Dunlop inked a five year deal with Tennis Australia to serve as the official ball for the first Grand Slam of the year in the Australian Open as well as at all other tennis tournaments in Australia, replacing Wilson. The deal means that all four Majors will use the different balls (Babolat at Roland Garros, Slazenger at Wimbledon and Wilson at the US Open). “We are delighted to partner with Dunlop on the new Australian Open ball,”Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said. “Our aim is to provide the players with the best possible playing environment and we believe they will be very happy with the quality, standard and consistency of play of the new AO Dunlop ball in a wide variety of conditions.
Women’s Equality Day saw adidas kick off Here to Create Change, a campaign which commits prevent girls from dropping out of sports. The campaign plays to the backdrop of the US Open, with Billie Jean King part of the promotion. “As a sports icon and a social justice pioneer, Billie Jean King is evidence that positive change on and off the court for women is possible, and we celebrate her achievements with our own commitment and footwear that all aspiring female athletes can step into,” said Eva Barrett, Global Senior Director of Marketing for adidas. “We want to build a future for female creators in this great city’s pitches, fields and courts of play. But we can’t do it alone. We want to hear from you, New York.”
Pizza Hut detailed its plans for the return of college football season, returning for a fourth season as the Official Pizza Sponsor of ESPN College GameDaybuilt by the Home Depot. Each week, Pizza Hut will be onsite with its “House of Pi” homegating setup, featuring a lounge to enjoy the full GameDay experience, pizza sampling and swag. Pizza Hut is also continuing its work with Maria Taylor, who will team up with Pizza Hut to create custom content and interview the schools’ biggest fans on air each week.
The Ohio Valley Conference and ESPN locked in an extension of their media rights agreement, which will now include a minimum of 600 conference events on ESPN+, in addition to programming on the linear channels. The first OVC events to be broadcast on ESPN+ will be two football games on Thursday with 36 OVC football games overall streamed on ESPN+ this season. Under the arrangement, the OVC Men’s basketball championship game will continue to air on either ESPN or ESPN2, with ESPNU and ESPNNEWS broadcasting additional events.
Following the tragic shooting at the Jacksonville Landing during the Madden Championship Series southeast qualifier, esports team OpTic Gaming is launching an initiative for the victims and their families, lining up a charity tournament for those affected by the incident. The event will take place on ug. 31 from 2-8p CT, with all proceeds raised by the competition going towards the victims’ families.
Organizers of esports leagues and tournaments have been addressing the state of security at their venues following Sunday’s Jacksonville shooting at the Madden Championship Series event. Evo unveiled plans to install metal detectors for all of the event’s dates in 2019, in addition to already using undercover law enforcement. Meanwhile, officials at Dreamhack released a statement addressing its own security measures, noting that the company’s tactics are done in consultation with law enforcement and security experts and is always “ongoing and involves all DreamHack events.”
The National Fitness Foundation named Clay Walker as its new Executive Director. Clay joins the Foundation after serving as the Chief Operating Officer of PrestoSports, the largest independent collegiate athletics software provider in the U.S.
US Open coverage begins on ESPN at noon.