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

The Daily’s Hot Reads For Wednesday: A Pair Of Aces

The HOUSTON CHRONICLE’s John McClain writes of Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and Texans Owner Bob McNair , “They have different personalities and management styles, but both are passionate about football and the NFL. They’re respected voices who serve on league committees and believe they …

ESPN Sees Small Overnight Ratings Decline For “MNF” In Week 4

ESPN drew a 9.6 overnight rating for the Chiefs’ 41-14 defeat of the Patriots on “MNF” last night, down slightly from a 9.7 overnight for Dolphins-Saints in Week 4 last year, and down from an 11.6 overnight for Bears-Cowboys in ’12. The game delivered ESPN a win pr…

AEG Seeks Six-Month Extension To Secure NFL Team For L.A. Stadium Project

AEG yesterday announced that it is seeking a six-month extension to its existing agreement with the city of L.A. for the Farmers Field project. The company’s request is to allow additional time to pursue a deal with an NFL team, and to further assess and develop plans for renovations to th…

The Daily’s Hot Reads For Monday: Desert Field

The ARIZONA REPUBLIC’s Dan Bickley writes, “The Valley has changed dramatically. The Cardinals are our new love. … Their evolution – and ours – is one of the most understated stories in sports . And it proves we are a football town at heart” ( ARIZONA REPUBLIC ).


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Finish Line Q2 Earnings Fall Short Of Expectations, Revenue Up 7.1%

The Finish Line on Friday reported Q2 earnings and revenue that “fell short of analyst expectations.” The Indiana-based athletic apparel chain posted a profit of $26.2M in the fiscal period ended Aug. 30, compared with a profit of $26.5M in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 7.1…

Weekend Events….


The Lightning unveil their alternate jersey at the team’s Fan Fest prior to its 12:00pm ET scrimmage.

The Sharks host their first fan festival at SAP Center.

College football coaches nationwide wear the “Coach to Cure MD” logo during games.


ExposNation, …

Daily Download….

Warriors F Harrison Barnes stars in a teaser video for an upcoming announcement regarding the team and adidas. See Monday’s issue of THE DAILY for more.

Buzzer Beaters….

Quicken Loans Friday announced that it will return as a sponsor of Richard Childress Racing, serving as a primary sponsor of the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman . The ’15 season will mark the fourth year Quicken Loans has teamed with Newman ( Quicken Loans ).
A source said t…

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Retiring Derek Jeter Has Most Popular Jersey In MLB Since All-Star Break

Yankees SS Derek Jeter has the most popular MLB jersey, based on sales of Majestic jerseys from since the All-Star break. Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw and Angels CF Mike Trout round out the top three, Meanwhile, a number of players make their first appearance in the top 20, inclu…

NHL and EPIX Road to the Winter Classic

as seen here: IBTMEDIA

Reports started coming out late last week that HBO and the NHL had parted ways on the popular “Road To The Winter Classic” series, which to many hockey fans and fans of amazing content in sports, was pretty devastating. While “Hard Knocks” has plateaued with HBO a bit, the NHL access was still fresh and maintained rich content. Every year seems to continue to build into the next. Factor in two franchises that “get it,” in terms of fan activation, with dynamic leaders, Ted Leonsis’ Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough, and this year’s lead up to New Year’s Day was much anticipated to be the best in the series.
After the news was confirmed that the NHL-HBO partnership was a no-go, despairing hockey fans started to speculate. Would it end up on NBC Sports Network, which carries massive amounts of hockey and was a huge partner in the grow
That’s where the education begins. The premium channel, carried in about 50 million homes, professes to be TV and experience everywhere on all devices, and is similar in many accounts to channels like HBO and Showtime. They have tried to be bold with big events in the entertainment landscape, and have recently made waves in the “sports issues” space with the documentary “SCHOOLED: The Price of College Sports,” and the soon to debut “Forgotten Four,” about the four players who broke the color barrier in football the year before Jackie Robinson broke it in baseball. Regardless, the channel has never really had a series, let alone a sports series. The details are still to come as to how all fans will be able to get the programming. Fans should rest easy that the NHL series will fall under EPIX’s TV Everywhere umbrella, as options like streaming are a cornerstone of the channel’s philosophy. In fact, EPIX was the first premium network to make its films available for streaming.
Specific details on how fans can access the “Road to the Winter Classic” series are to be revealed next week in a press event at Nationals Park in Washington, as the kickoff for the Winter Classic takes shape.
But why EPIX and how does it make sense? One of the biggest reasons remains the NHL’s willingness to take chances on partners that other leagues will not. They risked a lot with their NBC arrangement and it paid off; they have been more aggressive in the digital world and it has been fruitful; they have pushed to showcase new stars in unconventional ways and they have built some fresh new faces. None came without risk, and not every venture has succeeded so we shall see with the EPIX move.
The biggest reason that this could work is because of the content. Content is king after all, as we repeatedly hear in our business. HBO became known as the home of anthology programming in sports that was raw and unvarnished; an F Bomb here, some stitches there, all packaged around great story lines and naturally people followed these stories. Moving a raw all-access series like “Road to the Winter Classic, as has been tried elsewhere, to a place more mainstream loses its grittiness and limits some of the creative process. Going to EPIX on the other hand gives the series a chance to be much bolder. The series now reconnects with its creator Ross Greenburg, who has worked with EPIX on several projects, including “Forgotten Four,” and will now have a firm hand in re-shaping not just the lead-up to the Winter Classic, but to the February matchup between the Sharks and the Kings as well – this all helps on the content side of things. Giving Greenburg creative license to be edgy and delve deep into storylines is what fans crave. EPIX is willing to fit the bill for the lavish production value needed for this type of a show, and can provide the outlet fans are begging for. Hockey is big, entertainment, is bigger, and Greenburg has always gotten that when he was running HBO Sports.
So will this move work for all? The EPIX products tied to sports thus far have been solid, albeit with an audience that is smaller than HBO. However, many scoffed when House of Cards went to Netflix, or even when the NHL went to NBC, and those have worked out pretty well. People will find the content, and reports have been that both the NHL and EPIX will figure out a way to deliver that content on multiple screens. It’s less about the channel, and more about the deliverability and the content on all devices for fans of a certain age. The value proposition is simple: make the content cool and easy to access and we will watch. No one could find TruTV before CBS and Turner lobbed March Madness games there, and only a handful of fans knew where AMC was before “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” ended up there, so maybe this is no different.
If it works it will be epic (pun intended). If it doesn’t, it was a grand experiment with some great ideas. We will find out more about the plans next week, but for now, the NHL created some buzz and found a willing partner, and that is positive for all fans of the game, who now will get their fix of unvarnished behind the scenes action, HBO or not.

The post NHL and EPIX Road to the Winter Classic appeared first on Tanner Simkins.

Luke Dempsey’s fact-filled guidebook, Club Soccer 101

Luke Dempsey’s fact-filled guidebook, Club Soccer 101, serves as a proper and often humorous introduction to the beautiful game.
as seen here: IBTMEDIA

Luke Dempsey’s fact-filled guidebook, Club Soccer 101, serves as a proper and often humorous introduction to the beautiful game.
Those closest to the business of soccer are quickly learning that as the sport grows domestically so does the need for more outlets to display fanhood. Currently, the American fan is still riding the World Cup wave. The MLS recently signed bilingual broadcast deals with Univision, Fox Sports, and ESPN. The Seattle Sounders and other domestic clubs are effortlessly selling out every game. Franchises are planned in NYC, Orlando, Atlanta, Miami, and elsewhere to add to the existing 19 MLS memberships. Many more marquee players opting to finish their career in the MLS over the top European leagues – soccer in the USA is primed for rapid expansion. This is a key indicator that not only soccer is here to stay – but that there’s significant money involved. From a business sense that means that soccer is in high demand. Luke Dempsey’s book Club Soccer 101 The Essential Guide to the Stars, Stats, and Stories of 101 of the Greatest Teams in the World serves as a proper introduction of the green US soccer fan to the beautiful game. Soccer fans in America are sophisticated. They understand the game, really well. “Its time for the sophisticated fans to understand these teams”, Dempsey told me in our recent interview.
Dempsey [no relation to superstar player Clint Dempsey] is an author and journalist who has written about soccer for a wide range of publications, including the New Republic, Capital New York, The New York Observer, and Howler. He is originally form England and now resides in New Jersey, where is a proud NY Red Bulls fan and season-ticket holder.
Club Soccer 101, as the name suggests is not about international soccer. According to Dempsey, he didn’t want it to get lost in all the noise and clutter surrounding the recent World Cup. By design, he opted to release the book this September where American fans are very much still enamored with soccer. The book release also strategically intersects many club league seasons. Club Soccer 101, is positioned to help transition American fans from soccer fans once every four years into annual and consistent fans.
“I hope people love the stories, its not just stats, its the whole culture of the sport” said Dempsey. “Soccer is a very old sport globally” the author reminds us. Naturally the sport has many intricate and often humorous stories. “I feel that engages fans and that’s a good thing.”
This is Dempsey’s third book and as he describes it is for “the burgeoning soccer lovers in America, which has really taken off in the last few years.” The book is formatted into separate essays – each “give background stories, some funny stuff, some memoirs, a bit about the players, and more from the top 101 clubs in the world so next time you watch a premiership game, or attend an MLS game, you know a little bit more about what you are watching” Dempsey said.
“I think sports books when well done can be a great outlet for whatever message, they go beyond sports and talk about people. That’s what I wanted Club Soccer 101 to accomplish. Its not just soccer stories, but stories of human beings and the growth of the game” said Dempsey.
Dempsey urges readers not to take sports too seriously. This refreshing change of pace may just be the secret sauce to morph the green American soccer fan into a veteran football enthusiast. Club Soccer 101 is available anywhere books are sold.

The post Luke Dempsey’s fact-filled guidebook, Club Soccer 101 appeared first on Tanner Simkins.

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Canelo Alvarez Heading Back To HBO After Signing New Multi-Fight Agreement

Golden Boy Promotions yesterday announced boxer Canelo Alvarez is “returning to HBO after a five-fight stint” on Showtime that included his participation in the “highest-grossing pay-per-view fight in history” last September against Floyd Mayweather, according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. …

Red Sox Adding Suite Next To Green Monster, More Pavilion Seating

The Red Sox “plan to pack more fans into Fenway Park with the addition of a corner suite next to the Green Monster and 160 more pavilion and bleacher seats” as part of an estimated $4.2M in “proposed improvements” to the ballpark, according to Donna Goodison of the BOSTON HERALD. Fili…

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Laugh Track….Words Of Wisdom?

HBO’s John Oliver said last week was “another terrible seven days for the NFL with yet more news regarding serious domestic abuse. Everyone had significant questions for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding how the NFL handles domestic abuse and what specific plan…

Final Jeopardy….

“What is ‘Saving Mr. Banks?’” Tomlinson played Mr. Banks from the ’64 film “Mary Poppins.”

MLB Today Formally Opening Latin American HQ In Dominican Republic

MLB today will formally open a new Latin American headquarters in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The new space will be used as a central spot for baseball’s interests in the region, including regional tournaments and showcases, education efforts, and community affairs. Slated to attend…

Capital One Formally Announcing Title Sponsorship Of Orange Bowl

Capital One today is formally announcing it will serve as the title sponsor of the Orange Bowl as part of a multiyear deal. The Capital One Orange Bowl will be held on Dec. 31 this year. It is scheduled to hold one of the two College Football Playoff Semifinal games as part of the ‘…

Speed Reads….

MLB honors Yankees SS Derek Jeter with a 30-second spot that includes a cameo from Angels CF Mike Trout and LLWS P Mo’Ne Davis : “A Model Of Greatness. Thanks Derek” ( THE DAILY ). Watch the spot .

LSU expects the “largest crowd in T…

Tweet Pic Of The Day….

ESPN’s Stan Verrett posted a this photo with Warriors G Stephen Curry and wrote, “The star of our latest ‘this is sportscenter’ commercial. @StephenCurry30 coming soon!”

Chuck Hagel Asks Staff For Information On NFL Ties To Military

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “has asked his staff for detailed information about the U.S. military’s relationships” with the NFL in the wake of recent domestic violence incidents. The military “has a high-profile relationship with the NFL that goes back decades.” The Army…

Miller Lite Renews Deal To Sponsor New Hampshire Motor Speedway

New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials on Friday announced that Miller Lite has extended its deal to sponsor the track for another three years. The deal keeps Miller Lite as the “Official Beer Sponsor of New Hampshire Motor Speedway” through the ’17 racing season. NASCAR driver Brad Kesel…