Major League Baseball announced the return and expansion of MLB FoodFest Presented by Budweiser. After selling out its tasteful debut in New York during the spring of 2018 in 48 hours, MLB has expanded FoodFest to three locations across the globe in 2019: Los Angeles, New York and London. The new edition of MLB FoodFest hits downtown LA from April 26-28 at Magic Box. New York and London will host the much anticipated event in the second half of the season. All 30 Clubs designated one concession item to represent them with this year’s menu, including the Mariners Toasted Grasshoppers and the D-Backs Churro Dogs.
Meanwhile, Minor League Baseball, in conjunction with Brand Activation Maximizer, revealed the launch of the largest retail program in its history. The “Grilling All-Stars” national retail program will encompass five national brands and activated at select retailers in more than 100 MiLB markets and over 13,000 locations across the country. Brands include: BUSH’S Beans, Scott Bath Tissue, Scott Paper Towels, Ball Park Buns and The ORIGINAL Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce.
Bracketology is back for the NHL with the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge presented by Jägermeister, where fans worldwide can share their predictions and face off for the chance to win the grand prize of $100,000. Brackets will be locked at 6:59p on April 10.
AEG named Spectrum, the branded suite of advanced broadband services from Charter Communications, Inc., a key partner across AEG’s major assets in its global portfolio. The comprehensive agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, designates Spectrum as a Founding Partner, a premium designation, of STAPLES Center and Dignity Health Sports Park. Spectrum will also be the official cable, internet, home phone, and mobile phone wireless services partner of STAPLES Center, Dignity Health Sports Park, LA Kings, LA Galaxy and L.A. LIVE.
Sports gaming platform Money Knife Fight unveiled the debut of hundreds of daily prop contests for every MLB game. The platform launched with last fall’s NFL season, and has already registered more than 10 million entries on football, basketball, hockey, and golf contests, with projections to top more than $100 million in gaming through the upcoming baseball season.
March Madness continues to dominate Tunity Analytics’ weekly list of Top 10 out-of-home sports programs. CBS and TBS split the list each with five entries, all games except for one: TBS’ Inside March Madness post-game wrap-up show on March 30. This week’s top entry, Michigan State/Duke on March 31, delivered more than 1.8 million more OOH viewers than last week’s number one game, UCF vs. Duke (4.08m).
- NCAAB – Michigan State/Duke on CBS on March 31 (5912)
- NCAAB – Auburn/Kentucky on CBS on March 31 (4543)
- NCAAB – Texas Tech/Gonzaga on TBS on March 30 (3099)
- NCAAB – Virginia Tech/Duke on CBS on March 29 (2731)
- NCAAB Purdue/Virginia on TBS on March 30 (2726)
Source: Tunity Analytics. Viewing estimates are derived from Tunity mobile app usage for the week of March 25, 2019. OOH Viewer impressions are calculated using Tunity Analytics proprietary estimation model.
The NBA 2K League announced plans to kickstart The Tipoff powered by AT&T and the start of season two with celebrations that include the Knicks Gaming Championship Ring Ceremony (April 2), a live music performance by rock band X Ambassadors (April 3), as well as guest commentary by Ronnie 2K and comedian Sarah Tiana during the live Twitch broadcast. All games and celebrations during THE TIPOFF will take place from the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in Long Island City, New York, and will be livestreamed on the league’s Twitch channel. Fans can register to attend THE TIPOFF by visiting NBA2KLeague.com.
The World Showdown of Esports locked in Team Serenity to defend their Dota 2 championship at WSOE 6: Dota 2 – Serenity’s Destiny. Competition will take place from April 13-14 live from the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, with a preshow at 9:30a. The event will showcase the WSOE’s unique “fight card” format. Day one will feature four “challengers” from around the world, including J.Storm, Infamous Gaming, GGNGG, and Team Team, competing for the opportunity to dethrone Team Serenity as WSOE Dota 2 champion. On day two, Team Serenity and the top challenger will battle in a final best-of-five Championship Match.
Porsche is expanding its one-make motorsport series in a move that will now add a virtual world championship, known as the Porsche Esports Supercup. Competition will feature 40 sim racers, who have successfully made their way through the global qualifying process and will compete in slate of ten online races, starting April 13 on the virtual version of the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. The final race will take place on Sept. 28 at the Circuit Monza, Italy, with the championship offering a $100,000 prize pool.
Major League Lacrosse announced structural changes that includes the league no longer operating the Ohio Machine, the Florida Launch or the Charlotte Hounds in 2019 (although the Hounds will return in 2021 under new ownership). The league stated that the moves were made to “focus on expansion in strategic markets and has reacquired its media rights in an effort to seek a broadcast partner with broader reach for its fans, players and sponsors” with the goal of establishing Eastern and Western conferences. The league also reacquired all linear, digital and social broadcast media rights to air MLL games and will explore broadcast options with broader distribution.
The Professional Fighters League named Steven Gray as vice president of global partnerships. Gray. He worked for the UFC as director of integrated marketing partnerships from 2015 until 2018 and joins from Relevant Sports, where he served as vice president, global marketing partnerships for the International Champions Cup.
The XFL named Jordan Schlachter, most recently Chief Marketing Officer of the National Basketball Players Association and President of its marketing and revenue arm, THINK 450, as Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer. In addition, Derek Throneburg, most recently Vice President of Customer Insight and Engagement for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, joins the league as Senior Vice President of Team Business Operations.
Bruins/Blue Jackets on NBCSN at 7p.