04/08/14: PlayStation Enters the Ring with Top Rank Boxing


BTN is the premier national college sports network born from the nation’s most storied conference. With nearly half of its 180 football and men’s basketball games featuring a top 25 team & deeper coverage than anyone else, BTN delivers 450+ live events & Emmy-nominated programming yearly. The Big Ten’s eastward expansion means BTN will have over 60 million subs nationwide. And it’s all supercharged by BTN’s digital, mobile & social media extensions, including BTN2Go, the network’s TV-Everywhere app. This is today’s Big Ten Network.


Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 8, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Top Rank Boxing is stepping in the ring with new gaming partner PlayStation, announcing a deal with Sony Computer Entertainment America that will see the brand and PS4 featured at a number of Top Rank events, including that Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley matchup on April 12. The deal will see PlayStation branding featured via in-arena branding, trailer sports during US broadcasts and integration across Top Rank’s social and digital media channels.


WrestleMania 30 proved a hit for WWE, with the company grossing $10.9 million as a sold-out crowd of 75,167 from all 50 states and 37 countries at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. WrestleMania 31 takes place on Sunday, March 29, 2015 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Meanwhile, WWE revealed that WWE Network nabbed 667,287 subscribers 42 days after launching in the U.S., and the company expects to pass its goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014. 

The battle of unbeaten tips off tonight to determine the NCAA Women’s National Championship with Connecticut and Notre Dame squaring off at 8:30p tonight on ESPN. The hour-long NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One show begins at 7:30p and is hosted by Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo. Meanwhile, SportsCenter offers in-depth coverage from Negandhi, Lawson and Lobo, as well as from reports from Bob Holtzman, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe every hour beginning with Tuesday’s 9a edition. Meanwhile, ESPN Classic will feature a marathon of recent Connecticut and Notre Dame games today starting at 8a.

Tracy Wolfson and Allie LaForce are reportedly taking on new responsibilities, with SI reporting that CBS Sports will shift Wolfson from her role as the lead sideline reporter on CBS’ SEC football coverage. She will now move to Thursday nights to serve as a lead sideline reporter role for the network’s upcoming NFL TNF package (along with CBS’ top Sunday game.). Meanwhile, LaForce will take on Wolfson’s old role starting in the fall.

Sold out!!! Tickets to the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards are now gone. See you next week as I co-host with Campus Insiders’ Bonnie Bernstein to honor the year’s best and brightest work from across the sports industry. Special awards will be presented to NASCAR’s Brian France, NBC Sports Group’s Mark Lazarus and Turner Sports’ Christina Miller. Presenters will include some of the hottest names in sports as well as some of the most powerful people driving the business today. Click here for more info.

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four hits the ice on Thursday with Boston College/Union College at 5p on ESPN2 while Minnesota/North Dakota take place at 8:30p. Saturday will see the Frozen Four Championship Game at 7:30p. John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich will call all three games.

NFL Network examines the past 50 years of the NFL Draft with a new, NFL Films-produced series, Caught in the Draft. The series debuts tomorrow at 9p and will run on Wednesdays leading up to the 2014 event. Actor Oliver Platt narrates the series.

Pac-12 Networks are turning their attention to football, announcing plans for the 2014 spring season on Saturdays, with live spring games and original programming featuring interviews with players, coaches and special guests. For the second straight year, all Pac-12 spring games will be televised starting Saturday with Colorado at 11a PT, followed by both Arizona and Stanford spring games at 1p PT.


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As expected, Northwestern Mutual has extended its partnership with the NCAA through 2020 through a deal with CBS Sports and Turner Sports. In addition to maintaining NCAA marketing and promotional rights in the life insurance, wealth management and retirement planning services categories, the deal will now give the company exclusivity in the mutual fund category, beginning in 2015. The agreement includes usage of the NCAA approved trademarks and logos for 89 championships across 23 sports. The deal will also see, beginning in 2015, Northwestern Mutual serving as the presenting sponsor of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Championship broadcast on Turner Sports.

Nissan is replacing Ford as a global sponsor of the Champions League. The company announced a four-year deal with UEFA that will see the brand serve as the official car partner of the competition from the start of the 2014/15 season through the end of 2017/18. The deal will also deliver sponsorship rights to the UEFA Super Cup.

The WTA unveiled its new three-year plan through 2016 in an effort to broaden its reach and better serve fans, players and partners. Changes in the strategic marketing direction are set to include the creation of an Integrated Marketing Team and shifting website, mobile and social media content from a marketing channel to a publishing channel. The Integrated Marketing Team will focus on three areas: content strategy and publishing; communications and brand marketing; and marketing solutions. Leading the team will be Emily Wright, who has been upped to VP Marketing Solutions, and the additions of Richard Libero and Heather Bowler.

The U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program, are recognizing five alumnae of the 2013 program who are using sports to create positive social change around the world. Honorees include: Luz Amuchastegui (Argentina), "Mentoring Program Development & Execution"; Hayam Essam (Egypt), "Girl Power Basketball Program"; Majidah Nantanda (Uganda), "Train the Trainers to Grow the Game for Girls"; Zola Ndlovu (South Africa), "Love Sport; Live Life Program"; and Yu-Hsien Tseng "Blue" (Taiwan), "Embracing the Change, Empowering the Future: PE Teachers in Action." "We are thrilled to see the multiplier effect at work through the power of the Global Sports Mentoring Program. Women from around the world are using the experience they gained during their mentorship to truly make an impact in their home countries," said Laura Gentile, Vice President, espnW. "Empowerment through sports is at the very heart of espnW’s mission, and these five honorees perfectly demonstrate such empowerment."


NBC Sports announced that the Yahoo Sports/NBC Sports Network digital alliance ranked first among all sports digital sites in February, drawing 63.6 million unique users and 5.0 billion minutes consumed, according to multi-platform data provided by comScore. That marks the first time that the alliance has ranked at the top in minutes, and the first time since August 2013 that it has ranked No. 1 in uniques. In addition, NBC Sports Digital scored its best month ever, bringing 39.2 million multi-platform uniques to the alliance during the month, according to comScore.

ESPN locked in a content exchange agreement with Willow TV for exclusive live digital coverage of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket on ESPN3 in the US throughout the 2014 season. Additionally, the agreement includes digital video highlights rights in the US on ESPNcricinfo platforms. ESPN3 will now carry both IPL semifinal matches and seven "Game of the Week" matches. Additionally, the deal includes unlimited highlights rights to those nine matches plus select highlights rights to all other IPL matches.
MLBAM revealed that its At Bat mobile app has been downloaded five million times during the first week of the season. That is a record is 25% higher than last season’s comparable. In addition, At Bat and MLB.TV combined to deliver 94 million total video streams, a mark 88 percent higher than the record set in the first week of the 2013 season.


Last week’s Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in the sports world saw the NCAA Tournament once again top the rankings for the week spanning March 31-April 6. Taking the top spot this week was the Kentucky/Wisconsin game on TBS/TNT/truTV, nabbing 8,420,000 uniques and 1,257,000 Tweets on April 5. Rounding out the top five were: Connecticut/Florida on April 5; NBA action with Knicks/Heat on April 6; MLB’s Cubs/Pirates on March 31; and Spurs/Thunder on April 3.


Collegiate marketer Learfield Sports named Bill Hirsh, Al Connor, Chris Sanders and Ceo Wimmer to the Vice President, National Sales Position in Learfield’s New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles offices respectively to support the company’s growth and creation of innovative, national collegiate platform opportunities for brands.

Global sports and entertainment company Octagon is expanding its golf business, hiring Stuart Cage, Ross Chouler, Joel Kribel, and Terry Baller to its Golf Division.


NCAA Women’s Championship at 8:30p on ESPN.


Cancun? Panama Beach? Punta Cana? Daytona Beach?

Cynopsis wants to know – what’s your favorite spring break vacation spot?
You’ll have a chance to win a $25 Groupon gift card by answering our poll.
The winner will be announced on April 23.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, April 22 ||| CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

ON THIS DAY in 1974: Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run.

In The Know: Reggie Jackson has had his number retired by both the Athletics and Yankees, although they were different numbers. Name one. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: To mark the return of Game of Thrones, one of this season’s actors recently finished second in the World’s Strongest Man competition. What character does he play? Answer: Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain. Kudos: Ola Kudu-Noah’s Arc Foundation/NY; Daniel Weber-MLB Network/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Chris Faulds-Bell Media Digital/Toronto; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.


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JOB OPENING: DIGITAL RESEARCH MANAGER/SCRIPPS/NYC: point of contact for all research requests-Food Network, Cooking Ch and uLive digital properties. For complete details go to www.scrippsnetworks.com #4146 (4/12)

JOB OPENING: VP DIGITAL MEDIA/AMC/NYC: oversee ops & web content development for amctv.com, email, newsletter & network mobile apps, proven track record in growing web & mobile traffic, solid understanding of SEO, 10+ yrs. exp. Apply HERE (4/12) 

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JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR, CONSUMER MKTG/BRAVO/NYC: Oversee strategy & implementation of consumer mktg campaigns & promotions for Bravo. 7+ years marketing exp required. TV/cable exp a plus. Apply at http://bit.ly/1iAPN64 (4/9)

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