12/22/15: FIFA’s Sepp Blatter suspended from all soccer-related activities for eight years; NBC’s Sunday Night Football wins prime time; Pro Bull Riders plan “brutally honest” special Sunday


Good morning. It’s Tuesday December 22, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The world of FIFA and its corporate sponsors took another rough hit as longtime president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michael Platini were barred from the sport for eight years by the FIFA Ethics Committee on Monday in Zurich, Switzerland.

The ruling prevents the duo from taking part in any soccer-related activities for the next eight years, according to the New York Times.

Wearing a bandage across his face, 79-year old Blatter vowed to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. During a one-hour news conference, Blatter blamed a U.S. federal investigation for his eight-year sentence. If FIFA had awarded the 2022 World Cup to the U.S., Blatter claimed, he would not be in trouble.

FIFA sponsors Visa, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch InBev have called for Blatter’s resignation.


NBC Sports’ telecast of the Arizona Cardinals’ 40-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles won Sunday Night primetime with an 11.7 overnight TV rating. The game popped a 30.7 overnight in the Phoenix market  and 30.4 in Philadelphia.

ESPN’s 27th season of Sunday Night Baseball will start with a World Series rematch between the champion Kansas City Royals and National League champion New York Mets on Sunday April 3 (8:30 p.m. ET). Sunday night baseball viewers will see plenty of David Ortiz as he completes his final MLB season. The Boston Red Sox and Ortiz will make four early appearances in the prime time window.

The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will take viewers behind the scenes of the bull riding circuit with a “brutally honest” one-hour special, PBR Danger on the Dirt, on Sunday, Dec. 27 on CBS (either at 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. depending on local market). The special tells the story of PBR stars such as JB “Six million man” Maundy, Jesse Byrne and Bonner Bolton through the lens of the 2015 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas. PBR is owned by WME | IMG. Premiering after NFL game coverage, the TV special was the brainchild of new PBR CEO Scott Gleason.

FOX Sports Southeast will televise a five-game package of men’s college basketball games from the Southern Conference this season. The package tips off with the telecast of Mercer vs. Samford on Jan. 2 (2 p.m. ET). All games will also be available on the Fox GO app.

Univision Deportes’ second annual Premios Univision Deportes (Univision Sports Awards) attracted 3.2 million total viewers, a 95% jump from the previous year and up 29% among adults 18-49.


Did you know that budgets for programmatic TV buying are expected to surge to a whopping $10 billion* by 2019?

With dollars steadily shifting to audience-based ad buying and technology ramping up, you can’t afford not to get up to speed on this fast-changing ecosystem. By joining Cynopsis on Thursday, January 28, for the webinar, Programmatic TV 2016: The Keys to Mining Data and Measurement, your team will get the tools they need to understand the opportunities and challenges of unprecedented behavioral targeting.
*Source: Magna Global


Nickelodeon is tapping into millennial consumers’ nostalgia for the 1990s together with several NBA and MLB teams. The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks will offer fan activities related to some of Nickelodeon’s most famous 90’s shows during their home game against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 9 (think: meet and greets with Rugrats’ Chuckie). Nickelodeon will offer similar 90’s-themed promotions at Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks games this season. “A significant part of our fan base, millennials, grew up in the ‘90s on Nickelodeon and have great memories of shows like Salute Your Shorts and Hey Arnold!,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. “Now those fans have their own kids that they bring to the games.”

Snoop Dogg is getting his own sports talk show, according to Adweek. Adidas has launched an eight-episode web series called Turf’d Up where Snoop will interview ex-pro athletes and celebrities. Developed for Adidas by Cashmere Agency, guests will include Terrell Owens, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, ESPN’s Antonio Pierce and ex-NBA star John Salley. The show will post to Snoop Dogg’s YouTube channel, WestFest TV, which has more than 1 million subscribers.

Sponsorship has its privileges. INDYCAR has unveiled a new Verizon IndyCare Series logo to reflect Verizon’s title sponsorship. “The new design is clean and highlights the Verizon checkmark  the universal sign of getting things done,” said CJ O’Donnell, CMO of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports Digital announced an extension of their alliance. NBC will add Golf Channel and Premier League content and TV highlights to the partnership. Golf Channel will play a big role in Yahoo’s pro golf coverage. Yahoo users will also get NBC Sports Regional Network team reports. Separately, NBC Sports Digital said it’s wrapping up a big year that includes a record 5 billion page views and 14 million app downloads.


Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Stephen Cannon has been named CEO of AMB Group, parent company of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer and developer of the Falcons’ new Mercedes-Benz Stadium scheduled to open in 2017. Cannon will take over as of Feb. 1, 2016.


Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Temple vs. Toledo on ESPN (7 p.m. ET)


Don’t miss your opportunity to learn from our experts on these highly rated webinars. Register for access to the discussions + speaker presentations!
How to Train and Retain the Next Generation of Employees
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ON THIS DAY in 2003: New York Knicks hire Isiah Thomas as President of Basketball Operations.

In The Know: Speaking of Thomas, how many points did he score in a single quarter of the 1988 NBA Finals that set a new league record? (Email mmccarthyrev@gmail.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What actor played Vince Lombardi’s “ghost” in a Nike ad campaign? Answer: Jerry Stiller of Seinfeld fame played the “ghost” of the legendary Green Bay Packers coach in Nike commercials. Kudos: Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina, Minn.; Tim Overmyer-20th Network/Atlanta; Willie Price-American Forces Network/Riverside, CA; John Raven-Amgen/LA; Richard Levine-Media General/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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