SPONSORSHIP & PROMOTION
Visa continues to shore up its partnerships, unveiling new deals with the Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) Women’s Football Competitions and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Visa will implement its innovative payment technology at the tournament venues and deliver exclusive experiences for cardholders and clients. The deal with the UEFA Women’s Football Competitions runs through 2025 and will see Visa collaborate with UEFA for the 2021 Women’s European Championships in the United Kingdom and the annual Women’s Champions League beginning in 2019. The partnership with CAF makes the brand a sponsor of the Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2019 and 2021, making Visa the exclusive payment services provider at all venues and the official partner of the player escort program.
The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic mapped out festivities in Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park for the three-day free fan festival. From Dec. 29-31, the NHL and its corporate partners will offer interactions and experiences, including autograph sessions featuring former Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins greats, hockey interactives, giveaways, food, live music and a special appearance by the Stanley Cup. NHL corporate partners Bridgestone, Discover, Dunkin’, Federal Mogul, Fisherman’s Friend, GEICO, Honda, Kraft Heinz, MillerCoors, New Amsterdam Vodka, Pepsi/Frito-Lay, PPG, Ticketmaster and Upper Deck will all activate.
Speaking of fests, Bud Light announced that Post Malone will join the lineup for the first-ever Bud Light Super Bowl Music Festival taking place on Feb. 1, as a special guest alongside American rock band Aerosmith at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
United Rentals was named the presenting sponsor of the third annual Never Forget Tribute Classic, an annual NCAA men’s basketball doubleheader taking place on Dec. 8 at Prudential Center in Newark and running on ESPN2. Chris Hummel, CMO for United Rentals, said, “United Rentals has a proud tradition of giving back to the communities where we live and work, and the Never Forget Tribute Classic creates an opportunity to align with a good cause. It’s a privilege to lend our support to families impacted by the devastating events of September 11."
DIGITAL, DATA & STREAMING
Following the World Championship fight last weekend between WBC Champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, SHOWTIME Sports, with support of CBS Consumer Products, is launching an ecommerce brand dedicated solely to the premium network’s boxing franchise. the platform, showtimeboxingshop.com, will be operated by The Ave and feature a wide range of products ranging from apparel (tees/tanks, hoodies, shoes), to limited edition TOPPS digital trading cards to a collection of jewelry (rings & pendants) from Bixler.
NASCAR, Race Team Alliance and 704Games are combining their superpower to form the first-ever NASCAR esports league on consoles titled, eNASCAR Heat Pro League. The league will feature up to 16 race teams and 32 drivers, with each owned and operated by key NASCAR race teams. Fans can now play NASCAR Heat 3 to qualify for the first-ever eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft, scheduled to take place early next year. Following the Draft, the esports league will feature a 16-race season beginning in spring 2019 and culminating during the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs. All eNASCAR Heat Pro League races will be live streamed online at NASCAR.com and Motorsport.com. Teams participating in the new esports venture include: Chip Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske. Each of the participating teams will field two drivers, one competing on Xbox One and the other on PlayStation4.
Turner & IMG’s ELEAGUE, in partnership with Psyonix, will offer another round of the Esports 101 franchise, this time featuring Rocket League. The episode, ELEAGUE’s Esports 101: Rocket League, runs tonight at 11p on TBS and “will take viewers through the fast-paced game’s professional landscape, including its cars, offensive and defensive strategies, tournaments, players, teams and more.”
Call of Duty World League detailed plans to make ASTRO Gaming “the official complete audio solution” for the 2019 Call of Duty World League season via the ASTRO TR Main Stage Audio System.
Global esports organization, Gen.G, announced the formation of a new dedicated ‘Streamer Team’ and a new sponsorship agreement with DESKER, Fursys Group’s furniture brand for designers and start-ups, who will sponsor the team for 2019. The Streamer Team features ex-Gen.G players, Yoonroot and Miro, who will focus on broadcasting engaging livestream gaming content to fans around the world.
The NFL named Christopher Halpin as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer. In his new role, Halpin will be responsible for NFL strategy, the management of the league’s key strategic growth and development opportunities, including its International business, and Data & Analytics. Meanwhile, Executive Vice President of International Mark Waller will work with Halpin through the end of the season to transition leadership of the International team, and then take on a new role as Senior Advisor.
SeventySix Capital announced that NFL legend Brian Westbrook has joined the firm’s Athlete Venture Group as an investor. “I’m excited to continue my efforts in the business world with SeventySix Capital and their Athlete Venture Group,” said Westbrook, “As a dedicated host, philanthropist and businessperson, the SeventySix Capital team and their portfolio of startup companies is the perfect fit for me.”
Intersport appointed Ryan McSpadden as Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships. McSpadden will be responsible for bringing Intersport’s innovative ideas, content and experiences to senior level marketing executives, brand managers and agencies across the sports, entertainment, lifestyle, culinary and media landscape.
THE MAIN EVENT
The MLS Cup sees the Portland Timbers/Atlanta United FC on Saturday at 8p on FOX and UniMas.