01/07/19: NFL resolves a taxing opportunity with new playoff partnership

Good morning. It’s Monday January 7, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Darts are the latest niche sport to deliver big streaming numbers. BBC America just completed coverage of the William Hill World Darts Championship from London, and delivered 2.6 million live streams across BBCA.com / Facebook / YouTube when the competition concluded January 1. BBCA pilled in a variety of brands for the broadcast coverage as well, including Geico, TD Ameritrade and Mountain Dew. BBCA Executive Director Courtney Thomasma explained how and why the network hit a rare sports bullseye.
On Why Darts: Darts brings together everything we love about sports – competition, drama, suspense, excitement and passionate fans. It is second only to “football” [soccer] as a televised sport in UK – so it makes perfect sense to have BBC America as its new and growing home in the U.S.
On The Biggest Surprise In The Numbers: The passion of the fans, both old and new. It only takes a single viewing to witness the electricity of the crowds at the live events. And the social conversation among those discovering the sport on BBC America has been equally enthusiastic. It’s really fun to watch people having fun!
On Streaming: Both Premier League Darts and the World Darts Championship drew millions of views on our digital platforms and saw significant growth over the course of the season – which really speaks to the compelling nature of the content and the growing interest for the sport in this market. And we believe there’s still huge potential for further growth as we continue to build awareness and expand our platforms – an exciting space to watch!
On Brand Engagement: We have seen a lot of advertiser interest in this property because it delivers a discerning, hard-to-reach male demo within a highly-engaging environment, which enables advertiser messages to stand out. Plus, darts delivers on the holy grail of sports – it’s consumed live!
ESPN led full-time cable television networks among the key male demographic groups for the 22nd consecutive quarter and the 13th straight year (since 2006). Among cable sports networks, ESPN2 was second among Men 18-34 and 18-49 to ESPN as it has been each and every year since its 1993 debut. Overall in 2018, ESPN aired cable’s nine most-viewed shows and 18 of the top 20 (15 minutes or longer, January 1 – December 30). On 60 occasions in 2018, ESPN or sports programming on ABC provided advertisers the biggest audience of the night among Adults 18-49 across television. That number was the most of any network group. Among Men 18-49, the number was 83, also the most in the industry by a wide margin.
ESPN has also taken over the Bay Area for the College Football National Championship Presented by AT&T. Studio will continue right up until kick-off on Monday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. ET, bringing fans more than 30 hours of content across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and SEC Network. ESPN will be live from multiple locations including The Quad at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, the San Jose Convention Center, the SAP Center and ESPN’s fan activation billboard – all in San Jose, Calif., and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
NBC Sports Philadelphia debuted a new sports betting show – The Daily Line, Saturday at 5 p.m. Hosted by Marc Farzetta, and featuring local sports betting expert Brad Feinberg and 97.5 The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano, The Daily Line will offer sports betting-related information and analysis. The Daily Line program will air each Saturday at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia throughout the remainder of the NFL season.
For the 8th year in a row, we’ll celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms, we’ve expanded our categories and are looking forward to spotlighting this incredible industry.

The National Football League and Intuit Inc announced Friday that as part of their multi-year official sponsor partnership, Intuit TurboTax Live will serve as the first-ever presenting sponsor of both the AFC and NFC Championship Games. As a part of the sponsorship, TurboTax Live branding will be featured during the 2019 AFC and NFC Championship Games as well as within ancillary programming and content across league broadcast and digital media platforms. “We’re proud to have Intuit as the NFL’s first-ever presenting sponsor for both AFC and NFC Championship games,” said Renie Anderson, NFL Senior Vice President, NFL Partnerships, Sponsorship and Consumer Products. “Intuit has a longstanding reputation as a leader in the financial and accounting software industry that NFL fans recognize and trust this time of year.” Beyond the presenting sponsorship of both 2019 AFC and NFC Championship games, Intuit also becomes the NFL’s official sponsor for financial and accounting software, as well as tax preparation services.  
Panini America has signed an exclusive, multiyear trading card license with Notre Dame. The new deal gives Panini the rights to produce trading cards featuring former ND football, basketball and baseball players, as well as former athletes from other sports.
The NLL Saskatchewan Rush named TD as their Official Bank, while the NLL New England Blackwolves added Tom’s Urban, Dunkin Donuts and New Belgium Brewing to their growing list of corporate partners.
NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing added Bass Pro Shops as sponsor for 24 races in the ’19 Monster Energy Cup Series season.
Callaway Golf has completed its previously announced acquisition of European activewear brand Jack Wolfskin for approximately US$476M. Jack Wolfskin will continue to operate out of its HQ in Idstein, Germany.
The PGA TOUR, its tournaments announced that they generated $190 million in charitable impact in 2018. That record amount brings TOUR’s all-time total to nearly $3 billion.
Content related to the ’19 IIHF World Junior Championships shared across NHL Network’s social platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has generated more than 4.4 million impressions and more than 750,000 video views since the tournament began Dec. 26. That is up 2% and 11%, respectively, through the same time period in last year’s tournament, according to the network. The network has partnered with Comcast, Cox, RCN and Altice in New York to offer a free preview of the channel through Monday.
Dallas-based esports organization Team Envy has raised $20 million (£15.7 million) from unnamed investors.
Facebook promoted Dan Reed to vice president of global sports and media partnerships. The company also named Peter Hutton director, global sports partnerships & programming and Brandon Gayle director, global sports partnerships & solutions.
The National Football League has named Jon Schwartz Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. Schwartz joins the NFL from NASCAR, where he most recently served as Managing Director of Integrated Marketing Communications.
The College Football Championship between Alabama and Clemson kicks off at 8:00 on the ESPN networks.
Wednesday, FEB. 6th | NYC
In addition to our talented TV Awards finalists and Rising Star honorees, we’re proud to announce that one of the insurance industry’s most distinguished executives, Henry Schleiff, Group President of Discovery, will be receiving the prestigious Luminary Award. Don’t miss this gathering of television’s best and brightest!

ON THIS DAY in 1927: the Harlem Globetrotters play their 1st game in Hinckley, Illinois
In the Know: Nick Saban goes for his seventh national championship as a head coach tonight with Alabama. Where did he get his first head coaching job?
(Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: We have the College Football Championship game upon us Monday. Who won the first official championship, in 1999? Answer: Tennessee Kudos to: Tim Curry, Klein Curry PR, Tom Moore, Kalt Productions, Kevin Micklo, Pinnacle advertising Chicago, Bob Dudelson, Leverage Agency, Denis Barry CBS, Synda Kollman, David Westberg SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union, and Andy Babb Super League Gaming
Later — Chris
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DIR AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS/NBCUniversal/NY: seeking someone to build and engage audiences across digital, emerging and TV platforms. Work with leaders in research, mktg, edit, engineering, sales and bus dev to implement a strat to retain/monetize audiences. 5 yrs exp in digital audience dev/mktg, BA/BS degree, some travel. Full info/apply HERE (1/11)

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MGR, BENEFITS/A+E/NY: Mng the admin of co-wide Health & Welfare and Retirement plans/programs. Lead contact w/insurance brokers & benefit providers. Point person for employee/vendor questions. 6+ yrs of HR Benefits mgmt exp. Strong tech aptitude w/advanced Excel skills. Workday exp preferable. Apply HERE (1/10)

CLIENT SOLUTIONS COORDINATOR/Telepictures Productions Inc. – WB/CA: Seeking a Client Solutions Coordinator for the TPX Ad Sales department. Responsible for assisting in the dev of cross platform mktg campaigns that generate advertising revenue for TMZ, TMZ Sports and toofab.com. 3+ years in account/project management, marketing or ad sales. Full info/apply HERE (1/10)
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SR BROADCAST DESIGNER/NESN/Boston: Pa ssionate/motivated self-starter, creative thinker w/ability to multi-task effectively & prioritize accordingly. Demonstrates proficiency in Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Mac Computers & Broadcast prod. Min 5 yrs exp brdcst design. Full info/apply HERE (1/9)
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