03/16/18: Fox, Rolex and the USGA announce a new broadcast sponsorship format for 2018

Good morning. It’s Friday March 16, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

In a change from the traditional, Fox Sports announced it will move from the usual 30-second advertising spots for its USGA championships to what will be a “branding presence” built around their Rolex sponsorship that will include the U.S. Women’s Open, the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Amateur but not the men’s championship for 2018. The experience will include an on-screen logo during various on-air features, such as videos highlighting past champions, venues, and other content all as part of the ten-year exclusive sponsorship renewal Rolex signed with the USGA. Other USGA sponsors such as Deloitte, American Express and Lexus also likely will have some branded content in USGA championship telecasts as well.

ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball will make its debut with the New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins spring training telecast on Thursday, March. 22, at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian, World Series Champion Alex Rodriguez and Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Mendoza will team with Buster Olney in 2018. The team will make their regular-season debut on Opening Day, Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.
NBC Sports Group will air the final round of the 2018 Six Nations Rugby Championship this Saturday, highlighted by England v. Ireland at noon ET on NBC, as Ireland aims for just its third-ever grand slam in the Six Nations. Live coverage of this weekend’s Six Nations Championship action begins at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN with Italy v. Scotland, followed by Wales v. France at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC.
ESPN’s Marty Smith, known for his unique storytelling style and revealing, in-depth interviews with sports figures and newsmakers on SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms, will expand his ESPN presence with a new weekly podcast from ESPN Audio. Marty Smith’s America … The Podcast will launch Monday, March 19, with country music superstar Jason Aldean as the first guest. Aldean’s love of University of Georgia football is well-known and the Bulldogs-themed “man cave” in his home was the subject of an ESPN feature several years ago.
Thursday, March 22nd  | 9am – 3pm| SVA Theatre, NYC
In addition to the awards program and winner screenings, hear from Attn:, CDW, Crowd Tangle, The Dodo, eshapTV, Facebook, Limbik, Lyft, NBCUniversal, State Farm, Time, Viacom Velocity and Volvo in these thought-provoking panels:
The Brands Speak
Building your Blueprint for Revenue Success
Short Form Behind the Scenes
Major League Baseball and Barbasol announced a new multi-faceted sponsorship agreement that extends across ballparks, media and retail. Through this new partnership, beginning with the 2018 season, Barbasol will highlight its product launches with integrated branding across Baseball’s broadcast and digital platforms such as MLB Network and MLB.com, in addition to selling products featuring MLB branding at retail locations across the U.S.
Reebok announced a partnership with actress Gal Gadot. Reebok will team with the actress to inspire women and future generations to become the best version of themselves; physically, mentally and socially. Gadot joins Reebok’s growing coalition of trailblazing women – including Ariana Grande, Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and more – as part of the brand’s bolstered commitment to empowering women worldwide.
Topps announced a new program, the Topps Living Set. The Living Set will feature three new cards every week that can only be purchased on Topps.com. The cards aren’t tied to any specific season or era. Inspiration for the program came from 1953 Topps Baseball, which included hand-painted artwork. As part of the Living Set program, Topps will issue one card of each player unless that player changes teams. Three new players will be offered every week and will only be available for just one week.
Snickers joined State Farm Insurance and Old Spice in sponsoring the Rocket League as it heads toward its fifth season.
NASCAR announced today it will live-stream one in-car camera on Twitter for 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during the second half of the 2018 racing season, including all 10 NASCAR Playoffs races. Beginning with five regular season races this summer, the experience will once again provide fans a unique look from inside the race car with a live camera stream that can be accessed via NASCAR’s official Twitter handle, @NASCAR. Fans can watch full broadcasts of these regular season and NASCAR Playoffs races on NBC or NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
The 21st ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge collected 17.3 million completed brackets, the second-most ever behind only last year’s explosion of 18.8 million, which surpassed the previous mark set in 2016 by nearly 6 million. At the peak period of entries shortly before the start of the first game Thursday, fans registered 33,472 brackets per minute. Also, ESPN set new all-time records for fan sign-ups and completed brackets on a tip-off Thursday. On Wednesday, ESPN set a new all-time record for completed Tournament Challenge brackets in a single day with more than 5 million. At the end of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon on Tuesday, ESPN had collected more than 8.2 million brackets, as well as two of the top six sign-up days in the 21-year history of the game.
As we near MLB Opening Day, the impact of Latino players who are active in social continues to grow, especially among the younger emerging stars. Who are the biggest and most impactful? Social monitoring leader opendorse analyzed historic Twitter data from the past year to find the five Latino MLB players with the most significant follower growth on the platform. Two Dodgers, Kenley Jansen (@kenleyjansen74) and Enrique “KiKe” Hernandez (@kikehndez) are near the top of the list, with the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez (@ElGarySanchez) and Astros’ Carlos Correa (@TeamCJCorrea) making a huge impact. The Indians’ Jose Ramirez (@MrLapara) rounds out the top five of budding Latino stars using social to grow awareness as well.

Super Evil Megacorp, the maker of the world’s number one international mobile esport Vainglory, announced a new partnership with Alisports, the sports branch of Alibaba Group and the host of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG). Vainglory will be expanding its esports ecosystem by becoming part of the WESG 2018 lineup and will be the first mobile only esport integrated with the tournament structure for 2018.
Tribeca Games will present three headline events at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, on April 27-28 in New York City.  Celebrating the artistic and technical achievements in video game today, the program includes a special gameplay session of the eagerly anticipated Shadow of the Tomb Raider followed by dialogue with the game’s creative team, an in-depth look at the latest God of War for Playstation4 with Creative Director, Cory Barlog, and a first-of-its-kind all-city League of Legends amateur esports tournament in conjunction with Super League Gaming.  Additionally, the Festival will reveal three new games created by NYC-area developers participating in the IBM “Acceleration” Game Jam.
EA Sports announced that UFC President Dana White will be a “free downloadable fighter” in the “UFC 3” video game. “UFC 2” featured Mike Tyson, Bruce Lee and color commentator Joe Rogan as playable characters

Activision Blizzard added NBA Senior VP/Team Marketing & Business Operations Brandon Snow as CRO; Devils, Prudential Center Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Daniel Cherry as CMO; and NBCU VP/Revenue Analytics & Strategy Marc Kolin will become VP/Finance & Strategy.
Shawn Blakeman (Western Region), Gary Buete (Southern Region), Jason Dewhurst (Eastern Region) and Tim Lesiak (Midwest Region) have all been re-elected to the US Club Soccer Board of Directors. The four Regional Board Directors will continue their service on the board with new three-year terms, which officially began March 1. In addition, Hue Menzies, of Florida Kraze Krush and the Jamaican WNT, has been appointed to the Board as an At-Large Director, which carries a one-year term through February 28, 2019. John Rennie, the former Duke University men’s coach and long-time US Club Soccer Board of Directors member, has been re-appointed as an At-Large Director carrying the same term as Menzies.
March Madness continues across the networks of Turner and CBS beginning at noon.
The Results Are In
The Cynopsis Sports Media Awards Finalists Have Been Announced!

Our finalists are a talented group of professionals crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms; encompassing all the corners of the industry, and we are pleased to recognize their achievements over the past year at the 7th annual Sports Media Awards  Breakfast.


ON THIS DAY in 1952 Babe Didrikson-Zaharias won the LPGA Titleholders Golf Championship.

In the Know: The NCAA women’s tournament gets underway as well. Who is the all time leading scorer in womens basketball?  (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: The first televised NCAA game was at Madison Square Garden in 1940. Who played in the game? Answer: Fordham and Pitt Kudos: Terry Lyons, Digital Sports Desk, Jerry Milani, Portada, Jim DiLorenzo, JHD Communications, Tanner Simkins, Complete SET Agency,  Denis Barry CBS, Andy Pittman TAMU, Synda Kollman Charter Marketing Group, Rich Boland Oath, Tom Moore Kalt Productions, and David Westberg SAG•AFTRA Federal Credit Union.
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JOB OPENING: BROADCASTING CLIENT SPECIALIST/WIDEORBIT/San Fran or Birmingham AL: Engaging communicator to help launch our groundbreaking local media buying platform. 2+ yrs exp media buying for local TV or ad agencies. Exp using new web-based applications & web or phone based training support. Apply HERE (3/23)

JOB OPENING: VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GROWTH INITIATIVES/Fox Deportes/LA: Exp’d Sr exec w/sports & media background to dvlp strategic relationships w/TV media entities, ad agencies, digital streaming services, radio, etc., to drive non-traditional revenue streams. 12 yrs related exp. bilingual: Spanish/English Apply HERE (3/23)

DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR/Tennis Channel/NYC: Focus on leading all aspects of ad revenue derived from website, other interactive, mobile and emerging digital media properties related to Tennis Channel. 6+yrs exp in a results-driven digital sales/mktg or promotion role. Full info/apply HERE (3/23)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, PROGRAMMATIC FOR TV/WideOrbit/NYC: & SFO: Agency Focused acct exec self-starter to Market WO Programmatic offerings to various sized agencies and holding companies, from prospecting to closing. 2+yrs exp @ ad agency. Full info/apply HERE (3/23) 

SR ANALYST, MULTI-PLATFORM ANALYTICS/NYC: responsible for analyzing and reporting of Universal Kids linear and digital performance. BA Degree. 2+ yrs exp in research at a media or advertising organization. Knwlg of Omniture/Adobe Analytics incl tagging conventions. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

JOB OPENING: MGR, PROGRAM SCHEDULING/Nat Geo Mundo/DC: Create daily schedule. Enter it into the programming database on a quarterly basis. Determine availability of Spanish language versions, contributing to the long term strategy. Bi Lingual w/fluency in Spanish req’d. TV exp & US Hispanic mkt recommended. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

PRODUCER/MORNING JOE/NYC: Join the Morning Joe team as a Segment Producer and contribute daily to pitching, writing and producing exceptional and impactful political discussion. 3 yrs of exp in live television. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCER/AM Joy/NYC: We are looking for a segment producer to write and produce segments with speed and accuracy for MSNBC’ AM Joy weekend team. 3+ yrs experience in live television as well as tape & desktop editing. Full info/apply HERE (3/22)
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JOB OPENING: VP, BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS/The First Tee/East Coast: Provide bus & legal counsel in the all bus areas, including tax, charitable solicitation, licensing, COPPA, media, risk mgt, trademarks.  Advise on new initiatives and strat. 10 yrs legal exp and JD required. Apply HERE (3/21)

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