10/22/18: Examining cause marketing and the NYC Marathon

CynopsisSports
Good morning. It’s Monday October 22, 2018 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

 
Nov. 4 will see the return of one of the world’s biggest single day sporting events, the TCS New York City Marathon. In addition to being a massive participation event with a global audience, the Marathon has become one of the biggest focal points in the growing field of cause marketing. Harrie Bakst, co-founder of WCPG, one of the few firms who specialize in the intersection of cause marketing and athlete and sports engagement, answered some questions about how the Marathon has grown and who is doing the best in the space.
 
Bakst on cause marketing around events like the Marathon: It’s supply and demand.  Over 100,000 people want to run the TCS New York City marathon every year and there are only 50,000 spots. The official charity programs offer guaranteed entry into the race in exchange for raising money for over 300 charitable organizations.  It’s a fantastic fundraising platform with over $11M raised so far this year.
 
On the growth of cause marketing in sports: Consumers want and expect a brand to get behind social impact and causes from local non-profits to politically inspired issues.  I think the brands are smart and see that cause is a new platform to reach, engage, communicate and attract consumers. They also want to make a difference and tell that story from a content perspective, which is why you have seen the sponsorship spending around cause sky rocket over the last 10 years.
 
On the success stories in the space: Look no further than Nike. They were always a brand that used emotion to engage consumers and they see that cause is just another example of that — look at the most recent Colin Kaepernick example. Adidas, Patagonia and Starbucks are also excellent brands who have mastered cause marketing.
 
On successful TCS NYC Marathon engagement: New Balance, the official sponsor of the marathon does an excellent job with their support of NYRR Youth programs.  Adidas with their support of Grete Waitz’s legacy foundation AKTIV Against Cancer which supports how physical activity is an integral part of cancer treatment and post treatment.
 
On athletes doing cause marketing right: We have had several of our clients have athletes and celebrities run the TCS New York City Marathon for charity from James Blake, Amber Sabathia, Tiki Barber, and Pamela Anderson, among others. This year Teri Hatcher is running to benefit Save the Children.
 
 
ON THE AIR

The Dodgers securing their spot in the World Series drove FS1 to a 4.9/9 overnight Nielsen rating, pushing the channel to claim first-place in primetime in metered market numbers. That score was up 26% over last year’s NLCS clincher, with LA and Milwaukee both delivering best-ever numbers to the network. LA drew a 15.9/33 while Milwaukee landed a 30.7/51.
 
MLB locked in times for FOX’s coverage of the World Series, with Game 1 taking place in Boston at 8:09p. Subsequent games will take place on Oct. 24, in LA on Oct. 26, 27, and 28, and then back in Boston for potential games on Oct. 30 and 31.
 
Speaking of FOX Sports, the company reports that Michigan’s win over Michigan State on Saturday on the broadcast channel delivered a 3.7 metered market score, to rank as the highest-rated college football game of the afternoon. That marks a 236% rise over the comparable game a year ago.
 
ABC laid claim to the top college football game of the day with Purdue’s upset over Ohio State, reeling in a 4.2 overnight rating. The matchup is the third-highest-rated college football game on ESPN/ABC this season and is up year-over-year from last year’s presentation of Michigan/Penn State in the same window. In addition to ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 also recorded increases year-over-year in primetime. The SEC West matchup between Mississippi State and LSU (7-10:15 p.m., ESPN) rated a 1.7 overnight, a 70% markup from LSU/Ole Miss from a year ago. ESPN2 saw a 50% increase in its primetime window, with UCF/East Carolina topping eclipsing USF-Tulane from 2017.
 
Continuing ratings news, TBS’s exclusive coverage of the American League throughout the 2018 MLB Postseason delivered significant viewership rises across all Turner platforms.  TBS’s live game telecasts propelled the network to win the night across all of cable television nine times, per metered market delivery, delivering an average of 4,933,000 total viewers, TBS’s MLB Postseason coverage is up 55% over 2016 – the last time the network televised the American League – and generated a 7% increase over last year’s coverage, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. The 2018 MLB Postseason on TBS garnered double-digit increases across all key demos including 47% growth among People 18-49 vs. the network’s comparable coverage in 2016.
 
Finally, ESPN recorded its best NBA opening week rating since 2014 on Saturday for LeBron James’ home-opener with the Lakers, according to Nielsen. The Lakers/Rockets telecast drew a 2.5 metered market rating, also making it the highest-rated NBA regular season game on ESPN since the Warriors 73rd win game in April of 2016. Additionally, it is ESPN’s highest-rated NBA game ever on a Saturday, excluding Christmas games.
 
On the programming front, NBC Sports will showcase 150-plus hours of 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup programming this season, including nearly 90 hours of coverage on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, and more than 70 hours spanning NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app. Additional FIS Alpine Skiing coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold. The season culminates with more than 15 hours of coverage of the 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra, beginning March 13. The action gets underway on Oct. 27 from Soelden.
 
ESPN locked in coverage plans for the Major League Baseball World Series presented by YouTube TV beginning with Game 1 tomorrow. The duo of play-by-play voice Dan Shulman and analyst Chris Singleton will call every pitch of the fall classic on ESPN Radio with on-field reports from Buster Olney. Marc Kestecher will lead into each broadcast with 60-minutes of pre-game coverage with reports from Tim Kurkjian and Olney beginning at 7p. On ESPN Deportes Radio, Eduardo Ortega will have the call with analysts Orlando “El Duque” Hernández, Renato Bermudez and Jose Francisco Rivera. ESPN’s signature MLB studio show, Baseball Tonight presented by Chevrolet will be on site at the World Series with a 60-minute show at 5p and a 30-minute show at 7 p.m. for most games. SportsCenter at 6 p.m. will also be from site for Games 1-3 with host Sage Steele.
 
MSG Network launched a new three-part series featuring former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman preparing to return to the Octagon next month for his rematch against Luke Rockhold.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ENTRIES ARE NOW OPEN
*ENTER BY 12/13*
 
Cynopsis is opening the call for entries for the fifth annual Cynopsis Social Good Awards, and we encourage you to show us your work as we learn from each other and look to forge new alliances. Enter before December 13th to save. Finalists will be announced in late February and winners will be announced at the fifth annual awards event taking place this August in NYC.
 
[ 2018 WINNERS]                     [ CATEGORIES]                         [ GET STARTED]
 
SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION

The National Football League is already gearing up to celebrate its 100th season in 2019 with a year-long series of “NFL 100” events, initiatives and programming centered around fans, players and communities. A special “NFL 100” logo has been unveiled and will be prominently displayed throughout the season – during celebrations on the field, in stadiums, game broadcasts, NFL Films and NFL Network programming, and digital and social media content. In addition, the “NFL 100” logo will be featured on game balls and on every player’s game jersey in the neck area. NFL business partners will also use the logo in activations and on an array of merchandise. Among the planned celebratory programs will be NFL Media offering original programming and content to celebrate the milestone across multiple platforms.
 
Rovio Entertainment partnered with the Chicago Bulls to unveil the “Angry Birds Eye View Cam.” This brand-new camera angle will be featured on top of both backboards at all Chicago Bulls home games at the United Center throughout the 2018-2019 NBA season, providing dynamic live footage for fans from above the rim. By partnering with the Chicago Bulls, Rovio Entertainment has become the first Finnish sponsor of an NBA team.
 
 
DIGITAL & STREAMING

Bleacher Report and Carmelo Anthony’s Crea7ive are partnering up to launch B/REAL presented by Cricket Wireless, connecting “real-life heroes with influential athletes to show that star power can be found in all of us.” The series is made up of five short films that tell the stories of inspiring young people, selected by Anthony and B/R.
 
 
ESPORTS

The BIG EAST Conference announced plans to launch its inaugural BIG EAST Esports season on Sunday in partnership with ESL. Initially, participating colleges will compete in Psyonix’ Rocket League this fall fall 2018 with additional titles set to begin in spring 2019. Matches for the BIG EAST Esports season will be conducted online on ESL Play, with the top four teams from each game moving on to compete in the semi-finals, and then finals, to be streamed on Twitch.TV/ESL_rocketleague and the BIG EAST YouTube Channel.  Schedules and results for all upcoming competitions will be available on www.BIGEASTgaming.com, as well as the esports section of www.bigeast.com.
 
Super League Gaming unveiled official dates and new offerings for their 2018 Fall Season. Anchored by Super League’s City Champs Tournaments, experiences will include League of Legends, Minecraft and Clash Royale for players across the country who can participate in new monthly online competitions, while players in City Club markets will battle for supremacy of City Champs. SuperLeagueTV will showcase all of the best gameplay, as well as a slate of original content series dedicated to celebrating the Super League community. The expanded set of offerings further solidifies Super League as the defining brand in the amateur esports space. Registration is available now at www.superleague.com/signup/.
 
N3rd Street Gamers inked a deal to occupy 18,000 square feet in Lakewood, Colorado that would serve as the state’s biggest esports arena. With the aim of attracting the largest names in the esports industry to the Rocky Mountain region, Localhost Arena will also serve as a general purpose gaming center with food, drinks, and lounge space, featuring over 120 PCs, a permanent event stage, a full-service bar, and a lounge. Its primary focus will be producing esports events and tournaments.
 
League of Legends player Jian “Uzi” Zihao became the first esports personality to be sponsored by Nike, courtesy of a new endorsement deal. Uzi appears with Chinese actor Bai Jingting and basketballer LeBron James in the “Dribble &” campaign promoting James’ Shut Up and Dribble series.  
 
Tencent Games mobile hit Arena of Valor announced that this year’s International Championship will offer $600,000 in prizes, with sixteen teams competing from around the world and taking place in Thailand from Dec. 15-16. The top four teams from regionals will automatically progress to Thailand while the remaining 12 slots will be filled through qualifiers.
 
 
THE MAIN EVENT

Spurs/Lakers on NBA TV at 10:30p.
 
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
TOP WOMEN IN SPORTS
celebrating female trailblazers in the sports industry
 
Honorees are change agents who empower + inspire with their drive for innovation and inclusion.
 
Categories include: marketing, on-air talent, production, social good, social media, sports-centric brands, and technology.
 
 
ON THIS DAY in 1939: NBC becomes the first network to televise a pro football game as the Brooklyn Dodgers take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
 
In the Know: The infamous “Black Sox Scandal” of 1919 came after which team beat the White Sox to win the World Series? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
 
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What number did the Yankees retire to honor Billy Martin? Answer: #1. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Rob Casalaina-ITN/NY; Holli Sarner – Home Team Sports/NY; Aymon DeMauro-ADM Media & Marketing/NY; Randy Ingram-WISH/WNDY-TV/Indianapolis; Mark Lehman-Atlanta Braves/Atlanta; Matt Marini-NFL/NFL Films/New Jersey; Michael Narracci-NESN/ Watertown; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Hauptman/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank
 
Later – Chris
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