06/25/21: MLB locked in a deal with Audacy


Medias First Morning Read


Friday June 25, 2021

Major League Baseball and Audacy cemented a new multi-year wide-ranging audio agreement that makes Audacy the official digital audio and podcast partner of MLB and includes the capacity to produce and distribute official podcast programming for the league and its Clubs. To launch the new production agreement, MLB and Audacy have a new flagship podcast series in development that “revisits baseball’s most dramatic and thrilling postseason campaigns.” The first installment, coming this fall, will explore the Chicago Cubs’ historic march to the 2016 World Series championship. As part of the unique agreement, MLB and Audacy begin a multi-faceted sales and marketing collaboration supported by promotional initiatives across MLB and Audacy platforms. Audacy will be the exclusive advertising sales partner for MLB audio streams within the league’s subscription products and work with MLB to maximize the distribution of league and club podcasts on platforms worldwide.


ESPN landed Mark Messier, six-time Stanley Cup Champion and 15-time NHL All-Star, to join the company under a new multi-year agreement and serve as part of its upcoming NHL coverage, beginning with the 2021-22 season. Messier will serve as a studio analyst when the NHL returns to ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu this fall.

Turner Sports announced its broadcast team for the upcoming installment of Capital One’s The Match, taking place on July 6 at 5p and pitting Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady against Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers on TNT. Talent will include Charles Barkley, Trevor Immelman, Cheyenne Woods, and Larry Fitzgerald. Brian Anderson will handle play-by-play duties while Kevin Frazier hosts the pregame show.

Jeff Gordon is departing his role at FOX Sports’ NASCAR broadcast team after six seasons to become the vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports. “Just like he did on the track, Jeff distinguished himself as an all-time winner on our FOX Sports team, said Eric Shanks, CEO and Executive Producer at FOX Sports. “While we are sad to see him go, everyone at FOX Sports wishes Jeff nothing but continued success.”

On the Olympics front, Savannah Guthrie will join NBC Olympics’ primetime host Mike Tirico to host the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, the company announced. Overall, the NBC Olympics will see a record 178 NBC Olympics commentators on deck with more than 7,000 hours of coverage of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad planned from Tokyo.

A special performance from OneRepublic has been added to the lineup of in-park events that will take place on July 11 at Coors Field as part of MLB All-Star festivities. Following the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and prior to the MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game, OneRepublic will take the stage to perform two songs for fans in attendance. ESPN will air part of OneRepublic’s performance during their coverage of MLB All-Star Celebrity Softball Game, broadcast on Monday night after the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

ESPN’s coverage of UEFA EURO 2020 continues Saturday, June 26, on ESPN and ABC with Round of 16 matches. Play begins with Wales/Denmark at 11:30a on ESPN. Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman are on microphone duties.

SNY and The New York Racing Association announced a partnership that will establish SNY as the new regional television home for racing from Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Accordingly, SNY will present America’s Day at the Races and Saratoga Live on select weekends throughout the summer and into the fall. During that period, SNY will broadcast 15 weekends of live racing to viewers across the tri-state area.

USA TODAY’s High School Sports Awards, presented by the U.S. Polo Assn., announced a new national show running on Aug. 5 and hosted by Michael Strahan and Rob Gronkowski, The awards show will honor the nation’s best student athletes and feature some of the biggest names in professional sports. ESPN’s Desmond Howard and Laura Rutledge will emcee the regional award shows, premiering at 8p. on June 28 and June 30.

Get in the Game: Enter Esports #1 Awards Program
The tempest awards acknowledge the industry’s most innovative companies and executives with categories that span production, talent, technology, and more. Winners will be named live during the Esports Business Summit at the Tempest Awards Gala on October 19.


Enter for a Shot in the Spotlight



NCAA president Mark Emmert laid out plans for interim rules that will allow college athletes to earn money off their image and celebrity before July 1 with the rules serving as a temporary solution until a permanent plan is in place. Six states — Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico — have laws set to go into effect with the new month.

Bud Light revealed its official roster of NFL players and teams for the 2021 season with athletes that include Dak Prescott, Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Calvin Ridley and others among the faces who will represent the brand. “As the official beer sponsor of the NFL, Bud Light will continue to invest in football and bringing people together for incredible moments in sports. Our approach to the NFL has always been about the fans and being alongside them as they cheer on their local teams and favorite players,” said Matt Davis, Head of U.S. Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, a national franchise in the restaurant and casual dining space with over 50 locations across the U.S., entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Reese’s Senior Bowl to serve as the Official Practice Partner. “The Senior Bowl has a longstanding history of producing future Hall-of-Famers and many of those all-time greats began their college careers as walk-ons or under-the-radar prospects who embody the Walk-On’s underdog spirit,” said Jim Nagy, Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director. “Our goal is to elevate the college football all-star game experience and partnering with an emerging national brand like Walk-On’s brings value to the people that matter most—our players and our fans.”

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced a new digital and social media campaign to support the “Negro Leagues 101” initiative led by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Starting today, 101 facts about the Negro Leagues will be shared daily until Oct. 3 – the last day of the 2021 Regular Season – to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the establishment of the Negro Leagues. This effort is part of an educational initiative that includes a series of programs, lectures, and events along with a bevy of virtual learning experiences that includes a virtual tour of the NLBM.

Allianz, the Worldwide Insurance Partner of the Olympic & Paralympic Games, launched a new campaign designed to provide more confidence and mental health support to members of the Olympic and Paralympic Family as well as the broader professional athlete community. Anchoring the campaign is the Allianz Support Dog Squad, a group of 50+ trained emotional support dogs to international skateboarders training in Los Angeles as they prepare for their Olympic debut as well as other upcoming international competitions. “We know that training and competing at the highest levels can take a toll on the mental health of athletes, especially after experiencing so much uncertainty over the past year,” said Hector Muelas, Global Chief Brand Officer of Allianz SE. “We’re proud to commemorate Olympic Day by not only creating tailored programs that address the unique challenges facing Olympians, Paralympians and the wider athlete community but also using this moment as an important inflection point to raise more awareness for mental health support.”

The United States SailGP Team announced that applications have opened for community sailing organizations to partner with ‘Foiling First’ – an athlete development program created to advance diversity and inclusion in the sport through building the first ever professional pathway to foiling in the U.S. “Since launching Foiling First we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the American sailing community,” said U.S. SailGP Team CEO and Driver Jimmy Spithill. “We’re looking forward to working with Bristol Yacht Club/East Bay Sailing Foundation and we’re excited to invite more organizations to join. It’s really encouraging to see communities ready to participate in change on and off the water.”


FTX Trading Limited and West Realm Shires Services and Major League Baseball announced a new long-term, global partnership and established FTX as the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB. This deal marks the first-ever partnership between a professional sports league and a cryptocurrency exchange. In addition, FTX.US has formed an agreement with MLB Players Inc. FTX.US will become MLB’s first-ever umpire uniform patch partner. Beginning with the MLB All-Star Game on July 13, an FTX.US logo patch will adorn all umpire uniforms for regular season, Postseason, Spring Training and Jewel Event games. This new agreement also provides FTX with worldwide marketing rights associated with MLB marks, logos and special events.

Loop Media landed a content partnership with FITE that allows Loop Media to bring thousands of hours of live and on demand free programs to millions of fans around the world. “In our never-ending drive to make Loop for business the ultimate service for our clients, we are thrilled with the addition of the FITE content. FITE is a fantastic and exciting new partner. They are a world class producer and provider of high-quality programming and the FITE content opens a compelling and dynamic new category for us and our clients.” said Greg Drebin, Chief Content and Marketing Officer for Loop Media.


BLAST is reportedly moving into Apex Legends esports via BLAST Titans, featuring 40 European teams competing. The event will be shown live exclusively on Twitch starting July 23. “We’re delighted to introduce BLAST Titans to the community and bring our renowned broadcast, production alongside our commercial and media partners to create a unique experience for the Apex Legends and wider gaming audience to enjoy,” said Leo Matlock, Vice President of Commercial at BLAST.

A survey from AdColony about esports and consumer behavior found that 61% of users said they would research a brand they saw featured in esports, with 45% of users agreeing that brands are ahead of the curve and 31% of users likely to look up an ad that aired during esports and watch it again.

Botisimo announced that Envy Gaming made a strategic investment into the company. As part of the long-term relationship, Adam Rymer, CEO of Envy Gaming, will join Botisimo as a board member, and Envy will also use Botisimo’s technology for its esports players, streamers and content creators. Botisimo offers chatbot, livestream marketing, analytics and audience activation tools that integrate with users’ accounts across multiple streaming platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Discord and Trovo.

New York esports organization Andbox is acquiring mobile esports team Trovo Mayhem, which competes in Call of Duty: Mobile. The squad will now become part of Andbox and be known as the NYSL Mayhem marking the first Call of Duty League franchise to also have a team also representing it in Call of Duty: Mobile. “Call of Duty: Mobile is a massively popular game globally and it was important for us to establish a team to represent New York given the size of the market, our leadership position in it, and our existing deep roots in the Call of Duty franchise across all platforms,” said Rohit Gupta, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Andbox. “Our presence in mobile gaming and esports puts us in a strong position to engage an even wider, diverse audience of consumers which in-turn provides brands and marketers with a clear point of entry to this increasingly valuable space.”

Global esports organization Gen.G and IMG Academy announced a one week VALORANT summer esports camp taking place at IMG Academy headquarters in Bradenton on August 15-22. “With the growing interest in gaming, especially at the high school level, it is natural evolution for IMG Academy to partner with a best-class organization to offer a pioneering performance based esports program,” said Taryn Morgan, Vice President of Athletic and Personal Development at IMG Academy. “We believe that with access to our world-class campus and performance specialists in nutrition, mindset, communications and more, in collaboration with Gen. G’s esports learning platform and esteemed coaches, students will be able to take their game to the next level.”


GSE Worldwide announced that golf agent Brett Falkoff reached a new long-term agreement to stay with the company. Throughout his time at GSE, Falkoff has helped broker some of the largest marketing partnerships for his clients both on and off the course including, DraftKings, Bentley, Goldman Sachs, Bridgestone Golf, OneStream Software, Rolex, Rocket Mortgage, RedBull, UKG, Club Champion and more.

X2 Performance revealed key executive leadership recruits: EVP of Finance & Operations Scott Greene, EVP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships Dave Cohen, VP of Sales, Jim Block, VP of Sports & Entertainment Marketing David Benoit and VP of Product Innovation, Chad Cunningham have joined the X2 Leadership Team.


Notes, nuggets and tidbits covering the sportscasting world from news and development to historical anecdotes.
Halby’s Morsels: Grandsons of Joe Garagiola and Harry Caray calling AA games; Calabro back; NBA, NHL +

NBC’s US Open coverage was less staid, a bit more flamboyant and interestingly colorful than other golf tournaments.
NBC delivers the US Open with sparkling colors; From the production to the talent, the show was superb

The fact that NBC is a lame-duck rightsholder of the NHL hasn’t tempered its production effort a bit. Racing events, both Formula 1 and IndyCar are being presented in first-rate fashion by both the Peacock crew and ESPN.
NBC and ESPN’s coverage of the NHL, Formula 1 and IndyCar race keeps viewers engaged

Happy Birthdays:

Woody Paige 6/27 ESPN
Kevin Calabro 6/27 Longtime NBA voice
Mitch Holthus, 6/28 Voice KC Chiefs
Jim Spanarkel, 6/28 CBS Sports
Dan Dierdorf, 6/29 Ex-CBS and ABC Sports
Gary Gerould, 6/30 Sacramento Kings
Roger Maltbie, 6/30 NBC Sports
Peter Vecsey, 7/1 National NBA writer
Sports Broadcast Journal

Esports Business Summit
October 18-20, 2021| Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
This event brings together all sectors of the esports ecosystem for three days of networking, education, and inspiration. If you’re looking to understand the power of esports, learn how your brand can profit from this billion-dollar industry and make the connections you need, EBS is your gateway to get in the game.

On this Day
1997: The NHL approves franchises in Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and Minnesota-St Paul.

Which teams were competing in the Super Bowl during the game’s infamous blackout in New Orleans? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which pro football franchise became the first to play on artificial turf? Answer: Houston Oilers. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Matt Sautter-WideOrbit/Harrisburg; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Sam Pittman-Juniper & Berkeley/Raleigh; Mark Lehman – Braves/Atlanta; Bob Ramsey/Merida; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Larry Hutchings/San Luis Obispo; Nick Monroe-Monroe Photography/San Diego; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Greg Dudsic/Palmdate

Cynopsis Team

Chris Pursell
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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