06/11/15: Nike’s Swoosh marries NBA’s swish; ABC continues Finals roll; FOX Sports goes geek for US Open




Returns to FOX Tuesday, July 14

5 FOX RSN teams are #1 show in their market; 12 are #1 cable show


Good morning. It’s Thursday June 11, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Nike emerged the winner in the battle for the NBA, announcing an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership that will makes the brand the official oncourt apparel provider beginning with the 2017-18 NBA season. Deal points will see Nike become the first NBA apparel partner to have its logo appear on NBA uniforms; own the global rights to design and manufacture authentic and Swingman jerseys as well as oncourt warm-ups and shooting shirts; have an expanded presence at WNBA All-Star and other events throughout the season; and, for the first time, NIKE will become a marketing partner of the NBA Development League

"This partnership with NIKE represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "As our exclusive oncourt apparel provider, NIKE will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and oncourt products."

"We’re excited to bring the full power of our global reach, innovation and creativity to partner with the NBA and grow the game in a way only NIKE can," said NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker. "In NIKE, Jordan and Converse we have three of the most connected brands in the world, and look forward to making the global growth of the game a successful strategy for both the NBA and NIKE."


Meanwhile, the good news keeps coming for the league, with the NBA Finals continuing its ratings roar through three games. The series continues to rank as the most-watched and highest-rated ever on ABC, according to Nielsen, averaging 18,463,000 viewers and a 10.8 rating, up 25% and 21 percent, respectfully, over last year’s series. Tuesday’s contest pulled nearly 18.8 million viewers and was up 29% from last year’s Game 3. The contest also drew an 11.1 household rating, making it ABC’s highest-rated Game 3 ever.

Around the dial, through June 7, NBA TV reports a 29% spike in total viewers in primetime versus last year. Over the last week, the network’s NBA GameTime Live at The Finals pre- and post-game studio coverage grew 34% among total viewers, with Open Court and cumulative airings of NBA Inside Stuff growing 25% and +22, respectively, over the comparable telecasts in 2014. Additionally, NBA TV’s live WNBA regular-season telecast was up 26% in total viewers over the opening week games last year.

ESPN is in for another round of the Canadian Football League, showcasing 20 games this season, including the 103rd Grey Cup championship, with 69 more games slated to run on ESPN3. Programming kicks off with three preseason contests on ESPN3, beginning Friday at 9:30p, with regular season games launching June 25 at 7:30p on ESPN2.

Golf Channel’s swing at U.S. Open Week will launch on June 15, with Golf Central’s Live From the U.S. Open signature news coverage and more than 60 overall hours of live news programming surrounding the tournament. Anchoring the network’s coverage of the show will be Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee, David Duval, Frank Nobilo, among others. Other programming surrounding the tournament is slated to include Morning Drive and The Golf Fix. Golf Channel also will produce live international U.S. Open news programming from its Orlando World Headquarters in both Japanese and Mandarin.

Speaking of golf, Justin Timberlake is joining athletes and entertainers for the first time this summer at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe from July 14-19. He will join celebs that include Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and more.

Bidding for the 2026 World Cup is on hold following the recent scandal(s). Secretary General Jerome Balcke told the AP that the vote has been suspended and won’t take place at its congress in May 2017.

Showtime Networks nabbed the rights to documentary Play It Forward, following the life, family and career of former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, and his relationship with his older brother Chris. The documentary premiered as the Opening Gala of the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. The film is expected to run on the channel this fall.

NBC serves up PBC: Corner to Corner on Sunday at 2p. The one-hour show looks into the lives of boxers Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence and Roberto Garcia, who will all hit the ring for PBC on NBC bouts on June 20 at 8:30p. 

Tickets are almost gone for next week’s Cynopsis Sports Summit on June 16! Get in now! Don’t miss the newest member of our “Women of Action: Driving the Future of Sports” panel with the addition of the NY Liberty’s Swin Cash. The panel, sponsored by espnW, is moderated by espnW Editor-in-Chief Alison Overholt, with all-star panelists that also include LPGA Player Cristie Kerr, espnW reporter/columnist Jane McManus, World Team Tennis CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss and Philadelphia 76ers EVP Lara Price. Register here.

The NHL isn’t going to go quietly following news the Glendale City Council would meet to consider ending the city’s arena contract with the Arizona Coyotes. "We have been advised by the Coyotes that the City of Glendale’s contentions are without merit and we fully expect the Coyotes to continue to play at the Gila River Arena and for the City to continue to honor its obligations to the Coyotes. After everything that has transpired, it is extremely disappointing that the City of Glendale would do anything that might damage the Club."

FOX Sports 1 premieres two NASCAR specials on Sunday. NASCAR Fans Speak will open the duo at 5:30p as a 30-minute “electronic town hall,” exploring a variety of topics that most interest fans as determined by their online vote from a poll running through Saturday. At 6p, the channel airs Being: Stewart Haas Racing with separate and group interviews with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick, marking the first time all four have been interviewed together. 

SiriusXM announced that it will be the exclusive national radio broadcaster for the U.S. Open Championship, offerings fans expanded coverage of this year’s event, from June 18-21. Programming will offer more than 35 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage  more than has ever been aired before with Brian Katrek anchoring the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth. Joining SiriusXM’s broadcast team for the first time will be former PGA Tour pro Mark Lye, who will serve as an analyst on SiriusXM’s pre-round show on Thursday and Friday alongside Taylor Zarzour and Carl Paulson. Coverage will begin each day at noon.

The Orchard announced expanded its partnership with action sports media company Teton Gravity Research to include 3 new films due out later this year. Films will include July’s mountain bike doc unReal and ski and snowboard release Paradise Awaits.

ESPN Deportes and ESPN revealed their talent lineup of 40+ on-air personalities reporting from Toronto for the 2015 Pan American Games. Bilingual hosts will lead the coverage of the Games for ESPN, while contributing to ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage with talent that includes Antonietta “Toni” Collins and SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos serving as main hosts for the English-language presentation of the 2015 Games. Coverage will be supplemented by the likes of Bernardo Osuna and Fernando Palomo, Delvin Rodriguez, Dan Shulman and Fran Fraschilla.


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Nielsen unveiled a Talent Analytics study that shows how NBA stars drive sales. Measuring both LeBron James and Stephen Curry’s fan base, the survey showed that fans of James are likely to be in the market for a new wireless service and 30% more likely than the average American to report planning to switch mobile carriers in the next 12 months. James fans are also prospective car owners, 5% more likely to plan to buy a luxury vehicle in the next 12 months and 26% more likely to be on the hunt for a full-size car. Meanwhile, Curry’s fans are more likely than the general population to purchase deodorant (16% more likely) and athletic and men’s business clothing, 18% and 14% more likely, respectively. Overall, NBA fans are 54% more likely than the general U.S. population to plan to buy a new vehicle in the next 12 months.

PepsiCo signed up as a partner of the UEFA Champions League, with the company’s Walkers, Pepsi MAX and Gatorade brands serving as the faces of the deal. The partnership launches on July 1 and spans three years, according to Marketing. "With more than a billion football fans watching the matches every season, this new partnership offers unprecedented opportunities for both parties," said Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo Europe CEO.

The Topps Company named 2012 National League MVP and three-time World Series Champion Buster Posey as its Brand Ambassador for 2015. Posey will handle promotional appearances for Topps, and help in various social media outreach programs, coinciding with the June 17th launch of Topps Series Two Baseball.  “We welcome Buster as our official ambassador for 2015,” said Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Vice President of Product Development. “There are few people, let alone athletes, who are better role models than he is, not just in the way he plays, but in his dedication to off-field activities such as family and community service. We are looking forward to working with him to help us continue to grow and engage our brand.”


FOX Sports is looking to raise the technology bar with its inaugural coverage of the U.S. Open Championship, beginning Sunday, June 14. The company will utilize the likes of virtual reality, aerial drones, 4K cameras and a gyro-stabilized, 20-mph RC camera car for its production. In addition, FOX Sports will offer coverage enhancements through multiple POV cameras and virtual immersive graphics that display yardage, green shadows and wind as well as tiny “Hole Mic” microphones in the bottom of every hole. All of the initiatives fall under the newly created banner of FOX Lab. “FOX Sports has a long tradition of aggressively exploring and implementing next-generation technical innovations,” said John Entz, FOX Sports President, Production. “With the U.S. Open, we have the opportunity to deliver golf coverage in new and exciting ways… viewers expect it from us, and we are committed to doing just that.”

ESPN’s 36th consecutive College World Series, with coverage of all possible 153 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, Longhorn Network and ESPN3, will offer fans a slate of production goodies. Technology is set to include the UmpCam for the first time in the College World Series, as well as the DollyCam, a wind meter graphic to the on-screen scoreboard bug and K-Zone technology. The company will also incorporate the music of Kevin Costner & Modern West as part of highlight packages, transitions in and out of commercial breaks, etc.
NHK in association with FOX Sports has been offering VIP audiences in LA the first crack in North America to take in the visual and audio impact of 8K Super Hi-Vision video technology and 22.2-channel surround sound live. Taking place at the Zanuck Theater on the Fox Studio lot in Los Angeles, events on June 12 and 16 will showcase FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage matches. NHK’s roll-out of 8K Super Hi-Vision will continue with test broadcasts from the likes of the 2016 NFL Super Bowl, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow and is looking to be fully operational in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.


The 2015 NCAA Men’s College World Series app is back in time for the tournament. This year’s version will serve fans with score updates, real-time photo gallery stream, and the ability to listen and watch the games. The app is sponsored by NCAA Corporate Champion Coca-Cola Zero. People attending the event will also have access to complete tournament and fan fest schedules, an interactive map, ticketing information and the all new Fan Fest Connect.

Monterosa and digital entertainment specialist FunXperience are launching a companion app for the 44th Copa America football tournament in South America, which kicks off on June 11. FunXperience developed the Copa America app using LViS, which offers a cloud infrastructure robust enough to handle a massive concurrent capacity and offers football fans a the ability to vote for their man-of-the-match during games, play quizzes, and access polls and predictions.


Warriors/Cavaliers on ABC at 9p.




David F. Poltrack
  I  Chief Research Officer  I  CBS Corp.
Kevin Rini  I  Director, Product Leadership of Total Audience Measurement  I  Nielsen
Brad Adgate  I  SVP/Director, Research  I  Horizon Media  I  Kern Schireson  I  EVP, Data Strategy and Consumer Intelligence  I  Viacom  I  Carol Hinnant  I SVP, National Television Sales  I  Rentrak

ON THIS DAY in 2010: Nebraska accepts an invite to the join the Big Ten.

In The Know: For what reason does Stephen Curry wear the number 30? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What father/son combo featured both a heavyweight champion in boxing and a multiple Super Bowl Champion? Answer: Ken Norton & Ken Norton Jr. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; John Russo-INSP/NY; Jamie Herstein-Time Warner Cable Media/NY; Carlos Leon-CBS Sports/NY; Barry Abrams-ESPN/Bristol; Princell Hair-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Tim Riviere-WPVI-TV/Philadelphia; Howie Schwab-Sports Jeopardy/West Hartford; Pam Tierney-Lily Barks Productions/Chicago; Robert Teinowitz-Live Action Media/Chicago; Jeremy Bowman-ESPN/Chicago; Kevin Micklo-Pinnacle Advertising/Chicago; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Carl E. Ossipoff-ESPN/LA; Tony Masucci_FTM Productions/Valley Village; Stephen M. Rodgers-PRO- Peter Rodgers Organization/Hollywood; Miguel Velasco-FOX Sports/LA.

Later — Chris
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