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Beyond the Scoreboard: MLB All-Star Game takes center stage in Cleveland

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: MLB All-Star Game takes center stage in Cleveland

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

  • As Major League Baseball shifts its attention from London to next week’s All-Star Game in Cleveland, sponsor brands and the agencies that represent them are taking center stage. Major League Baseball has worked hard to grow its All Star break over the years, and its work to make their All Star Game so unique and valuable to brands and league sponsors has in turn helped MLB sponsors and those activating around the event like Bank of America and Taco Bell hit it out of the park. Says Woody Thompson, Octagon EVP, “MLB’s partnership with Mastercard, Budweiser, and many other signature brands have spanned decades. By applying creative thinking and the latest technologies, those companies and their agency partners been able to keep the campaigns fresh and exciting for fans after many years.” In a similar environment, the Yankees and Red Sox met twice at London Stadium this weekend in the first MLB games ever played in Europe. While Yankees-Red Sox games always shine, London’s competitive pinnacle had to be the mascot race between Freddie Mercury, Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII, and the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities will be the title sponsor of this year’s Triple-A All-Star Game. The annual game, in which stars of the Triple-A Pacific Coast and International League compete, is scheduled for July 10, at Southwest University Park in El Paso, Texas, and will be telecast on MLB Network. The deal includes advertising inventory on MLB Network, logos on player uniforms, and static signage within the ballpark. Social and digital media will also support. Agency 4Front worked with the host El Paso Chihuahuas to secure the sponsorship. Huntington Bank and Gildan were presenting sponsors of last year’s Triple-A All-Star Game, in Columbus, Ohio.
  • The IOC announced that Milan-Cortina, Italy had been selected to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2026, besting Stockholm by a vote of 47-34 for the honor. “Congratulations to Milan-Cortina,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “We can look forward to outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country. The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world. The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment.” In other major Olympic news last week, the International Olympic Committee, the Coca-Cola Company, and China Mengniu Dairy Company signed the first-ever Joint TOP Partnership Agreement, blending the non-alcoholic beverage and the dairy categories into a new joint category. The new joint agreement has a 12-year term running through to the Olympic Games 2032 and extends The Coca-Cola Company’s association with the Olympic Movement to a historic 104-year-long relationship.

Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: HBO teaming up with Belichick and Saban

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

  • From an agency perspective, the NFL is moving in the right direction. Rick recently sat down with Arnold Wright, Executive Vice President and co-head of consulting for Octagon. Wright brings NFL team, league, and player deals to life for sponsors including Castrol, Delta, Bank of America, and others. “The league is obviously an incredible platform that leaps up year to year in terms of ratings and engagement,” Wright said. “The on field action is also as good as it’s ever been.” From a global perspective, Wright says, “The international piece in particular has been great for the league. You continue to see key markets like the UK, Mexico, and even Brazil growing internationally. It’s bringing other brands into the NFL ecosystem from a partner and promotional perspective.” As for the NFL’s 100th season platform, Wright says, “The league has done a lot of really great work in terms of positioning themselves, celebrating the history of the league from a player and a fan perspective. They have demonstrated a real savviness around their marketing and their connectivity to fans. The league several years ago probably would not have demonstrated that level of flexibility in terms of their marketing and what you could do with their platforms. But that’s certainly changed.”
    • YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI will make their professional boxing debut. Last year, the two online sensations faced each other in an exhibition fight that generated more than 1 million pay-per-view buys on YouTube. Now they will fight each other again – this time, in an official professional fight at in Logan’s hometown of Los Angeles at Staples Center on November 9. According to ESPN, the event will be a six-round cruiserweight fight streamed on DAZN and is sure to pack the house after last year’s sold out 57-57 majority draw that happened at Manchester Arena in KSI’s hometown of Manchester, England. They are both now professional boxers, have passed their required medical exams, and will meet at a launch news conference in Los Angeles on September 14, with another news conference to be scheduled in the United Kingdom. KSI and Paul have more than 40 million YouTube subscribers between them and should bring tons of new fans to the sport of boxing, while the sport’s traditional enthusiasts can relish undercard events that will feature an assortment of more established fighters in the boxing world.
    • HBO Sports and NFL Films are teaming on Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, a feature-length film about the four-decade friendship between football coaches Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. According to Cynopsis Sports, the pair grant unprecedented camera access to their annual coaching retreat, where they share conversation about their interwoven history, admiration, coaching philosophies, and more. “Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden – symbols of success not just in sports but in life,” said Ross Ketover, Chief Executive of NFL Films. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.” The film is slated air in December on HBO. Belichick and Saban have both started their 2019 campaigns off with a bang, as Alabama handily won its first two games and the Patriots obliterated the Steelers 33-3 on Sunday night.

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

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USA Today Sports Images

Michael Phelps and wife Nicole welcome third son, Maverick

Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole, former Miss California 2010, have welcomed the arrival of their third son.

Maverick Nicolas was born on September 9, 2019. Maverick follows Boomer Robert, 3, and Beckett Richard, 18 months old.

The parents also shared a sweet photo from Boomer's Instagram account from their hospital photo session. 

 

Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time and most decorated Olympian of all time, is from Baltimore, Maryland and boasts 28 total medals, 23 of which are gold.

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