02/24/21: Partnership between A&E and WWE


Medias First Morning Read


Wednesday February 24, 2021

A new partnership between A&E and WWE will give fans the ultimate ringside seat to 10 weeks of original programming, beginning Sunday, April 18. It features eight two-hour documentaries under the “Biography” banner, as well as new series, WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures. The docs showcase the stories behind some of the most memorable WWE Superstars of all time, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Ultimate Warrior, and kick things off at 8p.

Following at 10p, WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures, led by Stephanie McMahon and Paul “Triple H” Levesque, launches a hunt for some of WWE’s most iconic missing memorabilia like Kane’s original mask, Ric Flair’s Butterfly Robe, Andy Kaufman’s neck brace, Andre the Giant’s passport and more. WWE Legends Undertaker, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Booker T and others will help bring these items home to the WWE Archives.

“We are thrilled to unveil the stories behind some of the greatest Legends and moments in WWE history,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “Together with A&E, we’ve created an incredible slate of programming steeped in nostalgia that will inspire and entertain audiences worldwide.


USA-Brazil scored as the most-watched non-women’s World Cup match on FS1 in three years. Some 568,000 viewers tuned in for USA’s 2-0 victory in the SheBelieves Cup Tournament on Sunday, February 21. It was the most-watched SheBelieves Cup match ever on FS1, up +103% from 2019’s average.

CBS Sports’ coverage of the Michigan-Ohio State was the most watched college basketball game of the season on any network. The matchup delivered an average of 2.63 million viewers. It was the most watched regular season game on CBS since March 2, 2019’s Kentucky/Tennessee game.

Moving to golf, CBS Sports’ final round coverage of the Genesis Invitational was up +17% and garnered an average of 3.62 million viewers. Viewership peaked at 4.73 million viewers (6:30-6:45p).

30 Clubs in 30 Days presented by Camping World returns to MLB Network on Thursday, February 25. The signature spring training series features five weeks of player, manager and coach interviews, season predictions and roster and prospect analysis. The Grapefruit League will be under the microscope first with the Atlanta Braves (Thursday), Detroit Tigers (Friday), Philadelphia Phillies (Saturday) and New York Yankees (Sunday).

NBC Sports presents an Original Six doubleheader on Sunday, February 28, headlined by David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins against Alexi Lafreniere and the New York Rangers on NHL on NBC at 12p. Sunday evening features a showdown between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings at 7p on NBCSN with NHL Live beginning coverage at 6p.

HBCU alumna Gladys Knight will sing the U.S. national anthem at the NBA All-Star 2021 live from State Farm Arena in Atlanta. In addition, GRAMMY Award winner Alessia Cara will sing the Canadian national anthem from Toronto. Both anthems will air Sunday, March 7 on TNT ahead of the 70th NBA All-Star Game with AT&T Slam Dunk replacing the traditional halftime show.

Amazon Prime Video has teamed with Juventus Football Cub on All or Nothing: Juventus. The new Italian Amazon Original docu-series follows the team behind the scenes through the current 2020-2021 season, including the arrival of Andrea Pirlo as the club’s new head coach. The series will launch this year in over 240 countries and territories worldwide.

ESPN will air all three games of the NCAA 2021 Women’s Frozen Four as part of its inaugural coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. The event, which showcases the country’s top collegiate ice hockey programs, features the second semifinal on March 18 and national championship on March 20 on ESPNU at 7p and 7:30p, respectively. Both matchups, as well as the first semifinal on March 18 at 2p on ESPN3, will also be available on the ESPN App.

In other ESPN programming the network will televise The Undefeated Presents: A Room of Our Own on Sunday, February 28 at 12p. The one-hour special explores the connection Black athletes have with music and the impact of that association in powering social movements.

An expanded partnership with Sportsnet has made live episodes of WWE’s NXT available in Canada. The weekly series will air on Sportsnet 360 and SN Now starting Wednesday, February 24 at 8p. “Our fans in Canada have been all in on NXT since day one,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque in a press release announcement. “We’re thrilled about this expanded partnership which will help us grow NXT’s reach throughout the country and introduce even more fans to the newest generation of WWE Superstars.”

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BIG3, the global 3v3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and executive Jeff Kwatinetz, has partnered with Monster Energy, making it its Official Energy Drink. As part of the deal, Monster Energy will sponsor a weekly “Monster Moment,” where the most impressive play from the BIG3 slate of games will be highlighted on both brands’ social channels and across broadcast partners, including CBS. It also includes Monster branding on and off the court and BIG3 personalities featured in Monster Energy point of sale promotions.

Pepsi enters its seventh year as a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League. The brand unveiled an immersive fan-focused campaign coming to life at retail, on TikTok, Instagram and in national commercial, “Fizz to Life.” Sporting the brand’s US taglines “That’[s What I Like” and “Es Lo Que Quiero,” the spot features a diverse lineup of soccer’s biggest international players, including Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba.


Bleacher Report’s Untold Stories with Master Tesfatsion returns for a third season on Wednesday, February, broadening its focus beyond NFL stars to include players form the NBA and beyond. The premiere episode features an interview with Jason Terry, who delves into that iconic Lebron James dunk, his Mavs championship and more. The series is available on the B/R App, YouTube, Twitter and across other B/R social channels.

Interactive instructional #SandlotToTheShow live stream featuring The Art of Pitching debuts Friday, February 24 at 7p on MLB Network’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch accounts as well as MLB.com. Pitchers Ryan Dempster, Al Leiter, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz will provide youth players individualized feedback and instruction on videos featuring them pitching.

Sportsdigita announced the integration of Canva into its platform. The move unlocks Canva’s extensive content library, enabling Digideck’s user community to create high impact, professional designs to support their experiences.

Fan Controlled Football has secured a two-year licensing partnership with DreamSeat LLC and its affiliates, Zipchair and Zipchair Gaming. Via its terms DreamSeat LLC is licensed to sell FCF and team embroidered branded chairs throughout the U.S. and Canada.


VALORANT Esports Team launched VCT Game Changers. The new program will supplement the competitive season by creating new opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalized genders within VALORANT esports. It consists of two core initiatives. VCT Game Changers Series, a set of top tier competitions taking place in multiple regions around the world during 2021, kick off with the North American event in March. VCT Game Changers Academy includes monthly tournaments giving players more opportunities at the semi-pro and grassroots level.

Team Liquid announced a multi-year partnership with IMC on a range of activities aimed at engaging fans and supporting the community. It includes jersey logo placement and support of the StarCraft II competition Team Liquid StarLeague. The companies will also collaborate on a fundraiser livestream to benefit Room to Read, a literacy charity.


Golf star Tiger Woods was injured in a single-car accident on Tuesday in Los Angeles County. The roll-over crash occurred around 7a on the border of Rolling Hills Estate and Rancho Palos Verdez. Woods was extricated from the vehicle with the “jaws of life” by LA Country firefighters and paramedics. According to Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, the golf champion sustained multiple leg injuries and was undergoing surgery.

The Atlanta Dream and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield entered a multi-year partnership aimed at addressing social injustice and promoting health and well-being throughout metro Atlanta. The pair will team up to make an impact on under-resourced Atlanta communities, focusing on food insecurity, mental health and health disparities, by hosting food drives, health screenings and social justice initiatives.

Sportfive launched a new global golf strategy aimed at building its presence in the U.S. and Asia and expanding its business in the game. As part of the effort, Steve Loy was upped to President, Global Golf.

PokerGO appointed industry veteran Mori Eskandani as President and announced a rebrand. Previously held under the Poker Central umbrella, the company will transition to PokerGO within the next few months, rolling out a redesign and significant enhancements to their products and services.

UBS partnered with Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to invest in students attending SIAC’s 14 colleges and universities across six states. The initiative will focus on delivering financial literacy and wellness curriculum to SIAC students and introduce them to opportunities available in the financial services industry.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday and Dallas Mavericks’ Josh Richardson are co-winners of the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente. The award recognizes their efforts to immediately provide support to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in their new team markets. NBA and Kaiser will donate $10,000 to the Jrue & Lauren Holiday Social Justice Fund and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors on behalf of Holiday and Richardson.

The New Orleans MBL Youth Academy and Xavier University of Louisiana have teamed to launch the university’s 2021 baseball and softball seasons in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. This season marks the first-time baseball will be offered at Xavier since 1960, and the first-ever softball program in school history.

The Portland Timbers unveiled their 2021 primary jersey, featuring TikTok as the club’s official jersey sleeve partner. The new primary jersey design is an update of the club’s inaugural MLS primary kit in 2011 and an evolution of the 2019 striped jersey. The 2021 jersey features a split color design and chevrons prominently displayed down the middle of the shirt.

The NFL hosts the fifth annual Women’s Careers in Football Forum, virtually, on February 24 and 25, as part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The forum will connect 40 women, 75% of whom are women of color, with leaders in professional football to help them network and build relationships in the are as of coaching, scouting and football operations.

Genius Sports Group has launched Ice Hockey LiveStats solutions. It captures advanced team and player statistics, including face-off and shot charts, rich play-by-plays and full box scores, and is designed to transform how leagues and federations capture, manage and distribute their official data.

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On this Day
1987: LA Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored his 36,000th NBA point.

Who is the only soccer player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d’Or? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Where did the Miracle on Ice take place? Answer: Lake Placid, NY. Kudos: (let’s do everyone this time) Matt Sauter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg, PA; John Lappas-Home Team Sports/NY; Bill Hirsh-Learfield IMG College/NY; Rick Dascher-WarnerMedia Studios/Atlanta, GA; Keith Marder-Brown Harris Stevens Real Estate/NYC; Michael Dittelman-Dedicated Sports Marketing/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NYC; Mike Lehman-Braves/Atlanta, GA; Greg Maltzman-Up Down Digital/NYC; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus, OH; Joshua Duboff-IMAGN Content Service/Philadelphia, PA; Larry Kahn-TBD/Orlando, FL; Christopher Long-Head of Partnerships, East/NY; Rick Ramage-UTA/Bedford, NY; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington, Sean Walker-OMG/NYC; FL; Mike Doyle-National CineMedia/Madison, CT; Bruce Bernstein-Pure Hoops Media/Greater Hartford, CT; Sam Pittman-Juniper & Berkeley/Raleigh, NC; Creed Heilskov-ImOn/Cedar Rapids, IA; Travis Wacker-ESPN/Chicago, IL; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington, MA; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; Larry Hutchings/San Luis Obispo, CA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, CA; Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs, CA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/Los Angeles, CA;Bruce Trotter-COX/Los Angeles, CA; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco, CA; Chris Maathuis-KLAS/Las Vegas, NV; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente, CA; Brian McAloon-Fox Sports/Los Angeles, CA; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Alumni Development/Calgary, AB; John Ferlazzo/London, UK.

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