08.03.16 Good morning. It’s Wednesday August 3, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NFL and Snapchat are going long with their partnership, announcing a multi-year extension to their strategic partnership that will see the NFL become the first sports league to have a presence on the Discover platform. The channel will offer content programmed by NFL Media that includes headlines and hot topics, trends and inside access videos. Snapchat Live Stories will also be produced for every NFL game during the season, including the Super Bowl, as well as the likes of the NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Snapchat, delivering compelling NFL content to a platform where millions of our fans around the world interact on a daily basis,” said Blake Stuchin, Director, Digital Media Business Development for the NFL. “The launch of the NFL on Discover will provide a key touch point to follow storylines throughout the week, and the expansion of Live Stories will provide fans with a unique perspective of the excitement in and around our stadiums at every game all season-long.”
CBS Sports is pairing with Tough Mudder via a multi-year partnership that brings the endurance brand to broadcast, cable and digital via CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com beginning this fall. The series will offer an inside look at World’s Toughest Mudder, the 24-hour extreme endurance race. In addition, Tough Mudder will debut its newest event series, Toughest Mudder, in 2017 which is will air on CBS Sports Network. Deal points include CBS Sports running an in-depth look at World’s Toughest Mudder over the next two years, beginning on Christmas Day at 3p. In 2017, CBS Sports Network will air coverage from the entire six-event Toughest Mudder Series while CBS Sports Digital will feature live streaming coverage.
NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic Games launches today with the kickoff of the women’s soccer tournament, as six games will run live across NBCSN and USA Network. Today’s coverage includes the US/New Zealand at 6p on NBCSN and launches with Sweden/South Africa at 11:30a on the network.
The US is moving to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, submitting a bid to host the tournament for the first time. If the submission is approved, the event would be hosted outside Australasia and Europe for the first time since it began in 1954.
Speaking of the sport, Red Bull is bringing its global rugby competition, Uni 7’s, to US soil for the first time. Aug. 25 will see eight of the best collegiate Rugby 7’s teams in the country play in Colorado. The international tournament will see 11 of the best universities from across the world compete in the global finals, which will take place in England on Sept. 17.
ESPN prepares for its 12-game World Cup of Hockey 2016 pre-tournament slate starting Sept. 8, carrying Sweden/Finland at noon and Czech Republic/Russia at 12:30p on ESPN3. Television coverage will then being at 8p on ESPN2 with Team Europe/Team North America. Meanwhile, USA/Canada first face off on Sept. 9 at 7p on ESPNU, with a rematch slated the next day on ESPN3. The two-week World Cup of Hockey tournament begins Saturday, Sept. 17, with a week of group play followed by the semifinals and a best-of-three finals beginning September 27.
The Basketball Tournament is beginning international expansion, partnering with Yao Ming and Starz Sports International, a leading agency and event company in China, to develop TBT China, utilizing the TBT model. China’s winning team will then play into TBT USA.
NHL Network showcases the final six games from this week’s USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp at USA Hockey Arena in Michigan. Coverage begins today with Canada/Finland at 1p and USA/Sweden at 4p.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment locked in a deal to acquire The GameTV Corporation currently held by Kilmer Enterprises. GameTV is available in over 9 million homes across Canadian cable, satellite and IPTV systems. “We are delighted to have GameTV become part of the Anthem organization,” said Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem. “We think it’s a terrific fit because in addition to the financial upside, it will provide scale for Anthem, creating greater programming options, new advertising and marketing opportunities, expansion onto digital platforms, as well as operating efficiencies.”
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Expert Drones will sponsor top FPV drone racing pilots as part of an initiative to broaden its consumer drone business ventures. Racers will be fully sponsored by Expert Drones and members of the team will be competing at the US National Drone Racing Championships on ESPN this weekend.
Delta Faucet will continue to partner with Warrior Dash via a deal that includes six Warrior Dash events this summer across the country. As a part of its HappiMess campaign, Delta Faucet will debut a consumer stage in the form of an in-shower karaoke station for participants to belt out their favorite tunes while getting clean post-race. Participants will also experience a custom, outdoor, karaoke shower station featuring more than 40 Delta showerheads. The partnership was negotiated and will be activated by Chicago-based sports marketing firm rEvolution.
Twitter takes on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a plan that will include a dedicated section in Moments that will feature content and stories unfolding during the Games as well as a bevy of more than 200 hashtag-triggered Twitter emojis. This year will mark the first time the company will offer a followable Moment that adds relevant Tweets into the timeline for weeks at a time. "Twitter’s activation of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will bring fans around the world together to see what’s happening with the teams before, during and after the top athletes compete for glory,” said Leslie Berland, CMO of Twitter. “Twitter, Vine and Periscope will offer fans inside access, commentary, highlights and conversation throughout the Games and as the action unfolds."
NBC Olympics will use Microsoft Azure to offer cloud encoding and hosting with video workflows for the Rio Games, offering a streaming service for NBCUniversal and NBCOlympics.com’s record 4,500 hours of online content. This will mark the second Games for which NBC Olympics has chosen Microsoft Azure to assist with live and on-demand multiplatform streaming coverage. "We always strive to deliver more content in real time to more channels and devices around the world," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft. "During the Sochi Olympic Games, NBC Olympics had more than 1 million concurrent live viewers watching a collective average of 600,000 hours of coverage per day. We are planning for even greater viewing numbers for Rio, and are excited to power the experience again using Microsoft Azure."
CBC is offering Canadians two advanced mobile apps for the Summer Games, CBC’s app for Rio 2016 and the CBC Olympic Games Virtual Reality app. The first features up to 23 simultaneous live-streaming feeds of event coverage and real-time medal standings, schedules and the latest news and results. Meanwhile, the VR app, with support from Visa and the IOC, delivers a first-ever virtual reality experience with up to 100 hours of live competition.
The eGames will hit Rio this month with more countries in tow for the two-day competition. Dexerto writes that participating teams are set to include (in addition to the previously announced squads from the UK, Canada, US and Brazil): Switzerland, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Norway, Montenegro, Monaco, Moldova, Malta, Macedonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Italy, Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Georgia, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Austria, Albania, Kuwait, Armenia, South Korea, UAE, Japan, Puerto Rico, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
Blizzard’s Overwatch is offering its own take on the Summer Games, launching a patch for the game that will offer new, unofficial Olympic-ish skins as well as a new game mode. Skins will be themed on different sports and feature the colors of the countries each character come from as well as new sprays, emotes, victory poses, icons, and highlight intros.
Olympic women’s soccer: US/New Zealand at 6p on NBCSN.
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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What was the slogan for Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Games? Answer: It would appear that “The Celebration of the Century” and “Come Celebrate Our Dream” were both used. Ya got me. Kudos: John Ferlazzo-Media Consultant/London; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Mark Darnell-Golf Services/Augusta; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.
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