Michael McCarthy

‘Eye In The Sky:’ Goodyear Blimp Synonymous With College Football

  • College football fans will see a familiar sight when they look up in New Orleans on Jan. 13: the floating billboard known as the Goodyear Blimp.
  • Since its first flight over the Rose Bowl, the Goodyear Blimp has sailed over 2,000 sporting events. Goodyear has strategic relationship with college football and ESPN.

While the basic nature of college football means there is always turnover, there has been one constant for fans that look skyward: the Goodyear Blimp. For almost 65 years, Goodyear Blimps have sailed over sporting events as one of the longest-running and most effective advertising and public relations campaigns in sports history. One will appear over the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between LSU and Clemson in New Orleans on Jan 13. This floating billboard has become as synonymous […]

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Topgolf Swing Suite Takes Aim at Sports Stadiums And Arenas

  • Topgolf Swing Suite is opening more locations around the homes of pro teams like the Atlanta Braves, Green Bay Packers and Boston Celtics.
  • The company's partnership with Delaware North gives it more entree to sports arenas and entertainment districts, says President Ron Powers.

When Aaron Rodgers is out and about in Green Bay, you can sometimes find him enjoying himself at his local Topgolf Swing Suite. The smaller, more intimate Swing Suite is like having your own virtual driving range/video game center/sports bar. Even better, it is located on Lombardi Avenue in the shadow of Lambeau Field. “From what I understand, (Rodgers) is a regular. It doesn’t hurt that we built it in his backyard,” said Ron Powers, president of Topgolf Swing Suite […]

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Sellout: Disney’s ABC/ESPN Out Of Ad Time for Christmas Day

  • Christmas Day is the unofficial start of the NBA regular season. Disney's ABC/ESPN have sold out all ad time for five Christmas Day game telecasts at record prices.
  • Exclusive Christmas Day schedule is "huge driver to the front half of our year," says Disney ad sales exec Jacqueline Dobies.

Disney’s ABC and ESPN have sold out of advertising time for all Christmas Day NBA game telecasts. This year’s five-game slate of Christmas Day games is drawing record ad rates, according to Disney. The NBA’s annual Christmas Day hoops celebration is viewed internally at ABC/ESPN as the unofficial start of the regular season. Advertisers and agencies that may have been holding back from early game action are jumping in with both feet. All commercial time for Christmas Day games has […]

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ESPN’s Damien Woody Could Replace Cris Carter on ‘First Things First’

  • FS1 is weighing changes for 'First Things First,' to make it more like ESPN's 'Get Up!' and NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football.'
  • ESPN's Damien Woody viewed as leading contender to succeed departed Cris Carter on weekday morning show.

The morning show wars between Fox Sports, ESPN and the NFL Network are about to heat up again in early 2020. With Cris Carter suddenly leaving “First Things First,” Fox’s FS1 is weighing a significant strategy change to better position its weekday morning show against ESPN’s “Get Up!” and NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”   There are multiple scenarios under consideration for the 27-month old show that airs from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., said sources. The most probable is that […]

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FOS Exclusive

CC Sabathia To Become Television Free Agent

  • CC Sabathia's one-year TV/radio deal with ESPN is expiring, making him a sports media free agent after moonlighting for the network while pitching his final season for the Yankees.
  • Sabathia is expected to draw multiple suitors, potentially calling or analyzing baseball games for national networks, RSN's, or both.

Eleven years after signing the then-largest pitching contract in MLB history, CC Sabathia is about to become a sought-after free agent again.  The former New York Yankees pitching ace’s one-year TV/radio deal with ESPN is expiring. The 39-year old Sabathia could draw multiple contracts offers from sports media giants such as ESPN, TBS, and Fox Sports, according to industry sources, as well as regional sports networks like the Yankees’ YES Network. The former Cy Young winner and 2009 World Series […]

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‘Raising Little Giants’: New York Giants Help Team Dads With Fatherhood

  • Better fathers and husbands make for better men and better football players, according to David Tyree of New York Giants.
  • The 'helmet catch' hero of Super Bowl XLII organized team's first 'Raising Little Giants' parenting session for team Moms and Dads.

Better fathers and husbands make for better men. Better men make for better players. And better players make for a better, more successful football team. That’s the driving ethos of a new internal program launched by the New York Giants. The “Raising Little Giants Parenting Session” was the brainchild of David Tyree, the team’s director of player engagement, and Ashley Lynn, assistant director of player engagement. Tyree, most remembered for his “helmet catch” that helped the Giants beat Tom Brady […]

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NBC Aims To Create ‘New Tradition’ With Premier League Fan Fests

  • NBC and Premier League Are Planning 'Premier League Mornings Live' fan fest in Miami from Dec. 14-15.
  • This will be the second NBC-Premier League fan fest this year. 'It's almost turned into Comic-Con," says NBC's Dan Palla.

Being an American fan of the English Premier League can sometimes be a lonely existence, relegated to just watching matches on television.  But If the Premier League’s U.S. soccer fans can’t get to Britain, then NBC Sports is looking to bring a bit of the British-style gameday experience to them. NBC and the Premier League are teaming up to stage a “Premier League Mornings Live” fan fest at Miami’s Clevelander Hotel from Dec. 14-15. It will be the sixth fan […]

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Changing Gears: How Peloton Can Shift The Marketing Narrative

  • Peloton has been widely mocked for its sexist holiday spot. But there's still moves Peloton can make to try to reclaim the narrative, say marketing, media and PR experts.
  • Peloton aired a shorter, 15-second version of "The Gift That Gives Back" on ESPN, which nearly airbrushed out the domineering husband.

After significant blowback, Peloton has been airing a shorter version of its widely-mocked holiday ad in which the partner of the put-upon “Peloton woman” is nearly eliminated from the spot.   Critics have blasted “The Gift That Gives Back,” in which the male husband of “Grace from Boston,” surprises her with a Peloton bike (starting price: $2,245) on Christmas morning. The young wife and mother videotapes her workouts over a year, then splices the footage together into a “Thank You” video […]

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FOS Exclusive

FS1 To Cancel ‘Fair Game With Kristine Leahy’

  • FS1 will air the the final episode of the year-old afternoon interview show, 'Fair Game with Kristine Leahy,' on Dec. 27.
  • It is still unclear if Leahy will remain with Fox Sports in Los Angeles

It’s game over for Kristine’s Leahy’s Fox Sports show, “Fair Game.” Fox’s FS1 sports cable network is canceling Leahy’s year-old interview show. The last episode of “Fair Game” will air Dec. 27. “We can confirm that ‘Fair Game’ will air its last show on FS1 Friday, December 27,” a Fox spokesman confirmed to Front Office Sports. “A sincere thanks to WME-IMG and Kristine Leahy for the hard work put into the program.” Launched in October 2018, the 30-minute interview show […]

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China Fallout? Injuries? What’s Behind NBA’s ‘Shocking’ Drop in TV Numbers?

  • NBA's national TV audiences are down 23% on TNT; 19% on ESPN. Those drops are 'shocking,' says Darren Rovell of Action Network.
  • Clay Travis says NBA's 'far left-wing politics' and LeBron James' move to Los Angeles have alienated some TV viewers.

It was only a few years ago that the sports world was buzzing about the alarming drop in NFL television viewership numbers.  Now it’s the NBA going through a decline in viewership, as the early part of the 2019-2010 season has seen double-digit drops in national TV audiences. Average TV audiences are down 23% on TNT and 19% on ESPN.  The NBA’s falling TV numbers are “shocking,” said Darren Rovell of The Action Network.  However, there is still plenty of […]

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