05/04/16: ESPN treks into Viceland; Golf Channel goes grande for Rio; Bryce’s big payday



CYNOPSISSPORTS
05.04.16

Good morning. It’s Wednesday May 4, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

ESPN is venturing into Viceland, agreeing to a partnership that will see Vice Sports produce new original series that will air exclusively on ESPN properties while select films from ESPN’s doc series 30 for 30 will air on the new cable channel Viceland. Other deal points include short-form animated series, select Vice Sports series including original episodes of The Clubhouse running across ESPN’s linear and digital channels and digital cutdowns of the Viceland series VICE World of Sports running on ESPN properties.
 
"Growing up watching ESPN I came to love the brand and their content. Maybe a little too much. The amount of manly tears shed over various 30 for 30’s throughout the years has been nothing short of embarrassing,” said Shane Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, VICE Media. “To be teaming up with ESPN, creating brand new sports shows for them, and then showing 30 for 30’s on Viceland is perhaps one of the favorite moments in my professional life. I can now die a happy man. No, wait, we have to take over the world first! Here it comes baby, Vice World of Sports!!”

“Evoking manly tears from Shane Smith is no small task, and I take immense pride in that,” said John Skipper, President, ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. “Shane and the team at Vice do an extraordinary job presenting stories through their own, very unique lens  and working with them will help to bring a new perspective to our storytelling. I am confident that the content borne out of this collaboration will be a win for fans of ESPN, Vice and storytelling in general. And I applaud Shane for understanding that television is the smartest path to worldwide leadership.”

ON THE AIR

With golf on deck at the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years, Golf Channel received marching orders for this year’s event to become the first single-sport cable network to provide live coverage of its sport’s Olympic competition, offering more than 130 live hours of Olympics programming in total on the channel. Programming includes in-depth analysis previewing and recapping the competition and highlighted by live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Golf competition starting Aug. 11. Golf Central’s Live From the Olympics also will provide wraparound news coverage immediately prior to and following live coverage of the competition. Additionally, NBC will feature live look-ins, highlights and updates on the golf competition throughout the Games.

TNT saw the controversial Thunder/Spurs battle average 5.2 million total viewers for the network, up 12% over 2015’s comparable coverage. In addition, Inside the NBA averaged 2.5 million viewers for the channel, marking its most-viewed telecast of the 2016 NBA Playoffs to date.

Meanwhile, NBCSN saw Capitals/Penguins Game 3 on Monday average 1.647 million viewers to ranks as the channel’s most watched game of the 2016 NHL Playoffs to date. The telecast drew a 0.95 Nielsen rating for a markup of 14% over last year’s equivalent game

Speaking of the NHL, the league announced that NBC Sports Radio will serve as the exclusive national terrestrial radio partner for the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, offering broadcast coverage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final to affiliated and other terrestrial radio stations. The broadcasts will also be available via NBCSportsRadio.com, the NBC Sports Radio App and SiriusXM Satellite Radio., and the TuneIn digital radio platform. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will serve as NBC Sports Radio’s broadcast team for the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Sign up early and claim your sport to the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit on June 22 in NYC. We’ll be unveiling our full lineup of speakers over the coming weeks but are thrilled to welcome FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann as one of this year’s keynotes. For more info and tickets, click here.

Elsewhere, Buffalo Sabers Captain Brian Gionta will be an in-studio guest analyst on NHL Network’s NHL Tonight at 7p tonight with Tony Luftman and Kevin Weekes. Gionta will also appear in-studio on NHL Live for a segment, which begins at 5p.

SiriusXM hits the Kentucky Derby on Saturday in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One, offering more than 11 hours of programming with day-of news and pre-race analysis, and interviews with jockeys, trainers and owners. On site coverage begins at 8p on SiriusXM Rush.

ESPN/ESPN2’s coverage of the NFL Draft saw 3.1 million people tuning in across the one/two combo of TV and WatchESPN. That ranks as the most-viewed NFL Draft ever on WatchESPN overall and for each day of coverage


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Cynopsis Sports Business Summit
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016 / NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB, NYC
Sponsored by Neulion and rEvXP

Once again we are assembling the world’s foremost authorities on sports business, marketing, production, digital and advertising from around the industry at the 5th Annual Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. 

**Register today to join us and other major executives in the sports industry on June 22.


SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Another record for Nationals’ star Bryce Harper, who reportedly inked a 10-year extension with Under Armour that has been called the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player, according to ESPN. The multiyear extension runs through 2026 and will see Harper’s first signature cleat, the Under Armour Harper One, hit the stores in July. The company previously sold shirts with a phrase Harper filed to trademark — "That’s A

Octagon retained its business with BMW of North America to continue its 27-year run as the automaker’s Sports Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing Agency of Record into 2019. Octagon will continue to offer strategic consulting and management services across BMW of North America’s extensive partner portfolio including: the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, PGA Tour, America’s Cup, and numerous team partnerships across NFL, NBA, MLS and NCAA. “Octagon delivered innovative concepts and a strategic future-oriented plan for our experiential marketing & sponsorship business,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “These insights, coupled with a strong understanding of our brand, reaffirmed that they are the right partner to help drive our business forward.”
 
AMB Sports & Entertainment saw The Coca-Cola Company sign on as a founding partner of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The deal will see Coca-Cola serve as the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner of the Falcons, MLS’ Atlanta United as well as with the venue. Coca-Cola joins the roster of other top brands as founding partner of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, including Equifax, The Home Depot, NCR, Novelis, SunTrust, IBM and American Family Insurance and the deal will kick off with a campaign video that puts beverage brand “on top of Atlanta.”

HARMAN International Industries is tapping MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez as the latest Brand Ambassador for the company’s JBL audio brand. Rodriguez will participate in a series of marketing initiatives, including integrated social media and content programs that will drive consumer engagement with the brand’s audio products.

11th Hour Racing and Land Rover BAR locked in sponsorship plans targeting sustainability as its theme. Both organizations are headed to New York City to participate in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series from May 6-8 in a move to support the transition toward clean water systems and clean energy. “My professional career is in a sport that relies on our oceans, and I want to leave a lasting legacy,” says Land Rover BAR Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor in history. “One of our goals in developing this team was to be the most sustainable sports team in the UK, by driving innovation, inspiring excellence and creating smarter futures.”

DIGITAL & STREAMING

UFC will see its 2016 Hall of Fame run on UFC Fight Pass on July 10 at the UFC Fan Expo during the final day of the 5th Annual UFC International Fight Week. The ceremony will begin at 3p. The Class of 2016 will be announced in the coming weeks leading to the landmark UFC 200: Cormier vs. Jones 2 on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
 
The PGA TOUR will debut 22 Diamond Vision scoreboards that feature state-of-the-art Real Black LED technology and a 10mm pixel pitch from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation as part of The Players Championship starting May 10. The characteristics of Real Black LED technology will “ensure that PGA TOUR spectators have a clear view of the screen up close and in bright sunlight conditions.”

ESPORTS

Audio technology company Turtle Beach is upping its game in eSports, announcing the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headset, Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller (T.A.C.) and Elite Pro accessories designed with competitive gaming in mind. The line is slated to launch globally on June 12 and are currently available for pre-order. Already, OpTic Gaming selected the brand’s lineup as their official gaming audio gear of choice with the new partnership seeing OpTic’s Championship Call of Duty, Halo andCounter Strike: Global Offensive teams begin using the gear  at this year’s eSports World Convention which takes place later this week, May 6-8 in Paris.

After seeing Super Smash Bros. Melee player William “Leffen” Hjelte denied a P1 Pro athlete visa to the country after the US government declared that the game wasn’t a legitimate sport, eSports fans are now launching a petition to open up the industry for US recognition, and are nearly halfway toward complete for 100,000 signatures. The request states that “Competitors in other eSports, such as League of Legends, have been approved for P1 Visas in order to travel to the US and compete. Given the precedent set with League of Legends, other eSports should be considered "legitimate" sports in order to let players come and compete in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the French government took steps to embrace eSports, with new legislation declaring that the government will recognize and regulate the industry. “The repercussions of these changes are now all-encompassing and are mapping out tomorrow’s society,” the bill reads. “Twenty-first century France must embrace digital technology, prepare for future developments, take up all the opportunities and shape a society that embodies the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.”

ROSTER MOVES

Amazon made James DeLorenzo its new head of sports for Amazon Video Channels. Re/code broke the story that DeLorenzo, who worked at CBS and Sports Illustrated, tapped the veteran to oversee its forays into the industry. Amazon recently partnered with the NFL for a new program, All or Nothing, that will debut this summer.

THE MAIN EVENT

Caps/Penguins on NBCSN at 8p.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


It’s time to SHOWCASE YOUR !MAGINATION

Entries are open for the 2016 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards. With new categories to choose from such as:

Best Guest Appearance on a Kids Show
Best Kids Sports-Related Series or Special
Best Kids Tech Activation
Best Use of Music in a K6-11, Preschool or Tween Show
and more!
What are you waiting for? Enter by 5/18.



ON THIS DAY in 1965: Willie Mays breaks National League HR record.

In The Know: Since it is Star Wars Day… what was the name of the board game played on the Millennium Falcon in which it is better to “let the Wookie win”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What number did the Orioles retire to honor Eddie Murray? Answer: #33. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Rick Rosenfelt-WFAN Radio/NY; Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY; Art Salisch-Hearst Television/NY; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; G. David Brown-FOX Sports/Charlotte; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Rich Dubroff-CSNmidatlantic.com/Baltimore; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Steve McNair-KUBE TV/Houston; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Jack Neumann-University of Calgary 5th Quarter Football/Calgary; John D. Ryan-KAZT/Phoenix; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Adam Deverell-CoxReps/LA; Paul Gygli-NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Universal City.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
05.04.16

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