The 2019 NCAA March Madness Music Series locked in more talent for the three-day event, announcing the additions of The Chainsmokers to headline the AT&T Block Party on April 5, while the Jonas Brothers will anchor the second night, with the previously announced Katy Perry taking the spotlight for the Capital One JamFest on April 7, with DJ and producer Zedd tipping off the night. The NCAA March Madness Music Series is an activation extension of the NCAA’s Corporate Champions and Partners marketing program, which Turner Sports and CBS Sports license and collaborate on as part of an agreement with the NCAA through 2032.
Meanwhile, the NFL and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced additional music performances at the 2019 NFL Draft, the first ever Draft to incorporate a free music series featuring Nashville-based artists of all genres. Dierks Bentley will headline a free outdoor concert April 27 at the Draft Main Stage in downtown Nashville as part of the NFL Draft and St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon, while more than 20 Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres of music will perform during the three days of activities on the Draft Main Stage and at the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos Triple Zero, including Charles Esten, Rayland Baxter, Mikky Ekko, and Charlie Worsham. Tim McGraw headlines for the NFL Draft on April 26.
Rounding out event activation news:
- SB Nation’s Outsports and the 20th Anniversary Pride celebration in Los Angeles on June 6-9, saw the Los Angeles Dodgers and UCLA sign on to present and host Outsports Pride. The event brings together athletes, coaches, executives, fans and members of the media for a weekend of camaraderie, learning and celebration about LGBTQ participation in sports.
- Year five of the Mikey Strong Charity Hockey Game reeled in M&M’s and FanDuel as sponsors this year. The NHL Alumni charity hockey game benefits spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives via Nichols Family Trust and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and takes place tonight at Prudential Center in Newark.
In deal news, Opendorse announced a partnership with The Alliance of American Football to help the league and its players build their brands together on social media. The agreement names opendorse as The Alliance’s athlete-driven publishing partner and will see the Alliance’s social team use the platform to push approved content through the players’ social channels.
HyperX announced the signing of soccer player Casemiro as one of its gaming ambassadors. the player, now based in Madrid and four time Champions League winner, will use HyperX products while gaming and be featured in HyperX’s global advertising campaign “We’re All Gamers.”
Banking group Barclays will become the first title sponsor of English football’s Women’s Super League in a deal that spans through 2022, the Football Association announced. The BBC reports that the deal is valued at over $13.2 million, and will see the top tier of women’s football in the country be renamed the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
USA Hockey announced that Chipotle Mexican Grill has renewed its agreement as an official sponsor of USA Hockey. “We’re thrilled to have Chipotle continue as part of our corporate partner family,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “When our players and families think about a pre-game or post-game meal, Chipotle is a great choice. We look forward to enhancing our relationship and appreciate their engagement in growing and furthering our game.”
The San Francisco Giants and Fanatics announced a 10-year omnichannel retail partnership which grants Fanatics the rights to operate all Giants Dugout Store locations, including the flagship store at Oracle Park. Fanatics. Fanatics’ Cloud-based technology and data platform, which was built in the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, will work simultaneously with its on-demand manufacturing capabilities to identify unplanned “micro-moments” where the company can create and distribute quick-turn merchandise throughout the year.
ESPN Digital ranked as the top U.S. digital sports property in February, reaching 88.4 million unique visitors , for a rise of 21% YOY and marking its best February on record. The ESPN mobile app drew18.5 million unique visitors and 1.3 billion minutes, up 24% and 33%, respectively YOY, according to the company.
UFC and Qutoutiao, China’s leading short-form video platform, announced their inaugural partnership that will bring Mixed Martial Arts fans UFC content on-the-go. “We are always looking at innovative ways to reach more fanbase in China and provide them with premium UFC content,” said UFC Senior Vice President Asia-Pacific, Kevin Chang. “We are honored to be partnering with Qutoutiao and providing their hundreds of millions of users with engaging mixed martial arts content on a daily basis.”
Nissan signed on to become the first automaker to partner in a double deal with both FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming. As part of the agreement, the Nissan logo will appear on the FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming competition jerseys wile team members will have access to Nissan vehicles to integrate into social and digital content. Vehicles involved will include the Nissan Armada, Altima, Kicks and the all-electric Nissan LEAF.
Aquilini GameCo raised over $25 million in a move to add Luminosity Gaming under its umbrella via a reverse takeover of J55 Capital Corp. Completion of the acquisition is subject to a number of conditions. Luminosity also manages and provides support services to Overwatch League’s Vancouver Titans
Allied Esports’ new original series PlayTime with KittyPlays, hosted by popular streamer Kristen “KittyPlays” Michaela, laid out plans for its debut on Sunday at 5p, streamed in front of a live studio audience at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. The premiere episode will feature: a live conversation and gameplay with Myth; special remote drop-in appearances from Imane “Pokimane” Anys and Timothy “Bizzle” Miller; live appearances and gameplay with Fortnite pros Tina “TINARAES” Perez and Madison “maddiesuun” Mann from GenG; as well as a pre-recorded interview and gameplay segment with Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Nitro Circus named veteran executive Andy Edwards as CEO of the company. For the past two years, Edwards has served as President of the brand. Prior to that Edwards was Chief Operating Officer and Board Director after co-founding Nitro Circus Live in 2009.
XFL announced that Heather Brooks Karatz, most recently the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Los Angeles Football Club and Banc of California Stadium, has been named President of the XFL football team in Los Angeles. Karatz will be responsible for the team’s fan engagement and business operations, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, marketing, content, communications, community relations, and the game day experience.
NBC Sports Boston appointed Aaron Thomas as Vice President of Sales and Stephanie Connolly as Local Sales Manager. Thomas has been with NBC Sports Boston since 2008, and has served as the Local Sales Manager since 2009. Connolly has been with the network for the past 9 years serving as an Account Executive.
More NCAA Tournament action today across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV starting with Iowa/Cincinnati on CBS at 12:15p.