In two suites at Game 3 of the World Series in Philadelphia last November, Major League Baseball chief marketer Karin Timpone gave a glimpse into the future of the league’s marketing plans.
What's the deal?
In one suite sat some of baseball’s most outgoing rising stars—Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, budding TV personality Jazz Chisolm and Triston McKenzie, who wants to build a business empire like LeBron James—and celeb fans like Miles Teller, who clocks in a bit younger than the average celebrity TV broadcasts typically highlight during an MLB game.
In the other suite stood Timpone’s team (with various baseball personalities and celebrities like Roberto Clemente’s family, former Yankees manager Joe Torre, and celeb couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill), who are plotting the next generation of baseball marketing. Timpone has hired Wieden+Kennedy Portland as the league’s first creative agency of record in eight years. Timpone wants to drive loyalty as she’s rethinking fandom and how that impacts the way fans interact with the game of baseball.
The bottom line:
“We wanted the right partner to be able to work with us not only on filmed creative but across a variety of different things,” Timpone said. “And the work that you’re going to see unfold this season will definitely point to the breadth of the opportunity here.”
TikTok and UFC are continuing their team-up. The duo originally signed a partnership back in 2021 with the goal of offering TikTok-exclusive live streams, including pre-and post-fight footage, peeks behind the scenes, “engagement with UFC athletes,” and more.
To date, UFC’s TikTok accounts (it has five: @UFC, @UFCEspanol, @UFCBrasil, @UFCEurope, and the newest, @UFCANZ) have amassed 23 million followers and generated nearly 5 billion views. It is the third most-followed sports league on the platform.
Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, toppled by a more than $8 billion debt load. The company, which is an unconsolidated and independently run subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas. The company said in a release it is finalizing a restructuring support agreement with a majority of its debt holders and Sinclair to wipe out its debt load.
Diamond said it plans to restructure its balance sheet while continuing to broadcast local games on its portfolio of 19 networks under the Bally Sports brand across the U.S. The networks air professional hockey, basketball, and baseball games.
Many American sports fans grew up with that soundtrack, and, as adults, many still spend their morning hours the same way — showering, drinking coffee, and commuting to work, all accompanied by the background drone of sports talk radio or television.
Led by Radovich, CBS Sports is bringing that idea to soccer by launching the Golazo Network, a 24-hour soccer platform, on April 11th. The “first-of-its-kind,” direct-to-consumer digital network is “dedicated exclusively to global soccer coverage” in the U.S., according to CBS. It will be available free of charge on CBSSports.com, Pluto TV, and Paramount+.
It was less than a week before the Washington Capitals game at the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, and the ESPN production team still wasn't sure how it would handle a video goal review during the game. Normally, this wouldn't be a concern. But normally, the referee isn't a 3D-animated chicken.
These were the questions being asked and answered behind the scenes for several months as ESPN, Disney, and the NHL partnered for a first-of-its-kind broadcast: an entire hockey game recreated in real time inside a virtual environment, featuring 3D animated players whose movements synced with what was happening on the ice at Madison Square Garden, thanks to puck and player tracking data. The "NHL Big City Greens Classic" features live, real-time volumetric animations of players and teams modeled after characters on the Emmy Award-winning show "Big City Greens."
Gonzaga big man Drew Timme signs NIL deal with Beats by Dre
The Gonzaga men’s basketball star announced last Thursday that he partnered with Beats by Dre, and as part of the deal, Timme gifted every single one of his teammates a pair of headphones. Timme, who is represented by Seven1 Sports & Entertainment, also recently signed NIL deals with Continental Tire and Barstool Gonzaga. As of Sunday, Gonzaga, the No. 9 team in the country, sits in first place in the West Coast Conference with a 28-5 overall record.