07/20/17: ONE Championship looks to upgrade; CBS’s Crossfit workout; adidas holds a new court

Good morning. It’s Thursday July 20, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Asia-based MMA staple ONE Championship locked in a “significant” equity investment led by Sequoia India and Mission Holdings, bringing its total capital raised to $100 million. New and existing investors also participated in this investment round. This equity investment will further solidify ONE’s dominant market leadership position in the sports media industry in Asia and accelerate its global growth.  “I am thrilled to announce this partnership with Sequoia. Our mission is to unleash superheroes across Asia to ignite inspiration, hope, strength, and dreams across all segments of society,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.

The CrossFit Games will be training for a new home, inking a multi-year deal and digital partnership with CBS Sports, highlighted by CBS Sports carrying live coverage of the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games on Aug. 5 at 1p. Coverage of the CrossFit Games debuts today on CBS Sports Network with preview shows highlighting the competitors and history of the Games. Additionally, starting Oct. 16, the channel will televise multiple, one-hour specials highlighting the athletes and various individual competitions from the Games. The network will also air two hours of the CrossFit Invitational in early December. Meanwhile, CBS Sports Digital will stream up to 40 hours of live event coverage of the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app for connected TV and mobile devices.
In ratings news, the 2017 Gold Cup Group Stage handed Univision Deportes with an average of 1.2 million Total Viewers with 631,000 Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be played July 26 at 9:30p live on Univision with simulcast on UDN.
Elsewhere, ESPN reports that its audience for MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017 grew 112% this year with an average audience of 783,000 viewers via five games. Overall, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to televise 25 NBA Summer League games, which averaged 437,000 viewers, up 51 percent from 290,000 viewers across 23 games in 2016. ESPN’s most-watched NBA Summer League was led by the July 8 contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, which averaged 1,106,000 viewers.
Speaking of ESPN, the company added Tommy Tuberville to its roster where the former coach will serve as a college football game analyst. Tuberville will call games each week across ESPN or ABC with his broadcast partners to be named soon. “Tommy has been a staple in college football for many years, having experienced nearly every situation as a head coach” said senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting. “We want him to bring that experience to our telecast, informing fans on the dynamics of a head coach’s thought process, not only in a given moment but leading up to and following that moment.”
Tennis Channel serves up live coverage of the 2017 International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30p. The ceremony will include Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters and four-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch receive the honors while tennis historian, journalist and Tennis Channel reporter Steve Flink will be inducted in the contributor category, as will tennis instructor Vic Braden. Brett Haber will join James Blake as the network’s on-air team in Newport this weekend.
Pac-12 Networks will offer live coverage of the 2017 Pac-12 Football Media Days from Hollywood on July 26-27. The program, Pac-12 Football Media Days Special, will run from 9:30a-12:30p PT on Pac-12 Network and across all six Pac-12 Networks regional channels. Mike Yam hosts along with Yogi Roth and Curtis Conway. 
The Big Sky continues to lock in agreements announcing a deal with Eleven Sports Network, which will program and carry one football game of the week in addition to one men’s basketball game of the week starting this season, along with other sports and their key games. Both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments from the quarterfinals on to the championship will also be carried on the channel, with the men’s championship content carried on ESPN.
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USA Volleyball and adidas announced a multi-year partnership that will see the brand serve as the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand for USA Volleyball. Launching with the 2017 season, adidas Volleyball will become the Official Sponsor of USA Volleyball, which includes USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, the USA Men’s and Women’s Junior National Volleyball Teams, USA Boys’ and Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Teams, USA Beach Volleyball programs, and the Paralympic Programs. All USA Volleyball teams will be outfitted with adidas head-to-toe kits for games, travel and training, as well as lifestyle footwear and apparel. Additionally, adidas has signed a multi-year partnership Lauren Carlini, who will become the face of adidas Volleyball and take a leading role in upcoming adidas brand marketing campaigns and collaborate on future volleyball sneakers, equipment and accessories.
Mack Trucks found its new face, inking a deal with Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack for a sponsorship accord. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year will support the Brooklyn-born truck maker in promoting news to be announced on Sept. 13. “This partnership makes sense on a number of levels,” said John Walsh, vice president of global marketing and brand management for Mack Trucks. “We obviously share the same name, but what really brought us together was shared values – the fundamentally American values of hard work, honesty and humility. In fact, he reached out to us at the same time that we were talking about reaching out to him.”

Poker Central and ARIA Resort & Casino are launching Poker Masters, a week-long high-stakes poker tournament series comprised of four $50,000 buy-in tournaments and one $100,000 buy-in tournament. Each $50,000 tournament will run for two days, with the $100,000 tournament spanning three days. Featured and final tables will be streamed live on PokerGO from Sept. 13-20.

In this week’s edition of Cynopsis Esports & Gaming
  • Ultimate Media makes the Grade
  • Did ESPN’s EVO coverage strike a blow?
  • ESL One Cologne captures the payload
  • Nintendo turns on online Switch
  • Razer offering could cut deep
  • Game brands brace for Comic-Con
  • Salt Lake City prepares for Tyrant

Barry Watkins, EVP and chief communications officer at The Madison Square Garden Company, is stepping down from his current role and will begin transitioning to the newly-created role of special adviser to the office of the chairman. In addition, he will remain chairman of the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

The Open continues on Golf Channel at 1:30a, with coverage beginning at midnight.

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ON THIS DAY in 1976: Hank Aaron hits HR #755, which was his last as a player.
In the Know: Which American holds the record for most runner-up finishes at the Open with seven? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Before the Claret Jug, what item was awarded to the winner of the British Open from 1860-70? Answer: The Challenge Belt. Kudos: Daniel Overleese-Golf Channel/Orlando; Joseph Bauer- MullenLowe Mediahub/Boston; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later — Chris

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