Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Cynopsis: Sports
05.24.13

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 28, 2013, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

After reinventing sports content when he co-founded Yardbarker back in 2006, Pete Vlastelica now finds himself reimagining it once again. Now Senior Vice President of Digital at FOX Sports Digital, Vlastelica is launching a new sales integration group for FOXSports.com that will focus on creating custom packages for advertisers around branded content/native advertising timed with the company’s launch of FOX Sports 1 in August.

Cynopsis Sports spoke with Vlastelica about the new team, how content has evolved, and how objectivity could hurt a brand.

Vlastelica on new initiatives at FOX Sports Digital: One of the most significant moves that we’ve made since I took on this role is the creation of a sales integration team. The decision to do this was about supporting FOX Sports 1, which launches in August. We will be producing significantly more content with this launch and a large portion of that content we expect to find a home online. So we have plans to significantly ramp the volume of original, high-quality web video or video repurposed from our shows for the web. With that, we thinking that there will be significant integrated sponsorship opportunities for brands aligning with our shows or with cross-platform content that lives either on the shows or online.

On building the team: We created a group under Nick Freeman, who was the head of business development at Yardbarker where we did quite a bit of custom branding content development. We had to and we did it out of necessity before anyone was talking about native advertising. We were a small fish competing for ad dollars against the largest brands in sports, including the likes of ESPN and FOX. So we were able to be successful by being willing to work closely with brands and co-develop programs with them that they bought into from day one. Now we are evolving that by forming this sales integration team focused on FOXSports.com and aligning that team with our content production team. This group isn’t part of our sales team, they are part of our content team and the plan is to truly make our brand partners part of our production process.

On the digital strategy for FOX Sports 1: FOXSports.com will continue to be the digital hub for all things FOX Sports, including FOX Sports 1. However, we will support programming on FOX Sports 1 through digital channels on the site as well as all the other platforms that we are active on. We will support at launch each of our shows with its own digital destination for fans of the show to get behind-the-scenes content and more from the talent online. We are also taking advantage of the fact that increasingly audience are participating in television on more than one screen. So we’ll have some developments that are new for FOX Sports that will give our audience more ways to engage with our live programming.

On the evolution of content: It was probably 2006 or 07 when the word “blog” was almost a dirty word, and this notion of user-generated content implied a deterioration of quality. But here we were at Yardbarker trying to build a business around the idea that users had a place in the conversation and fans in sports deserved a bigger audience for their opinion. Fan blogs in those days were really the only place you could go to get authentic sports content, everyplace else up to that point was objective and professional and written by journalists. We felt that went against the idea of fanship, because they were being objective. Being objective in sports means either you are not a fan or you are lying. So we started to see a small audience take interest in this non-objective content written by good writers and good content producers but they wore their fanship on their sleeve. That just felt more real and authentic, and we subsequently started to see the audience grow and with time we saw the interest from brands grow as well.

On the Air

After drawing headlines when a camera drive line interrupted NASCAR’s Coca Cola 600 over the weekend, damaging cars and sending spectators to the hospital, FOX Sports announced that they “still do not have a cause for what happened, but a full investigation is underway, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.” The company apologized and said that the rope was certified to have a breaking strength of over 9,300 pounds, with the force used during the race at less than 900 pounds. Meanwhile, NASCAR officials said they will wait on FOX Sports’ investigation of what caused the malfunction before deciding if the overhead technology will be used in future races.

A bevy of sports on Sunday wasn’t able to slow down the ratings momentum for TNT’s coverage of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The matchup between the Heat and Pacers delivered the highest-rated sports program of the day and was the top-rated program on TV in primetime, according to Nielsen. Game 3 of the series drew a 5.5 overnight rating, including a 22.1 metered market score in Miami and a 16.1 rating in Indianapolis. Through three games, TNT’s coverage of the 2013 NBA Eastern Conference Finals is averaging a 5.8 household rating, based on Nielsen metered markets, up 5% versus the first three games of last year’s Western Conference Finals.

The NHL and NHLPA are working with national television partners NBC Sports Group, CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and NHL Network, and NHL.com, to televise its annual Awards via two special broadcasts. One ceremony will take place at 7p as a lead-in to Game 2 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Network stateside, announcing the winners of the Calder Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, James Norris Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Vezina Trophy. The day before, at 5p, NHL Network and NHL.com will stream other awards that include the winners of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Frank J. Selke Trophy, Jack Adams Award, and King Clancy Memorial Trophy.

A few more sports media personalities are heading to new homes. USA Today NFL columnist Mike Garafalo announced that he is heading to FOX Sports 1. Meanwhile, the Big Lead reports that CBS college basketball writer Jeff Goodman is joining ESPN, where he will have an on-air role, in addition to his writing duties.

Tonight at 8p, Golf Channel will showcase the 1971 U.S. Open featuring a classic US Open battle between Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole Monday playoff to crown that year’s national champion. This will mark the first time since the tournament’s original airing that the contest will air on television on Golf’s greatest Rounds. Dan Hicks hosts.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


Cynopsis: Digital Model D Awards
The Best in Online Video Content & Advertising

Our awards show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by digital media, don’t let your 2012-2013 efforts go unnoticed!

Entry Deadline: June 20, 2013  | Late Submissions: June 27, 2013
Awards Event: November 2013 (NYC)

Learn about the awards program & how to enter: http://www.cynopsis.com/events/digital-awards/.


Sponsorship & Promotion

Thanks to Nike, the Cosmos will sport the same colors and logo previously worn by soccer legends Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto during the 1970s and ’80s. The company announced that Nike has signed on for a partnership with the team that will feature a primary kit for the team featuring a white shirt with green crew-neck collar, numbers and letters, plus white shorts with a green stripe and number. The secondary kit features a similar design with the green and white reversed. Both designs will be worn with white socks.

It’s down to two for EA’s NHL 14 cover vote, with Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets the two candidates left standing in the bracket. Voting will conclude on June 2 with the winner being announced during the Stanley Cup Final.

Digital & Production

Sports Illustrated is debuting a new live, 30-minute daily talk show on Monday, June 3 that will be shown on SI.com, called SI Now powered by Ford. The series will run weekdays at 1p and marks the first Time Inc. title to produce a regular, live video series. The show is hosted by SI’s Maggie Gray and offer commentary, analysis and social interaction with SI writers/editors, newsmakers and guests.

Tennis Channel launched an app for the French Open that will allow fans to watch the network’s match coverage on tablets and mobile devices. Called Tennis Channel Everywhere, the app marks the network’s first foray into mobile. The app will show matches through Sunday, June 2 with archived matches available on demand throughout and following the tournament as well as daily highlights, interviews and other segments from nightly show French Open Tonight.

The Main Event, the featured game of the day sponsored by Thuuz, real-time sports discovery for mobile & connected TV platforms

Sharks vs. Kings: Tuesday9:00p. Thuuz rating:93
The Kings haven’t played a game 7 on home ice since 1989. On NBCSN.


A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE


GO BIG, OR GO HOME!

Cynopsis: Digital BIG Monetization Summit

Your gateway to the must-have insights on next generation business models and strategies for developing and distributing quality digital programming.

8:30am-5:30pm | June 18 | NYC

www.cyndigitalmonetization.com
(early bird registration ends 5/30)


ON THIS DAY in 1968: The National League awards a franchise to the San Diego Padres.

In The Know: The Padres last played in the World Series against what team? (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: What is the NBA’s oldest arena still being used today? Answer: Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors and opened in 1966 (MSG didn’t open until 1968). Kudos: Denis Barry-CBS Television Station Sales/NY; Tim Overmyer-20th TV/Atlanta; Bernie Greenberg-The Sports Network/Hatboro; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions Inc/Santa Monica; Marci Polzin-Clear Talent Group/Studio City

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
05.28.13

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JOB OPENING: CONTENT PRODUCER/CBS/Studio City: The Content Producer shoots and edits video assets for CBS programming and distributes to media outlets. Up to 10% of travel on the job. To apply and full details CLICK HERE (6/4)

JOB OPENING: SR. ANALYST RESEARCH/ESPN/MIAMI: 3+ yrs. exp. wrkng w/multi-platform data & sales positioning. Exp. w/IBOPE,TGI & ComScore preferred. Strong analytical & presentation required. To apply: www.espncareers.com Job-109868 (6/1)

JOB OPENING: START UP/PRIORITY HIRES/STUDIO CONTROL/STUDIO TECH OPS: Univision/ABC hiring for New Network FUSION/Miami: Show Dir, Media Mgr, Asst Dir, Acquis Satellite/Audio/VCO-Lighting-Robotics/Camera Jib and Steadicam Operators needed! Apply; [email protected] (6/1)

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