11/14/17: Olympic Channel detailed programming plans for its first Winter Games

Good morning. It’s Tuesday November 14, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA booked plans for the PyeongChang Olympics, locking in programming designed to complement NBCUniversal’s coverage with daily coverage that will include 20 hours of highlights, news and features provided by Olympic Channel News; live Olympic medal ceremony coverage and a daily studio show hosted by Jimmy Roberts that will provide features, storytelling, commentary, and highlights, including a “Meet the Olympic Press” segment that will bring together contributing journalists to discuss all the daily news and storylines surrounding PyeongChang.
“The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will be the destination for non-stop news, highlights, insight, and analysis during the 2018 Games,” said Jim Bell, President, NBC Olympics Production & Programming. “Throw in some tear-inducing medal ceremonies, and you have a recipe for a network that Olympic fans will love to watch when they’re not watching live competition.”

Bellator detailed plans to host a year-long grand prix heavyweight tournament in 2018 that will pit eight of the roster’s biggest stars with the winner becoming the new Bellator world heavyweight champion. The Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament will run on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network and include the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir, King Mo, Fedor Emeliamenko, Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader. Matchups, dates and locations for the single-elimination grand prix will be determined shortly, as will tournament alternates who will be available to fill in.
Telemundo Deportes secured exclusive, Spanish-language media rights of the FIFA Club World Cup for the next two years. Organized by FIFA, the international club soccer tournament features the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations and the national league champion of the host country. The event will air live across Telemundo, Universo, and the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo App beginning with the opening match on Dec. 6 at 11:55a with coverage led by Telemundo Deportes’ Andres Cantor, Manuel Sol, Carlos Hermosillo, Copan Alvarez, Sammy Sadovnik and Miguel Gurwitz. In addition, Telemundo Deportes secured the exclusive, Spanish-language media rights of the deciding leg of the playoffs between Peru and New Zealand. The game will be telecast live on Universo on Wednesday at 9p.
NBC saw its coverage of the Patriots/Broncos on SNF once again take primetime, drumming up a 11.5/19 in Nielsen overnight numbers, not including digital. Top markets: Boston 34.7/53; Denver 33.8/55; Providence 33.8/51; New Orleans 17.7/25; Hartford 14.1/22.
CBS Sports unlocked its SEC on CBS football game for Nov. 25, picking up the Iron Bowl at 3:30p pitting Auburn/Alabama. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce call the contest from Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
David Feherty will host back-to-back nights of Feherty Live stage shows during Super Bowl Week, originating from the State Theatre in downtown Minneapolis on Feb. 1-2. The shows will run live on Golf Channel at 8p each night, with the shows designed to complement NBC Sports Group’s weeklong coverage of the Super Bowl.
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Pepsi inked a partnership with the Yankees’ Aaron Judge to serve as the face of the brand, “championing the spirit and excitement of baseball, both on and off the field.” “We are thrilled to welcome Aaron to the Pepsi family,” said Justin Toman, Senior Director, Sports Marketing, PepsiCo. “He’s one of the biggest rising stars in baseball and we’re looking forward to working together to engage baseball enthusiasts in new and unique ways next season and beyond.”
NFL Players Inc., along with founding partners – the US Women’s National Team Players Association and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association – are launching REP Worldwide (Representing Every Player), described as a first-of-its-kind group player representation business that offers licensing and brand management services to athlete-driven sports properties. REP Worldwide’s initial representation services will include: strategic planning; leveraging athlete intellectual property group rights; structuring licenses and sponsorships; consulting on marketing activation strategy; driving support for players and licensees at retail; as well as developing unique content opportunities across platforms via ACE Media, the NFLPA’s content and production subsidiary.
Comcast inked a deal to serve as the official cable television and communications partner of US Ski & Snowboard. The new multi-year partnership will feature the Xfinity brand athlete uniforms at a range of high-profile events worldwide, increasing awareness of the partnership in markets globally with around-the-world broadcast coverage. Xfinity will also be the title sponsor of the women’s FIS Ski World Cup weekend at Killington Resort in Vermont Nov. 25-26, which will be carried on NBC and NBCSN.
AEG launched a new partnership with BELFOR Property Restoration, the worldwide leader in disaster recovery and property restoration services. The multiyear deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, makes BELFOR an official partner of the LA Kings and AXS TV as well as the official restoration partner of STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The new partnership provides AEG’s facilities with amplified disaster response and recovery services and will further enrich BELFOR’s commitment in the communities they serve.
Manchester City inked a multi-year partnership that makes Gatorade the Club’s Official Sports Nutrition Partner. “We’re delighted to be teaming up with a global leader in Gatorade. Gatorade’s knowledge and commitment to sports nutrition through innovative scientific research speaks for itself,” said Damian Willoughby, SVP of Partnerships at City Football Group. “Our team of sports scientists will work closely with the GSSI team to find new ways to support and fuel our players, both on and off the field. Gatorade is a globally recognized brand with a fantastic relationship with competitive athletes in the United States and all around the world.”

ESPN launched a new SportsCenter show on Snapchat. The show debuted yesterday and today begins its regular schedule with new shows available twice a day at 5a and 5p and once at 5a on weekends. SportsCenter on Snapchat, the first ever daily sports show on the platform, will be three to five minutes in length and will include a mix of the latest sports news, highlights and commentary.
Oso Studios and Facebook announced the premiere of Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings, an original unscripted series on minor league baseball hosted by the pair. The ten-episode digital series debuts on Facebook Watch on Nov. 20 with new episodes available weekly on Mondays as the duo travel together to visit minor league baseball in cities across the US.
The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games announced that it will conduct a global campaign to collect messages of peace on Twitter. The initiative was prepared to commemorate the United Nations resolution on the Olympic Truce, and is designed to showcase support for peace and the Olympian spirit worldwide.
The LPGA Women’s Network created a new partnership with Secret Golf, launching the relationship with the debut of Gerina Piller’s Player Channel. Piller’s video content will not only be added to Team Secret Golf’s stable of Tour professionals already available on SecretGolf.com, and be featured on the LPGA Women’s Network website.
Andy Katz has been hired by the NCAA as a contractor to cover the college basketball for NCAA.com.  Katz will provide written, digital and social media coverage for the NCAA and its partners.

McLaren named Ben Payne to serve as the company’s head of esports where he will oversee the growth and development of McLaren’s esports strategy, including all aspects of the World’s Fastest Gamer program. Additionally, he will lead the development of the WFG partner community, activating gaming partnerships across retail, media partnerships and key industry events.  Payne joins from Microsoft, where he held roles in third party marketing, partnerships and events for Xbox EMEA, as well as working on global campaigns for Windows. Prior to Microsoft, Payne held positions at SEGA, 2K Games and Future. McLaren was the first Formula 1 team to announce its own esports property, in April this year.
Riot Games detailed plans to invest  $7.6 million in the South Korean LoL esports league this year and will create a new LCK Studio in Seoul that would open next September, reportedly titled LoL Park. The venue would be capable of hosting as many as 450 fans and see Riot handle production of events there for the first time. In addition, the studio will sit alongside a PC bang, a coffee shop, and feature backstage and practice areas for players across nearly 57,000 square feet.

The NBA promoted Amy Brooks to President, Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer. In her newly-created role as Chief Innovation Officer, Brooks will drive innovative decision-making and growth across the NBA’s business through the development and execution of new ideas and initiatives. 
David O’Connor stepped down from his role atop Madison Square Garden with James Dolan coming in to serve as the interim President/CEO.

ESPN’s State Farm Champions Classic serves up No. 1 Duke versus No. 2 Michigan State in a college basketball battle at 7p.

[Wednesday, December 6 th at 1:30pm]
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ON THIS DAY in 1993: Don Shula becomes the coach with the most wins in NFL history.
In the Know: Who was QB for the Dolphins’ two Super Bowl victories under Shula? (Email Chris-Sports@Cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: From what school was Reggie Jackson drafted?  Answer: Arizona State. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-Discovery Communications/NY; Marc Wollis-Cadent Network/NY; Bob Dudelson-Leverage Agency/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Ken White-Kwtv/Charlotte; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Mark Stulberger-Stully’s Broadcasting School/Houston; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Jack Simmons-US Army Reserve/LA; Laura Rush-Crackle/Sony Pictures Television/Culver City
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