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2017 Marine Corps Marathon Finish Line Videos


2017 Marine Corps Marathon Finish Line Videos

This year, due to production logistics and timing constraints, we were restricted in our ability to shoot the MCM finish line video beyond the 5:05:30 mark of the race. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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Looking to find video of your friend or loved one crossing the finish line at the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon?

NBC Sports Washington has every second of the finish line for the 2017 race documented below.

Use the finish time of the person you are looking for and find the duration below.

Finish Line Videos:

MCM Finish Line: 2:15:50 to 2:30:50
MCM Finish Line: 2:30:30 to 2:40:30
MCM Finish Line: 2:40:00 to 2:50:00
MCM Finish Line: 2:49:30 to 2:59:30
MCM Finish Line: 2:59:00 to 3:09:00
MCM Finish Line: 3:08:30 to 3:18:30
MCM Finish Line: 3:18:00 to 3:28:00
MCM Finish Line: 3:37:00 to 3:43:50
MCM Finish Line: 3:44:30 to 3:54:30
MCM Finish Line: 3:54:00 to 4:04:00
MCM Finish Line: 4:03:30 to 4:13:30
MCM Finish Line: 4:13:00 to 4:23:00
MCM Finish Line: 4:22:30 to 4:32:30
MCM Finish Line: 4:32:00 to 4:42:00
MCM Finish Line: 4:41:30 to 4:51:30
MCM Finish Line: 4:51:00 to 4:56:00
MCM Finish Line: 4:55:30 to 5:05:30



with Jamie Swimmer & Tanner Simkins

  1. Forget fancy touchdown dances and color block unis. As the NFL Playoffs draw to their thrilling conclusion this coming weekend, the latest trend in the NFL appears to be throwing big money at free agents. As a result of the NFL salary cap exploding from $120 million to $167 million over the past six years (and rising at least $10 million per year in the past four seasons), NFL team-building strategies have completely changed. Spending in free agency used to be viewed as a bad idea or last resort. Now it's the secret to winning. Just ask the six teams of the top 10 spenders in free agency this past offseason that made the playoffs – the Rams, Panthers, Titans, Vikings, Jaguars, and Patriots. The Jaguars, who spent more in free agency than any other NFL team, went from 3-13 to 10-6 in the regular season. Their winning formula is still working, as they’ll face off against the Patriots at Foxborough on Sunday, with a Super Bowl berth at stake. Likewise the free agent happy Vikings, after their amazing finish on Sunday, take on the Eagles at home – and look to be the first team in NFL history to play a “home” Super Bowl championship game. Stay tuned.

  2. With the Australian Open now underway, professional tennis is facing serious scheduling issues as injuries continue to mount. According to the New York Times, the current structure of professional tennis, “with multiple governing bodies and no final arbiter,” has limited flexibility for schedule changes. The annual calendar’s current structure is even harder on the world’s best players, who are required to attend many of the events. “It’s not about the crazy calendar,” said Rafael Nadal. “For me it’s about how long the calendar is in terms of mandatory events for the top players.” The sport is now at a tricky crossroads of trying to keep players healthy and available for tournaments, while also giving them the rest they need. When more players ask for exemptions, tournaments inevitably lose some of their attraction. The tough part is striking the balance economically for events and sponsors while protecting the health of top players.

  3. Asics inked Novak Djokovic to a global footwear deal, and the Japanese company will start activating around the new partnership in Melbourne during the Australian Open. Asics declined to disclose terms of the contract. Djokovic last year signed with Lacoste for apparel, but left the footwear category open. It is not uncommon in tennis for athletes to sign separate contracts for footwear and apparel. “For us, of course, we want to be number one in the tennis footwear globally, and partnering with Novak is a great part of the strategy to win this category,” said Asics CMO Paul Miles, who added Asics is the No. 1 tennis footwear brand in several European markets. Miles negotiated the deal for Asics. Djokovic will begin wearing the shoes at the Australian Open. Asics already has several top tennis players under contract, including Coco Vandeweghe, David Goffin, and Gaël Monfils. Those deals are for both footwear and apparel. Djokovic, the former world No. 1, is currently ranked 14th in the world. As the action unfolds in Melbourne at tennis’ first Slam of the year, look for other high-level marketing deals to unfold outside the court.

  1. Just a few weeks away from Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, NBC has nearly sold out all of its ad spots for the game. According to the Los Angeles Times, NBC is expecting to rake in $500 million in ad revenue on Super Bowl Sunday from longtime advertisers such as Pepsi, Hyundai, and Budweiser, with ads being priced at $5 million for a 30-second spot. Both of those numbers are similar to those from last year. NBCU Executive Vice President/Sales & Marketing Dan Lovinger confirmed these numbers and also added that advertising demand for next month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea has been similarly strong. For the Olympics, Lovinger said that the net is “projecting an audience ‘close’ to the 21.4 million viewers who tuned in each night” to the 2014 Sochi Games, with a projected $900 million in advertisement revenue from the Olympics alone. The two events, only five days apart, should bring a major windfall of cash to the NBC.

  1. Since coming out as openly gay, U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy’s brand has been on the rise, picking up endorsements left and right. According to the Washington Post, Kenworthy went to the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a “relative unknown,” gaining more attention when he adopted stray dogs in Russia than when he took home a silver medal in the slopestyle event. Despite still having to qualify for the Olympics in PyeongChang next month and maintaining only a few small sponsorships back in Sochi, Kenworthy now boasts a sponsorship portfolio consisting of big corporate names such as VISA, Toyota, United, P&G, Ralph Lauren, and Deloitte. “I’m definitely like ‘the gay skier’ now, and that’s fine,” said Kenworthy. “All these brands want me to tell my story, and my story isn’t just the story of an athlete.” All of Kenworthy’s sponsors immediately showed support for the skier after he came out, but most of them decided to exercise the caution they would with any modern athlete and sign deals closer to the PyeongChang Opening Ceremonies.

  1. The 2018 NHL All-Star Game rosters have been selected for all four divisions ahead of the event taking place on Sunday, January 28 in Tampa Bay. According to Sports Internet, this year’s All-Star Game will have the same format as it did last year: a 3-on-3 tournament between the four divisional teams. The host Lightning lead the league with four selections: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper will head the Atlantic Division, while Stamkos will serve as captain for the team. P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators (Central Division), Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division), and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (Pacific Division) will captain the other three squads at Amalie Arena. Despite playing in South Florida, the Lightning currently rank sixth in the NHL in attendance, averaging 19,092 fans per game through 22 home games this season – another sign that the NHL’s southern expansion continues to pay off over time.

  1. Now that South and North Korea have agreed that the North will send a contingent of athletes to next month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the IOC will meet to work out the details and specifics. According to Reuters, the IOC is planning to meet on January 20 at its Lausanne, Switzerland, headquarters to talk about issues such as flags and the number of athletes that North Korea will send. The talks between North and South Korea marked the first time the two bordering nations spoke in over two years. “I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. The agreement between North and South Korea comes amidst a time in which North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and President Donald Trump have exchanged “fiery barbs.” However, one of the primary Olympic ideals, since the Games’ beginning, is to remain apolitical. Expect Olympic committees and broadcasters to strive to maintain this ideal. Athletes and politicians – especially those with big social media followings – are the wildcards.

  1. The NFL has announced its plans for next season’s International Series, reducing games played in London from four to three in 2018. According to ESPN, the 2018 games in London will be played in consecutive weeks for the first time, “as the league continues to build out its operational structure in the U.K.” While the order of the three games has not yet been announced, the teams competing have been shared. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Oakland Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur’s new White Hart Lane stadium, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles will square off at Wembley Stadium, and the Tennessee Titans will play the Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley as well. “This is another important year as we develop our plans for London and the U.K.,” said Mark Weller, the NFL's executive vice president of events and international. “By playing games on three consecutive weeks, we will learn a lot, both from the fans buying tickets and attending games, and from a logistics and organizational standpoint.” With this move, the NFL inches closer to maintaining a week in, week out schedule in London, getting fans used to the routine. If 2018 goes well, look for four consecutive weeks of play there in 2019.

  1. The NBA’s most recent international game – a matchup between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers – was deemed a success by the league after a sellout crowd packed London’s 02 Arena. Tickets for the game went on sale October 20 and sold out in less than an hour.  According to SportsBusiness Journal, the NBA had 11 partners for this year’s London game, ranging from Nike to Gatorade to SAP and Tissot. Ben Morel, the NBA’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Europe and Middle East, noted that the league now has 36 European broadcast partners providing live game coverage and programming, and that even more NBA coverage is being demanded by fans across the pond. Currently, the NBA hosts only one game per year in London. Commenting on playing more games there, Morel said, “We’re very happy with where we are right now…It’s such a Europe All-Star [game] for us and all our European business contacts and fans.” You can bet the NBA is also keeping a close watch on the NFL’s U.K. expansion strategy.

  1. A close-up documentary series chronicling the life of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be available to the masses on Facebook Watch later this month. According to the New York Times, Brady granted filmmaker Gotham Chopra “sweeping access” to “an array of intimate settings, including footage of Brady at his Brookline, Massachusetts, home with his family.” The six-episode series, titled “Tom vs. Time,” is meant to give fans an inside view of his life off the field and how the quarterback has been able to remain so effective this late in his career. News of the documentary series comes at a time when Brady has been making headlines for reported riffs between him and Head Coach Bill Belichick and Owner Robert Kraft. It is “unclear if Brady had even told [Belichick] about the project.” The first four episodes, according to a source who has seen them, do not discuss anything related to player protests, trading Jimmy Garoppolo, or Brady’s “polarizing body coach” Alex Guerrero. This looks to be a well-timed extension of the Brady brand – especially when he is barreling toward another Super Bowl appearance, if Saturday’s thumping of the Titans is any gauge.

  1. Despite not addressing his 10-year, $100 million contract, the Oakland Raiders officially welcomed back Jon Gruden as the franchise’s new head coach. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Gruden’s introductory press conference was held at the team’s Alameda headquarters in their recently-built weight room. “It is the biggest day of my life right now to have him here,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis at the press conference. The team welcomed more than 110 media members and nearly 50 former Raiders players to the event. Gruden hung up the microphone when he left his position as ESPN’s highest-paid on-camera employee to step back onto the sideline. Bringing Gruden back on will mean more than just having a new head coach though; the franchise is hoping their new coach’s “star power” will help ease the transition to Las Vegas in 2020, while "simultaneously striving to engage a scorned local fan base while selling PSL’s, naming rights and advertising in their new Vegas digs." For $10 million a year, Gruden will indeed be expected to add some sizzle to the Raiders brand, both in Oakland and in Las Vegas.

  2. Eleven states expected to pass gambling legislation in 2018. The SCOTUS will decide by June 30 (likely in April or May) if it will overturn a federal ban prohibiting single-game sports betting in every state but Nevada. According to a new report by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, should that occur, 18 states would look introduce sports betting legislation before the end of 2018, with the expectation that the bill would pass in at least 11. The firm believes that upwards of 30 states will ultimately pass sports gaming laws. Tax revenue is driving states to draft gambling legislation, but even if a state passes their bill prior to the SCOTUS issuing its decision on Christie vs. NCAA; this isn’t a plug and play situation (i.e. casinos aren’t opening a sportsbook the next day), hurdles remain. Brett Smiley, Editor and Chief of SportsHandle, pointed out that “sportsbooks will still have to find quality personnel, including experienced sportsbook directors; which are in limited supply. There must be the right infrastructure, sensible rules and regulation; integrity monitoring, software, employees who understand it, and of course a tax structure that won't doom the sportsbooks before they take their first bet.” Don’t expect to be placing legal sports bets outside Vegas til midyear at least.

  1. The Dallas Mavericks have been less than stellar on the court this season, but that has done nothing to stop the team’s unbeatable attendance record. According to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, the Mavericks’ sellout streak first began in 2001 and has continued through this season, though the team remains a longshot to make the playoffs. Through the second week in January, the Mavs remained in 12th place in the Western Conference with a record of 15-28, a mere half-game in front of the last-place Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, and Los Angeles Lakers. The team has been able to keep its NBA-best streak alive by keeping ticket prices affordable for fans, having “two highly visible franchise players (Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes) and approachable management.” The team’s recent win over the Orlando Magic marked the 727th consecutive home sellout – the second-longest streak in NBA history, behind only the Portland Trail Blazers’ 814-game streak lasting from the 1970s through the 1990s. It’s hard to put a price on fan loyalty, but the Mavericks’ front office staff would likely say their fans are worth their weight in gold.

  1. This season has marked a massive turnaround for the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, after acquiring All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in the offseason, the Timberwolves have been averaging almost 2,000 more fans per game compared to last season. At the current rate, the team is on track to post its best attendance numbers for a season in a non-lockout-shortened year since 2005. The Timberwolves are averaging 16,175 fans per game at the newly-renovated Target Center, while holding onto a top four seed in the competitive Western Conference. T'Wolves Chief Revenue Officer and Senior Vice President Ryan Tanke “expects that number to reach between 16,500 and 17,000 by year’s end.” Tanke further commented that the team “got a boost from a 20% increase in season-ticket sales following the offseason trade for Jimmy Butler,” and has seen single-game ticket gains throughout the first half of the season. The next few weeks will be telling for the T-Wolves, as the franchise will be dealing with fans distracted by local Super Bowl activities – especially if the Vikings ascend to the Big Game.

  1. The New York Yankees are taking precautionary steps to ensure that nobody is hit by a line drive foul ball again. According to the New York Times, the Yankees released a statement saying that they would extend protective netting down the foul lines, going beyond MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s encouragement after a toddler was severely injured by a foul ball at a game in September. To this point, Manfred has not mandated that teams add protection, but the Yankees have taken matters into their own hands. The netting will “extend nine feet above the dugout roofs and five and a half feet above the short walls that extend down the foul lines.” It also will provide “increased protection for fans who are sitting inside the so-called moat that surrounds the highest priced seats, extending to the point where the wall makes a slight turn and hugs the foul lines.” Teams can scrimp on many things but fan safety isn’t one of them. Every other MLB franchise with dangerous foul lines should follow the Yankees’ example and extend their netting.

Power of Sports Five

  1. Afghanistan will compete in the Winter Olympics for the first time. The story of two Afghan skiers is a story that defies norms. Sajjad Husaini and Alishah Farhang are going to make Olympic history at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Afghanistan Olympic Committee President Mohammad Zahir Aghbar registered the two in November 2017, and news of their acceptance broke shortly afterwards. Their stories stand out, not only because they are the first athletes to represent this long war-torn country, but because of their modest beginnings. Their journey to Olympic enrollment does not parallel a typical athlete’s journey. It reflects how true passion and love of the sport have been a driving factor for the two skiers. After living as a refugee in Iran for 13 years, the 26-year-old Husaini returned to Afghanistan and started skiing at the age of 21. Farhang, who is 27, started skiing in 2011 at the age of 19. Both skiers were much older than most professional athletes when they were introduced to the sport. “We wanted to represent Afghanistan in a different way, to show the other countries that Afghanistan is not only war and destruction,” said Husaini.

  2. Mentorship program uses snow, skate, and surf to reach youth. “Any activity fueled by physical activity, passion, and community — and using your hands to build things — is developing a part of your brain that I believe our society is missing out on right now,” Stoked Founder and President Steve Larosiliere says. Because of its unique model of connecting professionals from a variety of creative fields with youth through a shared love of action sports, Stoked has become more than a mentoring program. It’s grown to become a design-thinking community of leaders that includes athletes, creatives, and media executives all mobilized around the life-changing ideas that can be sparked when great minds come together. While gaining experience in action sports, many of the kids have found themselves on the precipice of potential new careers in design, photography, and branding. “Stoked really attracts a lot of creative people, so this evolved naturally,” Larosiliere says. “Our kids wanted more than just to learn how to snowboard, skate, and surf. They were learning all these new skills and felt like they wanted to do more, and wanted to be more, and be more closely aligned with their mentors’ industries.”

  3. “You Can Be a Pioneer” – like the Orlando Magic’s Becky Bonner. Over the past few years, women have slowly moved into positions of power within NBA front offices. There's still a ways to go, but for the female decision-makers already in place, the possibility that they could run a franchise themselves isn't just a theory anymore. Officially, Becky Bonner is the Magic’s director of player development and quality control — tasked with everything from player appearances and facilities upgrades to scouting and player evaluation. Unofficially, she’s training to become a general manager — perhaps the first female GM in league history. One night, Bonner is shepherding Magic players through Walmart. The next day, she’ll be filing reports on a batch of draft prospects, then watching the Magic-Clippers game from the executive suite, alongside Magic president Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond. In the weeks and months ahead, she’ll be in the Magic’s war room, offering input on free-agent targets or potential deals in advance of the February 8 trade deadline. She will be the lone female voice in that room—and one of the few in the NBA, period.

  4. This U.S. men’s hockey star is set to make Olympic history. 20-year-old Jordan Greenway is poised to make history when he takes the ice at next month's Winter Olympics. The Boston University forward was officially named to the team's roster earlier this month. With NHL players absent from this year's Games — the league opted not to put a break in the season schedule as they'd done in years past — Greenway is arguably the face of U.S. hockey thanks to his newfound fame. Like many Winter Olympic sports, hockey is still very white, though its makeup is slowly changing. Greenway understands that no matter what happens later in his promising career, this moment represents a unique opportunity to inspire a younger generation. “I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of good things and just allowing a lot of African American kids who are younger than me who see kind of what I’m doing, I hope that can be an inspiration for them,” he told Sporting News. “Go out and do something different against the typical stereotypes that most African-Americans play basketball, or whatever the case is.” Greenway is just one of 13 African American athletes playing Division I men’s hockey, making up less than one percent of the total. When it comes to pro hockey, black athletes are represented slightly better, though they still account for just 2.29% of all players.

  5. Meet a NBA General Manager who’s a food blogger on the side. Rich Cho is the first Asian-American general manager in the NBA, first of the Portland Trail Blazers, in 2010, and then of the Charlotte Hornets. He is also the founder of a food blog, Bigtime Bites. The site reviews dishes rather than restaurants, and it only covers food that people love. “You don’t have to sift through all the negativity,” Cho said, in between sips from a large black coffee cup adorned with the Bigtime Bites logo. On the site, dishes are graded according to both taste and presentation, and they are grouped into basketball-themed categories: a “rotation player” might be a desirable choice occasionally, depending on mood, whereas a “franchise player” is a good pick any day of the week. Cho has worked in the NBA for more than two decades, starting as an intern with the Seattle Supersonics while he was still in law school. Now, you can find the GM going off to “scout” another meal.

Tech 5

  1. Samsung gives speedskaters SmartSuit tech for Winter Games. With the PyeongChang Olympics beginning next month, Samsung has revealed that it has given two Dutch short track speedskaters access to the Samsung SmartSuit to try to help them win Olympic gold. A competitive form of speed-skating, short track speed competitions take place on an oval ice track of a circumference of just 364 feet. The suit, thanks to five sensors embedded in it, is able to measure body posture and calculates how far a skater’s hips are from the ice. The reason why this analysis is so crucial is because this distance, if maximized, allows skaters to increase their speed, especially as the current men’s and women’s world records are 39.9 and 42.3 seconds, respectively. All this data is captured by an accompanying app, which can be analyzed in real-time by a coach. If a skater isn’t crouched at the optimal level, a reminder can be sent by the coach via the app, which will send a vibration that the athlete feels on their wrists advising them to correct their posture.

  2. Amazon says its Thursday night NFL audience outpaced Twitter. Amazon has disclosed its season-ending viewership numbers for its 11-game Thursday Night Football NFL package and claimed victory over Twitter by average-minute audience. The numbers that Amazon provided to SportTechie indicated that the AMA tuning into NFL action on Prime Video for at least 30 seconds was more than 310,000, a number said to be 17 % higher than Twitter during the 2016 season. An analysis by MarketingLand pegged Twitter’s AMA at 265,800. Whether Amazon truly outperformed Twitter in reaching a live-streaming audience, however, is not clear, because the two tech giants have not reported apples-to-apples metrics. Amazon used the 30-second AMA increment because, a spokesman said, that data point was most comparable to average TV ratings and thus more similar to the traditional Nielsen numbers. With regard to total reach — i.e. the total number of viewers to tune in for any length of time — Amazon said its peak was the two million fans.

  3. Peloton introduces internet-connected treadmill at CES. Peloton, known for reinventing the stationary bike, introduced an internet-connected treadmill offering on-demand built-in live workouts at CES. Designed to mimic the boutique fitness studio class experience, the $3,995 Peloton Tread offers workouts for athletes of all levels; accounting for their varying tastes in music. The hardware includes an HD touchscreen 3x larger (32 inches) than the one on the Peloton bike, ensuring the user maintains a clear view of the screen when he/she steps off the machine to do floor exercises; along with a 20-watt sound bar and 59 individual shock absorbing-slats (as opposed to a single belt), reducing the impact on the user’s feet. In 2016, Peloton tripled its annual revenue to $170 million. The treadmill market is 5x larger than that of the stationary bike, so the new product should help keep revenues rising. The company has raised nearly a half billion dollars to date ($444 million), but nearly all that money is privately held.

  4. Chinese basketball association partners with Beitai Digital. The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) will soon be receiving robust data solutions. A partnership has been formed making Beitai Digital the league’s official, exclusive data service provider. Beitai, will develop data products and services for the league and its fans. “For us, this deal is a proud culmination of all the hard work and research we have put in to our data-related expertise, systems and ambitions,” Beitai CEO Andy Xue said, in a statement. “Collecting stable and accurate data statistics for the CBA is just the first phase of this partnership. We will be developing a whole host of applications based on live and historic data that will significantly enrich the experience for fans of this exhilarating league, whether they engage with it on TV, on computers, on mobiles or via social media.” New developments include 40% more data points per game and more analytical stats. Data will be made available to broadcasters, CBA teams, and preferred digital media outlets for their pre/post-game analysis.

  5. Floyd Mayweather unveils virtual reality fitness experience. Floyd Mayweather has announced he will open a gym franchise where people can get fit using a number of innovative technologies, even training with the undefeated pro boxer in virtual reality and through a companion app. The virtual reality experience is now reality, and “Money” is in your corner. Mayweather Boxing + Fitness announced at CES that the VR component is ready, just weeks ahead of the opening of the flagship gym location in Los Angeles. While the virtual reality boxing is designed to be usable at home with a headset and hand controller, those looking to get into the ring with Mayweather will have to head to one of the gym locations. The virtual reality boxing experience will allow users to select a 12-week program based on their preferences: training, padwork, or head-to-head virtual competition. In all modes, Mayweather will act as the trainer, teaching users the trademark moves that have made him so successful. Users can also train in a number of different virtual environments, and the hand control helps track calories, speed, and intensity.



with Jamie Swimmer & Tanner Simkins

1.Wrapping up the 2017 NFL regular season, viewership numbers were down for the second straight year. According to SportsBusiness Journal, viewership was down across the NFL by 9% this season, marking a 20% drop for the league overall over the past two seasons. Media rights holders and broadcast partners all saw declines in their numbers when compared to 2016, with even worse ones when comparing numbers to 2015. Primetime packages – Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football – all turned out disappointing numbers, yet still drew significantly more viewers than traditional scripted television shows. NBC’s Sunday Night Football (SNF) averaged 18.175 million viewers per game over the course of the season, beating out FOX’s second place average of 17.659 viewers per game. SNF “remains on pace to be the most-viewed primetime show for the seventh straight year, which would be a record for all TV dating back to 1950.” Despite an exciting finish to Sunday’s Panthers-Saints game and a close one in Kansas City, nothing in the overall lackluster NFL playoffs so far suggests that viewer numbers will trend any direction but down.


2.A new ESPN report cites New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady, and owner Robert Kraft having “serious disagreements.” According to the report, the New England dynasty has won five Super Bowls together, yet some serious differences have been undermining the trio as of late. The three most powerful figures in the organization “differ on Brady’s trainer, body coach and business partner Alex Guerrero; over the team’s long-term plans at quarterback; over Belichick’s bracing coaching style; and most of all, over who will be the last man standing.” Those interviewed as part of the report have noted serious tension rising within the organization, with many calling this the last year that all three men will be together in Foxborough. Kraft, Brady, and Belichick were supposed to meet in late December to “clear the air,” but the meeting never happened. Outside of New England, the NFL is facing a serious case of Patriots fatigue. While the purported end of the road for the triumvirate won’t be good for the team, it might in fact be excellent for the league.


3.The Australian Open begins on January 15, with or without some of the world’s best players. According to the London Telegraph, numerous notable players have withdrawn from the Grand Slam event in Melbourne, including World No. 1 Andy Murray. The British star “reluctantly made the call to pull out of his second successive Grand Slam with a long-standing hip injury.” Serena Williams, 23-time Grand Slam winner, also withdrew from the tournament, noting that “Although I am super close, I’m not where I want to be. I can compete – but I don’t want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.” Williams was eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Olympia when she won the tournament last year. Spaniard Rafael Nadal and six-time Aussie Open winner Novak Djokovic are both questionable, leaving tournament organizers “sweating over which marquee players will actually turn up and be fit enough to see out the fortnight.” While global ratings for tennis’ first slam of the year will likely be down due to all the top-level withdrawals, look for some fresh faces – aka new brands – to emerge in Melbourne this year as a result, which will boost the long term health of pro tennis.


4.     As Tiger Woods confirms his first starts of 2018, reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Callaway. The agreement, made official on January 1, will see the Spaniard use 14 Callaway clubs, Chrome Soft balls, and display the company’s logo on both sides of his hat. Garcia began testing new equipment last year after ending his 15-year partnership with TaylorMade. The deal sees Callaway add to its impressive roster of golf stars, which already includes five-time major champion Phil Mickelson and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. Meanwhile, Garcia has extended his longstanding apparel and footwear deal with adidas, which has also confirmed new tie-ups with PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Woods will make his 2018 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open later this month, his first official PGA Tour event since he missed the cut at the same tournament a year ago. Woods has won the event at Torrey Pines near San Diego seven times, the last in 2013. He also announced that he will be playing the Genesis Open at Riviera, run by the Tiger Woods Foundation, in February. Woods looked impressive in the Bahamas last month, and if he sticks around for the weekend at Torrey, look for his sizeable fan base to show up, in person and in Nielsen numbers.

5.As we head deeper into the NFL playoffs, sponsors, marketers, and branding agencies alike have their eyes set on the Super Bowl to create the most memorable commercial. According to Variety, NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl LII on February 4th is quickly approaching for companies that are spending millions of dollars on 30-second ads. “The Super Bowl is a very big deal for us,” said BMG Senior Vice President/Marketing, Commercials, Film & TV Alex Flores. The going price for a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl tops $5 million, prompting companies to wait until closer to game time to reveal any details regarding their commercials. Last year, Ad Age reported that 51 advertisers paid a total of $385 million to reach an estimated 112 million viewers, “representing 2.3% of total U.S. broadcast network TV ad spending for the year.” To increase overall engagement with agencies, NBC has been offering package deals for the Super Bowl and PyeongChang Olympics, for which it also holds media rights.


6.Lithuanian pro basketball team Prienu Vytautas, the new home of brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, has "withdrawn from the Baltic Basketball League this season. The team will instead play in the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a series of five 'friendly' games intended to get the brothers extensive playing time," according to ESPN. The team "announced it will show each of the games on Facebook." A source said that Prienu expects the Balls "to generate" about $120,000 in revenue for the team, "including an undisclosed amount" Facebook is paying to show the Big Baller Brand Challenge games. The Ball brothers’ only significant accomplishment – including Lonzo, now playing for the Lakers – is selling out Chino Hills high school basketball games for multiple seasons. But it’s clear that father LaVar Ball will not let up in his efforts to be a disruptor and build the Big Baller brand on an international stage. As such, the Ball family will continue to be a must-watch in 2018.


7.The new home for the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams is beginning to take shape, slowly and steadily. According to the L.A. Times, the two NFL teams’ Inglewood stadium is more than a quarter complete. An unexpected series of heavy rains pushed the opening date back from 2019 to 2020, so an irrigation system was added to the site in order to prevent any further delays related to rain. The stadium will be one of the most technologically-advanced and integrated stadiums in the world, designed to accommodate virtually any team or event on the fly. “This is going to be basically digitized to the point where, you flip the switch, and it’s all branded Chargers,” said Chargers Chair Dean Spanos. “Flip another switch, it’s branded all Rams. Flip another switch, it’ll be two colleges playing here.” The stadium is projected to cost $2.6 billion, though that number could balloon if any unexpected obstacles or problems arise before the expected 2020 opening date.


8.After factoring in the three rules to deem an NFL team eligible to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks, only six teams are eligible: The San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and Washington Redskins. Initially, it seems to be an interesting list, but two of the teams have made it clear that they want nothing to do with the show. San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch spoke to NBC Bay Area about the prospect of being selected for Hard Knocks: “I love the show, but I think some things are best left behind closed doors. I fundamentally have a problem with cutting players and things of that nature on camera. It’s not something we’d be thrilled about.” The Baltimore Ravens told HBO that their facility renovation last year would make it a logistical nightmare to be on the show, and again want to be left out of consideration this year. My money’s on the Cleveland Browns. With the top draft pick and fans devoted enough to turn out for a 0-18 “victory” parade in bitter cold, the franchise seems deserving of the HBO “honor.”


9.With UCF wrapping up an undefeated season after topping Auburn 34-27 in the Peach Bowl, the College Football Playoff could be headed toward an expansion in the coming years. According to ESPN.com, the Knights’ 13-0 season was the only undefeated one in FBS, yet the team was left out of the CFB semifinal. UCF’s schedule was cited as a main reason for the university not replacing Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, or Oklahoma. “UCF is an excellent team, but you still have to take into account who each team played and defeated during the regular season,” said CFB Executive Director Bill Hancock. Sources close to college football believe that No. 12 UCF’s perfect season could be used as a reason to expand the playoff to eight team, which many think will inevitably be the case. Regardless, UCF is proud of its season and has already made plans for a parade back in Florida. UCF has good reason to be proud of its season, but an eight-team playoff is going to be a difficult argument to make with university administrators. While it may eventually happen, the short term requires better thinking about how to ensure a quality team like the Knights gets in despite not playing in a Power Five conference.


10.The Oakland Raiders now have a new head coach in ESPN’s Jon Gruden. According to the S.F. Chronicle, former head coach Jack Del Rio announced his own firing immediately after the team’s season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. A disappointing 6-10 campaign in 2017 came on the heels of a surprising 12-4 year in 2016, giving the franchise Super Bowl hopes and expectations coming into the new era. Gruden previously coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 before moving to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so he already has ties to the Bay Area franchise and owner Mark Davis. With the Raiders set to move to Las Vegas in the coming years, the team is looking to build some excitement with fans. Commenting on the prospect of convincing Gruden to hang up the microphone in exchange for a whistle, ESPN’s Mike Golic said, “It will certainly be a splash going back to Oakland if this comes to fruition to keep the fan base hyped there.” Hype is good, but W’s are better. Gruden has a short ramp to get back in the swing of the grueling head coach job after his years in the booth.


11.On the heels of cutting around $36 million in player payroll over the past few weeks, new Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter is projecting an “enormous profit” in 2018. According to the Miami Herald, Jeter also expects the team to record sizeable profits for the three years following 2018. The Marlins – and every other MLB team – will receive a one-time payout of $50 million as a result of MLB’s sale of BAMTech to Disney. Jeter’s confidential document that he distributed to potential investors, called Project Wolverine, includes “ambitious revenue goals for tickets, sponsorship and television rights.”


12.The Las Vegas Golden Knights continue to build their fan base and develop their home ice advantage well into their inaugural season. According to LVSPORTSBIZ.com, the NHL club is now starting a waiting list for fans who want to buy season tickets, with deposits starting as low as $100. The team currently has around 14,000 season ticket holders, but is intent on growing that number. While some expansion franchises have faltered on the ice, court, or field in their first seasons, that has not been the case in Las Vegas; as of the first week of January, the Golden Knights boasted a 27-9-2 record, including an impressive 17-2-1 record at home.


13.The South Korean government is starting to crack down on hotels that are charging visitors excessive prices ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. According to USA Today, price-gouging hotels have faced heavy criticism for “ripping off customers.” The Olympics begin with the opening ceremony on Friday, February 9, so the South Korean Ministry of the Interior & Safety plan to conduct an “intensive price clampdown through January 31.” According to data from a Yonhap report, the average price of a hotel in PyeongChang during the Olympics recently spiked to more than $460 per night, “more than triple the normal peak-season prices.” The moves come as part of the government's effort to boost ticket sales for the Games, which have been sluggish and well below the organizing committee’s projected numbers. Local hotel trade groups and the provincial government in Gangwon Province, where the event sites of PyeongChang and Gangneung are located, are also “pressing to get hotels to clean up their acts.” Hotel price gouging is par for the slalom course at the Olympics, just like most other sports mega events.


14.The South Korean Olympic organizing committee in PyeongChang is preparing for a potential late entry from the North Korean delegation in the upcoming Games. According to the Korea Herald, a recent speech following the New Year from North Korean leader Kim Jung-un called for talks with South Korean officials regarding some of the country’s athletes being allowed to compete. Lee Hee-beom, head of the 2018 Olympic organizing committee, said PyeongChang had been “preparing for a long time” for the possibility that North Korea would take part in the quadrennial event. “We’re making preparations in case North Korea sends its athletes, cheering squad and support staff,” commented Lee in a New Year’s address he gave at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. “The International Olympic Committee has also said several times that it would support North Korea’s participation.” Talks have since been conducted regarding North Korean athletes playing under the country’s name, or forming a joint team with South Korean athletes. While the announcement of North Korean participation will draw national media attention, it will clearly not contribute to increased ticket and hotel room sales in the South.


15.The United States and South Korea have agreed not to hold any joint military drills during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. According to a CNN report following a Korean presidential office announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korea President Moon Jae-in came to a mutual decision on the subject. The joint military drills have been conducted on the Korean Peninsula, prompting North Korean leader Kim Jung-un to call them “a direct threat to Pyeongyang (North Korea).” The move to stop these joint drills is supposed to give South Korea more freedom to speak directly to North Korea about peace talks and the potential inclusion of North Korean athletes in February’s Olympics. The decision coming from South Korea and the U.S. was “announced a day after contact between the two Koreas was initiated in a major diplomatic breakthrough.” Security leading up to the Olympics has been a major concern for fans and visitors, though organizing officials have done their best to reassure a safe and secure event.


Power of Sports 5


1.  Jacksonville Jaguars gave 1,000 playoff tickets to refugees. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted their first playoff game at home since 1999, and the team is using this rare event to partake in an act of generosity. According to an announcement posted on the Jaguars’ website, 1,000 tickets will be dispersed to refugees in Florida. Puerto Ricans who fled the island in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria and are in North and Central Florida, will receive half of the available seats. The remaining 500 seats will go to refugees from other parts of the world who are currently in northern Florida. Per an NBC report, as of Nov. 30, over 200,000 individuals migrated from Puerto Rico to Florida, and between 500,000 and 750,000 will be forced to resettle over the next four years. Though it has been over three months since Maria first struck, 55% of the island’s residents still lack electricity, per Puerto Rican authorities. The governor’s office estimated that they will not meet their goal of restoring power to 95% of homes until February at the earliest.

2.  Art exhibition ‘Game Recognize Game’ explores how play inspires change. “Game Recognize Game” art exhibition is on display at the SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco.  Representing a deep inquiry into the power and potential of sports as a cultural platform for social change, educator Dania Cabello curated the exhibition in partnership with the Oakland Castlemont football team, Soccer Without Borders, and Senda Athletics. In an effort to create an immersive, experiential environment for intergenerational hands-on activities within the exhibit, audience members of all ages were encouraged to play inside the gallery walls. The works from Cabello and fellow artists Arjuna Sayyed, Cece Carpio, Ed Ntiri, Yonas Tesfai, Miguel “Bounce” Perez, and Yvan Iturriaga explore the historical precedents and contemporary context for athletes like Colin Kaepernick who are leveraging sports as a platform for social change. Interactive installations, such as basketball hoops and soccer setups, invite gallery visitors to discover how play can transform public spaces and break down barriers that keep people separated. From the walls of a gallery to the border wall, Cabello wants visitors to imagine play as a physical language that can create space for greater freedom

3.    Gus Kenworthy will be the first openly gay athlete to Compete In The Winter Olympics. Since coming out, Kenworthy has earned sponsorships from Visa, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, Deloitte, and has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign. In February, Kenworthy plans to compete in both slopestyle and halfpipe skiing at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. “The thought of being the first openly gay male ever to compete in the Winter Olympics — I totally embrace that,” Kenworthy told Time. “I so badly want to inspire that community and do well for them. It’s f****ing cool.”While Kenworthy is proud to represent his country in the Olympics, he plans on skipping the traditional Team USA trip to the White House. “I have no interest in faking support,” Kenworthy said. A major reason for his decision is Trump’s attempts to ban transgender people from serving in the military.  “It shows more courage to leave the house as a trans person than Trump has ever had to show.

4.    The V Foundation continues the Cancer Fight 25 Years Later. Nearly 25 years ago, legendary college basketball coach and broadcaster Jim “Jimmy V” Valvano delivered his stirring and emotional speech at the first-ever ESPY Awards in 1993. Despite being weakened from cancer, which took his life less than two months later, Valvano arrived to receive the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, and his energetic, passionate speech inspired the sports and medical communities to come together to fight cancer. As Valvano’s V Foundation for Cancer Research celebrates its 25th anniversary its leadership is looking to the future. More than $200 million in research has been awarded in research grants, and more than $1 billion in additional funding has been leveraged to create measurable results in the lives of those affected by all types of cancer. One hundred percent of the V Foundation’s donations are put directly towards research programs at leading cancer centers and research facilities nationwide.


5.    Turkish Government threatens New York Knicks player With 4 Years In prison. Enes Kanter of the NY Knicks is Turkish.  He has  been exiled from both his country and his family after calling out Turkey’s dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his history of repression and brutal human rights violations, describing him as “the Hitler of our century.”Recently, Turkish prosecutors announced they would seek a four-year prison sentence for Kanter in response to a series of comments posted on social media that were critical of Erdoğan. Previously, Kanter was detained at an airport in Romania and had his passport seized. An arrest warrant was issued a week later.  We will be following this storyline as Kanter continues to use his playings status as a platform for positive change.


Top Tech 5


1.GameSense sports offers hitters drills to help with pitch recognition.  gameSense, which draws on research that began in the late 1970s into anticipatory behavior based on early visual cues, showing a clear distinction between the abilities of experts and novices at quick-reaction tasks. “They were using this video-occlusion method to try and study what seemed like super-human ability…to be able to read these pitches and do what, by all breakdowns, really shouldn’t be possible,” gameSense chief science officer and co-founder Peter Fadde said. Fadde co-founded the application with Tom Pardikes, a sport science psychologist who received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech and now serves as company president. The program has a bare-bones sensibility in which hitters can choose various pitchers and and see only a fraction of the ball’s flight from the release point before having to select the type of pitch (such as fastball, curveball, changeup, etc.) and whether it would ultimately be a ball or strike.


2.FanDuel sets bitcoin as prize for NFL Playoffs. FanDuel is offering thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin to users competing in its upcoming NFL fantasy sports playoffs, in what the company says will be the first fantasy football contest to award Bitcoin to winners and the first sports tech company to award cryptocurrency in a consumer promotion. During Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs, FanDuel will host a free, single-entry contest called The Bitcoin Bowl Free Play that will offer one user the chance to win one Bitcoin. It will also offer a multi-entry $3 tournament called the Bitcoin Bowl Tournament with a tiered payout structure of two Bitcoins for first place, a half Bitcoin for second place and a quarter Bitcoin for third and fourth place.


3.Minnesota Vikings first in NFL to launch virtual reality app for Oculus. The Minnesota Vikings’ home, U.S. Bank Stadium, can seat exactly 66,655 fans. That might sound like a gigantic number, but it’s actually in the bottom-third of all NFL stadiums. Knowing that the team’s following is much larger than that 66,655, the Vikings have come up with a new way of bringing fans “inside” the stadium. They are becoming the first NFL team to launch a VR application for Oculus. In creating the app, the Vikings partnered with the Silicon Valley-based Zeality, which specializes in 360 VR and has previously partnered with the San Jose Sharks on an Oculus app. Downloadable in the Oculus store (compatible with Oculus Rift and Gear VR), Vikings VR allows the user to explore U.S. Bank Stadium through 360-degree video and pictures. Footage from every home game played since the stadium’s opening in 2016 is available in the app.


4.How real-time data, insights, emotion can enhance UFC storytelling. UFC’s partnership with HEED hosted a live demonstration to explain how the company uses AI IoT (Internet of Things) to revolutionize the way fans watch fights. A demo was conducted with two UFC athletes, Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese and Edson Barboza, participating in a staged sparring match that could generate 70 different insights. The data accumulated from sensors in the gloves and the mat can create a more engaging experience for fans. Artificial intelligence can measure the emotions of the fighters, cornermen and even fans including family members sitting near the octagon.“We want to tell a story,” Kochavi said after the scripted demo. “We are not about statistics of the fight, we are about the story of the fight.” The fighters are to wear sensors inside of their gloves. This way when a punch is thrown, users can be informed of its significance. Data can tell if a punch is within the top-10 percent for a certain weight class, triggering a unique story.


5.No TV? watch sports on 90-inch screens in augmented reality. Imagine watching LeBron James dunk up close via a 90-inch television that’s hanging 10 feet from your seat on the couch. Now imagine if you could watch seven other NBA games on big screens at the same time without having to cover your wall with flat screens. A new augmented reality headset from a company called ThirdEye Gen Inc. that seeks to change the way people consume sports is set to be unveiled next month at the Consumer Electronics Show. Something that separates ThirdEye’s glasses from others is the wide 45-degree diagonal field of view, which he said is the equivalent to watching a 90-inch high-definition screen from a distance of ten feet. That’s significantly wider than, say, Google Glass, which had a 10-degree field of view and wasn’t designed for the long-term consumption of augmented reality content.