Grim news from the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which filed charges against ten people in connection with fraud, corruption and bribery involving high school basketball athletes and NCAA college basketball programs. Among those arrested were: Lamont Evans, an associate coach of Oklahoma State University; Chuck Person, an associate coach of Auburn University; Emanuel “Book” Richardson, an assistant coach of the University of Arizona; and Tony Bland, an associate coach of the University of Southern California. Meanwhile, James Gatto, adidas’ director of global sports marketing for basketball, is now accused of getting $100,000 to an “All-American high school basketball player” in a move to drive the player to join a school that has an apparel contract with adidas. “The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one,” Joon H. Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a Tuesday news conference. “Coaches at some of the nation’s top programs soliciting and accepting cash bribes. Managers and financial advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes. And employees of one of the world’s largest sportswear companies secretly funneling cash to the families of high school recruits.”
Fox Networks Group inked Verizon and Volkswagen as sponsors for FOX Sports’ broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. As part of multi-platform deals, Verizon will sponsor the halftime shows, one for each of the 64 matches airing across FOX Sports, while Volkswagen will sponsor the post-game shows, which will air after every match. More than a dozen advertisers have already boarded FOX Sports record-breaking 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia coverage. Additionally, FOX Sports is in advanced discussions with FIFA partners including adidas and Coca-Cola to also come aboard.
Callaway Golf Company extended its relationship with Phil Mickelson, inking a renewal that will see Mickelson continue to play a full complement of Callaway Golf equipment throughout his professional career. “Phil has meant so much to Callaway and to the game of golf,” said Callaway Golf President and CEO, Chip Brewer. “He is a dynamic athlete and an iconic ambassador. We are excited to continue our relationship with him for years to come.”
The PGA TOUR renewed its agreement with Twitter to serve as the exclusive global platform to distribute, on a free basis, more than 70 hours of live competition from PGA TOUR LIVE across 31 tournaments during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. Twitter will begin live streaming at the CareerBuilder Challenge on Jan. 18 and conclude its service at the season-ending TOUR Championship in September. “We have seen tremendous growth of PGA TOUR LIVE during our streaming partnership with Twitter,” said Rick Anderson, Chief Media Officer of the PGA TOUR. “The positive feedback from our fans was resounding following the initial year of streaming PGA TOUR LIVE to Twitter’s global audience. We look forward to continuing the relationship to reach new audiences and driving new value for our advertisers.”
Meanwhile, Tough Mudder is partnering with Facebook to deliver original, live event sports and fitness programming on Watch. Facebook will now be the exclusive video platform for the new $50,000 Tougher Mudder Championship race series and Weekly Tough Mudder Bootcamp fitness studio classes. Viewers will also be able to get in shape with weekly, live fitness classes streamed from Tough Mudder’s new fitness studio offering, Tough Mudder Bootcamp.
DraftKings named Fanxchange as its official live event ticketing partner. Through the partnership, Fanxchange will provide DraftKings customers with access to live sporting events through exclusive promotional assets across DraftKings’ web, mobile, DK Live and DKTV platforms. “We know that 60% of our customers watch more live sports since they started playing fantasy contests on our platform,” said Jeremy Elbaum, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, DraftKings. “This partnership lets us tap into our customers’ unrivaled passion and bring it to life.”
Univision Communications and Sportsrocket announced today that UCI Live, UCI’s in-house experiential marketing unit, has tapped Sportsrocket to exclusively live stream the inaugural Prospects Cup, a landmark boys U12 soccer event taking place in December 2017. In addition, Sportsrocket’s proprietary digital platform will also provide extensive media distribution, including tournament highlights and social video creation.
fuboTV announced a multi-year agreement with MSG Networks and will become the first live streaming OTT service to launch the company’s regional sports networks MSG and MSG+. fuboTV will make the networks available to subscribers of Fubo Premier in the coming days and carry the MSG Networks throughout their regional footprint.
SendtoNews reports that the August US comScore rankings saw that company draw a record 9,190,000 unique views, up 21% month over month. Other stats saw the company reach 3.7 million unique females and 5.4 million unique males viewers.
Lagardere Sports added another jewel to its esports crown, signing Splyce to the client list where the agency will oversee the team’s sales and help deliver new sponsors and developing individual marketing campaigns for the team. The agreement will focus on Europe and Asia as well as global opportunities. “Our partnership with Splyce enables us to demonstrate our activities and strengths beyond the borders of Europe, within the Asian market. We very much look forward to this collaboration and to increasing the number of games titles in our portfolio, for instance Starcraft 2 and Rocket League”, added Moritz Altmann, Senior Director of esports at Lagardère Sports.
Ligue 1 staple Paris Saint-Germain is going all in on Rocket League, announcing a three-person team that will compete professionally for the esports title. Making up the team will be Dan ‘Bluey’ Bluett, Thibault ‘Chausette45’ Grzesiak, and Victor ‘Ferra’ Francal.
Cubs/Cardinals at 7p on ESPN.