|SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
TNT announced a new ad campaign to promote All Elite Wrestling program, “AEW Dynamite.” The new ad is part of AEW’s “Boundless” campaign and was created and directed by Director X (Julien Christian Lutz). “Boundless” tells the “underdog story of the stars of AEW, who, with a true passion for the sport, bet on themselves and created a new kind of wrestling league, drawing millions of fans to their dynamic, action-packed TNT ‘AEW Dynamite’ weekly events.” “Director X is the perfect partner to showcase the AEW brand with his distinct visual style that uniquely speaks to a new generation,” said Melissa Chambless, EVP of Marketing, TNT, TBS and truTV. “His ability to bring these wrestlers’ incredible stories to life in such an authentic way thoroughly manifests our Boundless campaign.”
BioSteel revealed a multi-year relationship with Learfield IMG College and will now serve as an Official Sponsor of the college basketball tournaments, deemed “Bubbleville” and the NABC’s Hall of Fame Classic, both of which tip off next week. The brand also becomes the Official Sports Drink of the Atlantic 10 Conference, Northern Illinois University (NIU) Athletics, and University of North Dakota (UND) Athletics.
The Seattle Seahawks announced that its home venue will now be known as Lumen Field. “Through a shared vision and commitment to serving the Seattle community, we are proud to enter a new era of world-class sports and entertainment with Lumen Field,” said Chuck Arnold, President, Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc. “For nearly two decades, the stadium has made its mark as a premier Seattle venue, and a place for the community to experience thrilling victories, establish sacred traditions, and witness unforgettable moments together. We are excited to build upon that legacy and experience amazing things at Lumen Field for years to come.”
Angel City Football Club, LA’s newest professional women’s sports team, will call the Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California Stadium it’s home venue when the team takes the field for the National Women’s Soccer League in Spring 2022. “Announcing our venue partner is a major milestone for Angel City, and we could not be more excited than to play in this spectacular venue right here in the heart of Los Angeles,” said ACFC Founder and President, Julie Uhrman. “We are building a club for all Los Angelenos, united in their support of women’s soccer and the magic that L.A. brings to its fans, players, and teams.”
DIGITAL, DATA & TECH
Bally’s Corporation and Sinclair Broadcast Group are dealing a long-term strategic partnership that blends Bally’s vertically integrated, proprietary sports betting technology and expansive market access footprint with Sinclair’s portfolio of local broadcast stations and live regional sports networks, STIRR, Tennis Channel, and digital and over-the-air television network Stadium. The deal sees Bally’s set to integrate content into the 190 television stations that Sinclair owns, operates or provides services to across 88 markets and its sports networks while the 21 FOX RSN brands will be rebranded using the Bally name.
Pac-12 Networks announced the launch of Pac-12 Insider on its fifth partner, The Roku Channel. “We’re excited to welcome the Pac-12 to The Roku Channel, enabling our millions of engaged users to experience the action and excitement of Pac-12 Insider,” said Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD Growth, Roku. “As the #1 TV streaming platform in the U.S.*, we are focused on getting our users to the entertainment they want. Sports is an important category and with the addition of Pac-12 Insider, we’re offering a front row seat to free, ad-supported sports programming.”
ONE Championship announced a multifaceted global partnership with Facebook that includes distribution of exclusive content on Facebook Watch, a Facebook Gaming channel in which ONE’s top athletes will stream gameplay and gaming commentary, and the addition of ONE Virtual Reality content to the Venues app on the Oculus platform. The deal includes an agreement to deliver custom content to martial arts fans globally, featuring unique camera angles, behind-the-scenes footage and more, exclusively made for Facebook Watch and IGTV as well as the joint launch of ONE Championship and ONE Esports Facebook Gaming channel.
The Detroit Pistons is teaming with Legends to operate e-commerce merchandising for the organization. Pistons313shop.com launched and will serve as the official team merchandise website for the organization. Featuring designer men’s, women’s and youth apparel, official NBA team-licensed on-court team gear such as player jerseys, warm-ups, shooting shirts and novelty items for Pistons fans of all ages, the new online destination will also serve as the merchandise home for the Pistons’ NBA G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise and the club’s NBA 2K League eSports team, Pistons Gaming Team.
The National Lacrosse League reached a landmark partnership with Fanatics to bring the league’s online merchandise and retail efforts into one consolidated location for all NLL clubs. The new online destination, NLLShop.com, is now live and accessible to fans worldwide.
Visa and the NFL finalized plans for safer and more secure payments via a cash-free future for the Super Bowl. Visa, the “Official Payment Services Technology Partner” of the NFL, will now enable “seamless, safe and secure digital payments at the big game this season and beyond.” Super Bowl LV will now offer 100 percent digital payment acceptance for fans throughout the stadium on game day, including parking, concessions, retail, mobile ordering, and more.
ReKTGlobal named Brad Sive to serve as the company’s new Chief Revenue Officer where he will spearhead strategic planning, digital marketing, sales, media buying, branding and partnerships. He will also develop a sales team, identify new partners and help drive revenue streams for the company.
Ultimate Gamer announced a multi-year partnership with Kinguin, in a move that will see Kinguin power Ultimate Gamer’s online store, enabling Ultimate Gamer’s community to have access to over 45,000 gaming titles. Future plans include on-location activation at Kinguin’s Esports Performance Center and Kinguin Esports Lounge in Europe, elite training and entertainment centers designed for esports players, and at Ultimate Gamer’s headquarters in Florida.
BLAST Premier inked a new partnership with the BBC that will see the esports tournament organizer’s final three Counter-Strike events of the 2020 season be carried on the company’s digital platforms. Overall, the BBC iPlayer will showcase over 120 hours of Counter-Strike action across three events.
Esports personality Susie Kim announced the launch of SUSIE, a new social token for fans that is powered by Rally, an open platform that allows crypto-interested creators, influencers, celebrities and brands to launch their own currency. Additionally, she announced will be joining Rally as an advisor for esports and gaming communities.
INDUSTRY & ROSTER MOVES
Following its global rebranding, SPORTFIVE restructured its corporate marketing and communications department, David Rothenhaeuser, who also lead the global rebranding of the agency, will be responsible as Vice President and Global Head of Marketing Communications for SPORTFIVE’s comprehensive global marketing and communications strategy, while at the same time managing the agency’s local activities in the DACH region in the operational business.
Excel Sports Management named Jose Duverge as Sr. Director of Corporate Partnerships and Teshawn Guy as Finance Analyst for the company.
SPORTS BROADCAST JOURNAL w/David J. Halberstam
Lots of good notes and tidbits: Can ESPN Radio take away the NCAA Tournament from Westwood One? CBS’ 30 year veteran Bill Macatee retires. Future of remote broadcasts and more.
Halby’s Morsels: ESPN Radio, NCAA Tourney?; Remote broadcasts long term?; NBA new hires; Bill Macatee
A detailed review of CBS’ coverage of last weekend’s Masters. The ratings took a major hit versus last year’s, April, 2019. Still CBS delivered an A-.
Masters in November: Didn’t matter, CBS was on its game; Network gets A-; ESPN’s Van Pelt candid
NBC gets the spotlight game this weekend on Sunday night. The Chiefs travel to Las Vegas hoping to avenge their only loss of the season, an October defeat by the Raiders. There are 11 Sunday afternoon games that’ll run on CBS and Fox. Market break outs, talent and notes are all included
NFL Week #11: NBC takes spotlight carrying Chiefs-Raiders from Las Vegas Sunday night
The college football schedule is full with one caveat, postponements and cancellations due to Covid protocols. Networks, talent, times and notes make for a handy reference.
College Football Week #12 schedule cut again by postponements; #9 Indiana at #3 Ohio State on FOX
Bill Hillgrove, 11/20 Longtime Voice, Steelers and U of Pitt sports
Rick Monday, 11/20 Dodgers broadcaster
Troy Aikman, 11/21 FOX Sports/NFL
Dick Stockton, 11/22 Veteran network play-by-play voice
Robin Roberts, 11/23 ABC, formerly ESPN anchor
Mike Gorman, 11/24 Longtime TV voice, Celtics
Doris Burke, 11/24 ESPN, NBA
Harold Reynolds, 11/26 MLB Network
Sports Broadcast Journal