Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Monday, February 3, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Phew! After a night that saw a blowout by the Seahawks and a blackout by Time Warner Cable (after the game went offline in the LA area for about an hour), let’s open it up with marketing. Although we will have in-depth metrics tomorrow on some of the branding winners and losers from the game, here are a few to wet your whistle, according to Front Row Marketing’s analytics…

  • Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” spot generated 34 million views before the game, valued at $9.8 million.
  • That Pepsi logo in the corner of the screen during the Halftime show, delivered $6.53 million for the brand.
  • Even the coin toss generated a hit, with Verizon (featured in the background on the LED ring) receiving $2.1 million in brand value.
  • SAP nabbed $933k in value for its appearance in the stadium as the Broncos were coming out to the field.
  • MetLife drew a sweet $32.4 million in exposure as a result of its naming rights on the stadium

With the Super Bowl a memory, it’s already time to look ahead at the future of the sport. National Signing Day is upon us, an event that’s become a holiday in its own right. This year, ESPNU is set to offer its ninth consecutive year of live coverage from around the country with an 11-hour marathon starting at 8a on Wednesday. Thirteen on-air player commitments are slated, with 12 reporters embedded on campuses around the country. Coverage originates from Charlotte with Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah hosting.

Cynopsis Sports asked Dan Margulis, Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions at ESPNU, about the increased coverage National Signing Day has received and how ESPNU’s plans have evolved.

Margulis on college athletics: We continue to focus on serving the college sports fan by providing extensive coverage of not only college football and college basketball, but also sports like volleyball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and softball among others. We have the freedom to take risks in our event coverage and in the many hours of studio support which allow us to go deeper than other more traditional sport networks. Even when we do not have the marquee games or championships airing on ESPNU, we surround the events with studio and relevant programming forming a “halo” around them. We are evolving while remaining an authentic destination.

On National Signing Day: When we launched ESPNU nine years ago, we quickly identified National Signing Day as a potential differentiator for the network. Recruiting has an immense following particularly on-line, and ESPNU gave us the opportunity to expand our bandwidth and further serve the college football audience. Initially, the two hour program mainly focused on student athlete announcements.

This year, ESPNU National Signing Day Special on ESPNU and available on WatchESPN will be 11 hours with 13 player announcements, and reporters at 12 colleges and universities. Additional coverage includes in-depth on-line analysis on ESPN.com and RecruitingNation.com, three half-hour shows on ESPN3, and a concentrated, broad-reaching social media presence. We will be utilizing not only ESPNU talent staples Dari Nowkhah, Mike Bellotti, and Tom Luginbill, but also college football host Rece Davis, analysts Danny Kanell, David Pollack and Robert Smith and recruiting analysts Craig Haubert and Gerry Hamilton. We utilize election style coverage with a constant draft style ticker/bottom-line tracking schools, positions, and student-athletes’ decisions. We focus on the schools as much as we do the recruits. National Signing Day is the start of the next college football season hence tag line – “The 2014 College Football Season Starts Now.”

On changes: We have expanded College Football Live to an hour on ESPN2 the day before and the day after Signing Day for additional analysis. As previously mentioned, Recruiting Nation will also be producing three 30-minute Signing Day Live shows exclusively on ESPN3 at 10am, 2pm, and 6pm. This was also our first year producing a half hour Signing Day Featured program which has strung together our best features on the top recruits in the country. On ESPNU, we will have more virtual graphics and tools dedicated to the special and access, including interviews with over 25 college head coaches. We will focus more on team needs to put the importance of the recruiting class even more into perspective.

On social media: Social media continues to play a huge role during National Signing Day. We will be featuring tweets using our hashtag (#SigningDay) throughout the day, as well as pushing out unique content from our twitter and facebook pages. Player announcements will be shared via @ESPNCFB. The@ESPNU handle will provide highlight packages for a number of top recruits once they sign. Also,@RecruitingESPN will offer player commitment predictions and updated school rankings throughout the day.


Meanwhile, a new report from IEG,LLC reports that estimated sponsorship revenue for the NFL and its 32 teams hit $1.07 billion this past season, up a hefty 5.7% year to year. Revenue growth was stemmed in part by a league’s reported $400 million deal with Microsoft. Insurance ranked as the most active category sponsoring the league and teams, with “quick service restaurants, autos, telecommunications, hospitals and beer sharing second place.” Gatorade, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Ticketmaster came in as the three most active sponsors. According to the report, the Cowboys, Patriots, Texans, Giants, Redskins, Jets, Eagles, 49ers and Colts ranked at the top in team sponsorship revenue.


A new era has officially begun at the NBA with Adam Silver now the league’s fifth commissioner. The NBA kicked off his service by Tweeting a picture on Saturday of Silver holding a basketball and shaking hands with the departing David Stern, who stepped down 30 years to the day after taking the helm. Silver joined the NBA as Stern’s assistant in 1992 and had served as deputy commissioner since 2006.

Well, no deal was announced for the Thursday Night package last week, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did address reports on a potential new playoff format, destined to make some programming execs very happy. After noting that there are benefits to increasing the postseason from 12 to 14 teams, Goodell said, “We think we can make the league more competitive. We think we can make the matchups more competitive toward the end of the season. There will be more excitement, more memorable moments for our fans and that’s something that attracts us. We think we can do it properly from a competitive standpoint. So this will continue to get very serious consideration by the competition committee.”

Meanwhile, this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees once again bring a bevy of media experience to the table. The 2014 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame includes FOX Sports’ and daytime host Michael Strahan, SiriusXM talent Andre Reed and Derrick Brooks, as well as tackle Walter Jones, cornerback Aeneas Williams, punter Ray Guy and defensive end Claude Humphrey. “On behalf of all his friends and colleagues at FOX Sports, I congratulate Michael Strahan on becoming the NFL on FOX’s newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said FOX Sports President, COO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. “It’s an honor that is richly deserved, and we have no doubt that next year our own John Lynch will join Michael, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman and Howie Long in Canton.”

Over on FOX, NFL Honors reportedly generated a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating for the network on Saturday evening, according to Nielsen overnight numbers, to hold even with last year’s special.

Wednesday’s matchup on UniMas between Mexico and South Korea delivered an average of 3.2 million Total Viewers and 2.0 million Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. That is good enough to rank as the most-viewed friendly on channel history and is up 62% from the 2013 average for the Mexico team.

The CBS team has its plans in place for National Signing Day on Wed., with CBS Sports Network serving up four-and-a-half hours of live programming featuring recruiting expert Tom Lemming and analysts Brian Jones and Houston Nutt beginning with CBS Sports National Signing Day presented by American Family Insurance at 10a. Meanwhile,  CBSSports.com, 247Sports, and MaxPreps.com will join forces to deliver their most comprehensive and ambitious coverage ever of college football’s new recruits, including a full-day streaming show, National Signing Day Live from 9a-5p, hosted by Adam Aizer. In addition, the 130+ official athletic sites produced by CBS Interactive Advanced Media will offer live streaming coach press conferences and school press releases.

NBA TV announced that tomorrow’s NBA Fan Night presented by Sprint will feature the Bulls visiting the Suns at 9p. As always, NBA Fan Night host Ernie Johnson and analysts Chris Webber and Greg Anthony will be there during the AutoTrader.com Pregame Show starting at 8:30p.


CYNOPSIS KIDS !magination Award

From the most outstanding achievements in content creation, marketing & promotion,Cynopsis: Kids !magination Awards honor the best in kids international programming and marketing. This unique awards program from the industry’s most trusted brand, Cynopsis Media, raises the bar on what’s good on and about TV.

Entry Deadline: March 14, 2014  |Late Submissions: March 21, 2014
Awards Event: June 11 2014 (NYC)

Learn about the Awards Program & Enter.


ESPN3 offers live coverage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Draw today beginning at 1p, which sets up the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, spanning Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will combine to carry every game throughout the marquee tournament.

After hitting the Super Bowl, LiveU announced the Sochi is next on the agenda. The company announced that its video-over-cellular technology will be used by global broadcasters during the games, with more than 50 units on the ground. US outlets NBC, CNN and the Wall Street Journal will be utilizing the portable solutions in Russia.


Manchester City/Chelsea at 3p on NBCSN.


The Cynopsis Media Boot Camp
One-Day Immersion In Ratings Analysis, Web/Social Analytics + Multi-platform Buying
February 11, 2014 | Yale Club NYC | Early Bird Ends – Jan. 27

Peter Katsingris, VP, Industry Insights, Nielsen
Thomas Ziangas, SVP, Research, AMC Networks
Audrey Siegel, President & Co-Founder, TargetCast tcm
Ron Geraci, EVP, Research & Planning, Nickelodeon Group

Click Here for Agenda & Pricing.

ON THIS DAY in 2002: The New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl.

In The Know: Who is nicknamed Mr. Big Shot in the NBA? (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: What was the last Super Bowl team to make a first-ever franchise appearance in the big game? Answer: The New Orleans Saints. Kudos: Marc Wollis-NBC Sports Group/NY; Chris Delapaz-The Weather Channel/NY; Eric Newman-Bleacher Report/NY; Josh Lappin-MLB Network/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Steve McNair-KUBE 57/Houston; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Larry Hutchings/Pacific Palisades; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego.



THURSDAY | APRIL 17, 2014 | 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.


**Finalists announced soon**

INFORMATION: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/sports-awards/.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

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