1, the brand will partner with the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, New York City FC and Orlando City SC as either the Official Beer (Chicago Fire, D.C. United, New York City FC and Orlando City SC) or as the Official Import (Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls) of each individual club. The deal will include signage, intellectual property rights and retail activations as the brand works closely with the clubs to continue enhancing the fan experience in each city. “By partnering with these clubs we’re able to more directly connect with American soccer fans and provide them with a premium experience-and beer-they have come to expect from Heineken,” said Nuno Teles, Heineken Chief Marketing Officer. “We are known worldwide as a genuine soccer brand, and these partnerships will provide a direct platform to reach the soccer fans and fuel their passion for the game.”
NBC is nearly sold out of Super Bowl spots, according to Variety, with eight to ten 30-second openings left on the table and 90% of inventory sold out. Executives say that the company is seeing some of the annual car sponsors hesitate this time around. “If you are an auto advertiser, you are in exceptionally clean space” for 2015, said Seth Winter, EVP of Sales and Marketing at NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal News Group.. “We see fewer than half of what we had” in 2012, the last time NBC broadcast the Super Bowl, he added. “We would be in a far, far more accelerated sell-out if the automotives were just kind of advertising where they were.” NBC is asking a record $4.5 million for 30-second Super Bowl ad slots.
Baylor University reached an agreement with IMG to extend its current multimedia rights partnership through July, 2024. In addition, the university inked with IMG Seating, the cushion stadium seat provider. The new deal includes IMG College’s exclusive representation and management of school corporate partnerships, game broadcasts and coaches’ shows for radio, publications, stadium and venue signage, game promotions, and game day hospitality.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is working with Fanatics to launch the WCHA Men’s Official Online Store. Items are set to include officially licensed merchandise from the league’s 10 member institutions. “This partnership will allow the WCHA to deliver an unparalleled online shopping experience for our fans,” said Commissioner Bill Robertson. “With team apparel, collectibles and more for all 10 of our schools, the WCHA Men’s Official Online Store has everything a college hockey fan needs from Fairbanks, Alaska to Bowling Green, Ohio and beyond.”
Fan engagement technology company OneTwoSee continues to add to its repertoire, inking an extension with FOX Sports via a multi-year extension of their relationship. OneTwoSee will continue to produce for FOXSports.com interactive fan experiences surrounding FOX Sports’ coverage of various sports including the NBA, NCAA basketball and the NHL. In addition, the company also locked in a deal with Sportsnet to develop and implement interactive fan experiences for sportsnet.ca surrounding Sportsnet’s National Hockey League telecasts for the 2014-2015 season. OneTwoSee has already developed a real-time NHL application for Sportsnet’s online audience for the 2014-15 season and is also developing a “Player of the Game” feature that will allow fans to vote for the player of the game, as well as keep track of the top vote getters. “We realize Sportsnet hockey viewers are some of the most knowledgeable and discerning fans in the world,” said Jason Angelides, Co-Founder and COO of OneTwoSee. “We are thrilled to be able to build a rich NHL experience for hockey fans to add to sportnet.ca and expand our relationship with Sportsnet.”
Ocho has launched a video-based social network for the iPhone and has closed a $1.65M seed round including investments from Mark Cuban, Bill Lohse’s Social Starts, Matt Brimer and Jiawei Wang, among others. The platform has already entered into a strategic partnership with VICE Sports and Showtime.
VISTA Worldlink entered a deal with Rockbridge Sports and Piksel to provide the Western Athletic Conference with the WAC Digital Network, the first-ever digital backhaul distribution network that is dedicated exclusively to Western Athletic Conference programming. Original content and both Live and On-demand regular season and WAC championship events will be available online via computers, smartphones, tablets and smart televisions.
The Madison Square Garden Company named Andrew Lustgarten as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. Lustgarten joins the Company after seven years at the NBA and will now identify and develop strategic business opportunities and partnerships that continue to drive the overall advancement of the company.
Kristen Rose will become the new Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, where she will plan and manage corporate partnerships sales and activation efforts for the Hawks and venue. Rose previously served as President of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, with Mandalay Baseball Properties.
Learfield Sports announced a trio to new appointments, including Kelvin Smith as VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Alex Pendleton as VP of Finance and Daniel O’Quinn as Controller of Extended Business Lines.
Kings/Ducks on NBCSN at 10:30p.
ON THIS DAY in 1892: Pudge Heffelfinger receives $500 to become the first pro football player.
In The Know:WWE stalwart Michael Hickenbottom wrestled under what moniker? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the name of the fictional team featured on Friday Night Lights? Answer: Two answers – the Panthers and the Lions. Kudos: Andrew Bogdan-Van Wagner Sports/NY; John Totaro-Totaro Communications/NY; David Kopelman-MLB Network/NY; Sheila Mills-Showtime/NY; Jon Show-Show Sports Media/Charlotte; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Chris Mason-NBCUniversal/Englewood Cliffs; Farrah Segaloff-Comcast Spotlight/Quincy; Mandi Shulman-Continental Television/Chicago; Kevin Wicker-Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network/Mission; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Lisa Fikeys-Zimmerman/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Doug Kelly-S.F. Bowl Game Association/South San Francisco; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
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