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August 18, 2020

Brand Fact
LEK Consulting, which follows the video game industry, estimates the advertising-supported video-game business could grow into a $3 billion to $5 billion market in five years.


Top Story

NBA and Turner to provide live chat groups during playoffs

Through a new tie-up with streaming tech provider LiveLike, Turner Sports and the NBA will host private group chats synced to playoff action in the NBA app and on NBA.com starting next week.

What features does the platform provide?

NBA fans will be able to access the functionality for games airing on TNT and NBATV and can invite others by sharing a unique link. The Twitch-like chat experience will be available on mobile devices and computers, with messages tied to users’ in-game time stamps in an effort to prevent the spoilers that can result from viewers watching games with differing amounts of delay.

In the case of TNT games, the chat will sit alongside TNT Overtime feeds, which are bonus angles available via the NBA platforms. The agreement will run for the length of the playoffs, which begin Monday following a largely successful seeding game period played in a bubble in Orlando. The league previously teamed with Microsoft to display over 300 fans per game on 17-foot video boards spanning sidelines and endlines. LiveLike’s functionality will give viewers a different shared experience option.

The bottom line:

“Bringing an interactive fan experience to the NBA Playoffs with Turner Sports is a key milestone for our company,” LiveLike CEO Miheer Walavalkar said. “One of our first investors was the late David Stern, and making sports viewing a more social experience was something we talked about often.”

Read: Sportico


Betting

NBA internet personality ‘WorldWideWob’ joins FanDuel just in time for the playoffs

NBA Internet personality and influencer Rob Perez is joining FanDuel as the sports gambling company continues its push into original content. Perez, perhaps best known by his Twitter handle, @WorldWideWob, has more than 567,000 followers and is a prominent member of the NBA’s online community. He will continue to tweet often and produce videos that will appear across FanDuel’s digital platforms — on its website, within its app and other places — and on SportsGrid, a direct-to-consumer audio and video sports gambling network that has a partnership with FanDuel.

Perez is the second major media personality FanDuel has gone into business with recently, signaling its strategy to turn sports fans into bettors on its platform. Last month, the company announced an expansive agreement with former Indianapolis Colts punter and media personality Pat McAfee, whose Westwood One radio show is now replayed each night on SportsGrid. “We spend a lot of time focusing on tracking performance of all our content initiatives,” FanDuel Vice President Adam Kaplan said. “We are going to continue to invest in talent and influencers because we’ve seen the impact they can drive.”

Read: Washington Post


Partnerships

MLS and US Soccer sign ‘seven-figure’ Bleacher Report content deal

Turner’s Bleacher Report brand has signed a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as the US Soccer national governing body, for digital content development and distribution. The new agreement is worth a low seven-figure sum and will see Bleacher Report publish content across its digital channels in a bid to reach new fans. The deal also apparently creates the potential for additional revenue through branded content opportunities.

Turner, according to reports, is interested in MLS rights and could be an option for a streaming package given its previous efforts in that area. Bleacher Report is in the process of consolidating its digital offerings, with the B/R Live over-the-top (OTT) platform set to fold into the main B/R app. Until recently B/R Live was the US home of live UEFA Champions League matches, before Turner gave up its only US media rights in soccer earlier this year by opting out of that broadcast partnership.

Read: SportsPro


Partner Content

Which Teams Owned Social as Sports Returned?

A new blog series by Conviva takes an in-depth look at the return of the NHL, NBA, and MLB to social media following the pandemic hiatus. See which teams owned their return along with comprehensive cross-platform social rankings.

NHL - Hockey's Social Media Gets a Restart Along with the NHL

NBA - 5 Interesting Stats from the NBA Restart

MLB - Baseball is Back on the Field and in the Social Arena

All insights and rankings were found using the Conviva Social Insights Leaderboard. For more information on the Conviva Social Insights Leaderboard fill out their contact form here.


Platforms

AT&T says restrictions on NFL Sunday Ticket streaming have not changed for 2020 season

AT&T said it is not changing the restrictions for the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market games package for the upcoming season. To purchase Sunday Ticket, you must still be either a DirecTV subscriber, or — if you don’t subscribe to the satellite TV service — you may be eligible to get the streaming version of the service if you live in “select areas within various metropolitan cities,” if you can’t get satellite TV, or if you’re a college student.

Last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league wanted to expand the distribution of Sunday Ticket to online platforms in addition to DirecTV, which would have ended the satcaster’s exclusive rights on the out-of-market games package. But that hasn’t happened. According to AT&T’s website, nflsundayticket.tv “is only available to non-DirecTV customers who live in select multi-dwelling unit buildings (apartments, condos, etc.,) nationwide in the U.S. where DirecTV service is not available, live in select areas within various metropolitan cities, live in a residence that has been verified as unable to receive DirecTV satellite TV service due to obstructions blocking access to satellite signals, or are college students.”

Read: Variety


FANs

If a dunk echoes across an empty gym, is it still must-see TV?

Sports went away and then returned to empty arenas during the past five months of the coronavirus pandemic, pushing fans ever further to the periphery of professional sports. And yet a funny thing has happened — for the first time, the true value of live spectators has become abundantly clear. They are not the hundreds of dollars they spend on tickets, food and parking. They are critical extras in the backdrop of an entertainment proposition that in recent years has more squarely catered to viewers watching on television, cellphones and other devices. Without a capacity crowd cheering in person — collectively — professional sports don’t just lose their excitement. They lose their meaning.

“Just like the coronavirus has revealed the underpaid, unsung roles of people like nurses and grocery store employees, I think now that the virus is also revealing the underappreciated value that fans bring to the sports equation,” said Mack Hagood, a media studies professor at Miami University in Ohio, who has studied the effect of Seattle Seahawks fans on the football team.

“It legitimizes the experience,” said Travis Vogan, a professor at the University of Iowa who studies sports media. “You are connected to these people that are closer to the event.”

Read: The New York Times


What Else Is Trending?
  • TEAMS: Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics, is furloughing more than a third of its staff as a result of budget shortfalls from COVID-19.
  • LEAGUES: After the Canadian government rejected its loan application, the CFL has canceled its season to avoid more significant financial losses.
  • PEOPLE: Kawhi Leonard's new signature shoe by New Balance attempts to capture the superstar's understated but unique personality.
  • PARTNERSHIPS: Verizon and Disney expanded their tie-in to offer two phone plans that include Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ for free.
  • BETTING: As Penn National's Barstool Sportsbook app prepares for launch, industry insiders debate whether Barstool's powerful content arm and loyal fanbase are enough to meet lofty expectations.

RAD AD


DEAL OF THE DAY

Buffalo Wild Wings Becomes the Official Sports Bar of the League of Legends Championship Series

The Details

Buffalo Wild Wings is teaming up with the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) on a multi-year partnership that will make America’s largest sports bar brand the Official Sports Bar of the popular North American league. The agreement marks the first-ever streaming deal between an esports property and a major restaurant chain to livestream events at scale, while also showcasing Buffalo Wild Wings and its award-winning wings, for League of Legends fans streaming at home across the country.


Careers

Social Media Senior Coordinator 
NFL - Culver City, CA

Digital Retention Marketing Manager
DraftKings - Boston, MA

Sr Manager, Global Sponsorships
Climate Pledge Arena - Seattle, WA

Associate AD, Athletic Comms
Baylor University – Waco, TX

Digital Marketing Manager
Monterosa – Remote

Marketing Manager
Monster Energy – Warriewood, AU

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