02/14/18: MLB and Snapple are teaming up for a new partnership

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 14, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Snapple and Major League Baseball are forming a new partnership, with Snapple signing on to become the “Official Tea and Juice Drink of MLB” beginning with the upcoming 2018 season. The two-year deal supplies Snapple with marketing and activation rights across MLB special events including All-Star Week, the Postseason and World Series, as well as other key moments during the season. As part of the sponsorship, Snapple and MLB will be releasing a new, baseball themed product that will be offered for a limited time. Dozens of “Snapple Facts” about baseball will also be placed underneath bottle caps in addition to Fanatics creating a special merchandise offer to be found on select Snapple products.
“Snapple can’t wait to add even more flavor to this great game through our sponsorship with Major League Baseball, an organization that has been producing some very innovative collaborations,” said Regan Ebert, SVP of Marketing, Snapple. “Baseball, summer and Snapple go hand-in-hand and we want to remind every American of their right to take a flavorful break while enjoying our national pastime, or anytime at all.”

Chloe Kim’s gold medal win helped push NBC’s coverage of the Winter Games to an average of 22.3 million viewers on its platforms on Monday, according to live plus same day fast national data released today by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. With an NBC-only average of 20.9 million viewers from 8-11p, the network was down 7% from the opening Monday in Sochi but scored the most-dominant Monday night in the Sept.-May TV season by any broadcast network since the 1998 Academy Awards. The tally now means that half of US television homes and more than one-third of the country’s population have watched the PyeongChang Olympics in some form on NBCU networks, per fast cume data with 109.6 million viewers clocking in.
ESPN, Sky Sports and Formula 1 are teaming up to bring Sky Sports’ presentation of the championship to the US. With ESPN and ABC slated to carry all 21 F1 races under a new deal, TV audiences will see the Sky Sports coverage on the networks with commentary and analysis from the likes of Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, Paul di Resta and Anthony Davidson. “We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team,” said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer, motorsports per ESPN.com. “Their coverage of F1 is second to none and we look forward to bringing their expertise and authenticity to our audiences.”
Speaking of Sky, the company and BT Group paid $6.2 billion to carry the bulk of the UK rights for English Premier League soccer. Reuters reports that Sky will retain its leading position, with rights to 128 games per season over the three year deal, while BT will hold onto 32 games. The auction is not yet complete with another 40 games yet to be awarded, the league said in a statement.
Univision Deportes’ broadcast of Liga MX saw Saturdays’ Liga MX Tigres/America match on Univision average 1.5 million viewers with 784K among the adult 18-49 demographic. That marks the highest-rated Liga MX match of the year. Meanwhile, the Chivas-Santos Laguna match at 10p averaged 1.4 million for the channel to rank as the second most-viewed Liga MX match this year.
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The NBA laid out partner activation plans for NBA All-Star 2018, including live fan engagement spaces from the likes of American Express, Anheuser-Busch – Budweiser Live; Jack Daniel’s – Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg General Store; Kia – Kia All-Star Loft; Mountain Dew – Mtn Dew Kickstart Courtside Studios; and Nike. Meanwhile, multiple partners will be contributing to NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, as well as completing additional charitable programs throughout NBA All-Star:
  • Kaiser Permanente – NBA All-Star FIT Celebration
  • Kia – Donating more than 700 basketballs to the Girls Inc. Center
  • Nike – Hosting youth clinics throughout LA
  • Ruffles – 4-point RIDGE line donations to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • State Farm – State Farm Assist Tracker
  • Taco Bell – Taco Bell Foundation Live Mas Scholarships
  • Under Armour – Jr. NBA Day and Building Bridges Through Basketball
Comcast NBCUniversal and the Association of National Advertisers’ inked a partnership in support of the ANA’s #SeeHer movement, which focuses on global, national and regional brands working together to eliminate gender bias in advertising and media. Kicking off with the Winter Olympics, the partnership launched with a #SeeHer Presents “takeover” celebrating America’s female athletes on NBC Sports’ morning and primetime coverage and other NBCUniversal properties and platforms in the coming days and weeks. Supporters of the initiative include #SeeHer members AT&T, Procter & Gamble, USAA, and Verizon.

opendorse announced an alliance with the LPGA and will see more than 200 LPGA Tour players gain access to share LPGA content and create new social revenue stream opportunities through the platform. Brittany Lincicome became the first LPGA Tour player to use opendorse’s athlete marketing platform at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic last month. “The LPGA has long been a leader in helping their pros build brands that last beyond their days on tour,” said opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “By providing players access to the content they create on the course, the LPGA allows pros to engage their fans with valuable media in a seamless social experience. This partnership is a great example of how properties and players can work together to expand their audience, maximize the value of content, and ultimately grow their game.”
Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra are reportedly teaming up for a new sports media startup titled The Religion of Sports, according to TechCrunch. The company is seeking around $3 million in outside capital with the goal of creating “a multi-platform storytelling business that functions like an old-school studio — dedicated to sports — that tells the best stories in the medium that’s most appropriate for them.”
Golf Digest announced that it will partner with David Leadbetter, a world-renowned golf coach, to produce its first-ever livestream lesson. This lesson will live under Golf Digest’s new platform called, Golf Digest Live! Masters Series, with Thursday’s live lesson filmed at The Leadbetter Golf Academy in New York City’s Konnectgolf at 10:30a.
Imagine Television and Thirty Five Media, owned by NBA star Kevin Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman are partnering with Apple to produce an original basketball-themed scripted dramatic series, Swagger. The project marks the first scripted co-production from Thirty-Five Media inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences.
Facebook Watch is offering the docu-series Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace, ahead of the Daytona 500. The first episode in the original series will post on Thursday. The eight-part series was produced by NASCAR Productions and will chronicle Wallace’s road to Daytona International Speedway – from his earliest racing days to his debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as the new fulltime driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Raycom Sports locked in more than 70 markets so far to carry the new Heroes of the Dorm: Atlantic Coast Region television series this weekend. Partnering with Tespa, Blizzard Entertainment’s college esports network, the weekly, one-hour program will run from Feb. 17-March 1. Confirmed markets are set to include: New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Portland and Las Vegas. “We are very excited for Heroes of the Dorm: Atlantic Coast Region to begin airing this weekend,” said George Johnson, SVP of Programming and Distribution for Raycom. “Tespa has built the best collegiate esports environment, so we couldn’t ask for a better partner in launching this new series. And the demand from local markets has exceeded our expectations. We are jumping headfirst into this emerging space to bring engaging stories to its community of fans.”
Esports communications pillars Anna Rozwandowicz, Kalie Moore and Nicola Piggott announced plans to team up to launch of The Story Mob, described as an international consultancy offering strategic communications counsel to brands, teams, on-air talent, startups and investors in the esports space. Rozwandowicz  joins from ESL, Piggott comes from Riot Games and Moore serve at BITKRAFT Esports Ventures. Clients will include the likes of Team Liquid, Fnatic, Red Bull, DOJO Madness, Split Media Labs and BITKRAFT Esports Ventures.
Esports platform SLIVER.tv announced the close of a $20 million Theta token private sale to blockchain and esports experts including DHVC, I Blockchain Capital, Nirvana Capital, aelf, Synapse Capital and leading Silicon Valley VCs DCM, Sierra Ventures and the Venture Reality Fund. Led by Danhua Capital and advised by Steve Chen, Co-founder of YouTube and Justin Kan, Co-founder of Twitch, the private token presale sold out in 48 hours.


Public relations, events, sports marketing, and content marketing agency KemperLesnik named David Gough as VP of sports and events. Gough most recently served as managing director for the Boxing Marketing Arm.

Winter Olympics coverage includes Speed Skating, Alpine Skiing and Figure Skating on NBC at 8p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1952: The sixth Olympic Winter Games open at Oslo.
In the Know: What is Clyde Drexler’s nickname? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Name one of the two players who have earned four NBA All-Star MVP honors. Answer: Bob Pettit, Kobe Byant. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Nick Gaetano-MLB Advanced Media/NY; Jesse Parker-Horizon Media/NY; Rich Boland-Oath/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; John Tingue-CBS/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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