06/17/20: NFL lands Pro Bowl in Vegas

 

Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday June 17, 2020

After losing the NFL Draft this year due to the pandemic, Las Vegas picked up the 2021 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon which will take place at Allegiant Stadium on Jan.31 and run across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Deportes. The 2021 Pro Bowl will serve to be a weeklong celebration of football, and will feature various activities in Las Vegas including the NFL FLAG Championship games, AFC and NFC team practices and for the fifth consecutive year, Pro Bowl Skills Showdown. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment, the NFL’s Official Casino Sponsor, will use its casino properties for fan experiences during 2021 Pro Bowl. “The Raiders welcome the NFL Pro Bowl to Allegiant Stadium and to Las Vegas, the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “Pro Bowl week is a celebration of the best the NFL has to offer and there is no better place than Las Vegas to celebrate and honor the league’s biggest stars. The NFL, the LVCVA and the Raiders look forward to a world class event that will set the standard for future NFL events in Las Vegas.”

“When the National Football League kicks off its first season in Las Vegas, we are delighted that ESPN and ABC will present two of the marquee events at Allegiant Stadium. We will celebrate the NFL’s top players at the Pro Bowl and showcase the Raiders’ first regular-season home game at their new world-class venue,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming.

PROGRAMMING

The LPGA unveiled plans to relaunch its 2020 season with a double-bill in Ohio that opens with the Drive On Championship from July 31-Aug 2 an followed by the Marathon LPGA Classic from Aug. 6-9. Limited fans will be allowed to attend the Marathon LPGA Classic and both events will be carried by the GOLF Channel. “Thanks in part to the generosity of our partners who could not reschedule their events in 2020, we are adding a valuable additional playing opportunity for our LPGA Tour members,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the WNBA booked its return to the court to begin the WNBA 2020 season and is finalizing a partnership that would make IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, the Official Home of the 2020 WNBA season. The season would feature 22 regular-season games followed by a traditional playoff format. “We are finalizing a season start plan to build on the tremendous momentum generated in the league during the offseason and have used the guiding principles of health and safety of players and essential staff to establish necessary and extensive protocols,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “We will continue to consult with medical experts and public health officials as well as players, team owners and other stakeholders as we move forward with our execution plan. And, despite the disruption caused by the global pandemic to our 2020 season, the WNBA and its Board of Governors believe strongly in supporting and valuing the elite women athletes who play in the WNBA and therefore, players will receive their full pay and benefits during the 2020 season.”

The National Women’s Soccer League sees CBS air the opening match of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret between back-to-back champions North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC on June 27 at 12:30p. The game marks the first-time professional women’s club soccer will be seen live on a national broadcast network in the United States. The CBS broadcast coverage of the opening match will also stream live on CBS All Access , and opening day continues with a matchup between the Orlando Pride and Chicago Red Stars on CBS All Access at 10p.

CBS Sports’ return to live PGA TOUR golf scored with viewers as Sunday’s coverage of the Charles Schwab Challenge ranked as the tournament’s most-watched final round in 16 years. The final round averaged 3.091 million viewers, up 50% from last year. The national average household rating/share also was up 50% with a 2.1/6.

NBC Sports serves up 25+ hours of live horse racing this week that will include a broadcast-record 6+ hours of live horse racing on NBC on Saturday with the 152nd Belmont Stakes at 2:45p on NBC and starting at 9a on the network with the Royal Meeting in Ascot, England. NBC Sports’ coverage of the Belmont Stakes features host Mike Tirico and analyst Randy Moss from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford. Jerry Bailey joins the broadcast from his home in Florida, and handicapper Eddie Olczyk from his home in Chicago. Reporters Britney Eurton and Kenny Rice, and race caller Larry Collmus will be on-site at Belmont Park. Nick Luck will host NBC’s Saturday Royal Ascot coverage on-location in the U.K.

The National Lacrosse League and WAVE announced a content and sales agreement that will increase the volume of lacrosse coverage across WAVE’s portfolio of media brands. The agreement will include the distribution of NLL athlete, franchise and league content where applicable across WAVE’s entire portfolio of media brands. The first-of-its-kind, 360-degree nature of this partnership allows for WAVE and the NLL to collectively work with brands to offer new sponsorship inventory within WAVE’s programming.

The 2020 Texas Kickoff featuring Baylor/Ole Miss will now kick off Sunday, Sept. 6, moving from the previously scheduled date of September 5. The game, played at NRG Stadium in Houston, is slated to be part of ESPN’s Labor Day weekend opening schedule, airing on an ESPN network.

Univision unveiled its 2020-21 programming lineup with its sports breakouts set to include Liga MX, UEFA Champions League and MLS and over 1,600 live games including two of the biggest tournaments of the year in Euro 2020 and Gold Cup 2021 to viewers across Univision networks in 2021. The Summer of Champions sees TUDN telecast 10 championship matches including the Euro and Gold Cup finals, held for the first-time ever in the same year.

Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud sports talk show Cold As Balls, returned with a 5-episode special edition titled – Cold As Balls: Cold Calls. In the slate, Hart interviews athletes from their homes with each guest calling directly into the show without Hart knowing who’s on the other line beforehand. The new season kicks off with San Francisco 49ers cornerback and Superbowl champion Richard Sherman. New episodes will air every Tuesday and Thursday on the Laugh Out Loud YouTube channel, Laugh Out Loud’s IGTV, and Hart’s Facebook page.

ESPN’s The Undefeated presents Time for Change: We Won’t be Defeated on June 24 at 8p with an encore presentation on ESPN2 at 11p. The one-hour primetime television special will examine black athletes’ experiences with injustice and the unifying role that sports continues to play in bridging the divide between law enforcement and people of color in America. SportsCenter anchors Elle Duncan, Michael Eaves and Jay Harris will be joined by ESPN college sports reporter and NBA studio host Maria Taylor to host the show.

In addition, to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the passing of Title IX, ESPN will launch espnW Presents: When We Play, a three-day, women’s sport-centric, multi-platform initiative that will be anchored by more than 125 total hours of female focused programming across ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Additional content will be available on ESPN.com, ESPN Audio and the espnW social handles. espnW Presents: When We Play will run from Sunday, June 21 through Tuesday, June 23. On the anniversary itself (June 23), female athletes and women’s sporting events will take over ESPN2, ESPNU, ACC Network, SEC Network and Longhorn Network for a full day of programming featuring buzzer beaters, record breakers, upsets, college championships, professional championships and career defining moments for trailblazing women such as Mo’ne Davis, Mia Hamm, Katelyn Ohashi, Ronda Rousey, Pat Summitt, Serena Williams and many more.

The adtech community is stepping up to the plate…

The Cynopsis Adtech Awards
Enter By June 24th

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 here.

SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

GumGum Sports and Winmo partnered up to help sponsorship sales teams at leagues and teams identify and evaluate brand partnership opportunities. Winmo’s advertiser profiles will have direct access to select sponsorship analytics from GumGum Sports, pairing key deal insights with the decision-makers responsible for sponsorship budgets. “Our partnership with GumGum brings to light exactly which types of activations brands are investing in on a by-team basis, giving sponsorship sellers an unparalleled view of a brand’s existing strategy and sports partners,” said Dave Currie, CEO, Winmo. “And of course, it’s provided alongside the relevant decision-makers with all the contextual insight they need to craft effective sales outreach that resonates. We’re thrilled to give our clients this unfair advantage to winning more business with sports sponsors.”

Recovery footwear brand OOFOS announced a strategic brand partnership with Deion Sanders. Through this strategic partnership, OOFOS will become his exclusive partner for recovery footwear and he will be working with the brand to introduce OOFOS and its proprietary OOfoam technology to other athletes.

The PGA TOUR announced that a full-field tournament has been scheduled for July 6-12 at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, through a partnership with Workday, Inc. Featuring a 156-player field and $6.2 million purse, the Workday Charity Open will be held without the general public attendance the week prior to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, filling the week vacated when the 2020 John Deere Classic was cancelled on May 28.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

EA SPORTS officially unveiled Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Lamar Jackson as the Madden NFL 21 cover athlete across all editions. The new version of the game will offer “innovative gameplay, including brand-new ball-carrier and D-Line mechanics, Realistic Open-Field Tackling, new celebrations and more.” The game will also feature new modes including Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame – a playable documentary career campaign where players create a quarterback, halfback or wide receiver and play through their rise to fame with experiences in high school and college, at the NFL Combine and NFL Draft, as well as in the NFL.

FloSports announced the acquisition of grassroots motorsports streaming company, Speed Shift TV, including all of the company’s assets and broadcast rights. The acquisition boosts the motorsports offering on FloSports and brings over 400 additional racing events to its FloRacing platform. Combined with DirtonDirt and the current offering on FloRacing that already includes a full schedule of United States Auto Club (USAC) events as well as programming from Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car tour, FloRacing will stream over 800 racing events each year. Starting on June 27, FloSports will begin simulcasting all upcoming Speed Shift TV races on FloRacing. The first simulcast event will be the second stop of the highly-anticipated Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown.

The WTA and global technology partner SAP are hosting a new educational platform for WTA players called WTA University. Created with SAP Litmos solutions, the online learning management system expands on the WTA’s fundamental Player Development Program aimed to enhance the lives and careers of players by offering resources for physical and mental health, as well personal and professional growth.

The Denver Broncos and FanDuel Group announced a multi-year partnership, designating FanDuel as an official sports betting partner and an official daily fantasy partner of the Broncos. The deal is the first sports betting partnership announced for an NFL team since the National Football League opened the category this May. It is also the first sports betting partnership for FanDuel with an NFL team and gives FanDuel access to official Broncos marks and logos to use across FanDuel’s online sports betting offering and daily fantasy sports product in Colorado.

Momentum and Opendorse are teaming to streamline the distribution of athlete-driven content. The strategic alliance looks to help more athletes engage fans and build brand value on social media by making premium content accessible and available to publish with just one tap. With Opendorse, Momentum can seamlessly share premium video and visual media with participating athletes. Once shared, athletes can review, approve, and publish to their personal social media channels with Opendorse’s one-tap publishing platform.

For Father’s Day this year, Strat-O-Matic will bring back baseball by playing out a seven-game series featuring some of the greatest fathers and sons to compete on the diamond. From Bobby and Barry Bonds to Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. to Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Jr. to Sandy, Sandy Jr. and Roberto Alomar, the Fathers and Sons teams, managed by big league skippers Bob and Aaron Boone, will battle it out, with results to be published on Sunday.

ESPORTS

Riot Games announced the Ignition Series, the publisher’s first step to building an esport foundation around the newly released Valorant. Riot Games has partnered with more than 20 esports organizations to create unique competitive events around the world. The Ignition Series will kick off on June 19 with the European G2 Esports Invitational, presented by Red Bull, and the RAGE VALORANT JAPAN Invitational. Future Ignition Series events will be produced for fans in North America, Brazil, Latin America, Korea, Japan, South East Asia, Oceania, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East. Each organizer will operate their own Ignition Series tournament, with variations that will include competitive open qualifiers, show matches, and invitationals with top players, established personalities, and aspiring amateurs.

G2 named Red Bull as their first official partner for its newborn G2 VALORANT pro team. G2 has already taken first steps into VALORANT with two editions of the G2 European Brawl, the recently announced G2 Esports VALORANT Invitational which will be the official kick-off for VALORANT Ignition Series on June 19.

YouGov named former Nielsen exec Nicole Pike as Global Sector Head of Esports & Gaming. Pike, whose last role was as Managing Director of Esports, Games and SuperData at Nielsen, will help shape the future of YouGov’s analytics in the esports and gaming sectors, building on what are already some of the industry’s deepest and most sophisticated research tools.

Audio solutions company DTS unveiled its official partnership with esports Team Vanish, further expanding presence within the games industry. As part of the partnership, Team Vanish players and creators will have access to its technology as well as previews of unreleased DTS products in the coming year. Additionally, the partnership will provide Team Vanish the opportunity to connect with fans across the world via DTS events and programming.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

ONE Championship added $70 million to its war chest, bringing total capital to $346 million. Hua Fung Teh, Group President of ONE Championship, said “I am thrilled to announce that ONE Championship closed another round of funding a few weeks ago with existing institutional investors as well as a new institutional investor. I am full of gratitude for this strong vote of confidence amidst the worst global economic crisis in 100 years.”

NASCAR announced the appointment of industry veteran Brandon Thompson to the newly created position of Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, Thompson will lead the sanctioning body’s strategy for diversity and inclusion, as well as programs and initiatives designed to champion and enhance diversity across the NASCAR industry.

“The Cynopsis Sports Awards continue to recognize the passionate stories coming from both behind and in-front of the camera. We are honored to continue that tradition and thank the industry for their continued support.”

– Chris Pursell | CYNOPSIS Director of Content

Virtual Awards Celebration: August 12th – Stay Tuned For Details!

View Finalists

On this Day
1960: Ted Williams hits home run #500.

In the Know
Throughout his MLB career, Ted Williams mainly played at which position? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
The Los Angeles Rams retired #80 to honor which player? Answer Isaac Bruce. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Frank Costa-CBS/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Sean Walker-Omnicom MediaGroup/NY; Curry Bloom-Horizon Media/NY; Art Salisch-Nielsen/New Jersey; Mike May-R2 Innovative Technologies/Wellington; Mark Lehman-Braves/Atlanta; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Craig Trabulsy-Tennis Channel/Chicago; Greg Molozinik/GLM Media/Scottsdale; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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DIRECTOR OF SALES
RNN
Rye Brooke NY

Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE

PRODUCER >>
9 Story Media
Remote for now & eventually NYC office. Exp’d producer for an iconic, high profile preschool series that combines 2D, 3D and live action. 5+ yrs production exp, children’s content exp, animation req’d. Strong storytelling skills w/understanding of preschool audiences. Full info HERE (6/28)

VP GROWTH MARKETING >>
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Lead/develop, and deploy enhancements to PointsBet’s growth marketing strategies including performance media, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, MarTech, and more. 10+ yrs of exp in relevant growth marketing roles, ideally for digital/app based product(s). Full info HERE (6/25)

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT >>
MY ENTERTAINMENT/NYC:
MY Entertainment is seeking a highly organized, charismatic, and reality-TV loving candidate w/1yr admin exp and working exp in TV. Strong knwldg MS PP &Keynote. Adobe Suite (Premiere & InDesign preferred) Full info HERE (6/25)

DIRECTOR OF SALES
>>
RNN/Rye Brooke NY: Responsible for growing and managing its Diginet business across all of its TV stations. Minimum of 5 yrs exp in sales in the TV industry and experience in Diginet/multicast/D2 business required. Exp’d networking & establishing new relationships with key players at agencies and advertisers. BA deg Full info HERE (6/23)

SR PODCAST PRODUCER
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Glass Entertainment Group/Philadelphia:
Story producer to help lead a new episodic podcast. You will be involved in episode dvlopmnt, rsrch, interview prep & prod episodes (both during actual record & in post). Background in storytelling & min 5yrs exp making audio, pref w/proven field reporting exp. Full info HERE (6/23)

PRODUCER, BROADCAST LIVE >>
AccuWeather/State College PA:
Produce compelling live video segments for the national network on a daily and as-needed schedule. Put together the rundown for each individual segment and work with a team. Entrepreneurial spirit & working knwldg of non-linear editing suites req’d. Full info HERE (6/23)

MARKETING MANAGER, SVOD >>
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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 (6/19)

MGR/DIRECTOR, MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
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ISE/LA:
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 (6/19)

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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 (6/19)

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