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The largest operator of local television stations in the U.S. now has a foothold in the cable industry with the rights to broadcast games of dozens of professional teams.
The RSN portfolio, which excludes the YES Network, is the largest collection of RSNs in the marketplace today, with an extensive footprint that includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 NHL teams. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in an interview “We will become the preeminent local news and sports provider in the country. And those two genres in terms of live viewership are head and shoulders above any other genre.”
Sports content is considered extremely valuable because it continues to draw the largest audiences on television and is mostly viewed live, putting a premium on game-time advertising, but the business of operating regional sports networks has become difficult in recent years.
With people abandoning cable and satellite television, the operators of those services have started to squeeze RSNs. That has put the networks’ owners, like Sinclair, in a difficult position, and because they don’t typically own streaming rights for games, their ability to capitalize on digital audiences is hampered. It will remain to be seen how Sinclair handles this pressure point.
XFL games will air weekly on broadcast TV complemented by games on cable. The XFL TV schedule will feature back-to-back games starting Saturday afternoons, as well as two additional games on Sunday afternoons, providing fans ample opportunity to catch a game. “The XFL broadcast schedule provides us with incredible reach and makes it easy for fans to watch our games consistently every weekend,” said Vince McMahon, XFL Founder & Chairman.
No cash is changing hands as part of the three-year deal. Disney and Fox will keep all the television advertising inventory for the games and cover production costs while the XFL will sell sponsorships.
The first Saturday in May is one of the biggest sports days of the year. In addition to the gambling-friendly Kentucky Derby, the date has been a target for boxing, thanks in part to its proximity to Cinco de Mayo which helps it attract the sport’s avid Mexican fanbase. Tens of thousands of fans, including countless celebrities, descend on Las Vegas for it.
This year was no different as Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez squared off in Sin City. But missing from the action Saturday night were HBO and Showtime, the PPV homes for boxing’s biggest events of the past three decades. His new home is the sports streaming service DAZN, which led by former ESPN executive John Skipper is hoping to usurp his past employer with DAZN.
For a college basketball player, it doesn’t get bigger than March Madness. The NCAA Tournament represents the largest spotlight — and a tremendous platform to grow personal brands on social media.
Social media offers powerful outlets for student-athletes to express themselves and represent their teams, building brands that deliver value long after the days on the court.
As college athletics evolve, schools are empowering their athletes by delivering their marketing content directly to the players.
Individual player accounts have a large following, and combined, a team’s player followings often outnumber official school accounts by over 3X.
By using a central platform to store, deliver, and track content, 25 college teams provided athletes with dynamic photos and videos to reach over 10 MILLION people and receive over 3 million “likes” on Instagram.
The hemp company will launch an augmented reality game for attendees of NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 race over Memorial Day weekend. The app has players collect virtual tokens, like the gameplay of Pokémon Go, for coupons and free products while exploring the Charlotte Motor Speedway. AR apps like this provide a more immersive experience for fans while giving brands direct control over their marketing messages, and the gamification of activities at live events adds to the entertainment value and can prolong brand exposure among mobile users.
Read: Mobile Marketer
Last year the New York Times launched something called Project Feels, a departure for a media brand that prides itself on its emotional detachment, where the ads you are shown correspond to the emotion you feel. ESPN and USA Today are also using psychographic rather than demographic targeting to sell to advertisers, including in ESPN’s case, the decision to not show you advertising at all if your team is losing.
Psychographic targeting doesn’t have a great public image, and its effectiveness is still widely questioned, but the implications of targeting based on mood and attitude remain troublingly creepy. The New York Times would never allow the exploitation of mental health fragility on its pages, but there are plenty of unethical companies that would.
Read: The Guardian
NRG Lands Sneak as Gaming Supplement Partner
NRG Esports has added energy drink brand Sneak as its latest sponsor. Sneak is sold as a sugar-free powder, which is mixed with water to create the drink to provide “in-game energy.” The companies are collaborating on content, with Sneak also teasing competitions and merchandise drops. The content will include behind-the-scenes videos and player profiles from NRG teams across a variety of games, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Apex Legend.
Manager, Partner Marketing
Instagram – New York, NY
Manager, Sports Brand Solutions
Disney – New York, NY
Sr Manager, Marcom Strategy
EA Sports Madden – Orlando, FL
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