09.14.16 Good morning. It’s Wednesday September 14, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
FOX Sports detailed its plans for college basketball season, showcasing the Big East, Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences in addition to early season tournaments. This year’s lineup includes the Gavitt Tipoff Games between Big East and Big Ten teams on Nov. 15 on FS1 as well as the Pearl Harbor Invitational with the broadcast channel showcasing 15 games this season. The action begins Nov. 11 with Villanova/Lafayette at 6:30p on FS2. The 2016-17 FOX Sports college basketball schedule also features other regular-season tournaments, including the Las Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas Classic and Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Big East conference play launches Dec. 28 and includes the conference marathon on Jan. 16 with all 10 teams in action. Meanwhile, Pac-12 action will include 22 regular-season games.
The NCAA announced its decision to pull all championship events out of North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year stemming from the state’s controversial House Bill 2. In a statement, NCAA President Mark Emmert said that the organization said “Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships.We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships." Events included the Women’s Soccer Championship, Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, first/second rounds of the Men’s Basketball Championship, Women’s Golf Championships, Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, Women’s Lacrosse Championship, and Division II Baseball Championship.
ABC scored the three most-watched college football games across all networks in week two of the season, led by the Battle at Bristol on Saturday which scored a TV audience of 5,790,000 average viewers. Meanwhile, Tulsa/Ohio State averaged 4,057,000 average viewers while Central Florida/Michigan hit 2,918,000 average viewers. Meanwhile, Penn State/Pittsburgh handed ESPN with 2,455,000 average viewers, up 8% from the comparable window last year.
Continuing the college theme, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference detailed its programming plans with CBS Sports Network with 14 games in store. All eight NCHC teams will host a nationally televised contest on the channel, with 10 set to run on Fridays during the second half of the regular season. The network’s schedule begins Dec. 3.
ESPN is adding new full national MLB Postseason Impact Game telecasts to its schedule this month. Sept. 20 will see Giants/Dodgers on ESPN2, Sept. 23 offers Cardinals/Cubs on ESPN and Sept; 29 sees Indians/Tigers on ESPN. More MLB Postseason Impact Games on ESPN will be announced in the coming days. All MLB games on ESPN are also streamed via WatchESPN.
FNTSY Sports Network locked in a deal with the Associated Press to provide fantasy sports content, delivering topics ranging from free agent pickups to reviews of the weekend’s games. Contributing content will be Scott Engel, Adam Ronis and Nando Di Fino. “I would have been thrilled to have an article of ours appear next to something that ran on the AP wire,” said Louis M. Maione, president of Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group. “But to go over the wires and to see our name pop up on the thousands of papers and websites that the AP serves is an honor and source of great pride. And I’m even more excited for the 60-plus million fantasy players out there who now have access to award-winning content thanks to the AP taking this bold step to include fantasy sports among its many offerings. It’s a forward-thinking move that addresses the demands of AP’s clients. This is a great day for us, and a huge day for our industry.”
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NASCAR is launching a new marketing campaign for its championship run, with “Ready. Set. Chase.” Activations will include a five-part series of videos with the first outing now out and able to be viewed at NASCAR.com/TheChase featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch on foot and being pursued by his Chase competitors. In addition, for the first time, all three NASCAR OEMs are encouraging fans to get in on the action via a Chase sweepstakes with Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota each awarding one grand prize winner with a new vehicle and VIP trip for two to NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas in December. Meanwhile, in the Chase Grid Game, fans that correctly pick drivers to advance to each Chase round will be entered for a chance to win real gear from the drivers and race tracks.
Voting in now open for the 2016 Esurance MLB Awards with the inclusion of an all-new award: MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance, recognizing their favorite team’s biggest fan. Participants can choose between four Fan of the Year nominees per club with votes cast via posts on Twitter by including a desired nominee’s unique hashtag. Voting percentages will be available throughout the voting period showing in real time where each nominee stands. “We’re always looking for new and smart ways to connect with fans and bring them closer to baseball. Following our inaugural year as partner to the MLB Awards program, we spent a lot of time listening to fan feedback so that we can provide the best awards experience possible,” said Alan Gellman, Chief Marketing Officer at Esurance.
The Army Athletic Association, representing the Army/Navy Football Game locked in a multi-year sponsorship representation partnership with Play By Play Sports. The deal sees Play By Play Sports serve as the exclusive participating sponsorship sales consultant partner for the game and creating corporate partner and sponsorship programs and assisting in developing various marketing, media and branding initiatives. In addition, PBP will be responsible for cultivation and sales of game participating corporate partnerships for the matchup.
The 12th annual College Colors Day on Sept. 2, created by the Collegiate Licensing Company, saw the event rank as the biggest one to date, with over 350k fans opting to use their favorite school’s Facebook frame to show their spirit in addition to fans using a custom Snapchat geofilter at nearly 50 schools. Top schools using Facebook included: Michigan, Florida, Michigan State, West Virginia and Florida State. On Snapchat, the top schools were: West Virginia, Auburn and Clemson
FOX Sports is working with LiveLike to offer this weekend’s Ohio State/Oklahoma showdown in virtual reality. For the first time ever, fans can watch a major sporting event live in VR without special equipment through the FOX Sports VR app, a new offering from FOX Sports that is powered by LiveLike. The VR experience can be enjoyed without special VR equipment through the interactive, 360-degree viewing experience built specifically for mobile devices, or with a Gear VR or cardboard headset. “FOX Sports’ commitment to innovation makes them the perfect company for us to work with as we roll out a VR experience that allows today’s sports fan to lean-in and watch sports in an entirely new way,” said Andre Lorenceau, founder and CEO, LiveLike. “The Oklahoma vs. Ohio State game represents the beginning of our relationship with FOX Sports, and we look forward to working with them to make the FOX Sports VR app an important destination in the sports viewing experience.”
Sports Illustrated launched the first-ever MMQB Issue in which Peter King, Editor ofTheMMQB.com, and his team produce this special issue devoted entirely to the NFL. Highlights from the new issue include exclusive features on top players such as Mack, Gronkowski and McCoy as well as first-person essays from New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Jaguars defensive end Jared Odrick.
Riot is now pulling in 100 million monthly players for League of Legends, company executives told Polygon. That is up from the 67 million reported in 2014. “Our players have stuck with us with this incredible loyalty that really challenges us every day to feel like we earn it,” Brandon Beck told the site. “They’ve created this community where all this fan art is shared, and there’s all these people to hang out with and there’s all these phenomenal streams to watch with the advent of streaming. It’s all that stuff that our players have built around us that’s allowed this to happen.”
DUUL announced the national launch of their eSports contest platform designed to connect brands to gamers. In the announcement, that company stated that it would create experiences on the brand’s behalf with contests or tournaments online in synergy to whatever marketing strategies that they are already using. “DUUL is on a mission to grow the eSports experience for gamers everywhere, we believe eSports is a participation activity first, and a spectator sport second,” said Gabriel Kruse, founder of DUUL.
Orioles/Red Sox on ESPN at 7p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
3rd Annual Cynopsis Sports Leaderboard Have you utilized social media platforms to promote a product to sports fans throughout 2016? From global brands to local stations, social media has proven to be the great equalizer
and we want to see your work.
Submission Deadline: October 21st
ON THIS DAY in 1994: All 28 baseball owners vote to cancel the rest of the 1994 season.
In The Know: What former Bill is the University of Tennessee’s all-time leader in career rushing yards? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Against what two teams did John Elway win Super Bowls? Answer: Packers/Falcons. Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS/NY; RJ Simoni-ESPN/NY; Greg Conner-Tennis Channel/NY; Alexander Khilnani-NBC Sports/NY; Chris Brown-QGA Public Affairs/DC; Bill Pearce-The Record-Argus/Greenville; Jon Miller-NBC Sports/Stamford; Willy Gibson-WTG Consulting/Columbus; John Kukla-KDFW-KDFI/Dallas; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Tom Doherty-Starcom Media/Chicago; Karl Hoium-Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks/Moorhead; Scott Sarra-NBC Sports Group/Denver; David Hauptman/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Jim Himmel-TCB Media/San Clemente; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA.
Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine
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