Nickelodeon will once again return as a title sponsor for a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, locking in Chicagoland Speedway and its Sept. 17 event, which will now be known as the Tales of the Turtles 400. “Following the success of last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, we are ecstatic to continue our relationship with Nickelodeon in 2017,” said Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock. “This blend of exciting racing and family entertainment is the perfect formula to launch the playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kickoff at our magnificent mile and a half.”
Meanwhile, NASCAR also announced that 14-year-old Amelia Conway directed the latest NASCAR Acceleration Nation television creative, developed the treatment and directed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon. A new spot promoting the sport’s national youth platform launched online and aired over the weekend during the Richmond races on FOX and FS1.
The WTA revved up a multi-year deal with Porsche to become the title sponsor for the WTA Finals qualification campaign, which will now be known as the “Porsche Race to Singapore.” The season-long campaign builds towards the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore. In addition, the player who finishes the regular season as the No.1 player on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard will also be congratulated with a new Porsche 911 GTS Cabriolet.
Kraft Heinz named Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania as the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017. The Kraft Hockeyville USA contest, now in its third year of partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, is awarding $150,000 in arena upgrades to The Rostraver Ice Garden and the opportunity to host an NHL preseason game between the Penguins and Blues that will be televised live on NBCSN.
Major League Baseball named Marlins’ legends Jeff Conine and Hall of Famer Tony Perez as MLB All-Star Ambassadors for this year’s Midsummer Classic in a move to generate public awareness for this year’s game and its surrounding events. They will also participate in All-Star events and make a variety of appearances throughout All-Star Week in Miami.
Back to the NFL Draft, Bleacher Report announced that the site set a new daily traffic record on Friday, fueled by its coverage of the event. The site and its app collectively delivered an all-time best eight million unique visitors in a single day, based on Google Analytics, generating a spike of 41% in unique visitors for the first two days of the NFL Draft (Thursday and Friday) over the comparable editorial coverage last year.
Major League Lacrosse announced that Twitter will live stream the MLL Game of the Week during the 2017 season. The streaming schedule consists of 15 regular season games as well as two postseason games and will be available globally for free to logged-in and logged-out users on Twitter and connected devices. “Having MLL games streamed live on Twitter is a major step towards improving the accessibility of our great game,” MLL Commissioner David Gross said. “We have made a concerted effort in recent years to cater to an audience that relies more and more on digital streaming, and this partnership is the next phase of that effort. We are thrilled to be working with Twitter this season.”
NBC Sports Digital reports record live streaming metrics for the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with connected TVs accounting for 204,000 uniques and 68 million minutes of its tally, up 98% and 78%, respectively, for the 39 first round games this year. Overall, the first round of the Playoffs delivered 798,000 total unique users and 134 million minutes, both up 19% versus last year.
Overwatch continues to over-deliver. Blizzard Entertainment announced that the popular title and esports pillar has surpassed 30 million players since launching in May of last year via PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Blizzard previously announced that 25 million players were on-board for the game in January.
China’s LPL League of Legends league has become the first in the world to officially end regulation and start franchising. Wanplus reports that the process would launch for the 2017 Summer Split with teams that qualify for the event being guaranteed franchise spots. The story adds that the league will be expanded to 14 teams in 2018.
The International University Sports Federation and International e-Sports Federation locked in a memorandum of understanding to promote esports in FISU, with the deal also exploring ways to synergies between the two federations. As a first step, IeSF will be supporting the FISU Web Games developed by FISU in a move to engage university youth through international on-line competitions and contests, promoting sport, knowledge, entertainment, education, art and culture worldwide.
Rockets/Spurs on TNT at 9:30p.