06/23/16: The NHL lights up Las Vegas; Sponsors prepare for NBA Draft; Ryder Cup’s digital swing


Good morning. It’s Thursday June 23, 2016, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NHL will celebrate its 100th anniversary with 31 teams in the 2017-18 season, announcing the addition of Las Vegas via an unanimous vote by the League’s Board of Governors. Ownership of the Las Vegas franchise will principally reside with Bill Foley with home games set to be played at T-Mobile Arena, playing in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The Las Vegas franchise will pay a $500-million expansion fee and marks the first League expansion since 1997. Meanwhile, the league opted to defer the expansion application by Quebecor and its ownership group in Quebec City due to the NHL’s lack of geographic balance and the recent and significant devaluation of the Canadian dollar.

“In the fall of 2017, when we celebrate the 100th birthday of the NHL, we will do so as a League of 31 teams,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We are pleased to welcome Bill Foley and the city of Las Vegas to the League and are truly excited that an NHL franchise will be the first major professional sports team in this vibrant, growing, global destination city.”

“On behalf of the Las Vegas Founding 75, our 14,000 season-ticket holders and the entire Las Vegas community, I would like to thank Commissioner Bettman, the NHL staff and the team owners for their support during this process and the confidence they have placed in Las Vegas by awarding this franchise,” said Foley. “I also would like to thank everyone who supported us through this incredible journey. As I’ve said many times over the past year, Las Vegas is a hockey town and we look forward to cheering on our home team.”


Univision saw the US/Argentina blowout deliver an average of 4.8 million viewers on its channels, with 2.6 million in the A18-49 demographic. Meanwhile, the company’s coverage of the Copa America Centenario has now reached 44.4 million viewers to-date.

MP & Silva closed a new partnership with Globo for the distribution rights of Campeonato Brasileiro da Serie A (aka Brazilian League Serie A or Brasileirao) and State Championships of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Latin America. The new distribution deal for Latin American countries includes all media rights on a platform neutral basis and covers three seasons, from 2016 to 2018 and covers all broadcast technologies and media platforms.

ESPN opened up fan voting for the 2016 ESPYS, announcing nominations for its slate of categories. This year’s potential winners include LeBron James, Holly Holm, Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Andy Murray, Roberta Vinci, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd and Cam Newton. Fans can cast their votes at ESPYS.com with all categories closing when the live show starts on July 13 at 8p. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon will host TheESPY Nomination Special on June 30 at 6:30p on ESPN2. Among the nominees, Best Male Athlete will include Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Cam Newton and Bryce Harper. Best Female Athlete features nominations for Breanna Stewart, Elena Delle Donne, Katie Ledecky, and Simone Biles.

Just before his likely first pick in the NBA Draft today, Showtime announced plans for a documentary about LSU’s Ben Simmons, entitled One & Done. The network is partnering with Maggievision Production for the special, which will debut in October.

Mike “Doc” Emrick joins MLB Network’s Bob Costas to call the MLB Network Showcase pitting the Cubs/Pirates on July 8 at 7p. The game will mark the first regular season MLB game call for Emrick, following his guest stint with the Pirates’ broadcast team at Spring Training this past March.

ONE World Sports locked in a multi-year deal with the Hero Caribbean Premier League with the action hitting the network starting June 29 at 9p when it carries  the Hero CPL, a franchise-based T20 cricket tournament. The partnership marks the first time the league will air on U.S. television and all matches will be shown live in late afternoon or in primetime.

NBCSN is getting ready to serve up #NASCARThowback on June 29 at 8p, delivering on-air social integrations that allow fans to relive the 2001 July Daytona race “with their favorite past and present NASCAR drivers, on-air personalities and race teams.” The network is pushing viewers to react live by tweeting their thoughts and showcasing their own at-home watch parties throughout the two-hour cut down race from Daytona International Speedway that saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. emerge victorious. The tweets will be pulled into NBCSN’s broadcast center and featured alongside the race.

FIGHT Sports announced that it would offer the Anthony Joshua/ Dominic Breazeale event on its 24/7 Network with exclusive live rights for over 50 countries around the world. The company will be broadcasting the event throughout Pan-Asia and Europe including Australia, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Spain, France, and the Caribbean, among others.


It’s not too late to register, join us for the 2 most important events in the Sports industry.
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Sports Business Summit + eSports Conference
Today, Thursday 6/23|Three Sixty, NYC

Your all-access pass includes: both conferences, networking lunch & breaks, executive summary reports, tickets to ESL One NY in October, a chance to win a photo-taking drone & more.

Sponsors: Neulion | Phoenix Marketing International | Sportradar | rEvolution | Magid | rEvXP


A federal judge granted a request from the Denver Broncos to end the team’s $55 million sponsorship contract with the bankrupt Sports Authority, according to the Denver Post. Court records showed that the August 2011 contract was valued at more than $55.3 million which means Sports Authority owes the Broncos $36 million.

A few highlights of sponsor activations slated around the NBA Draft:
·       American Express is hosting an exclusive hospitality experience for 140 card members, which includes a photo on the Draft stage and meet-and-greet with Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns.
·       BBVA will introduce three cross-platform vignettes featuring draftees Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray, and Buddy Hield on BBVA digital channels, NBA.com/rooks and players’ social channels.
·       Foot Locker debuted two 30-second spots featuring top NBA Draft prospect Ben Simmons, on YouTube.
·       Samsung hosts a custom gifting lounge to outfit Draftees with the partner’s latest devices. Staff will be onsite to provide assistance and help Draftees get familiar with new technology.

Speaking of the NBA, the league and Al Mana Fashion Group announced a partnership that will see the opening of the first NBA Stores in the Middle East. The first two NBA Stores are slated to open in Doha, Qatar, during the 2016-17 NBA season, with additional stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to follow.

Outside Television launched its first social engagement campaign utilizing the OTV Amplifier platform in partnership with Coors Light. The campaign, dubbed Climb To The Summit, charges consumers to “get outside and show what they’ve taken on, and how they’ve persevered.“ The campaign allows fans to create and share videos of their stories with like-minded individuals across the country all for a chance to win prizes that include an all-expense paid trip to Whistler Blackcomb, Canada, a $5,000 shopping spree with Mountain Hardwear, and having their story featured on Outside Television.


Turner Sports, the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe have launched a newly designed RyderCup.com. The site will now become a year-round destination with a new look-as well as simplified navigation and expanded content offering. The site has launched with five-phases of coverage of the event in covering the points race, team selection, event week, post-season and the off-season.

NBC Sports Radio will be offered for live-streaming on Apple Music. The NBC Sports Radio channel is available through Apple Music on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, Android, and Sonos.

The Penguins’ crowing as the 2016 Stanley Cup Champions will see Cinedigm, NHL Original Productions and the NHL offer fans the home entertainment release of Stanley Cup Champions 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins on July 26. Offering highlights from both the regular season and postseason, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. Content will be available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD.


In this week’s Cynopsis eSports & Gaming edition:
·       Tencent’s gaming upgrades
·       ESL One Frankfurt numbers
·       The future of gambling on eSports
·       Who won E3?
·       Skylanders spread their wings


Fred Gaudelli, lead producer for all 10 seasons of Sunday Night Football was named Executive Producer of NBC’s SNF franchise and Thursday Night Football. He will oversee production for both primetime packages.

The Professional Football Writers of America named ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen as the recipient of the 2016 Dick McCann Award. The honor is presented annually to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.


The NBA Draft on ESPN at 7p.


Model D Awards
Call for entries in search of the best online video content + advertising

Entry Deadline: August 4
Awards Event: November 1 // NYC

Previous winners include AT&T, Bravo, Food Network, Hulu, NBCUniversal, SONY & many more. View the full list of past winners, and then start your entry today.

ON THIS DAY in 1894: The International Olympic Committee is founded.

In The Know: What is the name of the Minor League Baseball team in Las Vegas? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the name of the female pitcher who stuck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession? Answer: Jackie Mitchell. Kudos: Chris Bartels-United Entertainment Group/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Nick Sullivan-NBC Olympics/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Neal Stevens-Stevens & Associates/Beverly Hills.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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