07/30/18: Puma’s basketball ties continues to grow with the addition of the WNB

Good morning. It’s Monday July 30, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Puma’s resurgence in basketball continued with the news that the brand locked in its first partnership with a professional sports league, inking a deal with the WNBA. The deal was announced as part of the festivities during Saturday’s All-Star Game at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Dallas Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith debuted the Clyde Court Disrupts at the game, and will wear the line for the rest of the season. “PUMA became a permanent thread in the fabric of basketball culture when they partnered with the legend, Clyde Frazier,” Diggins-Smith said in a release. “PUMA not only has foresight, they are fearless trailblazers that walk the walk alongside their partners. I’m proud to be part of a family and a brand that supports the WNBA and all the strength, independence, athleticism, individuality and feminism we represent.”

Meanwhile, the WNBA also announced that WNBA All-Star 2019 will be played in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, home of the Las Vegas Aces on July 27 of next year. “The WNBA is excited to bring WNBA All-Star 2019 to the Entertainment Capital of the World for the first time,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders.  “Las Vegas fans have enthusiastically supported the Aces in their first season and will now have the chance to see the best players in the world compete on the same court next summer.”
Following its merger with sports-book operator Paddy Power Betfair, FanDuel is reportedly eyeing moves to launch a series of sports betting TV shows as gambling prepares to open up across the country. Matt King, FanDuel’s CEO, said the programs will be added to the company’s TVG and TVG2 cable networks, according to Bloomberg. MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Penn National Gaming Inc. plan to open sports-betting facilities at casinos in states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mississippi, where enabling legislation has passed.
Univision Deportes hits the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target this week, with play running live on UniMas out of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug.1 at 6:50p, with simulcast coverage on Univision Deportes Network (UDN) and Univision Deportes Radio. Microphone duties will be overseen by Diego Balado, Marcelo Balboa, Raul Guzman, Ivan Kasanzew and Paco Villa.
Meanwhile, Univision Deportes announced that Univision Deportes Radio is now available nationwide on SiriusXM on channel 467. The lineup will offer “the best in live matches, original content and insightful commentary from a team of renowned sports journalists and analysts and bring more than 350 soccer matches annually to SiriusXM from UEFA Champions League, Europa League and National Team competitions, Liga MX, MLS, CONCACAF, the US Men’s National Team and others.
ESPN will exclusively carry the Aug. 13 subway series game between the Yankees and Mets at 7p, serving as a make-up telecast for the postponed Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell game from July 22 between the two clubs. ESPN has also selected the matchup for the July 30 edition of Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA, adding the Brewers/Dodgers at 10p on ESPN. Other August selections will include the Aug. 12 Nationals/Cubs matchup and the Aug. 26 contest between the Yankees/Orioles.
The Undefeated, in collaboration with Disney Music Group, released a single by R&B artist Rayana Jay entitled Undefeated. The anthem “celebrates the resilience of Black female athletes who face opponents on the courts, playing fields and track while simultaneously defying stereotypes, championing for change and redefining history.” Excerpts of the song and video aired on ABC during live broadcast of the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game.
In local news, Thursday night’s Red Sox/Twins game on NESN drew a 9.1 average in the Boston DMA. That marks the channel’s third highest HH rating of the season, with a 4.6 rating in the key Men 25-54 demographic, according to Nielsen overnights.
Spotlighting the Best in Esports…
The Tempest Awards | Entries Due Thursday, AUG 2 – No Extensions
Presented by Cynopsis, Chief Marketer and Event Marketer, The Tempest Awards celebrate the esports industry’s most innovative companies and executives, with categories that span production, marketing, talent and technology. Finalists will be announced in August and winners will be celebrated live on-stage at the Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas during day 2 of the inaugural Esports Business Summit.


Allegiant booked a partnership with Minor League Baseball that makes Allegiant the “Official Airline of Minor League Baseball.” Allegiant will also engage with fans through various touchpoints in the ballpark and at select games, fans can participate in Friday Fly Away giveaways for a chance to win nonstop flights to great destinations all across the U.S. Allegiant will also serve as the naming rights partner of a digital advertising network that spans multiple MiLB markets across the country.

EA SPORTS revealed that, for the first time in a basketball video game, fans will be able to create female players in NBA LIVE 19, giving gamers “increased opportunities to express their unique individuality and create a reflection of themselves while competing in the game. This new feature follows last year’s introduction of the WNBA’s full roster in the NBA LIVE franchise, also a video game first.” Female gamers will also be able to scan their faces using the NBA LIVE Companion app (iOS and Android) and import them onto their customized player. Furthermore, NBA LIVE 19 will introduce new Icon Abilities modeled after some of the greatest female ballers of all time including Candace Parker, Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. announced that EDGEsport Canada added exclusive live events starting July 29 on its multi-platform service for action sports fans across Canada. Content will be available on OTT platforms and devices, including online at EDGEsport.ca, as well as iOS and Android, EDGEsport Canada. “We are delighted to add these exclusive live events to EDGEsport Canada thanks to our great partnership with IMG,” said Anthony Cicione, VP of Operations for Anthem. “EDGEsport Canada is committed to bringing its passionate viewers exclusive live events from all action sports disciplines with a diverse catalogue ranging from the land, water and snow to track, sky and cloud.”

As the London Spitfire laid claim to the first Overwatch League Championship on Saturday, news broke for season two of the league that Activision Blizzard had reportedly sold an Atlanta expansion slot in the league to a group funded by Cox Enterprises, according to ESPN. The Atlanta group is the first to finalize agreements to join the Overwatch League in Season 2. Meanwhile, McCourt Global and Nenking Group are finalizing negotiations to obtain regional rights to Paris and Guangzhou, China, respectively.
The ELEAGUE Premier will return in 2019 with the org announcing that CS:GO will return to ELEAGUE on Jan 26, following the conclusion of the ELEAGUE Premier 2018 Grand Final. A multi-part feature series revisiting the tournament’s best moments will be televised beginning Aug. 24, on TBS.
Esports squad the Pittsburgh Knights cooked up a new partnership with Totino’s, makers of Party Pizzas and Pizza Rolls, and marking the brand’s first time sponsoring an esports team. “The Knights are extremely excited to be partnering with Totino’s,” says James O’Connor, Pittsburgh Knights President. “It’s great that a major brand identified us as doing the right thing in this space and also wanted to support and grow esports. It means a lot to everyone who’s been working so hard behind the scenes.” The team is currently competing in PUBG, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., and Hearthstone.
Rogue announced that team athlete and top Fortnite streamer, Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo shattered several fundraising records as a part of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital PLAY LIVE campaign. With a total of $659,300 raised for St. Jude this year, DrLupo broke the St. Jude PLAY LIVE records for largest donation per hour rate, most raised by a single fundraiser in a calendar year and most cumulatively raised by a single fundraiser during a four-hour stream as a part of a week-long, 24-hour charity stream conducted by GuardianCon. (Don’t miss DrLupo at the Esports Business Summit!)

Yahoo Sports announced the appointment of Sarah Crennan as Head of Content. Crennan previously served as the Head of Programming for Yahoo Sports where she combined her passion for digital video and sports to bring new digital offerings to life for the company.

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ON THIS DAY in 1932: The Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles.
In the Know: Actor Walter Matthau once portrayed Morris Buttermaker, coach of what fictional team? (Email chris-sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which NFL team has the longest losing streak in the playoffs, dropping nine in a row? Answer: Detroit Lions. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Sandy Haberman-Sojern/NY; Traci Liner-Endeavor /NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Michael Strauss-Gamut/NY; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
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