The PGA TOUR and Sony Corporation agreed to extend their partnership by another four years, through 2022, for the Sony Open. The new agreement will commence following the 2018 tournament in January. The upcoming Sony Open in Hawaii will mark the 20th year of Sony’s sponsorship, tying it for the third-longest tenured title sponsor on the PGA TOUR. “Twenty-eighteen will be the momentous 20th anniversary of the Sony Open in Hawaii,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Sony Corporation. “I am proud to announce that Sony has decided to renew its sponsorship once again, through 2022. To us, the Sony Open is not just a golf tournament; it has allowed us to provide continuous support to the local Hawaiian community. Together with everyone involved in organizing the tournament and our charitable partners at The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, we hope to continue contributing to the people of Hawaii.”
Major League Soccer locked in a multi-year sponsorship deal with headphone brand JLab Audio for a partnership designed to connect players and fans with JLab’s wireless products. Along with the national MLS partnership, JLab will also be the official partner of five-time MLS Cup champions the LA Galaxy. The company will also receive field-level signage in nationally-televised matches and curated custom athlete playlists, powered by JLab Audio, that will be hosted on MLS channels.
FOX Sports is partnering with the Association of National Advertisers to support its #SeeHer movement, an initiative to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media by 20% t by 2020. Using its national sports platform, the FOX Sports #SeeHer partnership will “celebrate female accomplishments and encourage conversations between adults/parents (especially dads) and girls/daughters about pursuing career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM).” In addition, FOX Sports and ANA will launch a co-branded “Celebrate Her” campaign, creating in-program ad spots that feature familiar sports moments that have been reimagined to celebrate women in STEM.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s The Undefeated will launch The Plug, a weekly podcast featuring “authentic conversations on the hottest topics in sports, race and culture.” The series will take on topical issues of interest to a younger audience with audio versions of the podcast posted on Wednesdays with hosts Chiney Ogwumike, Justin Tinsley and Kayla Johnson.
Whistle Sports detailed plans for the second season of its Dunk League series on Verizon go90, hosted by JC “Mouthpiece” The Voice of Venice Beach. Every Tuesday starting today, Dunk League will air regional competitions in Los Angeles and Miami and its main competition in New York City in search of the nation’s next great dunker. Winners from each regional competition will join season one’s defending champion Guy “The Frequent Flyer” Dupuy to battle for $50,000 and the Dunk League golden rim trophy.
Tumblr announced that three of the top five athletes on the platform in 2017 were members of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. In the company’s 2017 Year in Review, Ali Kreiger and Ashlyn Harris, took home the top two spots on the Top Athletes list. Rounding out the top ten are: Yuzuru Hanyu, Auston Matthews, Christen Press, Tobin Heath, Sidney Crosby, Tyler Seguin, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer announced that fans of the league would be able to buy home team skins early next year with all 26 heroes in the game each having a jersey for each of the 12 Overwatch League teams. “Purchasing Overwatch League skins will provide monetary support for teams in the league,” Nanzer said in a YouTube post with Blizzard using a separate currency system specifically for the skins to ensure the correct amount of money goes to the teams. Overwatch League’s preseason exhibition matches start tomorrow.
MLG announced that John ‘Revan’ Boble will return to his commentator role for the upcoming Call of Duty World League Dallas Open event. The event marks the first major LAN of the CoD: WWII season.
Gfinity announced that season one of its new Australian Gfinity Elite Series will feature a prize pool of $340,000 spanning titles that include CS:GO, Street Fighter V and Rocket League with six city based teams taking part from around the country. The first season begins Jan. 7. “The Challenger Series is designed as an integrated, grassroots support platform, which is frequently seen in traditional sports, and is key to the development of Australian esports,” said incoming Gfinity Australia CEO, Dominic Remond, whose appointment was announced last week.
Sports broadcasting staple and pioneer (and Cynopsis Hall of Famer) Lesley Visser will release her memoir, “Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Say Don’t Walk” on Dec. 26 via BenBella Publishing. The book will showcase how she became a sportswriter and detail the struggles she faced as someone who became the “first” at multiple levels.
The Olympic Channel named Mary Byrne to the newly created role of Editor in Chief. Byrne will be charged with leading the Olympic Channel’s overall editorial strategy including the editorial planning and implementation for the platform’s digital, social media and news divisions. Most recently, she served as senior deputy editor for ESPN Digital & Print Media where she was responsible for the editorial operations for their Digital & Print’s daily coverage in additional to overseeing cross-platform collaboration and integration.
Excel Sports Management announced the hiring of Bryan Burney as Vice President of Business Development. Burney will play a leading sales role across many of Excel’s talent divisions including football, basketball, baseball, NASCAR and golf, as well as providing integrated sales support for Excel’s properties and brand consulting divisions.
Villanova/Gonzaga on ESPN at 7p.