Our winners and honorable mentions are a talented group of professionals crossing the spectrum of television, radio, and online platforms; encompassing all the corners of the industry, and we are pleased to have recognized their achievements over the past year at the 5th annual Sports Media Awards Breakfast. The event at the New York Athletic Club attracted a record-setting group of the sports community elite who cheered each other on as they were awarded and lauded in a lively two-hour ceremony.

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2016 Results

Athlete in a Web Series/Special/Spot
Bleacher Report – Paul George: The Road Back

Following Paul George’s traumatic leg injury playing for Team USA during a 2014 scrimmage, the Indiana Pacers star basketball career was put on pause as he recovered from surgery and rehab. Bleacher Report devoted 500 hours to creating “Paul George: The Road Back”, a multipart video series about George’s return to the NBA, giving fans an inside look at the man behind the comeback. It was Bleacher Report’s foray into the human interest side of sport stories and garnered nearly 800,000 streams and over 400,000 reads.

Honorable Mentions:
AOL Inc. – 1800 Backup/End Zone Celebration
espnW – Julie Foudy (Voices of the Future)
Outside Television – Jeep: Beyond Adventure: Rex Pemberton
Red Bull Media House – Who is JOB 5.0
SapientNitro/Dunkin’ Donuts – Summer Chill
Turner Sports – The Quest

B2B Program
NASCAR – NASCAR Fuel for Business

NASCAR’s Fuel for Business has been called “one of the best assets in professional sports” by The Wall Street Journal, while Forbes notes that it “provides sponsors B2B opportunities unlike that of any other sports entity.” Since 2004 NFFB has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue and savings to members. NASCAR also fosters a reward component – the Driving Business Award (DBA) – which honors the member/company that demonstrates leadership, success and results annually.

Honorable Mentions:
GolfNow – GolfNow Plus
SAP – SAP Tennis Analytics for coaches

Brand Activation at Live Events
Nickelodeon – SpongeBob SquarePants 400

Nickelodeon acquired the naming rights to the 2015 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway and dubbed it SpongeBob SquarePants 400 (SB400), becoming the first kid-targeted brand to execute a distinct approach to cultivating the next generation NASCAR fan. By bringing such a recognized children’s properties to life, the network created an exciting consumer-facing experience for fans, leveraged the popularity of NASCAR and its biggest drivers, and gathered short-form and long-form content for Nick Sports.

Honorable Mentions:
American Express US Open – You vs. Sharapova
Heineken – MLS Rivalry Week
NBC Sports Agency – Bumper NASCAR
Richards Partnership Marketing – Go RVing
Scout Sports and Entertainment – Burger King

Digital Executive
NBA – Melissa Rosenthal Brenner

As Senior Vice President of Digital Media for the National Basketball Association, Melissa Rosenthal Brenner has led the development, oversight, and implementation of the NBA’s global digital strategy and social media portfolio. Under her leadership, the NBA has built one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 960 million likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.

Honorable Mentions:
CBS Sports Digital – Jeffrey Gerttula
MLS – Chris Schlosser
MVPindex – Shawn Spieth
NBC Sports Group – Rick Cordella

Documentary Special 1 Hour and Over
MLB Network – The Story of Billy Bean

Produced as part of the MLB Network Presents documentary series, “The Story of Billy Bean” explored the experience of Billy Bean, one of two Major League Baseball players to publicly come out as gay. Hosted by Bob Costas and narrated by Bean, the show detailed Bean’s decision to leave the game in 1996 at age 30 following the death of his partner, a relationship he’d kept secret from his family and teammates, and his return to the game 18 years later as MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion.

Honorable Mentions:
BCII – 2015 SCORE Bud Light Baja 1000
Discovery Channel – Valley Uprising
Golf Channel – Arnie & Me
NBA TV – Clutch City
Pac-12 Networks – Pac-12 All-Century: Football

Documentary Special Under an Hour
ESPN – SC Featured: AT the Top of the World

ESPN’s “SC Featured: At the Top of the World” explored the story of the 2014 avalanche tragedy of Mount Everest and the effect of the dangers of climbing on the Sherpa people of Nepal. The production for the feature consisted of a three-person crew, accompanied by three Sherpa guides and a team of Yaks to help carry camera equipment up the mountain, as they immersed themselves into the Sherpa Community, spending 24 days in the Himalayas where there are no roads and relatively little infrastructure.

Honorable Mentions:
ESPN – SC Featured: Central High
FOX Sports Originals – Drive to the Open
MSG Networks – Clyde’s New York
Outside Television – PrimalQuest
Red Bull Media House – The Climb
Telemundo Media – Alianza de Futbol – Logra Tu Sueño

eSports Sponsor Activation
ignition – Coca-Cola League of Legends

Through its League of Legends campaign Coca-Cola united fans across the world to experience both live events and live streaming parties as a gaming community. Utilizing massive movie theater screens and an even bigger stage at Madison Square Garden, Coke successfully engaged global eSports fans at events like the Mid-Season Invitational, the North American Summer Finals, and the World Championship.

Honorable Mentions:
Pizza Hut – Legends of Gaming
Red Bull – Battle Grounds

Integrated Campaign (Marketing / PR / Advertising)
NASCAR — The Chase Grid™ Battle Powered by Bing

Tasked with creating engagement opportunities for fans during The Chase for the Sprint Cup, The Chase Grid Battle Powered by Bing, a bracket style fantasy game, was developed. It invited NASCAR fans to pick the drivers they thought would advance through The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup round by round, scoring points based on correct selections and finishing order. The game provided highly desired prizes for fans, like a VIP trip to a 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and autographed memorabilia.

Optimum Sports – SAP “NHL Enhanced Stats Partnership”

SAP and the NHL announced the launch of their partnership and redesigned stats page at an exclusive Innovation event at the 2015 Stadium Series Game hosted at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, producing ratings that were 48% higher than regular season NHL games on NBCSN. In addition to the features running on NBC, Optimum Sports and the NHL Network developed a “Star of the Night” feature that aired Monday-Friday in NHL Live, focusing on advanced stats with Insights from SAP. Conversations were organic to the NHL Live broadcast and drove traffic to back to NHL.com/stats.

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network (BTN) – College Sports!
NBC Sports Agency – 2015 NASCAR Campaign
NCAA Digital – 2015 NCAA March Madness Live
Outside Television – Jeep: Beyond Adventure
PGA.com – 2015 PGA Championship

Live Coverage of Sporting Event (National)
NBC Sports Group – Super Bowl XLIX

To provide viewers with the most comprehensive coverage of Super Bowl XLIX, NBC Sports Groups utilized a crew of more than 500 employees, 86 cameras, 33 miles of cable and 12 mobile units. The pinnacle football event was seen by a record 114.4 million viewers, the biggest audience to watch a television program in U.S. history, and topped 2014’s Super Bowl XLVIII on FOX by 2.2 million.

FOX Sports – 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada was one of FOX Sports’ biggest and most successful undertakings, capped off by the U.S. Women’s National Team winning the championship with the largest U.S. television audience for any soccer match ever (25.4 million viewers). Over 60 features representing all 24 participating nations aired throughout the month, including one on Megan Rapinoe in the final.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Media Group – Big 10 Championship Game
Telemundo Media – 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015: Final – USA vs Japan (aired on July 5, 2015)
Turner Sports – 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four
Univision Deportes – CONCACAF Cup: USA vs Mexico

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Live Coverage of Sporting Event (Regional/Local)
MSG Networks – New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics – March 27, 2015

Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier’s “70 Years of Cool”, a celebration of the basketball legend’s milestone birthday, continued with MSG Networks’ coverage of the New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics game. Throughout the game’s telecast Frazier received birthday wishes from NBA legends, including Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and former teammates Bill Bradley, Willis Reed and Earl Monroe, interspersed with highlights of his favorite moments and more.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Southeast – Warriors vs Hawks Game
MSG Networks – Rangers Game One First Round 2015 Eastern Conference Playoffs – April 16, 2015
New England Sports Network – Bruins vs. Penguins; Hometown Hero’s Hat Trick; December 18, 2015

Live Stream Presentation
NBC Sports Group – Super Bowl XLIX

NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal sought to promote “TV Everywhere” during its presentation of Super Bowl XLIX. It provided more than 10 continuous hours of live stream programming on Super Bowl Sunday, dubbing it “Super Stream Sunday” and including the full game, Katy Perry’s halftime show, and the pre- and post-game shows, with no authentication required by viewers. The live stream of the game set Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million), according to Adobe Analytics.

Honorable Mentions:
Bellator MMA: Bellator Prelim Live Stream
FOX Sports – Women’s World Cup on FOX Sports GO
NBA Digital – Real Training Camp
Red Bull Media House – Red Bull Rampage
Turner Sports – TNT Overtime with The Starters
WWE – WrestleMania 31

NBC Sports Group – John D. Miller

Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Olympics, John D. Miller has shaped NBC Sports Group’s image for over four decades. Having recently decided to focus solely as CMO of the Olympics, Miller leads the NBC Sports Group’s Olympic marketing efforts for Rio and co-leads for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. He co-founded The NBC Agency, the industry’s first full-service in-house advertising agency, which quickly established itself as one of the country’s top creative commercial firms.

Honorable Mentions:
Chicago Bulls – Susan Goodenow
Mindshare – Autumn Nazarian
New York Red Bulls – Joe Stetson
NHL – Brian Jennings
Philadelphia Eagles – Anne Gordon
WWE – Michelle Wilson

Marketing Campaign (National)
National Basketball Association (NBA) – “This Is Why We Play” Start of Season Campaign

The NBA launched new brand platform, “This Is Why We Play”, at the start of the 2015-2016 season that will live on as it represents the league’s promise to compete with intensity, lead with integrity, and inspire play. Spanning across TV, digital, print, social and retail, the campaign
upped opening night viewership 24% year-over-year and digital traffic 22% year-over-year, and opening week social engagement up 104% year-over-year.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Media Group – FIFA Women’s World Cup on FOX
Optimum Sports – McDonald’s “Game Time Gold”
Pac-12 Conference – Pac-12 Centennial Celebration
Troika – UFC 194 Campaign
Undefined Creative – NHL / SAP Analytics Campaign
WWE – WWE WrestleMania 31

Marketing Campaign (Regional/Local)
SapientNitro/Dunkin’ Donuts – Summer Chill

To help drive summer coffee consumption, Dunkin’ Donuts launched a campaign with Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski of the New England Patriots and David “Big Papi” Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. “Summer Chill”, a simple idea that had the two champions singing about their mutual love of iced coffee, turned into an album complete with four music videos. Shared by the Dunkin’, Red Sox and New England Patriots social communities, the videos hit a million+ views in less than five days of launching the first one, Sippin’, and were trending on Facebook for two days.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports South – Promotion of NBA on FOX Sports Southeast
Optimum Sports – Illinois Lottery “Anything’s Possible”

Marketing Initiative
Big Ten Network (BTN) – Extreme Highlights

Big Ten Network took online sports highlights a step further by taking a typical big play and adding a unique graphical twist, resulting in Extreme Highlights and giving viewers a new way to watch their favorite teams, players and plays of the season. A total of 23 Extreme Highlights were released in the fall, receiving 4,668,138 impressions and 1,339,278 views on Facebook and Twitter.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Digital & GarageMonkey — #MyFirst500
NASCAR – NASCAR — The Chase Grid™ Battle Powered by Bing
NBC Sports Agency – Bumper NASCAR
Turner Sports – NBA on TNT Food Truck “Chuck’s Wagon”

Mobile App
WWE – WWE App with WWE Network

WWE created a new way to engage fans by delivering its premium live content directly to fans in 170 countries with WWE Network. Subscribers can watch 24/7-streaming, original programming as well as breaking news, video playlists and photo galleries, fed immediately from WWE.com right into the palm of the WWE Universe. Since its launch in 2012, more than 500 million videos have been viewed via the WWE App.

Honorable Mentions:
Bellator MMA: Bellator Mobile App
Bleacher Report – Team Stream
NBC Sports Group – NBC Sports Live Extra
Omnigon – World Rugby
OneUp Sports – OneUp Sports
PGA TOUR Digital – PGA TOUR iPad App

National Documentary Series
Showtime Networks Inc. – Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Inside Mayweather vs Pacquiao went beyond the story of how the fight came to be, shedding new light on Floyd Mayweather’s career, his enduring bond with his team, and complex relationship with his family. As embedded camera crews captured every hour of his intense preparation, viewers received exclusive access to all of it. With over 11 million viewers for each episode on YouTube alone, the series found a strong audience.

Honorable Mentions:
Condé Nast Enterainment – Salaam Dunk
EPIX – EPIX Presents: Road to the NHL Winter Classic
ESPN – Draft Academy
FOX Sports Originals – Road to the Show: Torii Hunter
Outside Television – Outlook
Stone and Company Entertainment, Crazy Legs Productions, IMG Productions, Showtime Networks Inc- A Season With
Ultimate Fighting Championship & PositiveImage Video – UFC Road to the Octagon

National Studio Show
NBA TV – Inside Stuff

Sports and entertainment all-access show, NBA Inside Stuff, had a stellar 2015. Blending the hottest music videos with the superstars of the league, Demi Lovato’s “Confident” and Silento’s “Watch Me” provided a spectacular look of the top plays of the league. Co-host Grant Hill also went behind the scenes with the Rockettes, who provided the 7-time all-star with creative dance moves, while provided hooting drills for the renown NYC dance company.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Media Group – Garbage Time With Katie Nolan
FOX Sports Media Group – Women’s World Cup Tonight
NBA TV – Open Court
NBC Sports Group – Football Night In America
Pac-12 Networks – Pac-12 Sports Report, presented by adidas
Univision Deportes – Republica Deportiva de la Noche

National Talk Show
Golf Channel – Feherty

Emmy-nominated television host David Feherty uncharacteristic one-on-one interviewing style saw his self-titled Feherty show debut as Golf Channel’s most-watched original series ever. The show features prominent interview subjects across entertainment, politics, sports and golf, including former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Larry David, Charles Barkley and Jack Nicklaus to name a few.

Honorable Mentions:
CBS – We Need to Talk
ESPN – SportsNation
NBA TV – Open Court
Showtime – Inside the NFL

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Network Sports Branding Campaign
NBC Sports Agency – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Don’t Miss A Moment

To get fans excited for NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and encourage viewership, NBCSN launched the Don’t Miss A Moment campaign, emphasizing the importance of every second on the quest for the championship. NBC Sports illustrated sentimental moments between child fans and NHL players during the first two spots, with the focus shifting to the players experience with the cup as the playoffs progressed and diehard fans being surprised with moments of a lifetime.

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network (BTN) – Fall Football Coaches Campaign
Big Ten Network (BTN) – First Robin of Spring
NBA Digital – NBA TV Crunch Time
Oishii Creative Universal Sport Network – 2015 World Championship Year
Troika – UFC Rebrand 2015
Univision Deportes – MLS Imparable (MLS Unstoppable)

New Sports Show
FOX Sports – Garbage Time With Katie Nolan

The only national sports opinion show hosted by a sole woman, Garbage Time With Katie Nolan tackles the hottest sports stories of the week with amusing guest interviews, clever comedy bits and fearless opinions on tough topics. Since its premiere in March 2015, the show has welcomed high-profile guests from sports and entertainment, including NBA star Kevin Durant, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, Creed’s Michael B. Jordan, Veep’s Matt Walsh, U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Champion Alex Morgan and more. An extension of the show, the Garbage Time Podcast, launched in October and quickly skyrocketed up the iTunes charts.

Honorable Mentions:
AOL Inc. – 2 Point Lead
Crazy Legs Productions, Stone and Company Entertainment, IMG Productions, Showtime Networks Inc – A Season With
FOX Sports Originals – The Drive to the Open
MLB Network – MLB Central
NBA TV – NBA TV’s Beyond the Paint

Over the top (OTT) Content Service
WWE – WWE Network

To grow WWE Network subscribers a five part strategy was executed: creating new content, implementing high impact customer acquisition and retention programs, introducing new features, expanding distribution platforms, and entering new geographies. As a result, subscribers increased 79% to more than 1.3 million from the third quarter 2014; paid subscribers increased 7% to more than 1.2 million from the second quarter 2015; and network segment revenue reached a record of 45.8 million on a trailing 12-month basis.

Honorable Mentions:
World Surf League – Powered by NeuLion
PGA.com – 2015 PGA Championship TV app

Overall Social Media
Pac-12 Networks

Sponsor integrations on social channels, including Twitter Amplify and Facebook “Player of the Week”, and “Pac-12 Final Score” videos contributed to Pac-12 Networks meeting its 2015-2016 digital sales goal in the first 10 weeks of the fiscal year. Tips and technology provided to schools changed the ways fans engaged with the 300+ official social channels managed by Pac-12 Networks and athletic departments of its 12 universities. Providing fans with opportunities to express their fanaticism with likes, shares, comments and clicks on social channels fueled a 597% year-over-year jump in average monthly engagements and 138% year-over-year leap in average monthly impressions in 2015.

Honorable Mentions:
Bleacher Report – Bleacher Report
CBS Sports Digital – CBS Sports
Optimum Sports – SAP “NBA Social”
Turner Sports – Turner Sports Social

Overall Social Media for Campaigns/Events
Whistle Sports – Whistle Worthy

Eager to get kids out from behind their TV screens to do something active, Whistle Sports created Whistle Worthy, a call to those who think they have a trick shot, stunt or fail worthy of internet fame. Fans and followers film their own epic trick, share it with Whistle Sports, and hope that they get chosen as the best. The videos are featured across multiple social platforms, the best reach coming from Facebook.

Honorable Mentions:
Atlanta Braves – Braves SpringPass Social Campaign
Fanology Social – Team Toyota #ShareTheJourney
Golf Channel – Finding Feherty
Lagardere Sports – Ronda Rousey/MetroPCS Periscope Program – #WalkoutWithRonda
Showtime Networks Inc. – Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
XFINITY from Comcast – @XFINITYRacing

Partnership with an Athlete
Bleacher Report – Uninterrupted

Run by NBA superstar LeBron James and agent Maverick Carter in conjunction with Bleacher Report, Uninterrupted is a mobile-first platform for athletes to share unedited, real-time video directly with fans. The athletes control the length topic and frequency of their messages, providing uncensored access to the issues struggles and triumphs that affect them directly. It’s the kind of behind-the-scenes access that sports fans crave and, over the past year, the platform’s unique visitors grew by 127%.

Honorable Mentions:
Current Marketing – Kingsford’s #PayEd Campaign
Lagardere Sports – Ronda Rousey/MetroPCS Periscope Program – #WalkoutWithRonda
Optimum Sports – State Farm “#TrickShotChallenge”
PSP Sports – Haier Achievement Awards

Pro-Social Campaign
WWE – Connor’s Cure

Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer, and her husband Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive of Talent, Live Events and Creative, honored the late Connor Michalek, a young boy and WWE fan who lost his battle with medulloblastoma, by creating Connor’s Cure. The fund within Children’s Foundation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh supports brain tumor research and awareness of pediatric cancer. WWE assets provided a global platform for Connor’s Cure to deliver key messages regarding pediatric cancer education and resources.

Honorable Mentions:
espnW – #LifeUnfiltered
Litton Entertainment – Game Changers with Kevin Frazier
Whistle Sports – FNV Live

Proprietary Asset
NASCAR – NASCAR Fuel for Business

NASCAR’s Fuel for Business has been called “one of the best assets in professional sports” by The Wall Street Journal, while Forbes notes that it “provides sponsors B2B opportunities unlike that of any other sports entity.” Since 2004 NFFB has facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue and savings to members. NASCAR also fosters a reward component – the Driving Business Award (DBA) – which honors the member/company that demonstrates leadership, success and results annually.

Honorable Mentions:
OneTwoSee – Gametime platform
Stats LLC – Prozone

Public Relations Agency of the Year
DKC Public Relations, Marketing, Government Affairs – DKC (Sports)

DKC is a trusted and tenured partner to many of the most iconic brands in sports with a knowledge base that covers global events, venues, leagues and governing bodies, owners/athletes, brands, sponsor activation, crisis consulting and more. It was recently honored as the #1 PR Agency in New York Observer’s Annual Rankings. Notable 2015 client work included the ilaunch of The Players Tribune with Derek Jeter and ongoing AOR work for the USTA/US Open, NY Road Runners/NYC Marathon and Pro Football Hall of Fame, while new client wins including Facebook/Instagram, New Era and the Esquire Network.

Honorable Mentions:
Coyne PR
Steinlight Media
UEG Worldwide – UEG Worldwide

Radio Program
SiriusXM Radio – “The Front Office” – MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM

Former MLB executives Jim Bowden, who served as GM for the Reds and Nationals, and Jim Duquette, who was an exec with the Mets and Orioles, team as co-hosts on “The Front Office” on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. With over 40 years of front office experience, numerous contacts in the game, and knowledge of deal-making and player evaluation, the duo deliver an exceptional level of insight to listeners nationwide, and their interviews with decision makers from around baseball will often make news.

Honorable Mentions:
CBS Sports Radio – CBS Sports Radio’s “The Jim Rome Show”
ESPN Radio – Mike and Mike in the Morning
SiriusXM Radio – “Mad Dog Unleashed” with Christopher Russo
SiriusXM Radio – “The SiriusXM Blitz” – SiriusXM NFL Radio
WFAN-CBS Radio – Boomer and Carton Show

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Regional Talk Show
MSG Networks – Four Courses with JB Smoove

MSG Networks’ Four Courses with JB Smoove features the actor/comedian hosting a group of comedians, athletes and entertainers at a four-course meal to discuss everything New York City, from sports to life in the Big Apple. This season’s guests included Russell Simmons; Knicks legend Larry Johnson; astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson; comedians Todd Barry, Godfrey and Jim Norton; athletes Rashad Jennings (New York Giants), Plaxico Burress, and Rick DiPietro; former heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney and more.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports South – The Panel – Sammie Coates
MSG Networks – The Mask with Henrik Lundqvist
YES Network – “Yankees Hot Stove”

Regional/Digital Documentary Series
MSG Networks – Beginnings

MSG Network’s original series Beginnings takes a behind-the-scenes look at where and how some of the greatest New York athletes and celebrities got started. The show utilizes its network, Knicks and Rangers social media channels to drive awareness and share exclusive content, including behind-the-scenes photos, video sneak peek clips, Who’s Beginnings Is This? quiz and a photo gallery of athletes growing up. Fans were also reached during home games at Madison Square Garden where they answered questions about Knicks and Rangers players featured on the show via scoreboard trivia promotions.

Honorable Mentions:
CSN Chicago – Bears Classics
FOX Sports South – Driven Series
Ultimate Fighting Championship & PositiveImage Video – UFC Embedded
Whistle Sports – The Lacrosse Network – Paul Rabil: The Move

Regional/Digital Studio Show
AOL Inc. – 2 Point Lead

The goal was to create sketches that gave athletes a voice to speak to their world and have fun doing it, and National AOL Inc.’s 2 Point Lead overwhelmingly succeeded. Via 1800 Backup a real fake promo showed what it would be like to have a backup do things you didn’t want to deal with in your own life, while End Zone Celebration partnered with actor Orlando Jones to draw out players natural sense of comedy. The former went viral, while the latter was picked up by ESPN, who had Tyler Eiffert speak to it during an interview the week it went live.

Honorable Mentions:
Crackle/Sony Pictures Television – SPORTS JEOPARDY!
FOX Sports South – ACC Gridiron Live
MSG Networks – Rangers Pregame on MSG

RSN of the Year
New England Sports Network

The New England Sports Network (NESN) is seen in over 4 million homes in the six-state region, and, in 2015, was named the 9th most valuable sports business brand in the world by Forbes magazine. It provides 365 days a year of live sports programming and coverage of not only the Red Sox and the Bruins, but all sports on a national and international level. In addition, the net delivers original programming like kids’ baseball show NESN Clubhouse; lifestyle show Dining Playbook, and reality show, NESN Next Producer.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Midwest — RSN of the Year/2016
FOX Sports Ohio
MSG Networks

Seasonal Coverage – National
Univision Deportes – MLS 2015 Season

The 2015 MLS season marked the first time in US television history that a major American sports league debuted exclusively on a Spanish language network. Univision Deportes’ biggest achievement was the Univision Deportes Hat Trick, a broadcast operations method that allowed production of live soccer games from a remote location versus producing on-site, enhancing fan experience and transmission quality. The season coverage on UniMás was the most-viewed among all networks with Total Viewers 2+, besting Fox Sports 1 by +11% and ESPN2 by +4%.

Honorable Mentions:
AOL Inc. – 2 Point Lead
FOX Sports – NFL
NBA Digital – NBA TV
Univision Deportes – Liga MX
Univision Deportes – MLS 2015 Season

Seasonal Coverage – Regional
FOX Sports Midwest — Seasonal Coverage/2015 St. Louis Cardinals

FOX Sports Midwest provided wall-to-wall coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 100-win campaign, producing content that resonated with the team’s passionate fan base. It delivered the highest-rated Cardinals season in the network’s 22 season history (10.0 household average as per Nielsen), sold out advertising inventory, and had hundreds of thousands of video views and millions of social media impressions each week, led by an opening day clip that reached over 7 million people.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports South
Madison Square Garden Network – We Watch
SNY – New York Mets on SNY
YES Network – Brooklyn Nets on YES Network

Sports Blog
The Players’ Tribune

Providing athletes with the platform they need to share their opinions and news directly with fans, The Players’ Tribune site has changed the media landscape transforming how sports figures share information. In 2015, its roster of contributors grew to over 500 athletes, while content expanded to include long-form written essays, photo diaries, and a weekly radio show on Sirius XM/Mad Dog Sports. TPT also partnered with the New York Liberty on a groundbreaking digital series depicting life as a professional female athlete.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports – Outkick the Coverage
NBA Digital – The Sideline
SNY – MetsBlog.com

Spot – 30 Seconds

To convey the power of NFL.com’s GamePass subscription to fans and pique their interest in expanding their football sphere beyond their local teams, a new spot kept things simple by hitting on one of the best things about being a fan: the sense of community. The Catch: 30 gave viewers a sense of all its great benefits, like replays of all 256 regular-season games, past Super Bowls and more, while reminding them that the best part about watching football is sharing it with other fans. In addition, to resonating with U.S. fans, NFL GamePass International saw double-digit percentage growth year-over-year in both revenue and users.

Honorable Mentions:
FOX Sports Media Group – FIFA Women’s World Cup on FOX “Score to Settle”
NBC Sports Agency – NASCAR “Gut Check”
Showtime Networks Inc. – Mayweather vs Pacquiao Celebrity Spot
TeamWorks Media – B1G SIXTH MAN
Troika – UFC 194 Spot – 30 Second Cutdown
Turner Sports – The Quest

Spot – Over 30 Seconds
NBC Sports Agency – NASCAR “America Start Your Engines”

To announce NBC Sports as the new home for NASCAR and exclusive home for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NBC Sports created “America Start Your Engines”. The campaign emphasized NASCAR’s American edge and showed its muscle to make it cool again. NBC took advantage of the country’s largest audience during last year’s Super Bowl and encouraged all sports fans to get some NASCAR in their lives through the comedic help of Nick Offerman.

Honorable Mentions:
Bleacher Report – Sports Alphabet
FOX Sports Media Group – Fifa Women’s World Cup on FOX “It’s Not Over”
MLB Network – Postseason Heroes
National Basketball Association (NBA) – “This Is Why We Play” Anthem
Viewpoint Creative – Epix Road to the Winter Classic Campaign

Tune-In Promotion

NFL Network kept promo spots for Thursday Night Football short, sweet and to the point, keeping viewers informed with clips of the teams in upcoming weekly match-ups. The network also tapped the greater sense of community among football fans by bringing in real people from each team’s home city to take part in promos. As a result Thursday Night Football saw big success in 2015 with a nine percent increase in ratings over the previous year and an average audience for games of 17.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Honorable Mentions:
ESPN CreativeWorks & Universal Pictures – Pitch Perfect 2 NBA Playoffs
FOX Sports – FS1 Opening Drive Tour
FOX Sports South – Story Time With Paul Byrd
NBC Sports Agency – Sunday Night Football “Big Game”
Turner Sports – The Quest
WWE – WWE WrestleMania 31

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Use of Facebook
FOX Sports – @TheBuzzer

FOX Sports Daily Video Series @TheBuzzer reinvented sports news for the social media generation, creating quick commentary of breaking stories and hot topics via brief videos designed to reach and be shared with a younger audience. Delivering 10 to 15 30-second news and viral video updates daily to Facebook and Twitter, it collectively averaged 10.5 million views per week in 2015, up 374& from 2014.

Honorable Mentions:
NBA Digital – Real Training Camp: Cleveland Cavaliers: Facebook Live Streaming
NBC Sports Group – NBC Sports Regional Networks
NCAA Digital – NCAA March Madness Bracket Lounge Live

Use of Integrated Sponsorship for Broadcast
Scout Sports and Entertainment – Burger King

After a five year hiatus, Burger King reintroduced dormant brand icon The King to the world at the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight and again at the Belmont Stakes, moments before American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. The goal was to reach the largest possible audience that would transcend sports and cross over into pop-culture. The Burger King integrations sent shockwaves throughout social media, drove massive lifts in brand conversation, and contributed to a record breaking year for the business.

Honorable Mentions:
Intersport – Quicken Loans: Hole-in-One Platform
NBC Sports Agency – NASCAR/Sonic
New England Sports Network – Dunkin Donuts Red Sox Poll Question
Optimum Sports – State Farm “2015 All-Star Assist”
rEvolution Marketing – Short Shoot – Continental Tire “What ‘Cha Got”
Viacom Velocity – VH1 Super Bowl Blitz and Papa John’s

Use of On-Air Design
Troika – UFC Rebrand 2015

At the 2015 UFC Fan Expo, UFC unveiled a new visual identity, celebrating its position as an undeniable force in the world of sports. It brought to life UFC brand attributes – premium, electric and lionhearted, while elevating UFC athletes as larger-than-life heroes. The broadcast featured innovations throughout the on-screen information system, enabling depth of storytelling while enhancing the viewing experience with a low profile footprint that didn’t distract from the action. UFC also moved to center clock in broadcast, a first in combat sports.

Honorable Mentions:
NBC Sports Agency – Stanley Cup Playoff Campaign
NBC Sports Agency – Sunday Night Football Ultimate Ticket Season 2
Pac-12 Networks – Pac-12 Sports Report, presented by adidas
SNY – New York Mets Live Game Broadcast

Use of Twitter

MLB was the only sports league to be a launch partner for new Twitter product Moments, which went live the day of the first Wild Card Game. The MLB Social team created nearly a dozen ‘Moments’ over the course of the postseason, and Twitter used much of the work in their first promotion spot on the web, social and broadcasts. In addition, MLB created exclusive Twitter emojis for the #Postseason, #WildCard, #WorldSeries and all 10 official club hashtags.

Honorable Mentions:
National Basketball Association (@NBA) – One Billion Vine Loops
PGA.com – 2015 PGA Championship
XFINITY from Comcast – @XFINITYRacing Presents #SignMyTweet with Danica Patrick

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Webisode series
espnW – What Makes Us

The aim was to change the perception of female athletes by featuring them in tough, cinematic, unabashedly heroic short films. The result was What Makes Us, a series of short documentary films featuring the world’s greatest female athletes and their rise to becoming icons. Each film conveys a deeply personal message of overcoming odds.

Honorable Mentions:
Condé Nast Enterainment – Golf Assassins
FOX Sports – Outkick the Show
MLBAM – Express Written Consent
New England Sports Network – Weekly Football Update Webseries on NESN.com
Red Bull Media House – MX Nation!
The Players’ Tribune – 1440

CBS Sports Digital – CBSSports.com

In 2015, CBS Sports Digital implemented a strategy to offer more live event coverage for all major sports, spanning the spectrum from high school to pro, and built upon its already substantial fantasy audience to set records at every turn. In addition, it debuted video series with new content, format and graphics designed to appeal to today’s digital omnivores, and expanded to several leading connected TV devices. With 46.8 million unique visitors per month on average, CBS Sports Digital ended 2015 as a top 4 sports property, up from last year’s #7 ranking.

Honorable Mentions:
Bleacher Report – Bleacher Report
NBC Sports Group – NBCSports.com
NCAA Digital – NCAA.com


For questions related to the event or this year’s finalists, please contact Sarah Martinez:
Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 4.25.06 PM646.295.1094

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 4.25.10 PMsarah@cynopsis.com