01/23/17: Learfield talks VR potential; NASCAR sets up points play; Camping World declares Independence


Good morning. It’s Monday January 23, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

As VR continues to grow roots in how audiences experience sports, longtime collegiate sports staple Learfield is looking to up the ante, locking in a 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 deal, which makes STRIVR Learfield’s Official VR Partner, is eyeballing the technology in a move to offer VR solutions not only for their sports properties, but also for general university marketing, classroom tech and campus development. Cynopsis Sports asked Scott Carlis, Learfield SVP, Digital Media, about how VR will open new doors for his company as well as its partners.

Carliss on the growth of VR: At Learfield, we want to create the best fan experiences that provide maximum value for our university and corporate partners, and virtual reality is uniquely designed to meet that core objective. Virtual Reality allows us to bridge the physical and digital worlds and create cool, fun, sharable and extremely immersive experiences around college sports that benefit the universities, sponsors, and of course, the fans. Sports-culture is about pride, passion and the ability to share ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences with your community of friends, family, and peers. As sports fans we always want to be as close to the action as possible.

On university needs: Our university partners are continually looking for ways to drive deeper, more impactful, and more personalized experiences for sports fans and the school community. We want to make the collegiate sports fan experience even more special and unique. And VR technology is the perfect platform to enrich that experience by bringing fans closer to the action. Ultimately, the goals are: How can VR add more value to the collegiate-sports experience? How can VR help deepen engagement among a community of arguably the most passionate consumers in the market  collegiate sports fans  and fuel their passion, and propel fans to share these experiences?

On its impact on sports and its sponsors: Ultimately, we want to architect VR experiences that result in a ‘win-win’ for all the main stakeholders  for our university partners, for our corporate partners, and of course, the fans. The key is to deliver a maximum level of authenticity that allow brands to play the hero of these awesome experiences. We want to help brands make the unforgettable experiences witnessed by collegiate-sports fans even more memorable. Our collective goal is to bring sponsors closer to the fans, and vice versa, in the most authentic, interactive, and engaging ways. Create these amazing interactive 360 experiences that are powered by sponsors, which inspire ‘brand-love,’ and allow sponsors to build deeper emotional connections with fans and consumers. And, when you are wearing the headsets you’ll have 100% engagement with brand sponsors.

On new ways to leverage the technology: We want to create elegant and innovative 360 recruiting videos and fan content that can amaze people both on campus and abroad. STRIVR is already partnering with renowned publishers, even building out distribution that could touch the education side of the university with projects focused on diversity and inclusivity. Career-counselors can create ‘role-play’ job-training VR experiences  empowering students to train and be better prepared for life-after college and applying for jobs. For example, if you are studying art history, theology, or ancient civilizations – using VR – you can be transported to Vatican City and you’re inside the Sistine Chapel or Athens and you’re at the Acropolis or climbing the Mayan ruins in Tulum.


NASCAR is looking to change up its points format, calling a press conference for today in the Charlotte Convention Center to discuss the 2017 season. Early reports from ESPN suggest that NASCAR is expected to divide races into segments, with drivers earning points depending on their running order at the end of each segment. The move would help drivers vie for spots early in the event rather than waiting until the end of the race before making a move. More on this tomorrow.

The season two debut of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC ranked as is the highest-rated, non-Christmas NBA game of the 2016-17 regular season across ABC and ESPN, according to Nielsen.  The Spurs’ win over the Cavaliers averaged a 2.6 metered market rating with the showdown generating a streaming audience with 9,146,000 total minutes streamed, with 231,800 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 59,800 viewers.

Don’t miss the deadline! Don’t miss your shot to bring home a Cynopsis Sports Media Awards to celebrate your work with the people, partnerships and programs in our industry that benchmark excellence in front of and behind the cameras. Get your entries in now by clicking here.

Keegan-Michael Key has been tapped as host of NFL Honors this year, with the ceremony taking place on Feb. 4 at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston. The special will air nationally at 8p on FOX. Meanwhile, music for the show will be performed by vocalist-instrumentalist Spencer Ludwig. The show includes the announcement of the AP’s annual accolades as well as the newest Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Meanwhile, country music singer Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston on Feb. 5 on FOX. Bryan’s performance of the National Anthem in Houston will be his first time appearing on the Super Bowl stage.
The NFL also has confirmed the dates for the its two games at Wembley Stadium next season, announcing that the Ravens/Jaguars game will take place on Sept. 24 while Saints/Dolphins will hit the country on Oct. 1. Two other games at Twickenham Stadium will see the Vikings/Browns and Cardinals/Rams matchups on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.

Finally, ESPN is shifting its Super Bowl home base from Midtown to downtown Houston, according to reports, taking its production from the previously-announced Midtown Center to a parking lot that covers an entire city block near the Toyota Center from Feb. 1-5, according to KHOU.

Speaking of ESPN, yesterday’s Sunday NFL Countdown saw a special presentation as Chris Berman hosted his final show in-studio on ESPN’s campus after 38 years. In the closing minutes of the program, Tom Jackson and Chris Mortensen joined the crew as the NFL studio in ESPN’s Digital Center 2 building was officially renamed the Chris Berman-Tom Jackson Studio. The move marks the first time in the company’s history that a studio has been dedicated to a commentator or executive.


CYNOPSIS SPORTS has launched the call for entries for the highly anticipated…

Honoring the best and brightest work from around the spectrum of sports business, with categories that include VR, eSports, live coverage of a sporting event, social media excellence, marketing campaign, apps and more!

For more information & to enter, visit the awards webpage:



It’s the end of the road for the partnership between Independence Bowl and Camping World, with the former title sponsor of Shreveport’s postseason college football game announcing a parting on Friday. The 2016 Camping World Independence Bowl was held Dec. 26 and featured a matchup between North Carolina State and Vanderbilt.

The 2017 NHL Fan Fair will serve as the site of the third annual NHL Mascot Showdown featuring all 27 NHL Mascots as part of the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, which spans Jan. 26-29. Each will showcase their hockey skills and athletic prowess, with NHL in-arena host Mike Todd handling play-by-play duties for each event with CM Punk serving as cohost.

NAPA Auto Parts is looking to return for another championship run, locking in a deal with Alexander Rossi and Andretti Autosport for a seven-race, co-primary sponsorship for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. Races will include the season opener in St. Petersburg, as well as Long Beach, Indianapolis, Road America, Watkins Glen and Sonoma. “We are pleased to announce our continued partnership with one of the more iconic brands in all of motorsports, the Andretti brand,” said Dan Askey, NAPA president. “We are equally excited to partner with one of the rising stars in the sport in Alexander Rossi and proud to have Alexander representing NAPA both on and off the track. We were fortunate to come on board in May of 2016 becoming a part of history as we rode along with Alexander capturing the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport remains one of the elite teams in the (Verizon) IndyCar Series and we look forward to what 2017 holds.”


The Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports Network announced that it served up 565 million minutes and an Average Minute Audience of 77,500 in December to rank second across the Sports category in both metrics. The platform also announced that it ranked tops among the most affluent users ($96,253) among sports site in December.

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown reportedly has a deal with Facebook, according to NFL.com. The deal is worth in the high six-figures, per the site’s sources.


ELeague locked in G FUEL Energy Formula for an official marketing partnership that includes naming rights to ELeague’s Atlanta-based studio, which will now be known as the G FUEL ELeague Arena. Deal points also will see the beverage brand become the official energy drink of ELeague with the company reserving the ability to promote its energy drink products as the official energy drink of the league across all platforms in addition to developing various integrated campaigns spanning custom digital video content, social media programs, and on-site activations.

Millennial Esports Corp. detailed plans to host Halo World Championship 2017 in Las Vegas for a $50,000 prize pool with the top 6 teams of the Millennial Esports Halo World Championship Open LAN qualifying for the Halo World Championship Finals this Spring. The company will also celebrate its grand opening of the new arena on March 3.

Meanwhile, MLG announced that the 2017 season of the Call of Duty World League will see the CWL Dallas Open held on March 17-19 with 16 international teams earning a spot in pool play based on regional CWL point totals. The prize pool will dangle $200,000 for the 176 teams competing from North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Brazil soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo is jumping into the esports space, announcing a partnership with poker pro Andre Akkari to pick up 50% of Brazilian esports franchise CNB.


UFC named James Kimball as Vice President, Operations for the company’s new 30,000 square foot Performance Institute currently being built in Las Vegas. Kimball will lead a team of experts in the planning, strategy and day-to-day operation of the athlete facility. Most recently, Kimball served as Director of Athlete Development, focused on performance and education resources available to athletes competing in UFC.


Knicks/Pacers on TNT at 8p.


Network with the 2017 Buyers & Planners!

You’ll have the opportunity to mingle with the industry’s top advertising talent who are being celebrated at the inaugural Cynopsis Buyers & Planners Awards on February 7 in NYC. These pros are being recognized for their incredible contributions across broadcast, cable and digital platforms. See who made the cut here.

ON THIS DAY in 1983: Bjorn Borg announced his retirement from tennis.

In The Know: Name an NHL team that doesn’t have a mascot. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In 2007, Matt Ryan won the Manning Award as college football’s top quarterback, but lost the Heisman to another QB. Who was he? Answer: Tim Tebow. Kudos: Charmaine Leary-NBCUniversal Content Distribution/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Mike Polvere-Optimum Sports/NY; Jeff Rabinowitz-Fanatics/Sunrise; Christine Ferrara-WBZ-TV/WSBK-TV/Boston; Scott Leslie-UPS/Atlanta; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner & Triathlete magazine/Houston; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Dan Abend-NBCUniversal/Universal City.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations | 203-899-8459

Cynopsis Media: a division of Access Intelligence, LLC * 761 Main Avenue * Norwalk CT * 06815 * USA

CYNOPSISJOBS – To view our full job listing online, please visit our webpage: HERE!.

JOB OPENING: SENIOR WRITER/PRODUCER/NAT GEO/NYC: The Senior Writer/Producer conceptualizes, writes, & produces the Channel’s highest priority promotional spots for specials, stunts & priority series for NatGeo & NatGeo Wild. Full info/apply HERE (1/28)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DR/WGN/NYC: Self-motivated, personable, competitive & energetic professional to help inspire/grow a young & expanding Direct Response Team. BA deg or 5  yrs sales exp within the industry. Mini 3-5 yrs combined exp. Full info/apply HERE (1/28)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING MGR/MSG NETWORKS/NYC: Sports enthusiast w/3+ yrs creative, social media, & media exp at cable net or agency; Exp w/social community mngmt, project mngmt, strategy & budget mngmt; Creative thinker & collaborator http://bit.ly/2j0OiGS (1/28)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR PRODUCER/MSNBC/East Coast: Responsible for creating, producing and supervising programming for a MSNBC New Primetime Show.Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: LINE PRODUCER/PRODUCTION MGR/NYC: A hands on, not afraid to get your hands dirty field exp’d LP/PM type. Must be willing to wear both hats & mng daily operational processes of a fast moving prod. 3 – 5 yrs operations LP/PM exp pref’d. Strong kwldg of guild & union guidelines. Resume to: [email protected] (1/27)

JOB OPENING: SCI & TECH VIDEO PRODUCER/NBCNews.com/NYC: The digital arm of NBC News, is looking for a highly skilled video producer to produce smart, stylish videos for our digital, mobile and social platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER/NYC: Join our Investigative Unit! The Investigative Producer will be pitching and developing original story ideas for NBC News broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: VIDEO PRODUCER, LIFESTYLE/NBCU/NYC: TODAY.com, the digital arm of the TODAY show, is looking for a highly skilled video producer to join our lifestyle team and produce stunning original videos for our platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: VIDEO EDITOR, LIFESTYLE/NBCU/NYC: TODAY.com, the digital arm of the TODAY show, is looking for a video editor to help produce snappy, addictive original videos for our digital, mobile and social platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: BOOKING PRODUCER/MSNBC/NYC: Book wide variety of national and international newsmakers, experts, and guests from various fields including politics, foreign relations, business/economy, health, etc. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: MANAGING EDITOR/NBC News Digital/NBC/NYC: We are looking for a managing editor who can help lead that charge. We are looking for an exceptional journalist who is highly motivated to lead the daily editorial mission. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCERS/MSNBC/NYC: We are looking for experienced Segment Producers to write and produce segments with speed and accuracy for news programming, in a breaking news environment. Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PRODUCTS/NBCU/NYC: Want to reinvent how we get the news? The role: product manager to lead Mobile and OTT experiences for all NBC News brands, reporting to the VP of Product.
Full info/apply HERE (1/27)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST, RESEARCH & ADVANCED MEASUREMENT/GSNTV/Santa Monica: 2+ yrs ntwrk Research exp. Familiarity W/synd rsrch software; Data fluency; Strategic analysis of data such as overnight ratings, universe estimates, aud growth stories, trend analyses, demo, lifestyle & industry reports. Res/cvr: [email protected] (1/27)

JOB OPENING: MGR, BRAND MARKETING/USGA/Warren NJ: USGA-Mgr, Brand Marketing-responsible for the activation and implementation of the emerging USGA Championship Brand Identity vision and strategy. +5 yrs brand mgmt exp req. creative/digital/video output a MUST. Full info/apply HERE (1/26)

JOB OPENING: MGR, CNN DIGITAL ANALYTICS/CNN DIGITAL/NY: Support sales team responsible for selling CNN’s Digital Portfolio through primary and secondary research. 5+ yrs exp and proficiency in media analytics. Apply: https://www.turnerjobs.com/job/new-york/manager-cnn-digital-analytics/1174/3747196 (1/26)

JOB OPENING: ANALYTICS SUPERVISOR/NCC MEDIA/NY: exceptional problem-solving and project management skills, leadership traits, meticulous organizational skills, able to meet deadlines, prior TV Media exp., advanced Excel skills a must, SQL preferred but not mandatory. RESUMES [email protected] (1/26)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, NEWS STANDARDS/NYC: NBC News & MSNBC seeks a Director in their Standards & Practices team. The Director will provide support and guidance to all platforms of NBC News & MSNBC Wednesday-Sundays. Full info/apply HERE (1/26)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, DIGITAL RESEARCH/AMC Ntwks/NYC: 5+ yrs related exp. Support Digital Rsrch needs by providing analysis & insight that will assist in decisions relating to viewing of AMCN digital content. Support Digital Estimating, tracking & analyzing DAI ad inventory. Full info/apply HERE (1/25)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BRAND SOLUTIONS/BET/NYC: Identify/understand clients’ bus. & budgets to create creative pkgs. Digital/Social professional/out of the box thinker. Min 4-5 yrs successful track record of related exp. Highly knowledgeable and engaged w/current Digital & Social platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/25)

JOB OPENING: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/MSNBC/NYC: Responsible for the overall vision, content, editorial planning process, and day to day operations of show. Full info/apply HERE (1/25)

JOB OPENING: SALES DIRECTOR/NIELSEN SPORTS/Stamford of NYC area: Drive new business for integrated research & consulting solutions to brands, sports teams and rights holders in the North American sports landscape. Full info/apply HERE (1/24)

To subscribe to any Cynopsis edition(s) click here.
%%PLUGIN_Unsubscribe: 2193667-unsub-generic%%

Copyright Cynopsis 2017

All outgoing e-mails are scanned and sent out virus free. Copyright Cynopsis 2017

Related Stories

06/07/23: Cynopsis Jobs


SR. DIRECTOR, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT SHOUT! FACTORY LOS ANGELES P&L responsibility, ownership over all aspects of a project, standalone releases or a licensed library of titles. Works w/production, publicity, creative services, distribution/sales, digital, finance, legal, acquisitions & licensors to best position the project for success. 7+ yrs of exp. in marketing, business development, or product management. […]

06/07/23: Angry Birds lands at Amazon

Angry Birds lands at Amazon

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FETV How many of your clients’ upfront deals are delivering? FETV delivers GRPs in flight! Brand-Safe Environment Iconic Content with Loyal Viewers Click here to contact Michael DuPont, EVP Ad Sales for more details or planning costs for review. Wednesday June 7, 2023 Today’s Premieres Bravo: The Real […]

06/06/23: Apple unveils Vision Pro

Apple unveils Vision Pro

Tuesday June 6, 2023 Today’s Premieres A&E: Customer Wars at 9p; Storage Wars at 10p ESPN: 30 for 30: The Luckiest Guy in the World at 8p HBO: Burden of Proof at 9p History: Beyond Skinwalker Ranch at 11p ID: Late Night Lockup at 10p Paramount+: Destination: European Nights IN THE NEWS “To those whose […]

06/05/23: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Big reveal for "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi

Monday June 5, 2023 Amazon has agreed to payments to settle two federal lawsuits alleging that the tech giant violated users’ privacy through its Alexa voice assistant and its Ring doorbell cameras. The FTC found that Amazon violated children’s privacy law COPPA by keeping voice recordings of children, in some cases failing to honor deletion […]

06/05/23: Big reveal for “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi

Big reveal for "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi

Monday June 5, 2023 Today’s Premieres Fox: Stars on Mars at 8p; Crime Scene Kitchen at 9p Freeform: Cruel Summer at 9p Hulu: Age of Influence Nat Geo: America’s National Parks at 9p NBC: American Ninja Warrior at 8p Netflix: Barracuda Queens IN THE NEWS YouTube will no longer remove content that advances false claims […]