07/25/17: Junior’s next stop – NBC; Big Ten’s media playbook; Telemundo goes to bat for Mazda

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Good morning. It’s Tuesday July 25, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is preparing to park at NBC Sports after his racing career wraps up, announcing a multi-year deal with the company beginning in 2018. There, he will “be utilized in a number of capacities on NBC’s NASCAR coverage” in addition to be given opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television, podcasts, and other areas. “We are excited to welcome Dale Jr. to our team – both on and off the track,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Broadcasting and Sports. “As a company, NBCUniversal allows for talent to stretch themselves across not just their field of expertise, but across other areas of their interests in the media world.”

Meanwhile, the Big Ten (finally!) formally detailed it new media partnerships for the first time, confirming agreements with ESPN, CBS and FOX Sports. “We couldn’t be more pleased. We’ve been with ESPN since its inception in 1979 and dealing with ABC all the way back to 1966,” Commissioner Jim Delany told the press at the conference’s media days. “With regard to Fox, they’re our joint venture partner, and Larry and I worked together on the back of a napkin to vision out BTN, and it has been a fabulous and successful ride.” Delany also noted that the Big Ten Network’s contract with the conference will run through 2032.
Speaking of the Big Ten, BTN shored up its own plans for the new college football season with President Mark Silverman noting that his platform would expand ahead of this season through partnerships with YouTube TV and Hulu for the first time. The network also announced its programming slate that would include BTN Tailgate, Big Ten Elite: 2016 Penn State Football, Sports Lite with Mike Hall and Campus Eats Presented by EatStreet. In addition,  BTN: Ten B1G Years will debut on Aug. 30 and go behind-the-scenes for the launch of the Big Ten Network in August of 2007. New faces at the channel will include Braylon Edwards, James Laurinaitis and Corey Wootton.
Univision Deportes continues to see gains from its Spanish-language telecast of CONCACAF GOLD CUP, reporting that Saturday’s USA/Costa Rica match delivered 1.1 million Total Viewers and 560,000 Adults 18-49 on UniMas/GALA. Sunday’s Mexico/Jamaica match drummed up 3.3 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.8 million Adults 18-49 on UNI/UDN. Through 24 matches, Gold Cup on Univision Deportes is averaging 1.4 million Total Viewers 2+ and 744,000 Adults 18-49.
ESPN detailed plans to showcase a record 140 Little League Baseball and Softball games this summer, with programming set to include every US regional baseball game and five divisional tournament baseball games, across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPN3, ESPNU, and Longhorn Network along with the ESPN App during July and August. The schedule will also see a rise in softball coverage with 15 live games across Little League, Junior League and Senior League levels. The schedule culminates with ESPN’s multi-platform coverage of the 71st Little League World Series presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods from Aug. 17-27. Karl Ravech returns for the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional Semifinals and Finals with David Belisle, while Courtney Lyle, Michele Smith, Amanda Scarborough and Holly Rowe will lead ESPN’s coverage of the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, OR, from August 14-16.
Tennis Channel lined up coverage plans for the Citi Open in DC beginning Aug. 6. The network will feature four television courts and show more than 60 live matches between the television network and Tennis Channel Plus. During the tournament, Tennis Channel will televise more than 60 hours of live coverage and nearly 80 hours of encore matches that run most nights as soon as live play has ended.  Brett Haber, Tracy Austin and Paul Annacone host.
Pac-12 Networks locked in multiyear extensions for lead studio host Mike Yam, lead host and reporter Ashley Adamson, veteran reporter Lewis Johnson and veteran play-by-play announcer Roxy Bernstein. Yam will continue to be the face of studio programming for series such as Pac-12 Sports Report and pre and postgame shows for Pac-12 football and Pac-12 men’s basketball. Adamson will continue to serve as a host covering all Pac-12 Networks shows and events with Bernstein continuing to serve as one of the lead voices on Pac-12 Networks. Finally, Johnson will continue to report on and cover multiple sports for the Networks, including football, men’s basketball and track & field, the sport he covers on a global basis.
FOX Sports locked in its broadcast team for UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2 on FXX, FS1 and FOX Deportes this Saturday. Michael Bisping will serve as a studio desk analyst from FOX Sports’ Los Angeles studios with host Karyn Bryant and fellow analyst Kenny Florian with reporter Megan Olivi interviewing fighters on-site. Then, Dominick Cruz joins analyst Joe Rogan and blow-by-blow announcer Jon Anik to call the card.
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Companies represented last year included Tivo, MTV, Octagon, BET Networks, Horizon Media, NBCUniversal, E! News, Games for Change, Yahoo!, Crackle and many more.

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and Mazda North American Operations are unleashing a new multimedia advertising campaign that will introduce the Mazda CX-5 to US Hispanic audiences through “Al Bate!”– an eight episode, documentary style mini-series featuring former MLB player Ramiro Pena. The campaign was preceded by a series of Mazda media assets that ran in Japanese to generate curiosity and buzz among Hispanic audiences who are used to Spanish messaging on Telemundo’s digital platforms, including TelemundoDeportes.com, Telemundo’s Novelas App, and the network’s Facebook pages. The series debuts today on TelemundoDeportes.com.
UFC entered into a new, multi-year global licensing agreement with Dyaco International that will begin in 2018. The partnership, negotiated by IMG, grants the rights to manufacture and distribute UFC branded combat and fitness equipment in both professional and retail markets worldwide, excluding China.

CLEAR, described as an “identity platform that transforms biometrics into a universal ID for secure, frictionless access,” announced its launch at Comerica Park in Detroit. Using CLEAR, Tigers fans will now be able to enter the park at Gate A with the touch of a finger. The service is a free benefit for fans who enroll on-site at the venue.

The Esports Integrity Coalition wrapped up its survey canvassing community opinion on the appropriate sanctions for those caught cheating in esports with the results prompting ESL to align with the ESIC’s recommendation. Tournament rules for all events in IEM, ESL One, ESL Pro League series, as well as the ESEA Leagues and amateur competitions, will be updated to reflect ESIC’s recommendation, effective Aug. 1. Additionally, all indefinite match-fixing bans placed on players before February 15, 2015, have been lifted, including bans placed on ex-IBUYPOWER players. “We believe that integrity and fair play are of the utmost importance in esports, and our updated catalogue of sanctions reflects that commitment”, said Ulrich Schulze, Senior Vice President Product at ESL. “All of these adjustments do not apply to bans and punishments issued by Valve directly though, which will still be in place for all Valve sponsored tournaments run by ESL, such as Majors.”  
Gfinity continues to shore up its ranks as an esports heavyweight, announcing plans to acquire CEVO Inc., an American provider of technology and services to the global esports market, for a total of $2.7 million. CEVO’s proprietary tournament platform includes a tournament management system, an anti-cheat system and dynamic broadcast software.
FIFA announced plans to launch the first Interactive Club World Cup competition in London on Aug. 5. Overall, 24 players from 19 professional football clubs will take part in the tournament. First six teams were revealed, and include Brondby IF (Denmark); Manchester City (England); Paris Saint-Germain (France); Schalke 04 (Germany); Sampdoria (Italy); Valencia (Spain).

Bleacher Report named Howard Mittman as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, reporting directly to Bleacher Report founder and CEO Dave Finocchio. Mittman joins from Conde Nast and will be responsible for Bleacher Report’s entire revenue generation process and all aspects of its marketing strategy.
The Frisco Bowl hired Sean Johnson to serve as its executive director. Johnson has more than 20 years of experience in sports sponsorship and media sales with the Dallas Cowboys, Host Communications, IMG College and the University of New Mexico and joins from Fox Sports Southwest.

White Sox/Cubs on MLB Network at 2p.

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ON THIS DAY in 1992: The Summer Olympics open in Barcelona
In the Know: What is the name of the fight song for the Minnesota Vikings? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the official name of Ric Flair’s traditional entrance song? (Note: it is not ‘Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey’) Answer: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30. Kudos: Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Steve Stander-A+E Networks/NY; Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Bill Graff-beIN Sport/Miami; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Later — Chris

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, ANALYTICS/GSN TV/Santa Monica: 5+ yrs in rsrch, data analytics/data science; Fam w/syndicated rsrch software. Analyze consumer data (quantitative/qualitative), incl: consumption trends, traffic patterns etc. BA deg statistics, math or applied quantitative field. Res/cover HERE (8/2)
JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Animal Planet/NY: Direct primary rsrch efforts/analysis of Nielsen data to inform ntwk dev/prod, mktg strtgies, etc. Turn data into stories w/ actionable results. Find insights to spprt aud building initiatives. Expert on changing TV biz . Prof w/ Nielsen data/systems & 5+ yrs mrkt rsrch exp reqd. Full info/apply HERE (8/2)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/MARATHON VENTURES: Join team-oriented leader in national direct response TV ad sales. Attention to detail, min. 2-3 yrs experience in TV traffic or sales support required. Wide Orbit, OSI or Broadway a plus. Resumes: HERE (8/2)

SR MANAGEMENT MEASUREMENT & INSIGHT/Fullscreen/NYC: Analyze/synthesize data to help support the brand group. Dvlp/execute dynamic measurement & insights prgrms for clients. 8 yrs exp w/in media or advertising rsrch. Exp w/social/video analytics tools & passion for You Tube. Full info/apply HERE (8/1)

DIRECTOR, STRATEGIC CONTENT & NEWS PARTNERSHIPS/CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ: Drive pioneering growth initiatives & partnerships for CNBC Bus. Day, Events, & Digital.  5+yrs exp at a news organization or other major media enterprise. Full info/apply HERE (7/28)

MANAGER, SALES ADMIN/NBCU/LA: Review and interpret deal summaries and license agreements in order to enter and maintain license terms in contract/availability management and inventory system. Full info/apply HERE (7/27) 

JOB OPENING: PRGRM ACQUISITIONS MGR/Films Media Group/NY: 3+yrs exp acquisi.; factual prgmng knwlg; solid ind contacts; exp: educ & learning; self-starter & deal-maker; BA/BS req, Res to: [email protected] EOE (7/27)

JOB OPENING: SR MANAGER, DIGITAL AD PRODUCTS/A+E Networks/NY: Help diversity A+E Networks ad product line up, by creating ground breaking ad products, certifying new partners, devices and points of distribution, and owning the product education, maintenance, and specification process. Full Info/Apply HERE (7/27)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER, NEWS/NYC: Plan & coord production of NewsHourWeekend – story dev thru post-prod & delivery; min 4yrs multimed exp, incl exp in dealing w/a wide range of contemporary issues; news exp a must. Exceptional written/verbal comm & presentation skills. Full info/apply HERE (7/27)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST, TV RESEARCH/CAA/LA: Produce written analysis & presentations for represented properties for brdcst/cbl/synd/OTT programs. Min 3 yrs exp TV rsch related to synd TV pref’d. Brdcst/cble ntwk exp a +. BA deg required. Full info/apply HERE (7/27)

DIRECTOR PRESENTATION DESIGN & CREATIVE SERVICES/CBS/NYC: Design, produce & edit sales materials. Min 6 yrs industry exp. Ability to communicate media research. Advanced skills in PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign. Full info/apply HERE (7/26)

JOB OPENING: SR. PICTURE EDITOR/Photography/A+E/NY: Develop & evolve the photographic direction across all editorial platforms. 5+ yrs exp in either the photographic, design or art industries. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite. Est’d vendor relationships & contacts. Apply: HERE (7/26)  

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, INTEGRATED SPONSORSHIPS & SALES/PAC-12/LA: Drive team performance and sales of AE’s the LA office. You will also be an evangelist for, and successfully sell, all of Pac-12 Networks properties including national and local TV, digital, and sponsorships. For full posting/apply HERE (7/26)  

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