For the first time in more than 20 years, the PGA TOUR is launching a new ad campaign designed to capture and celebrate “the energy and spirit of today’s TOUR.” Titled “Live Under Par,” the campaign plays on golf’s unique scoring language to showcase the pursuit of excellence by players, both competitively and in how they embrace the values of the game like sportsmanship and respect, as well as the PGA TOUR’s ingrained mission of giving back. Developed in collaboration with new roster agency Troika of Los Angeles, “Live Under Par” becomes the TOUR’s first new theme and tagline since “These Guys Are Good,” the longest-running advertising campaign among major sports, debuted in 1997.
With ESPN+ poised for launch tomorrow, the company announced that American Express will serve as the official launch sponsor of the platform. ESPN+ backed by American Express will offer both cardholders and non-cardholders an extended 30-day free trial subscription during the first week of launch (April 12-18). As part of its sponsorship, American Express will also be the presenting sponsor of the entire 30 for 30 library.
Major League Baseball detailed plans for Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, including new ‘42’-logoed batting practice attire and other uniform elements added as a complementary feature to players and all on-field personnel. Additional elements include home clubs hosting pregame ceremonies, special coverage via MLB Network and MLB.com, background and data on diversity throughout Baseball, and more. Clubs playing at home that Sunday will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pregame ceremonies in their ballparks, while MLB Network & MLB.com will have complete coverage of the day’s events.
The World Curling Federation and sports marketing company Infront extended their partnership by four years to 2022. The new extension will enable curling to increase its exposure in new Asian territories, according to announcement, and to further build on its strong presence in Europe and North America.
The University of Washington is switching gears, announcing a deal with Adidas after a 20-year run with Nike. Adidas will now serve as its official apparel partner, contingent upon approval from the board of regents. The deal kicks in during summer 2019 and will reportedly be worth around $12 million annually.
Hulu inked a deal with the NHL to sponsor the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The deal launches today and will see the streaming service serve as an official NHL partner for the entire 2018 postseason, serving up a national marketing campaign across the league’s digital and social channels, as well as camera-visible, in-stadium inventory within all U.S. venues. In addition, Hulu also partnered with the NHLPA to produce video content showcasing NHL athletes to drive awareness for Hulu as a streaming option” for the playoffs.
SAP unlocked a three-year partnership with Team Liquid to become the team’s Official Innovation Partner. This marks SAP’s first partnership in esports, where they will work with the team to develop software based on in-game data, that helps Team Liquid analyze and improve team performance in training, scouting new talent and during competition. SAP will support Team Liquid by implementing a range of innovative technology solutions that deliver cutting-edge analytics to the team to improve overall performance in training and in competition.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the 2018 Injustice 2 Pro Series Presented by Samsung and SIMPLE Mobile, marking the second season of the global esports program for the title. The 2018 series has Intersport teaming up with Samsung, SIMPLE Mobile, Gamestop, Northern Arena, Gamelta and a to be named European program to offer players a chance to compete in different programs for a slice of the $150,000 prize pool. Overall, the series will feature five live competitions throughout North America and Europe, in addition to three online cups where competitors can earn points to qualify for 12 spots in the Injustice 2 Pro Series Grand Finals. Four spots in the grand finals will be reserved for winners of different programs: Canada’s Northern Arena Injustice 2 Elite Circuit, Latin America’s Liga Latina, a European program with more details to come, and a last chance qualifier spot.
The Western & Southern Open today announced that Chief Executive Officer Elaine Bruening will retire effective April 13. Bruening assumed a full-time role with the event in 1988 after a career at Procter & Gamble.
Learfield named four individuals to a newly created position of Vice President, Market Director. Britt Oligschlaeger, Landon Day and Tony Soares were promoted to the new role within the regional structure, having served with Learfield for 12, 11 and seven years respectively. Mike Haake, new to Learfield, will hold the same position and brings 30 years of media and sales experience to the collegiate marketer.
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and Philips Arena announced the hiring of David Garcia as Vice President of Guest Experience. In his new role, Garcia will spearhead all guest service and hospitality initiatives for the organization, which is undergoing a $192.5 million transformation.
Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway with Flyers/Penguins on NBCSN at 7p, followed by Kings/Knights at 10p.