05/27/20: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the league’s plans to resume play


Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday May 27, 2020

The NHL made its return official, announcing the league’s Return to Play Plan yesterday with the Stanley Cup Playoffs which is set to include 24 teams, beginning with a 16-team, eight-series Qualifying Round as well as a Seeding Round Robin among the top four teams in each conference to seedings for the First Round. The Qualifying Round and Seeding Round Robin will take place at two hub cities to be identified — one for the 12 participating Eastern Conference teams and one for the 12 Western Conference teams – and begin at a date to be determined. The league reports that candidates for the hub cities include Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver. Teams that did not qualify for the postseason are now done for the season and will participate in the NHL Draft Lottery, which will hold its first phase June 26.

“Obviously, these are extraordinary and unprecedented times,” Commissioner Bettman said in the announcement. “Any plan for the resumption of play, by definition, cannot be perfect. And I am certain that, depending on which team you root for or which team you cover, you can find some element of this package that you might prefer to be done differently.”


The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capital One has its hosts locked in for this year’s ceremonies, announcing that Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, OL Reign winger Megan Rapinoe and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will share the role on June 21 at 9p. The 2020 ESPYS will include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, with several awards including the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award presented by Anthem Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award presented by Dove Men+Care, among others.

World TeamTennis announced that it will play the entirety of its 45th season at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. All told, the 2020 World TeamTennis season will showcase a 63-match regular season over 19 consecutive days from July 12-30, with the WTT Playoffs to follow on Aug. 1 (WTT Semifinals) and Aug. 2 (WTT Final). World TeamTennis’ schedule will include at least three matches per day at The Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat outdoor stadium, with an indoor court to be installed as a backup option, for WTT’s nine franchises. In accordance with state health guidelines, WTT will allow up to 500 fans (20% capacity) to attend its outdoor matches.

As college football awaits word on moving forward as a result of the pandemic, CBS, ESPN and FOX agreed with the FBS conference to an extension for determining college football’s early season game times beyond the standard June 1 deadline. As a result, kickoff times and network designations will be announced at a later date, according to the announcement.

CBS Sports, in collaboration with CBS News, delivers 60 Minutes Sports: Timeless Stories. With each one-hour episode, hosted by James Brown, highlighting three stories that ran on the show with 18 stories overall across six shows starting May 30 at 1:30p on CBS.

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!

On the documentary front, ESPN offers an E60 Special titled “Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story on Friday. The program debuts on Friday at 7p on ESPN, airing on the 10th anniversary of the perfect game Halladay pitched while a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on May 29, 2010, in Miami against the Marlins. Halladay, who retired from baseball after the 2013 season, died when the light plane he was piloting crashed in the Gulf of Mexico in Pasco County, Fla., on Nov. 7, 2017. The one-hour program was produced over nine months by Mike Farrell and Brian Rivera.

Olympic Channel debuts The Iron Hammer on June 7 at 4:30p as an official selection of the “We Are One: A Global Film Festival” which takes place on YouTube. The story features the life and career of international volleyball icon Lang Ping, and is directed by actress, writer and filmmaker Joan Chen and is the Olympic Channel’s first female-directed documentary.

Finally, Insight TV debuts its first ever documentary film shot entirely in 8K UHD HDR. Sandboarding on Dragon Hill on June 7 as part of the network’s week-long “Board!, Not Bored” programming event. The film follows Canadian mountain bike Hall of Famer Brett Tippie as he travels to Chile to ride the biggest sand dune in the world.


As we look forward to fall 2020 with the NFL, and with many people wondering if and how this season will proceed, let’s take a look back at last season. With large fan bases going into the season, it’s no shock that the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens picked up the most Twitter followers this season. Just behind the top four are Super Bowl LIV contenders, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, who duked it out in February for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. For more sports news, visit our website at https://fanai.io/fanai-news/

The adtech community is stepping up to the plate…

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards
During a time when in-person events have been cancelled, the adtech community is stepping up. They’re helping to guarantee marketers upfront inventory and preserve revenue for media owners by using breakthrough approaches and solutions. Adtech providers are a group that lives on the cutting edge of innovation, which is why we are celebrating their platforms, campaigns, and strategies in more than 20 categories. View them all


Uniform provider Alsco signed on to serve as title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series
event taking place today in Charlotte. The Alsco Uniforms 500 will be carried live at 8p on FS1. “Alsco is playing a vital role by supplying hygienically clean uniforms to essential workers everywhere, and we’re honored to have Alsco Uniforms as the name on our NASCAR Cup Series event on May 27,” said Greg Walter, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s executive vice president and general manager. “Alsco’s dedication to providing uniforms and personal protective equipment (PPE) to all facets of the healthcare, automotive and food service industries is a testament to the vital role the company plays in everyday life. We’re proud of our relationship with Alsco and look forward to sharing a memorable night on May 27 at America’s Home for Racing.”

Speaking of NASCAR, Busch beer’s unveiled “its biggest milestone in support of farmers to date, providing the funding for Farm Rescue -a non-profit that provides critical material aid to family farms – to expand into Kansas. As part of the campaign, Busch is raising further awareness for Farm Rescue and farmers across America at the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race in Atlanta on June 7, with Busch-sponsored driver Kevin Harvick and Kansas-native teammate Clint Bowyer both set to race in dual, corn-themed paint schemes.

More details on ESPN’s Peloton project on Saturday at noon, titled the Peloton All-Stars Rid. the special will feature two 20-minute classes, broken down by the Men’s and Women’s Division. Commentary for the rides are provided by Peloton Instructor Ally Love, who regularly provides commentary during New York Nets games, as well as Ryan Ruocco, a long-time ESPN on-air commentator. If the athletes mentioned yesterday achieve an ambitious combined output of 3,000, Peloton will donate one million meals to the Food Bank of New York City.


Monkey Knife Fight cemented a new partnership with the San Diego Padres to serve as the Official Fantasy Sports Partner of the team with MKF set to be prominently displayed on signage at Petco Park and on all the Padres’ social media outlets. In addition to the partnership, Monkey Knife Fight has contributed $50,000 to The Padres Foundation.

Minute Media’s 90min unveiled a brand refresh which includes a new logo, new site design as well as the launch of a new section called “The Switch.” The new branding is designed to represent 90min’s “commitment to being the voice of the fan.” The design was created in-house and the final design was voted on by Minute Media employees.


Blizzard officially pulled the plug on this year’s BlizzCon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the announcement, Blizzard stated that it still wants to “channel the BlizzCon spirit and connect” with fans online and that, because of “different factors involved,” any BlizzCon online alternative “will most likely be sometime early next year” in 2021.

Riot Games unveiled customizable Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners that will appear within official League of Legends esports broadcasts. Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners are able to incorporate unique and modular branding within the in-game map during competitive matches. Starting with the 2020 Summer Split and continuing through the World Championship, regional competitive leagues will begin to utilize Arena Banners to provide additional value to select brand partners. Currently more than 50 unique brand partners support regional leagues and international events.

Speaking of Riot, the LEC announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the league will cancel its plans to host the Summer Finals in Malmö, Sweden and will shift production of the regular show back into the LEC Studio in Berlin starting in Week 1. Operations will feature a skeleton production crew adhering to updated health and safety precautions as determined by local regulations, and teams will continue to play remotely from their training facilities.

Twitch locked in three top streamers to exclusive multi-year deals with Jaryd “Summit1G” Lazar, Brett “Dakotaz” Hoffman, and Josh “JoshOG” Beaver. Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch, stated to media that, “At a time when community is paramount, these Creators are a core part of Twitch’s mission to bring people together, and we’re excited to continue our partnership as we build the future of gaming and live entertainment.”


Lagardere Sports and Entertainment locked in a new organizational setup with an eye to focus to a dual structure of dedicated market areas and global growth units managed and steered on a global scale by a four-member Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of Stefan Felsing (Chief Executive Officer), Philipp Hasenbein (Chief Operating Officer), Robert Müller von Vultejus (Chief Growth Officer) and Christian Peters (Chief Financial Officer). The agency’s further organizational structure is based on geographies. The regions are led by Joel Segal (President Americas), Idriss Akki (President Africa), Adrian Staiti for APAC and Philipp Hasenbein for Europe. Within Europe the three core markets remain France led by Laurent Moretti, UK led by Carl Woodman and Germany (New Management team Germany to be announced soon), whilst the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Spain and Denmark are of further additional market relevance in Europe.


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On this Day
1997: MLB revenue share begins.

In the Know
What was Roy Halladay’s given first name? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which coach owns the trademark for the term “three-peat”? Answer: Pat Riley. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Rick Ramage-UTA/NY; Scott Jenkins-Gracenote/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Cory Angerthal-AMC Networks/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Rick Hensley-CYB-WEMT-CW4/Tri-Cities; C.J. Bottitta-Big Picture Productions/Apex; Michael Stutts-Bloomin’ Brands, Inc./Tampa; John Kukla-KDFW-KDFI/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands/ESPN Milwaukee/Milwaukee; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Brian Robin-Bear Titan Publications/San Bernadino; Bob Ramsey/Palm Springs; Larry Hutchings/Nipomo; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Luke Hughes-Octagon/LA

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AMC Networks’ Acorn TV
Silver Spring, MD

Plans, implements, evaluates performance/KPIs of multi-territory subscriber acquisition campaigns; acts as creative lead and agency POC. Spanish fluency required; marketing exp, 5+ yrs. Full info/apply HERE (6/10)

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)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
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)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
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)

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)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live newscasts, news shows and recorded video segments for TV & digital platforms. Strong understanding of Newsmax brand and talent. Strong writing & organizational skills req’d as is the ability to produce content under heavy deadline pressure. Full info HERE (6/3)

SNEAKY BIG/Scottsdale AZ:
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)

(PT) >>
Previous sale asst exp a must! Execute/input all client orders ensuring that they are in approved weekly programming and compliant with all client requirements. Strong customer problem solving skills and highly organized. Full info HERE (5/30)

Playstation/San Mateo CA: Build a strategy and a team of developers to evolve SIE’s marketing data infrastructure to align with and accelerate our marketing strategy for the next generation of gaming 10+yrs mktg tech exp. Full info HERE (5/29)

Partner with Creative Production. Assist Strategy Planning & Analysis team to shape strategy and inform important business decisions with actionable data-driven insights. 10-15yr exp in highly analytical envir – top management consulting firm, investment bank, corporate strategy. Full info HERE (5/28)

A + E/NYC:
Have an aptitude for data and planning as well as a salesperson’s drive? you will learn how to be a team player in a fast-paced, innovative environment. Full info HERE (5/28)

Partner with Creative Production. Assist Strategy Planning & Analysis team to shape strategy and inform important business decisions with actionable data-driven insights. 10-15 yr exp in highly analytical envir – top management consulting firm, investment bank, corporate strategy. Full info HERE (5/28)

Jump 450 Media/NYC:
Dvlp big ideas for our digital mktg campaigns. This includes working with our clients on the strategy and implementing it with our creative production and media buying teams. Full info HERE (5/28)


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