Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Cynopsis: Sports Awards

Good afternoon. It’s still Thursday, August 9, 2012, and this is a special edition highlighting the inaugural Cynopsis Sports Media Awards.

A packed house hit Harvard Club in Manhattan on Thursday morning as executives from around the sports industry paid tribute to the year’s best and brightest at the sold out Cynopsis Sports Media Awards. We’d like to thank everyone who attended and congratulate both the winners of the various categories as well as all of the honorable mentions. A big shout out to all of our judges who dedicated their time and efforts to helping us select the winners and who had to make some difficult choices.

The Cynopsis Sports Awards honored the most outstanding work in the sports industry over the past year with categories that span television, digital, marketing and more. Multiple Award winners included ESPN, NBC Sports Group, MLB, NFL, Turner and CBS.

The awards were anchored, of course, by honoring three executives who changed the way their sports entities connected with fans around the country. David Hill, Senior Executive Vice-President of News Corp., received the Legacy Award for his outstanding management of the FOX Sports platforms and brands; Golf Channel President Mike McCarley received the Award of Distinction as Sports Network Executive of the Year; and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was the first winner of the Vision Award, which honors successful strategy from an executive at a sports league. All three discussed the groundbreaking work that the sports community fosters that changed the media dynamics for fans around the world and what we can expect moving forward. “Sports is the genuine emotional event that’s part of our environment,” said Hill, adding, “But sports will only maintain its grasp if it’s produced the right way.”

David Hill had served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) since 1999 overseeing the umbrella entity that represents News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets, before moving on to a new position at News Corp. in recent weeks. Last year, FOX Sports Media Group inked deals and generated ratings with highlights that included: Super Bowl XLV scoring as the most-watched program in television history at the time with 111 million viewers; World Series ratings rising 19% over 2010, new deals with leagues that include FIFA, UFC and NCAA conferences, ratings highs for the UEFA Champions League and year-to-year increases for NASCAR. Overall, FOX Sports has been the top-rated network for sports for 15 straight years.

Golf Channel President Mike McCarley led the network to its most-watched year in its 17-year history in 2011 and on pace to top that in 2012. Golf Channel is the fastest-growing network on television (any network serving 80mm+ homes) following six consecutive quarters of growth since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group. Viewership is up more than 50 percent year-to-date versus 2010, with golf coverage from the PGA TOUR rising 20 percent year-over-year and 54 percent versus 2010. The Presidents Cup coverage from Australia delivered the most-watched day and week in Golf Channel history, viewership for Golf Central grew 47% percent; and the premiere of “Feherty” to become the network’s most-viewed season premiere ever.

As the inaugural winner of the Cynopsis Sports Vision Award, which recognizes the League Executive of the Year, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott cemented the conference’s future by not only adding the Universities of Colorado and Utah to the roster of schools and adding a football conference championship, he also brought in new broadcast deals with FOX and ESPN that put the conference among the elite in revenue. In addition, Scott created Pac-12 Enterprises and will be launching the Pac-12 Networks on August 15, with one national and six regional networks that will offer 850 live events a year.

If you missed it, here’s a recap of all the winners as well as the honorable mentions who scored high enough to be a finalist!

App – Affiliated
Odds are, there was indeed an app for that. The successful combination of sports and apps spawned a bevy of new material to be utilized at our fingertips. This award recognizes the best of breed both directly affiliated with a network or league as well as from independent outlets.

NBA Digital – NBA GameTime

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network – BTN2Go
MLB Advanced Media, L.P. – At Bat
National Hockey League – NHL Game Center
Turner Sports – PGATOUR.COM Android App
Univision Deportes – Univision Marcador App

App – Non-Affiliated
Odds are, there was indeed an app for that. The successful combination of sports and apps spawned a bevy of new material to be utilized at our fingertips. This award recognizes the best of breed both directly affiliated with a network or league as well as from independent outlets.

Bleacher Report – Team Stream

Honorable Mentions:
deltatre – Rugby World Cup 2011 Mobile Applications
Golf Digest App – April 2011 Digital Edition
Golf Digest App – 2011 Hot List
Nokia – ESPN Sports Hub exclusively on Nokia Windows Phone
Thuuz Inc. – Thuuz

Documentary Series/Special/TV Movie
Recognizing the quality of a special or TV movie produced specifically about an event that took place in the world of sports.

CBS Sports/Showtime Productions – Game of Honor

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network – The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012
ESPN Films – Catching Hell
ESPN Films – Unguarded
Intersport – Courage in Sports
Universal Sports Television Network – Take a Seat: Sharing a Ride Across America



Cynopsis: Digital Measurement Summit: Video ROI, Illuminated
November 14 | JWT, NYC | 12-6pm

Join us as we bring together top thought leaders from every facet of the online video landscape, from research firms and technologists to executives from brands, agencies, TV and online networks to debate and evaluate the solutions toward establishing cross-platform measurement standards.

More info + registration coming soon…
For sponsorship information: Mike Farina, VP Sales & Marketing: 203-218-6480

Fantasy Game
32 million people ages 12 and over in the U.S. and Canada played some type of fantasy sport in 2010. Who gave players the best experience?

ESPN – Fantasy Football presented by GEICO and GMC

Honorable Mentions: – Beat the Streak presented by Scotts Fantasy Football
Turner Sports – NASCAR Million Dollar Fan Challenge

Live Coverage of Sporting Event
The big game! The award honors a live, single broadcast of a game or match by a network or station.
Fox Sports – Super Bowl XLV

Honorable Mentions:
CBS Sports – NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
ESPN – 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game
Fox Sports – World Series Game 6

Live Stream Presentation
A single sporting event designed to be viewed online alone or in conjunction with a television network.

Turner Sports/NASCAR.COM – Homestead Facebook RaceBuddy

Honorable Mentions:
MLB Advanced Media, L.P. – at Bat
MLB Advanced Media, L.P. – MLB.TV
Turner Sports – NBA League Pass Broadband
Turner Sports/ – PGA Championship LIVE

Marketing Campaign
Recognizing the creative use of marketing platforms to promote a sports-themed series or event that generated higher awareness and viewership for the broadcast.

NFL Network – A Football Life

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network – BTN LiveBIG
Fox Deportes – Ford – UEFA Champions League-Marketing Campaign
Fox Soccer for FOX Soccer CONCACAF Gold Cup Campaign – June 2011
Turner Sports – NCAA March Madness
Turner Sports/ – PGA Championship Social
USAA – USAA Veterans Week with ESPN
XOS Digital – Capital One LSU

Marketing Initiative
What one new, untried tactic launched a thousand+ ships for an event, team or show?

CraveOnline for Evolve Media Corp. – EA MMA Fighter Exchange

Honorable Mentions:
Sunrise Road Media – JukinVideo Launch
Turner Sports – NCAA March Madness on Demand Pushdowns


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Network Sports Branding Campaign
Recognizing a long-term multiplatform promotional strategy designed to build an engaged fan base for a game or sports series.

Star Wars & ESPN Fantasy Draft

Honorable Mentions:
FSN Marketing – FOX Sports Girls
NFL Network – Playoff Weeks Campaign
NFL Network – Thursday Night Football

New Sports Show
This category honors the best sports-themed series in any category launched in the US Between Jan 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011.

MLB Network – Clubhouse Confidential

Honorable Mentions:
Cartoon Network – Hall of Game Awards
ESPNU – The Palmer and Pollack Show
Girls Guide: Sports – Girls Guide: Sports with Jordan Zucker
Half Yard Productions – Gun It with Benny Spies
National Hockey League – NHL Tonight

Studio Show
They welcome us week in and week out to our favorite sports and guide us on the ins and outs of the game. The award recognizes the talent and crew behind these programs.

ESPN – College Game Day

Honorable Mentions:
FOX – NFL Sunday
MLB Network – MLB Tonight
NBC – NBC’s Football Night in America
TNT – Inside the NBA

People – Digital Executive
Utilizing the final frontier of media platforms, whose tactics changed the way viewers absorb sports media on digital platforms and raised the bar for the future use of technology?

MLB Advanced Media, L.P. – Bob Bowman

Honorable Mentions:
ESPN  – John Kosner
NBC Sports – Rick Cordella
NFL Network – Hans Schroeder

People  Marketer
This person’s campaigns would have made tongues wag both inside and outside the industry, with a consistent message that brought in the fans, drove audiences and kept them coming back for more.

NBC Sports Group – John Miller

Honorable Mentions:
InStadium – Barrett Davie
MELT – Vince Thompson
NASCAR – Steve Phelps
NFL – Mark Waller
NHL – Brian Jennings

Pro-Social Campaign
A great use for a great cause. This category recognizes the importance of an on-air or off-air campaign leveraging sports fans to benefit a pro-social initiative.

Big Ten Network – BTN LiveBIG

Honorable Mentions:
NFL Network – Keep Gym in Schools
Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. – Coaches vs. Cancer Sponsorship Ad

Radio Program
A great use for a great cause. This category recognizes the importance of an on-air or off-air campaign leveraging sports fans to benefit a pro-social initiative.

CBS Radio/WFAN Mike Francesa

Honorable Mentions:
ESPN – Mike and Mike in the Morning
ESPN – Scott Van Pelt Show
The Dan Patrick Show
The Jim Rome Show
Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio – The Fantasy Alarm Show

Social Media Initiatives  Affiliated
They found ways to go viral and continually engage fans with a new twist to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Here is who did it best, both officially with leagues and networks, as well as independently.

ESPN – ESPN’s First Take: #WhenSkipMeetsTebow
Major League Baseball Properties – MLB Fan Cave

Honorable Mentions:
Big Ten Network – BTN Live
Fox Deportes – Fanaticos Con Garra – Social Media Initiative
NFL Network – A Football Life – Bill Belichick Promotion

Social Media Initiatives – Non-Affiliated
They found ways to go viral and continually engage fans with a new twist to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Here is who did it best, both officially with leagues and networks, as well as independently.

Intersport – Papa John’s Dunks of the Year

Honorable Mentions:
Campos Creative Works – Toyota Athlete of the Year Campaign
Golf Digest – Golf Digest 2011 Fans’ Choice
New Media Strategies – Let Us Play: Resolving the NFL Lockout

An outstanding single video-based spot used to market or promote a special sports program or event.

NFL Network – Path to Primetime

Honorable Mentions:
Golf Channel – Golf Channel Family
NFL Network – Draft – Irvin Spot
NFL Network – NFL Fantasy Blues

Talk Show
What program was able to break down a game or a signing, debate a personnel move with fellow analysts and keep audiences riveted along the way? This award recognizes excellence in a regularly scheduled series that is primarily interview-based and/or in a roundtable format discussing the state of a sport or sports.

Golf Channel – Feherty Show

Honorable Mentions:
HBO – Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
NBA Digital – Open Court

Use of Integrated Sponsorship for Broadcast
Highlighting a particularly effective way to incorporate a sponsor into an on-air game, campaign or series.

Miller Coors – Coors Light College Football Saturday

Honorable Mentions:
CBS Sports Network – Sprint Unlimited Perspective
ESPN College GameDay & State Farm – “Desk”
Intersport – Allstate Road to the Bowls
Kia Motors America – 2011 KIA NBA All- Star Domination
OMD/Optimum Sports – Pepsi Porch

Webisode Series
An online-only program with five or more episodes revolving around sports.

ESPN – Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports

Honorable Mentions:
Competitor Group, Inc. – Fuel Your Fast presented by G Series Pro
Endemol USA for Major League Baseball – MLB Fan Cave
ESPN Production Migration Strategies & – “THE HUDDLE”
Starcom MediaVest Group for Samsung & ESPN IMS Project Teamwork

What online site was the best at raising TV viewing numbers for a series or sporting event?

National Hockey League –

Honorable Mentions:
Girls Guide: Sports –
MLB Advanced Media, L.P. –

Thank you all for attending, supporting and/or participating in a wonderful event.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP Sales & Marketing | 203-218-6480
Classifieds Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations & Content | 888-702-3858

Cynopsis Media: a division of Access Intelligence, LLC * 10 Norden Place * Norwalk, CT * 06855 * USA


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