03/20/19: MLS locked in MGM resorts as its official gaming partner

Good morning. It’s Wednesday March 20, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

MLS officially became the latest league to strike a multi-year partnership with MGM Resorts International, which will serve as the league’s first official gaming partner. As part of the deal, Roar Digital, a joint venture between MGM and GVC, becomes the exclusive, official sports betting partner of MLS in addition to providing MGM Resorts and Roar access to enhanced MLS data for fans and sports betting customers and includes television-visible signage for all 100-plus nationally-broadcast MLS games and unique MLS-themed promotions and sweepstakes. The groups will also work together to develop an exclusive “Free to Play” game for fans.
In addition, MGM Resorts and MLS will collaborate on bringing world-class soccer events and other experiences to fans in Las Vegas.
“Major League Soccer is proud to partner with MGM Resorts to bring existing and new fans close to our sport in innovative and immersive ways,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement. “MGM Resorts is a leader in sports betting, and they recognize the progress of our league and the growth of the sport in the United States and Canada. Together, we will deliver cutting-edge data and analytics to MLS fans, and fan engagement will be the driving force behind every initiative in our partnership.”

FOX Sports rolled out its programming schedule for the 2019 USGA championship season, featuring nearly 140 hours of live television coverage across eight championships, highlighted by 45 hours of coverage on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes from the 119th U.S. Open. FOX Sports’ coverage begins with four consecutive major championships and tees off with two of golf’s premier women’s events: the 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open from May 18-19 on FS1, and the 74th U.S. Women’s from May 30 – June 2 on FOX and FS1. The U.S. Open from June 13-16 will see 45 hours of live golf action slated across FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes. Ahead of Men’s and Women’s Opens, FOX Sports Films will serve up two new debuts from its “Epics” series – an hour-long exploration of Michelle Wie’s road to victory in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on May 30 and Tiger Woods’ triumph in the 2000 U.S. Open on June 9.
Telemundo Deportes detailed programming plans for “Summer of Soccer” with the announcement of its team of commentators and analysts for this summer’s tournaments and more than 750+ hours of live sports programming including 78 matches in 31 days. Andrés Cantor oversees coverage as Chief Commentator, and will be joined by Ana Jurka, Miguel Gurwitz, Carlos Hermosillo, Sammy Sadovnik, Manuel Sol, Copán Álvarez, Karim Mendiburu and Erasmo Provenza. As part of the digital coverage, Telemundo Deportes will launch a late-night live show on Twitter that will be produced by the NBCUniversal Digital Lab, to stream twice a week.
A mighty congratulations to our luminaries at this year’s Cynopsis Sports Awards, with this year’s honorees set to include NFL Films as winner of the Legacy Award, ONE Championship claiming the Vision Award, NBC Sports’ CMO & EVP of Content Strategy Jenny Storms as the winner of our Navigator Award, and MGM Resorts being named the recipient of the Gem Award for Brand of the Year. Don’t miss this year’s festivities, as the event always sells out. Click here to see this year’s top nominees, and reserve your team’s table today.
ESPN announced that coverage of the first FIFA International Match Week in 2019 will feature more than 50 matches highlighted by two U.S. Men’s National Team games and the first week of UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying matches. The two U.S. Men’s National Team matches will see USA/Ecuador at Orlando City Stadium on March 21, and USA/Chile at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium on March 26. Ian Darke, analyst Taylor Twellman and reporter Sebastian Salazar will call both matches.
The next college basketball season will see The NIT Season Tip-Off return to Barclays Center for a fifth-straight season during Thanksgiving Week of 2019, featuring the Syracuse Orange, Ole Miss Rebels, Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Penn State Nittany Lions
In ratings news, FOX Sports reports that its NASCAR Cup Series coverage from Fontana was up 4% over last year to hit 4.178 million viewers, according to Nielsen. This marks the three straight week that NASCAR Cup Series racing has drawn year-over-year upticks.
Univision says that the Barcelona/Olympique Lyonnais UEFA match on March 13, simulcast on UniMás/UDN, drew 562,000 Total Viewers 2+ to rank as the most-watched UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match since 2015, regardless of language. Meanwhile, last Saturday’s Chivas/America Liga MX match drew in 1.5 million viewers 2+ and 823,000 Adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated soccer match across any network in 2019 thus far.
As NBC Sports continues its “Push for the Playoffs,” the company reports that NHL viewership is showing year-over-year gains over last season. Through 97 games on NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, coverage of the 2018-19 NHL regular season has averaged a TAD of 431,000 viewers, up 4% vs. last season through the same number of games (413,000). Through 10 games on NBC, regular-season coverage has averaged a TAD of 1.423 million viewers, up 6% vs. last season on NBC through 10 games (1.344 million).
Speaking of NBCSN, the network presents live coverage of the $1 million Louisiana Derby on Saturday at 5:30p. Ahmed Fareed hosts Saturday’s coverage, alongside analysts Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey who has twice won the Louisiana Derby, and Randy Moss.
ESPN lined up Pivot with Alex Rodriguez for March 28, at 11p on ESPN2, following ESPN’s exclusive telecast of MLB Opening Night. The 30-minute special will feature the World Series Champion and Sunday Night Baseball analyst conduct three exclusive, sit-down interviews with Alex Cora, Brodie Van Wagenen and Christian Yelich.
Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards
Featured Category: Distinguished Companies
In addition to honoring the contributions of outstanding women if every facet of the media industry, we’re also recognizing companies that support and encourage women to positions of prominence. These companies implement policies and programs thoughtfully crafted to create a culture of inclusion, diversity, equal opportunity and to amplify women’s voices at every level of the media landscape.


T-Mobile and Major League Baseball renewed their partnership for another four years. To celebrate, the carrier will offer a free year’s subscription of MLB.TV and the MLB At Bat app’s premium features via T-Mobile Tuesdays. As the Official Wireless Sponsor of MLB, the brand will continue as the title sponsor of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby during All-Star Week and starting this year, T-Mobile is now the Official Wireless Sponsor of Little League International.
Joe Gibbs Racing locked in SiriusXM to serve as the primary sponsor of Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 Toyota Camry for the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway and Dover Int’l Speedway.

With the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship underway, Intel has launched the NCAA March Madness Live VR, with the app now available for the first time this year via Oculus Go and providing live game coverage for select games beginning with the first and second rounds and continuing throughout the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship. It will also offer access to an interactive bracket that updates throughout the tournament, full-length game replays, highlights from all games in 2D & VR, and video-on-demand that includes behind-the-scene access, coach and player interviews and more.
The United Soccer League and Sportradar are forging a new official integrity services partnership. Sportradar will monitor and analyze USL competitions via its fraud detection system and provide the USL with educational solutions, as well as access to its intelligence and investigations services. In addition, Sportradar will utilize its expertise to carry out a comprehensive integrity audit for USL to assist the league in installing an effective and comprehensive integrity program.
PBR has signed is eighth media rights representation and content streaming deal for RidePass – locking in a deal with Morris Media for its equestrian event Road to the Horse: World Championship of Colt Starting, running this weekend. Under the agreement, PBR will represent the rights to Morris Media’s signature equestrian competition and stream the annual event on RidePass. Additionally, PBR will develop international TV distribution and original content strategies for Road to the Horse in partnership with corporate parent Endeavor and Morris Communications, LLC.
Rocket League publisher Psyonix is partnering with Major League Baseball to launch the MLB Fan Pack DLC for the game. With the new pack, players will be able to rep their favorite team with a variety of MLB-themed cosmetic items beginning March 25 on all platforms for $2.99, with options that include player banners, flags, and baseball cap toppers for all 30 teams, a MLB-branded Flag and Player Banner, and a baseball-themed Rocket Boost.

The NBA 2K League served up its schedule for this season’s slate of regular-season matchups and tournaments for year two of the league, with play beginning April 2-6 with The Tipoff powered by AT&T. This year will see The Tipoff, The Turn, and The Ticket serve as the three tournaments that feature all 21 teams competing for banners that link together to form what is known as The Banner Chain powered by AT&T. Teams will play a total of 16 regular-season games, with contests on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and all regular-season games taking place at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in Long Island City, livestreamed on the league’s Twitch channel. In addition to being named presenting partner of The Banner Chain, AT&T will create branded content for select NBA 2K League Twitch streams and will also run the “AT&T Game Day Show,” which will air in connection with tournaments, the NBA 2K League Playoffs and the NBA 2K League Finals.
Hyper X inked a sponsorship deal for Season 7 and 8 of the Esports Championship Series, FACEIT’s CS:GO events. The ECS Season 7 Finals take place at the SSE Arena in London from June 8-9. The deal once again sees Hyper X serve as the official keyboard, mice, mouse pads, DRAM and SSD sponsor for ECS. The partnership will include a special HyperX segment at the end of each game called “XFactor Play of the Game”, where ECS broadcast talent will discuss the best play of the match.
Blizzard opened the doors to funding its esports prize pools with the release of two new World of Warcraft toys, now available in the Blizzard shop and in-game shop. Every purchase of the Transmorpher Beacon or Lion’s Pride and Horde’s Might Fireworks will see 25% of the proceeds be dedicated toward the year’s finals LAN event prize pool for the Arena World Cup and the Mythic Dungeon International with a guaranteed minimum prize pool of $500,000.

The Sun Belt Conference announced that Keith Gill has been named the league’s sixth commissioner.  Gill replaces outgoing commissioner Karl Benson, who announced his decision to stepdown as commissioner this past August. Gill comes to the Sun Belt from the Atlantic 10 Conference where he currently serves as Executive Associate Commissioner.
UFC President Dana White announced this week that he has agreed to a new seven-year deal to continue running the MMA organization.
The National Basketball Players Association is partnering with Five-Star to launch the inaugural NBPA x Five-Star Camp from July 15-18 at at Basketball City in Manhattan. The event will provide boys and girls, ages 9-17, with a structured basketball learning experience that emphasizes fundamental skill development, team participation and competition.

St. John’s/Arizona St. on truTV at 9p.
The 2019 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Breakfast
This awards program is dedicated to celebrating the work of talented producers, hosts, sponsors and executives alike, and saluting the initiatives that drove audiences and turned sports viewers into fans over the past year. The best and brightest will be gathering on April 25th in NYC to watch as winners are announced, and the best of the best are celebrated in style, and tickets are now available so register your team today!
[VIEW FINALISTS]                                      [REGISTER]

ON THIS DAY in 1989: Baseball announced that Reds manager Pete Rose is under investigation.
In the Know: Which school participating in this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament holds the record for most losses overall at the event?  (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which of this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament teams is known as the Anteaters? Answer: UC Irvine. Kudos: Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Bill Hirsh-Learfield IMG College/NY; Rick Ramage-United Talent Agency/NY; Christopher Carrano-NBC/NY; Austin Cassidy-TheFanatic.com/Jacksonville; Chris Schwartz-ISC/Concord; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; James Stuart-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Bloomington; Rich Wolfe-RichCraft/Scottsdale; Wendy Holmes-KCNC-TV/Denver; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Football Alumni Development/Calgary; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Patrick Jackman-Media Storm/LA; Brian Robin-Pechanga Resort Casino/Temecula
Later — Chris
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A+E Networks

Serve as ad sales partnerships resource and thought leader in the sales department, managing ideation and response to RFPs, creating product knowledge one sheets based on assigned network and disciplines, knowledgeable in digital/social marketing products & tools, effectively demonstrating how they can be leveraged in strategic 360 campaigns.

Full Info/Apply: http://www.aenetworks.com/careers

MGR, AD SALES PARTNERSHIPS/A+E Networks/NY: Serve as ad sales partnerships resource and thought leader in the sales department, managing ideation and response to RFPs, creating product knowledge one sheets based on assigned network and disciplines, knowledgeable in digital/social marketing products & tools, effectively demonstrating how they can be leveraged in strategic 360 campaigns. Full Info/Apply:  http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (3/31)

SR. NEWS DESK ASSOC/E! Entertainment/NYC: Resp for newsgathering for all E! platforms, should be a multi-tasker, have proven editorial judgment, be a forward thinker with a strong work ethic. Passion for pop culture is a must. Self-starter who can work independently and quickly in a fast-pace news environment. Must have newsroom exp and able to handle breaking news while working under tight deadlines. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

Endemol Shine North America/North Hollywood:
Ideal candidate must have a strong interest in TV ratings & research and comfortable working with numbers/large data sets with a strong focus on accuracy & attention to detail. Must have 1+ yrs as an assist, coord or analytical role at TV studio, broadcast or cable network. Excel and PowerPoint required. Job training provided. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

ACCT EXECUTIVE/CNN Airport Network/NY: Resp include identifying prospects, generating leads and penetrating client companies/agencies at all levels. Primary function is to drive new business for the network. Req include 5+ yrs in media sales, ability to exceed targets and building sr level client/agency relationships. Team player who works well in a large multi-platform sales organization. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

ACCT DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIP SALES/GSTV/NY: Ideal candidate must be able to drive aggressive rev targets across multiple GSTV rev opps within WPP Holding Co. by creating solutions for customers. An understanding of nat advtg, digital video and data-driven aud targeting and attribution marketplace. Min of 3+ yrs media exp, including 1+ yrs in sales. Ability to manage multiple high-priority projects simultaneously. Full Info/Apply HERE (3/31)

AD SALES ASSISTANT/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide support to Ad Sales by working W/ Acct Execs to service clients. Including sales orders, move requests and media schedules. Detail oriented w/orgnzt’l skills to keep manage fast paced, time sensitive environment. BA/BS req. Full info/apply HERE (3/29)

DIRECTOR, LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS/TV One/NYC: As secondary mgr, you are responsible for providing business and legal support to all departments of TV On. Structure, negotiate and draft a variety of content acquisition agreements minimum of 7 years of television industry experience pref’d. Full info HERE (3/29)

PRODUCER, DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA/TV One/Silver Spring MD: Build promotional & original digital content to build the TV One digital brand.Dvlp/prod promotional content (incl articles, videos & any other media) to support our orig. 3+ yrs exp in building, managing, and growing a website for a medium/​large size org. Full info HERE (3/29)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, MEDIA BUYING & PLANNING/Spero Media/NYC: Organized, detail-oriented team player w/min 1yr of media buying/plan’g exp, interested in actively participating in media buying & plan’g/promotion for variety of sports/ent clients incl: US Open Tennis, NY Jets, Blue Man Group, NY Mets + Full info HERE (3/29)

/NBC/TELEMUNDO/PHILADELPHIA: Self-motivated well organized team player to identify, target, develop and secure new business for NBC10 and Telemundo62 through a variety of platforms including on-air, on-line, mobile and out-of-home. Min of 3 yrs exp in media sales. Full info HERE (3/28)

DIRECTOR of MEDIA, SOCIAL & EMERGING/Ad Council/San Francisco: Manage daily responsibilities with existing social & digital media partners. 5+ yrs digital & traditional media/cross-platform sales experience with a track record of developing and executing successful strategic partnerships. Full info HERE (3/27)

DIR, LEGAL AFF/GSN/Santa Monica: 5+ yrs. w/law firm or TV exp. Member of CA bar or eligible for registration. Structuring, negotiating & closing a heavy volume of production deals. Day-to-day legal support. Drafting & negotiating documents & agreements. Reviewing & approving advertising/marketing materials. Full info HERE (3/27)

DIGITAL ACCOUNT SPECIALIST /Discovery/NYC: Resp for all aspects of digital media plan’g & acts as key point of contact with ad agency and internal constituents Min 1+ yr professional exp/or equivalent internship exp preferably within the digital media, advertising sales/agency fields. Full info HERE (3/26)
DIGITAL PRODUCER /Spectrum News/NYC: Produce new & innovative content series for non-linear platforms. Proficiency at multi-tasking and must have the ability to prioritize, work independently and meet strict deadlines. 3+ yr TV new exp. Full info HERE (3/26)

/starpower LLC/NYC: Provide support to the SVP, incl drafting/managing correspondence/communications, project mngmnt & coordinating special events. Strong passion for pop-culture/ent. Exp interacting w/brands & agencies. Strong orgnz’l skills. Dig & SM savvy. Full info HERE (3/24)

DIRECTOR, TALENT PARTNERSHIPS & INFLUENCER STRATEGY/starpower LLC/NYC: Acct Management Attend (and lead) regularly scheduled client conference calls, in person meetings. Mng relationships, timelines, budgets. 7-10 yrs in digital space w/proven exp delivering successful programs across channels. Full info HERE (3/24)

ANALYST, INFLUENCER MKTG GROUP/starpower LLC/LA: Identify potential social influencers (incl global) for a campaign based on client brief incl rsrch, leveraging tools & ntwrk. 1-2 yrs of social influencer & digital exp. Exp interacting w/brands, social influencer representation agencies, Full info HERE (3/24)

DIRECTOR, ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING, LIFESTYLE GROUP/starpower LLC/NYC: Lead the talent procurement process for public relations, advertising, digital and influencer seeding campaigns. 5+ yrs. of talent procurement/buying exp. Full info HERE (3/23)  
SR DIRECTOR, INFLUENCER MARKETING/starpower LLC/NYC: Thought-leader for clients and agency; strategist and trusted adviser for clients. 7-10 years in the digital space with proven experience delivering successful programs across channels. Full info HERE (3/23)

CAMPAIGN MGR, INFLUENCER MKTG GROUP/starpower LLC/LA: Identify potential social influencers (including global) for a campaign based on client brief incl rsrch, leveraging tools & network. 3+ yrs in digital & influencer mktg space with proven exp delivering successful digital/social programs across channels. Full info HERE (3/23)

9 Story Media/NYC: Seeking 2 exp’d producers for iconic, high profile children’s series utilizing 2D, 3D and live action. Will be coordinating work of teams in mult int’l locations. Candidates must have a strong knwldg of animation prod w/min of 5 yrs prod exp. Full info HERE (3/22)

SALES PLANNER/TENNIS CHANNEL TV/NYC: Work closely with acct exec & pricing/planning team to maximize revenue. Handle daily acct maintenance for numerous advertisers. 2-4+ yrs brdcst cable exp. & ability to interact professionally w/all levels of personnel. Full info HERE (3/22)

DIGITAL MEDIA DIRECTOR/Discovery Inc/NYC: Lead dvlment/execution/analysis of Motor Trend, GOLFTV & TV Everywhere paid acquisition campaigns that primarily run across SEM, paid social & programmatic. 6+ yrs exp relevant field (dig media buying, performance media/mkt, DR). Digital media agency exp strongly pref’d. Full info HERE (3/21)

MEDIA STRATEGIST, PAID DIGITAL/Discovery Inc/NYC: Asst in dvlpmt of digital media plans that are strategic & data-driven, with the goal of efficiently acquiring subscribers/users to GOLFTV, Motor Trend, and Discovery’s TV Everywhere platforms. 2+ yrs of paid digital media exp; media agency exp strongly pref’d. Full info HERE (3/21)

ANALYST, PROGRAM RESEARCH/CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ: Resp for reg reporting of TV aud metrics to internal stakeholders including Prgrmng/Scheduling, Mktg, Public Relations & Finance. 2+ yrs exp (includes internships) in audience research for a media company or advertising agency. Full info HERE (3/21)

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