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August 31, 2020

Brand Fact
According to Mediaradar, 83% of the top 100 advertisers across the NBA, MLB and NHL purchased ad spots again during the return to play.


Top Story

PointsBet’s deal with NBCUniversal widely viewed as a game-changer for sports betting market

PointsBet announced that it entered into a five-year partnership with NBCUniversal in a deal that designates the sportsbook operator as the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. Under the partnership, NBCUniversal is receiving a 4.99% equity stake in PointsBet, pending shareholder approval and 66.88 million PointsBet options maturing in five years, PointsBet said in a statement.

What does this deal mean?

The partnership is the latest bid by a prominent media company to align with a sportsbook operator, following similar deals between William Hill and CBS Sports, BetMGM and Yahoo, as well as FOX Bet and The Stars Group (leading to a merger between The Stars Group and Flutter Entertainment). NBCUniversal was once rumored to potentially join forces with Penn National Gaming, given that several former NBC executives now work for Penn Interactive Ventures. Instead, Penn purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for about $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock.

The agreement is highlighted by the allocation of approximately $393 million in marketing spending over the five-year period, an amount intended to be allotted in progressively increasing amounts over the life of the deal. PointsBet will receive exclusive gameday integrations across NBC Sports’ eight regional networks, while the deal calls for incentives payable to NBCUniversal for customer referrals. PointsBet not only gains access to NBC’s broadcast assets, comprised of 184 million viewers, according to the companies, it will tap into the network’s digital assets, which span 60 million monthly active users, said Sam Swanell, who serves as managing director and group CEO at PointsBet. The figure is comparable to the 66 million unique viewers that Barstools estimates visit its site each month.

The bottom line:

“This is one of the most involved partnerships,” Roundhill Investments CEO and co-founder Will Hershey said. “I think this also further legitimizes PointsBet’s presence in the U.S. market. Right now they’re a small player, but that could change quickly. We may soon be talking about them in the same breath as DraftKings and FanDuel.”

Read: SportsHandle


PARTNERSHIPS

Amazon closing unprecedented Tottenham deal for online store

Amazon and Tottenham Hotspur are finalizing a first-of-its-kind retail partnership that will see the English soccer club build its own brand store on Amazon’s website. The tie-up marks a new level of interest from Amazon in licensed sports merchandise, an area that hasn’t yet been a major priority for the world’s biggest online retailer. It also draws a direct line between Amazon’s retail business and its growing Prime Video service, which is about to unveil a new documentary series about the club’s 2019-20 season. The store’s launch will be timed to capitalize on that release, the people said. More than that, Amazon will use “powerful tools” to entice customers who view All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur to shop at the store.

The deal is a potential playbook for how Amazon can further marry its core retail business with its growing sports media arm, which includes the All or Nothing documentary franchise and live sports like Thursday night NFL games. Knowing who’s watched what gives Amazon even more data capture to pitch products available in its marketplace. The All or Nothing franchise has included shows about the Dallas Cowboys, the University of Michigan football team and another English Premier League soccer club, Manchester City. Amazon Prime Video has also commissioned a four-part series about French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain.

Read: Sportico


BETTING

Why DraftKings brought its marketing in-house

DraftKings is best known as the place to play daily fantasy sports—and as the company that runs ads everywhere. Lesser known is that DraftKings was launched by three performance marketers who worked together at Vistaprint—yes, the business card place—prior to launching the company in 2012. Matt Kalish, president and co-founder, cut his teeth as a Vistaprint CRM marketing manager. “Vistaprint is really a performance marketing company,” says Kalish. “It is extremely data-driven. I was running marketing channels and using performance to get results for the company.”

Kalish, 39, says marketing is core to DraftKings' operations. Through the first six months of this year, the company spent $104 million on advertising and generated revenue of $188 million. That means for every revenue dollar made, the company spent more than half, 55 cents, on marketing. DraftKings believes in its own abilities to market. Last year, it parted ways with agency Deutsch New York and took all of its marketing in-house. The move was spearheaded by the company’s chief marketing officer, Tom Goedde, who recently left the company.

Read: AdAge


Partner Content

New Grabyo report finds 67% of US sports fans willing to switch to streaming exclusively

67% of sports fans in the US would be willing to watch sport exclusively on online streaming platforms, a new study from Grabyo has found. Grabyo’s At Home Video Trends (US) report uses data from January and July 2020 to track the impact of the COVID-19 health pandemic on the sports video industry.

69% of US sports fans would be willing to spend over $10 per month to watch live sports and highlights online. As for the superfans, the report showed that 31% would be willing to spend over $25 per month.

The report also found that more sports fans in the US are using social media (76%) than pay-TV/cable (74%) to watch video regularly. For more insights, download the report here.


ESPORTS

Bronny James joins FaZe Clan

Esports and gaming organization FaZe Clan has announced high school basketball recruit LeBron "Bronny" James Jr will join their organization. The news was posted via two FaZe Clan tweets on Sunday afternoon with one including a hype video featuring basketball highlights of Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, as well as highlights from video games, namely Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Last week, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons joined FaZe Clan as a content creator under the name "FaZe Simmo." Other athletes currently on the FaZe Clan creator roster include Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (FaZe Juju) and Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard (FaZe Hammer). Rappers Ugly God and Lil Yachty are also affiliated with FaZe Clan, while Migos member Offset is an investor of the brand.

Read: ESPN


Social

TikTok getting publishers’ attention by including them in $1 billion Creator Fund

TikTok has told publishers that they will be eligible to apply for the TikTok Creator Fund payments, according to publishers who have talked with TikTok about the Creator Fund. A TikTok spokesperson confirmed that publishers will be eligible in the next phase of the Creator Fund. It’s unclear how much TikTok is willing to pay publishers, or how many publishers it is willing to accept into the program. To qualify for the Creator Fund money, publishers will need to have at least 10,000 followers on TikTok and have received 10,000 views over the last 30 days, according to the media executives. Those are the same requirements given for individual creators.

What is clear is that the money could go a long way toward getting publishers to produce original videos for the platform that is under siege by Instagram, which recently introduced a rival product Reels, as well as the U.S. government, which is trying to ban TikTok from operating in the country and forcing TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations. Some publishers have been reticent to invest much time and effort in posting original videos to TikTok because they have struggled to find success on the platform and have been underwhelmed by the platform’s support of publishers. Paying publishers to post to the platform, however, could be motivation enough for revenue-focused publishers to make more of an effort. “When they start saying, ‘We’ll give you money,’ I’ll have my team start focusing on doing more on TikTok,” said one publisher.

Read: ESPN


What Else Is Trending?
  • PEOPLE: With Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen stepping away following insensitive comments, both JJ Watt and Jozy Altidore have expressed interest in purchasing the MLS club.
  • LEAGUES: The Big Ten is studying football scheduling models that could provide up to 10 games starting at Thanksgiving as other leagues prep for kickoff in the coming weeks.
  • ADVERTISING: Peacock is debuting voice-activated ads from big brands such as Coors and Target.
  • CHANGE: As the NBA and WNBA lead the way in athlete protests, both leagues received A+ scores for racial hiring in 2019, per The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.
  • TEAMS: Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is now in exclusive talks to purchase the New York Mets.

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DEAL OF THE DAY

Monkey Knife Fight And Tampa Bay Buccaneers Enter Into Multi-Year Partnership

The Details

Monkey Knife Fight (MKF), the fastest-growing fantasy sports gaming platform in North America, has signed a multi-year deal with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. MKF will be featured in pre- and post-game radio and TV promotions, in-stadium branding, and across the team's social media platforms. As part of the partnership, Monkey Knife Fight will be the presenting sponsor of the team's article series, "Five Bucs to Watch," sponsor of the Bucs' "Top Performer in Fantasy" highlight series, and title sponsor of an in-app predictive gaming concept. MKF will create additional contests tailored to Buccaneers fans.


Careers

Growth Strategy Specialist, Sports 
TikTok - Los Angeles, CA

Global Fan Marketing Specialist
NBA - New York, NY

Marketing Operations Analyst
PointsBet - Denver, CO

Director, Global Community
NBA 2K – Novato, CA

Marketing Research & Analytics
Learfield IMG College – Plano, TX

Marketing Coordinator
LFC Foundation – Liverpool, UK

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