Round one of the 2022 NBA Playoffs became the most-watched on ESPN since 2014, according to Nielsen, with the eight games that ran on the network averaging 3,346,000 viewers, up 28% from 2021 and 69% from 2020. The slate now ranks as the third-most watched first-round of the NBA Playoffs on ESPN ever, dating back to 2003. The Golden State Warriors victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals on ABC averaged 7,714,000 viewers and scored as ABC’s most-watched Conference Semifinals game in 11 years, dating back to 2011. Viewership for Game 1 was up 97% over last year’s ABC Conference Semifinals average. Additionally, the Milwaukee Bucks win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series averaged 5,370,000 viewers on Sunday, up 37%.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff joined ESPN as a studio analyst for the remainder of the 2022 postseason. Bickerstaff will regularly provide insights and analysis on ESPN daytime studio shows, including NBA Today, Get Up and SportsCenter.
Turner Sports lined up commentators for Round 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which hit TNT and TBS with two doubleheaders on Thursday. TNT and TBS will televise up to 49 games during the postseason including up to 28 First Round games, along with the Second Round, and the Conference Finals. The Penguins/Rangers Game 2 sees a grouping of Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst), Bryce Salvador (ice level), Jackie Redmond (reporter). The Caps/Panthers features Brendan Burke, Darren Pang, Jennifer Botterill, and Tarik El-Bashir. Predators/Avalanche serves up Randy Hahn, Shane Hnidy, Darren Eliot, and Taryn Hatcher. Finally, Dave Goucher, Drew Remenda, Meaghan Mikkelson, and Erika Wachter work the mics for the Stars/Flames.
NBC Sports presents the 148th Kentucky Derby on Saturday at 2:30p on NBC and Peacock as the Road to the Triple Crown begins this week, highlighted by live five-hour Kentucky Derby Day show at 2:30p. NBC Sports kicks off more than 12 hours of Kentucky Derby Week action this Friday, May 6 with live coverage of the Kentucky Oaks beginning at 1p on USA Network. Mike Tirico hosts, anchoring Derby coverage for the sixth time; joined by analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss. Rebecca Lowe will serve as a feature host during Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” coverage after hosting Premier League studio shows. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rutledge Wood will serve as lifestyle correspondents. NBC News’ Dylan Dreyer and E!’s Zanna Roberts Rassi, who makes her NBC Sports horse racing debut, will serve as fashion correspondents.
SiriusXM again offer listeners nationwide coverage of the Kentucky Derby, with the wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby provided by NBC Sports Audio Network. SiriusXM’s race-day coverage begins at 8a Saturday with a live edition of Horse Racing Radio Network’s Equine Forum on SiriusXM channel 219/201.
In international waters, FITE has been granted PPV rights to major global territories including the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia, for The Global Titans Fight Series, on May 14. The Event features Floyd “Money” Mayweather returning to the ring to face unbeaten “Dangerous” Don Moore. FITE will present the pay-per-view event live at 2p.
UFC announced a new multi-year media rights partnership with CJ ENM, the multi-media conglomerate, that calls for CJ ENM to carry all of UFC’s live events and additional programming in South Korea. Starting with UFC 274: OLIVEIRA VS GAETHJE, this Sunday, the partnership between UFC and CJ ENM includes 42 live UFC events per year.
“Becoming ANNIKA” – a new documentary produced by NBC Sports in conjunction with the United States Golf Association, will premiere on May 10 at 9p on GOLF Channel, profiling the life and career of golf icon Annika Sorenstam. Hilary Swank narrates. The documentary, which began production at the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Sorenstam’s first USGA championship in 13 years, features interviews with members of Sorenstam’s family, as well as influential players, executives and reporters within the game of golf.
ESPN will debut the next installment in the 30 for 30 series on May 31 with “The Greatest Mixtape Ever,” examining how 1990s streetball and the And1 Mixtape transformed basketball culture at large. “The Greatest Mixtape Ever” will premiere at 8p on ESPN and is narrated by Jadakiss, featuring original interviews with Fat Joe, Funk Master Flex, Iman Shumpert, Isiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, Lou Williams, Rafer Alston and Scoop Jackson, among others.
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
The WNBA announced plans to acknowledge the importance of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner to the league. During the 2022 season, which tips off on Friday, Griner’s initials and jersey number (42) will be featured along the sideline of all 12 WNBA courts. “As we begin the 2022 season, we are keeping Brittney at the forefront of what we do through the game of basketball and in the community,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We continue to work on bringing Brittney home and are appreciative of the support the community has shown BG and her family during this extraordinarily challenging time.”
FIFA landed a blockchain home, tying up a deal with Algorand for a sponsorship and technical partnership that makes the company the official blockchain platform of FIFA. Algorand will also become a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Regional Supporter in North America and Europe, and a FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 Official Sponsor. As part of the agreement, Algorand will also assist FIFA in further developing its digital assets strategy, while FIFA will provide sponsorship assets including advertising, media exposure and promotional opportunities.
Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers mapped out plans for live fan events running July 15-19 and centered around three LA venues: Los Angeles: Dodger Stadium, L.A. Live, and Santa Monica Pier & Beach. MLB All-Star Week opens with its first-ever beach event on July 15 when Capital One All-Star Oceanfront begins at the Santa Monica Pier & Beach. On July 16, MLB Live in DTLA gets underway with Capital One Play Ball Park – the world’s biggest and most playable baseball & softball festival – inside and outside the Los Angeles Convention Center and throughout the L.A. Live campus. The 2022 MLB Draft will also take place at MLB Live in DTLA. MLB All-Star Week’s action on the field begins July 16 at Dodger Stadium with an exclusive doubleheader – the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game followed by the MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game. The T-Mobile Home Run Derby headlines Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on July 18 from Dodger Stadium.
On the golf front, Cisco and the APGA Tour unveiled an official partnership centered on driving greater inclusivity in the sport by providing “enhanced pathways for players of diverse backgrounds to succeed both on and off the golf course.” As part of the partnership, four APGA players at various stages of their playing careers — Kevin Hall, Aaron Beverly, Troy Taylor II and Olajuwon Ajanaku — will join the brand’s team of sponsored professional golfers. “We are proud to expand our commitment to the sport of golf and work together with the APGA towards a shared vision of fostering greater inclusivity in the game we all love,” said Mark Patterson, SVP and Chief of Staff to the Chair and CEO at Cisco. “We are thrilled to welcome Kevin, Aaron, Troy and Olajuwon to Team Cisco and to support them as they work to achieve their goals both on and off the course. Today’s announcement marks another important step forward toward achieving our purpose to power a more inclusive future for all.”
Rory McIlroy pinned down a multi-year equipment extension with TaylorMade Golf for his clubs and golf ball, the company announced Tuesday. “Over the last several years I have had the chance to work with the best equipment company in golf,” McIlroy said in the announcement. “Today I am excited to announce TaylorMade clubs and ball will be staying in my bag for many years to come. A combination of the dedicated people and unmatched performance is what drove me to remain a part of Team TaylorMade.”
The Pac-12 announced Directors Mortgage as an official partner of the Conference, as well as official mortgage partner of the league’s three flagship championship events, the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, and the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. Directors Mortgage has earmarked annual scholarship funds for Pac-12 student-athletes pursuing graduate degrees. The company will also participate in the first Pac-12 Symposium, which will bring together recent graduates and Pac-12 business partners for a networking event in San Francisco.
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH
The PGA TOUR and Quintar, Inc. locked in a three-year agreement to expand the TOUR’s augmented reality experience on mobile devices for fans attending events. As part of the agreement, the TOUR will also receive minority equity rights in Quintar, which is now the Official Mobile Augmented Reality Developer of the PGA TOUR. With the new agreement, the AR experience will expand to 10 events in 2022 and more events in 2023 and 2024. “The PGA TOUR is excited to expand our relationship with Quintar with a goal of creating a more immersive and engaging tournament experience for fans,” said Scott Gutterman, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President of Digital Operations. “We have seen positive interaction and growth with our previous Quintar AR engagements and look forward to building on the momentum.”
Spotlight Sports Group, a technology, content and media business specializing in sports betting and fantasy sports, announced a long-term strategic partnership with Playmaker Capital Inc brand Yardbarker. Dealpoints will see Spotlight Sports Group provide a turnkey horseracing destination on Yardbarker.com, featuring entries, results, content, tools, games, and coverage of all the largest US horseracing tracks.
The NHL announced that League corporate partners — Great Clips, Honda, Navy Federal Credit Union and Scotiabank — have returned as sponsors for the 2022 NHL Gaming World Championship campaign. “The League is proud to welcome back Scotiabank, Honda, Great Clips and Navy Federal Credit Union, four committed corporate partners who have been a big part of making the NHL Gaming World Championship a great success,” said Chris Golier, NHL Vice President of Business Development and Innovation. “Collectively, we have built this powerful platform to engage younger hockey fans around the world, and in its fifth season has become the most dramatic and competitive hockey championship off the ice. This season, our sponsors will bring world class content to the community around our virtual and in-person events to show the passion of fans — whether they are ‘EA SPORTS NHL 22’ players or virtual spectators.” The NHL GWC North American Xbox Console Semifinals drops the puck on the 2022 NHL Gaming World Championship live stream schedule beginning May 14 at noon on NHL and ELEAGUE TV Twitch.
FaZe Clan unveiled their first-ever immersive gaming lounge and retail pop-up store, titled The Armory. Located off Melrose & Fairfax in Los Angeles, the venue will be open to the public on select dates from May 14-June 10 in celebration of FaZe Clan’s foray into gaming products and electronics. The creative vision for The Armory was built from the mind of FaZe Clan’s longtime in-house designer and newly appointed Creative Director Jay Richardson. FaZe Clan teamed up with longtime partner NTWRK to operate. “This is an exciting moment for FaZe and a celebration of the next chapter of our consumer product offerings,” says Derek Chestnut, VP and Head of Consumer Products. “We’ve hosted pop-ups before, but have never had a retail space for this length of time allowing us to curate and program a true FaZe experience. Our goal is to bring gaming culture to life in the heart of the Fairfax streetwear scene while ultimately creating a space for our fans to interact with each other, our talent and our new products.”
Complexity Gaming signed on for an expanded partnership with the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (Army MWR) to host the largest installation of the duo’s Soldier Showdown tournament series to date. This year’s tournament will feature a 23-week season kicking off on May 28. Each week, active duty military personnel will have an opportunity to go head-to-head across five of the most popular game titles – Halo Infinite, EA SPORTS Madden NFL 22, Call of Duty Warzone, Rocket League, and Apex Legends – to climb the ranks on the Global Leaderboard.
INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES
FanDuel Group appointed David Jennings as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Jennings will be responsible for oversight of all FanDuel’s finance functions including FP&A, strategy, accounting, procurement, tax and treasury in support of the company’s Sportsbook, Casino, Racing, Daily Fantasy, Retail and corporate functions and joins from parent company Flutter Plc (LON: FLTR) where he served as Group Director of Investor Relations and FP&A.
The NBA announced today that Joe Dumars has been appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. In his new role, Dumars will oversee all Basketball Operations matters for the NBA, including the development of playing rules and interpretations, conduct and discipline, and policies and procedures relating to the operation of games. “My life has centered on the NBA for nearly 40 years, which makes the opportunity to serve the entire league incredibly exciting and rewarding,” said Dumars. “I’m looking forward to using my skills and experience to collaborate with all 30 teams on ways to shape the future direction of the league and help the game continue to evolve.”
Sportradar named Michael Gandolfo as Group Head, Regional Sales. Gandolfo will oversee Sportradar’s North American sales team and report to North America CEO Arne Rees. Gandolfo joins Sportradar from Fiserv, where he led the company’s Large Financial Institution Sales and Service Team.
World Chase Tag USA tapped Johnny McMahon as General Manager and Chief Content Officer of World Chase Tag. In addition, WCT received an additional equity investment from production partner Tupelo Honey, which is owned by Gray Television, Inc.
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IN THE KNOW
Name the only country to have won a gold medal in the Olympic men’s rugby sevens. (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Mayweather/ Pacquiao fought at what weight class? Answer: Welterweight. Kudos: Aymon DeMauro-ADM Media & Marketing/NY; Larry Kahn-Datanautix/Orlando; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
MANAGER, PHYSICAL PRODUCTION >>
AVALON Studio/ NYC or LA: Responsible for managing smaller internal Development or “one-off” shoots. Maintain relationships w/vendors, production staffs & crews. Communicate & distribute project-related information and deliverables to all internal departments. Knowledge of Network, Studio and Show level department structure needed as well as Union and Guild contracts. Full info HERE (5/17)
MANAGER, PARTNER MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY
Focused on deal negotiation and execution of new media rights as well as operations and delivery of content. Lead ongoing distribution commitments, terms compliance and assist with traditional distribution renewals and new deals! Understand the market landscape and industry trends. Working with other brands and 4+ yrs of working exp. required. Full info HERE (5/16)
DIRECTOR, CONTENT STRATEGY AND PROGRAMMING, STREAMING TV >>
TRUSTED MEDIA BRANDS/CULVER CITY: The Jukin Media/TMB Streaming TV team is seeking an experienced Director of Content Strategy and Programming for our Growth Channels. This position will work with the SVP, Streaming TV to grow our FAST/CTV channel business by launching new O&O channels, building out our CTV app programming and supporting new Streaming TV opportunities. Full info HERE (5/16)
IMPLEMENTATION SPECIALIST >>
WIDEORBIT/REMOTE: WideOrbit is seeking an Implementation Specialist to educate and train clients on WO Network or WO Omni products. A strong preference for WideOrbit product experience and an understanding of Sales Planning/Pricing/Traffic in the international landscape in Canada. Willingness to travel required, and French fluency highly desired. Full info HERE (5/13)
AD SALES PLANNER >>
OUTDOOR SPORTSMAN GROUP /DENVER, NYC OR CHICAGO: Outdoor Sportsman Group is currently seeking an Ad Sales Planner to work closely with Account Executives to create customized media schedules and presentations aligned with the goals and initiatives of ad sales clients. Work in a cross-functional team to plan, implement, and report on account performance aligned with client objectives. Full info HERE (5/12)
PRODUCER, GAMES & WEBSITES >>
FRED ROGERS PRODUCTIONS /PITTSBURGH: Develop ideas for games that are on-brand and deliver on the series mission. Manage schedules and workflows to keep projects on time and on budget. Oversee the Digital Production Assistant in generating and analyzing Google Analytics reports and other metrics. 4+ years production experience making games, websites, apps or other digital content. Full info HERE (5/11)
MEDIA AD SALES EXECUTIVE
Develop new business. While training will be involved, this person must have an interest in web, social media, and email marketing sales and some relevant experience. This person will focus on selling across all of our media property digital channels. The pay for this position is a base salary, plus commission/bonuses/spiffs. Full info HERE (5/11)
DIGITAL AD SALES ASSOCIATE
Prospect, contact and close new advertisers for our digital and print publications. Working directly with clients to develop and nurture relationships to understand their advertising needs. Create proposals based on needs of clients to fulfill digital and print advertising needs. 1-2 years of sales experience preferred. Full info HERE (5/11)
EMAIL MARKETING MANAGER
Responsible for planning and developing our overall email marketing strategy. Managing the strategy, ensuring the health of our email lists & focus on building a robust email marketing universe. Work w/Mailchimp in collaboration with the Web Development, Digital Ad Ops & Sales teams. Exp w/email marketing, lead nurturing, and/or web analytics req. Full info HERE (5/11)
MANAGER, RESEARCH ANALYTICS
Responsible for HQ research reporting outputs and analytics across Paramount International linear and non-linear platforms and provide partners with regular analytics, data-led insights, and business expertise. Manage and support all levels of the data flow from source through to report production. Min of 3 yrs. exp in providing research analytics. Full info HERE (5/10)
PRODUCTION HR & STAFFING MANAGER >>
TOP NY PRODUCTION COMPANY/NYC: Being the employee contact for HR, creating a recruitment plan, and maintaining production health care benefits as well as other tasks. Act as a consultant to managers and staff regarding policies and procedures. A bachelor’s degree and 4+ yrs experience in human resources at a senior-level in the entertainment production industry are required. Full info HERE (5/10)
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Identifies and calls on new prospects using multiple sources of sales leads to interest them in benefits of advertising with Cox Media. Meets with prospective to assess their advertising needs. Builds an effective consultative relationship with clients, advertisers, and the agencies that represent them. 2 yrs of exp. in Media Sales environment. Full info HERE (5/10)
DIGITAL MARKETING ANALYST
BATON ROUGE, LA
Provide weekly pacing reports & updates to the digital team and sellers. Execute analysis of campaign strategy, assessment of creative results, & determine actionable results based on data. Deliver white glove service to top tier clients & oversee, monitor pacing reports & provide recaps on a weekly & monthly basis. 2 or more yrs of exp req. Full info HERE (5/10)
ADVERTISING SALES ASSOCIATE
BATON ROUGE, LA
Build/maintain great relationships with customers. Develop advertising campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. create customized presentations and proposals and participate in sales pitches. Develop relationships by repping Cox at local business networking and charity events. 1+ year of experience in related field. Full info HERE (5/10)
MEDIA SALES COORDINATOR >>
IMPULSE MEDIA SALES/NY: Assist with activities between sales staff and station and agency clients by performing the following duties: Preparing avails, proposals, processing sales orders; corresponding with station traffic department contacts, negotiating make goods with agency buying teams. Full info HERE (5/9)
MEDIA SALES PLANNER >>
FUSE MEDIA/NY: Develop customized plans and presentations for Ad Sales clients. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to join a fast-growing business with future growth opportunities. Full info HERE (5/9)
SR. DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MEDIA >>
THE YES NETWORK/STAMFORD: This position is responsible for overseeing the content across all of YES Network’s digital platforms, including YESNetwork.com, social platforms, YouTube, and the YES App. Full info HERE (5/9)
SALES ASSISTANT – NATIONAL
Provides full support and manages day-to-day maintenance of all accounts for the Ad Sales team by performing the following duties. Full info HERE (5/8)
Develops media proposals and works directly with Account Executives and Pricing & Planning. Full info HERE (5/8)
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER >>
LAUNDRY SERVICE – AMAZON PRIME VIDEO ACCOUNT/LA: Developing and posting content for Amazon Prime Video social, communicating with internal teams and clients. Craft original posts, create assets and capitalize on trending moments. Full info HERE (5/7)
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER >>
LAUNDRY SERVICE – AMAZON MUSIC ACCOUNT (REGIONAL MEXICANO)/LA OR REMOTE: Social Media Manager for one of our music and streaming clients, with a focus on Regional Mexicano communities. Must be fluent in both spoken and written Spanish. Develope and post content for social channels. Full info HERE (5/7)
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER >>
LAUNDRY SERVICE – AMAZON MUSIC (PODCASTS)/LA OR REMOTE: Craft original posts and engaging with podcast listeners, creating assets to capitalize on trending moments in culture, and ideating innovative approaches that’ll make your content shine. Full info HERE (5/7)
MARKETING DIRECTOR >>
ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA SEARCH/CHARLOTTE: Responsible for website and digital content initiatives. The Director of Distribution Marketing is responsible for all affiliate/distribution marketing activity. Full info HERE (5/6)
PAID MEDIA MANAGER
Day-to-day mgt, optimization, & scalability of existing, paid, customer-acquisition channels, as well as the discovery & implementation of new channels. Exp w/ Facebook advertising, SEM, programmatic display & direct media buys. Full info HERE (5/6)
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PUBLIC RELATIONS >>
INTERACTIVE ONE/NYC AND TEMPORARILY REMOTE: This position strategizes and implements publicity plans that generate positive trade press and consumer coverage of the publisher and its assets. Full info HERE (5/5)
MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING >>
iOne DIGITAL/NYC AND TEMPORARILY REMOTE: The primary focus will be to help craft sales strategies and creative solutions in response to RFPs, RFIs and general sales. Full info HERE (5/5)
VICE PRESIDENT, CROSS-PLATFORM CLIENT SERVICES >>
iOne DIGITAL/NYC AND TEMPORARILY REMOTE: This role will be charged with successfully managing and developing long-term cross-platform accounts with top-tier clients and agency partners. Full info HERE (5/5)