02/20/19: USA Gymnastics named Li Li Leung as the org’s new President and CEO

Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 20, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
USA Gymnastics is now tapping the talents of NBA executive Li Li Leung, naming her as the troubled org’s new president and chief executive officer on Tuesday. The announcement marks the fourth person to hold the role in two years after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal which has seen the NGB file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy while the USOC looks to revoke its status as a sports governing body.
“Li Li’s unique combination of business skills, management experience and passion for gymnastics make her perfectly suited to lead our organization at this important time in our history,” said Kathryn Carson, USA Gymnastics Board chair. “She brings strong leadership, organizational and communication skills from her over two-decade professional career in sports business and management. She also has deep roots in gymnastics, having competed at a high level before moving to collegiate gymnastics. We are thrilled to have Li Li as our next president and CEO, and the Board looks forward to supporting Li Li as she delivers her vision to transform and strengthen our organization and culture.”

FIFA’s efforts to revamp the Club World Cup in order to launch a Global Nations League by 2021 hit a speedbump when Europe’s Professional Football Strategy Council stated that the proposals were “unacceptable as they stand,” adding that “They were of the unequivocal view that any decision on potential new competitions can only be made as part of an agreed framework for the international match calendar post-2024.”
Following the retirement of Johnny Miller earlier this month, Paul Azinger is poised to step into the broadcast booth this week at the WGC-Mexico Championship to make his official debut as NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst. Beginning Thursday, GOLF Channel and NBC will kick off seven consecutive weeks of exclusive PGA TOUR coverage with nine total events, with Thursday’s opening round coverage at the WGC-Mexico Championship on GOLF Channel serving as Azinger’s first full event in the broadcast booth as NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst. Azinger’s schedule will regularly include all four days of tournament coverage, and he’ll contribute to the network’s coverage each of the next six weeks.
Indonesia submitted a bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. The IOC is scheduled to announce the 2032 host by the year 2025.
MLB Network’s Spring Training series “30 Clubs In 30 Days” presented by Camping World launched today where daily installments will air within MLB Tonight featuring analysis, predictions, on-field demos and interviews with players across MLB, and bonus content will be shared across MLB Network’s social media platforms. The Oakland Athletics will be featured first at 6p.
In collegiate sports, BTN will televise seven winter Big Ten Championships beginning this weekend, including men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s golf, wrestling, and men’s and women’s gymnastics. BTN will also broadcast the men’s ice hockey semifinals and final in March. Coverage begins with the Big Ten Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships from Indiana on Feb. 24 at 10:30a, while the Big Ten Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships will air at 10:30a on March 3.
FloSports and the Big 12 Conference announced that fans can access live and on-demand coverage of the Swimming and Diving Championship on FloSwimming.com, the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championship on FloTrack.com, the Wrestling Championship on FloWrestling.com, and the Softball Championship on FloSoftball.com. “The Big 12 is excited to again partner with FloSports for the production and distribution of several of our upcoming championships,” Big 12 Senior Associate Commissioner for Championships Dayna Scherf said. “Through our partnership, our student-athletes are able to showcase their hard work and talent to a world stage.”
The Professional Squash Association signed a multi-year agreement with Facebook to bring live matches from the PSA Tour to Facebook Watch. These matches will be available to territories outside of Europe and Japan on a non-exclusive basis. The agreement will launch at squash’s pinnacle tournament, the 2018/19 PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family from Feb. 23-March 2.
The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
MAR 6, 2019 | 3:30PM -7:15PM | The SVA Theatre, NYC
Register today to hear panels that address the rapid evolution of short form, led by experts from Attn:, Awesomeness, Bleacher Report, Canvas Media Studios, CNE, Kovert Creative, Hollister, One X Studios, Red Bull Media House, Viacom and Whistle. Click here for a peek at some of the colleagues who will be joining you next month.


USA Swimming and Phillips 66 entered a multi-year partnership renewal. that will see the longest running partnership in sports’ national governing body history hit its 50-year anniversary in 2023. Phillips 66 will continue as title sponsor of both the summer Phillips 66 National Championships and the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Tour and introduce new promotional elements, including ‘Team Phillips 66’ and ‘The Leadership Exchange’.
Heineken USA has been named the official and exclusive import beer and cider of FC Dallas and Toyota Stadium. As part of the multiyear agreement, Heineken USA becomes a Signature Partner of FC Dallas and a Founding Partner of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

The National Hockey League and Snapchat, in association with Disney Streaming Services, announced an expansion of their multi-year partnership that will mean, for the first time, the NHL produce Curated Our Stories for games and marquee events, making the NHL the first professional sports league to utilize Snap’s third-party curation tools, and a new weekly show, “NHL Highlights” that will cover the top plays of the week. A team of editors at Snapchat will also produce Our Story coverage of games and tentpole events, including NHL All-Star Weekend and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
SendtoNews was ranked as the top digital video platform in the sports category on Comscore’s latest report with the most unique viewers, videos viewed, and videos watched per viewer. In the month of January, SendtoNews saw 11,127,000 unique viewers and 396,952,000 videos viewed.
Live sporting events on Sunday, February 17 were a big winner for the week of February 11 taking the top three and eight of the top 10 slots among Tunity Analytics’ weekly national out-of-home viewer rankings.  Rounding out the list were “The Simpsons” and “60 Minutes,” both benefiting from strong OOH lead-ins with Daytona 500 and Golf. Tunity Analytics is a OOH metric that more fully captures the significant degree of viewing that happens out of home. The metric is calculated by combining Tunity app usage with near real-time audience demographics and location data, broken down by network and venue.
Program/OOH Viewers (000)
NBA All-Star Game (TNT & TBS) 2778
Daytona 500 (FOX) 2495
NBA Tip-Off (TNT & TBS) 1698
Genesis Open, Round 4 (CBS) 1211
UFC Fight Night (ESPN) 816
Source: Tunity Analytics. Viewing estimates are derived from Tunity mobile app usage for the week beginning February 11, 2019.  OOH (000’s) are calculated using Tunity Analytics proprietary estimation model.

100 Thieves wrangled another key partnership, announcing a sponsorship from Totino’s, with the pizza brand now serving as a founding partner of the team’s Call of Duty squad this year. Activation will include content creation such as a new documentary seriesthat goes behind the scenes to showcase the lives of players. In addition, 100 Thieves named Mike Sepso, co-founder of Major League Gaming (MLG), and former Activision Blizzard SVP, as a member of the team’s Board of Directors. At 100 Thieves, Sepso will focus on helping the company expand its commercial partnerships and media business, while also advising the management team.
HyperX signed on as the official peripheral and memory and SSD partner of the inaugural ESL Katowice Royale – Featuring Fortnite. All tournament PCs and PlayStation 4 gaming stations will be equipped with HyperX peripherals, including gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads, memory, and SSDs. The HyperX Esports Truck will also be onsite in Katowice, Poland, entertaining fans on the mobile esports stage for the first time in the history of the global circuit.
SPORT1 and Sportradar, are partnering up this year to showcase the newly launched eFootball.Pro League, picking up platform-neutral media rights for live and highlight coverage of the competition’s current season in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The regular season of the eFootball.Pro League, where the players compete in Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) kicked off in December 2018 and runs through until April 2019.

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon invested $250 million into the Alliance of American Football and will serve as the league’s new chairman. The Athletic reported that the league was in danger of not making payroll on Friday, before Dundon’s investment although ESPN writes that AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol dismissed reports that the league was getting a financial bailout.
RIP to Sheldon “Shelly” Arthur Saltman, who passed away on Feb 16  in Los Angeles. Saltman was a staple promoter of major sports and entertainment events including the worldwide promotion of the Muhammad Ali/Joe Frazier heavyweight championship boxing matches, the Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs tennis match, as was the creator of the Andy Williams San Diego Golf Classic, the independent NFL Player Association Strike Games during the 1982 NFL season Strike and Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon Jump in addition to being the original President of Fox Sports.
Whistle hired Alison Meyer as the company’s new VP of Marketing, where she will lead partnership marketing for Whistle’s innovative slate of original programming and branded content. Meyer was previously Vice President of Marketing Solutions and Client Services for Refinery29.

North Carolina/Duke on ESPN at 9p.
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ON THIS DAY in 1998: Tara Lipinski wins Olympic figure skating gold.
In the Know: Which pitcher is the all-time career wins leader for the San Diego Padres? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: NHL great Brett Hull played for which university? Answer: University of Minnesota – Duluth. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Chris Long-DraftKings/NY; Michael Ritz-Northwestern Mutual/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Heidi Mallin-Lucas Oil Stadium/Indianapolis; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Jean Edhlund-Cooperative Network Services/Menahga; David Hauptman/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Derrick Stasica-KTXL/Sacramento
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ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GLOW/NYC:Help lead a team of Art Dir, Designers & Motion Designers to develop strong visual narratives that unfold over the course of a campaign. 4-6yrs exp (agency preferred; CPG exp a +) Passion for emerging tech & wide-ranging exp w/classics (Adobe Creative Suite) Full info HERE (3/2)

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Establish the strategy & manage the departmental activities for monetizing network content & assets to drive national ad sales revenue for A+E Networks. Full Info/Apply:  HERE (2/28)

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/TV one/New York: Responsible for selling the brand strength of the TV One and Cleo TV to advertisers and agencies. Knowledge of cable industry (particular as it relates to AA demo). Strong verbal, written comm, negotiation and presentation skills. Knowledge of project mgmt methods and techniques. 20-30% domestic travel. FULL info HERE (2/28)
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DIR, SALES DEVELOPMENT, DIGITAL INDUSTRY/ION Media/New York: Seeking sales prof with a focus on adv sales on ION’s broadcast TV platform to the Digital Tech industry. Responsible for generating new adv accts and rev for ION Television. Must have 10yrs TV selling or related advertising sales experience, with knwl of consumer-oriented tech companies and strong client contacts. FULL info HERE (2/28)

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/WSNS Telemundo TV/Chicago: Exp’d & dynamic sales person to negotiate/sell multi-platform solutions incl TV, digital & experiential opps. Min 3 yrs exp work in TV sales or other area of Media Sales incl prospecting new clients & negotiating business proposals/closing deals. FULL info HERE (2/27)

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SALES RESEARCH/The CW Network/NYC: The CW Network seeks a Director, Digital Sales Research for their Media Sales & Planning team. Must have 6+ years digital research experience. Full info/apply HERE (2/27)

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ASSISTANT MANAGER, CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT/NBC SPORTS/Stamford: Responsible for developing and implementing end-to-end CRM segmentation strategies. Minimum 5 years relevant work experience, including internships. Full info HERE (2/21)

MANAGER, GRAPHICS TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING/NBC SPORTS/Stamford CT: Responsible for the design, documentation, maintenance, and workflow management of the Graphics & Visual Design facilities connected to systems. Min 4 yrs exp with Chyron: Mosaic, Lyric, LyricX. Full info HERE (2/21)

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