As expected, CAA Sports emerged victorious to represent global sponsorship rights for Formula One and will now be charged with taking the Formula One brand into new markets and expanding the sponsorship portfolio to include new and innovative commercial partners.
BodyArmor is turning to Kobe Bryant to launch its first-ever national television advertising campaign during the NBA Playoffs this week. With Bryant serving as the brand’s third-largest investor, the former Laker wrote, directed and narrated the 60-second spot, which carries the slogan “Obsession is Natural” and features the likes of James Harden and Mike Trout. The ad debuts Wednesday night on TNT.
MetLife is working with the PGA TOUR to debut a new broadcast feature called the MetLife MatchUp that in a move to “engage fans around the world in a season-long contest whose winner is only determined at the end of a season of challenging holes and courses.” Each weekend at select events broadcast by CBS, the two players who best navigate challenging situations will be recognized and highlighted on PGATOUR.COM/MetLife and compete head-to-head in the weekly MetLife MatchUp, where fans worldwide can cast votes for the shot they feel was best navigated.
Aflac signed on to partner with Tough Mudder and will serve as the “Official Supplemental Insurance Provider” for Tough Mudder’s 2017 events season. The deal will include a six-month campaign aimed at small businesses via the Aflac Small Business Challenge.
National Car Rental unveiled a new sponsorship deal with the Boston Red Sox where the brand will serve as the Official Car Rental Partner of the club through 2021. The Red Sox agreement marks the company’s ninth MLB team partnership, and the brand will now receive in-stadium signage above the Green Monster outfield wall as well as behind home plate and will sponsor the new Emerald Club Express Gate. National will also have a presence in the Royal Rooters Club and will sponsor the National Call to the Bullpen during all regular season home games.
Univision announced that UCI Live – its in-house live event and experiential marketing unit –selected Kissimmee, Florida as the host city for the first-ever Prospects Cup, with the international youth soccer tournament held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate Sports Field Complex from December 18-22.
DIGITAL & STREAMING
The MLBPA is opting to get more social, announcing the launch of Infield Chatter, a mobile social network for baseball fans and players. The platform will allow fans and MLB players with verified accounts to showcase pics, videos and more to their in-application feeds. Fans can also take part in video chats with players and take part in contests for a shot at prizes. More than 1,000 players already have accounts.
The NBA announced a multi-year partnership with PlayON to serve as the league’s official daily fantasy partner in the Asian, European and Latin American markets. The deal will see PlayON create locally tailored daily fantasy games for fans.
NeuLion is launching its newly developed technology service, NeuLion ACE Analytics for customers who have licensed the NeuLion Digital Platform. The service will look to offer up OTT real-time consumer watch data, user data, and support data generated by the NeuLion Digital Platform. “NeuLion ACE Analytics provides our customers all the tools needed to uncover intelligence and insights that drive effective OTT business outcomes,” said Roy Reichbach, NeuLion’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This newly launched service is a very significant value add for our NeuLion Digital Platform customers, who will get sharper insights and real-time data to stay competitive and grow their OTT businesses.”
FloSports announced its 2017 first quarter results, revealing that it had added nearly 20,000 subscribers per month, and increased unique visitors by 48% year-over-year. In addition, the company grew its social media following by 50% to more than 2.2 million. “Our coverage is inspired by the passion of sports fans, who want uncompromising, authentic coverage,” FloSports co-founder and CEO Martin Floreani said. “Unlike cable-based networks, we have a direct relationship with our consumers, which gives us the ability to offer an unparalleled experience to our subscribers.
PBR and Twitter announced a partnership to live stream the PBR Built Ford Tough Series event at the Tacoma Dome this weekend. The live stream on Saturday will be available for free to logged-in and logged-out users on Twitter and connected devices in the United States and accessible at pbr.twitter.com or on @PBR. The stream on Twitter will also include advertising packages with TV-style ad spots. Fans will also experience a full musical integration throughout the event as Warrant performs as the “PBR House Band,” including performing the national anthem, the musical beds leading up to and under each ride, and during breaks in the action.
Intel Extreme Masters is reteaming with HyperX to serve as the exclusive peripheral and memory partner for Season 12 of the series. The deal will see pro players practice and compete with HyperX headsets, keyboards, mice, and using systems complimented by HyperX memory in IEM tournaments. This will be the fifth consecutive year HyperX is a sponsor. “We are thrilled to once again partner up with HyperX, who we have had a successful relationship for several years now,” said Michal Blicharz VP Pro Gaming at ESL, “HyperX’s ongoing commitment to excellence has made it a perfect match for Intel Extreme Masters for the last 4 years. Taking this commitment into the next season will only improve it further.
Chinese investment company Tencent is launching its own global game platform, according to TEO, which will be known as WeGame. The platform will extend the currently-running TGP worldwide.
Whistle Sports announced that J LaLonde has joined the company to serve as VP of Content. LaLonde will oversee the company’s multi-platform content development, production and programming worldwide. Prior to joining Whistle Sports, LaLonde served as an executive producer of original programming and development for Mashable Studios.
The New York Red Bulls named Jayne Bussman-Wise as Senior Director, Content and Communications and will be charged with developing and executing strategy around communications and content via the club’s digital and social platforms.
Trail Blazers/Warriors on TNT at 10:30p.