07/08/19: WTT CEO Carlos Silva breaks down his plans for the new season of World TeamTennis


Good morning. It’s Monday July 8, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Armed with a new CEO, two new franchises, a new TV partner and a new streaming partner, World TeamTennis is set to return for its 44th season this month, with the eight-team league, which now includes the Vegas Rollers and Orlando Storm, set to feature 16 matches on CBS Sports channels from July 14-Aug. 3, including the league’s debut on broadcast TV on July 21 at 4p. Meanwhile, ESPN+ will exclusively live stream 18 matches during the 2019 WTT season, with an additional 25 streaming on both ESPN+ and WTT.com. This year’s WTT franchise field includes staples such as Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Bob and Mike Bryan, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Monica Puig, Eugenie Bouchard and John Isner.
WTT CEO Carlos Silva joined the organization earlier this year, and Cynopsis asked him about his plans for World TeamTennis as the new season kicks into gear.
Silva on joining WTT: Tennis has been a big part of my life and all I wanted to do…I played Tennis at Boston College and then played the pro satellite tournaments after college before I hung it up to get my Masters Degree.  It was a dream job opportunity to take everything I have done in digital sports, running cable sports channels, and running a major MMA fighting league. To be able take all of my experiences and bring them to WTT is a dream come true.
3 goals when I took the job for 2019:
  1. Build audience and partner with major players in Sports and Tennis…Check Check…We have CBS Sports (TV) and ESPN (Digital), along with our own distribution on WTT.com.
  2. Build the league beyond the six teams so we can create a real post-season playoff system. Check again. We added the Orlando Storm and the Vegas Rollers to the league as league owned teams much like leagues like MLS have done.  Build a great team and infrastructure and then find the best local owners in those markets.  We now have eight teams with the top four making the playoffs to compete for the King Trophy in Las Vegas August 2nd and 3rd.
  3. Attract the best players in the world. We have Grand Slam Champs in Singles and Doubles, Olympic Gold medalists, Top 10 players, Top 20 players, and some of the most exciting young men and women in the world representing the next generation of tennis star. We have made significant strides this year evident by our players going deep in the Australian Open French Open and now in Wimbledon.  We have even had a few up and coming players that have now reached out and want to play for a WTT team this season as Wild Cards.
On the CBS partnership: I grew up watching the US Open on CBS Sports. It still remains, in my opinion, the best coverage of Tennis ever.  It had personality and excitement. We knew they would be a great partner from the beginning because they care deeply about Tennis and also understand how we can grow the game together with the WTT team format as well as how we bring entertainment into the telecast and the teams. Adding LMFAO frontman and tennis fanatic RedFoo as our Assistant Coach in Vegas is a great example, as well as adding in personalities like Shawn T and LZ Granderson, Nick Gismondi, Holly Saunders, Katrina Adams and more.
On new franchises: Vegas is turning into the sports and entertainment capital of the world. I really learned this in the fight business with PFL and the UFC, and obviously with all the major boxing matches. Add in the success of the NHL’s Golden Knights and WNBA’s Aces, plus the impending move by the Raiders and we saw a great opportunity with a market and community embracing professional sports with open arms. The Vegas Rollers will be the next pro team for the city and with great Tennis in Vegas and top players spending a good amount of time practicing there we think it is a perfect fit, with the Orleans Casino serving as the perfect venue. Orlando is more foundational as we partner with the USTA on our Rec Tennis initiatives where regular players play all year in leagues powered by the WTT format.  We started talking and visited the National Campus in Lake Nona and loved it.  Kurt Kamperman liked the idea of bringing a WTT team to the Campus and we made it happen. 
On future plans: We would like to add two teams a year, get to 12 teams and then look to international expansion.  We are already exploring these opportunities.  It’s called World TeamTennis,  so we are excited about a few cities and a Europe group to add to the play in 2020 or 2021.
September 9 | 5:45PM – 8PM | Tribeca Rooftop, NYC

Cynopsis is celebrating the 2019 Top Women in Media honorees — the outstanding women across every facet of the media industry — TV, digital, tech, esports, sports, marketing and more. From corporate visionaries to rising stars, they are making bold decisions and driving their businesses forward and they deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Join us September 9th in NYC!


As we await numbers for yesterday’s historic FIFA Women’s World Cup Championship win by team USA, broadcasters report that the team’s semifinal win on FOX drew 7,386,000 viewers with a peak of more than 9 million viewers, making the mid-day match the most watched soccer match on U.S. TV since the 2018 World Cup final also down slightly from the primetime telecast in 2015. FOX saw its digital average minute audience average 361,000 to rank as the most-streamed match ever for the event. That said, the USA/England game on FOX averaged a phenomenal 8.540 million out-of-home viewers, according to Tunity Analytics. This makes it the top televised soccer game year-to-date and the 10th highest televised sporting event year-to-date, among OOH viewers.
Around the dial, Telemundo Deportes’ presentation of the England/USA last week averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 1.02 million viewers across Telemundo, NBCSN, TelemundoDeportes.com, the Telemundo Deportes app, and the NBC Sports app, to rank as the most-watched, non-final FIFA Women’s World Cup match in Spanish-language television history, based on fast national data from Nielsen and Adobe. In addition, Telemundo Deportes Digital presentation of England-USA ranks as the most-streamed Women’s World Cup match Spanish-language history. Meanwhile, the channel also reports that the semifinal of Copa America between Brazil and Argentina scored a Total Audience Delivery average of 3 million viewers, ranking as Telemundo’s most-watched sporting event since the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.
Meanwhile, ESPN and the National Women’s Soccer League announced an agreement to carry 14 league matches that will close out the 2019 season. Eight matches will air on ESPNEWS, and the remaining six, including the two semifinals and the championship, will air on ESPN2. NWSL telecasts will begin July 14, at 3p on ESPNEWS, with the Orlando Pride/Portland Thorns. The NWSL Championship will air Oct. 27, at 4p on ESPN2, with tickets going on sale this month. “NWSL is a global leader in women’s professional soccer, with collectively the most talented players in the world.  Together with the reach of ESPN’s vast network, we have the opportunity to bring more games to a broader audience across the country and world,” said NWSL President Amanda Duffy. “Even in the year leading up to the Women’s World Cup, we have continued to experience tremendous growth through the support, engagement, and visibility from our fans.”
FIFA announced plans to expand the Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams. The 37-member FIFA Council had been due to vote on the 2023 Women’s World Cup host in March 2020, with nine countries interested in bidding. “We will need to act more quickly if we want to have 32 teams already in 2023,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, per AP. “We will discuss it as a matter of urgency and see if we can already decide to increase for 2023 in which case we should re-open the bidding process and allow everyone to have a chance to organize or maybe co-host for some of those who have been bidding already for a 24-team World Cup.”
In other ratings new, ESPN drew its highest-rated NBA Summer League game ever on Friday night, with Nielsen reports that that matchup between Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans against. R.J. Barrett and the New York Knicks drew a record 1.2 metered market rating on ESPN. The telecast  telecast was up 200% over last year’s comparable game, which delivered a 0.4 metered market rating.
ESPN also saw the winner-take-all Game 3 of the 2019 NCAA College World Series reel in more than 2 million viewers to watch the Vanderbilt Commodores defeat the Michigan Wolverines and capture their second NCAA title in six years. The game averaged 2,020,596 viewers, up 7% year-over-year and rank as the most-watched baseball game on ESPN in 2019. The CWS Finals averaged 1,961,000 viewers over three games, matching 2018’s three-game finals which saw Oregon State take home the trophy over Arkansas.
ACC Network announced that former Notre Dame basketball team captain and current ESPN and ESPN Radio personality Jordan Cornette will join the channel to serve as a college basketball analyst and anchor in studio. Along with his ACCN analyst and anchor duties, Cornette will also serve as a co-host for Spain and Company on ESPN Radio. 
Yankees television play-by-play pillar Michael Kay announced last week that he will be out for about a month in order to recover from surgery to repair a vocal cord issue. “Just wanted to tell everyone what is going on. I went to see a specialist in Boston today and he recommended I have surgery to correct an issue with my vocal cord. I will have the surgery next week and will be out for about a month, starting with today’s game and radio show,” he tweeted.

Getting back to the National Women’s Soccer League, Budweiser signed on to become the first official beer sponsor of the org in a multi-year partnership. The deal makes the brand one of the biggest sponsors of the NWSL, with naming rights to the playoffs, the championship, the MVP trophy, and a newly created “Most Valuable Supporter” award for the league’s biggest fan. Budweiser will activate the sponsorship locally, with support of the teams and stadiums. “Budweiser has supported the U.S. Women’s National team for three decades,” said Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser. “But we realize there is so much more Budweiser can do. Becoming the official beer sponsor of the NWSL is our way of not just supporting the U.S. Women’s Team once every four years, but also supporting women’s soccer every single day.”
ESPN unveiled its roster of sponsors for The 2019 ESPYS Presented by Capital One, which runs on ABC on Wednesday at 8p. Capital One returns as the presenting sponsor of the show and will award the Capital One Cup, given annually at The ESPYS to the best men’s and women’s Division I college athletic programs in the country. First-time associate sponsor MassMutual for the Pat Tillman Award for Service joins returning associate sponsors that include Cadillac for the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, Century 21 Real Estate for the Best Breakthrough Athlete Award and Red Carpet Sky Cam, Coors Light as the presenter of the official ESPYS Post Party, Dove Men+Care highlighting the Sports Humanitarian of the Year on the red carpet. During the show, Gatorade highlighting the prestigious Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year program – and Hotels.com features an interview with Captain Obvious on the red carpet.
Xfinity Series driver Ryan Sieg locked in CMR Construction & Roofing to serve as the full-time primary sponsor on his No. 39 Chevrolet next year. The deal will mark the first time Sieg has had a yearlong primary sponsor in the Xfinity Series.

The finale of the FIFA Women’s World Cup saw intense social spread, with Twitter reporting that the most Tweeted about players from today’s match were: Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Julie Ertz. The most Tweeted moments of the match:
  1. Final whistle: USA wins World Cup
  2. Rose Lavelle goal in minute 69, gives USA a 2-0 lead
  3. Megan Rapinoe penalty kick goal in min 62 breaks the tie to give a 1-0 lead to USA
  4. Awards presented post-game (and follow-up conversation, esp. around pay & women’s empowerment)
  5. USA team lifts trophy and celebrates 
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), locked in a long-term renewal of its technology partnership with Genius Sports, a partner since 2004. The duo will continue to work to improve sports integrity, data collection and digital capibilities for more than 200 basketball leagues and federations

The conclusion of ESL Pro League season 9 and its Finals saw the league break its all-time viewership records, doubling video views to reach 66.6 million versus season 8 tallies to hit over 16.1 million hours watched and ranking as the most watched season of Pro League history. Viewership was driven by a new competition format and a new visual look for CS:GO play with fans watching on 40 platforms and in 18 languages seeing Team Liquid top G2 Esports 3:1 in the Grand Final to claim the majority share of the $750,000 prize pool.
Riot Games is teaming up with Twitch to produce the first tournament dedicated to Teamfight Tactics through Twitch Rivals. The event runs July 17-18 with 64 Twitch streamers competing for a prize pool of $125,000. Day one will see players split into two groups of 32, with each group competing at different time. Day two sees the top eight from each group battle it out for their share of the prize. The full roster of streamers taking part will be announced today.

CAA Sports announced its acquisition of the London-based Base Soccer Agency, which reps more than 300 international soccer players, coaches and managers globally. “Leon and Frank are world class agents and business executives, who, throughout the past two decades, have built Base into one of the foremost international football representation firms in the U.K.,” said Michael Levine, Co-Head, CAA Sports. “Frank, Leon, and their team work collaboratively, providing best-in-class service to their clients worldwide, and we are confident they will play an integral role in the continued global growth of CAA Sports.”
The Iditarod Trail Committee named Rob Urbach as its new CEO where he will direct and oversee all operations of the race, including business operations, human resources management, information technology, fundraising, and public relations. Urbach served as the CEO of USA Triathlon from 2011-2017 and handled all day-to-day operations for the national governing body for USA Triathlon.

ESPN carries the 2019 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at 8p.
To see all the opportunities from the past few weeks, visit our career site:

ON THIS DAY in 2012: Roger Federer wins his seventh Wimbledon title.
In the Know: This third baseman holds the record for most HRs all-time in the Home Run Derby with 91. Who is he? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Completing our sitcom trifecta, sportswriter Oscar Madison was an anchor of which classic TV series? Answer: The Odd Couple. Kudos: Lou D’Ermilio-LOUD Communications/NY; Bob Dudelson-Leverage Agency/NY; Barry Katz-NEP/NY; Todd Parker-Overtime Sports & Entertainment/NY; Chris Schwartz-ISC/Concord; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; David Haney-Bosack & Co./Pottsville; Brittany Wynne-First Tee/World Golf Hall of Fame/St. Augustine; John Hayden-WSVN/Miami; Barb Throm-True Media/St. Louis; Kyle Krebs-NBC 5/Telemundo 39/Dallas-Ft. Worth; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Wendy Holmes-KCNC-TV/Denver; Andrew Briggs-The CW Television Network/Burbank; Gary Haselnus/Portland; Gary Haselnus/Portland; Tony Reyes-Duncan Studio/Pasadena; Peter Steckelman-Tennis Channel/Santa Monica

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UP & ASPIRE/NYC: Asst. in dev & execution of sponsorships. Coord upfront & client evnts. Update ad sales pres, videos, photos & keyart. Proj mgt & pres skills req. Mkting/Comm degree pref’d. 1-2 yrs cable or related exp, digital/social a +. Knowledge of PowerPt required. Full info HERE (7/16)

Seeking a collaborative thought leader who can translate bus objectives into promotional collateral across multiple platforms. Must have a degree in English, mass comm, PR, and/or mkting in a related field. Min 5+ yrs exp in both PR and mkting & Sales promo. Full info HERE (7/15)
 Individual to dev mktg campaigns for Ent advs (ie: movie studios) across Nickelodeon Kids & Family nets. Must have B.A. Degree, plus 3-5+ yrs mktg/sales exp within ent & media. TV and/or exp with a Movie Studio or Video Game comp preferred. Full info HERE. Apply HERE. (7/15)
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 Support Direct Response Ad Sales team by working with director and AE to service and maintain agencies and clients on a daily basis. Must be detail oriented w/good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills, and able to multitask in fast paced team envir. Wide Orbit & OnAir knowledge a +.” Full info HERE (7/12)

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this position will be a part of Nickelodeon’s Brand & Consumer Insights Team, supporting all of Nickelodeon’s preschool content research with non-ratings based consumer insights. Job requires a bachelor’s degree preferably in communications, business, market research, or child psychology, graduate research work. Plus 4+ yrs experience in primary research. Full info HERE (7/12) 


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