03/09/20: For Soccer Ventures talks ground game investments

 

 

Monday March 9, 2020

With the MLS season underway, spring brings a renewed focus on soccer across the country. Looking to capitalize on these gains is For Soccer Ventures, an investment firm focused on the growth and long-term development of American soccer not through professional teams but through lifestyle, content and popular culture “that uses the business of soccer to unite people.” The company is backed by a $50 million investment from MLS Philadelphia Union co-founder Richie Graham, and recently announced the acquisition of its first three businesses: FootyCon, The Association, and Kicks To The Pitch. Cynopsis caught up with former U.S. Men’s National team player, now company Chief Brand Officer, Heath Pearce to break down the company’s role in the ecosystem.

Pearce on objectives: Our primary objective is to become the soccer platform, connecting with all aspects of American soccer culture during – what we’re calling – “The Decade of Soccer” in the U.S., which features a domestic World Cup, an Olympics, and potentially a Women’s World Cup. For us it all starts at the grassroots level where we know the American soccer player and their family better than anyone, as we’ve been investing for the past decade in improving their experience on and off the field. Our investment is now culminating with US Men’s National Team Players (Mark McKenize and Brendan Aaronson) that came through Academy/School and we’re now building the definitive platform that aspires toward creating authentic touch points throughout the American soccer experience, including all forms of media and entertainment.

On how businesses tie in: We differentiate ourselves in the marketplace by being the central hub for creativity for all things American soccer culture. Our acquisition of Kicks to the Pitch was predicated upon their creative capabilities in the lifestyle space. However, we’re not just another branded content and influencer play…we actually want to unite the American soccer community through physical experiences and provide brands authentic engagement with these consumers.

On how “Footycon” joins other “cons” in big business: In a world of ever-increasing access and connectedness through social media, fans are feeling more and more disconnected from the game. With a quick scroll, a cheap like, and the same content across many traditional publishers channels, fans are looking for real touch points and connecting with the community that surrounds it. FootyCon will become the premier destination for soccer fans, players, brands, artists, musicians and creators to converge, celebrate and empower the sport of soccer and the culture it inspires. While we’re launching this first-ever two day festival this summer, our ambition is to take this property across the country and celebrate all aspects of soccer culture, including a major emphasis on the women’s game.

On ties to MLS: While the Soccer Collective isn’t directly linked to Richie’s Union investment, we inherently believe healthy domestic leagues will become protagonists for the sport’s success in America. While we aren’t exclusively about MLS, NWSL or USL, we do want to celebrate the stories of the players and fan communities that comprise these leagues. There are plenty of outlets posting Messi and Ronaldo highlights … which definitely serves a certain audience – but we believe there is a massive opportunity to tell the untold stories, here in our own backyard.

On building a content platform: Our executive team comes from the media, content, player and influencer world. Building our own platforms is definitely a key component of our strategy. There is a massive opportunity to celebrate and elevate all aspects of the game from the ground up. What’s most exciting for us it the opportunity to partner and acquire likeminded companies that have the same belief, values and long-term commitment to grow the American soccer community.

PROGRAMMING

As a slate of NHL teams close off locker rooms to the media as a result of coronavirus precautions, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated that the league is “considering every conceivable option” to keep players and fans safe. “We’re considering every conceivable option that may be because what’s happening is evolving not only on a day-to-day basis in terms of us staying on top of developments, but it’s almost hour to hour,” Bettman said. “We are considering — no formal announcement. Some clubs may be focusing on this on their own, but as you all know the locker room is a very intimate environment and players are not always fully clothed and it may be best to have media accessibility at a podium for everybody’s health and safety, not just the players’ but [the media’s].”

NFL players have until 11:59p on Thursday night to complete their ballots for the potential new collective bargaining agreement. The proposed new CBA deal, which would run through the 2030 NFL season, was approved by owners on Feb. 20 and now awaits the players’ vote. Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, have announced that they are voting no, while Dolphins player Ryan Fitzpatrick stated that he will vote yes on the proposal. The CBA would pass if it receives a simple majority of all ballots submitted and kick in for the 2020 league year, with a possible move to a 17-game regular season coming in 2021 at the earliest.

The BIG3 and United States Tennis Association cemented a partnership to bring FIREBALL3 to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The BIG3 will host its second weekend festival of the 2020 season in New York on Saturday, June 27. BIG3 will look to utilize the entire National Tennis Center for a range of family friendly events.

WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin returns to Raw on USA Network on 3/16 to help the WWE Universe celebrate #316Day. In addition, WWE Network will stream a marathon of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin programming, including an all-new episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions featuring an in-depth interview with WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart. #316Day will also feature exclusive Austin 3:16 merchandise on WWEShop.com; special Topps Austin 3:16 trading card sets; and custom content across WWE’s global digital and social media platforms celebrating Austin’s career.

In international waters, Sky Sports is expanding its content plans for women’s sports, announcing that more live programming will now be offer on its YouTube channel, including the Women’s Six Nations rugby union tournament, the WNBA, the Netball Superleague and women’s cricket. In addition, Sky Sports will look to invest in new, original women’s sports digital content and programming.

Australia’s pay-television broadcaster FOX Sports expanded a rights accord with IndyCar for the 2020 season. The company will now upgrade its programming from a highlights package to live IndyCar coverage starting March 16 with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida. Races will be available to stream on Kayo Sports and Foxtel Go.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION…
At a time when there is more content than ever, media entertainment companies need to find effective ways to shine a light on their shows.
The Cynopsis community was polled in 2020 and facts don’t lie:
· 78% feel that “FYC” advertising does a good job of raising awareness
+ encouraging viewership.
· 84% of the community gets their info through news outlets – like Cynopsis!
· 97% of our Emmy members vote.

Let Cynopsis help you increase your chances of snagging the trophy. Contact Cynopsis’ Publisher Robbie Caploe.

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC entered in a multi-year agreement with Ford, making the US car manufacturer the club’s official domestic automobile partner. Ford will have a presence at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium for multiple games during the season, including eight pre-match activations.

Meanwhile, MLS’ Sporting Kansas City expanded its partnership with minerals-product company Compass Minerals to serve as the team’s inaugural sleeve sponsor. The multiyear deal sees the company also become the official plant nutrition and salt provider of Sporting Kansas City.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

WWE saw its official YouTube channel top 40 billion total views. The channel, which ranks as YouTube’s top outlet in sports, also recently jetted past the 55 million subscriber mark.

Major League Soccer and MGM Resorts International launched “Predict 6,” the League’s first weekly free-to-play prediction game, on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS mobile app. Within “Predict 6 presented by BetMGM,” fans will be asked to predict a set of questions for each of six matches, first, the outcome of the match (Win, Lose, Draw) and for each of these matches, also answer a second proposition style question (example: which team will score first, what will be the final score, etc.). If a fan correctly predicts all six match outcomes and correctly answers the six additional proposition questions, they may win a $50,000 grand prize.

ESPORTS

The Call of Duty League recruited new partnerships with Twitter and the U.S. Army for its inaugural season. The multi-year with Twitter sees the platform serve as the source for Call of Duty League highlights and community engagement throughout the next three seasons. Call of Duty League will also leverage Twitter’s conversational products for fan predictions & cheering, along with their recently launched Topics and Lists functionality. Twitter and Call of Duty League have also launched team hashtag emojis for the entire League, allowing fans to share their fandom across the platform. Meanwhile, U.S. Army will be featured in League broadcasts throughout the season as the sponsor of a special segment dubbed “Tactical Play.” Additionally, the U.S. Army Esports Team will participate in Call of Duty Challengers LAN competition. U.S. Army will also be the presenting sponsor of a forthcoming collegiate duos competition tournament series.

Friday was brutal for a slate of esports events, which had to radically change plans as a result of coronavirus worries (with news coming from announcements, ESPN and other sites). Electronic Arts announced the postponement and cancellation of several Apex Legends Global Series and FIFA Global Series events while NetherRealm Studios blocked a live audience at Final Kombat, a key Mortal Kombat 11 event in Chicago. The Pokémon Company announced that it would postpone the Pokémon European International Championships, which were set for Berlin on April 17-19. A $250,000 Hearthstone Masters Tour event, slated to be played offline in LA on March 20-22, will now become an online competition. Newborn CS:GO league FLASHPOINT was set to open play on March 13, but will now host play completely in a Los Angeles studio while an April playoff event in Stockholm was cancelled. The League of Legends European Championship will move its spring split final scheduled for April 25-26 to Berlin. Bandai Namco will make changes to the schedule for both the Tekken World Tour as well as the SoulCalibur World Tour. Finally, both TwitchCon Amsterdam as well as SXSW have both been cancelled as well.

THE MAIN EVENT

Bucks/Nuggets on NBA TV at 9p.

Become a measurement expert!
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Session topics include: Addressable TV, Ad Fraud, Cross Media Measurement, Issues with Data Quality, Storytelling with Data and more.

Pricing will increase next Friday, 3/13: SECURE YOUR SAVINGS PASS NOW

Sponsored by: Gamut – Tubular Labs – Premion – Tunity

On This Day
1995: MLB awards a franchise to Tampa Bay.

In the Know
Which MLB manager holds the career record for most ejections? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who portrayed Jake Taylor in the movie Major League? Answer: Tom Berenger. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Jackie Mahon-Freelance/NY; John Morgan-SpotX/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Jason Brist-Outdoor Sportsman Group/Chicago; Russ DelCore-a4media/Oakland; Heather Allen-WWE Corporation/Stamford; Lisa Fikeys-NissanUnited/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Greg Dudsic/Venice; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Stacy Adams-Warner Bros./Burbank

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
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Roberta Caploe
Publisher
@robertacaploe

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Mike Farina
203-218-6480

Albert Nassour
917-545-3129

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CynopsisJobs
Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
GRAPHIC OPERATIONS MANAGER
PAC-12
SF

Oversee the building, development and localization of studio-based Chyron package. Minimum of 7+ years in production and technical operations is necessary. Full info/apply HERE (3/21)

MGR, BRAND STRATEGY & COMMUNICATIONS >>
PEACOCK – NBCU/NYC:
world-class strategist who will bring every aspect of our brand to life—from go-to-market planning, to IP, to audience development. 6 yrs brand planning/marketing strategy exp (TV/DTC) from the entertainment, advertising, or consumer products industry. Full info HERE (3/21)

VP PROGRAMMING >>
TLC/New York or Silver Spring MD: Critical thinker to drive audience growth for TLC’s content. Responsible for inventory planning, scheduling, budgeting, and cross-departmental communication. 10+ yrs relevant exp required. Apply Full info HERE (3/21)

MANAGER, CONTENT ACQUISITIONS DILIGENCE
>>
ION TELEVISION/NYC:
Resp for quantitative diligence & analytical support for content acquisitions. Transform data-driven insights into quantitative analysis, financial modeling and presentations. Mng Content Mkt Pipeline, incl exhibition & sales history. Full info HERE (3/20)

SPECIALIST – DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA >>
TLC/Silver Spring MD or NYC:
Create and publish the best digital & social content experiences for TLC and Discovery Life. Implement effective, innovative & influential social media strategies as the brand’s voice. 3+ yrs exp in social media marketing required. Full info/apply HERE (3/20)

MEDIA SALES PLANNER
>>
Fuse Media/NYC:
Experienced candidate to join dynamic team developing customized plans and presentations for Ad Sales clients. 2-4 yrs exp media sales co., or advertising agency pref’d w/strong knwldg media math. Exc problem solving & analytical skills. Full info HERE (3/19)

SOCIAL MEDIA INSIGHTS & ANALYTICS CONSULTANT (PT) >>
A+E Networks/NY:
Part time candidate to provide insight to inform digital monetization team, guide strategy, provide feedback on performance, & identify key opportunities to build A+E’s presence across social platforms & maximize revenue. Full info HERE (3/19)

DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY >>
beIN Sports/Miami FL:
Establish/maintain relationships w/ System level & Sr MSO staffs. Identify & direct mktg opps to ensure maximum revenue potential from accounts. Min 5-10 yrs exp in affiliate mktg or sales within ent/media, pref at a cable TV network w/est’d industry contacts. Full info HERE (3/19)

MANAGER, INVENTORY (TEMP) >>
Crown Media Family Networks/NYC: Mng process of monitoring and tracking all inventory through WideOrbit and Dealmaker reporting systems, while manually updating all ongoing daily changes. 2 or yrs exp in pricing and planning or advertising sales. Full info HERE (3/19)

SR DIRECTOR, INSIGHTS & POSITIONING OLYMPICS >>
NBCU/NYC:
Drive research innovation, measurement opps & forward-thinking sales solutions for the Olympics. Must possess business & analytical acumen necessary to interpret and anticipate client needs & business implications. 10+ yrs exp rsrch, measurement or insights within sports ind. Full info HERE (3/19)

DIRECTOR, PROGRAMMING & PRODUCTION >>
WHYY TV12/Philadelphia PA:
Oversee national & local TV programming on broadcast, cable/satellite, live linear streaming and digital video platforms. Key liaison between Content Prod, Communication & Member Relations, Development and Institutional Advancement. Full info HERE (3/19)

MGR, MEDIA RELATIONS
>>
FX/LA:
Mng daily implementation of public relations for assigned FX programs. Plan/implement press and PR-related objectives & programs, assisting with the strategic plan’g. 5 yr previous exp publicity at a network or agency pref’’d. Full info HERE (3/18)

SALES COORDINATOR >>
Dish Media/NY:
Responsible for the daily account management and support to assigned Account Executives. Support 1-2 Account Executives and planners. Full info HERE (3/18)

MARKETING STRATEGY >>
MGR/Discovery/LA or NYC:
Top creative to plan/execute campaigns on/off platforms to build awareness & drive engagement for the Discovery, Animal Planet & Science brands/shows. Analyze audience inside out to dvlp strong campaigns across on-air, cross and paid media 5+ yrs exp req’d. Full info HERE (3/18)

DIRECTOR, PAID MEDIA >>
STRATEGY/Discovery/NYC:
Lead effort of all media strategy for a key group of networks, mktg counterparts & internal team to acquire consumers who will watch the Discovery networks on various devices while focusing on top level network analysis and more. 7+ yrs paid media plan’g exp req’d. Full info HERE (3/18)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DR >>
Fuse Media/NYC: Responsible for maintaining/growing our Direct Response business while working closely with internal depts to optimize inventory and maximize revenue to achieve quarterly and annual goals. Full info HERE (3/18)

DESIGNER ANIMATOR >>
A+E/NYC: Highly skilled 2d/3d Motion Designer/Animator to support growing team within Prod Operations. Create compelling, fresh design ideas and typography solutions that will help brand our Networks and be highly adept at broadcast design, branding, on-air & off-air design conventions & post-prod process. Min 5 yrs exp in Broadcast Design with a refined eye for design and extensive knowledge of Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema 4D. APPLY HERE (3/18)

ASST MEDIA MANAGER (AMM) >>
Ad Council/NY: Seeking media strategist who is passionate about using their talent for social good work. The AMM is resp for assting day-to-day management of relats with pro-bono media agencies across all campaigns. Min 2 yrs exp in the media or adv. Must thrive on being organized/detail-oriented in a fast-paced and deadline-driven envir. Full info HERE (3/17)

MANAGER, AD SALES MKTG >>
Dish Media/NY: Looking for a smart, energetic and strategic thinker to drive awareness and rev for Dish and Sling in the advertising marketplace. Min 5 yrs in Advertising Sales or Marketing field with exp managing direct reports. Full info HERE (3/17)

SUMMER INTERN >>
Dish Media/NY: Is looking the next generation of leaders. Interns will have the opportunity to work in Advertising Sales/ Marketing, Data Analytics/ Market Research, Pricing & Inventory/ Finance. Full time from 6/8-7/31. Plus competitive pay. Full Info HERE (3/17)

VP, SALES DEVELOPMENT >>
ION Media/NY: Looking for a dynamic and exp. sales leader to oversee the development of overall sales strategies in breaking new categories and bringing in new business. Min 10 yrs. of Sales Management exp. with a demonstrated ability to bring in new revenue. Full info HERE EOE (3/17)

DIGITAL MRKTG MGR >>
NBC Universal/Phila, PA: Seeking a superstar to join our high-performance sls team. Ideal candidate must have digital mrktg knowledge, excellent people and communication skills, superior “bandwidth”, and is true team player. Min 5yrs exp with a deep understanding of digital video selling. Full info HERE (3/17)

EMAIL MARKETING MGR >>
UNC-TV/RTP NC:
Resp for managing UNC-TV’s email marketing channel incl communicating the brand through email campaigns, promoting shows and other station priorities. BA deg in mktg. Full info apply HERE (3/13)

WEBSITE MGR >>
UNC-TV/RTP NC:
Resp for mngng website platform including development/execution of web strategy designed to communicate the brand, promote shows and other station priorities and engage audiences and more. BA Deg 2 yrs relevant exp. Full info apply HERE (3/13)

LEGAL COUNCIL (IN-HOUSE) >>
Glass Entertainment Group/Bala Cynwyd PA: Track and complete all contracts w/networks, talent and clients. Supervise all release materials & prod contracts w/third parties involved in our productions. 5yrs legal exp as well as 1yr of entertainment law experience req’d. Full info/apply HERE (3/13)

SR ANALYST >>
Endeavor/Beverly Hills CA:
Using the research from analyzing TV (brdcst, cable, OTT) content, digital & social media to dvlp sales, mktg & prgrmng strategies & materials. 2+yrs work exp @ media co. (TV network, studio, SVOD service or ad agency) or research supplier. Solid knwldg of ad-supported TV. Full info HERE (3/13)

SR RESEARCH ANALYST
>>
Sesame Workshop/NY:
Resp for focusing on domestic initiatives, incl video, digital & outreach projects for Sesame Street & other properties. Social science rsrch lab & working directly w/preschool-age children exp. 3 yrs exp at non-profit, academic or educationally-oriented institution. Full info HERE (3/12)

VP, COMMUNICATIONS >>
BBC Studios/LA:
Design/implement wide-ranging communications plan for BBC Studios production unit. Raise our profile of the business and its executives thru industry PR activities & publicity – incl trade press and award campaigns. Min 6-8 yrs exp in industry and/or field. Full info HERE (3/11)

PAID MEDIA STRATEGIST >>
DISCOVERY/NYC:
Proven media strategist to develop plans that are both strategic and data-driven, with the goal of acquiring consumers to watch the various Discovery networks on our emerging direct-to-consumer platforms. 2+ yrs media planning experience required. Full info HERE (3/11)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DR >>
Marathon Ventures/NYC: Maintain/develop our DR acct business while working in collaboration w/internal depts to minimize risk & maximize revenue on current & future business transactions. Success record selling TV inventory to nat’l advertisers in the branding & DR marketplace. Full info HERE (3/11)

CHANNEL BRANDING SYSTEMS COORDINATOR >>
ION/CLW: Assist with design and scheduling of graphics for real-time play-out. 3-5 yrs. exp. in Graphic Design. Organization skills req. Knowledge of After Effects, Photoshop a must, SQL Database a plus. Click HERE to apply. EOE (3/11)

MEDIA DISTRIBUTION DEALS & PARTNER MANAGEMENT >>
NBA/NYC:
Focus on deal support & acct mngmnt for numerous NBA media partners. Ability to handle rsrch & analysis of media landscape independently to provide support to team for more complex negotiations. Min 4-6yrs supporting negotiation of media dist deals. Full info HERE (3/11)

TRAFFIC COORDINATOR >>
Ovation/NYC:
FT/freelance. Tech-savvy person w/willingness to learn responsible for seeing that all commercials on Ovation air have correct continuity and are dubbed correctly and in time for airing deadlines. Full info/apply HERE (3/11)

CURRENT AFFAIRS PRODUCER
>>
HITN/Brooklyn NY:
Producer to Write engaging/accurate copy quickly. High-level knowledge of the Adobe Creative Cloud Editing Suite, After Effects, file-based prod workflows, on camera interview techniques, well as camera technology, lighting & audio. 2-3 yrs exp in brdcst journalism. Full info HERE (3/10)

PRODUCER, MARKETING & PROMOTION >>
NBC Sports/Stamford CT:
Collaborate on the creation of promotional content for NBC Sports. Candidate should bring an exciting, vibrant approach to the content creation team. Highly qualified story tell w/min 5 yrs brdcst or cable network prod exp. Full info HERE (3/10)

TRAFFIC ASSISTANT >>
NBCU TLM KVDA/San Antonio TX:
Maintain accurate local program schedule & formatting in WideOrbit. Min 1-3 yrs exp in Broadcast Traffic and working exp in Broadcast Traffic systems (WideOrbit, OSI etc.) Strong verbal & written communication skills. Full info HERE (3/10)

SR DIRECTOR, CONSUMER MARKETING >>
INSP/Charlotte NC:
Support VP & EVP w/dvlpmnt of strategic positioning for new & returning series and films: determine the target audience, and establish marketing objectives and strategies. 7-10 yrs exp entertainment, brand mktg, advertising cable/streaming. Full info HERE (3/10)

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