01/31/20: Intel’s Jonas breaks down the company’s partnership with the league



Friday, January 31, 2020

As we hit Super Bowl weekend, Cynopsis caught up with Jeff Jonas, Managing Director, Global Business Development at Intel Sports to talk about the brand’s partnership with the league, how NFL Labs and Intel Sports have been working together to understand the needs of the league and fans for the last three seasons, and the lessons learned along the way.

Jonas on the NFL/Intel partnership: As an official technology provider for the NFL, Intel and the NFL have worked together for three years to deliver immersive media experiences through Intel True View. Currently, True View delivers immersive media experiences to allow NFL broadcasters and fans to experience the game in new ways through 360-degree replay. As we extend our technology partnership, we’re testing the next generation of immersive media experiences with volumetric video. Our goal with all partners is to deliver the tech innovations they need to better engage and enhance the game day experience -whether that’s with the league, direct to fans or through the broadcasters.

On lessons learned: Through working with the NFL, we’ve learned that it is critical to stay true to the sport and its fans and that we must always be thinking about how our technology can enhance the story being told on the field. Each sport is unique, every fan is unique. Technology should enhance the experience and not detract. By partnering with the NFL, our production teams have learned how to tell the story of football and capture the moments that matter to fans. We’ve also continued to test and deliver new experiences, including ‘Be the Player’ features, more points of view from the field and higher quality content while also exploring new experiences like volumetric video. It’s all about testing and breaking new ideas constantly to see what the next big innovation is.
Lastly, we’ve found that technology is only as good as the story it can tell or the experience it can create. As such, Intel has worked very hard partnering with the NFL to understand production and storytelling associated with sports to help bring our technology to life.

On future opportunities: Intel’s belief is that digital transformation is happening across a variety of industries and being a company that has assets from the edge to the cloud, we have an opportunity to create value as a technology partner. Innovation in technology will play an unprecedented role in not only transforming people’s experiences to where fans will soon have the ability to consume all types of media without limitations or restrictions, but also meeting the fan’s desires. With smart and connected tools, Intel is uniquely positioned to enable the sports industry to capture, analyze and respond to new levels of insight in real time and create amazing new experiences for fans, teams, broadcasters and leagues. As the technology continues to grow and progress, Intel is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of creating amazing new experiences for fans, teams, broadcasters and leagues.

On how Intel has evolved production of NFL games: To date, Intel True View 360-degree replays are regularly featured as a part of NFL broadcasts across networks, bringing the value of immersive media experiences to fans and broadcasters. By essentially creating virtual cameras to have the freedom to choose the perspective they would like to see, we enable fans, broadcasters and teams to see plays from angles where traditional cameras typically can’t go, like inside a helmet, enabling our partners to tell a more complete story.


The NBA unveiled a new format for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game that will include a new fourth-quarter format that will pay tribute to the Late Kobe Bryant. In the 69th NBA All-Star Game, Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set, determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points.The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game. As part of NBA All-Star 2020, more than $1 million will be contributed to Chicago community non-profit organizations through NBA Cares outreach efforts. These efforts will culminate during the NBA All-Star Game when each team will play for a Chicago-based charity beneficiary, as selected by team captains Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

ESPN and Brigham Young University reached a new rights agreement locking in media rights to all Cougars home football games on ESPN’s networks through the 2026 college football season. The seven-year agreement, which begins with the 2020 season, includes an additional arrangement between BYU and ESPN Events, positioning the Cougars to appear in an ESPN owned and operated bowl game following the 2020, 2022, and 2024 regular seasons.

NBC Sports delivers live coverage of the 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony tonight at 8p on NBCSN. The two-hour special will celebrate the 11th annual NASCAR Hall of Fame class, featuring Tony Stewart, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Buddy Baker, and Waddell Wilson. In addition, longtime pit reporter and magazine editor Dick Berggren will receive the 2020 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. NBC Sports Group’s Krista Voda and Rick Allen will co-host Friday’s ceremony from the Crown Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center.

ESPN detailed plans to offer more than 450 regular season college lacrosse games across ESPNU, ACC Network (ACCN), ESPN3, ACCNX and ESPN+ this season. ESPNU and ACCN are on deck to televise 53 matchups, with more than 400 available on ESPN3, ACCNX and ESPN+ via the ESPN App. Anish Shroff, in his third season, will serve as the lead play-by-play commentator for men’s lacrosse coverage on ESPN networks. Jay Alter, Jason Benetti, Chris Carlin, Booker Corrigan, Mike Corey and Chris Cotter will also handle play-by-play duties throughout the season. Play by play commentators for women’s coverage includes John Brickley, Mike Corey and Leah Secondo.

Former Notre Dame WR Corey Robinson joined NBC Sports Group as a reporter and digital correspondent, beginning with NBC Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LIV this week in Miami. Robinson will contribute to coverage to a wide variety of properties across the NBC Sports portfolio on linear, digital and social platforms.

FOX Sports will see Keith Thurman and Anthony Dirrell join blow-by-blow announcer Ray Flores to call FS1 PBC Fight Night: Yordenis Ugas vs. Mike Dallas Jr. on Saturday at 8p. In addition, Jordan Plant serves as reporter, while Marcos Villegas works as the Unofficial Scorer and Felix DeJesus is the translator. The same crew works the FS1 PBC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS. On FOX Deportes, Jaime Motta and Alejandro Luna call the fights in Spanish.

ESPN saw upticks for the new year in January with audience gains in total day and prime time, largely due to the College Football National Championship, the Rose Bowl Game and continued growth of franchise studio shows. In total day, ESPN was up 3% among total viewers and up 10% in primetime. The 11p edition of SportsCenter was up 28% in January (874,000 vs. 683,000); Get Up increased 10% (412,000 vs. 374,000), while First Take was up 7% in January (491,000 vs. 460,000).

Tony Stewart awarded streaming rights of the iconic Eldora Speedway and the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 to FloSports. The multiyear partnership brings more than 60 nights of racing action to the FloRacing platform. FloRacing will be the exclusive worldwide provider for the 26th Dirt Late Model Dream (June 4-6) and the 50th World 100 (Sept. 10-12), among other races on Eldora’s robust racing docket.

GF Sports, a live events and sports media entertainment company, and The American Kennel Club announced a joint venture to take AKC Meet the Breeds on tour beginning this year. With this new agreement, three additional new cities beyond New York will host the two-day event. Showcases have already been booked in Philadelphia on June 6-7 at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and Nashville on September 26 – 27 at Music City Center.

As the top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes wrestle No. 2 Penn State tonight on BTN, the network reports that with a 40% increase in B1G wrestling coverage and seven of the top 10 teams in the country, wrestling ratings have spiked on the channel in the 2019-20 season. Through 11 duals, the average audience has increased of 55% per telecast from the 2018-19 season.

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Sunday is the Big Game. Advertisers are spending an average of $5M for every 30 second spot. Here’s how the Advertisers currently rank in terms of Mindshare with the football audience of more than 50 million fans before the Big Game with 50 million fans of the NFL and all of the teams. Who will have the best commercial? Who will motivate fans to act on social media? Who will be the Mindshare king of the Football audience after the commercials air? Stay tuned for our postgame infographic.


The Indianapolis Colts tied up a deal with Allegiant Air as the team’s official airline. The upper terrace level of the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium will be named Allegiant Terrace Level, with gameday engagement activities also planned. In addition, Allegiant will undertake activations at the pre-game Touchdown Town venue and Indianapolis International Airport.

Microsoft Surface (the official laptop of the NFL), NFL Official Sarah Thomas and ESPN Anchor Sage Steele are playing host and surprising 35 young girls from two local South Florida schools today at the Microsoft Store in Aventura, Fla. To help continue uncover inspiring stories, students will write letters to themselves about their future goals and as they are writing, the students will be surprised and then use code to make robots recite pieces from their letters.


Major League Soccer and US Soccer revealed an exclusive official data deal with Stats Perform. Stats Perform will leverage its combination of the most trusted and granular sports data and advanced AI capabilities to create fan, spectator and bettor experiences for men’s and women’s soccer competitions in the United States through Stats Perform’s RunningBall, Opta and Integrity services. The agreement grants Stats Perform the right to exclusively collect, analyze and distribute official ultrafast data and player data to global broadcast, media, betting and professional teams for all MLS, U.S. Open Cup and Men’s and Women’s National Team matches. For the first time, MLS and U.S. Soccer will also offer an official ultrafast data feed optimized for sports betting operators from all MLS, and select U.S. National Team and U.S. Open Cup matches.

The NFL announced a new visual album, Super Bowl LIV Live. The initiative will release on Super Bowl Sunday, the album will feature each performance at Super Bowl LIV, including the National Anthem (Demi Lovato), America the Beautiful (Yolanda Adams accompanied by The Children’s Voice Chorus) and the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show (Jennifer Lopez and Shakira). Each performance will go live shortly after it happens on digital service providers, such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube.

Hooters activated KonekTV, the sports information screen, at all locations throughout Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for sports betting fans. Fans can place their bets with BetRivers.com Sportsbook via phone in real-time while watching any game. The KonekTV screens display key game statistics, analytics and odds to inform new sports bettors and appeal to experienced bettors. BetRivers odds are displayed on the screens, alongside exclusive promotions for Hooters guests. “We love enhancing the guest experience in any way we can from best-in-class food and service to top-notch entertainment. Partnering with KonekTV allows us to bring a whole new world of opportunities to our guests and creates another reason as to why Hooters is the ultimate hangout spot,” said Terry Marks, Hooters of America CEO.


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, NetherRealm Studios and Intersport are beefing up the fatality roster, with the Mortal Kombat 11 Pro Kompetition championship finale, Final Kombat 2020, set to take place on March 8. Finalists will square off at Chicago’s Park West theatre and bring together the top sixteen Mortal Kombat 11 players from around the world, including regular season tournament winners from North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, along with one finalist from the Last Chance Qualifier event to be held on March 7 at the Ignite Gaming Lounge in Skokie. All sixteen Kombatants will then compete in Final Kombat for their share of the $100,000 prize pool.

The PUBG Global Series laid out its plans for the first of four PUBG esports events, PGS: Berlin, will take place at Messe Berlin from March 31-April 12. A total of 32 teams will compete at each of the three PGS events. The top four teams from the most recent global competition will automatically qualify for the next event. The remaining 28 slots will be filled by teams who participate in regional qualifiers in one of the six regions, including Korea, China, Japan, Europe, Americas, and Asia Pacific. To crown the 2020 PUBG World Champions, 16 teams will battle it out at PGC 2020. The top four teams from the third PGS event will automatically qualify for PGC. The remaining 12 spots will be filled by the highest ranked teams based on the sum of points scored in the Grand Finals from all three PGS events. Finally, building off the $6 million prize pool and crowdfunding efforts from PGC 2019, the first three PGS events will feature a prize pool of $500,000 each, while PGC will award $2,000,000

The Philadelphia Fusion are tapping the talents of Nerd Street Gamers to produce the 2020 homestands for Philadelphia’s Overwatch League team with the Met in Philadelphia and the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City booked for February and May. NSG will be handling all aspects of production, including in-venue experience, creative, infrastructure, security and staffing.


Chiefs/49ers on Sunday at 6p on FOX.

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On This Day
1993: The Cowboys beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII in Pasadena.

In the Know
Who beat the Cardinals in their lone Super Bowl appearance? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which team once scored 35 points in a single quarter in the Super Bowl? Answer: The Washington Redskins. Kudos: Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta; Mike May-PHIT America/Wellington; Christopher Kull-The Nielsen Company/Oldsmar; Mike Seidel-CSI Sports/Jersey City; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Tom Doherty-Starcom USA/Chicago; T.K. Gore-Comscore/Chicago; om Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Ethan Tyer-FOX Corp/LA

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