10/01/18: The Latino audience is a prime target for MLB going into a busy postseason

Good morning. It’s Monday October 1, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Engaging with the Latino consumer remains a challenge, especially in sports. As we hit the halfway point of Hispanic Heritage Month and MLB readies for the playoffs, one company that is addressing that issue is TeamWorks Media and their 18-month-old platform La Vida Baseball. La Vida tells stories around baseball from the perspective of the stars of the sport to an audience that consumes media in both English and Spanish.  We asked CEO Jay Sharman to explain La Vida’s success.

On the opportunity for La Vida Baseball in a crowded digital space: We believe passionately engaged members of a digital publishing community are more valuable than scaled content machines. The passion and thirst for baseball content by US Latino population, which is now nearly 57 million strong and growing, is quite an opportunity. We see the opportunity to build a robust, hyper-connected community that celebrates Latino baseball through much more than story. It’s a brand and an identity that we’re finding represents a positive commonality bringing people together at an important time in our country.

On connecting with the audience: The biggest success in building the brand came from our strong relationship with the actual MLB players who embraced our team from the get-go. Latino MLB players were so receptive since our team’s explained what we were trying to do and would interview them in English or Spanish on topics they cared about. Additionally, player agents, MLB teams, and the head offices of Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball embraced what we doing. In an era of paid social media influencers, all of these constituents regularly share our content for us, because they believe in the brand and the stories resonate.

On the underserved Latino market for sports content: The digital media space was tailor-made to support passion niches and there was a gaping hole for baseball content geared specifically to the US Latino baseball fan. Few sports marketers seem to understand that the majority of US Latinos consume sports media in English. Nearly one of every three MLB players is Latino and it is one of the top three favorite sports among Latinos, yet there was no media entity giving a customized voice to the Latino baseball community.

On partners: Major League Baseball, the Smithsonian and the Atlanta Braves have all engaged us in the past year. We’re in conversations with several brands for marketing partnerships for 2019, now that we’ve achieved a consistently engaged audience that reaches 6 million US Latino baseball fans per month.

On How La Vida Fits Into TeamWorks Media: La Vida Baseball is one of three digital media publishing brands we run along with BTN (Big Ten Network)’s Live B1G brand and the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s new TennisWorthy brand we launched in July.


Ryder Cup Day 2 on NBC numbers were relatively flat for Overnights (1.7), however streaming was up +552% vs. 2014 with 15.7 million minutes. Golf Channel’s Day One coverage on Friday posted a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 765k average viewers across a 10+ hour telecast, up 12% vs. 2014 (685k, Gleneagles, Scotland, last European Ryder Cup venue). Golf Channel’s average viewership posted 732k persons 2+, up 9% vs. 2014 (673k). Streaming garnered 20.6 million minutes, up 160% vs. 2014 (7.9m) and a 33k average minute audience, up 175% vs. 2014 (12k).

College Football for Week Five on ABC hit another high spot, with Ohio State-Penn State delivering a 6.1 overnight. The Big Ten showdown was among the network’s highest-rated September Saturday games on record. ABC’s primetime success completed a week which saw the network televise the two highest-rated games and grow its own ratings by 63% year-over-year across its tripleheader.

Saturday’s Notre Dame-Stanford primetime game on NBC (2.56 overnight rating) was up 20% vs. last year’s Notre Dame-USC primetime matchup (2.14), with Indianapolis (7.4) and San Francisco (4.7) ranked as the top local markets.

Thursday Night Football in Week 4 was seen by an average audience of 15.1 million viewers across all broadcast platforms, including FOX, NFL Network, FOX Deportes, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital, Amazon, and Yahoo Sports – up 6% versus the 2017 10-game Thursday Night Football average (TV + all digital).

“Behind The Glass: New Jersey Devils Training Camp” hits week two Monday on NHL Network.  The first series of its kind focused on the NHL preseason, each 30-minute episode of “Behind The Glass” offers fans an unprecedented look inside the NHL preseason through the lens of the Devils, who are coming into the 2018-19 NHL regular season following their first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance in six years. Produced by NHL Network in association with NHL Original Productions, “Behind The Glass” follows the Devils organization through every step of the preseason, showing viewers all that goes into constructing an NHL roster, from rookies reporting to veterans looking to make an impact, and final roster cuts.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Cynopsis Rising Star Awards will honor stand-out performers, innovators and emerging leaders in the TV Media industry. These young professionals’ experience spans research, sports, digital, content and marketing and this awards program is designed to encourage and reward their exceptional accomplishments. Nominate yourself, or the most promising 30 or under professionals on your team today.

The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has signed a long-term deal with Macron, making Macron the official league kit provider beginning with the 2019 CPL season. The deal has the Italian-based company set to supply custom-designed playing kits and training gear for Canadian Premier League clubs; HFX Wanderers FC, York 9 FC, Forge FC, Valour FC, FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC and Pacific FC squad and coaching staff.

AG Health, a Florida-based innovator and pioneer of Endocannabinoid Nutrition (ECN), announced their official sponsorship of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The deal makes the NWHL the first National Professional Sports League to accept a sponsorship by a company in the hemp industry.

espnW announced its roster of sponsors for the ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota. Toyota returns as the presenting sponsor for the sixth year. Returning sponsors Gatorade, Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble and the V Foundation for Cancer Research will also be joined by first time sponsors Major League Baseball and Specialized Bicycles. The event is today through Wednesday in Newport Beach, Calif.

The New York Red Bulls announced New Jersey-based Brisas Bakery & Restaurant as the club’s official empanada in what the team claims is the first such sponsorship of any pro sports team in the country.

Tottenham Hotspur named New Era as its Official Headwear Licensee. As part of the multi-year deal, New Era will produce dual-branded Spurs headwear, for sale online and in-store retail channels. New Era will also supply Spurs’ official retail outlets, including the Tottenham Experience store at the club’s forthcoming stadium.

Headphones brand AfterShokz has signed NASCAR drivers Bubba Wallace and Chase Elliott as endorsers in a deal that includes social media promotions and personal appearances.

The Complete SET Agency took a look at the most active college football coaches in social:

– Of the 131 coaches examined, 120 were active on Twitter in some way, and all of the 120 have either actively posted original content or have retweeted team or school related content in the past two weeks.

– Leading the way was Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and his 2.1 million followers, while Ohio State’s Urban Meyer was second with 1.9 million followers.  Third was Miami’s Mark Richt at just shy of 500k, but no less than 25 college coaches gave solid followings of over 100,000.

– On Instagram the engagement is much less, but still 37 have active accounts, much more than any other group of coaches, owners of GM’s in sport in North America.

The Major League Baseball Players Association is going full swing into esports, announcing a partnership with UMG Media Corp. to launch the first-ever esports series of competitions for Major League Baseball players. Both active and retired players will compete against each other in esports play. The action begins with the MLBPA Fortnite Challenge with online matches on Monday and culminates with a live Championship in Las Vegas in December. Fans will be able to follow their favorite baseball players through the Challenge Series as the matches will be streamed through www.twitch.tv/umgevents. UMG also partnered with Caesars Entertainment and The Wall Gaming Lounge to host the Live Championship Finals where the Live Final will host 16 teams of Major League Players competing for the MLBPA Challenge Series title as well as cash prizes.
A new report from ESPN states that applications from Splyce as well as for a joint venture between H2K Gaming/Paris Saint-Germain were declined for permanent slots in the European League Championship Series as Riot narrows down potential partners for its franchises. Around 24 applicants were invited to Berlin to meet with league owner and game dev Riot Games over the course of July, August and September. Splyce and H2K will now depart the league and both will be compensated with an exit payment based off the number of splits they’ve competed in the league, according to the report.
The Los Angeles Valiant revealed the four schools that will clash as part of the festivities for the Overwatch California Cup, hosted by the Valiant and the San Francisco Shock. The event will feature collegiate esports teams representing UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UCI Esports with the showcase beginning Oct. 20 at Santa Ana.

Laura Gentile was named Senior Vice President of Marketing at ESPN, continuing her rise at the company. She and her team will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the ESPN brand across all media and building upon a catalogue of award-winning creative. Additionally, she will focus on expanding the brand’s reach to new audiences and sports fans.


Milwaukee Brewers vs Chicago Cubs at 1p and Colorado Rockies vs Los Angeles Dodgers at 4p, both tiebreakers – both on ESPN.
Talk About a Breakfast of Champions…
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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 2018 Cynopsis Model D Awards Finalists, and a salute to inductees on the Cynopsis Digital “It List.” Register before October 30th to save $100 on your ticket!

ON THIS DAY in 1903 the First Baseball World Series game was played; Pittsburgh Pirates beat Boston Americans 7-3 at Huntington Avenue; Jimmy Sebring hits first home run; Deacon Phillippe is winning pitcher and Cy Young the loser.
In the Know: The Mets honored David Wright amid much fanfare this weekend. Who was the first number the team ever retired? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be  sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: How wide is a regulation NHL goal? Answer: Six feet wide  Congrats: Michael Ritz, BucStar consulting, Mike Doyle NCM,  Peter Lasser, Lasser Productions Andy Pittman TAMU, Rich Boland, OATH, David Westberg SAGAFTRA Federal Credit Union, Tom Moore Kalt Productions, Phyllis McQuillan MSG Networks, Art Salisch, Director, Hearst Television, and Matthew Sautter Account Manager WideOrbit Inc.
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