Opening Day sees multiple new activations on the MLB front. Budweiser announced plans to partner with Spike Lee to mark the Centennial of Jackie Robinson. Budweiser will launch a national campaign that will honor the athlete and activist throughout the 2019 MLB season. Budweiser created “Impact,” part of the campaign that will include a 3-minute short film directed by Lee and narrated by Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson. The film spotlights how Jackie broke baseball’s color barrier after many years of segregation in the sport. “Impact” will air for the first time nationally on Opening Day as a TV commercial and in ballparks across the country. As part of the campaign, Budweiser is raising money for the Jackie Robinson Foundation to help support the Jackie Robinson Museum opening in New York City and created limited edition Jackie Robinson “42” aluminum bottles for the MLB season.
New Era Cap Co, the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball, launched “We Reign as One,” the next chapter in its cross-cultural multi-platform campaign. Ushering in the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, the campaign features the New Era Authentic Collection 59FIFTY, created in partnership with creative agency 72andSunny New York, the campaign also unveils New Era’s 2019 MLB Ambassador roster, including Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius; Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor; Atlanta Braves outfielder and 2018 National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., and rapper, Jay Rock.
Wasserman announced that the company now represents seven of the sixteen athletes selected to the first-ever USA Skateboarding Team. Names include Lacey Baker, Mariah Duran, Jagger Eaton, Chris Joslin, Jenn Soto, Bryce Wettstein and Zion Wright. Skateboarding will make its debut during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in both men’s and women’s park and street events.
Kilroy Realty Corporation is teaming with US Sailing as a primary sponsor of the US Sailing Team. Kilroy Realty will support the team at major international events, including Selection Events, World Championships, and the World Cup Series in the lead up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Nielsen research broke down fans of Major League Baseball as the league celebrates its 150th year and boasts more than 170 million fans in the U.S. and 10 million in Canada. According to their data, the average MLB team fan base is more than 2.5 million people, with St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Houston and Pittsburgh having the highest percentages of fans in their local market populations. MLB is also gaining fans around the world, especially in Mexico and Japan, where the league is returning to host games in 2019. According to Nielsen Sports Social24, brands sponsoring MLB teams experienced 3% to 13% of additional media value from their social media content. On television, the most visible sponsorship real estate appears on camera behind home plate as a batter is ready to swing at a pitch, but the outfield actually gets more exposure via social media channels because big plays like home runs and acrobatic catches often make the highlight clips.
Bleacher Report and Travis Scott announced the launch of the NBA Remix campaign in partnership with the NBA and Mitchell & Ness. The campaign will unveil “one-of-a-kind, limited-edition designs of NBA team jerseys created by key influential artists from NBA team cities who will infuse their signature styles into the designs.
Epic Games mapped out rules and formats for the upcoming Fortnite World Cup, with the first week of Online Opens launching on April 13 with Solo competition, followed by a week of Duos tournaments. Every Saturday, players who have unlocked the Online Open will have a designated three hour window of time (according to server region) to play in up to ten matches and score points. At the conclusion of the three hour window, the top 3,000 players in each server region will advance to the Online Open Finals. Players will then face off during a designated three hour window of time to play up to ten matches and score points. After the three hour window closes, winners will be verified and the top performing players will be notified of cash prizes earned from a $1,000,000 prize pool.
Tencent Esports is rebranding its Tencent Games Arena series to a new moniker, TGA Tencent Esports Games, which spans over 30 games titles. In addition, the tournament series will partner with TGA Network to create Honor of Kings competitions for women, separate from the current King Pro League, per TEO.
WWE named Susan Levison as Senior Vice President and Head of WWE Studios, reporting to WWE Co-President Michelle Wilson. Levison comes to WWE from CBS Television Studios, where she was Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming, responsible for all unscripted development and production across cable, streaming and digital platforms.
Meanwhile, the XFL announced that Ryan Gustafson, most recently the Vice President of Business Strategy & Development for Sounders FC, has been named President of the XFL football team in Seattle. The Seattle XFL team will first take the field in February 2020 for its inaugural season and play its home games at CenturyLink Field.
NBA Experience, the brand-new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, will official open its doors to the public on Aug. 12. In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience as an environment with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors.
Golden Knights/Avalanche on NBCSN at 10p.