AT&T is suspending its sponsorship of USA Gymnastics over the NGB’s handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse case, stating that they will sit out until the org is “re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment.” The decision marks the fifth major brand to pull away from the organization since news broke, with Under Armour terminating its deal early, while Hershey Co., Kellogg Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. each declined to renew existing sponsorships, per ESPN.
Farmers Insurance, title sponsor of the Farmers Insurance Open since 2010, locked in a seven-year extension that will carry its commitment through 2026. “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. locked in a multi-year renewal to remain a spokesman for Nationwide Insurance. Their partnership began in 2008 and will see Earnhardt make appearances for the company at various national sales conferences and industry events. The company will continue to work with the new NBC face in his efforts to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Meanwhile, Allstate Insurance Company and endurance race producer RAM Racing announced a major three-year title sponsorship through the creation of the newly-named Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. The partnership marks the longest sustained commitment by Allstate in the endurance world and the first series title sponsorship for the running company.
Full Swing Golf locked in multi-year partnerships with eight-time PGA TOUR winner, Brandt Snedeker, and 2015 PGA Teacher of the Year, Cameron McCormick. As part of the alliance, Snedeker and McCormick will support the brand through various marketing initiatives and accompanies Full Swing Golf’s all-star roster of professional sports clients.
WWE’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw from New York City was a hit on social media. According to Nielsen Social, the special generated 2.3 million interactions to rank as the most-social Raw of all-time. Overall, Raw had more than 2.5 times the social interactions than the remaining shows in the Top 5 combined, and accounted for nearly 40% of all social TV interactions in primetime on Monday night.
NBC Olympics is partnering with Vox Media for a new Olympics-driven podcast that will take an inside look into each of the 18 days of competition of the Winter Games. The series, titled The Podium, will serve as the official NBC Olympics podcast and feature exclusive and in-depth interviews and breaking stories.
The Players Tribune unveiled a new content series, Love, Mom, presented by Procter & Gamble. The series debuted with a moving letter from Pip Kenworthy to her youngest son, 2014 freeskiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy. As a part of P&G’s “Thank You Mom” campaign for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, TPT will amplify its #LoveOverBias theme through a series of videos and written letters from mothers to their children.
Reuters announced that customers will now have access to expanded sports content through partnerships with Field Level Media and Opta. Field Level Media content will feature breaking news, recaps, roundups, analysis and player notes across sports events in North America, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR and golf leagues, tennis, UFC and more. Opta, meanwhile, will provide live, detailed data across global leagues and competitions (including major U.S. sports) that will power Reuters multimedia sports coverage and real-time results.
High school basketball coverage provider Mars Reel aligned with digital media company UNINTERRUPTED to “continue its growth and extend its brand into broader development, distribution, and storytelling opportunities.” The company recently secured $2.7 million in financing as part of an initial $4.7 million round of funding from influential investors, who include LeBron James, Maverick Carter, hip-hop artist Nas, Translation founder and CEO Steve Stoute, former global network chief for AMC, Sundance and MGM Bruce Tuchman, and Lead Investor Robert Hisaoka. “This partnership with UNINTERRUPTED allows us to extend our content offering beyond highlights and clips and into broader storytelling within the high school sports sector,” said Brandon Deyo, co-founder and CEO, Mars Reel. “As we build a premium high-school and amateur-sports network tailored specifically to the millennial fan base, we’re excited about this partnership and this latest round of investment that will help us take our content to the next level.”
FanDuel founder and former CEO Nigel Eccles is launching a new esports-driven company called Flick, focusing on sharing esports and gaming experiences. On the site, the platform is described as giving fans “an entirely new way of sharing their gaming experience with their friends” and that initially they will be “moving quickly on concepts and working with gamers to refine ideas that work for them.”
ELEAGUE hosts the conclusion to the first CS:GO Major Championship of 2018 this week with live coverage from Boston’s Agganis Arena presented on Twitch starting Friday at 10a. The first day of competition will include the initial three quarterfinal matches, with the last quarterfinal and both semifinal matches set for Saturday at 10a, while live coverage of the Grand Final match runs Sunday at noon. Meanwhile, CS:GO player Sean ‘SeanGares’ Gares will serve as a guest analyst for The New Champions stage, while Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez will serve as the in-arena emcee for The New Champions stage of the Major.
Glory Sports International named Marshall Zelaznik as Chief Executive Officer of the organization where he will lead the company’s global operations. Zelaznik most recently served as Global Head of Business Development and Content at MLG and previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer for UFC.
Maple Leafs/Blackhawks on NBCSN at 8p.