08/06/18: Phit America’s dire warning

Good morning. It’s Monday August 6, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.


After the release of the Inactivity Pandemic’ Report 2018 from PHIT America last week, the organization reports that 7% of American children are physically active to CDC standards, while the number of US children who are active three times a week has dropped to 23.9%, a decrease of 15% in the last five years; and core participation in team sports in the U.S. is down for the fifth straight year. In an interview, PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh discusses the findings and what the mean to the sports industry…
Bough on the sports and fitness industry: Most bigger companies are caught up in their quarter-to-quarter and ‘profits-now’ thinking and not worried about the long term. We also have some owners who only care about the short term as they plan to sell or spin off their company soon.  Many companies are not looking at the ‘roots’ of physical activity. They look at what they can do to create new participants who are good customers today.
On publishing the report: This ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ is killing the ‘roots’ of the sports and fitness industry.  Leaders, investors and everyone must wake up. Do we really think Americans are going to put down their smart phones and tablets? Do you think the social media and electronics industry is going to start making less fun, less engaging, and less addictive products? Or, will schools suddenly start putting daily P.E. back in our schools? Hell no! The competition is going to get stronger.  And, the sports and fitness industry must respond and protect the industry. They must go back and rebuild the ‘roots’ of the industry where kids and everyone learns basic physical activity skills in schools. When schools started to take P.E. out of our schools, that started the gradual erosion of the industry’s roots…and the industry’s future.  
On brand campaigns to get more children playing sports: Well, someone has to ask these questions:  Are they making a difference? Are they really just PR programs for their brand? What is their cost per participant? I bet it isn’t close to the PHIT America formula which is less than $10 to get a kid physically moving while at school. If we at PHIT America had access to those funds they are spending on their campaigns, the ROI would be much better. And, I bet we could build their brand equity better with this investment, too.
On the success of snow sports: Snow sports is another category that is doing well. The snow sports industry has invested in beginner programs and has really made them work. They allowed for the development of products that made snow skiing and snow sports more fun for the average participant. I get frustrated when I see traditional sports holding back technology and ways people can have fun playing, while sports participation is declining. And, the snow sports industry is not tied to tradition. It has developed ‘alternative forms’ of ski or snow sports that children and America want.  I think this sport category has the best leadership and programs.  It shows in the market share.  
Joe Buck is down for another three years at FOX Sports. Buck signed on for the new contract, according to the New York Post, and will the top play-by-play announcer for the NFL on FOX in addition to the World Series and golf for the company.
In other talent news, undefeated two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward agreed to a new multiyear deal with ESPN, where he will serve as an on-site studio boxing analyst for the company. He will make his next onsite appearance at Atlantic City Ocean Resort Casino on Aug. 18 for ESPN’s telecast of Top Rank on ESPN.
The 2019 Pro Bowl presented by Verizon is heading back to Orlando once again, returning to Camping World Stadium on Jan. 27 at 3p. As the presenting sponsor, Verizon will be incorporated into numerous elements of Pro Bowl Week’s celebratory events and have a significant presence at Camping World Stadium during the game, including experiences for members of the Verizon Up rewards program. The game will be carried by ESPN, ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC. Pro Bowl Week festivities in Orlando will include the NFL Flag Championships powered by USA Football and the NFL Pro Bowl Experience.
NFL Network unveiled the subjects to be featured on the upcoming season of the NFL Films-producedA Football Life. Season eight will begin on Sept. 14 at 8p on the channel with a profile of Carson Palmerwith other names this season set to include Tony Romo, Lawrence Taylor, Doug Williams, Dwight Clark and Cris Collinsworth, among others.
The Federal Communications Commission dismissed a complaint against Comcast by beIN Sports, which was dropped this week by the cable systems of Comcast Xfinity and Verizon Fios. “We note the FCC has dismissed the case without prejudice, and provided a valuable roadmap going forward,” said Antonio Briceno, beIN Sports’ Deputy Managing Director for the US and Canada. “The agency specifically explained it needs a more definitive indication of what programming would be featured on our networks. We are encouraged by the fact that the FCC provided no support for Comcast’s primary arguments and feel confident in our ability to supply information consistent with the FCC’s guidance.”
UFC confirmed its first-ever event in Beijing, China, taking place at the Cadillac Arena on Nov. 24. “China is the next frontier for the growth of UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, and this market is paramount to our success internationally,” UFC Vice President of Asia-Pacific Kevin Chang said. “We are excited to bring our next live event to China’s capital and show the world just how far we have come.”UFC will be working together with Endeavor China, a subsidiary of Endeavor to deliver the live event.
Jon Rahm and Larry Fitzgerald join David Feherty on Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance, tonight at 9p on Golf Channel. Future guests on Feherty this year (premiering Mondays at 9 p.m. ET) include four-time European Tour winner and reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood (August 13) and actor/comedian Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) on August 20.
NESN posted a season-high average household rating with an 11.2 in the Boston DMA with nearly 1.4 million people watched the game across New England’s 9 DMAs in the Red Sox win over the Yankees on Thursday, according to Nielsen. last night at Fenway Park scoring a season-high-tying 15 runs. Year to date, NESN’s average household rating for Red Sox games (6.5) is the second highest in MLB.
Celebrating the Best in Online Video Content & Advertising
An annual must for all digital innovators, entries for the 6th Annual Cynopsis Model D & Digital “It List” Awards are ramping up. And with over 50 categories to choose from, teams are shining a light on new technology, fresh formats and a pioneering spirit in the digital media landscape. The awards event will take place on Friday, November 9th in NYC.


Clemson University locked in a 10-year contract extension with Nike, which has provided apparel for all Clemson sports since 2002. This agreement will extend that partnership through the 2027-28 academic year and  grant the athletic department more than $58 million in apparel allowances, direct cash payouts and royalties. “Nike is the one of the premier brands in the world and we’re excited to build upon our relationship,” said Dan Radakovich, Director of Athletics, Clemson University. “Our brand has grown exponentially in recent years, and this continued partnership will enhance the ‘Power of the Paw’ moving forward.”
FedEx expanded its partnership with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies to become the franchise’s first-ever jersey sponsor. The FedEx logo will be integrated into the team’s new designed Nike uniforms for the 2018/19 season.
Multiple sponsorships deals on the NASCAR front. Nationwide broadened its ties with Hendrick Motorsports to boost its sponsorship of Alex Bowman and the No. 88 Chevrolet team to 20 races per season in a multi-year agreement. This announcement also allowed Alex Bowman to renew his contract an additional year with the staple team. Meanwhile, Smithfield extended its 30-race primary sponsorship of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Ford driven by Aric Almirola for the 2019 season. Cummins, Inc. announced its return to motorsports with Stewart-Haas Racing, with a multiple race sponsorship on the No. 14 Ford driven by Clint Bowyer.
Today sees Yahoo Sports launch a new fantasy podcast hosted by Liz Loza featuring appearances from Dalton Del Don, Scott Pianowski, Andy Behrens, Brad Evans, and Matt Harmon. The Yahoo Sports Fantasy Podcast will “dish out top-notch advice in a fun, informative way and will go beyond sit-start decisions” with new episodes weekly before ramping up to twice a week once the season starts.


EVO saw Arc System Works announce plans for The ArcRevo World Tour 2018-2019. Players will be able to compete around the globe on a slate that includes Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator 2, BlazBlue Central Finction, and BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. Tournaments would take place in the North American, Latin American, European, and Asian regions with the finals in North America and over $100,000 in cash prizes.
Thunder Gaming announced a partnership with cloud-based gaming service Shadow by Blade Thunder Gaming Esports Center will serve as a beta testing site for utilizing cloud computing technology in a competitive gaming environment. As part of the partnership, Shadow accounts will be activated at Thunder Gaming for guests of the facility.
Yankees/White Sox on ESPN at 8p.


Tuesday, October 2 | Las Vegas
Presented by Cynopsis, Chief Marketer and Event Marketer
The Tempest Awards celebrate the brands, teams, leagues, players and business leaders driving the competitive gaming industry. Join us as winners will be celebrated live on-stage at the Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas during day 2 of the Esports Business Summit .
Finalists to be announced in late-August
ON THIS DAY in 1997: The Nashville Predators name Barry Trotz as the team’s inaugural coach.
In the Know: What is the name of the object rubbed by Clemson football players before running down The Hill? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which Premier League team holds the record for most consecutive titles, claiming three in a row two separate times? Answer: Manchester United. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Ken White-KWTV/Charlotte; Brandon Morales-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA
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