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August 19, 2020

Fan Fact
According to Nielsen Data, US broadcast giant NBC recorded the highest average viewership per game for its coverage of English soccer’s top-flight Premier League in four years during the 2019/20 season.


Top Story

Amazon Prime Video nabs Seattle Sounders exclusive streaming rights, only for Washington State

Amazon — in another signal that it has big sports ambitions for Prime Video — grabbed local-market streaming rights for games played one of its hometown teams: Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.

What does the deal mean?

Under the three-year deal with the soccer team, Prime Video will become the sole digital streaming destination for all non-nationally televised Sounders FC matches throughout the club’s home broadcast territory in Washington State. The deal kicks off with the club’s Aug. 26 match against the L.A. Galaxy. Amazon’s deal with the team is set to run through the 2022 Major League Soccer season.

The Amazon-Sounders pact marks the second time Prime Video has reached a streaming agreement with a sports franchise. A year ago, Amazon secured a minority stake in YES Network, the regional sports network home of the New York Yankees. Amazon had planned to stream 21 Yankees games to Prime members in the team’s New York metro footprint, but that has been canceled because of Major League Baseball’s COVID-shortened season.

The bottom line:

“When I think about our hometown, few brands are as closely associated with Seattle’s sense of innovation and ingenuity as Amazon,” Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. “This is a proud day for our club, as we’re now able to bring our fans Sounders FC matches on the world’s premier video streaming service through a company that is synonymous with our city’s culture.”

Read: Variety


SOcIAL

NBA teams see 22% more engagement from Instagram Reels

NBA teams that have taken advantage of Instagram’s new Reels feature are enjoying higher levels of engagement than they do for standard videos posted on the social media platform, according to Conviva. The streaming media analytics firm said 20 of the league’s 30 franchises posted at least one Reel in the week after the new short-form content format was launched, allowing users to create and share 15-second videos with augmented reality (AR) effects and music. The engagements per Reel for those teams that used the format was 22% higher on average than the franchise’s average engagements per Instagram video during the same time period, Conviva noted.

The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed the most engagement per Reel across the NBA, notching over 385,000 engagements and more than four million plays from only one video. Meanwhile the Houston Rockets led the league in total plays of their Reels, recording over 6.3 million across three videos, which was enough for them to rank second in overall engagement per Reel.

Read: SportsPro


Platforms

“It’s been a source of some much-needed income’: Sports clubs are building subscription businesses on Facebook

In the scramble to replace revenue lost to the coronavirus pandemic, some sports clubs are selling content exclusively on Facebook. The hope is that fans who can’t pay to watch their fans at stadiums do so on Facebook.The Savannah Bananas, a baseball team in the wood-bat collegiate summer Coastal Plain League, and the Warrington Wolves, an English professional rugby club that competes in the Super League, are both selling content on Facebook through Fan Subscription Pages.

“These subscriptions are never going to make up for all the lost ticket sales but if we’re able to generate $30,000 to $60,000 from those sales eventually, then that allows us to reinvest money back into content,” said Jared Orton, president of the Savannah Bananas. “That’s so important for a small business like ours because we can reinvest that money in equipment and talent to create better content more often.”

Read: Digiday


Partner Content

[WEBINAR] Management of Creative Services to Drive Success in 2020 and Beyond
Thursday, August 20th at 12pm ET

In a time when in-person activity is on pause, creative digital content has never been more important. In this unique session, three agency leaders will come together to share tangible case studies and tactics for managing the creative process both internally with teams and externally with clients.

Attend this webinar to hear from Tod Plotkin, CEO and Founder of Green Buzz Agency; Liz Ott, President of Threespot; and Ab Emam, Founder of WDG. You’ll learn how to optimize workflows while pushing creative that meets the needs of clients, even while working remotely. You’ll also come away with an understanding of:

  • How to continue to highlight and differentiate creative work during COVID-19
  • What has changed and what has stayed the same as a digital first agency in 2020
  • How to keep up productivity and morale while working remotely

PEOPLE

Rob Gronkowski and brothers launch YouTube channel

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, known as much for his partying off the field as his play on it, has launched his own YouTube channel. He will star in videos, alongside his brothers, Gordie Jr., Dan, Chris and Glenn, on a channel that will be called—shockingly—“The Gronks.” The Human Media Group, an influencer management company based out of Tampa, is the channel’s manager, and OneTeam Partners, the joint venture of the NFLPA, MLBPA and RedBird Capital, will handle marketing, sponsorship and branded content.

The deal is another example of athletes, particularly high-profile ones, attempting to take control of their brands, images and ideas and using their popularity to create content that reaches beyond their athletic achievements. LeBron James co-founded SpringHill Entertainment with friend and business manager Maverick Carter in 2007, and the company has produced four movies and more than a dozen television shows. Tom Brady announced in March the creation of 199 Productions, which will develop original content like television shows, documentaries and films.

Read: Sportico


LEAGUES

Audi partners with Bleacher Report, MLS for Soccer docuseries

Audi of America is debuting a digital series focusing on young athletes and their efforts to become Major League Soccer pros. Launching across Bleacher Report’s B/R Football channels Aug. 19, five episodes feature Sporting Kansas City’s MLS youth academy. The series gives fans a first-hand account of how MLS youth Academies and Audi are working to ensure the next generation of athletes is ready to compete at an elite level, says Shawna Burtscher, director of Experiential Marketing at Audi of America.

“With Audi Goals Drive Progress, we literally put ‘our money where our mouth is,’” Burtscher tells Marketing Daily. “Fans have seen Audi’s financial contribution to MLS Youth Academies in every MLS match broadcast (starting last season) with every goal scored. ‘THE ACADEMY’ showcases the impact those funds provide and the tremendous sacrifices these young players make in pursuit of their professional dreams.” The documentary series will provide a detailed look at tactical meetings, closed training sessions, and how Sporting Kansas City’s Academy managed the transition to remote and virtual trainings, as well as season delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read: MediaPost


What Else Is Trending?
  • BETTING: The PGA continues to embrace betting, signing a deal with PointsBet after previously forming agreements with DraftKings and BetMGM.
  • CHANGE: Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the ownership group for the Sixers and Devils, has pledged $20 million over the next five years to fight for equality in its teams' home cities.
  • BRANDS: Independent legal analysts believe Under Armour's arguments to terminate its deal with Cal are 'disingenuous' as the brand struggles to regain its footing amid COVID-19.
  • FANS: The New York Red Bulls have partnered with HearMeCheer for its return to home stadiums, a product that allows fans to create live crowd noise from home.
  • LEAGUES: The potential for a postseason MLB bubble continues to gain steam as the league looks to protect its critical postseason TV revenue in any way possible.

cool content


DEAL OF THE DAY

Fastenal Named the Official Maintenance, Repair, and Operations Partner of the NHL

The Details

Fastenal Company and the National Hockey League announced a multiyear global partnership, naming Fastenal the official Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) partner of the NHL through the 2023-24 season. The partnership is focused on creating an efficient and reliable MRO supply chain for ice rinks across North America.


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