09/23/16: The NBA’s data play; Formula 1 eyes US targets; Turner maps the Ryder Cup


Watch Heisman frontrunner Lamar "Action" Jackson on CBS Sports Network

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Good morning. It’s Friday September 23, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NBA locked in a multiyear partnership with Sportradar and Second Spectrum designed to expand the league’s global stats distribution and implement a new league-wide player-tracking system. The deal launches with the 2017-18 season, where Sportradar will beef up availability of statistical information for the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League and deliver data to fans, teams, media and other data users in more than 80 countries and territories as the league’s Official Provider of Real-time NBA League Statistics. In the meantime, this season will see Sportradar will distribute NBA data and industry standard audio-visual game feeds to gaming operators outside of the country where gaming is legal. Second Spectrum will begin installing its player-tracking system in all NBA arenas over the course of the upcoming season so that it will be fully functional by the 2017-18 season, when the company becomes the Official Optical Tracking Provider of the NBA and offers data on speed, distance, drives, paint touches and defensive impact, based on its tech.


New Formula 1 Chairman Chase Carey is looking to place roots in the US, telling formula1.com that the sport will be targeting American cities beyond Austin, including New York, Miami and Los Angeles. “There is a big untapped audience in the US. I don’t want to criticize the efforts in the past, because I don’t know the efforts in the past. Formula 1 is a great premium brand and that means to me that you want to be at a location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami. Ideally in the great cities in the world.”

NBC Olympics saw its coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games hit more than 7.8 million viewers overall across NBC and NBCSN, up 359% from the 2012 London Games, which saw 1.7 million viewers spanning 5.5 hours. Coverage averaged 143,000 viewers, up 175% from the London Paralympic Games.

Media executives Michael and Rex Lardner, along with longtime Madison Square Garden CFO Robert Pollichino, announced plans to launch a Spring League of American Football, targeting play to begin in early spring of 2018 and pitting regional teams aligned by hometowns/college/high school. The SLAF will feature ten teams and a ten game schedule, not including playoffs, pairing players in the Texas/Southwest Region against players from the Florida/Southeast Region as well as other geographically friendly areas.

BTN sees its first-ever top-15 conference matchup on Saturday when Wisconsin/Michigan State play at noon. Kevin Kugler handles play-by-play with matt Millen as analyst and Lisa Byington as reporter.

The Patriot League announced 18 basketball games to be carried by CBS Sports Network this season, as the conference announced its TV lineup. The schedule tips off on Jan. 16 with Boston University/Loyola Maryland at 7p, and an Army/Navy double bill on Jan. 21 with the women playing at 11a and the men at 1:30p. The Patriot League Men’s Basketball Championship takes place on the channel on March 8 at 7:30p,  with the Women’s Basketball Championship on March 12.

AXS TV serves up New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest event of the year on Sept. 20 at 9p with Wrestle Kingdom 10. Programming comes via a special four-week event and features commentary from Jim Ross and Josh Barnett.


Call for Entries:
3rd Annual Cynopsis Sports Leaderboard

Open to all individuals + teams worldwide including: all networks, MSOs, leagues, teams, universities, production companies, studios, producers, developers, marketing and PR firms, + ad agencies who have
 utilized social media platforms to promote a product to sports fans throughout 2016.

Deadline to Enter: October 21st
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Mizuno announced plans to step up and open a “one-of-a-kind” Mizuno Experience Center located at The Battery Atlanta. As the Official Baseball Gear Partner of the Atlanta Braves, Mizuno will also offer multiple baseball glove kiosks inside SunTrust Park where fans can check out Mizuno baseball gloves to catch foul balls during the game. In addition to the glove kiosks, Mizuno also will activate with promotional signage and branding located around SunTrust Park, Mizuno baseball and softball equipment used in the Kid’s Zone and other fan interactive features, a presenting sponsorship for three of the Braves annual Youth Baseball Tournaments and more.

The NASCAR Foundation is donating $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center as part of a multi-year partnership organized to benefit hospitalized children. The partnership will be commemorated at the first-ever NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala taking place at The Marriott Marquis in New York on Sept. 27 and marks The NASCAR Foundation’s first multi-year partnership with a New York area hospital.

David Ortiz launched a limited edition t-shirt on Teespring.com to benefit The David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which has seen the athlete help save more than 600 children in the New England area and in the Dominican Republic. The limited edition shirt was designed by Ortiz’s daughter Alex with the slogan, “Retired But Not Expired.”


Turner Sports will be teaming with Google and Ubilabs to offer the largest scale 360-degree photo experience ever for a sporting event as part of its coverage of the Ryder Cup. Interactive elements will be showcased under the “Hazeltine Explorer” banner through RyderCup.com and the suite of Ryder Cup apps. Hazeltine Explorer was developed by Turner Sports through Google’s Street View Trekker technology, leveraging more than 4300 photos. Also built on the Google Maps API is a Wayfinding feature that offers a detailed view of the course with routing instructions that account for walking paths and crosswalks to help enhance the spectator experience.

CBS Sports Digital is readying the debut of The Jonah Keri Show debuts today at 2:30p. The new half-hour live weekly show features host Keri and will stream on all CBS Sports digital platforms, offering his take on top baseball and buzzing sports stories each week, weaving in stats and numbers in a unique and entertaining format.


Riot Games laid out plans for its eSports future, following recent criticisms, with a strategy targeting revenue sharing, league partnerships, prize pools and sponsorships. The League of Legends publisher released a statement addressing the changes, noting "As we move into 2017 and beyond, we’re continuing to take steps towards a future where top LoL players have very well paid, long careers doing what they love – and where LoL esports team organizations are thriving businesses led by empowered owners who share responsibility and accountability for the long term prosperity of the sport.” The initiatives kick in at the World Championships, where Riot says 25% of Championship skins and Wards will be added to the total prize pool while another 25% will be put into the Mid-Season Invitational prize pool. Riot also announced that each of the 13 regional leagues will be guaranteed a lump sum to counter gaps in team revenue.

Blizzard announced that it will be shaking up Heroes of the Storm eSports in 2017, tipping that it will shift to a uniform online league format in North America, Europe, China, and Korea with players on the top eight teams in each region contracted and “guaranteed both compensation and regular competition.” In addition, as part of the new Heroes Global Championship program, the company will also offer more international events matching rival teams from different regions against one another as well as a promotion and relegation system that allows amateur teams competing in the Blizzard-sponsored Open Division to “know exactly what’s required to make it into the HGC league.”

YouTube announced a new videogame-driven series  titled Live with YouTube Gaming – with Geoff Keighley that will debut on Sept. 29 at 8p and feature Keighley sitting with YouTube creators, offer music performances and showcase video game world premieres.

Endemol Shine Group expanded its Legends of Gaming franchise, announcing deals to rollout the series in the Netherlands and Israel. Legends of Gaming NL launched earlier this month and has already garnered more than 155,000 subscribers and nearly 3 million views. Legends of Gaming Israel launched at the end of last month and has generated nearly 2.5 million views.


Arnaud Lagardere, General and Managing Partner of Lagardere SCA, named Andrew Georgiou as the CEO of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment. Georgiou has served as Chief Operating Officer of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment since 2014.


In a two-fer from CBS Sports, Florida/Tennessee square off on the SEC Game of the Week on CBS at 3:30p while CBS Sports Network gives us the next look at Louisville’s Lamar “Action” Jackson against Marshall at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1984: Sparky Anderson becomes the first manager to win 100 games in both the Al and NL.

In The Know: In what movie did Terry Bradshaw play Matthew McConaughey’s father? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: With which team did Wade Boggs finish his playing career? Answer: Tampa. Kudos: Peter Finan-Optimum Sports/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Eric Wright-DS Simon Media/NY; Art Salisch-Hearst Television/NY; Ken White/Charleston; Chris Faulds-CF Consulting/Toronto; James Stuart-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Kirk Agius-iHeartMedia/Tampa; Bill Robertson-WCHA/Edina; John Ward-Tennis Channel/Chicago; Gretchen Brady-KTVT/Dallas; Lance Davis-Good Karma Brands/Milwaukee; Aaron Swerdlow-Gerard Fox Law/LA;  Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Anne Wettig-Fox Cable Networks/LA; Jason Kramer-Questus/Brea.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

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