05/26/20: Supercross execs discuss the sport’s return to competition next week


Medias First Morning Read
Tuesday May 26, 2020

Feld entertainment’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross is revving up for a return to competition starting May 31, running seven races on NBC networks out of Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Without fans in attendance, the organization is also offering guidelines and protocols to competitors and essential staff that complies with all federal, state and local health guidance and mandates that include mandated prescreening, testing, temperature checks, face masks, increased sanitation efforts as well as social distancing to limit contact among individuals executing the events. The last race was held on March 7 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach,
Cynopsis Sports asked David Prater. Feld Entertainment’s senior director of operations, about returning to racing and the lessons learned along the way.

Prater on the biggest lessons from the shut down: The sports industry in the United States, like virtually all industries, is being severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Monster Energy Supercross fuels an entire industry and is the primary source of income for thousands, including competitors. It’s important to the economic infrastructure to get back-to-work. Unlike other professional sports with guaranteed contracts, Supercross athletes, team personnel and many others involved in event and television production are independent contractors. With no events, the industry is in severe economic peril.

On the decision to restart: Our goal all along was to return and finish out the 2020 season and we’re pleased to make it happen. First, we wanted to do this for our fans. Supercross fans are passionate and the lifeblood of this sport. They expected 17-rounds of racing and to this point we only delivered 10. Also as stewards of the sport, we felt it was imperative that we take the prudent, responsible and safe steps to get our industry working again and keep the integrity of the sport intact for 2020 and beyond. And of course, our riders are incredible competitors, Eli Tomac earned his fifth win of the season over top rival Ken Roczen, both of whom are competing for their first premiere class title with only three points of separation.

On safety protocols: We created a “Responsible Return to Racing Action” plan that provides guidelines to competitors and essential staff that complies with all Federal, State and Local guidance and mandates. This includes, but is not limited to: Total personnel limits within a secure perimeter of Rice-Eccles Stadium, COVID-19 testing for everyone 48 hours prior to entering the stadium, temperature checks at the sole point of entry into the stadium, face covering requirements, six feet social distancing at all times except and only when not practical due to specific competition requirements, No hand shaking (includes: No high-fives No ‘elbow bumps’) and no group gatherings (including no direct interaction with any persons from other groups/teams). The safety of Supercross competitors, onsite personnel, and everyone involved in the execution of this plan is Feld Entertainment’s top priority.

On partners: We’ve remained in constant communication with our partners and the racing teams throughout this process. We’ve discussed our plan to restart with our partners and they are comfortable with how Supercross is planning to proceed. Utah Sports Commission, our partner, really pushed to bring Supercross to the state for the final rounds, and was a true partner in us getting back to racing.

We’re also very proud that Supercross partners Oakley, Toyota and VP Racing Fuels have been lending their expertise to the medical community and first responders by developing and mass-producing protective shields, eyewear and hand sanitizer. This type of expertise that exists within the industry, coupled with Utah Sports Commission and Feld Entertainment’s event experience will all factor in to helping the industry get back to racing while aiding in the recovery and healing process nationwide.

On impact: Supercross is one of the fastest growing motorsports in the world. Over 17 weeks and a million-dollar All-Star Race, we create innovative larger-than-life dirt track designs and fill the most prestigious stadiums in North America. Our partnership with NBC Sports has been tremendous and has continued to fuel our growth. These are challenging times, but at some point things will return to normal. We just need to be vigilant, monitor the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape and keep safety top of mind. We would anticipate certain policies and procedures being used in our final 7 events will carry over into future Supercross season


Turner Sports’ healthy serving of Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity delivered an average of 5.8 million viewers to Turner platforms across TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, to score the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television, according to Nielsen and raising $20 million to benefit the fight against COVID-19. Associated with the live telecast, WarnerMedia and the golfers collectively raised $20 million to benefit COVID-19. Headlined by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the telecast generated the top program of the day across all of television, based on metered market delivery, and peaked with an average of 6.3 million viewers from 5:45-6p. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s social and digital platforms drew 38 million video views, more than five million social engagements and 172 million social impressions for related content leading up to and during the event

The NTT IndyCar Series is poised to hit NBC in primetime on June 6 at 8p with the season-opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race shifts to NBC from its originally scheduled window on NBCSN with the race poised to become the first IndyCar race on broadcast primetime television since 2013. NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will call the race.

The NHL Players’ Association’s executive committee approved a move forward on returning to play with the greenlight to feature 24 teams making the playoffs while other aspects of a return to play get hammered out and negotiated. Under the plan proposed by the NHL/NHLPA Return To Play committee, the top four teams in each conference would play each other in a mini-tournament for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup. The league also will soon allow players to train in small groups at team facilities, according to a memo circulated to teams over the weekend, per ESPN, targeting early June for the reunions.

Meanwhile, the NBA confirmed exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about resuming its season at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando in late July. “The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said, per reports. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”

The NCAA Division I Council voted electronically to allow student-athletes in all sports to be permitted to participate in voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1. “The return of voluntary activity in addition to the extension of the waiver to allow virtual, nonphysical activity shows sensitivity to local, state and regional differences in how Division I campuses are reopening,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We will continue to be considerate of these differences with wise and flexible administration of our regulations, and we expect schools to keep the well-being of student-athletes as a priority.”

As the sports industry struggles to find a way forward in these unprecedented times, Cynopsis Sports is honored to welcome an incredibly strong lineup of voices and authorities who are guiding the way forward to navigate not only the pandemic but also the groundbreaking changes that are forever changing the pillars of traditional sports. Register for free for our June 9th virtual conference “The Great Sports Disruption: Preparing for Success in a Post-Covid World.” New speakers continue being announced!

ESPN reached an agreement with Eclat Media Group to exclusively televise, in English the KBO League regular-season games throughout Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. As part of the agreement, ESPN and its affiliate partners will become the English-language home for KBO League live games and highlights for the 2020 season throughout the aforementioned territories. The deal includes the postseason and the Korea Series best-of-seven championship.

NBCSN serves up a marathon of classic sports-themed Saturday Night Live episodes on NBCSN, offering 20 SNL episodes dating back to the early 1990s that were hosted by the biggest names in sports. Yesterday saw Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Charles Barkley, while the remaining hosts for SNL Week include (NBCSN appearance order): Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, J.J. Watt, Dwayne Johnson, Andy Roddick, John Cena, Ronda Rousey, Michael Phelps, and Derek Jeter.

Following the success of his live call-in SiriusXM show last month, Greg Norman will host another live episode of Attack Life Radio today at 3p on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel as he and co-host Brian Katrek take calls from listeners across the country to address the topics that golf fans have on their minds. “It was really wonderful to be on the air live and talking to golf fans across the country last month and I’m excited to do it again next week,” said Norman. “Our sport is revving up again. Professionals are getting back into play, and with more courses opening up around the country and around the world, amateurs and weekend golfers are able to get out to play in many places too. I’m looking forward to another fun conversation.”


Building A Super-Bond With Audiences | The New Opportunity: Esports Betting

Get 2 for the price of 1!



Peloton is partnering with ESPN
for a one-hour special running May 30 featuring a lineup of pro athletes participating, led by instructors Alex Toussaint and Robin Arzon. Men’s division participants include: Booger McFarland, Bubba Watson, Gordon Hayward, Justin Thomas, Kyle Rudolph, Matt Grevers, Mike Golic Jr. and Rory Mcllroy. Women’s division participants will feature: Allyson Felix, Colleen Quigley, Dawn Staley, Kyla Ross, Michele Smith, Mónica Puig, Morgan Pressel and Victoria Azarenka.

Premier League staple Everton locked in a three-year kit deal with Danish sportswear company Hummel, wo will replace Umbro. “This announcement marks the start of an exciting new commercial relationship as we welcome hummel to Everton,” stated Everton Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, per reports. “It is really important that we drive maximum value from our commercial deals and this is a Club-record deal for a technical partnership for Everton. It is also important we work with brands that share our ambition and we have all been impressed with hummel’s originality, commitment to quality and vision to challenge expectations.”


Team Whistle continues to shore up its acquisition slate, this time picking up OTT marketing services company Tiny Horse in a deal reportedly worth around $30 million, according to Variety. The company bought Discovery-backed digital studio New Form in January 2019 and Elisabeth Murdoch’s Snapchat-centric Vertical Networks in October.


Esports merchandising pillar We Are Nations is launching investment vehicle Nations Ventures, per ESI. The arm will look to invest in early-stage companies that don’t compete with the core business of We Are Nations, according to the report, to “provide opportunities for collaboration, product and marketing enhancement and other economies of scale.”

ONE Esports is partnering up with IO Esports to launch the $100,000 SEA Dota 2 League, running online from June 18-July 19. Ten teams from Southeast Asia will compete in regional play with qualifiers open to any team that has a minimum of three player residents from: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, or Vietnam.

The National Association of Collegiate Esports and the North American League of Legends Championship Series Players Association are teaming up to create a “new educational opportunity by forging a link between NACE colleges and universities and professional esports players.” NALCSPA players interested in pursuing higher education during and after their careers in professional esports will have direct access to recruitment information from NACE schools looking to add to their esports programs.

In Cynopsis’ Workplace Satisfaction Survey, 92% of respondents report that their employers offer soft benefits that they feel are important.

Find out what ranked as #1: cynopsis.com/2020-workplace-satisfaction-survey

On this Day
2002: Helio Castroneves wins the Indianapolis 500.

In the Know
Which coach owns the trademark for the term “three-peat”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
When Tom Brady first played with the Patriots, he was a backup for which starting quarterback? Answer: Drew Bledsoe. Kudos: Stephanie Bonk- Disney Advertising Sales/ESPN/NY; Jared Paventi-Alzheimer’s Association/NY; Chris Madigan-BZA PR/NY; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Larry Kahn-GOLF Channel/Orlando; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta; Allison Weiner-MMSI/Warwick; Luke Condolora-ICON International/Greenwich; Creed Heilskov-ImOn Communications/Cedar Rapids; Travis Wacker-ESPN Chicago/Chicago; John Ward-Gamut Total/Chicago; Jason Brist-Outdoor Sportsman Group/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Eve Noga-Corus Entertainment/Edmonton; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary Dinos 5th Quarter/Calgary; David Hauptman/Denver; Mary Downey-Mary Downey Productions/Burbank; Anne Wettig-FOX/FOX Sports S&P/LA; Miriam Aardahl-OMD/LA; Brian McAloon-FOX Sports/LA

Cynopsis Team

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Division President
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Director of Operations

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Newsmax Media

Exceptional storyteller with a dedicated command for news and cultural trends to write for fast-paced primetime and overnight newscasts. 3+ yrs of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (6/4)

Passionate, innovative & driven candidate to support planning, development & execution of marketing, brand building & PR initiatives for the company’s Football & Basketball clients. 5+ yrs comms, sales, superior marketing & athletic brand building skills a must. Full info HERE (6/6)

Earth Day Network/DC:
Help support the dvlpmnt/ execution of multi-channel, integrated communications and engagement strategies. 3+ yrs of communications planning and execution exp. Superior communication skills a must. Full info HERE (6/5)

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Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for working with show hosts, preparing the rundown of new stories, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the prod of key video & graphic elements w/guidance from the EP. 3+ yrs EP exp or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE (6/4)

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Prepare/present client presentations. Strong communicator. 10+yrs business development & sales exp in TV and/or film industry with strong ties and relationships with broadcast vendors producers and directors. Full info HERE (6/1)

Shop LC/Austin TX: Resp for launching our Shop LC brand on new and emerging media platforms outside of just cable and DISH television. 3+ yrs of exp in advanced media sales &/or digital advertising incl online media buying, campaign management and performance analysis is a must. Full info HERE (5/30)

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