The NFL announced a multi-month focus on player causes where teams will debut their players’ custom cleats for this weekend’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign, now in its third year. For games during Weeks 13-15, each NFL team will designate one home game as their My Cause, My Cleats game as players wear customized cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes during these games. Overall, more than 800 players are planning to showcase their causes on-field during the initiative with topics representing hundreds of different charitable organizations, from ones that focus on bullying prevention to those that work with autistic youth to those that support families impacted by gun violence. Players will share images of their cleats and the stories behind them on social media, using the hashtag #mycausemycleats.
Hulman & Company announced a multiyear agreement Tuesday with Speedway LLC, that designates the national convenience store chain as the Official Fuel and Official Convenience Store of INDYCAR, the IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 2019. As the Official Fuel for INDYCAR, Speedway will provide the fuel powering every car at every race in the IndyCar Series and also calls for Speedway signage to be placed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Speedway media assets within NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the IndyCar Series starting in 2019.
The NBA and ByteDance, a leading technology company operating a slate of content platforms around the world, announced a new multiyear partnership that will deliver customized, short-form mobile content to ByteDance’s hundreds of millions of global users. The deal will see ByteDance leverage its artificial intelligence technology to deliver NBA content to fans in China through its Douyin, Toutiao and Xigua Video platforms. The extensive NBA content available in China will include daily NBA game highlights, behind-the-scenes videos, photos and news throughout the regular season, NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs and The Finals.
A trio of familiar faces are teaming up to launch Electronic Sports Group, a global esports advisory firm, that will be anchored by MLG co-founder Mike Sepso and former NBA and IMG executive Bobby Sharma with Ken Hershman, former President of HBO Sports, and former Executive Chairman and Commissioner of the World Esports Association also serving as a partner. ESG will open with a strategic relationship with Nielsen in place to provide ESG with esports fan insights and sponsorship valuation data to support ESG’s consulting work. In addition, ESG announced a strategic partnership with Sports Media Advisors (SMA) as the two firms plan to jointly advise clients seeking media and esports expertise.
Former OpTic Gaming faces Simon Bennett and Markel Lee announced the launch of AoE Creative, described as “the first independent, full spectrum, Creative and Marketing agency specializing in esports, gaming, and nerd culture.” Bennett previously worked as Blizzard Entertainment, Razer, FACEIT, Houston Outlaws, Wargaming.net, and OpTic Gaming, while Lee’s background includes Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming, Houston Outlaws, KIT, EVO, CEO, Panda X Gaming, and PVP Live. The agency will offer design, creative, and branding solutions, as well the marketing strategies and fan activations to organizations within the gaming, nerd culture, and esports space. AoE’s first confirmed clients will be Linden Labs / Sansar Studios, who have created virtual spaces for both Fnatic (Fnatic Meta Bunker) and OpTic Gaming (Greenwall VR), as well as Boston Uprising.
Razer and Williams Esports, part of the world-famous Williams Formula 1 team, announced a new strategic partnership that will see Team Razer and Williams Esports collaborate in multiple areas of racing esports. This marks the first collaboration from Team Razer with a professional Formula 1 esports team and will see both Team Razer and Williams F1 Esports working together on future initiatives and activities, including the development of innovative technology solutions such as Hypersense, to give drivers greater immersion and situational awareness both in training and competition.
FIFA and EA SPORTS unveiled the FIFA 19 Global Series Rankings, which will serve as a new, dedicated world rankings platform for its esports players that will allow players and fans to be able to monitor the progress of the world’s top competitive FIFA players throughout the season on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup. The new FIFA 19 Global Series Rankings will be updated on FIFA.gg every Tuesday after Weekend League and competitive events within the Global Series, providing fans with an interactive platform to monitor the progress of the top FUT Champions verified FIFA 19 players around the world.
ELEAGUE revs up for The ELEAGUE Cup: Rocket League 2018, pitting eight of the top Rocket League teams in the world from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, beginning each day at 2p on Twitch and ELEAGUE.com. The org will then package its most exciting plays and stories to be presented in a series of episodes running Fridays stating Dec. 7 at 11p. Analysts Caleb “WavePunk” Simmons, Michael “Achieves” Williams and Adam “Lawler” Thornton will return to ELEAGUE after commentating last year’s tournament, while Joey “Jorby” Ahrens and James “Jamesbot” Villar will make their ELEAGUE debut. Alex “Machine” Richardson hosts.
North Carolina/Michigan on ESPN at 9:30p.