08/19/20: GOLF Channel scored records for its coverage of the US Amateur

 

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Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday August 19, 2020

GOLF Channel reports record viewership for its weekend coverage of the 120th U.S. Amateur with Sunday night’s championship match telecast earning 472,000 average viewers per minute, up 52% over last year’s championship match broadcast. Overall, GOLF Channel’s weekday coverage from Bandon Dunes last week (Wednesday-Friday) became the best for the event in more than 15 years.

PROGRAMMING

WWE ThunderDome is entering the ring, with WWE delivering a “a state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras” in a move to beef up the viewing experience for its shows, starting Friday on FOX as part of SummerSlam Weekend. With the debut of WWE ThunderDome, WWE will take residency at Amway Center in Orlando and virtually bring fans into the arena via live video on massive LED boards, in conjunction with The Famous Group and its proprietary technology, for every Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and WWE pay-per-view event. “WWE has a long history of producing the greatest live spectacles in sports and entertainment, yet nothing compares to what we are creating with WWE ThunderDome,” said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Vice President, Television Production. “This structure will enable us to deliver an immersive atmosphere and generate more excitement amongst the millions of fans watching our programming around the world.”

ESPN firmed up its 2020 Monday Night Football commentator team will feature Steve Levy on play-by-play with Brian Griese and Louis Riddick as analysts and reporter Lisa Salters returning for her ninth season, while officiating analyst John Parry returns for his second season. The group will start the season on Sept, 14 with Titans/Broncos. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN’s leading college football broadcasting team, will make their NFL debut when they call the first game of the season-opening MNF doubleheader that evening, calling the Steelers/Giants at 7:15p.

The NBA Combine is on the verge of going virtual, according to ESPN, which reports that the league “is progressing on plans for a virtual draft combine to be held at regional sites throughout September.” Prospective players would attend selected regional team facilities throughout the country with team doctors administering physicals at local hospitals while league officials recording body measurables and putting players through physical testing at team facilities. The NBA still hasn’t made a final determination on the location or format for the Oct. 16 draft event, the report stated.

Monday saw FOX Sports release the third edition of Ring Chronicles featuring Big Noon Kickoff analyst Urban Meyer and host Rob Stone with guest Kyle Whittingham. The first two editions of Ring Chronicles, featuring Tim Tebow and Dwayne Haskins, combined for more than 1.8 million video on demand and full episode views on FOX Sports digital and social platforms.

ESPN Deportes launched a new podcast, titled SC Reportajes Podcast, under SC Reportajes, the network’s Emmy nominated storytelling brand. Voiced by ESPN Deportes’ Tlatoani Carrera, the first season of SC Reportajes Podcast begins with a multi-episode exploration of the effects of a 2015 late night brawl on the lives of Alejandro Molina, Luis Gorocito, then players of Mexico’s storied club Necaxa, and Luis Rodolfo Mariscal López, a young man who crossed path with the players as they were exiting a bar in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Sounders FC and Amazon Prime Video announced a new deal that sees the Seattle-based brand become the official video streaming partner of the Rave Green. Prime Video becomes the sole digital streaming destination for all non-nationally televised Sounders FC matches throughout the club’s home broadcast territory, marking just the second time Prime Video has reached a streaming agreement with a sports franchise, and the first deal with a professional soccer club.

The United Soccer League announced a new agreement with SiriusXM which will see the company become the exclusive satellite radio home of the USL Championship and League One. As part of the new agreement, which will run through the 2021 season, SiriusXM FC, SiriusXM’s exclusive 24/7 soccer channel, will air a USL Game of the Week to its audience across the United States and Canada.

In addition, the United Soccer League reached its first-ever international television agreement with Flow Sports, which will see the USL Championship broadcast to approximately 600,000 homes across 22 countries in the Caribbean. The agreement was secured by global sports business agency SPORTFIVE, which entered into a partnership with the USL earlier this year to market the international broadcasting rights for the USL Championship and USL League One.

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SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

DoorDash secured a deal with the National Basketball Association

for a multiyear marketing partnership that makes DoorDash the Official On-Demand Delivery Platform of the NBA, WNBA and NBA 2K League, beginning with the 2020 NBA Playoffs. As the NBA’s first partner in the on-demand delivery platform category, DoorDash is launching its #PlayItForward Challenge, a new social media campaign designed to unite communities and encourage fans to support Black-owned restaurants. DoorDash will also become the first-ever Presenting Partner of the NBA 2K League Playoffs and Finals, executing in-game activations that will bring fans special moments and relevant experiences through custom integrations and features.

Pepsi announced its new 2020 football campaign, titled “Made for Football Watching.” The newest multi-platform campaign from the brand is “designed to connect the brand with the millions of NFL fans who, despite never making it to the NFL themselves” Activation comes to life across multiple national TV advertisements, a MadeforFootballWatching.com online hub that will be updated throughout the season, “football watcher” social filters (premiering on September 8), media integrations, Pepsi NFL laces cans and more. “Pepsi has always been an endemic part of the football viewing experience – whether it’s in a stadium or on your couch. While things may look different this year, fans still share an unapologetic passion for the sport of football through the at-home viewing occasion,” said Todd Kaplan, Vice President, Marketing at Pepsi. “While everyone may not have the athleticism of an elite athlete on the field, we all are made for football…watching. We believe the Sunday ritual of watching football at-home is definitely something worth celebrating.”

FanDuel and MTN DEW, an official partner of the NBA, announce the MTN DEW NBA Free Play Contest Series. The series will feature 17 contests throughout the NBA Playoffs, awarding prizes and experiences to fans. The first contest is live on FanDuel, and the series will run through September 4, 2020. “After partnering with MTN DEW for NBA All-Star Weekend this past February, we’re incredibly excited they’re our first NBA sponsor back as we celebrate the return of sports,” says Alyssa Zeleznik, VP of Advertising & Sponsorship Sales, FanDuel. “We are two brands that share the belief that sports fans deserve once-in-a-lifetime experiences. While we can’t send fans to the NBA Finals, we want to recognize basketball’s return by offering fans the chance to win unique prizes during the playoffs.”

Kraft Heinz, along with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, announced the top four finalists competing to become Kraft Hockeyville USA 2020. This year’s top four communities advancing to the public voting phase are: East Grand Forks Civic Center in East Grand Forks, Minnesota; El Paso Event Center in El Paso, Texas; Wichita Ice Center in Wichita, Kansas; and Wildcat Centre Arena in River Falls, Wisconsin. These four communities will each receive funds for rink upgrades from Kraft Heinz, with the winning community awarded $150,000 for rink improvements.

DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer and Bleacher Report announced a multi-year agreement running through 2022. The deal, facilitated by Soccer United Marketing, unites Bleacher Report, a leading destination for young sports fans, with MLS and U.S. Soccer. As part of the agreement, Bleacher Report will develop premium soccer content and highlights, distributed directly to fans via its B/R app and industry-leading social channels. Content features will include top plays from MLS, U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. Women’s National Team matches.

Oculus from Facebook and the NBA stuck a multiyear partnership that designates Oculus as an Official Marketing Partner and the first-ever Virtual Reality Headset Partner of the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League. Oculus is tipping off the partnership this week to coincide with the start of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, including serving as presenting partner of the NBA Rail Cam Replay on ESPN, ABC and TNT with the newly-dubbed “Oculus Front Row View” camera angle. Oculus will become an associate partner of the NBA Draft presented by State Farm and NBA Crossover at NBA All-Star. Additionally, Oculus will become an associate partner of both the WNBA’s Believe in Women platform and the NBA G League End of Season Tournament.

The PGA TOUR and PointsBet locked in a multi-year content and marketing relationship designating PointsBet an Official Betting Operator of the PGA TOUR. PointsBet receives rights in the US to use PGA TOUR marks, rights to advertise within TOUR media and TOUR partner platforms, plus content and video rights allowing PointsBet to create pre-game and post-game betting programming, as well as distribution of highlights to users who have placed bets. Additionally, the PGA TOUR and PointsBet will collaborate to deliver odds-based content to fans via TOUR Digital Platforms like PGATOUR.COM and the PGA TOUR app.

Sportradar announced the launch of a new initiative designed to protect athletes from social media abuse and available to all sports federations, leagues and governing bodies. The service is designed to “protect the mental health and wellbeing of professional athletes by keeping them free from harm online and providing peace of mind by discouraging future trolling and abuse through successful investigation, proactive intervention and disruption.” The service identifies the individuals behind anonymous ‘troll’ or ‘burner’ accounts used to direct abuse towards athletes, providing a high-level location of the ‘troll’. Findings of the investigation are then shared with its partners and further support is provided in pursuing an appropriate course of action, including the removal of abusive accounts from social media platforms and working with law enforcement to bring legal proceedings.

Famer, the cloud based youth sports coaching and mentorship mobile platform, announced an expansion to the Canadian sports market, beginning with a partnership with Basketball World Toronto. “This partnership with Basketball World Toronto again shows that our technology and our user experience is second to none for young athletes, their parents/guardians and for the best coaches in the world,” said Rich Abend, Famer CEO. “While we realize that our cloud based system reaches an audience of potentially millions around the world over time, our key relationships with best in class organizations is the most important part of our growth, and having Michael Reio and his team working with us speaks volumes both for our success to date and for what our future is.”

ESPORTS

Riot Games unveiled a new partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group for the upcoming 2020 League of Legends World Championship, which will see six new songs made for the event, courtesy of an esports-themed music cam that saw 14 Universal Music Group artists attend to create six new songs for the World Championship in July. “When music meets and mixes with gaming, it is simply exciting. I look forward to empowering and celebrating the 10th World Championship of the League of Legends with music of power and varied style through working with UMPG,” said Leo Lin, head of Riot Games China.

Activision Blizzard signed Xperia by Sony to serve as the new mobile partner for Call of Duty League. Activation begins on Aug. 21 as talent competes against each other on Call of Duty: Mobile, as part of the ‘Mobile Special Exhibition.’

ReKTGlobal, parent company of Rogue and London Royal Ravens, acquired digital media agency Fearless Media in a move that will “further solidify relationships across all verticals” owned by ReKTGlobal. “ReKTGlobal’s acquisition of Fearless Media is unlike any other in the esports industry,” said Dave Bialek, CEO of ReKTGlobal. “It allows us to fully support the growing demand for advertising and marketing solutions to the gaming and esports community, as we continue to build our industry leading esports marketing portfolio.”

Team Liquid cemented a partnership with Zoomph, which specializes in esports and sports analytics. Zoomph created a custom version of its real-time social analytics platform to “meet Team Liquid’s unique needs as a multi-team esports organization and a multimedia company, with a global team and fanbase” and equips Team Liquid with reporting data to create more engaging and meaningful partner campaigns. Team Liquid and its athletes will also use this data to effectively grow their social media audiences.

Dignitas announced an expanded partnership with Esports Entertainment Group’s VIE.gg. The online exchange betting platform, VIE.gg, and secures the naming rights of the organization’s CS:GO team. In addition to VIE.gg’s integration into the CS:GO naming rights and jersey, the partners will roll out strategic digital and physical activations with the New Jersey marketplace as a core focus.

Team Whistle announced a partnership with 16-year-old Fortnite Champion Griffin “Sceptic” Spikoski as an esports ambassador who now brings his talents to the Whistle team to star in a new weekly Twitch stream, new bi-weekly YouTube series, weekly Snapchat Discover show and merchandise store. His YouTube channel has over 1.4 million subscribers and more than 100 million views.

INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

The Washington Football Team appointed Jason Wright as team president. In this role, Wright will be responsible for leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing. He will join Coach Ron Rivera, who maintains all on-field responsibilities and football decisions, in reporting directly to team owner, Dan Snyder. “From football to business school to McKinsey, I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle. I especially love doing this with organizations who have deep history and values that set a firm foundation. This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me,” added Wright. “The transformation of the Washington Football Team is happening across all aspects of the organization – from football to operations to branding to culture – and will make us a truly modern and aspirational franchise. We want to set new standards for the NFL.”

GF Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, announced the next phase of strategic growth and expansion for GF Sports, now renamed GF Sports & Entertainment with an expanded commitment to scaling and diversify the growing business in the entertainment space. Shawn Tilger was named as the first-ever President of the company, which will focus on acquiring or investing in established sports, media and entertainment properties that are poised to scale.

Independent Sports & Entertainment hired Lauren Richardson in the new role of Director, Public Relations and Marketing for Basketball and Football. There, she will oversee basketball and football client public relations, manage paid media campaigns across all platforms and work closely with the ISE marketing team to secure sponsorship, endorsement and brand marketing opportunities for ISE’s basketball and football clients.

STATE OF THE MEDIA INDUSTRY 2020 SURVEY
In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, we’re conducting a survey to formulate insights & analysis of our market and how it will affect the future. Feedback form you will help us publish a thorough report that will provide the media sector with a trusted benchmark for expectations.

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Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

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On this Day
1987: Earl Campbell retires from the NFL.

In the Know
From which school was Earl Campbell drafted? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart formed what legendary tag team in pro wrestling? Answer: The Hart Foundation. Kudos: Chris Killebrew-CCTV/Nassau; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Chris Madigan-BZA PR/NY; Frank Costa-CBS/NY; Matthew Willence-ITN Networks/NY; Willy Gibson-WTG Sports/Columbus; James J. Pepe-American Cancer Society/Bethlehem; Jesse Demastrie-GMMB/DC; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Timothy Burke Sullivan-B.A.S.S., LLC/Birmingham; T.K. Gore-Comscore/Chicago; Jacob Ullman-FOX Sports/LA; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Dominick Latorre-Sinclair Broadcast Group/Simi Valley; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

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Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE; CTV PARTNERSHIPS

>>
FUTURE TODAY INC/CHICAGO, LA, NYC: Seeking salespeople to represent our CTV portfolio spanning kids/family, entertainment and lifestyle content. Ideal candidate will have exp within Retail, Insurance, and/or CPG verticals as well as existing relationships with major agencies. Minne relationships are essential for the IL role. Full info HERE. (9/1)

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NBCUNIVERSAL/NY, NY: Seeking an individual who is looking for the opportunity to learn and grow in an exciting, evolving research environment supporting ELG Research team. Min 2 yrs exp in research, advertising, or media outlet. Prefer exp at a cable network. Full info HERE (8/28)

CHIEF INCLUSION OFFICER
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TWIN CITIES PBS/ST. PAUL, MN: New, FT position, that will design and implement a holistic and enterprise-wide inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategy into all of our programs and business initiatives. Min 10ys exp in IDEA in a nonprofit, educ and/or media preferred. Full info HERE. (8/27)

AD SALES PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR >>
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M&A and INT’L PARTNERSHIP COUNSEL >>
A+E/NY: Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/26)

PROGRAMMING COORDINATOR >>
MAVTV MOTORSPORTS NETWORK/Corona, CA: Seeking individual to support all areas of the programming team’s responsibilities, including editorial, research, analysis, scheduling and presentation of all content categories. Min 2yrs exp in media and enter, with focus programming. Full info HERE (8/25)

DIRECTOR, CONTENT
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Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/24)

REPORTER >>
Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/23)

SENIOR LINE PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/21)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PRIMETIME >>
Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/21)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER >>
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ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/21)

PRODUCER >>
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Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/21)

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