06/26/15: Sportsnet is quick on the puck; Special Olympics World Games line up FLOTUS, Wonder; Titan-ic deal for Nissan


Good morning. It’s Friday June 26, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Going north this morning. With the NHL revealing its game dates for the 2015-16 season, Canada’s Sportsnet was quick to unveil broadcast plans with its schedule earmarking over 500 regional and national games for its broadcasts. The schedule will be anchored by three signature destination nights  Wednesdays with Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, Saturdays with Hockey Night in Canada and Sundays with Rogers Hometown Hockey as well as a minimum of one game every Thursday night, among other windows. Sportsnet will broadcast all national and regional games featuring the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks, and will also deliver coverage of 56 Toronto Maple Leafs games (national and regional), 29 national Ottawa Senators games and 22 national Winnipeg Jets games. The action begins on Oct. 7 with the Canadiens/Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, TVA Sports locked in plans for more than 260 NHL games, including all Saturday night Montreal Canadiens games, their first game of the season, and the January 1 Winter Classic. 


The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will see Michelle Obama take part in the Opening Ceremony on July 25 where the First Lady of the United States serves as an honorary co-chair of the World Games with President Barack Obama. Performers at the LA2015 Opening Ceremony are now set to include Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, Nicole Scherzinger, O.A.R., Cody Simpson (featuring Breanna Bogucki and Madison Tevlin), J Balvin & Becky G, and Reach Up LA theme song creator Siedah Garrett. Other appearances will see the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming, Greg Louganis, Stephanie McMahon and Lauren Potter among others.

Sunday MLB on TBS returns to the schedule on July 12 with the channel showcasing the Yankees/Red Sox matchup at 1:30p. Turner Sports says that Ernie Johnson will provide play-by-play for the game, beside analyst Ron Darling. Other early matchups will see Dodgers/Nationals as Cal Ripken, Jr. joins Johnson and Darling in the broadcast booth.

Molly Qerim is heading back to ESPN, rejoining the company on July 1, where she will host ESPN2’s SportsNation for two days. On Monday, July 13, she will then begin her role as interim host of the channel’s First Take. Qerim was previously an anchor and reporter for the NFL Network, hosting NFL AM and NFL Fantasy Live from 2012-2015.

ESPN spotlights Major League Soccer’s MLS Heineken Rivalry Week on June 28 with the New York Red Bulls/New York City FC on ESPN with pregame at 4:30p. Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman will call the match in English on while Robert Sierra and Manu Martin handle Spanish-language commentary on ESPN Deportes. Beginning this week with MLS Rivalry Weekend, seven Major League Soccer matches initially slated for ESPN2 will now air on ESPN.

ESPNU brings back the Summer of Next Presented by GEIC starting July 3. Programming will break out “a series of events featuring the nation’s next generation of college athletes” across four sports. The schedule opens with the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game, and will include The Opening on July 9-10, the EYBL Finals at NIKE Peach Jam on July 12, Adidas Uprising on July 26, Adidas Nations on August 3, American Legion Baseball World Series from August 17-18, and the High School Football Kickoff from August 28-30.  Overall, Summer of Next offers viewers more than 20 games and 60 hours of programming.




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by August 7, 2015


The Tennessee Titans and Nissan North America locked in a 20-year, exclusive naming-rights partnership that will make Nashville’s downtown venue known as Nissan Stadium. The stadium hosts all Titans home football games, Tennessee State University football games, the Music City Bowl and more. “This partnership sends a strong message about the positive future on the horizon for the Titans franchise, Nissan, the City of Nashville and Middle Tennessee,” said Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk. “In their fourth decade of operations in Middle Tennessee, Nissan has made yet another significant investment that demonstrates the strength of their commitment to the region. We are proud to partner with one of the world’s most respected companies in Nissan, and we look forward to the positive impact of this relationship on our franchise and the City of Nashville.”

Voya Financial is serving up a series of online videos as for ESPN’s telecasts of Wimbledon and the US Open. Content will see ESPN tennis commentator Brad Gilbert appear in Gilbert’s Glossary throughout both tournaments, a slate of 12 video shorts that will feature Gilbertexplaining tennis terms such as Buggy Whip, Love, Breadsticks and Bagels, Can Opener and Moonball, among others. Voya’s sponsorship spans both major tournaments, with television and digital media rights including broadcast mentions of Voya’s role, opening and closing graphics, Voya “Bench Talk” features, a “Tennis Tracker” with on-screen branding and significant commercial inventory.

AdvoCare signed on as the sponsor of the early season college basketball tournament formerly known as the Orlando Classic. The 2015 AdvoCare Invitational will be played on Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday, Nov. 26, Friday, Nov. 27, and Sunday, Nov. 29, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’s HP Fieldhouse, at the Walt Disney World Resort, pitting eight teams playing 12 games in bracket format. Each of the tournament’s 12 games will be televised live on ESPN networks.

NM State Athletics is tapping Learfield Sports to represent the Aggies via a seven-year partnership that begins the 2015-16 athletic season and includes five additional option years. Learfield Sports will begin identifying staff for a NM State Sports Properties, which will manage every aspect of the rights relationship to include signage, digital, corporate sponsorships, hospitality, event marketing, radio play-by-play and coaches’ shows, and television.

Obstacle race series Warrior Dash is shooting for the record books on Saturday, announcing a play for the Guinness World Record title of “Most people showering simultaneously” at the Warrior Dash in Indiana. The attempt comes as part of the Delta brand’s five-race Warrior Dash partnership, will try to break the existing record of 300 people. Chicago-based sports marketing agency rEvolution developed the footprint which features 164 Delta H2Okinetic shower heads at the finish line.


GQ teamed up with Instagram last night as part of the NBA Draft, showcasing the NBA’s newest crop of stars through a photo booth. Photographer Dylan Coulter photographed top draftees with pics uploaded in real time to GQ¹s Instagram page and co-promoted by the league’s Instagram account. In addition, as part of Instagram’s revamped Explore page pushing trending content and offers Trending Tags and Trending Places, the platform offered NBA Rising Stars as part of the draft, offering a curated list of Instagram accounts for prospective NBA rookies.


NBC Sports Live Extra has its own set of plans for the company’s upcoming coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. The platform is set to offer viewers exclusive camera angles, custom diver information, and insider track information. Multi-view options will include alternative camera angles, ranging from in-car views to various key track locations with one specialty camera offering a speed shot from turn four on July 5. Additional features will include driver updates, cup standings, and biographies along with track infographics.

ESPN Digital Media saw 74.3 million unique visitors in May, up 9% over year-ago numbers. Overall, fans spent 6.9 billion minutes with ESPN content across platforms, marking a sports category record for the month of May, and up 18% from a year ago. In the second month since the April 1 launch of the new ESPN.com, the site generated 56.3 million unique visitors in May, up 16% over a year ago.


Undefined Creative reports that for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the company produced 19 animations that included the Enhanced Stats Primer, eight Round One Match-Ups, four Round Two Match-Ups, two Round Three Match-Ups, and a Stanley Cup Final Preview. In addition, Undefined Creative designed videos highlighting winners for the 2015 NHL Awards live primetime show on Wednesday night. The animations were designed to leverage SAP Predictive Analytics software with the Stanley Cup Final Preview video alone scoring more than 2.2 million Facebook impressions and more than 285,000 Twitter impressions.

DIRECTV’s “Hit Chip” is coming back for Saturday’s BKB 3 PPV at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The technology leverages Bluetooth sensors stored in fighter gloves to measure the pounds-per-inch, force and speed of every punch thrown, which is then processed via RCS’ punch validator application and sent to air as dynamic graphics. The tech was developed in collaboration with Burbank-based broadcast solutions provider Reality Check Systems (RCS) and StrikeTec, and first debuted during a live BKB 2 pay-per-view broadcast on April 4.


Electronic Arts, the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association found their cover boys for EA Sports NHL 16. The 2015 NHL Awards announced that that three-time Stanley Cup Champions Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane from the Blackhawks will both appear on the cover of the video game. This marks the first time in franchise history that the cover has featured two teammates as well as the Stanley Cup trophy. NHL 16 hits store shelves on September 15.


WWE named Blake Bilstad to serve as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of the company where he will be charged with overseeing the legal and business affairs of WWE. Prior to joining WWE, Bilstad was General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Legal & Public Affairs at Provide Commerce.


US/China square off in the Women’s World Cup tonight at 7p on FOX.


Join us on
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 1:30PM to 3:00PM (ET) to learn how to:
Create apps that take the platform to the next level
To provide greater opportunity for parental interaction  I Ensure compliance I  Determine the optimal price point  I  Make your app stand out  Ensure retention I  Build digital extensions for your stories and characters
…and more!


ON THIS DAY in 2012: The BCS presidential oversight committee approves a four-team playoff to determine a national champion in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

In The Know: Which NFL athlete starred with Jean Claude Van Damme in the movie In Hell? (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 was the first network to telecast the NBA Draft? Answer: USA Network. Kudos: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Doron Haramati-Nielsen Sports/NY; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Ned Radovic-Red Bull Media House/Santa Monica.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for
Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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