09/29/16: NHL adds CMO amid internal shifts; ESPN is ready to get Wild; Kellogg takes another scoop of Team USA


Good morning. It’s Thursday September 29, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The NHL named Heidi Browning as the league’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer as part of a series of moves within the organization. She joins after leading digital marketing strategies and solutions for companies that most recently included Pandora, along with Fox Interactive Media and Universal McCann and will now focus on digital and social initiatives and developments for the league. She will be responsible for executing the League’s marketing campaigns, including strategy, creative development, production and distribution. In addition, Browning will oversee the League’s environmental initiatives as well as its public affairs efforts. She will work with MLBAM across the League’s social platforms to devise distribution strategies and content initiatives.

In addition, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Executive Vice President Brian Jennings has been named Chief Branding Officer and will be charged with the identity, development and positioning of the League’s brand, with a focus on developing and integrating the League’s brand image and messaging into all League advertising. Steve Mayer will assume the title of EVP and Chief Content Officer, Events and Entertainment while Stephen McArdle, EVP Strategic Planning, also has been named Chief Administrative Officer. EVP David Proper receives the title EVP Media and International Strategy, while Keith Wachtel will continue to oversee global corporate sponsorship, digital and NHL Network ad sales and now will assume the title of Chief Revenue Officer.


ESPN laid out plans for the 2016 MLB National League Wild Card Game telecast presented by Hankook Tire, set to air on the network on Oct. 5 at 8p with the Mets and Giants currently on track for the showdown. Dan Shulman, Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone, along with reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary for the telecast. The network also offer three consecutive hours of pre-game, including two, one-hour episodes of Baseball Tonight from a set inside the stadium.
FOX Sports steps up for the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup in Jordan starting Friday with games running across FS1, FS2 and FOX Soccer Plus. This morning sees Venezuela/Germany at 7:55a on FS2 while USA kicks off Saturday against Paraguay at 11:55a. Broadcasters include a rotation of announcers who were part of FOX Sports’ 2015 Women’s World Cup coverage, including Angela Hucles; Danielle Slaton and Kyndra de St. Aubin.

SportsCenter:AM anchor Kevin Negandhi inked new, multi-year agreement to remain with the company. "I’m really excited about the future, and that future involves ESPN," said Negandhi. per ESPN. "To be able to reach my 10th year at ESPN this year and now go above and beyond that means a lot."

The Missouri Valley Conference announced an 104-event package set to run on ESPN networks during the 2016-17 academic year. The Valley will see 41 men’s basketball telecasts on its platforms with another 63 MVC events that include: regular-season baseball; women’s basketball; postseason championships for women’s and men’s soccer, volleyball, indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s basketball, softball and baseball. An additional 450 live events by Conference institutions will be delivered exclusively by The Valley on ESPN3 — the league’s co-branded digital network with ESPN. The ESPN men’s basketball package opens with Tulsa/Wichita State on Nov. 16 on ESPN3.

SiriusXM preps for the NBA season with the launch of an "all-encompassing" series that will preview all 30 NBA teams leading up to the 2016-17 NBA season. The SiriusXM NBA Radio Season Preview Series runs on SiriusXM’s NBA channel and offers 30 hour-long shows with a look at each team and its roster as they prepare for the coming season.

Pac-12 Networks is tapping IMS Productions to provide a customized mobile production unit to boost multicam productions for the league’s live Olympic sport events. Dubbed Killer Frost, the unit was first utilized in late August.


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Kellogg Company renewed ties with the USOC in a partnership extension that will run through the 2018 and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Kellogg’s sponsorship category covers hot and cold cereal as well as granola, portable breakfasts and frozen breakfast. "It is an honor to continue to be associated with the USOC, and to help the athletes of Team USA achieve their dreams of representing our country at the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Paul Norman, president of Kellogg North America. "Together, we will continue to celebrate the things that drive people to get up in the morning, and what inspires them to reach their full potential each day."

GarageMonkey hits the "Road to SEMA" with a promotional road trip leading up to the 50th anniversary SEMA Show in Las Vegas from Nov. 1-4. Platform partners like Jason Fenske of "EngineeringExplained," Eric Cook of "EricTheCarGuy," and Chris of "ChrisFix," among others, will spend the week leading up to the event traveling together to meet-and-greet events with local fans at sponsor venues and create content with integrated sponsors for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and other key placements. Once in Vegas, the GarageMonkey personalities will participate in a SEMA keynote stage panel about social influencer marketing in the automotive industry.


Golf Channel will be promoting the Ryder Cup with real-time sports gaming app FanBeat in a move to drive the social conversation surrounding the event. Through the Golf Channel Mobile App, users can download FanBeat to compete for prizes as they’re watching the matches.

The NFL partnered with on-demand ecommerce platform Teespring for a limited-edition campaign that will see over 30 celebrities and musicians design shirts celebrating their favorite NFL teams and hometowns. Among the participants – Dierks Bentley, Eminem, Fall Out Boy, Fergie, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Mraz, KISS, Linkin Park, Mac Miller, One Republic, and more on Teespring.com. "Together with the NFL we are empowering a select group of leading music artists to showcase their love of football in new ways," said Walker Williams, Teespring Co-Founder and CEO.

TuneIn serves up Vin Scully’s final broadcast on Oct. 2. The call will be available on TuneIn’s MLB Radio on Sunday, along with other professional and collegiate sports available for live streaming.


In this week’s edition of Cynopsis eSports & Gaming

  • Following investment by 76ers/Leonsis/Guber, how will influx of sports resources benefit the eSports industry?
  • Collegiate StarLeague plots campus tour
  • ELeague’s major deal
  • ESL hits Brooklyn with a Cybersmile
  • Sony revs up for the PlayStation Experience 2016
  • How Fuse will leverage its eSports play
  • Trailer of the Week


TNF offers Dolphins/Bengals on CBS, NFL Network and Twitter at 8p.


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ON THIS DAY in 1946: The Los Angeles Rams play their first NFL game in LA.

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Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Last season saw North Dakota win its eighth NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Championship. Which school has won more? Answer: Most popular – Minnesota. Correct – Michigan. Kudos: Traci Liner-WME/IMG/NY; Denis Barry-CBS/NY; Mark McDonald-ESPN/NY; John Cwodzinski-CBS Interactive/NY; Allison Wright-Viacom/Detroit; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; David Hauptman/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Julie Shields-Alaska Aces/Anchorage

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