08/14/19: The NFL is partnering with Roc Nation for entertainment and production


Good morning. It’s Wednesday August 14, 2019 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

The NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation are huddling up for events and social activism. The league will tap the agency to consult on its entertainment presentations, including the Super Bowl halftime show, and assist in the production and promotion of new music. In addition, they will partner to “strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.”
“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”
The NFL on CBS unveiled its talent lineup for the upcoming season, led by Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson, who will call CBS’ marquee game each week. The lineup includes the return of six crews, along with two new teams as Jay Feely teams with Tom McCarthy, and Tiki Barber joins Beth Mowins. Groupings also include: Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts/Evan Washburn; Greg Gumbel/Trent Green//Melanie Collins; Kevin Harlan/Rich Gannon; Andrew Catalon/James Lofton; and Spero Dedes/Adam Archuleta.
ESPN detailed plans for Week 0 of the new college football season, announcing an “all-day extravaganza” that will include College GameDay Built by The Home Depot launching its road shows a week earlier than years past, coming from Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. The season debut will originate 22 miles from the Hurricanes/Gators matchup at Camping World Stadium that evening. Rece Davis will host, reuniting the cast of characters: Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Maria Taylor.
Stadium announced a coast-to-coast lineup of 31 regular season football games from three conference partners that will run across Stadium’s over-the-air network, WatchStadium.com, Facebook and dedicated channels on Roku, Sling TV and Fubo TV. The lineup features games from Conference USA, Mountain West and Patriot League and will kick off on August 31 with a Saturday night doubleheader. Stadium’s lead broadcast team is back for another season and will consist of veteran broadcaster Chris Hassel on play-by-play, Packers veteran and Super Bowl champion A.J. Hawk as lead analyst and Kristen Balboni on the sidelines.
The return of ESPN8 “The Ocho” last week saw gains for the channel once again known as ESPN2. According to Nielsen, this year’s tally of programming saw a 7% gain over last year’s slate, with 90% positive sentiment on social channels. The most watched events included the America’s Dodgeball International Cup, the 2019 WCO World Cornhole Cup, Slippery Stairs, Lawn Mower Racing and the Stupid Robot Fighting League.
Elsewhere, with more numbers in the books, NBCSN is reporting a Total Audience Delivery average of 1.01 million viewers for Sunday’s Manchester United/Chelsea match to rank as the most-watched opening weekend Premier League cable match ever in the US as well as the most-watched cable match in four years. The match topped by 30% last year’s season-opener in the similar Sunday late morning time slot.
ESPN will carry a primetime ESPN SC Featured special on Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Vietnam veteran Rocky Bleier returning to Vietnam for the first time. The program will debut on Aug. 20 at 8p on ESPN2 with a shorter version airing as the weekly SC Featured segment on SportsCenter Aug. 17-18.
We are less than one month out! Get your tickets to the Esports Business Summit, and plug in to the biggest names in the industry, from media and streaming to brands and technology. Don’t miss it and get your tickets now, room blocks expire on Friday!
The Colonial Athletic Association announced its schedule of Olympic sports contests that will air exclusively on digital broadcast partner FloSports during the 2019 fall season. The platform will provide live and on-demand coverage of 47 regular-season games featuring the conference’s field hockey, men’s soccer, volleyball and women’s soccer programs. In addition, FloSports will be the broadcast home for all four CAA conference championships in November.
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Top-ranked Alpine skier in the world Mikaela Shiffrin signed on to team adidas courtesy of a multi-year partnership that will focus on her training regime and “inspiring the next generation of creators.” “adidas is a company that aligns with my values and beliefs so perfectly, and I’m really looking forward to kicking off this partnership,” said Shiffrin. “Off the mountain, I basically live in shorts and leggings, so it’s really important for me to partner with a global company that sees the value in combining performance, style, and comfort, and has a strong mission and vision. adidas believes that ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives,’ and they practice what they preach both in sport and in life, with initiatives like their movement against marine plastic pollution, and their movement to give more people better accessibility to being outdoors.”
Bud Light is expanding its can collection, announcing that not only are NFL team cans back, but this year will see multiple college football teams also in the lineup. Both cans and aluminum bottle 2019 editions feature a team logo, as well as a customized color stripe down the side. College packaging includes team specific cans for Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Iowa, Alabama, Virginia Tech, and LSU. The new cans will hit shelves at the end of August nationwide.
Poker Central announced a partnership with automotive brand Jeep to sponsor the new Jeep High Roller of the Year award, “an elite designation that will be attained by a single poker player with season-long champion status in Poker Central’s high-stakes events.” Poker Central also revealed dates for the next major poker tournament of 2019, Poker Masters, running Nov. 1-10 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and will be streamed on PokerGO.
SLAM revealed sponsors for the SLAM Summer Classic Vol. 2, the follow-up to last year’s inaugural game. Body Armor, Def Jam and Nike all signed on the for the event, which will take place on Aug. 18.
Investors Bank and the New York Giants are expanding their strategic alliance during the 2019 football season, introducing the New York Giants-branded debit card and checking account. Investors Bank and the New York Giants are also announcing a joint corporate social responsibility program. Each time Big Blue scores either a touchdown, field goal or safety this season, Investors Bank will donate $250 to the non-for-profit CASA.

fuboTV is launching fubo Sports Network on The Roku Channel. In addition to The Roku Channel, fubo Sports Network is also available on XUMO, smart TV platforms Samsung TV. “We are thrilled to bring fubo Sports Network to The Roku Channel, further expanding on our broad partnership with Roku,” Min Kim, vice president, business development, fuboTV. “The early interest in fubo Sports Network from distribution partners who see value in exclusive sports programming has been truly gratifying. We are building the best new talent-driven sports network, and we look forward to getting it in front of audiences everywhere.”
DreamHack is hitting California for the first time, announcing its debut with the launch of DreamHack Anaheim. The festival will run Feb. 21-23, 2020 for a 24 hour-a-day weekend will feature pro esports tournaments, amateur and varsity gaming tournaments, as well as its traditional bring your own computer LAN party, cosplay championship, panels, art, activities, expo, screenings, live music and more. Tickets will go on sale on Sept. 20.
Major League Baseball, Little League International and ESPN partnered to again host and broadcast a special Home Run Derby VR video game competitive tournament, live from Williamsport today at 11a. The 2019 Home Run Derby VR Little League Challenge, featuring one player from each of the 16 U.S. and International teams participating in the 2019 Little League Baseball World Series, will be available free via live streams on the ESPN app and the official MLB channel on Twitch. In addition to the live streams, a 30-minute special highlight recap will air on ESPN and the ESPN app on Aug. 18 at 4p.

The Campeones Cup sees MLS Cup champions Atlanta United against Liga MX champions Club América at 8p on ESPN2, Univision and TUDN.
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ON THIS DAY in 1932: The X Summer Olympic Games close in Los Angeles.
In the Know: The first College GameDay (1993) took place in what city? (Email cpursell@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Jim Palmer was a spokesman and model for which clothing brand for nearly 20 years? Answer: Jockey (also Tuesday’s answer was the US, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland). Kudos: Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Keith Marder-Halstead Real Estate/NY; Andrew Kalb-Andrew Kalb Media/NY; Thomas Buffolano-LTN Global Communications/NY; Randy Ingram-WISH/WNDY-TV/Indianapolis; Rick Rosenfelt-New York Red Bulls/Harrison; Peter Lasser-Lasser Productions/Atlanta; Russ DelCore a4 Media/ Oakland; David Haney-Bosack & Co./Pottsville; Kyle Krebs-NBC5/Telemundo39/Dallas-Ft. Worth; Joe Lyons-ESPN/Dallas; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills Anne Wettig-Fox/Fox Sports S&P/LA; Dave Hammargren-KCPQ-KZJO TV/Seattle

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