04/22/22: Major League Soccer revealed plans for this year’s All-Star Game

Medias First Morning Read
Friday April 22, 2022

Major League Soccer revealed its plans for the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, which will feature the MLS All-Stars taking on a team of All-Stars from Mexico’s LIGA MX. The event will be hosted in Allianz Field, home of Minnesota United, and is part of the partnership between MLS and LIGA MX that also consist of major events on the soccer calendar, including Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup. The match runs live on ESPN and Univision in the U.S., TSN and TVA Sports in Canada, on ESPN throughout Mexico and Latin America, and in more than 190 countries around the world, with kickoff slated for 8:30p. Meanwhile, Khalid will take center stage at the MLS All-Star Concert presented by Target on Aug. 8.

“Last year’s match between the MLS All-Stars and the LIGA MX All-Stars was the most competitive MLS All-Star Game ever, and we’re pleased to renew the rivalry between the two leagues this summer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Our partnership with LIGA MX has brought out the best in both leagues on and off the field, and I have no doubt the intensity will be even higher for the rematch in Minnesota. Beyond the game, All-Star Week will celebrate our sport with a series of cultural and community initiatives for the passionate soccer fans of the region. From the first day through the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, it will be an unforgettable week in Minnesota.”

PROGRAMMING

The BIG3 announced that CBS is returning as the league’s primary broadcast partner for the 2022 season, carrying 28 hours of live games in addition to streaming live on Paramount+ throughout a 12-week season. Play begins on June 18. “BIG3 is a unique and exciting brand of basketball,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “The level of competition is incredible and the league continues to grow. We are pleased to have the BIG3 back on our network for the third straight year and are looking forward to all that the 2022 season holds.”

Lindsay Schanzer has been named senior producer of NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby coverage and will oversee all horse racing production, with the 148th Kentucky Derby set for May 7 at 2:30p on NBC and Peacock. “Lindsay has excelled in every role she has worked at NBC Sports, and we are excited to have her lead the presentation of the Kentucky Derby and our full roster of horse racing events,” Flood said. “With increased responsibility over the last decade on our horse racing team, Lindsay’s leadership, creativity, and innovative spirit have helped raise our production. We look forward to returning to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.”

Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are teaming up in an effort to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The alliance would see M&T Bank Stadium host all the World Cup matches while D.C. would host the FIFA Fan Festival on the National Mall. “We are pleased to merge our Baltimore, Maryland, World Cup bid with Washington, D.C. The combination of our two world-class cities in the capital region will provide FIFA with exceptional soccer facilities for match play in Baltimore, and the grandeur of the nation’s capital for cultural activities to celebrate the World Cup in the United States,” Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, co-chair of Baltimore Maryland 2026, said in a statement.

NFL Media revs up for the 2022 NFL Draft from Las Vegas with an offering of over 80 original hours of Draft Week coverage starting Sunday. NFL Network’s coverage of the 2022 NFL Draft from Las Vegas kicks off Thursday at 8p with first round coverage hosted by Rich Eisen, who joins Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis and David Shaw, along with Kurt Warner, Joel Klatt, and Ian Rapoport. Additionally, Melissa Stark interviews the draftees on-stage following their selection. NFL Network’s live coverage of the 2022 NFL Draft continues with Rounds 2 and 3 on April 29 at 7p and concludes with Rounds 4-7 on April 30 at noon.

NHL Network will air a special edition of NHL Network Showcase this Saturday, April 23 at 12:30p with E.J. Hradek, Jackie Redmond, Mike Rupp and Kevin Weekes participating in “free-flowing conversation” with reaction and analysis for the Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings game.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Back to the Draft. The NFL revealed the headlining acts for the NFL Draft Concert Series presented by Bud Light to take place as part of the festivities in Las Vegas, April 28-30. Weezer will take the stage following the conclusion of Round 1 on Thursday, while Ice Cube will headline Day 2 following Round 3 on Friday. Marshmello will close out the 2022 NFL Draft Concert Series on Day 3, following Round 7 on Saturday. Performances will also be streamed in full on NFL.com, in the NFL app and live on NFL Facebook and YouTube pages each night. In addition, the Draft Red Carpet Stage presented by Gillette Labs at the Fountains of Bellagio will host local Las Vegas acts throughout all three days of the Draft.

Continuing the theme, Bud Light is giving 21+ fans the opportunity to “get paid like a first-round pick” if they can pick the “Perfect Draft.” Participants who can go 32-for-32 with their draft selections will see Bud Light pay $15 million. “As the official beer sponsor of the NFL, Bud Light continues to cement itself as the beer of choice for football fans across the country by providing them experiences and something to cheers to year-round,” said Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing, Bud Light. “Our ‘Perfect Draft’ campaign is the latest way Bud Light is celebrating the most passionate fanbase in sports with the ultimate prize – getting paid like a first-round NFL pick.”

Sugarlands Distilling Co. and the Boston Red Sox cemented a multi-year strategic partnership that sees Sugarlands become a “Proud Partner of the Boston Red Sox” and will also produce a ready-to-drink co-branded iced tea lemonade moonshine canned cocktail, unique to the New England market. In addition to the Red Sox, Sugarlands has strategic partnerships with the Atlanta Braves, Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, New Orleans Saints, and more.

MaximBet reached a partnership agreement with the Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon, officially entering sports betting’s first-ever endorsement deal with an active professional baseball player. The four-time All-Star and second longest tenured player in Rockies history becomes MaximBet’s first active professional athlete ambassador from the four major U.S. sports and will be featured in upcoming marketing campaigns, fan events, promotions and social media content.

Meanwhile, FanDuel Group and seven division boxing champion, Amanda Serrano, announced a new partnership, designating FanDuel as the exclusive sports gaming partner of Amanda Serrano ahead of her title fight against Katie Taylor on April 30. As part of the partnership, FanDuel will have access to Serrano’s name and likeness. Serrano will also create unique content on her social channels and will include the FanDuel logo on her trunks during the fight.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Prime Video secured a new deal with the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, becoming the official streaming service of the Storm, and one of the first streamers to hold local broadcast rights with a WNBA team. Approximately 30 Storm games will be available to Prime Video customers throughout Washington state. “The Seattle Storm is an iconic franchise and we are honored to bring its games to Prime members across the entire state of Washington,” said Marie Donoghue, vice president of Global Sports Video at Amazon. “We are also thrilled to build on last year’s success by again offering a full slate of exclusive WNBA matchups nationally, culminating in our exclusive coverage of the second annual Commissioner’s Cup.”

ESPORTS

The Global Esports Federation appointed IMG as its Strategic Partner. IMG will collaborate with the GEF and its Strategic Partner for Esports Services, FACEIT, to produce the inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships in Birmingham this August. IMG will also support and provide commercial consultancy for the second edition of the GEF’s Flagship event – the Istanbul 2022 Global Esports Games in December.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

Henry Hodgson and Charlotte Offord were named to new roles as General Managers for the UK and Australia respectively for the NFL. “International is one of the League’s fastest-growing business areas and a key strategic priority,” said Leech. “Within that we have identified two leadership positions that will play a critical role in our future success and development of our sport. Henry and Charlotte have proved themselves as talented, creative individuals and we are excited about the opportunities for growth in their respective areas that these appointments create.”

Action Network announced the appointment of Andrew Lynch to the newly created role of Executive Editor. In this role, Andrew will oversee the day-to-day creation, programming, planning and strategy for written content, with a focus on expanding the Action audience that reaches millions of users every month. He most recently served as Director of Gambling Editorial at FOX Sports.

Allison+Partners announced the launch of Allison+Sports, a sports marketing specialty that will work with brands’ existing and planned sports sponsorships, athlete and celebrity endorsements and other marketing relationships to deliver “integrated marketing strategy and execution, using an earned-first lens.”

Bally Sports South appointed Mike Emerick as Director, Marketing and Communications. Emerick returns to Bally Sports South after nine years as Creative Director at The Weather Channel.

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ON THIS DAY in
2010: Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford is the first pick of the NFL Draft, elected by the Rams.

IN THE KNOW
In 1996, no quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft with the first one coming in at pick 42 out of Michigan State. Who was he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
The very first pick of the NFL draft has been dominated by QBs. Who was the last player to get picked first who was not a quarterback? Answer: Myles Garrett. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-ADM Media & Marketing/NY; Tom Dempsey-Consultant/NY; Sam Pittman-Washington Spirit/DC; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Sarasota; Brian Bonder-a4 Media/Piscataway; Steven Williams-Spectrum Enterprise/Columbus; JT Ward-Spark Foundry/Chicago; Charlie Conner-KOKI/KMYT/Tulsa; Tom Doherty-T-Mobile Marketing Solutions/Chicago; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter Alumni Development/Calgary; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

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