Ian Thomas

MLS Fans Consume More Content In 2019, But Average Attendance Drops

MLS saw increases nearly across the board in terms of content consumption by fans during its 2019 season, highlighted by the setting of several new league records on digital and social platforms. However, despite the uptick in fan interest in the league’s content, average attendance dropped for the second consecutive season. “Looking back at the year and linear and digital consumption, we think there is positive momentum on our side,” said Seth Bacon, MLS senior vice president of media. On […]

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Q&A: Bryce Harper On His Approach To Business Off The Field

Bryce Harper has never been far from the spotlight. Compared to LeBron James in a Sports Illustrated cover story when he was 16 years old, his profile has only grown since he was chosen first overall in the 2010 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals, subsequently winning the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award en route to six All-Star selections and a 2015 NL MVP. It only further increased this past winter, when he signed a 13-year, $330 […]

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MSG Networks Looks To Capitalize On Tri-State NHL Team Buzz

Three of the most-anticipated teams entering the 2019-2020 NHL season are the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and New York Rangers, all of which scored with interesting offseason additions – and in the case of the Islanders, the promise of a new stadium. As the local rightsholder for all three teams, MSG Networks is using that increased local buzz to roll out several new fan engagement efforts ahead of the start of the season. “It was a super exciting […]

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To Grow Hockey In China, Kings Take A Page Out Of SoCal Playbook

Since retiring from the NHL in 2010 after a 17-year playing career, Derek Armstrong has dedicated much of his time to coaching youth hockey. Working with children in his home country of Canada, he often stresses having fun to ensure that they fall in love with the sport and become lifelong hockey fans, regardless if they become the next Sidney Crosby or Jack Hughes. Armstrong has been taking that same approach in teaching hockey to children in what many across […]

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NHL Tunes Up Next Track Of Music Strategy

Since joining the NHL in 2015, Steve Mayer has long aimed to raise the bar when it comes to the integration of music into hockey. Mayer, the league’s chief content officer, came to the league from IMG Productions where he made his career not only producing top sports events and ceremonies like the Olympic Games but also network variety specials and documentary shows like the Battle of the Network Stars. That has led to things like a concert featuring The […]

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NHL Skates Out New Effort To Help Players Grow Their Brands

Since joining the NHL as its chief marketing officer in September 2016, Heidi Browning has been helping to spearhead the league’s efforts to “peel the visors off” its players. That has meant the creation of more original content from the league and its teams, much of which has focused on increasing the amount of storytelling that focuses specifically on the players and their lives, as well as their personalities. Last season, the NHL launched a new digital series called Skates […]

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Dignitas Looks To Level Up With Capital Raise, New Parent Company

Dignitas, one of the longest standing esports organizations, is using a new round of funding to form a new parent company helping it invest further into sports and entertainment. The organization, which was founded back in 2003, was acquired in September 2016 by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, who also owns and operates the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, among other investments. In June 2019, Dignitas merged with Clutch Gaming, an esports team owned by Fertitta Entertainment, which is […]

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Philadelphia Flyers Showcase New Look In Behind The Scenes Series

With a new head coach, new general manager, and several new player additions, the Philadelphia Flyers are entering the 2019-2020 NHL season with a drastically different look on the ice. The Flyers are looking to give its fans a behind-the-scenes look at that transformation thanks to an NHL Network all-access series that is following along with the team during its training camp. “It’s a unique year for us, one that we think will be a truly special season for this […]

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Riot Games Sees More Deals Ahead Around League Of Legends

As League Of Legends heads into its World Championship season, developer Riot Games said that interest in corporate partnerships around the game is at an all-time high. Naz Aletaha, head of global partnerships at Riot Games, said that there has been an “influx of interest from world-class and globally recognized brands at both the global and regional level.” Last month, Riot Games expanded its relationship with Mastercard, signing a multi-year deal with the brand with it becoming the exclusive financial […]

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MLS Refreshes Sports Drink Category With BodyArmor

BodyArmor has signed a four-year, multi-million dollar partnership with MLS which will make it the league’s official sports drink partner in the U.S. starting in 2020. The sports drink brand replaces AdvoCare in the category for MLS, a partnership that had dated back to 2015. Per the terms of the deal, BodyArmor sports drink will be featured on the sidelines of matches, in locker rooms and at training facilities, with the company’s logo being featured on everything from coolers to […]

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