News

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

A’s Set To Name Design Team For Proposed Oakland Ballpark

The A’s today will announce the design team for their proposed new ballpark in Oakland, with HOK to handle the “ballpark design itself” in partnership with Norway-based Snohetta, which “also will take part in the urban design work.” The “first round of planning efforts will be led” by…

Real Salt Lake Owner Hansen Bringing NWSL Franchise To Utah

Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen today will announce plans for a new NWSL team that “will play at Rio Tinto Stadium.” Sources said that Hansen “secured approval to launch” the new team. Hansen has “alluded to his interest in bringing an NWSL team to Utah for years,” and the “inv…

In Other News….

Translation CEO Steve Stoute is “unveiling a music venture called UnitedMasters” with $70M in funding from investors including Google parent Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz and Fox. The venture “will help up-and-coming artists get their music on streaming platforms like Spotify and Pa…

Thursday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….”Damage” Control

NFL Says Jones’ Actions On Goodell Contract “Damaging The League”
NFLPA Invests Undisclosed Amount In Dementia Discovery Fund
A’s Set To Name Design Team For Proposed Oakland Ballpark
Rangers Exemption May Be Added To GOP Tax Bill’s Stadium Provision …

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The Hartford Lines Up Paralympic-Themed Marketing For ’18 Games

U.S. Paralympics sponsor The Hartford is turning its sports marketing efforts to a consumer-facing campaign for the ’18 PyeongChang Games after activating internally for most of its two-decade relationship. The financial services firm today launched a digital and social campaign …

Tagliabue Talks NFL Player Protests At Univ. Of Michigan Panel

The Univ. of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy yesterday hosted a “conversation about sport and social policy” featuring former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue , former UM interim AD Jim Hackett and current UM AD Warde Manuel . The panel discussed “how society and spor…

Sodexo Buys Centerplate, Uniting Long-Standing Sports Concessionaires

Sodexo today announced it has acquired Centerplate for $675M from Olympus Partners, resulting in a merger of two long-standing sports concessionaires. Centerplate President & CEO Chris Verros will lead the combined business in the U.S. For Paris-based Sodexo, the deal boosts its…

Sources: Champions Classic Could Mark Start Of College Hoops Season

The State Farm Champions Classic “could wind up tipping off college basketball next season,” according to multiple sources. The four-team event, which took place last night in Chicago, features a “doubleheader, round-robin” format among Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State. The D-I Me…

Red Sox Foundation Names Former Celtics Official Salwasser Exec Dir

The Red Sox Foundation named Rebekah Splaine Salwasser its new Exec Dir. Salwasser, who had a previous stint as Celtics Dir of Community Relations, succeeds Gena Borson , who last month said she would step aside at year’s end. Salwasser will begin in January. She is a former …

Laugh Track: We Have Clearance, Clarence

Basketball HOFer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared on NBC’s “Last Call” to promote his new graphic novel, “Mycroft Holmes and The Apocalypse Handbook.” Abdul-Jabbar: “There was always more than just sports. I’ve been interested in a lot of things my w…

WFAN Pegs Trio Of Carlin, Scott, Gray To Take Francesa’s Time Slot

WFAN-AM is “preparing to announce this week a new afternoon show to replace Mike Francesa in January that would include Chris Carlin and Bart Scott , likely joined by Maggie Gray .” Carlin “currently co-hosts” a show on WIP-AM in Philadelphia, while Scott works for …

Tuesday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….WFAN’s Triple Option

WFAN Pegs Trio Of Carlin, Scott, Gray To Take Francesa’s Time Slot
Raiders Hold Stadium Groundbreaking, Eye ’26 World Cup Matches
Heartfelt Jeremy Jacobs Speech Highlights Hockey HOF Induction
Budweiser Celebrates Career Of Dale Earnhardt Jr. In New Spot

Comcast Reaches Multiyear Deal To Sponsor U.S. Ski & Snowboarding

USOC sponsor Comcast today will announce a multiyear deal with U.S. Ski & Snowboarding to extend its Olympic strategy across the full winter sports season. The tie-up makes Comcast the official cable television and communications provider of the NGB, and it also gives Comcast Xfin…

NFL Compensation Committee Holding Key Call On Goodell’s Contract

The NFL compensation committee is holding a call today to “go over” Commissioner Roger Goodell ‘s contract extension. The call is the first since Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones “asked for more access to these issues.” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said Jones “wants all the other owners to see the…

Silence Between Arthur Blank, Jerry Jones Highlights Rift In NFL

The fissures in the NFL were on “full display” yesterday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with Jerry Jones and Falcons Owner Arthur Blank , who chairs the league’s compensation committee, “standing on opposite sides of the field before the game and neither making a move to meet the other.” …

Attendance Notes: USWNT Wins Before 17,960 At Avaya Stadium

The USWNT defeated Canada last night before a “just-shy-of-a-sellout crowd” of 17,960 at Avaya Stadium, where the American players were “treated, as usual, like rock stars by their squealing fans” ( S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/13 ).

About 6,000 people “showed up each day for the Charles Schwab…

Monday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….Payment Plan

NFL Compensation Committee Holding Key Call On Goodell’s Contract
LendingTree Deal Makes Hornets 19th NBA Team With Jersey Patch
MLB GM Meetings Start Expected Busy Offseason Of Personnel Moves
MLB Plans Three-Game Dodgers-Padres Series In Mexico Next Seas…

Chick-fil-A Opening Pop-Up Restaurant For Georgia-Auburn Game

Chick-fil-A is placing a pop-up restaurant at the “Alabama-Georgia state line” this weekend around Saturday’s Georgia-Auburn football game. The pop-up will take place in the area of Lanett, Ala., and West Point, Ga., in the “area adjacent to Valley Vision Center.” The festivities “aim to c…

Speed Reads….

NESN and fuboTV have signed a multiyear deal, which will see the Boston-based RSN added to the OTT service’s premier level ( NESN/fuboTV ).

Rookie LPGAer Nelly Korda has agreed to become a brand ambassador for Korea-based sportswear brand DescenteGolf ( Descente ).

Atlanta-based Pa…

Weekend Events….

SATURDAY

The NHL and the Capitals will unveil the ’18 Coors Light Stadium Series logo ahead of the game against the Maple Leafs at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on March 3. The logo will be revealed at tomorrow’s SMU-Navy game in Annapolis, which will be attended by Capitals Ds …

Steelers’ Villanueva Leads Effort To Honor Veterans With Decals

The Steelers will “recognize Veterans Day this weekend by wearing helmet decals representing the various Army divisions in an effort led” by OT Alejandro Villanueva , who is “presenting each Steelers teammate with an Army decal to wear for Sunday’s game” against the Colts in Indian…

Quick Hits….

“I’ve been dealing with this commissioner for almost 28 years, as an employee of the NFL. Zeke’s been involved here a year, a year and a half. Those are really separate issues as to Zeke” — Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones , appearing on Dallas-based KRLD-FM, on the supposed link between h…

Laugh Track: Last Lap

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night, with host Jimmy Kimmel saying Earnhardt has “announced that he is retiring from racing to drive full-time for Uber.” With only two races left in Earnhardt’s car…

Austin City Council Approves Resolution On Crew Stadium Study

Austin City Council members last night “unanimously approved” a resolution “directing staff to analyze city-owned land that could be used to build” a stadium for the Crew. Several council members “added amendments to the resolution to broaden the search area beyond the urban core, where ML…

Bennett, Seahawks Teammates Stand For Anthem To Honor Military

Seahawks DE Michael Bennett and his teammates “all stood for the anthem” prior to last night’s “TNF” win against the Cardinals in Glendale. Bennett and several fellow defensive linemen “stood in a row with their arms linked” during the “Star Spangled Banner.” Bennett, who has “sat for th…

ESPN Drags Down Disney’s Earnings, But Iger Remains Bullish On Net

ESPN again “weighed down the earnings” of parent company Disney in its Q4 and FY report, as the net “continued to grapple with sweeping changes in the media business.” The media networks unit had a “tough quarter,” due in part to “lower advertising revenue at ESPN and higher programming co…

Friday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….Follow The Worldwide Leader

ESPN Drags Down Disney’s Earnings, But Iger Remains Bullish On Net
Bulls To Host ’20 NBA All-Star Game, Chicago’s First Since ’88
Bennett, Seahawks Teammates Stand For Anthem To Honor Military
Austin City Council Approves Resolution On Crew Stadium Study

Laugh Track: Tee’d Up

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel noted President Trump “gave a major foreign policy speech yesterday in South Korea” and the President “opened his remarks by praising some of South Korea’s many contributions to world culture.” The broadcast then a…

ELeague’s “Rocket League” Tournament Will Generate Content For TBS

ELeague today is announcing the launch of “The ELeague Cup: Rocket League,” a series that will air on TBS with live gameplay featured on Twitch and YouTube. The series, created in partnership with game developer/publisher Psyonix, will begin Dec. 1 at 2:00pm ET, with a live international t…

IMG College Extends With Rice Univ., Will Upgrade Digital Signage

Rice Univ. and its multimedia rights holder, IMG College, have agreed to a 10-year extension that will take the relationship through ’26. IMG College has represented Rice’s multimedia rights since ’06. The extension includes a capital investment by IMG College to upgrade digital sign…

Thursday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….Three Stripes, You’re In

Adidas Market Share Up In Q3 Behind Strong Sales For Fashion Lines
Sources: Landon Donovan Will Not Run For U.S. Soccer President
Big First Step For Crew Move: Austin Council Discussing Stadium Study
FC Cincinnati Close To Adding Stadium Plan To MLS Expansio…

Neil Leibman Creates Esports Holding Company Based In Dallas

MLB Rangers co-Owner Neil Leibman has created Infinite Esports & Entertainment, a holding company that includes OpTic Gaming along with other esports verticals he intends to develop out of a new Dallas HQ. OpTic, which sold Leibman and co-investor Chris Chaney a majority interest…

New Chris Paul State Farm Spot Highlights Move To Rockets

State Farm Insurance is breaking a new NBA spot as part of the company’s ongoing campaign with Rockets G Chris Paul . The first 30-second spot in a series called the “Going Away Party” will air during tomorrow’s Cavaliers-Rockets game on TNT. Translation is the agency …

Gonzaga’s 10-Year Renewal With IMG Includes New Signage Assets

Gonzaga and multimedia rightsholder IMG College have agreed on a 10-year contract extension that takes the deal out to ’28. As part of the extension, IMG will have an array of new digital signage assets to sell in McCarthey Athletics Center. The signage, which the school will install, incl…

Nashville’s MLS Bid Gets Boost As Metro Council Approves Funding

The Nashville Metro Council last night “voted overwhelmingly to approve Mayor Megan Barry ‘s financing plan” for a new $275M MLS stadium on the city’s fairgrounds, a “major win” for the city’s MLS expansion hopes. The council voted 31-6 to “sign off on a plan to issue” $225M i…

Hirschfeld Marketing Solutions Acquires Bulldawg Marketing Agency

Motorsports-heavy event marketing agency Hirschfeld Marketing Solutions today will announce that it has acquired fellow North Carolina-based agency Bulldawg Marketing, which is focused on NASCAR retail. HMS CEO Todd Hirschfeld , who will keep that title under the new structure, declined t…

Discover Becomes First Presenting Sponsor Of Big Ten Title Game

The Big Ten and Big Ten Network have signed a deal with Discover, making it the first presenting sponsor of the conference’s football championship game, played annually at Lucas Oil Stadium and televised on Fox. The deal was described as a multiyear agreement and is certainly one of …

Laugh Track: Finish Line

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel: “Congratulations are in order for Shalane Flanagan , who became the first American woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon. It’s a 26-mile-long race. She finished it in two hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds. Honestly, I don’t think I could …

Tuesday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….The Age Of Discover

Discover Becomes First Presenting Sponsor Of Big Ten Title Game
Nashville Metro Council Could Approve Bonds For MLS Stadium
Nine MLB Players Get Qualifying Offers Under New CBA Guidelines
Hirschfeld Marketing Solutions Acquires Bulldawg Marketing Agency

Spurs Pay Respects To Victims Of Mass Shooting In South Texas

The Spurs prior to last night’s home game against the Suns “held a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday morning.” The town is “about 40 miles from San Antonio.” The Spurs and the NBA also “took to Twitter to…

Draw Party For New Next Gen ATP Finals Ridiculed As “Sexist”

The Next Gen ATP Finals draw party has been “branded ‘sexist’ after a remarkable ceremony in which players were made to select their groups for the tournament by choosing female models.” The eight-man competition being held for the first time this year features the “world’s top seven 21-an…

MLS Extends Fanatics Agreement, Eyes Broader Product Lines

MLS and Fanatics have signed a long-term agreement that will “see an extension of their e-commerce partnership globally, as well as a shift in the league’s approach to licensing.” MLS also “made an investment in Fanatics” during a recent funding round, according to sources. Unde…

Serena Williams Takes New Role With Digital Media Entity Oath

Serena Williams this morning was announced as Chair of Advisors for Oath, which is Verizon’s new combined media entity for AOL and Yahoo. Oath CEO Tim Armstrong said, “Serena, plus the other board of advisor members, hopefully will have a really big imprint on the future of where…

Monday 9:00am ET….Today’s News….For The Soccer Fanatics

MLS Extends Fanatics Agreement, Eyes Broader Product Lines
Dolphins Players Kneel In Pregame After Gase Relaxes Team Rule
Serena Williams Takes New Role With Digital Media Entity Oath
Spurs Pay Respects To Victims Of Mass Shooting In South Texas