08/13/14: The Los Angeles Clippers enter a new era; Bill Simmons launches next chapter; 3M lands Gordon



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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 13, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Posting the words #ItsANewDay, the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA announced that the team is officially the property of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and out of the shadow of former owner Donald Sterling. “I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Mr. Ballmer said in a statement. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”


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Bill Simmons is once again extending his brand with the news that The Grantland Basketball Show will debut on Oct. 21 at 8p on ESPN. The first Grantland-branded TV series will see up to 18 one-hour episodes during the NBA season. The series will offer “lively discussion about a variety of NBA topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors.” The program will emanate from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center, with elements showcased as well on several ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and Grantland. As a result of the show, Simmons will no longer appear as an analyst on NBA Countdown.

Speaking of the NBA, NBA TV will showcase the 2014-15 NBA regular season schedule reveal during a one-hour special tonight at 6p. The NBA 2014-15 Schedule Release Special will reveal the entire regular season national television schedule, including the opening week of the season, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Rick Kamla will host the special with analyst Brent Barry.

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is already a record-setter. Playing his first preseason game in the NFL, Manziel, who faced the Lions on Aug. 9, helped set a rating and viewership record for a preseason game on NFL Network. The contest delivered a 1.81 household rating and was watched by an average of 2.82 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched game in the 11 seasons of televising preseason games on NFL Network.

We are under a week! Get ‘em while they last! Join us on Aug. 19-20 for the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit and Women of Action in NY with nearly 70 speakers and hundreds of fellow participants slated to attend. Our annual sold-out conferences continue to deliver with organizations this year that will include the NFL, College Football Playoff, CBS Sports, NBA, ESPN, Mars, NHL, EA Sports, MLS, Big East, FOX Sports, Chobani, NBC Sports, WWE, HBO Sports, Twitter, Turner Sports, SiriusXM, Soccer United Marketing, AEG, Univision, LPGA, Telemundo, IMG, Learfield Sports, US Ski and Snowboard Association, CSE, CBS Radio, Nielsen, AVP, Troika, Daytona International Speedway, Sports Illustrated, WNBA, Campus Insiders, GroupM, USA Gymnastics, Bloomberg, NeuLion, Sporting News, Omnigon, USA Today Sports Group and more! For more info and to register, click here.

NBC Olympics and Universal Sports Network will team up to carry 54.5 hours of programming dedicated to the upcoming 2014 Youth Olympic Games from Nanjing, China. NBC Olympics will air 24.5 hours of coverage, marking the first time the Youth Olympic Games will be televised on NBC and NBCSN. In addition, Universal Sports Network will provide 30 hours of Youth Olympic Games coverage. NBC Olympics’ coverage begins with the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, August 16 at 6p on NBCSN, hosted by Josh Elliott and Mary Carillo. Elliott will also serve as a studio host throughout the Youth Olympic Games. Jason Knapp, Jim Watson, and Mike Corey will provide play-by-play coverage of events throughout the Games, while veteran track and field reporter Lewis Johnson and 2006 ice dance silver medalist Tanith Belbin will handle on-site reporting duties in Nanjing.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai stated his support to end television blackout rules. The AP writes that Pai noted that the FCC needs to "be on the side of sports fans" regarding NFL rules that block games that are not sold out from being broadcast in the home team’s market.

Yahoo! Sports Radio has topped the 500 mark of affiliate partners nationwide, with recent affiliations that include: WWCS-AM/Pittsburgh, WCAR-AM Detroit, KTXX-FM/Austin, WCLT-AM/Columbus and KSGG-AM/Reno. “We are thrilled to work with our 500 tremendous partner stations on a daily basis,” said David Gow, CEO of Yahoo! Sports Radio. “The commitment of our talent, producers, sports news anchors and management team has allowed us to achieve this milestone and continually expand our reach through custom programming and unique, local and national advertiser opportunities.”

ESPN Radio’s College GameDay announced plans to open its 2014 season from Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 30, the site of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between West Virginia/Alabama. SportsCenter anchor Matt Barrie will make his debut as host this season and will be joined by analysts Brad Edwards and Trevor Matich. The show will air Saturdays through December 6, from noon-7p most weeks, and ESPN Radio will again simulcast ESPN’s College GameDay, from 10a-noon. GameDay will also broadcast from Eugene, Ore., ahead of Michigan State/Oregon on Sept. 6, as well as from Lincoln for the Miami/Nebraska matchup on Sept. 20.



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3M is heading to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2015 NASCAR season. The brand announced that it will now serve as primary sponsor of Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Chevrolet SS team. The deal will see 3M act as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement spans the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons.

Nissan formally revealed that Barcelona and Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta and Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva would serve as the brand’s first global ambassadors for its UEFA Champions League partnership. The deal will see Iniesta and Silva help the Japanese car manufacturer in “its campaign to introduce new innovations to enhance the football fan experience.” Nissan is the official global automotive sponsor of the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Champions League, with a four season deal that runs through 2018.


WWE Network has officially gone global, announcing the U.S. English language version the  platform is now available, on an over-the-top basis, in more than 170 countries and territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and the Nordics, among others. The network is expected to be live in the U.K. by this October and plans for the network in Italy, UAE, Germany, Japan, India, China, Thailand and Malaysia will be revealed at a later date. In addition, the company announced that WWE Network will be available on Sony internet connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and Blu-ray Home Theater systems. By this Friday, WWE Network will be available on Samsung Smart TV devices, Blu-ray Players and Home Theater systems as well.
USA TODAY Sports is taking on daily fantasy game, announcing the launch of Fantasy Score. The sports platform will be managed in conjunction with RT Sports, and initially offer daily NFL fantasy games to consumers before eventually expanding to include NBA, NHL and MLB options as well. According to Mark Pesavento, USA TODAY Sports’ VP of Innovation, the site will focus on sponsorships around content and free games, as well as standard management fees, to start, with the possibility of other options, included branded tournaments a possibility down the road. In addition, USA TODAY Sports has rolled its popular fantasy information service KFFL into the new USA TODAY Fantasy Sports (fantasy.usatoday.com), which will provide consumers with “comprehensive, one-stop research, projections, live scoring and dedicated daily fantasy content (including video).”


Ski Austin, NBA Executive Vice President, Events, is stepping down after 25 years at the league, effective October 3. He will remain involved with the NBA as a consultant and adviser. During his tenure at the NBA, Austin has overseen the development and production of all NBA, WNBA, NBA Development League, and USA Basketball events on a global basis. “Ski’s vision and expertise have led to tremendous growth in the scope of our events during the past 25 years,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are thankful for his extraordinary contributions during a distinguished NBA career and are fortunate that he will continue to be involved as an adviser for NBA events.”

SCORE International announced that Jim Ryan has been named the SCORE Marketing and Sales Director. Ryan most recently served as the Off-Road Group Publisher for Los Angeles’ Source Interlink Media.


Yankees/Orioles on ESPN at 7p.

N THIS DAY in 1995: Mickey Mantle died of liver cancer at age 63.

In The Know: Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were collectively known by what nickname? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: In honor of the great Robin Williams… his movie The Best of Times centered on redemption in what sport? Answer: Football. Kudos: Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Media/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Mike Lee-BPN/NY; Ken Nice-Yoh/Silver Spring; Michael Goodman-Radio-One Atlanta/Atlanta; Melissa Pattillo-Turner Sports/Atlanta; Tony Ferranti-MMSI/Warwick; Charles Kundrat-The Band Inc./Denver; Michael Jaquet-US Ski and Snowboard Assoc./Park City; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA; Alan Perris/Beverly Hills; Dennis Treleven-Fox Networks Group/LA.

Later — Chris
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JOB OPENING: DIR, ANALYTICS & BRAND MKTG/SPIKE/NY: Measure, report, and analyze all key performance indicators across mktg initiatives. BA Deg req’d w/ 8-10+ yrs relevant work exp in a mktg analytics role 3+ yrs mngmnt exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/20)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH PROFESSIONAL/Litton Entertainment/Charleston SC: Provide rsch/analysis supporting corp sales. TV rsch exp in ad agency or TV ind a must. BS deg & 6 yrs of TV exp req’d. MRI/Simmons, Ad Views & Nielsen sys knwlg req’d. Resumes HERE (8/20)

JOB OPENING: SCHEDULING SPECIALIST/Lifetime/NY: Resp for scheduling, dissemination, tracking & upkeep of all scheduling information & prgrm records. Create & update/maint all Air Schedules. Sched/rsch exp and able to multi task a must. Full info apply HERE (8/20)

JOB OPENING: DIR OF DEVLPMNT/NY: Established Prodco. Create and cast new shows for cable. 3+ yrs exp. mandatory. Must send job specific cover letter. [email protected] (8/19)

JOB OPENING: SVP, BRAND CREATIVE/Comedy Central/NY: Lead team to dvlp all branding/mktg; Min 12 yrs brand-building exp. Digital creative background a must. Strong comedic dvlp background a + Apply HERE (8/19) 

JOB OPENING: DR SALES ASSISTANT/TVI Media/NYC: Part-time. Daily maint of all accts from booking orders, pulling reports & brand allocations. Work closely with traffic depts all areas scheduling/inv mngmnt. Dig media knwlg a must. Resumes HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST/Viacom/NYC: Create, collect, analyze & interpret audience/Nielsen data. 1+ year media research exp. Strong analytical skills. Nielsen based apps/measurements exp. required. Apply HERE (8/15) 

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASST/NICKELODEON/Minneapolis: Freelance position.Support Nick Target Team w/general admin support incl mng calendar, book travel etc. Self-starter, highly orgnzd & able to multi task.  Resumes HERE (8/14) 

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASST/LEGAL CLERK/Maya Cinemas/LA: Work directly to support CEO, General Counsel, etc. Highly orgnzd a must for fast-paced & entrepreneurial envir. Script coverage background, bilingual English/Spanish a +. Resume HERE (8/14) 

JOB OPENING: PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR/NBCU/NYC: NBCUniversal is looking for a Partnership Director for CNBC Digital. Apply HERE (8/14)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER Nightly News/NBCU/NYC: Description: work with Sr Prods & AP to create original news content, primarily for Broadcast, write and produce segments, pitch original stories, min 5 yrs network news exp. Apply HERE (8/14)

JOB OPENING: MGR SOCIAL & SALES/NBC/Univ. City, CA: Manage advertiser integrations on NBC social channels; 3 yrs exp with social and/or digital advertising required. Job#14229BR Apply HERE (8/14)

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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: The Zazoom Media Group/NYC Fall Business Internship program provides a unique opportunity for eligible students to gain broad hands-on experience in a dynamic digital video company. For more and to apply, go to www.zazoomvideo.com (8/14)

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