05/14/18: NFL Experience Times Square got a new President and a new show

Good morning. It’s Monday May 14, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

NFL Experience Times Square, the 40,000 square foot interactive football destination located in New York City, named sports and entertainment industry veteran Michael Williams as the venue’s new President. In addition, today will see the debut of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football from the facility at 7a, as the series takes root in its new home. “We are thrilled to take Good Morning Football to Times Square, not only the best backdrop in the business but one of the most iconic places in the world,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Media. “With an outstanding cast and crew, Good Morning Football is distinguishing itself in the ultra-competitive morning TV space and the opportunity to combine the show with NFL Experience Times Square – two properties that celebrate football and fans year-round – makes a lot of sense.”
After serving in roles that included the Chief Marketing Officer of Grand Prix of America, the New Jersey devils and the 49ers, Williams spoke with Cynopsis about the new job and his vision for the experience.
Williams on taking the job: The reason that I was drawn to the role is because it highlights all of the experiences that I bring to the table, including my sports experience, my entertainment experience, and my media background and I believe that those play directly into the skillset of what is needed to help grow this business moving forward.
On NFL Experience Times Square: One of the things that is most undeniable is that there is a tremendous loyalty and passion that NFL fans show for the sport. By doing so, you are not only able to create these touchpoints in game and through different social media outlets and actually hard media networks, but this is a created destination that allows for people to come in and experience the aspect of what it is like to go through the journey of being a player. When you are able to take that journey, communicate it and deliver it to people in a physical location, I think it offers tremendous growth opportunities for where you go with this. As technology continues to improve, you can then take those applications and look for even better ways to deliver an exceptional experience. The way the NFL Experience looks now, is going to be completely different from what it will look like ten years from now.
On goals: One of the biggest things we need to do is to continue to grow the awareness for the NFL Experience Times Square. I think that there’s a public view of the way that most things in the NFL are consumed, but having something that is a permanent destination is something that is a bit of a new venture and like other ventures, when you look to institute that and bring it to the marketplace, I think you have to educate people about what it is and grow awareness around that. Most importantly, you need to make sure that you create something that all those who come in contact with it can share their experiences. One of the things we will need to do right away is to create more sticky and shareable moments within the experience.
On bringing Good Morning Football to the location: Having Good Morning Football as a permanent resident is a tremendous touchpoint to continue to expand the overall awareness and the messaging of what the NFL stands for in addition to adding a bright light on this destination right in the heart of New York City. To have Good Morning Football housed in our venue is going to be a tremendous springboard for us to continue to build their message while showcasing our own facility.

Saturday night’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN saw the Linares vs. Lomanchenko main event draw a 1.0 metered market rating for the channel, marking cable television’s highest-rated fight of 2018, according to Nielsen overnight data, while the entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast ranked as ESPN’s highest-rated Top Rank telecast of the year. Overall, the telecast averaged a .8 metered market rating.
ESPN also confirmed last week’s reports on its new faces for the 6p edition of SportsCenter. Sage Steele and Kevin Negandhi will now co-anchor the telecast, starting today. “With the NBA conference finals underway and The Finals coming up, the multiple storylines across Major League Baseball and the start of NFL training camps on the horizon, the show will continue its focus on breaking news and setting the viewers up for the night in sports,” said ESPN Vice President, Network Content, David Roberts. “We look forward to Sage and Kevin leading the way for us.”
The NFL cemented times and dates for the 65-game NFL preseason schedule starting with the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game between the Bears and Ravens in Canton on Aug. 2 at 8p on NBC. NFL Network will also provide extensive coverage of the NFL preseason, including live or re-aired broadcasts of all 65 games.
WWE locked in a partnership with the Philippines’ network 5, to broadcast WWE’s Raw throughout the country. The network will air a weekly one-hour version of Raw at 10p on Sundays and will continue to air a one-hour version of SmackDown at 8:30p on Mondays.
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The world’s largest international airline, Emirates, and Formula 1 reportedly renewed and expanded their partnership in a deal that will run until the end of 2022. Emirates has been an F1 Global Partner since 2013, and will now receive an expanded branding and consumer activation presence at over 15 races on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar spanning Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America in addition to Emirates being the Title Sponsor of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.
Busch Beer is asking NASCAR fans to design the Busch Pole Award trophy that goes to the driver who wins the most pole awards in 2018, with submissions accepted through May 28. Busch will select three designs and then fans will have the opportunity to vote for the best of the three on the Busch Beer Twitter page. “Busch Beer has returned to our roots with the addition of the Busch Pole Award in 2018,” said Daniel Blake, Senior Director of US Value Brands for Anheuser-Busch. “We started our involvement in NASCAR with the Busch Pole Award in 1978 and now we want to celebrate with our fans by asking them to design the year-end Busch Pole Award trophy. Not only do they get to design the Busch Pole Award, but we’ll bring them to the 2018 NASCAR Champion’s Week to present it to the driver with the most Busch Pole Awards of the season. We’re excited to see the passion, creativity and enthusiasm race fans have as they design the Busch Pole Award trophy.”
Speaking of NASCAR, ITsavvy signed on to join Stewart-Haas Racing in a partnership that will be highlighted on the No. 14 Ford Fusion driven by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer. ITsavvy will be the primary sponsor of Bowyer and the No. 14 team Sept. 21-22 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and Nov. 9-11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. At all other races, ITsavvy will serve as an associate sponsor.
The National Basketball Association, the International Basketball Federation and the Basketball Federation of India announced that Basketball Without Borders Asia 2018 will be held May 30 – June 2 at The NBA Academy India in Delhi National Capital Region. BWB Asia 2018 will bring together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the region.

FloSports’ FloTrack partnered with the NCAA and NCAA Digital, managed by Turner Sports, to live-stream the 2018 NCAA Division I East and West Preliminary Rounds over Memorial Day weekend from May 24-26. The top 24 relay teams and top 48 competitors in each event earn a place in their respective region—either the East or the West, depending on the location of their NCAA institution. By the end of the weekend, the top 12 finishers in each event advance to the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships, which will be held this year at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene.
ESPN lined up two new boxing shows that will debut month on ESPN+. In This Corner will be a twice-monthly deep-dive talk show with a rotating panel of four boxing journalists “’gathering at noteworthy New York City establishments to discuss boxing’s biggest stories, past, present and future.” Meanwhile, The Boxing Beat will be a weekly interview show available starting today on the platform with ESPN’s lead boxing writer Dan Rafael providing an inside perspective of boxing through conversations with top fighters, as well as breaking news, commentary and questions from boxing fans.

Capcom announced the launch of three new retro-themed esports tournaments in a move to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Street Fighter franchise. Centered around Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, the action will begin on June 29 with Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo at CEO 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Street Fighter Alpha 3 event run at the SoCal Regionals 2018 in Ontario, CA on Sept. 14, while the Street Fighter 3: Third Strike battle takes place on Oct. 26 at the Canada Cup in Toronto.
Williams Racing formally launched an official esports team to compete in a slate of racing contests. The team will now run competitions for gamers to earn their place on the Williams eSports roster although the first three drivers signed to the Williams eSports roster are: Javier Perez, Jani Vitsaniemi and Bernardo Perez. As part of its activity in 2018, the team will contest the second season of the Formula 1 eSports Pro Series.


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