01/19/17: Learfield’s new collegiate experience; FOX Sports gets Sirius; Anheuser-Busch plots four score


Good morning. It’s Thursday January 19, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Learfield is taking college football to new levels, announcing a deal with STRIVR Labs in a “first-of-its-kind partnership” designed to provide multi-platform virtual reality distribution within the collegiate sports landscape. The pair will create VR experiences at scale and engage the nation’s collegiate fan bases with STRIVR as Learfield’s Official VR Partner to offer VR solutions that include general university marketing, classroom tech and campus development in addition to sports.

“Without a doubt, we know our partnership with STRIVR will be a true differentiatorone that will create the uniquely personal touch of immersive experiences that brands want in building deeper connections and adding maximum value and engagement with their core consumers, but also provide the reach of traditional digital media,” said Scott Carlis, Learfield Senior Vice President, Digital Media. “Our university relationships provide us the opportunity to bring scale to the amazing medium of VR, with a proven leader in the space already doing exceptional work in collegiate and professional sports.”


FOX Sports unveiled a new multi-year agreement with SiriusXM that will see the launch of an exclusive new 24/7 channel showcasing FOX Sports’ unique personalities, programming and live events from FOX, FS1 and FOX Sports Radio. The channel launched tomorrow and will be located on channel 83 on satellite radios. “We’re excited to expand the reach of FOX Sports through SiriusXM and deliver the most compelling sports talk in the country with fearless talent, including Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Katie Nolan and many others,” said David Nathanson, FOX Sports Head of Business Operations. Event programming will include: UFC Fight Nights and PPV Prelims; US Open Golf Championship; US Men’s and Women’s National Team qualifiers and friendlies, FIFA and more.

FOX Sports is also bringing British broadcaster Kate Abdo aboard the family, where she will serve full-time as host for the network’s lineup of soccer events, including Bundesliga, FA Cup, Europa League, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. “Kate Abdo is one of the most respected journalists in the business, and we are delighted to welcome her to the FOX Sports family,” said Entz. “Her vast experience and global knowledge will add tremendous value to our outstanding soccer roster, which now includes two of the most accomplished soccer hosts in this country in Kate and Rob Stone."

NFL Network announced plans for coverage of the 2017 East-West Shrine Game this Saturday at 3p as well as   the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 at 2:30p. Play-by-play announcer Andrew Siciliano is joined for coverage of both games in the booth by analysts Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah, while Alex Flanagan provides reports from the sidelines.

FIA gave its approval for Formula One to be sold to Liberty Media, according to the AP, for $4.4 billion. The FIA said in a statement that it "looks forward to working with the new owners of the Formula One Group on further developing the unrivalled global spectacle" of F1.

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CBS Sports announced the unification showdown between unbeaten welterweight world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman/Danny “Swift” Garcia that will headline Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions. The event takes place on March 4, running live at 9-11p ET/6-8p PT and marks the second primetime boxing presentation on the CBS broadcast channel in nearly 40 years. 

Univision Deportes scored the most-viewed Liga MX match ever in the timeslot for the Liga MX Clausura 2017 season opener. The Monterrey/Guadalajara battle on Saturday reached 1.5 million P2+ and 789,000 A18-49 on Univision.

Alliance MMA signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of the MMA promotion Fight Time Promotions, based in Florida. The organization marks the eighth regional MMA promotion operating under the Company’s umbrella.

Curling Night in America is set to return for a third consecutive season tonight at 7:30p on NBCSN. The slate will deliver over 150 hours of curling coverage that will air on NBCSN, Universal HD, and NBCSports.com as well as the NBC Sports app, anchored by the World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships in March and April. Jason Knapp  handles play-by-play, wth Pete Fenson as analyst and Tanith White as reporter for all Curling Night in America telecasts.

CBS Sports Network serves up coverage of the Race Of Champions this weekend the ROC Nations Cup from Miami and featuring stars from Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, MotoGP and Rally X. Coverage runs on Sunday at noon with the America vs. The World ROC Nations Cup competition.

Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network also lined up a one-hour documentary – The Black 14: Wyoming Football 1969  for Feb. 11 at 10:30p. The special runs as part of the Network’s Black History Month programming, and in connection with the theme of social activism highlighted in the documentary, CBS Sports Network also will air a series of vignettes chronicling social activism by African-American athletes over the decades.
NESN inked Jerry Remy to a new multi-year contract that will see NESN’s primary Red Sox color analyst working 115 Red Sox games each season. “Jerry remains one of the most beloved color analysts in all of baseball,” said Sean McGrail, NESN’s President and CEO. “As the cornerstone of our broadcast team, his perspective on the organization and the way he connects with fans makes our telecast one of the best in the league.”


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On to the Super Bowl, Anheuser-Busch officially announced its return as the exclusive category advertiser for the 2017 Super Bowl, marking the company’s 28th consecutive year in the big game. This year will see the organization feature four of its brands – Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, along with Super Bowl newcomer, Busch. Overall, Anheuser-Busch is slated to have at least three full minutes of advertising in this year’s game, complemented by a digital strategy. “The Super Bowl has become one of those increasingly rare cultural moments in time when consumers anticipate and talk about the commercials as much as the event itself,” said Marcel Marcondes, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch. “For Super Bowl 51, we are not just creating ads for the game, but kicking off strategic creative campaigns for the year. For that reason, we’re debuting new work that we believe will resonate before, during and long after game day.”

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor America returns to the Super Bowl and is planning to film a 90-second documentary during the game that will “capture some of the best off-the-field Super Bowl moments” that will run in the "post-gun" slot, the first commercial break that immediately follows the conclusion of the game and just before the trophy ceremony. Hyundai will release two teasers during the AFC and NFC Championship weekend, featuring NFL Legends Joe Montana and Mike Singletary that will begin to hint at Hyundai’s program.

Daytona International Speedway locked in a partnership with Advance Auto Parts for the Advance Auto Parts Clash that will open the 2017 NASCAR season on Feb. 18. In addition to the race entitlement, Advance Auto Parts will also serve as the Official Auto Parts Store of DIS.

Speaking of which, Credit One Bank is expanding its relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing by partnering with Kyle Larson and the No. 42 team during the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, starting with The Clash at Daytona. Credit One Bank, who first partnered with CGR last season for several races with the No. 1 team, will also continue its partnership as an associate sponsor with Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 team in 2017.


CBS Sports Radio launched a dedicated channel on Apple Music that will offer shows such as Gio and Jones, Tiki and Tierney, The Jim Rome Show and more. “The appetite for compelling and hard-to-ignore sports analysis, commentary and fan debate continues to grow across all audio platforms,” said Chris Oliviero, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Radio. “CBS Sports Radio delivers this to fans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so it’s an ideal next step to launch a channel on Apple Music, one of the most popular streaming services today, as yet another way we continue to meet the evolving desires of this passionate audience anywhere and everywhere.”

Pro Football Focus announced a partnership extension with the Reese’s Senior Bowl in a move to allow the Senior Bowl staff to obtain scouting and statistical data on draft eligible collegiate players for the second consecutive year. Throughout the week of Jan 22-27, PFF will have a team of its top analysts in Mobile to breakdown player performance during Reese’s Senior Bowl practices.

Sportsrocket is teaming with Deer & Deer Hunting for the launch of DeerHunter.TV, a multiplatform digital TV channel offering free-to-watch online deer hunting and outdoors video content with shows such as as Deer Talk Now, Innovation Zone, Grow ‘em Big and Hunt ‘em Big.


In this week’s edition of Cynopsis eSports & Gaming
·       CSL opens console play with EA for Madden
·       Fnatic talks brand growth, pop-up shops
·       Nintendo’s big Switch
·       Overwatch Winter Premiere Live Finals heads South
·       Ubisoft’s big promo push
·       Prodigy Sports climbs the esports ladder
·       EA lines up Play date for 2017


Wizards/Knicks on TNT at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1903: The first Tour de France is announced.

In The Know: What injured player did Patriots QB Tom Brady first fill in for? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which two teams has the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger beaten in the Super Bowl? Answer: Seahawks and Cardinals. Kudos: Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Traci Liner-WME/IMG/NY; Halter Cunningham-WME/IMG/NY; Tim Morrison-Home Team Sports/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Scott Leslie-UPS/Atlanta; Chris Schwartz-International Speedway Corporation/Charlotte; Bill Pearce-The Record-Argus/Greenville; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; John Ward-Tennis Channel/Chicago; Lance Davis- Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Ned Radovic-Red Bull Media House N.A./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Adam Deverell-CoxReps/LA.

Later — Chris
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