02/05/18: Which brands soared at the Super Bowl?; USA Volleyball gets a bump; Telemundo kicks off Cup campaign

Good morning. It’s Monday February 5, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Congratulations to XXXXX, we break down early data from the Super Bowl below, with some surprises in the ad mix.
Meanwhile, our Q&A today is with Jamie Davis, CEO of USA Volleyball, who – a year after taking on the role – has reworked the structure of the NGB, locked in the org’s biggest partnership ever courtesy of a new deal with adidas, and is now plotting the future of its media strategy. Recent weeks also saw the launch of the USA National Beach Rankings, described as the premiere domestic platform for all beach volleyball results with an eye to provide for the most accurate seeding of competitions and serve as the best platform to identify talent at all levels across the country. Cynopsis asked Davis about the opportunities for the sport, protecting athletes following the USA Gymnastics scandal and what we can expect moving forward.
Davis on taking the job: I was approached by a headhunter and when I was first approached, I wasn’t looking for a job and was enjoying running my own consulting business. When they brought up USA Volleyball, I started looking into the sport and got really excited by the opportunity. I didn’t realize that volleyball was the top girls team participatory sport in high school. More girls play volleyball than play any other team. That holds true at the NCAA level as well. Then I looked a beach volleyball, which is the fastest growing sport in the history of the NCAA. When you look at the boy’s side, it is the second-fastest growing high school sport for boys. So as a guy who has been in sports for his entire career, I realized that I had no idea of the scale of this sport. So a light bulb went off, and I realized what an unbelievable opportunity this is to be able to work with a sport with so much momentum and come in from an outsider’s perspective with fresh eyes and bring my experience to it.
On goals: My immediate goals when I first got here was first to digest. I didn’t want to make changes on day one. When I looked at USA Volleyball, I saw huge potential but I also saw that it was a very siloed organization. We were divided by three separate core operations who were sitting there trying to mirror each other. So we were trying to build each of these up, as they are all of equal priority to me. So one of the first things I did here was to break down those silos so we could become a more efficient organization and instead of being broken down by discipline, it would be organized by function. So the people in events, for example, now all work together for indoor, sitting and beach.
The second thing I realized was that our brand was misunderstood and not that well known. People heard of USA Volleyball but didn’t know what we stood for or what made us unique. So we came up with a brand positioning which we call Path to the Podium. USA Volleyball is the only organization in this sport which works at the grassroots levels up to the level of the national teams where we have the Olympics and Paralympians competing. You are on that path from the day you join as a member.
On exposure: When you look at the hours of volleyball programming that are now on the networks, it is getting a lot more exposure. We are working to extend that but I’m looking at not just at traditional media but – when you look at the demographics of our membership – I am looking at the digital space as well and mobile first, to be perfectly honest. So as we talk with broadcasters and others about carriage and exposure of our sport, one thing that is very important to me is what they can deliver in the digital space. I go to these events and I see a lot of heads down so if that’s where they are looking, that is where we have to be.
On protecting athletes: We are 100% dedicated to SafeSport, and we were one of the earliest adopters in putting in safeguards to ensure that we are doing as much as we can. We certainly do background screenings, we require all of our members who deal with junior athletes to be SafeSport certified, which means that that cannot participate if they are not certified. I would not be in this role if this role did not take our athletes safety seriously.

As we wait for Super Bowl viewership numbers, Golf Channel reports that it drew it most-watched January ever last month with an average of 116,000 viewers per minute in Total Day, swelling 23% over last year, according to Nielsen. Additionally, January’s rise hit its digital outlets as well with Golf Digital notching its best January for minutes streamed (22.6M) and page views (78.5M), up 34% and 19% respectively.
In other ratings numbers, Univision Deportes is touting that 1.5 million Total Viewers and 895K Adults 18-49 watched the Mexico/Bosnia on Jan, 31 on UniMas, with a simulcast on UDN. This performance ranked as the top sports telecast of the day on all TV, regardless of language.
Finally, beIN Sports en Espanol saw its coverage of the LaLiga Barcelona/Alaves match on Jan. 28 record 552,000 Total Viewers. Meanwhile, the its telecast of Valencia/Real Madrid the day before averaged 241,000 Total Viewers for the channel.
NBCU now turns its full attention to the Olympics, announcing that the Golden Globe-winning song “This Is Me,” from The Greatest Showman-Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, will be used by NBC Olympics leading up to and during the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. The song is performed by Keala Settle and be featured in promotional spots to run across NBCUniversal’s broadcast, cable, digital, social, and radio platforms, as well as by NBC Olympics’ production at strategic times.
ESPN announced that the 2018 Armed Forces Classic, owned and operated by ESPN Events, will feature Texas and Arkansas, out of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, on Nov. 9.The annual event, in its seventh year, will take place on the United States mainland for the first time since its inception in 2012.
New Guest-Presenters Announced!
The Cynopsis TV Awards
Wednesday, February 7th | 4:45pm – 8:pm | Espace, NYC
Guest presenters include history enthusiast, adventurer and host of The Travel Channel‘s “Mysteries at the Museum,” Don Wildman, food enthusiast editor and host of Litton Entertainment’s “Naturally, Danny Seo,” Danny Seo, and stars from VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Alexis Michelle & Jiggly Caliente. Don’t miss this fun celebration of the incredible work we’ve seen in television this past year!

Leading into the Super Bowl, early advertisers had already clocked 372.3 million views for early release spots, according to ispot.tv, along with 2.3 million social actions related to the ads. Gameday, meanwhile, saw the formal presentation during the game produce multiple winners, depending on the metric you are looking for. Looking for emotional connection? System1 Research’s rankings place Universal Parks & Resorts’ “Vacation Quarterback” atop the list, followed by a trio of NBC Olympic commercials, featuring Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn and Chloe Kim respectively, with the NFL’s Giants Dancing rounding out the top five list. How did people react to hashtags? The Sprinklr CMX platform determined that the top five brands mentioned during Super Bowl Week ranked by commercial hashtags was led by Avocados from Mexico, followed by Tide, Pepsi, T-Mobile and Doritos. But ispot.tv, measuring overall online activity and engagement, determined that the “Battle” between Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew drew the most engagement overall at press time, followed by the Star Wars promo for Solo and Pepsi’s ad “This is the Pepsi.”
Telemundo Deportes used the Super Bowl to kick off its promotion as the exclusive Spanish-language home of the FIFA World Cup this summer. The 10-second promo ran on NBC and featured Andres Cantor and his goal call. “We want to let everyone know that we will have the most exciting, authentic coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Super Bowl Sunday is a great vehicle for us to reach sports fans,” said Ray Warren, president, Telemundo Deportes. “Andres Cantor is a legendary giant in the World Cup community and makes our coverage unique. His trademark ‘gooool’ call carries all the passion of the sport regardless of language.” The Super Bowl activations will also mark the official launch of “Lo Vivimos Juntos” campaign.
The United States Golf Association announced the launch of Driving Golf Forward, a multi-year campaign “focused on four key impact areas and designed to help fund cutting-edge innovation and industry-leading research and help golf facilities reduce their reliance on resources such as water, nutrients, chemicals and energy by 25% by 2025. The planned increases in investment include the development of global forums to better connect the worldwide golf community and produce positive, collaborative change. “Golf has an active community of individuals who support efforts to grow the game and we’ve heard they want to do even more,” said Sarah Brady, head of the USGA Foundation. “Driving Golf Forward provides an opportunity to play a direct role in the future of golf and invest in important programs that will make a difference.”

The NFL, Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic announced the three winners of 1st and Future, the league’s annual Super Bowl start-up competition designed to spur “novel advancements in athlete safety and performance.” Three companies—Impressio, Inc., RecoverX and Curv.ai emerged as winners and each received $50,000 to further develop their innovations. Impressio utilizes liquid-crystal elastomers (LCEs) to create novel dissipative liner materials for protective equipment designed to overcome the existing challenges of energy absorption in current helmet foams. RecoverX is leveraging Element, a connected device that can achieve the optimum cold or hot therapy temperatures without any ice or water, designed to allow users more freedom for their therapy.  Curv.ai’s Curv won as an athlete development platform that leverages patent-pending computer vision and augmented reality to transform the camera on any mobile device into a versatile tool that captures human motion, measures athletic abilities and evaluates injury risk.
Electronic Arts launched EA SPORTS UFC 3, with new gameplay features and animations, new social modes, and a new G.O.A.T. Career mode. “EA SPORTS UFC 3 is the most realistic mixed martial arts game ever made,” UFC President Dana White said. “The new G.O.A.T. Career Mode gives you the opportunity to go from contender to champion by promoting your brand and performing inside the Octagon. This game has it all.”

Riot Games is bringing the North American League of Legends Championship Series Spring Finals to Miami, with the event taking place at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on April 7-8, according to ESPN. The 2,713-seat venue would mark the second time Riot has hosted an event in a theater.
Coca-Cola is launching the eCOPA Coca-Cola, a FIFA 18 Global Series qualifier tournament as part of “The Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018.” Esports Insider writes that the event will take place in August. “We have always looked to creating meaningful connections with our consumers around their passions,” said Alban Dechelotte, Coca-Cola’s senior entertainment marketing manager. “Football and gaming are two passions for which Coca-Cola has been uplifting fans’ experiences for many years. Football is part of the Coke’s DNA – part of how we connect with people.”
The NBA 2K League announced that 72,000 players advanced to the NBA 2K League Combine, the next stage of qualifying for the league. Players had to win 50 games in NBA 2K18’s Pro-Am mode during the month of January with the combine running through Feb. 21 where players need to complete 40 games in one position during 12 pre-set time windows in order to identify the top 102 players who will make the league.
PGL Studios in Bucharest is lining up the PUBG Spring Invitational in partnership with Imba TV, for a four-day battle royale where 16 teams from across the world will face off for $100.000 prize pool.

West Virginia/Oklahoma on ESPN at 9p.
The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards
 [Event: April 12 at the New York Athletic Club]
We’re ready to celebrate the work of the most talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives in the sports industry, saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans. Crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms, we’ve expanded our categories and are looking forward to spotlighting this incredible industry.
View Categories                  Enter by 02/6

ON THIS DAY in 2006: Steelers beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
In the Know: Who is the only American to ever medal in cross-country skiing at the Olympics? (Thanks Michael Jaquet for the question). (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Future Trivia. Which player would score the first points in the Super Bowl on Sunday? Answer: Jake Elliott. Providing undeniable proof that they are psychic are: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Brian Traynor-Endeavor/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Mark Stulberger-Stully’s Broadcasting School/Houston; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo

Later – Chris
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Mng relationship & contract negotiations w/Nexstar Media’s MVPD partners. 8+yrs affil sales & negotiation exp in cable/TV industry,  incl acct mngmnt  exp with a track record of delivering results.

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JOB OPENING: MGR, PAID SOCIAL MEDIA/A+E Networks/NY: Develop & manage all paid social media strategy and analytics across our portfolio of brands. 3-5+ yrs. of paid social mktg exp w/emphasis on entertainment mktg. Apply: www.aenetworks.com/career.html(2/10)

JOB OPENING: SR. MGR, YOUTUBE STRATEGY/A+E Networks/NY: Evangelizing YouTube across the co to streamline content output & maximize revenue as well as manage our YouTube presence across our portfolio. 5+ yrs. of digital mktg exp w/emphasis on entertainment mktg. Apply: www.aenetworks.com/career.html. (2/10)

DIRECTOR, DISTRIBUTION/Nexstar/Dallas: Mng relationship & contract negotiations w/Nexstar Media’s MVPD partners. 8+yrs affil sales & negotiation exp in cable/TV industry,  incl acct mngmnt  exp with a track record of delivering results. Full info/apply HERE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/FUSETV/NY: Create proposals in Ad Sales sys, monitor/steward accounts, support Nat’l Account Exec w/ mktg and rsrch projects. BA, 2+ yrs media/sales plan’g req’d. click on our career page HERE (2/9)

: SALES PLANNER/MUSIC CHOICE TV/NYC: Resp for development/fulfillment of integrated media plans & proposals across all Music Choice television platforms for advertising clients. 1-2 yrs media or sales plan’g/assistant at an agency or ntwrk. Solid understanding of media math. Full info HERE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, STANDARD & PRACTICES/A+E/NY: Evaluate prgmg to ensure that A+E Networks’ content meets standards of good taste & community acceptability. 8+ yrs of S&P exp within a cable or brdcst environment in both scripted & unscripted prgmg. Live TV & tape delay exp a must. Apply HERE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS/Whistle Sports/NYC: Dynamic individual w/passion for generating new bus & hitting sales goals. Sell portfolio of video prods & creative solutions incl straight media to brand integrations & custom content. 6-8 yrs of successful digital ad exp /strong track record. Full info HERE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXEC/SR ACCOUNT EXEC, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS/Whistle Sports/NYC: Sell portfolio of video prods & creative solutions ranging, straight media to brand integrations & custom content. 3-5 yrs successful digital ad exp. Solid track record of outstanding results in attaining rev goals. Full info HERE (2/9)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCER/MNBC/Hardball/DC: Work closed with Anchor Chris Mathews & Sr Staff  & Contribute daily by writing exceptional, compelling segments regarding political insight and newsworthy events of the day. Min 5 yrs TV production, including at least 2 years as a segment producer. Full info/apply HERE (2/8)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, MEDIA RELATIONS/FX Networks/LA: Responsible for launching/sustaining new & returning shows, planning & executing PR campaigns, advancement of PR obj, & cultivating media support & awareness of FX Networks. Full info/apply HERE (2/8)

JOB OPENING: OTT SOLUTIONS ENGINEER/NeuLion/NY: Digital video expert with strong engineering/product/project/solutions architect background to join technical presales team for NeuLion’s OTT platform. Represent all technical aspects of platform to prospects. Resume  [email protected] (2/8)

DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENTIST/UPtv/Atlanta: Assist in the collection and analysis of data across all UP digital platforms. Manage digital campaign. Solid understanding of data science fundamentals and deep hands on understanding of digital mining and model creation. Full info/apply HERE (2/8)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION COORD/Giant Interactive/NYC: Help build a digital movies & TV dist business from ground up. Sprvs creation/delivery of: metadata, trailers, clips, artwork, copy. Build audience engagement via digital PR & all major SM platforms. Resume to: [email protected] (2/7)

AD SALES ASSISTANT/Weather/NYC: Provide support to Ad Sales Acct Execs to srvc clients, and all aspects of media schedules. Extremely detail oriented w/orgnzt’l skills to keep efficient work sched. BS or 2 yrs exp. req. Full info/apply HERE  (2/7)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, RESEARCH/20th TV/NYC: 20th TV seeks an individual to support quantitative and qualitative research for the syndicator’s off-network & orig prgrmng & competition. Exp w/Nielsen tools, particularly NPower. In-depth knwldg of TV/Media landscape & impact on TV viewing. Full info/apply HERE (2/7)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/FUSETV/NY: Create proposals in Ad Sales sys, monitor/steward accounts, support Nat’l Account Exec w/mktg and rsrch projects. BA, 2+ yrs media/sales plan’g req’d. click on our career page @ www.fuse.tv (2/7)

JOB OPENING: PR MANAGER/truTV (Turner)/NYC: Responsible for creating and implementing PR campaigns for network & its comedic programming. Must be creative, collaborative, motivated and strategic. Excellent writing & interpersonal skills plus 5-7 yrs related experience required. Full info/apply HERE (2/6)

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JOB OPENING: PROJECT MGR/NBC SPORTS/Stamford: Operate as a logistical hub of the motion graphics projects as assigned. 5+ yrs at a network or broadcast design agency. Knowl of tech design in TV. Full info/apply HERE (2/6)

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