Citi inked a partnership agreement with the International Paralympic Committee to become an international partner through 2020 as well as support National Paralympic Committees across 18 countries as they prepare for upcoming World and regional Championships, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. NPCs include: Australia, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and the UAE.
Dignity Health partnered with AEG to pick up naming rights to the home of the LA Galaxy as of the New Year. The venue will be renamed Dignity Health Sports Park with Dignity Health serving as the official health care partner of the LA Galaxy and will also work directly with the LA Galaxy Foundation, the charitable arm of the LA Galaxy.
The NFL and Youku, Alibaba Group’s video entertainment platform, are entering a digital partnership in China to bring football programming to Chinese fans. The partnership will feature weekly programming on Youku’s sports channel, including game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games such as the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, and the NFL International series. Additionally, documentary content from NFL Films around NFL calendar events such as the NFL Draft will also be made available.
The United Soccer League signed a deal with Tickets.com to become the official ticketing provider of the USL Championship and USL League One. As part of the multiyear agreement, Tickets.com, a subsidiary of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), becomes the league’s first ever national ticketing partner.
Long-time partners Intel and ESL are strengthening their bonds, announcing a $100 million extension that will be invested by the companies to shape the future landscape of esports via “innovative technology, tournaments, and events, marking the biggest brand and technology esports partnership in history.” In addition to kicking off Season 14 of the Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running pro esports circuit in the world, the New Year will see the partnership encompass support of ESL’s premier live esports circuits, including ESL One powered by Intel and the CS:GO Pro League, in addition to the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam. The investment will also introduce esports to new regions of the globe, including the hosting and introduction of large scale esports events in certain countries within the APAC region.
Immortals founder Noah Whinston is shifting gears, moving from CEO to Executive Chairman of the esports organization. Ari Segal will now take over as Immortals CEO. “Excited for the opportunity to elevate [Ari Segal] and give him more autonomy in his running of the Immortals organization,” Whinston posted on Twitter. “If it was anyone else, this decision might have been harder for me, but Ari has been the best CEO in esports long before his title reflected it.”
Nielsen released an “in-depth, first of its kind” research study that dives into esports fan attitudes and behaviors in the US. Insights include:
- Twitch esports fans are well-seasoned with nearly 60% following esports for four or more years. In contrast, among the broader U.S. esports audience, only 1 in 5 have been following this long, with 23% new to esports within the past year.
- 50% of Twitch esports fans have a paid TV subscription service; less than 40% claim to view television on a weekly basis.
- 90% of Twitch esports fans can recall at least one non-gaming related sponsor within esports.
- Esports fans are more likely to spend time engaging with esports over traditional sports – Twitch fans significantly so, with 70% dedicating more time to esports than traditional.
- Over 60% of Twitch esports fans engage with gaming personalities on a daily basis, and nearly one in three viewed at least five hours of live Fortnite video content on Twitch in the past year.
The North American Leag ue of Legends Championship series, aka the NA LCS, is rebranding ahead of the 2019 season, which kicks off next month. Riot announced via Twitter that the NA LCS will now simply be known as the LCS, following the recent proclamation that the EU LCS would be rebranded to the LEC.
ELEAGUE, in partnership with Psyonix, will showcase the top moments and plays from its recent professional tournament for Rocket League tonight at 11p on TBS. The three-episode series will include behind-the-scenes player interviews, as well as highlights from the semifinal and Grand Final rounds of the recent ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League 2018, in which eight top-ranked teams competed for a $150,000 purse.
NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe is changing agencies, signing with ICM Partners. The current host of Thursday Night Football and Good Morning Football Weekend on the network has also hosted programs such as NFL Power Rankings and Around The NFL.
Amber Howard joined Abrams Artists Agency as an agent, bolstering the Agency’s Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing and Branding Division. She will take on the agency’s talent and branding deals within the company’s emergence into esports and gaming.
Mike Crawford has been named the new Chief Executive Officer for Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, the $889 million mixed-use project underway around the campus of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Patriots/Steelers on Sunday on CBS at 4:25p.