01/10/22: ESPN revealed partnership plans for tonight’s College Football Championship

 

Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday January 10, 2022

With the College Football Playoff National Championship Game kicking off tonight, ESPN reports that Disney Advertising Sales locked in 11 sponsors to be part of the festivities, which will include “on-site activations, unique feature integrations and ESPN talent appearances.” AT&T returns as the presenting sponsor of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game of course, while Mercedes-EQ will serve as the halftime entitlement sponsor. AT&T 5G will sponsor the pregame showcase while Ram Trucks will sponsor the postgame showcase. Additional feature sponsors include Allstate, Capital One, Disney Movie: Bob’s Burgers, Dr Pepper, Gatorade, Siri and Taco Bell.

PROGRAMMING

Thanks to a new partnership in play, the LPGA is getting a boost courtesy of a long-term deal between the USGA and ProMedica that includes presenting partner rights for the U.S. Women’s Open, and will lift the championship purse to $10 million. In addition, the event is adding new host sites and increased charitable support. In addition to the U.S. Women’s Open presenting sponsorship, as part of the long-term relationship, ProMedica becomes the official health and well-being partner of the USGA. Additional U.S. Women’s Open host sites will include: The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (2026); Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio (2027); Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. (2029); Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn. (2030); and Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (2031 and 2042).

Big changes are on the way for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball as it begins the first year of a long-term MLB rights extension. Coming in will be David Cone as analyst to team up with Karl Ravech, who becomes just the fourth-ever Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice, as well as veteran analyst, player and coach Eduardo Perez, to form the new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth. Meanwhile, the company is also launching Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod – a special viewing presentation to air on ESPN2 alongside the traditional ESPN game telecast for eight Sunday Night Baseball games. The presentations will feature Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay. Rodriguez and Kay will also serve as ESPN’s main broadcast team for two exclusive ESPN MLB regular-season games.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is reportedly on the verge of locking in deals to carry National Basketball Association games on its new streaming service, in addition to landing $600 million of financing to back the platform’s launch later this year, according to Bloomberg. The NBA deal will give Diamond regional digital rights to the basketball league in addition to the broadcast rights that the company already owns, according to one person.

The doors are open! Nominations for the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are now being taken for their year’s ceremony, taking place on April 19, live (hopefully) in NYC. New categories are seeking champions! Have a gander by clicking here.

ESPN revealed a hefty lineup of studio programming for tonight’s College Football National Championship Game anchored by College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, featuring host Rece Davis alongside analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Lee Corso. The GameDay crew will be joined as usual by reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski, as well as ESPN commentators Matt Barrie, Joe Tessitore, Robert Griffin III, Jesse Palmer, Greg McElroy and Joey Galloway. Davis will lead ESPN’s pre-game studio coverage today with four hours of Championship Drive Presented by Capital One and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, as well as hosting halftime of Monday’s championship game alongside Howard and Pollack. Barrie will co-host SportsCenter from the Circle City Monday at noon, with several ESPN personalities joining the show.

SPORTS MEDIA AWARDS: ENTRY CATEGORIES RELEASED NEXT WEEK

 

Stay tuned as Sports Media Awards, celebrating its 10th anniversary, releases this year’s award categories on Monday, January 10th.

 

VIEW LAST YEARS WINNERS

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

 

Speaking of which, ESPN is cooking up a new marketing innovation for fans, dishing out Postseasoning. The custom spice blend was made for fans “who are looking to pair the intensity of postseason football with intense flavor in their tailgating or pregame cooking.” While the bottles are not for sale, over 10,000 bottles of Postseasoning will be given out at postseason games throughout the rest of the football calendar year. Fans in Indianapolis ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship will be able to pick up a bottle of Postseasoning at ESPN’s Playoff Fan Central located at the Downtown Indianapolis Convention Center. “Serving fans is what drives us, and Postseasoning is an unexpected, but truthful way to tap into our mission,” said Curtis Friends, Senior Director, Sports Marketing, ESPN. “The football postseason is when everything is elevated, so it made sense for ESPN to help people elevate their fandom in one of its most powerful expressions: food.”

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. inked a multi-year marketing sponsorship renewal with Anheuser-Busch. The sponsorship provides Anheuser-Busch with exclusive, premier experiences and activations across MSG Sports’ and MSG Entertainment’s unrivaled set of assets, including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and MSG Networks. As part of this renewal, Anheuser-Busch will partner with MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment on several unique fan-first platforms including the new “Michelob ULTRA Courtside” experience, presented by Michelob ULTRA, which launches later this month and will provide fans the opportunity to win Knicks tickets and watch the game from an exclusive location inside The Garden. In addition, Anheuser-Busch will become the Presenting Partner of the historic Blue Seats Section on the 9th floor of Madison Square Garden. Anheuser-Busch will also work together with MSG Sports’ esports organizations CLG and Knicks Gaming on their livestream programming on Twitch.

Onward Reserve announced their partnership with PGA Professional Golfer, Harris English. Onward Reserve Founder & CEO TJ Callaway noted “Harris and I both grew up playing golf at Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville, GA. He is a little better than me at it, but we both love the game. We also both attended the University of Georgia in Athens, where Onward Reserve was born. It was important to have someone like Harris, who enjoys all aspects of the Onward Reserve lifestyle carry the torch into golf.”

The Premier Hockey Federation unveiled the logo for the 2022 PHF All-Star Showcase and three team jersey designs to be worn when the Federation’s top talents converge in Toronto on Jan. 29. The logo was designed by HEARTLENT Group and “inspired by both the city of Toronto and the theme of ‘Breaking Boundaries’” “Every day the Premier Hockey Federation and our athletes are taking bold steps to push the game forward and breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “The boldness of the logo aligns with our vision to uniquely transform the PHF, and the unconventional color schemes set us apart from tradition. I can’t wait to see our athletes showcase their talent and skill by competing in a new All-Star format with these phenomenal new designs.”

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

InMotion Systems and Major League Baseball entered into a licensing agreement that permits HitTrax to incorporate MLB assets and trademarks directly into their platform. The new MLB package will be on full display within the HitTrax Gaming Module., which animates the on-field players and displays the corresponding outcome (ball or strike, seeing-eye single or double play) as the action happens.

International Game Technology signed a multi-year exclusive licensing agreement with WWE to develop and distribute WWE-branded omnichannel lottery games and turnkey promotional programs. “IGT is the clear industry leader in the lottery and gaming space, and we look forward to collaborating by bringing our intellectual property to our fans and lottery games around the globe,” said Alex Varga, WWE Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Development. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to continue to leverage the strong crossover between the WWE Universe and another segment of the gaming landscape.”

ESPORTS

ESL Gaming revealed the full tournament schedule for its ESL Pro Tour in StarCraft II, spanning from May 2022 to February 2023. The circuit features three core ESL competitions: DreamHack SC2 Masters in Valencia, DreamHack SC2 Masters in Atlanta, and culminating at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 where the official World Champion will be crowned. Current plans will see the return of fans at the DreamHack festivals, with a mix of online and LAN tournaments across the schedule. There will be prize pool of over $1.3M up for grabs across the whole tour, while also features the introduction of partner tournaments that will see ESL Gaming working closely with TakeTV and Team Liquid as their tournaments – Home Story Cup 21, TSL 9, and Home Story Cup 22 – now join the ESL Pro Tour.

Riot Games laid out the roadmap for the first official Wild Rift Esports season, which will see the creation of eight new regional leagues as well as the game’s first official global tournament, set to take place in the summer of 2022 in Europe and pit 24 teams from around the world. Regions will include: Wild Rift Champions Korea, Wild Rift League China, Wild Rift Champions SEA, the Wild Rift Cup Japan, Wild Rift Championship EMEA, the Wild Rift North America Series, Wild Rift Latinoamerica Open and Wild Tour Brasil.

G2 Esports is getting into new waters, announcing plans to get into the music industry through a record label and unveiling its debut single, titled ‘Our Way’. The expansion makes G2 the first esports org to launch its own record label.

Panda Global locked in a new partnership with electronics retailer Adorama that will have the duo extend their partnership to continue hosting charity esports cups and broaden its cooperation with events and digital content while Adorama will become the official retail electronics partner for the esports organization.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Major League Soccer’s board of governors unanimously approved the sale of Real Salt Lake to David Blitzer and Ryan Smith’s Smith Entertainment Group.

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ON THIS DAY in
1985: Lenny Wilkens becomes the first person to coach 1,000 NBA games.

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