02/22/17: BAMTech taps new CEO; NASCAR ups northern exposure; Magic’s new hat


Good morning. It’s Wednesday February 22, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

BAMTech has a new CEO, with MLBAM announcing that former Amazon exec Michael Paull would step into the role. There, Paull “will set the vision and guide this new venture as he leads its transformation into an independent company driving sustainable high growth.” Previously, he served as VP, Digital Video at Amazon in Seattle where he ran Amazon Channels worldwide and was responsible for its global content, product, technology, operations and marketing.
“Michael is a talented and accomplished executive who shares our collective vision for BAMTech as it aggressively explores new means to acquire and distribute video content,” said Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Baseball. “We are confident Michael will deliver on the incredible potential and promise this venture has for building powerful viewing experiences for its clients and their customers.”


NASCAR has a long-term home in Canada, striking a multi-year rights extension with TSN and RDS that will see the networks retain exclusive Canadian media rights to all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races on all platforms. The multi-platform deal include expanded digital rights, with TSN and RDS delivering comprehensive coverage of these NASCAR series across the networks’ digital and social media platforms.

Magic Johnson’s new career as President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers will mean the end of his run at ESPN. “Magic informed us of his decision to accept this opportunity with the Lakers and thus end his current role on NBA Countdown in order to focus on his newfound responsibilities,” the company said in a statement. “We’re grateful for the terrific contributions Magic has made to our NBA coverage and we wish him all the best. We look forward to documenting the next step in Magic’s unprecedented basketball journey.”

GLORY locked in new multi-year deals with lead play-by-play announcer Todd Grisham and lead analyst Joe Valtellini to remain the signature voices inside the commentary booth for the promotion. In addition to their fight night duties, Grisham and Valtellini will be featured in expanded hosting roles for both audio and video content on traditional broadcast and digital platforms. They will also team up to tackle six television special features in 2017, beginning in February with the Best of GLORY 2016.

The FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Southeast inked a multi-year agreement to become the exclusive regional television rights holder of MLS’ Atlanta United beginning with its 2017 inaugural season. All Atlanta United matches not nationally televised during the 2017 season will run on FOX Sports South or FOX Sports Southeast, reaching 10 million households across Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

RFD-TV’s The American will be featured on CBS on Sunday at 12:30p. The telecast will feature the final round of the famed rodeo from AT&T Stadium featuring an hour of highlights. “RFD-TV thanks CBS for their support in bringing rodeo back to network television for the first time in over 30 years,” said Patrick Gottsch, Founder and President of RFD-TV. “The world’s greatest western sports athletes competing for $2 million in AT&T Stadium is something that everyone should see and enjoy.”  


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NASCAR is entering a multi-year partnership with Jacob Companies that makes the company the “Official Construction Company of NASCAR.” As part of this partnership, Jacob Companies joins the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council and will have the opportunity to engage with decision makers of top brands and showcase services to other official partners. “Jacob Companies is a firm founded in innovation and ingenuity, and we are pleased that it’s growing its position in our sport in a strategic and meaningful way,” said Chad Seigler, NASCAR vice president of business development. We are excited for Jacob Companies to bring their expertise and experience to our Fuel for Business Council, and look forward to seeing them deliver custom design projects to official partners, teams and tracks alike.”

Roc Nation landed MLS’ Houston Dynamo for a deal that makes the company the team’s exclusive agency of record. This ongoing partnership will see Roc Nation drive further branding deals on behalf of the Dynamo, as well as broker live entertainment opportunities for the Dynamo’s home, BBVA Compass Stadium.

The University of San Francisco Athletics Department announced a multi-year sponsorship with Provident Credit Union. “Provident is thrilled to partner with the USF community, and to help their students, faculty and alumni achieve their financial and educational goals,” said Jim Ernest, president & CEO of Provident Credit Union. “Provident Credit Union has deep roots within the educational community and this new partnership is a perfect fit.”


ESPN.com announced that the site will now feature curated sports content from news publisher REDEF, delivering the top sports editorial pieces from across the web to fans. Select stories from REDEF’s daily sports newsletter will be posted on ESPN.com every morning. “The REDEF brand has established itself as a premier media influencer by highlighting different perspectives on the biggest headlines,” said Chad Millman, VP and editorial director of domestic digital content, ESPN. “The team’s creative sensibility is a perfect match for the level of thoughtfulness and understanding we strive to provide fans that visit ESPN.com.”
MSG Networks lined up its slate of exclusive live local NHL hockey for MSG GO with content coming on March 2, beginning with Rangers/Bruins. The streams will also feature each team’s full pre- and postgame shows.


Luminosity Gaming officially announced that Minnesota Twins pitcher Trevor May would be joining the team where he will stream for the franchise on his Twitch channel. The Dot Esports writes that May would serve as a brand ambassador for the team, with the potential for the athlete to acquire a financial stake in the team. "The first time I spoke to Trevor, we talked at length,” said Steve Maida of Luminosity Gaming. “As the call ended, Trevor revealed to me that he was just about to start his baseball game.  I was pleasantly surprised and I think it speaks volumes about his passion for esports and gaming in general.  He is a genuine guy through and through and I couldn’t be happier to welcome to Luminosity Gaming.  There is so much we can learn from the world of traditional sports, and I hope that Trevor can pass on some of his experience to our players and management."


WWE named Sal Siino as Senior Vice President, Global Content Distribution & Business Development. Siino previously held senior leadership roles with WeMash, Bedrocket Media Ventures, T3Media and Westwood One, will report directly to Tandy O’Donoghue, WWE Executive Vice President, Strategy & Analytics.He will be charged with the management of WWE’s worldwide content distribution business across all platforms and manage business development initiatives and partnerships, as well as providing related support to WWE’s business units.
Danny Boockvar has been named President of NFL Experience Times Square, a new sports-themed entertainment attraction hitting New York City later this year. Prior to joining NFL Experience Times Square, Boockvar was the Chief Executive Officer of New York Cruise Lines Inc.


Louisville/North Carolina on ESPN at 9p.



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ON THIS DAY in 1959: Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.

In The Know: Who was the last driver to win the Daytona 500 in back-to-back years? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the name of the trophy presented to the winner of the Daytona 500? Answer: The Harley J. Earl Trophy. Kudos: Matt Moran-USA TODAY Sports/NY; Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Adam Samrov-New England Newspapers/Vermont; Ken Nice-TeamPeople/DC; Chris Schwartz-International Speedway Corporation/Charlotte; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Andy Nelson-Heartland Industries/Richland; Brad Brown-Nevco, Inc./St. Louis; Chris Hartweg-Huddle Pro/Chicago; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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