09/20/19: ESPN locked in a long-term deal to serve as partner for the Special Olympics

 

Friday, September 20, 2019

ESPN and Special Olympics are expanding their relationship
in a new partnership extension that will see an additional eight-years of global programming and ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports. The new eight-year programming agreement will see ESPN continue as the Global Broadcast Partner of key Special Olympics events through 2027, including the World Games, World Winter Games and USA Games.
 
“The relationship between ESPN and Special Olympics spans nearly three and a half decades and has been built on a bedrock of shared belief in the power of sports to positively impact lives and make lasting change in the world” said Jimmy Pitaro, President of ESPN and co-Chair, Disney Media Networks. “In many ways, Special Olympics represents all that is great about sports.”
 
PROGRAMMING

Speaking of deals, the West Coast Conference forged two new media rights agreements, extending its long-running relationship with ESPN and launching a new television partnership with CBS Sports for WCC men’s basketball games. With the agreements, as many as 34 men’s basketball games each season will be televised on either ESPN’s networks or CBS Sports Network. The conference’s new eight-year agreement with ESPN will provide package of men’s basketball games to be broadcast on ESPN’s networks through the 2026-27 season. ESPN will carry 17 games during the regular season, along with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game of the WCC Men’s Basketball Tournament. ESPN will continue to showcase the WCC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game and a selection of additional women’s basketball or Olympic sports contests each season during the term. The Conference and CBS Sports begin a new, multi-year partnership starting with the 2019-20 season. The deal features a minimum of nine men’s basketball games each season on CBS Sports Network.
 
GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR announced a new live competition featuring Tiger Woods. The Challenge: Japan Skins will see Woods go head to head with Rory McIlroy and as well as Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama in a globally-televised skins game. Alongside special in-match challenges, each hole will be assigned an increasing monetary value as the competition plays out. Players need to win a hole outright to take a “skin” (tied holes result in a “push” of the skin to the next hole). In the US, The Challenge: Japan Skins can be viewed live on Golf Channel starting at 11p on Oct 20.
 
All Elite Wrestling and TNT unveiled the name and first official poster for their upcoming weekly show: All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite. The series begins Oct. 2 with live two-hour weekly matches on TNT at 8p. Future matches announced so far will be held in Boston, MA, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh PA, Charleston, Charlotte, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Chicago.
 
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series Championship will be decided on Sunday at 3p on NBC, as American driver Josef Newgarden battles for his second series title at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey. Pre-race coverage on Sunday will begin at 2:30p on NBC, following Rugby World Cup coverage. Live race coverage begins at 3p. Leigh Diffey will call this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey alongside Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell. NBC Sports is set to wrap up its first season as the exclusive home of INDYCAR with viewership gains across the board on NBC and NBCSN with the series averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 1.128 million viewers across 15 races on NBC and NBCSN, up 9% from last year’s viewership.
 
ESPN announced its selection for an additional MLB Postseason Impact Game picking up the Indians/White Sox matchup on Sept. 24 at 8p on ESPN. Jon Sciambi will be on the call alongside analyst Eduardo Perez and MLB Statcast Analyst Mike Petriello.
 
HBO Sports lined up Any One Of Us, a new documentary produced by Red Bull Films that chronicles pro mountain biker Paul Basagoitia’s journey to recovery after a serious injury. Offering an unprecedented look into the traumatic world of spinal cord injuries, the film debuts Oct. 29 at 9p.
Talk About a Breakfast of Champions…
NOV 8 | ThreeSixty | NYC
 
Join Cynopsis and your peers for the ultimate gathering of the industry’s innovators pushing boundaries in digital media. The awards breakfast will include a celebration of The 2019 Cynopsis Model D Awards Finalists, and a salute to inductees on the Cynopsis Digital “It List.”
 
Finalists will be announced in late-September so stay tuned!
SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

Mazda inked a three-year partnership with the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame to support the William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Mazda, college football’s scholar-athlete award. This college football season sees Mazda launch its Power of Potential Platform, a program developed to “honor individuals making a difference, pushing to their potential and inspiring others.”
 
Formula 1 announced plans for the F1 Hollywood Festival presented by Heineken in Los Angeles where fans will be able to witness current F1 teams, including Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Renault F1 Team, tear up Hollywood Blvd. on October 30. The free festival begins Oct. 29 at 10a with the unveiling of the “Hollywood Ride of Fame” car exhibition along the boulevard. “Following the huge success of our U.S. festival offering, including our Miami takeover and Chicago fan event earlier this year, we’re thrilled to be returning to the states for our third installment of F1 festivals in America,” said Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations, Formula 1.
 
Speaking of festivals, NBC Sports and the Premier League celebrate the 2019-20 season by heading southwest for the first time with the next Premier League Mornings Live fan festival in Austin on Oct. 26-27, 2019.  The two-day fan festival will take over Scholz Garten and showcase special guests, club mascots, soccer-themed fan events, contests and more. NBC Sports’ Premier League Mornings studio team of host Rebecca Lowe and analysts Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe will broadcast live from the event on NBCSN beginning at 7a.
 
The Professional Fighters League announced its support of the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation under its “PFL Fights for Communities” platform, inclusive of ticket donations, fundraising and advertising. Based in Las Vegas, the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation was founded by MMA legend, United States Army veteran, and PFL color analyst Randy Couture in 2009 to honor the veterans of America’s armed forces. The foundation was especially formed to raise money and awareness for those wounded in action and their families. PFL will host service men and women touched by the GI Foundation and MVP (Merging Vets and Players), another organization supported by Randy that aids in veteran’s transition to civilian life, and will provide free tickets to Military members and veterans throughout the 2019 PFL Playoffs.
 
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH

DAZN’s latest deal makes the platform available to Comcast customers on Xfinity Flex and will be available over the Internet to millions more on Xfinity X1 this fall. The new agreement marks DAZN’s first distribution deal with a major US video and internet provider. “We’re thrilled to give our Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex customers access to DAZN’s live and on-demand programming starting this fall just in time for some of the most highly anticipated events in sports this year,” said Daniel Spinosa, Vice President, Entertainment Services for Comcast Cable. “With new content from partners like DAZN, coupled with our aggregated UI, X1 is the best way to experience live sports at home, and with Flex we can extend this great content, integrated experience and voice control to our Internet-only customers directly on their TVs.”
 
The Vegas Golden Knights announced the launch of an official TikTok channel. Fans can follow the Vegas Golden Knights by searching “VegasGoldenKnights” on the platform. “We are thrilled to add a TikTok channel to our social media arsenal,” said Vegas Golden Knights Chief Marketing Officer Brian Killingsworth. “This platform will help us reach an exciting young audience and provide them with behind-the-scenes access to our players and organization. Furthermore, the global reach of TikTok will help us in our commitment to reaching fans across the globe as part of our VGK Worldwide initiative.”
 
ESPORTS

NFL Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman is the latest member of the athletic community to buy in to the esports industry, agreeing to a deal with Enthusiast Gaming Holdings Inc. to serve as a global ambassador and shareholder for the Company’s esports brand, Luminosity Gaming. Sherman will help support Enthusiast’s growth and success while partnering with the Luminosity brand in addition to attending Luminosity and Enthusiast Gaming live activations throughout the year, while challenging other NFL players to team play with the company’s Call of Duty team, which is based in Seattle. Sherman’s “player challenge” games will be streamed publicly across the Luminosity network. He will also contribute to building out the Company’s professional player roster, as Captain of Luminosity’s esports organization.
 
The Arena of Valor International Championship 2019 will take place in Thailand this November, with 12 top Arena of Valor teams from around the world battling for a $500,000 prize pool. Teams will be decided by regional tournaments across nine divisions.
 
Activision Blizzard named Dan Mazei to oversee its global communications for the company’s esports division, per THR, which includes the Overwatch League and Call of Duty leagues. Mazai previously served at Reebok, where he led the apparel company’s global pr, digital content and social media divisions.
 
INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES

World Rugby and IMG announced that the Rugby World Cup 2019 licensing program is set to be the event’s largest and most successful ever. With IMG signing more than 45 local and international licensees for the first Rugby World Cup, pre-tournament sales of the official online store have already outperformed those of the 2015 tournament’s in England by over 50%.
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Notre Dame/Georgia on CBS at 8p on Saturday.
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ON THIS DAY in 2000
The Knicks trade Patrick Ewing to the Seattle SuperSonics.
 
In the Know
Patrick Ewing wore #33 for all but one of his teams. For which pro team did he wear #6? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your company and city).
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Who served as John Madden’s broadcast partner in the booth for more than two decades? Answer: Pat Summerall. Kudos: John Ferlazzo/London; Pete Gautieri-A&E Networks/NY; Brian Jacobs-ICM Partners/NY; Brian Ricco-MultiVision Media, Inc./NY; Jim Bono
NBCUniversal Hispanic Sports/Hispanic Group/NY; Rick Ramage-United Talent Agency/NY; Marc “Blue” Bluestein-Aquarius Sports and Entertainment/DC; Derek Houston-Atlanta Braves/Atlanta; Brianne Maciejowski-Miles/Sarasota; Tim Overmyer/Atlanta; Will Allmendinger-Clear Channel Outdoor/Chicago; Matt Fumagalli-NBC/Chicago; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Kathryn Kieser-Haworth Marketing and Media/Minneapolis; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Rich Wolfe-Lone Wolfe Press/Scottsdale; Allison Stevens-Comcast Spotlight/San Francisco; Eric Burak-Famous Group/Culver City; Andy Babb-Super League Gaming/Santa Monica; Lawrence Fan-San Jose State University Athletics/San Jose

Later~~Chris
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