08/05/19: FOX Sports breaks down its plans for the Jr. NBA Global Championship

 

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Good morning. It’s Monday August 5, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

FOX Sports puts the spotlight on the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship this week with play set to begin Aug. 6-11 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The event features the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls basketball players from around the world with Fox Sports set to broadcast 16 games across FOX, FS1 and FS2 throughout the weeklong event. Game analysts and play-by-play talent include Vince Carter, Brian Custer, Noah Eagle, Mark Followill, Sarah Kustok, Donny Marshall and Charissa Thompson. The company will air 16 games throughout the week, totaling 24 hours of programming across FOX, FS1 and FS2, including the girls and boys Global Championship games on Aug. 11 at 3p and 4:30p on FOX, respectively.
 
Cynopsis asked FOX Sports Vice President of Production Bardia Shah-Rais about its plans.
 
Shah-Rais on FOX Sports’ interest in the JNGC: It’s always a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the NBA on a groundbreaking project. The popularity of the league, and basketball in general, is booming so it was a no-brainer to get involved in a grassroots project like the Jr. NBA Global Championship.
 
On the telecast: With the help of the NBA, viewers can expect to see more access and storytelling this year. We’ll aim to mic-up coaches and have the ability for our announcers to interact with them during game. Also, our operations team has invested in some unique gadgets that will help bring viewers closer to the action. Lastly, we’ll implement the use of Sky Cam that will give the event a video game (NBA2K) feel to it.
 
On production: There are far less restrictions at this event when it comes to access. We’ll have the ability to eavesdrop in on huddles and show pregame speeches. The NBA has been a fantastic partner in helping us push the envelope when it comes to access and technology, and our goal is to replicate the tremendous success we’ve had with our Big East Basketball coverage when it comes to taking viewers closer to action. Also, being able to assemble an All-Star roster of talent is pretty unique – we’re crosspollinating our college basketball group (Donny Marshall and Brian Custer) with seasoned NBA voices (Sarah Kustok and Mark Followill) and a future Hall of Famer Vince Carter.
 
On storytelling: Adding context to the event is extremely important and we’ve had all the players fill out questionnaires that we’ll highlight with graphics. We had success with this last year, but we’ll continue to produce mini personality vignettes that will show off the player’s personalities. Lastly, in conjunction with the NBA, we’re doing a massive promo shoot with all the teams that we’ll use throughout the broadcasts.
 
 
PROGRAMMING

ESPN reports that its July viewership saw an uptick of 18% over 2018, growing from 440,000 to 518,000 on a total day basis, according to Nielsen. The ESPN increase led to the network leading all of cable for total day in the key male demos – 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 – and to lead in prime time among men 18-34 and men 18-49. ESPN’s overall primetime spiked 19%, from 745,000 to 883,000 including an increase of 33% for males 12-17. Property gains included Sunday Night Baseball (+35%), the NBA Summer League (+35%), Wimbledon (+22%), the Home Run Derby (+4%) and  The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (+4%).
 
FOX Sports released its Bundesliga schedule for the 2019-2020 season featuring 220 matches running across FOX, FS1, FS2 and FOX Soccer Plus, with all matches available on the FOX Sports app. The Bundesliga season action begins Aug. 16 with a six-match lineup that features Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Shalke, and Leipzig.
 
NBC’s coverage of the preseason Pro Football Hall of Fame Game saw a dip for the Broncos’ win over the Falcons, with viewership down 21%, according to Nielsen with an average of 5.329 million viewers, marking a low for the event since it ran on NFL Network in 2012.
 
Spectrum Networks will simulcast an additional five Dodgers games on local broadcast station KTLA 5 this season. The five-game schedule will feature all Saturday games, beginning Aug. 31 with the Dodgers/Diamondbacks, and conclude with an afternoon contest against the Giants on Sept. 28 for the club’s final Saturday game of the regular season.
 
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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The NWSL extended its partnership with Nike through the end of the 2022 season. Nike has been the exclusive worldwide partner for NWSL gear and apparel since the league began in 2013. “Having Nike’s continued support behind NWSL and our athletes demonstrates our shared commitment to elevating professional soccer in the United States,” said NWSL President Amanda Duffy. “The relationship with Nike aligns with our goals to strengthen the level of competition, as well as to support and develop female athletes as they to continue to train and play at the highest level.”
 
The NFL cemented more of its plans to celebrate 100 seasons. Initiatives surrounding NFL100 include “Experiences of a Lifetime” that include the exclusive chance to serve as a Madden NFL ratings adjustor at EA Sports, a trip to New York with friends for Commissioner Goodell to announce their fantasy league’s draft picks, having Chiefs Pro Bowler Travis Kelce attend your wedding, and the opportunity to work out with Giants sensational running back Saquon Barkley in his Quad Squad Quad Challenge. Each team also is rewarding fans with their own Experience of a Lifetime. During the 2019 season, each team will host a “Fantennial Weekend” – a three-day celebration of football – from Weeks 1-10 and Week 14. The homecoming-style weekend will include a high-school game on a Friday night attended by legends from their local NFL team, a fan festival on Saturday and its home game to close the multi-day extravaganza. For content, in addition to previously announced series such as Peyton’s Places and the NFL’s 100 Greatest, programming will include NFL100 Sessions -se to premiere in-season on Thursday nights during NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Kickoff; NFL100 Minute; NFL Explained; NFL100 Rewind and more.
 
ESPN is tackling youth sports participation rates by launching the Don’t Retire, Kid campaign, in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Project Play. The goal is to help increase sports participation rates among youth in the United States. The initiative launched on ESPN on Sunday and ESPN networks will also air a series of vignettes with sports stars discussing why youth sports are important featuring the likes of Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, Sue Bird, Mookie Betts, Sloane Stephens, Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGraw, and Julie Foudy.
 
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

DAZN’s special trade deadline edition of ChangeUp on their new official handle @ChangeUpOnDAZN last Tuesday night was streamed by 4.13 million unique users on Twitter, according to the company. This week sees the show be made available each night on MLB.tv and At Bat Premium for those subscribers on supported mobile devices. Additionally, for a limited time, DAZN will offer a one-month free trial.
 
 
ESPORTS

The NBA 2K League ended its second season on a high note, not only with T-Wolves Gaming topping 76ers GC to claim the 2019 NBA 2K League Championship Trophy, but also announcing a new partner in Anheuser-Busch. The league announced that the multi-year deal with Anheuser-Busch will make Bud Light the Official Beer Partner of the NBA 2K League, adding to the NBA’s more than 20-year history with the beverage company. Specific activations will be announced a later date.
 
Marvel Entertainment is sponsoring Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock to promote the digital release of Avengers: Endgame through the remainder of stage four. The team announced the partnership via a pic of Shock players sporting the time-traveling outfits seen in Endgame with the movie’s tagline, “whatever it takes.”
 
FACEIT is partnering with Red Bull to host Season 2 of Red Bull M.E.O. The mobile esports tournament will see the best mobile gamers from around the globe compete in Clash Royale, Brawl Stars and Hearthstone. The partnership will also see FACEIT host online and offline qualifiers in over thirty countries around the world to source the fiercest competitors for the Grand Final in February 2020. “M.E.O. is one of the most exciting tournaments on the competitive mobile scene. As a truly global competition we have an enormous talent pool to source the very best players in three of the most dynamic titles in esports,” said Michele Attisani, Co-Founder & CBO of FACEIT. “We’re working closely with Red Bull to make sure each qualifier offers a world class standard of competition to attract the very best competitors from each region.”
 
 
INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

WME added New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to its roster, according to THR. The report states that WME will be for off-the-field representation, while Brady continues to be represented by Yee & Dubin Sports for his NFL contracts, and by marketing and management agency Jonesworks.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

A’s/Cubs on ESPN at 8p.
 
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ON THIS DAY in 2005: The NBA announces that Las Vegas will host the 2007 All Star game.
 
In the Know: Which university has the most Pro Football Hall of Famers? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which country did boxer Teofilo Stevenson represent in the Olympic Games? Answer: Cuba. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Mike Callanan-National Hockey League/NY; Tammy Dorman-Nielsen/Queensbury; Lou Jerome-TVision/NY; Larry Kahn-GOLF Channel/Orlando; B. David Ridpath-Ohio University/Athens; Russ DelCore-a4 Media/Oakland; Michael Goodman-Radio One/Atlanta; Kyle Krebs-NBC5/Telemundo39/Dallas-Ft. Worth; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Bill Robertson-Western Collegiate Hockey Association/ Bloomington; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Steve Scheer-FOX Sports/LA; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco

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