12/08/14: Bleacher Report gets new leadership; Kremer gets personal; CFP ready to roar



CYNOPSISSPORTS
12.08.14

Good morning. It’s Monday, December 8, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Today, Andrea Kremer will be inducted into the Cynopsis Sports Hall of Fame as its inaugural member for her work in front of the cameras as well as behind the scenes as a producer. After storied runs at ESPN and NBC, Kremer now finds herself coming full circle as part of NFL Network and HBO as well as an instrumental part of CBS Sports Network’s new series We Need to Talk.

Boasting a pair of Emmys, iconic interviews with the biggest athletes in sports and a resume that has influenced both pop culture and sports history, Kremer spoke with Cynopsis Sports about her legacy, the state of journalism, memorable interviews and the one sport she wishes she had the chance to get more involved with. 

Kremer on her career: The thing I am most proud of is the longevity factor. In an age when you see people that literally pop on to the scene and they have a shelf life of 2, 3, 4 or 5 years, the flip side of that and feeling like you are old is that you bring consistency and longevity to the table. That’s something I am really proud of. From a sports business perspective, the irony is not lost on me that my first job in television was as the first female producer at NFL Films. Now, I’ve come full circle as part of NFL Network and at HBO, because the first thing I produced at NFL Films was Inside the NFL. I feel like, as my career continues to ascend, I’ve watched the sports business industry just blossom and grow exponentially. When I got to NBC in 2006, it was just NBC. There wasn’t an NBCSN, so I find it amazing how the proliferation of networks has exploded over the course of my 30 some years in the business.

On her journalism philosophy: It has always been very important to me that it is nice to be first, but it is imperative to be right. That is one of the issues with Twitter, and you have to be really careful before you hit send. It isn’t just about trying to be sensational and trying to grab followers. You have to make sure you are right with what you are reporting. Do you want to be first or do you want to be right? I want to be both, but I have to be right.

On memorable interviews: If you single one out then you are almost saying that others weren’t as good but clearly one thing that has been a hallmark of my career over the years has been sitting with athletes who have suffered a profound loss and having them talk about it first. Whether that’s Javon Walker, whose teammate was shot and killed and literally died in his arms, or Trent Dilfer and the death of his son. Two still resonate for me and it was the only interview they did about it ever. One was Joe Jurevicius, who won a Super Bowl while his son was in the hospital and later died at 40 days of age. That was probably the hardest interview I’ve ever done because I had a one-year old. I didn’t appear on camera because I was emotional during the interview. One of the most surprising was Cris Carter admitting that he was an alcohol and drug addict. I showed up to do the interview and he decided that was the day to talk about it. The story aired on a Sunday and on Monday the phone rings and it was Cris and he said to me that he and his wife Melanie knew he did the right thing with the right person. That was a meaningful thing to hear. We in the media have to remember that may be our story but it is their life. 

On a sport she wished she was able to cover more often: Tennis! I love the sport and love to play it. I think Roger Federer is such a magnificent athlete and I don’t know him and I want him to be a great guy. I enjoy it and I’ve been to Wimbledon and the French and the US Open and would love to do more.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


SPORTS SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
Today @ YALE CLUB NYC | 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cynopsis Sports will bring together some of the world’s most accomplished social media communicators in the world of sports. Attendees will have access to the knowledge and techniques used by brands, leagues and networks as they motivate, activate and aggregate their fans.

Register Now! | Walks-in are welcome to attend!


DIGITAL & TECHNOLOGY

Big news at Bleacher Report, as Turner Sports promoted Dorth Raphaely to GM of the platform, while Rory Brown gets elevated to Chief Content Officer. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report founder and GM Dave Finocchio and Sam Parnell, Chief Technology Officer, will assume new strategic advisory roles with the division beginning in 2015. Under Finnocchio’s guidance Bleacher Report has surpassed several key milestones over the last year, ranking as the second largest standalone sports website for the first time ever from April-August and notching a 40% annual increase in cross-platform monthly uniques, based on the latest comScore metrics. Meanwhile, in his new position as GM, Raphaely will add responsibility for business operations, product management and design, engineering and oversight of international expansion to his current leadership of the programming, analytics and quality control teams. Brown, based in New York, will oversee all forms of content for Bleacher Report under a unified content creation team, running both editorial and video content creation for the site and its Team Stream app. By the way, don’t miss Raphaely today as he keynotes the Cynopsis Sports Social Media Summit!

ON THE AIR

ESPN will begin its 12-year agreement to exclusively televise the College Football Playoff in just a few weeks, featuring the top four teams as selected by the College Football Playoff selection committee. The No. 1 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide will face the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the second-seeded Oregon Ducks will face the third-seeded Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual, both on New Year’s Day.

Baylor and TCU will play in "New Year’s Six" bowls involved in the inaugural College Football Playoff. The No. 5 Bears will play No. 8 Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, while the No. 6 Horned Frogs will face No. 9 Ole Miss in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. No. 7 Mississippi State will play No. 12 Georgia Tech in the Capital One Orange Bowl. No. 20 Boise State and No. 10 Arizona will meet in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl.

The ACC Football Championship on ABC Saturday (Florida State/Georgia Tech) earned a preliminary 2.7 adults 18-49 rating.

The Big Ten Football Championship on FOX (Wisconsin vs Ohio State) earned a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating.

SI.com reported that The Big Ten Conference will play its men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in ‘2018, with a formal announcement planned for Tuesday.

CBS and Dish Network reached a multiyear pact for carriage of CBS-owned broadcast stations and cable nets including CBS Sports Network. The programming blackout had lasted about 12 hours but was restored in time for coverage of football this weekend.

ESPN will also have a major presence at the 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, Calif. from Monday, Dec. 8 through Wednesday, Dec. 10. The 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings is the largest annual gathering of baseball executives and personnel. Baseball Tonight will have two daily shows from San Diego.

ESPN also announced that it has reached a deal with the Canadian Curling Association for media rights to the Seasons of Champions events on ESPN platforms through March 2015. ESPN gained rights to more than 300 hours of coverage total.



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SPONSORSHIP AND PROMOTION

Toyota was honored with the 2014 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon held in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas. Toyota joins Coca-Cola as the only multiple-time winner of the award. “Toyota is a world class marketer that consistently demonstrates how to effectively leverage its strong brand across all NASCAR platforms to drive measurable performance both on and off the track, said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar. “Celebrating its tenth year in the sport, Toyota is a true partner to NASCAR at all levels.”

NJHurt.org has enlisted the help of several NFL players, including injured New York Giants lineman Geoff Schwartz, teammate Jameel McClain and Philadelphia Eagles first round pick Marcus Smith to build a campaign bringing to light the national cost of spiraling out of pocket health costs.

TCU took the full back page of Sunday’s New York Times sports section for an ad congratulating LaDainian Tomlinson on his College Football Hall of Fame induction.

The UFC has signed CM Punk, one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling to a multi-fight contract. The deal comes just a few days after the promotion announced a wide-ranging apparel deal with Reebok.

The Royal Foundation and the National Basketball Association announced a partnership between the Foundation’s United for Wildlife and Coach Core programs and the league’s NBA Cares global social responsibility program.  The partnership will raise awareness about the importance of international wildlife conservation, develop the next generation of conservation leaders, and grow the game of basketball.

RANKINGS

Top Five Best Selling Sports Books per Amazon.com
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown
Jeter Unfiltered by Derek Jeter
You Can’t Makes This Up by Al Michaels with Jon Wertheim

ROSTER MOVES

The New York Mets hired Chris Zaber as Vice President for ticket sales and services.

THE MAIN EVENT

The Atlanta Falcons meet the Green Bay Packers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at 8:15p.



ON THIS DAY in 1988 –  Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers becomes the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal, shooting into an empty net in the closing minutes of a win over the Boston Bruins.

In The Know: There are 344 colleges and universities playing men’s basketball at the Division I level this year. Which is the one school not affiliated with a conference? (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: With both the Heisman Trophy announcement and the Army-Navy game on the horizon, how many players from the two service academies have won the famed award in total? Answer: Five (Staubach and Bellino for Navy, Dawkins, Davis and Blanchard for Army) Kudos: Brian Robin-Brener Zwikel & Associates; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions; Andy Pittman-Texas A&M University; Jon Clateman-Frozen Ropes.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
12.08.14

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