Cynopsis: Sports

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, January 28, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

Lindsey Vonn will be taking on the Olympics after all. The gold medal alpine skier will join NBC as an Olympic Correspondent for the Today show and NBC Sports during the 2014 Winter Games where she will report daily stateside for Today, and she will contribute to NBC Sports Olympic coverage. In her first interview since deciding to withdraw from the Sochi Olympics, Vonn will appear on Today this morning to talk about her role at the network and give an update on her training and rehabilitation since her announcement before going on to cover how the athletes prepare physically and mentally for the Games.


Meanwhile, with an abrupt change in format, Sunday night’s Pro Bowl on NBC ranked as the most-watched sporting event of the weekend. Facing stiff competition from the Grammys, the game averaged a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast National numbers from Nielsen, down a tenth of a point from last year’s game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed pleased with the results from the format change. “You have to admit it was very competitive,” Goodell told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning. “Exciting. Fun. I think the players played much harder.”

NBC reports that the NHL Stadium Series matchups from LA and NY over the weekend set viewership records across NBC and NBCSN. Sunday’s matchup between the Rangers and Devils at Yankee Stadium averaged 2.079 million viewers and produced a 1.3 household score, while ranking as the most-watched and highest-rated single NHL regular-season game ever on NBC, (excluding NHL Winter Classics), according to Fast National data from Nielsen. Top five markets included New York with a 5.1, followed by Buffalo, Boston, Detroit and Providence. Saturday night’s contest between the Ducks and Kings from Dodger Stadium averaged 622,000 viewers and produced a 0.35 HH rating, up 139% against the average viewership of 2013’s NHL 10p telecasts.

On to the Super Bowl. The NFL announced that Queen Latifah will sing America the Beautiful as part of pregame festivities on Sunday with the performance set to be televised before kickoff on FOX. Last year, Jennifer Hudson had the honors.

Meanwhile, New York Giants Senior Vice President of Communications Pat Hanlon will join NFL Network’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day today at 10a. Hanlon will offer “analysis and insight into what the PR staffs, coaches and players from both the Seahawks and Broncos are facing from a media perspective during Media Day and throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.” Hanlon will also explain how the head of PR for the Seahawks and Broncos will navigate the week.

The UFC is keeping an eye on the weather to see if the Super Bowl will shift to Saturday, according to Yahoo! Sports. The report states that the MMA promotion will look to avoid going head-to-head with the big game, as the UFC 169 PPV is slated on Saturday. The company now has some contingency plans of its own, and will opt to move the PPV to Sunday if the Super Bowl shifts early.

FINA and Universal Sports Network locked in a new, multiyear media rights agreement to carry FINA events in the US through 2021. The deal provides Universal Sports with multiplatform rights, including exclusive TV and Internet rights, to the upcoming editions of the FINA World Championships: 2015 in Kazan (RUS), 2017 in Guadalajara (MEX), 2019 in Gwangju (KOR) and 2021 in Budapest (HUN).
Retiring NBA Commissioner David Stern is on deck to present the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday. Stern will step down on Feb. 1, exactly 30 years to the day that he took over the post on Feb. 1, 1984. Also in line will be Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

CBS Sports Network brings back interview series ONE2ONE on tonight at 6:30p with a look at the newly-retired Dan Dierdorf, who stepped down this season after 43 consecutive years in the National Football League as a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame broadcaster. Greg Gumbel interviews his NFL on CBS broadcast partner to discuss his career, both on and off the field. Gumbel will also serve as a special correspondent for That Other Pregame Show this week, interviewing the likes of Troy Vincent, Andre Reed and Franco Harris.

Get ’em before they are gone! Lockerdome CEO Gabe Lozano joins our roster of participants for the Cynopsis Sports Breakfast of Champions event in NY. Tickets are going fast! Also on deck will be: Bonnie Bernstein, Vice President of Content and Brand Development/On-Air Host at Campus Insiders who will moderate our panel on athletes and branding, featuring NFL Players Inc. President Keith Gordon, NFL athletes Pierre Garcon and Keith Rivers, Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo and ESPN’s Jay Williams. Speakers are also set to include keynote from IMG’s George Pyne and Anheuser-Busch’s Blaise D’Sylva, as well as a special presentation on the Year in Sports from Nielsen’s Stephen Master. BONUS: Tickets to a performance of Bronx Bombers will be up for grabs. Click here to register.

NBA Inside Stuff is getting a spinoff, of sorts. The league announced that NBA China and SINA Corporation announced the launch of NBA Mitan, an all-access original program produced exclusively for Chinese fans featuring co-hosts Xie Nan and Ke Fan. The show is based on NBA Inside Stuff and will debut today on Sina. Episode one features Jeremy Lin as he makes dumplings at Yao Ming’s Restaurant in Houston. Lin discusses Yao, his recent visit to Asia and how he celebrates Chinese New Year in the U.S.

BTN had a good week last week as two of its conference matchups resulted in the network’s highest-rated “Super Wednesday” in its history in the network’s eight metered markets. BTN earned a 1.5 rating on Jan. 22, surpassing the network’s prior best “Super Wednesday” on Jan. 30, 2013, of 1.42 with Michigan’s upset of Iowa and Minnesota’s win over Wisconsin.


“Two of the best leadership lessons from early in my career:
‘If you never make mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough’ and ‘It’s always easier to push someone who’s already leaning forward.'”

–Keith Gordon, President of NFL Players Inc.

For more insight from Keith Gordon and others, join Cynopsis Sports on January 30 for the Breakfast of Champions event in New York City.


Stat-tracking app Numbeez is following Super Bowl Teaser Ad Viewership all this week for Cynopsis, leading up to the big game on Feb. 2. Download the app for free and follow these stats for yourself in real time by searching ‘Cynopsis’ in the app.
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

Brand and Spot Views Viewership change % (from previous day)
AXE Peace “Make Love Not War” 3,313,843 4%
Butterfinger Cups “Big Game Teaser” 2,052,226 49%
Bud Light “Arnold Zipper” 1,907,136 4%
Bud Light “Arnold Warmup” 1,675,778 3.6%
Volkswagen “Game Day Teaser” 1,526,813 46%
Dannon Oikos “The Spill” 1,383,562 New
Pepsi “There Since the First Halftime” 1,371,761 3%
Beats Music Vision 1,368,253 New
Bud Light “Don” 1,358,564 2%
Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl 2014 Finalists Announced” 1,319,099 14%

Source: Numbeez is a new stat-tracking app for iOS that acts like Pinterest for numbers. Whether it is sports scores, stocks, weather, or the historical prices of advertising during the Super Bowl, Numbeez curates data in fun dashboards that can be shared with others and update in realtime. We’re tracking Super Bowl teaser ad viewership on the Cynopsis board  just download the app and search ‘Cynopsis.’

NBC Olympics released its newest spot for the Winter Games over the weekend in “What Makes a Superhero?” The promo was done with 2C Media and features clips of top athletes in action, highlighted by the seemingly superhero qualities of the Olympians. The script was brought to life via voiceover by actor Giancarlo Esposito (“Revolution,” “Breaking Bad”).

USA TODAY Sports and its For the Win property are taking on the Super Bowl, announcing a Wednesday night kickoff party at 50 Yard Lounge in New York City from 6p-2a that will feature the likes of Iron Chef Marc Forgione and meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda, as well as athletes such as Bruce Smith, Cris Carter, Cam Newton and Justin Tuck as well as Dan Patrick, Trey Wingo, Bonnie Bernstein, Rashida Jones, Caroline Manzo, and Chris and Albie Manzo. USA TODAY Sports is an official sponsor of the 50 Yard Lounge, located directly adjacent to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station at One Penn Plaza. USA TODAY Sports will also be taking over the space at the restaurant Local, within the 50YL, for the entire Super Bowl week.


In honor of the Super Bowl, ESPN will host an all-day live Twitter vote across its programming and platforms on Friday, January 31st as part of Verizon’s week-long #WhosGonnaWin campaign. The vote will be done by partnering with the Empire State Realty Trust to mark the first-ever social media-driven light show on the Empire State Building that will be powered exclusively by fan tweets. Based on the outcome of the fans’ votes, the Empire State Building will light up in the color of the winning team, which will be revealed live during the 6-7:30p SportsCenter that evening.
NFL Digital Media announced its plans for the big game, with content spanning NFL.com, SuperBowl.com, NFL Mobile app and more. Programming will include – a live video show from Radio Row at the Super Bowl Media Center from Wed. to Fri. hosted by Matt “Money” Smith along with Dave Dameshek, Adam Rank and Molly Qerim. Additionally, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual Super Bowl press conference, Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day, and live streaming videos and clips from NFL Network and NFL.com will be available on NFL.com. Other content will include: The Super Bowl XLVIII Mobile Guide, presented by Verizon; the Official Super Bowl XLVIII Digital Game Program; #WhosGonnaWin PRESENTED BY VERIZON and NFL FAN PASS Presented by XBOX.

Who wants to be a judge? We are looking to fill up a few remaining spots to judge this year’s Cynopsis Sports Media Awards? Email me at [email protected] if interested.


Spurs/Rockets on NBA TV at 8p.


***Now Open For Submission***
The competition for best kids’ programming and marketing initiatives

Entry Deadline:March 14, 2014
Late Submissions:March 21, 2014
Awards Event:June 11, 2014 (NYC)
Visit ourwebsitefor additional information on:

Who Should Enter, How to Enter, Eligibility Period, Categories, Deadlines, Sponsorship Opportunities, Contact Information and FAQs.

ON THIS DAY in 1959: Vince Lombardi is hired as the coach of the Packers.

In The Know: What three teams have lost consecutive Super Bowls?(Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who has made the most appearances in the Super Bowl (as either a player and/or coach) with 9? Answer: Dan Reeves. Kudos: Ben Sturner-Leverage Agency/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NY; Art Salisch-HEARST Television/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Jeff Miller-WUPA-TV/Atlanta; Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville; Bill Adusei-Comcast SportsNet/Houston; David Hauptman/Denver; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc./Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles local/LA.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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