Tonight in Unpacks: Despite a relative snoozefest, Buccaneers-Cowboys gives NBC its best Week 1 “Sunday Night Football” audience since 2015. SBJ’s Austin Karp looks into the figures.
- Anita DeFrantz profiled as a Champion of Sports Business
- Canadiens become seventh NHL team with jersey patch deal
- NASCAR, RTA tap advisors to help on next media-rights deal
- Paris set for its first CS:GO esports tournament
- Florida Blue to sponsor Inter Miami training facility
- Fanaply becomes Pac-12’s NFT/digital collectibles partner
- Some Richard Childress sponsors staying for Kyle Busch arrival
- North American teams shine in League of Legends competition
In today’s Morning Buzzcast, SBJ’s Abe Madkour dishes on a record-setting U.S. Open, as well as Dan Loeb retreating on an ESPN spin-off and MSG Sports naming Hopkinson as its next president and COO.
NBC drew its best NFL Week 1 “Sunday Night Football” game since 2015 — even with a low-scoring Buccaneers–Cowboys matchup, notes SBJ’s Austin Karp. The Bucs’ 19-3 win delivered a preliminary audience of around 25.1 million viewers, which is NBC’s best Week 1 Sunday night audience since Giants–Cowboys in 2015 (26.9 million).
NBC, which saw an 11% uptick for its NFL game package last season, was up 35% in Week 1 compared to Bears–Rams in 2021.
Combined with the NFL Kickoff on Thursday, which saw Bills–Rams deliver around 21.7 million viewers, NBC had its best Week 1 NFL doubleheader since 2016.
|Week 1 “Sunday Night Football” matchups on NBC|
Finally finding her place in sports — and in life — as a rower, Anita DeFrantz became an Olympian, an IOC champion for athletes and an advocate for justice by always standing ready to compete on the water and the international stage.
Anita made the first-ever U.S. women’s Olympic 8+ boat in 1976, a team that was a decided underdog that ended up with bronze behind the East Germans and Soviets. But none of that dampened her Montreal experience. The Olympic Village — with its international dining hall and athletes living among athletes — amazed DeFrantz. “Living in the village changed my life,” she said. “There was non-discrimination and the whole world was there. That let me know that the world can live together. So my goal since then was to have the whole world become an Olympic Village.”
But four years later, President Carter announced the U.S. would be boycotting the Moscow Games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Other athletes groaned and threw up their hands in disgust; DeFrantz actually did something about it, petitioning the White House for an audience and eventually suing the U.S. Olympic Committee. “She was out front and paid a heavy price for that,” said her 1976 and 1980 Olympic teammate Jan Palchikoff. “She was doing this while she was training, and it was exhausting. How could it not be with the amount of energy she was putting into this.”
The IOC had been watching the debate from a distance, and during the Moscow Games, awarded DeFrantz with a bronze medal of the Olympic Order for daring to fight the boycott. The accolades soon multiplied. She was named a board member of the USOC and then invited by an impressed Peter Ueberroth to join the 1984 L.A. Organizing Committee. One of her main duties: overseeing the Olympic Village.
She had become the preeminent athlete’s advocate, and by age 33 in 1986, she was both the first American woman and African American woman to become a member of the IOC.
In this week’s SBJ, Tom Friend profiles DeFrantz as part of this year’s class of Champions of Sports Business.
The Canadiens and RBC signed a multiyear jersey sponsorship agreement, which will see the RBC logo featured on players’ home jerseys beginning this season. Official jerseys with the RBC patch also will be sold at Tricolore Sports locations inside the Bell Centre and at the Bell Sports Complex.
For each official jersey with the RBC logo sold on site at Tricolore Sports, RBC will donate $20 to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
|NHL jersey patch deals to date|
|Blue Jackets||Safelite||All jerseys|
|Golden Knights||Circa Las Vegas||Home|
NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance have both retained consultants for the sport’s upcoming media rights cycle, with NASCAR choosing CAA subsidiary Evolution Media Capital and the RTA going with Wasserman, reports SBJ’s Adam Stern.
The moves come ahead of formal media rights talks beginning next year. NASCAR is working with EMC to consult on its talks with the incumbents Fox and NBC, whom pay a combined $820 million annually to the sport, as well as any potential newcomers, including ESPN, which has confirmed to SBJ that it plans to take a meeting with NASCAR if the property goes to market.
Wasserman will try to help teams understand the broader sports media landscape and where they fit into it. This comes as teams are politicking for a greater share of the pie with the next deal. Currently, the split is 65% to tracks, 25% to teams and 10% to the sanctioning body. NASCAR will also continue working with Doug Perlman, whose Sports Media Advisors outfit consulted on the property’s last media rights deal that was signed in 2014
NASCAR’s current TV deal ends in 2024, with the next cycle beginning in 2025.
Counter–Strike: Global Offensive is headed to France for the first time, as event organizer Blast will host and produce a Major in Paris next year, reports SBJ’s Tobias Seck. The Blast.TV Paris Major will be held in May.
Blast worked closely with CS:GO developer Valve, which is providing the tournament’s $1.25 million prize pool, and French media company Webedia Group, which produces the French League of Legends pro competition, La Ligue Française.
French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement over the weekend, noting that the CS:GO event and the 2024 TrackMania Games are part of historic opportunity for France to host major esports events and further push the development of competitive gaming in the country.
The 2024 TrackMania Games will be the first competitive gaming event for Ubisoft’s racing title, and one of its goals is to expose visitors in Paris for the Summer Olympics to esports.
In the most recent SBJ Betting newsletter, Bill King tackles:
- PointsBet shifts from national approach to more regional, digital ads
- NBC pivots on offerings, including utilization of Matthew Berry
- PointsBet eyes frequent bettors who spend more
- Growth of betting-related content a storyline to watch
- NFL sticks with less-is-more approach for betting ads
- BetMGM takes different strategy approaches with NFL team deals
- Inter Miami has secured a new naming-rights deal for the MLS club’s training center with health insurer Florida Blue that will pay the team an undisclosed seven-figure sum annually through 2027, reports SBJ’s Alex Silverman.
- The Pac-12 has competed a two-year deal with Fanaply, making the company its NFT/digital collectibles provider, reports SBJ’s Terry Lefton.
- Oak View Group division Prevent Advisors and its Red Team Assessment Services offering has been awarded the Safety Act Designation by the Department of Homeland Security, notes SBJ’s Bret McCormick.
- SBJ Daily today celebrates its 28th anniversary, with the first issue coming on Sept. 12, 1994. Take a look back at how “The Daily” was launched nearly three decades ago.
- Some Richard Childress Racing sponsors have indicated that they’re open to working with Kyle Busch, who is headed to RCR next season, and the team also is out in the market looking for other brands to join its new project, sources tell SBJ’s Adam Stern.
- Two North America-based organizations took home League of Legends regional titles over the weekend and are headed to the world championship, as Cloud9 defeated 100 Thieves for the League Championship Series championship (North America) and Rogue won the League of Legends European Championship over G2 Esports, reports SBJ’s Kevin Hitt.
- Prior to Kevin Hart’s second show at State Farm Arena on Friday night, Hawks guard Trae Young and Director of Business and Basketball Operations Nick Ressler gifted the comedian a custom jersey and a pair of Adidas Trae Young 1 Alternate Vivid Red Shoes. Hart sold out both Live Nation-produced Thursday and Friday shows at the Atlanta venue.
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