News

A collection of thoughts from the Complete SET team as well as general industry story lines

WWE, Facebook Partner For New Streaming In-Ring Competition

WWE has reached an agreement with Facebook to develop a new in-ring competition, the Mixed Match Challenge, that will stream live exclusively on the social media platform beginning Jan. 16. The weekly series, airing on Tuesday nights for …

Roger Federer Extends With Lindt & Sprungli, Another Longterm Partner

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli today announced an “extension of its partnership” with Roger Federer that began in ’09. The multiyear extension is “expected to net Federer” more than $20M as a brand ambassador. The chocolatier will be the “latest Federer sponsor to extend its …

Snow Days: NHL Outdoor Game In Ottawa Going Ahead As Planned

NHL officials said that snow in the Ottawa region “isn’t slowing down preparations for Saturday night’s outdoor game” at TD Place Stadium featuring Canadiens-Senators. NHL Senior Manager of Facility Operations Derek King said, “It’s all on schedule and we’re good to go.” Worker…

Sources: Pacers To Announce They Are Hosting ’21 NBA All-Star Game

The Pacers this afternoon at 4:00pm ET are expected to announce they “will host the 2021 NBA All-Star Game,” according to sources ( TWITTER.com, 12/13 ). NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , Pacers Owner Herb Simon , Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett…

Today’s Buzzcast

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Laugh Track: Swing Vote

Last night’s edition of TBS’ “Conan” featured “audio” from President Obama ‘s robocall to voters in Alabama expressing his support for Democratic candidate Doug Jones , who is running against Roy Moore in the state Senate race. But durin…

Adidas Sheds Digital Sports Division, Rethinks Product Strategy

Adidas America is “shedding its Digital Sports division just months after releasing its latest product,” the “All Day” fitness/wellness app. An Adidas spokesperson yesterday said that the company “redefined the strategy of its digital product business and will discontinue it as a stand-alo…

Private Equity Firm Onex To Acquire SMG Holdings From Ares

Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp. said that it has “agreed to acquire” SMG Holdings, which manages “nearly 240 venues” for sports, entertainment and business. Onex “didn’t disclose how much it will pay,” but the deal is “expected to close” in early ’18 ( CP, 12/11 ). SMG “hold…

Raise A Glass: Samuel Adams Becomes Official Beer Of The Red Sox

Samuel Adams is “set to replace longtime sponsor Budweiser as the official beer of the Red Sox, after its brewer, Boston Beer Co., signed an eight-year deal with the team” through the ’25 season. Sam Adams “appears to be the first craft beer to become the official brew” of an MLB club…

Today’s Buzzcast

A 3-minute hit on the stories you need to know … Subscribe on iTunes … Check out our podcast home .

Sources: Stewart-Haas Racing To Renew Deal With Kurt Busch

Stewart-Haas Racing is expected to announce this week that Kurt Busch has signed on to continue driving the team’s No. 41 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, according to sources. Terms of the new deal were unclear at presstime. Busch’s prior deal, which expired at the end of t…

Goodell Touts Verizon Deal, Cites Fans’ Shift To Digital Content

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was on CNBC this morning to promote the new Verizon deal, saying NFL games are “going to be much more accessible on mobile devices” with the new agreement. Goodell: “We see more and more of our fans moving to new devices — particularly th…

Steelers Offer Home Game Tributes To Injured Ryan Shazier

The Steelers during yesterday’s home win over the Ravens offered numerous tributes to their injured teammate, LB Ryan Shazier . Several players “wore t-shirts with ’50’ (Shazier’s number) on them, and the equipment staff hung Shazier’s game jersey in his Heinz Field locker stall.” LB Jam…

Today’s Buzzcast

A 3-minute hit on the stories you need to know … Subscribe on iTunes … Check out our podcast home .

Japanese Star Shohei Ohtani Agrees To Sign With Angels

Japanese P/OF Shohei Ohtani “has agreed to a deal with the Angels,” according to a statement from his agent, CAA’s Nez Balelo . The Angels beat out six other teams that were finalists for Ohtani — the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Rangers ( MLB.com, 12/8 ). Ohtani&…

Gwinnett Braves Rebrand As Stripers, Eschew Name-The-Team Options

The Triple-A Int’l League team formerly known as the Gwinnett Braves on Friday unveiled a new name — the Gwinnett Stripers — an “homage to the striped bass that abound at nearby Lake Lanier.” The moniker was not “one of the six finalists fans voted on earlier this year,” but it was a “va…

Verizon Spot Led Impressions For New Ads On Recent Sports TV

Verizon’s “A Shrewd Businesswoman” spot, which touted its holiday-priced iPhone offer generated 167 million media impressions from Nov. 27-Dec. 3 in U.S. households across national linear (live and time-shifted), VOD, OTT and local TV, according to an analysis by THE DAILY of data …

Daily Digit….

$3M — Amount by which the the NHL salary cap is expected to increase for the ’18-19 season, according to “projections the NHL shared” at Friday’s BOG meeting in Florida ( NBCSPORTS.com, 12/8 ).

Speed Reads….

Maple Leafs C Auston Matthews has agreed to endorse Scotiabank ( Scotiabank ).

The City of Calgary is paying for two legislators to attend the Pyeongchang Games alongside three city staffers and “potentially Mayor Naheed Nenshi , as part of efforts to evaluate” a potential ’26 Games …

UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois On Starting Job, Living On Dorm

UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois , who has been on the job just six months, talked with SBD/SBJ Exec Editor Abe Madkour about the challenges of her first days on the job. “I’ve got it all figured out,” she said, with a laugh. Reed-Francois has gained notice in the industr…

Laugh Track: Retirement Plan

Kobe Bryant appeared on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” last night and said that since his retirement from the NBA, he is “basically an Uber driver for my children.” Bryant said he coaches his daughter’s basketball team, but host James Corden s…

Quick Hits….

“There’s always drama. In Brazil, it was Zika, and Russia was all the laws against homosexuality and all the other things. Italy was after 9/11, and people were kind of tripping out. Canada was pretty mellow, though. And now it’s North Korea. I’ve always felt safe” — Sno…

Morning Hot Reads: Zig-Zagging?

The Spokane SPOKESMAN-REVIEW goes with the header, ” Gonzaga Playing In The Big East: Far-Fetched Or The Future? ” Gonzaga “just faced Villanova and Creighton in a five-day stretch,” and they “could be a fit in the Big East as far as being a private Jesuit school with a strong basketball t…

Speed Reads….

UCF sold out its ticket allotment of 12,500 for its Jan. 1 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl appearance against Auburn, “setting a record as the first Group of 5 program to sell out its tickets” in the CFP era ( ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/7 ).

NASCAR and Whelen Engineering today will announce multiyea…

Quick Hits….

“I woke up today and some guys in Russia said we should boycott. But I never said that. I support our decision, our hockey team. I’m pretty sure they’re going and I’m going to cheer for them” — Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin , on suggestions that Russian Oly…

Today’s Events….

The NHL BOG begins two days of meetings in Palm Beach, with the league’s Exec Committee meeting this morning. Topics of discussion will likely include the salary cap for next season, progress of a Hurricanes sale and updates on the recent news out of Houston and Seattle regarding pot…

Morning Hot Reads: Region Of Doom?

The AP goes with the header, ” Could Regional Flavor Of CFP Cause Fans To Tune Out? ” Hardcore college football fans across the country “undoubtedly will be tuned in,” but “what about casual fans outside SEC, ACC and Big 12 country?” With the Pac-12 and Big Ten not represented, “…

Laugh Track: From Russia, With Love

NBC’s Jimmy Fallon noted the IOC has “banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics because of doping violations, or as Putin put it, ‘Hello Donald , it’s time to return favor.’ Russia was banned from the Olympics, but Russia doesn’t mind. They said …

Speed Reads….

Yesterday’s NBA G League Rio Grande Valley Vipers-Raptors 905 game drew a crowd of 18,900 to Air Canada Centre in Toronto, setting a “new @nbagleague attendance record.” The Vipers won 117-109 ( TWITTER.com, 12/5 ).

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan today is planning to “green-light” …

Today’s Events….

Aaron Boone will be formally introduced as the Yankees’ new manager after agreeing to a three-year deal with a team option for ’21.

Quick Hits….

“I can’t tell you the NFL decline isn’t a challenge” — 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch , at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in N.Y. Murdoch noted ratings are down year-over year, but the NFL “remains tremendously powerful” due in part to the “scarcity of valu…

Morning Hot Reads: Germ Theory

The WASHINGTON POST reports on an initiative conceived by a group of NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are “also scientists and engineers.” It involved ” swabbing down dozens of professional sports stadiums, identifying the microbes in the samples, and sending those species ” to the Int’l …

Today’s Events….

Miami-Dade County votes on whether the ATP/WTA Miami Open moves from Crandon Park to Hard Rock Stadium.

Tickets go on sale for the Super Bowl Experience in Minneapolis.

The two-disc DVD/Blu-Ray set chronicling the Astros’ World Series victory is released.

Laugh Track: Hammering It Home

Actor Chris Pratt was the guest host for ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night and he said of hosting, “There have been some other guest hosts and the way they prepare, they like to do something like staying up all night working on the monologue, they do a bunch of…

Quick Hits….

“When we come to Philly, it’s easy and convenient because we know exactly what we’re getting. There are no surprises. Philadelphia has it all figured out because they have done it so many times” — Navy AD Chet Gladchuck , on Lincoln Financial Field hosting four of the next fi…

Morning Hot Reads: NBA’s Best Bet

ESPN.com goes with the header, “ How The NBA Is Planning To Cash In On Legalized Sports Betting .” The NBA is “looking to be a leader in the space, entering into strategic partnerships, opening the door to major casino sponsorships and seeing a number of owners invest dir…

Las Vegas Bowl Scrambling To Add Title Sponsor Before Dec. 16

The Las Vegas Bowl is “pursuing an insurance company to become a last-minute title sponsor” for Boise State-Oregon at Sam Boyd Stadium on Dec. 16. Las Vegas Bowl Exec Dir John Saccenti said that “there’s a chance there could be a title sponsorship deal as early as” today. Moto…

Supreme Court Today Takes Up Landmark Sports Betting Case

New Jersey’s five-year push to bring sports wagering to its casinos takes center stage this morning when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Christie v. NCAA, a case that could have far-reaching implications for an industry that has warmed to the idea of allowing Las Vegas-style bet…

SCOTUS Ruling On Sports Betting Could Have Broad Implications

News outlets around the country are examining the potential impact of the sports gambling case before the Supreme Court. If the court strikes down the current law (PASPA), “giving sports betting the go-ahead, dozens of states could quickly make it legal.” Monmouth Park Racetrack is “gambli…

College Bowl Game Participants Prepare For Massive Gift Haul

College football’s bowl season will soon be upon us, which means participating student-athletes will get more than just a certificate of appreciation. The NCAA allows each bowl committee to provide gift packages worth up to $550 apiece to 125 participants per school. Check out this week’…

Tennessee Reportedly Hiring Fulmer As AD; Unclear If Interim Role

Former Univ. of Tennessee football coach Philip Fulmer “will be named” the school’s next AD at a 4:00pm ET press conference in Knoxville, though it is not clear if the role is “full time or interim” ( TWITTER.com, 12/1 ). Fulmer “was not involved” in the effort to hire Greg Schiano a…

Boca Raton Bowl Gets Cheribundi Tart Cherry As New Title Sponsor

N.Y.-based tart cherry beverage brand Cheribundi has struck a deal with ESPN Events to title sponsor the annual Boca Raton Bowl through the ’19 season. The bowl will now be known as the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. The four-year-old bowl game was previously sponsored by clothin…

Bidding For Ohtani To Begin After MLB Owners Approve Posting Deal

MLB owners “voted unanimously Friday to approve a new posting agreement” with Nippon Professional Baseball that “allowed bidding to start” for coveted P/OF Shohei Ohtani . Following the deal, Ohtani was “put up for bid” by his Pacific League team for the maximum $20M posting fee. That “op…

Speed Reads….

Sources said that Tulsa AD Derrick Gragg is a “top candidate” for the same position at Arkansas ( ARKANSASONLINE.com, 11/30 ).

Lagardere Sports’ Tim Mickelson will “no longer be representing” golfer Jon Rahm . Lagardere Golf Division President Steve Loy now “will…

College Bowl Game Participants Prepare For Massive Gift Haul

College football’s bowl season will soon be upon us, which means participating student-athletes will get more than just a certificate of appreciation. The NCAA allows each bowl committee to provide gift packages worth up to $550 apiece to 125 participants per school. Check out next week’s …