11/05/15: Verizon dials in to NBA’s call; Bud Light lengthens NFL run; WNBA President stepping down


Good morning. It’s Thursday November 5, 2015, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Verizon and the NBA are thinking big with a multiyear content and marketing partnership that makes Verizon the Official Wireless Service Provider of the league, as well as the WNBA, NBA Development League (NBA D-League) and USA Basketball (USAB). The deal will see mobile video service and social entertainment platform go90 serve up extensive NBA content that includes daily highlights, original content and access to live out-of-market games through NBA League Pass, in addition to exclusive NBA-related content. Users will also be able to cut and share select clips and highlights via text (SMS), Facebook and Twitter. Rounding out the agreement, Verizon will become the title partner of the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk platform and become the presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Balloting Program and a partner of NBA Draft, NBA Summer League and the Jr. NBA.

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be teaming with the NBA,” said Diego Scotti, CMO for Verizon. “The NBA has rapidly evolved into a year-round digital experience that engages millions of young, cross cultural fans, in many interesting ways. We are always looking for new ways to add value for our customers, and this partnership creates great opportunities to do just that. We’re thrilled to bring exclusive and awesome content to go90 and to offer unprecedented access to unique experiences.”


The American Sports Network is getting into the college football postseason game, lining up a deal with Campus Insiders to serve as the TV broadcast partner to carry the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Game on December 29 at 5:30p MST. ASN will televise the live game, making it available across Sinclair’s television stations, other linear broadcasters and regional sports networks. "We are pleased to team up with Campus Insiders for distribution of our first bowl game on ASN," commented Doron Gorshein, COO of Sinclair Networks Group. "We continue to expand our offerings and serve our communities by delivering high quality and relevant live sports." Meanwhile, CampusInsiders.com will serve as a worldwide platform for fans to enjoy the game with first- of- its- kind access and unique digital elements.

ESPN locked in a deal to deliver coverage of the upcoming Cricket All-Stars series to fans around the world. Coverage of the tournament will be delivered by ESPN3 in the US, TSNGo in Canada, ESPN Caribbean, ESPN Play in Latin America and ESPN Player in EMEA and Asia territories. Host venues for each of the three matches are Citi Field, Minute Maid Park and Dodger Stadium. In addition, one-hour special ESPNcricinfo Legends’ Corner will be streamed globally on ESPNcricinfo.com live from Times Square in New York on today at 5p. 

The College Football Playoff National Championship Game has now punched its ticket through 2020. The organization announced that Atlanta will host the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2018, followed by Santa Clara in 2019 and New Orleans in 2020. The 2016 game will take place in Glendale, while the 2017 contest takes place in Tampa.

USA Network unveiled its plans for WWE’s Smackdown, which will now hit the network starting Jan. 7 at 8p. With the arrival of Smackdown to the channel, USA becomes the exclusive cable home to WWE’s two flagship properties, which includes Monday Night RAW.

Speaking of WWE, the company announced that WrestleMania 31 generated $139 million in economic impact for the Santa Clara/San Jose region this past March, according to a study from the Enigma Research Corporation. Over the past nine years, WrestleMania has generated more than $700 million in cumulative economic impact for the cities that have hosted the event. WrestleMania 31 also generated approximately $23.2 million in federal, state and local taxes.

The Baltimore Orioles won the decision of a New York judge over the club’s TV rights dispute with the Nationals. The ruling throws out a league arbitration decision that previously hiked fees for the Nationals on MASN. According to the Washington Post, Justice Lawrence K. Marks suggested the Nationals and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network settle the differences through an independent arbitrator or, if the concerns of impartiality are fixed, that they return to MLB’s arbitration panel. Meanwhile, the Nationals will now receive $40 million in annual TV rights fees from the network each year, $20 million less than the amount awarded by the MLB panel.

Pac-12 Networks is launching the 2015-16 Pac-12 men’s basketball season with Full Court Friday, Presented by Wendy’s on Nov. 13, showcasing live coverage of nine Pac-12 home openers across seven networks in one night. The evening will begin at 4p PT on Pac-12 Network with the Pac-12 Basketball Pregame Show, Presented by New York Life. At 4:30p, the Full Court Friday experience tips off by offering viewers portions of live game coverage from all nine Pac-12 basketball telecasts, plus live look-ins of thePac-12 China Game, Presented by Alibaba Group, pitting Washington/Texas. Programming will be available free to fans via the Pac-12 Now app and Pac-12.com/now.



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The NFL will be downing Bud Lights for the foreseeable future, with Anheuser-Busch inking a multi-year renewal and global expansion of Bud Light’s official beer sponsorship of the league. The deal sees Bud Light expand its presence across premiere league events, serving as the presenting sponsor of Thursday Night Football, a sponsor of the NFL Draft and a sponsor of NFL Kickoff. The brand will be able to authentically represent the NFL game using footage across digital and social channels and will have the ability in retail to introduce team-specific product packaging and promotional materials beyond that team’s home geographic market. “Our latest collaboration with the NFL brings together the most popular sport in the United States and the world’s largest brewer as true partners that will collectively shape incredible experiences for fans,” said Lucas Herscovici, Vice President, Consumer Connections at Anheuser-Busch. “The new and significant assets Bud Light is receiving through this partnership will connect the brand in radically new ways with the sport, its teams and  most importantly  the fans, to drive our business for years to come.”

East Carolina University locked in a 10-year exclusive partnership with adidas that will launch in July 2016 and runs through the 2025-26 athletic season. "We’re excited about the direction of athletics at East Carolina University," Director of NCAA Sports Marketing for adidas America Jim Murphy said. "Over the next ten years, we’ll outfit the Pirates in our newest and most innovative footwear, apparel and uniforms. Our mission is to help athletes perform better and we’re looking forward to bringing this winning attitude to all men’s and women’s athletics at ECU."


WWE is flexing its muscles in the world of virtual reality, announcing a deal with Samsung to offer fans a 360-degree, ringside look into WWE via Samsung Milk VR premium virtual reality content service on Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus. Fans can tap into two WWE virtual reality videos via the WWE 360 channel on Samsung Milk VR. The first video offers a 360-degree look at highlights from SummerSlam weekend while the second gives fans a look at key moments from the match between Finn Balor and Kevin Owens at NXT TakeOver.

The WTA is hitting China via iQIYI, the largest online video content service platform in the country. The 10-year content partnership will begin in 2017 and see iQIYI will become the WTA’s digital rights partner in China. Overall, iQIYI will feature live transmission of over 2000 matches, in both singles and doubles, along with exclusive highlights, player interviews and content from the WTA Magazine Show.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected SnapStream to power its new social media initiative to create and share GIFs with its Twitter followers. The Jaguars are also tapping into the company’s TV recording and archiving capabilities, and will have the ability to track mentions of players’ names on TV. “This season we have a major initiative to use animated GIFs as part of our social content plan, but we needed a tool that would allow us to capture and convert video clips,” said Chris Burdett, Senior Digital Media Manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars. “SnapStream’s ability to create GIFs quickly is exactly what we need. With SnapStream, we can get a video or GIF from TV to Twitter and Facebook in 19 seconds. Before implementing SnapStream, it took 45 minutes.”


SiriusXM and FanDuel are launching a new weekly fantasy basketball show on SiriusXM’s 24/7 NBA channel, SiriusXM NBA Radio. FanDuel Fantasy Basketball on SiriusXM NBA Radio debuted yesterday and runs Wednesdays from 3-4p throughout the season. Jared Greenberg and FanDuel insider Madelyn Burke host, offering the latest news, statistical information, advice on roster selections and more.

eSports platform Hitbox announced the successful closing of a $4 million growth round for its North American operations and worldwide reach. The round was led by Vienna-based VC-firm Speedinvest and includes MMO developer and publisher, Wargaming,North Base Media; as well as angel investors. “Supporting live streaming for our games and fans has always been a key pillar in our strategy for growing our online presence,” said Sean Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at Wargaming, “Hitbox allows us to truly make live streaming an extension of Wargaming and our titles through the ability to integrate game data into the broadcast. Gamers will be able to share their experiences easier than ever before and our channels will have the robust infrastructure AAA gaming demands.”


Laurel Richie will step down as President of the WNBA. The league announced that she will pursue other interests, effective Nov. 9. NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will oversee the WNBA on an interim basis while the league searches for a new president. “We thank Laurel for her five seasons of service and commitment to the WNBA and wish her success in her future endeavors,” said Tatum. “The league’s quality of play and depth of talent have never been better. We remain steadfast in our commitment to achieving growth in fan interest and future business performance reflective of the extraordinary state of the oncourt product.”

The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center named David Collins as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Collins will be charged with the strategic development and monitoring of financial metrics and risk management operations, “while playing a definitive role in the overall business advancement of the company.

Home Team Sports hired its first two accounts executives for its recently announced HTS Interactive initiative. The company reeled in Yelp’s Jillian Lloyd, along with Mike Storelli, most recently of Univision, to handle integrated digital sales opportunities and focus on driving digital revenue across HTS’ entire platform and portfolio of properties.


Thunder/Bulls on TNT at 8p.


Digital Model D Awards Luncheon
Innovators. Inspirers. Creators of all kinds. We celebrate those in online video content and advertising who are at the forefront of this new industry, elevating it with their state-of-the-art contributions to branded content, technology, ad campaigns, and original content.

Celebrate with us on November 13th at the Marriott Essex in New York City.

View the finalist list here.

ON THIS DAY in 1994: George Foreman stuns the pundits with a win over Michael Moorer in a battle for the heavyweight championship.

In The Know: Who portrayed “All The Way” Mae Mordabito in the movie “A League of Their Own”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Which athlete’s autobiography was entitled Drive: The Story of My Life? Answer: Larry Bird. Kudos: Kyle Helm-CBS Sports Network/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Michael Wooters-Eagle TV Sales/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Jeff Miller-CW39/Atlanta; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Bob Chasse-Professional Bull Riders/Pueblo; Rick Pike-InterMedia Advertising/Woodland Hills; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank; Doug Kelly-Foster Farms Bowl/South San Francisco; Rich Greene-FOX/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: MGR, DIGITAL AD INVENTORY/AMC/NYC: Drive execution of yield optimization strategy across our ntwk of properties. BA deg Bus., Engineering, Mathematics, Economics. 3+ yrs exp digital ad sales in inv mngmnt/quantitative/analytical role. Full info/apply HERE (11/12)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, RESEARCH & ANALYTICS/DISCOVERY DIGITAL NETWORKS/SF: Oversee the collection, analysis & distribution of data for DDN business. 8+ years of digital research experience. Strong data & analytics exp, expert with YouTube, FB analytics. Full info/apply HERE (11/11)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, CNBC PRIMETIME/East Coast: NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global. Full info/apply HERE (11/11)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, PUBLICITY/CNBC/East Coast: This individual is responsible to publicize and promote CNBC’s primetime programming and talent as well as implement and execute public relations campaigns and strategies. Full info/apply HERE (11/11)

JOB OPENING: DIRECT RESPONSE SALES ASSISTANT/Travel Channel/NYC: Seeking sales assistant, 1 year relevant sales experience. A successful candidate will be extremely organized, proactive and able to work independently and as part of team. www.scrippsnetworks.com #5082 (11/10)

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JOB OPENING: SOCIAL MEDIA COMM MGR/GLOW/NYC: Dvlp & execute innovative SM campaigns that spark social buzz and cultivate communities for top entertainment clients. 3-4 yrs exp in professional SM capacity. SEND RESUME: [email protected] (11/7)

JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCT MARKETING MGR/San Jose/Immersion (NASDAQ: IMMR): WW marketing strategy & outbound programs for mobile/media content solutions targeting videos/ads, social media, gaming apps. Full info/Apply HERE (11/7)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASST/METV Network/NYC: Daily maintenance of accounts: Plans, orders, allocations, posts. Work closely with AE’s, Traffic, and MGT on all aspects of business. Agency Exp. a plus. Fast track to planner and sales based on performance. Email [email protected] (11/7)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSISTANT/High Times/NYC: Assist ad sales director w/support duties w/high vol sales. Previous exp as sales admin req’d. Highly organized and attention to detail critical. Strong comm skills & ability to resolve issues. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER/San Jose, NASDAQ: IMMR, worldwide market strategy & outbound marketing programs for mobile content & media solutions targeting video/ad, social media, gaming applications. Apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/TV ONE/Silver Spring MD or NY: Asst Sr Rsch Dir w/interpreting media rsrch results & communicating results. Strong knwlg Nielsen software prods & 3rd party software systems. BS deg & 2+ yrs rsrch exp @ media co/agency. Full info/apply HERE (11/6) 

JOB OPENING: AD SALES ASST/UP TV/NY: Recent grad w/previous ad sales/adv internship exp. to asst ad sales dept. Strong Excel & multi-tasking a +. Good comm, interpersonal & organzt’l skills. Res: [email protected] (11/6)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES SPECIALIST/WFAA/Dallas: Grow our digital rev by proactively finding opps to optimize campaign performance. Familiar w/SEO, SEM, social media, targeted display, mobile & video mktg strategies. Proven track record of excellence. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: CREATIVE DIRECTOR/SundanceTV/NYC: Oversee daily creative ops of On-Air Promos. Mng team Writer/Preditors & external resources to support projects. Work w/SVP of Brand as well as Marketing, to identify & solidify brand identity. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: SR PRODUCER EDITOR/SundanceTV/NYC: Conceptulize/create on-air promos using prgrm footage, motion graphic elements & creation of own materials. Creative capacity to understand ntwrk brand & to execute effective brand-supportive work a must. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: TALENT AGENT/Top Talent Agency/East Coast: Aggressive talent agency looking for highly motivated candidate with a passion and knowledge for journalism to represent high-level television, print, and digital talent. Resume HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: MGR SALES DEVELOPMENT/Disney/NYC: Create/mng sales packaging strategy. Must have sales packaging exp, incl ideating/creating presentations & crafting sales solutions. Min 5 yrs mktg/promo exp w/3+ yrs in Dig. setting pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL AD OPS MGR/DISH Media Sales & Sling TV/NYC: Create/implement ops procedures for digital, OTT & TV Everywhere. Self-starter & team builder; 4+ yrs dig. ad ops w/yield mgt., programmatic & measurement exp. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: MGR, DIGITAL & ADVANCED TV ANALYSIS/DISH Media Sales & Sling TV/NYC: Analyze, measure & report on Advanced TV, OTT, & TVE. 4yrs digital and/or TV data analytics exp; BA degree preferred. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

JOB OPENING: MGR, PRODUCT SALES/EP/Burbank: Dvlp/implement/mng all Prod Sales channels. Mng Sales staff to grow/strengthen EP’s position in mktplace. Identify/improve processes & procedures to support bus. dvlpmnt & sales goals. BA deg bus or mktg req’d. Full info/apply HERE (11/6)

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