Ohio State football alumni Chris Spielman is reportedly suing the school “over a marketing program he says used athletes’ images without permission and robbed them of compensation,” according to the AP. The linebacker filed the antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Columbus on behalf of current and former Ohio State football players, stating that university marketing programs and contracts that promote the university are using likenesses of athletes such as him, including a Honda-sponsored program of 64 banners hung around Ohio Stadium featuring photos of former players. The lawsuit names Ohio State and talent management giant IMG as defendants and names Honda and Nike as co-conspirators.
SportsManias announced a partnership with MLS for animated player emojis. Features include customized emojis of top MLS players who recreate their victory goal celebrations and signature moves, including Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard’s goal saving powers, and Alberth Elis. “These player emoji animations enhance the MLS viewing experience and enable friends and family to show off their team pride,” said MLS SVP Maribeth Towers. “During every match, fans have a cool new way to celebrate their victories and share their passion.”
Tomorrow will see the Paley Media Council host the Commissioners of the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB for its session, “GameChangers: Creating the Future of Sports.” The summit will explore the shifts – from the rapid growth of international audiences, ever expanding network, cable and over-the-top distribution deals, to technological innovations including multi-platform livestreaming, to social media integrations, mobile interactivity and VR—that are altering the ways audiences consume sports. David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications will moderate. To request a livestream of the event please contact Teresa Brady at 212-621-6697.
NBC Sports Group, in partnership with FACEIT and Psyonix, has opened US registration for the Universal Open on Faceit.com. The 2v2 tournament featuring Rocket League will see the Qualifier stage played on FACEIT from July 19-20 and July 25-27. Meanwhile, the NBC Sports Regional Networks will each hold online Qualifiers organized geographically with the tournament then moving on to the Regionals stage where top performers in the Qualifiers will compete live at select NBC Sports Regional Networks studios on the weekends of August 5-6 and August 12-13.
Red Bull will host this year’s Capcom Pro Tour North American regional finals at its Red Bull Battle Grounds event for Street Fighter V players. The action runs Nov. 18-19 at The Castle in Boston and marks the second year in a row that Red Bull Battle Grounds will serve as the North American final host.
Travis Howe joined ESPN as Senior Vice President, Digital Ad Product Sales and Strategy. Howe will be charged with establishing the go-to-market strategy for ESPN’s digital advertising business moving forward to enhance the overall ESPN Platform. He joins ESPN from Mediaocean.
Outdoor Sportsman Group named Sean Luxton as Senior Vice President and General Manager – MOTV and World Fishing Network. Luxton has served as the Vice President and General Manager – World Fishing Network U.S. since 2015.
Blue Jays/Red Sox at 7p on ESPN.