Category Archives: Major Sports

World Long Drive Announces Expanded Tour, Largest Purse

World Long Drive returns in 2023 with new owner GF Sports and Entertainment at the helm, an expanded tour, the largest purse in the competition’s history, and over 50 hours of programming by NBC Sports on GOLF Channel, 10 annually.

The World Long Drive Championship is the largest annual domestic professional golf event not associated with the PGA of America, the PGA Tour, or the LPGA. It was first held in 1974, and since 2000 consisted of Open, Women’s, Seniors (over-45s), and Amateur events.

GF Sports and Entertainment also acquired the Pro Long Drive Association (PLDA) in December 2022. With that acquisition, World Long Drive will now serve as the singular premier long drive tour expanding to 12 events domestically and over 30 events being held by World Long Drive affiliates internationally.

“We are committed to growing the sport of Long Drive and making it a competition where athletes world-wide can make a living with this impressive skill set. With the acquisition of World Long Drive and the PLDA we look forward to expanding the tour, making it larger than it’s ever been, not only domestically but internationally,” said President of GF Sports & Entertainment Shawn Tilger. “To be able to showcase World Long Drive in a five-year deal with GOLF Channel and the commitment of 50 hours of national television programming we know the fandom for the sport is just going to continue to grow.”    

The World Long Drive tour tees off March 10-12, in Mesquite, NV, culminating with the Championship October 18-22, at Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“World Long Drive is exciting, challenging and fun,” said professional golfer and 2022 PLDA Championship runner-up Bryson DeChambeau. “I started long drive to increase my swing speed and then I got addicted to hitting it farther and farther. I’m looking forward to qualifying for Atlanta and competing on a National stage in 2023.”

Players on the professional circuit will battle for over $1.1 million in cash prizes, the largest prize purse in the tour’s history. Competitors will have the opportunity to qualify for the World Long Drive Championship at eight qualifying North American events, vying for 128 total qualifying spots. Amateur level competitors from all over the world aspiring to join the tour will be able to compete for the opportunity to play in the World Long Drive Championship at select local host ranges. This opportunity is the first of its kind in the sport and makes long drive accessible for competitors not only across the U.S. but in over 18 other countries. 

“To say I am thrilled for World Long Drive to be returning to television is an understatement,” said Two-Time World Champion, Current World Record Holder and #1 Ranked World Long Driver Kyle Berkshire. “The sport and its athletes deserve to be showcased on this platform, and I am excited for all of us to deliver many memorable moments and storylines to the viewers over the years to come.”

The 2023 World Long Drive Tour Schedule is as follows:

March 10-12

WLD Mesquite

Mesquite, NV

April 14-16

WLD Hobe Sound

Hobe Sound, FL

May 5-7

WLD Mesquite

Mesquite, NV

June 9-11

WLD La Salle

La Salle, CO

June 23-25

WLD Memphis

Memphis, TN

July 7-9

WLD Port Rowan

Port Rowan, Ontario

July 28-30

WLD Connecticut

Portland, CT

August 10-12

WLD West Bountiful

West Bountiful, Utah

August 25-27

WLD Kingsport

Kingsport, TN (televised)

September 29-Oct 1

WLD Oceanside, CA

Oceanside, California (televised)

October 21

WLD Celebrity ProAm 

Atlanta, GA (televised)

October 18-22 

WLD Championship

Atlanta, GA (televised October 22)

NLL Announces League-Wide Activation for ‘Every Child Matters’ Initiative

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced its expanded support and awareness schedule for “Every Child Matters.” It is a league-wide initiative that brings awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as late as 1996 in Canada.

In the campaign’s second year, all 15 teams will participate in the program, which will run from Week 9 (Jan. 23-29) through Week 11 (Feb. 6-12) of the 2022-2023 season. Then for the remainder of the season, players will wear specially designed helmet decals supporting “Every Child Matters.”

All 15 NLL teams will be involved, either as host or as a road participant, with a planned home activity later in the season for some teams. Players will sport the NLL’s “Every Child Matters” logo on a specially designed warmup shirt, along with the helmet decal. The league will also produce audio and video messaging for broadcasts on TSN and ESPN. Additional content will be incorporated into NLL.com and league social channels, as well as into game presentations.

“Our continued work with Indigenous athletes and communities is a major priority for the National Lacrosse League, and the ‘Every Child Matters’ education process and activations are key components of that platform,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “This program presents an opportunity to facilitate meaningful conversations about the atrocities perpetrated by the residential and boarding school systems, continue the journey toward reconciliation, and honor survivors and their families.”

The “Every Child Matters” initiative is a part of the league’s ever-growing participation and awareness programs tied to Indigenous culture, which is at the core of the league’s values and the history of the sport of lacrosse. The work includes educational programs for athletes, coaches, staff and fans, land acknowledgment ceremonies, and charitable and social responsibility programs to strengthen and enhance the ties between league stakeholders and the Indigenous community.

Several NLL teams played games and conducted youth programs on Indigenous reservations earlier this season, with Philadelphia facing off against Georgia on Nov. 26 at Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes (Where They Play Ball) Arena at Onondaga Nation. Meanwhile, Las Vegas, San Diego and Halifax played a mini tournament in Akwesasne at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena (colloquially called the Turtle Dome). This was the first of more in-person events ranging from clinics to other happenings that are currently in the planning stages and will be announced later in the season.

For “Every Child Matters,” the league created a new logo for this season with designer Justin Gilbert of Kuvua Designs. Justin was selected due to his work in support of Indigenous organizations and his connection to the cause, being born and raised on the Southern Ute Reservation. The logo contains the silhouette of an Indigenous child wearing a ribbon shirt and holding a traditional wooden lacrosse stick. The text “Every Child Matters” appears next to the image with a heart and feather.

“In this logo, I wanted to celebrate the culture we as Native Americans endured to keep. Since there are so many tribes that were affected by residential schools, my goal was to represent the vast collective of tribes who were affected,” Gilbert said.

Fans will be able to purchase cotton shirts through the league’s online stores, NLLShop.com and NLLStore.ca. For every shirt sold, the NLL will donate to the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund in Canada and The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the United States.

“With support from third-party fundraisers like the National Lacrosse League, we are reaching even more people throughout Canada, building cultural understanding, and creating a path to-ward reconciliation,” said Sarah Midanik, CEO and President of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. “Thank you for answering Gord’s call to ‘Do Something’ to improve relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.”

“We are grateful for the National Lacrosse League’s willingness to partner with us and use its platform to bring awareness to the atrocities forced upon Indigenous children, families and sovereign nations across Canada and the United States,” added Deborah Parker (Tulalip), CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. “As we continue to work with boarding school survivors, educate the public, and advocate for policies that promote truth, justice and healing, partnerships like this will make our work more impactful.“

Rob Gronkowski to Attempt Live Field Goal During Super Bowl with $10 Million

Today, FanDuel Group, the premier online gaming company in North America, announced the “Kick of Destiny,” a campaign featuring four-time Super Bowl Champion and five-time NFL Pro-Bowler, Rob Gronkowski, who will attempt to kick a field goal during a live Super Bowl LVII television commercial. Any customer who places a Super Bowl bet of five dollars or more on FanDuel will win a share of $10 million in free bets if Gronkowski kicks the field goal. 

FanDuel introduced the campaign with the first spot in the campaign featuring Gronkowski returning to football for the Super Bowl – this time as a Kicker during a commercial. The integrated campaign will follow Gronk’s journey throughout the NFL playoffs, including his training with a legendary NFL kicker, as he aims to win fans their share of $10 million in free FanDuel bets.

“Whether it’s kick-off, a touchdown or an important play that will decide a season, FanDuel knows moments matter. Our first-ever Super Bowl commercial will be more than just a television spot – it will create a moment that will bring fans together, and give them something to collectively cheer for,” said FanDuel Executive Vice President of Marketing, Andrew Sneyd. “It’s an unprecedented field goal attempt on live TV…so anything can happen.”

Additionally, FanDuel will spread the word about this historic campaign through a series of digital and promotional activities on the ground in Phoenix during the run-up to the big game:

  • Fans will be able to take photos with the “The Foot of Destiny,” a replica of Gronkowski’s foot that will be signed by him and auctioned off after the Super Bowl
  • Fans 21+ can take their own shot at the “Kick of Destiny” on-site at the Super Bowl Experience with the chance to win $25 at the FanDuel SportsBook at the Footprint Center

“I spent my career catching the ball, but I always knew I could kick it and now I’ll do it live in front of football fans everywhere during the Super Bowl,” said NFL legend Rob Gronkowski. “With $10 million in free FanDuel bets on the line, I’m training every day to give fans something to root for and to watch the “Kick of Destiny” live on national television.”  

Gronkowski joined the FanDuel team as an exclusive brand partner in December. In addition to the “Kick of Destiny,” he will play a significant role in many aspects of the company’s business, including appearing regularly on its network FanDuel TV with Kay Adams, host of Up & Adams. Gronkowski will also make sportsbook picks and suggested bets, make appearances at newly opened retail sportsbook locations and at other top-tier FanDuel events. FanDuel will also work with him to build awareness for enjoying sports wagering responsibly. 

Fans can stay up to date with Gronk’s training for the Kick of Destiny by following @FanDuel and @FDSportsbook on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, or subscribing on YouTube at YouTube.com/FanDuel. Fans can also follow #KickofDestiny on Twitter for the latest updates.

RealResponse Continues Its NCAA Partnership Growth

RealResponse (@RealResponseHQ), the leading safe and secure feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations, announced today that over 10 additional colleges and universities have been added as partners since August, bringing the rising total of institutions well over 100 across all divisions as well as in the NAIA. More than 200,000 athletes, coaches and administrators, from colleges to the most elite levels of professional sports now have the ability to use RealResponse to share feedback and report needs or concerns to administrators in real-time on everything from team culture, NCAA violations, mental health, social injustice, COVID-19 policy infractions, misconduct, hazing, sexual harassment, and gambling as well as using the system to highlight successes and best practices which might go otherwise unnoticed.

“Our platform was created to give a voice to the student-athlete and that remains our core mission, even as we expand with new relationships across campuses such as Clemson University. Adding these new partners is very gratifying and extremely important,” said David Chadwick, the founder of RealResponse and a former Division I basketball player at Rice University and Valparaiso University. “We will not rest until we are able to help every athlete, coach, administrator, parent feel like they are safe anywhere on the globe by understanding and using RealResponse as they need it.”

“Equipping institutions with essential solutions for those in their care to provide feedback and report concerns, has allowed us to continue to be at the forefront of addressing the need of prioritizing mental health and well-being,” said Samantha K. Huge, Executive Vice President for Collegiate Athletics. “I have personally seen the positive impact that RealResponse can have on a department, and I am humbled to lead our collegiate team as we walk alongside administrators in all that they do for their athletes.”

Following a recently announced partnership with NASCAR; New collegiate partners with RealResponse include: Ohio University, University of Miami, University of Toledo, George Mason University, University of Illinois, Loyola University Chicago, University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, Sacred Heart University, Rutgers University, University of South Florida, and Jacksonville University.

What They Are Saying

Dan Radakovich, Vice President / Director of Athletics at University of Miami

“We are excited to partner with RealResponse in our continued efforts to enhance the student-athlete experience at Miami. RealResponse is an innovative and intuitive platform that gives our student-athletes the opportunity to communicate in real time and share important feedback.”

Pat Hobbs, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers University

“The health, wellbeing and safety of our student-athletes is always the first priority of our department. We are committed to providing them with all the resources necessary for a great experience during their time as a Scarlet Knight. The RealResponse platform is another tool that speaks to having a direct impact on our student-athletes.”

Judy Ann Riccio, Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart University

“Our student-athletes needed a proven, professional way to connect with us on a regular basis, and this was the perfect choice for Sacred Heart. We look forward to the feedback and creating a better student-athlete experience for all of our Pioneers.”

Bryan B. Blair, Vice President and Director of Athletics at University of Toledo

“Our number-one goal is providing our student-athletes with the best possible experience, while prioritizing their health, safety and well-being. Our partnership with RealResponse gives them another tool to communicate and share important feedback with our administrative team in real-time. We look forward to working with RealResponse as we continue to look for ways to enhance the student-athlete experience at the University of Toledo.”

For Soccer Ventures Completes Another Year of Growth With FIFA Women’s World Cup Coming in 2023

For Soccer Ventures (FSV), a media and experiences company spearheading a collaborative movement to connect brands, players, fans, families and platforms to the diverse American soccer community, completed a third consecutive year of record growth, expansion and engagement in 2022 as it looks forward to 2023, expansion of its properties and partnerships, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“While the just completed FIFA Men’s World Cup certainly helped raise awareness and engagement for soccer, it was just the culmination of a year where we saw partnerships soar everywhere from grassroots, to community impact and media, to brand engagement,” said Heath Pearce, President, FSV. “2023 is shaping up to be an epic year for soccer across North America with the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the debut of the Leagues Cup – which will feature all of the clubs from MLS and Liga MX in a completely reimagined, month-long, World Cup style tournament.” “As brands and platforms look to engage soccer fans, players, families and communities across North America, FSV is poised to deliver the most authentic media and marketing solutions in the market today.”

Since the pandemic, FSV has seen a 600% increase in revenue, and are now at 40 full-time employees, up from just eight in 2020. In the past year, FSV has continued to expand partnerships with some of the biggest brands in the world: adidas, Pepsi, Lays, Verizon, CBS Sports/Paramount+, Telemundo, Allstate, Soccer.com, BodyArmor, Ford, Topps, Umbro, Chevron and CVS among them.

Some highlights:

The Black Star Initiative, a platform accelerating the growth and popularity of soccer in Black American communities, continued its expansion, celebrating Black soccer culture, building community, and providing players and coaches access to soccer development pathways through its free Community Pick Up, First-Touch Youth Clinic, Girls and Boys ID Showcase, and U.S. Soccer Coach for Community – Coaching Clinic events. Paramount+ was presenting sponsor for all Black Star events in cities ranging from Detroit and Washington, DC to Los Angeles and Houston.

FSV teamed up with BodyArmor for their MLS All-Star Activation, providing a free soccer clinic for underserved communities in Minneapolis and also an influencer led soccer tournament (“Community Cup”), including Minnesota Aurora FC goalkeeper Sarah Fuller.

FSV Extended partnerships to support Paramount+’s growing soccer portfolio in the US, Mexico and across Latin America.

Alianza de Futbol, which FSV acquired in 2020, continued its own meteoric growth, overcoming the pause caused by the Covid 19 pandemic which kept thousands of soccer fans in the Hispanic community away from the fields for over a year. This year, the tour visited ten different cities prior to the National Finals: Phoenix, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San José, El Paso and Austin. One of the 2022 tour record figures was accomplished in Houston, where all tournaments were sold out and at capacity, with more than 34,000 fans and upwards of 2,000 participating players in attendance.

FSV extended its partnership with Allstate and “Allstate Sueno Alianza” which gives thousands of players the opportunity to be scouted by professional and national teams as well as colleges and universities.

The company built out an extensive multilingual influencer activation with FIFA World Cup broadcaster Telemundo to increase awareness for their talent and platform during the games in Qatar.

On the media side, FSV signed a strategic partnership with Men in Blazers to represent their iconic brand and continued to build on partnerships with Umbro, Topps, and adidas.

On the community and grassroots side, FSV continued to build on its partnership with Chevron and launched a new program with CVS Health.

FSV launched the Association – an experiential soccer league celebrating the sport, culture, and people that make the game vibrant. The 2022 installment (presented by BodyArmor) featured teams from CAA, Sony, Religion Of Sports, 424, The Shoe Surgeon, Winston House, AEG, Immortals FC, the American Outlaws, and Google.

In collaboration with Pepsico, The Team of Champions Platform (entering its third year) is now supporting over 15,000 players – giving black, Hispanic and female clubs around the country financial resources to make soccer fields and equipment more accessible and tournaments/league fees more affordable.

The ACCESS U Foundation – a non-profit organization that mentors underserved Hispanic and Black players and their families about the college pathway, including collegiate athletic scholarship opportunities and the college recruiting process to help them achieve their educational goals is supporting more than 70 players in their college recruitment and mentorship process.

The Soccer Collective, FSV’s owned and operated network of social media accounts, surpassed 2.6 million followers across 10 social brands. The Collective’s broader creator community, featuring partners like Men In Blazers, ThisWeekInMLS, and USMNTOnly, contributed to best-in-class influencer campaigns for a range of partners, including Paramount+, Topps, Telemundo, Umbro, and more.

On the Original Content side, FSV’s “Orange Slices,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. Men’s National Team player and Major League Soccer All-Star Heath Pearce and 22-year-old emerging U.S. international Mark McKenzie celebrate the past, present, and future of American soccer through generational storytelling and unprecedented access to rising U.S. stars around the world. Recent guests have included the likes of current US Men’s National Team players – Timothy Weah, Brendan Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah. As well as USMNT legend Tim Howard.

NASCAR Announces Partnership With RealResponse

NASCAR and RealResponse, the award-winning reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations, today announced a partnership that provides NASCAR and national series industry members with a safe and anonymous tool to secure feedback, report concerns and seek assistance from professionals in countless areas of expertise.

RealResponse is the industry leader in providing a platform for safe and secure feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting. The partnership will provide any NASCAR national series team member with the ability to confidentially reach out to express concerns or report issues via a customized communication tool. NASCAR personnel receive the encrypted and anonymous messages directly and designate a subject matter expert to respond immediately to the concern.

Concerns can range from competition-based items such as gambling or integrity, safety and security, abuse or harassment, or for seeking mental health support. The identity of the industry member reaching out is protected through the RealResponse reporting program, ensuring anonymity. 

“NASCAR wanted to be proactive in providing a tool for industry members such as drivers, crew and other team personnel to safely reach out for help,” said Meghan Miley, Managing Director of Racing Operations for NASCAR. “In partnering with RealResponse, we now have a confidential method for reporting. We don’t have a limit to the types of reports industry members can submit, and we can ensure their privacy as they reach out for anonymous support at any time.”

RealResponse was launched in 2016 by former NCAA Division I student-athlete David Chadwick, who saw a need for athletes to have a safe and confidential way to bring feedback to their athletic administration. Today, numerous sport governing bodies, organizations and teams such MLB, the NFLPA and NFL teams, USA Swimming and other Olympic organizations, the National Women’s Soccer League, and a multitude of colleges and universities work with RealResponse to provide the same service.

“We are honored to engage in this historic partnership with NASCAR,” said David Chadwick, Founder and CEO of RealResponse. “NASCAR executives recognize the responsibility to make the sport of racing safer, more inclusive and more valuable in the eyes every stakeholder involved in the sport. Their embrace of RealResponse sends a clear message that the health and safety of its community members away from the track is as important as safety of drivers on race day.”

The program was introduced to the NASCAR national series teams in October.

Famer, 3STEP Sports Partner To Deliver Lacrosse Training Curriculum to 3d Players, Coaches

Famer, the virtual sports coaching and mentorship platform, today announced a partnership with 3d Lacrosse, one of the largest and most successful youth lacrosse organizations in the United States and part of 3STEP Sports. Founded in 2009, 3d Lacrosse has grown to over 2,500 players and 125 teams in 9 states.

Under terms of the deal, Famer’s video production arm, Famer Productions, will work with 3d Lacrosse to produce a custom library of hundreds of holistic player and coach training videos covering everything from lacrosse skills, drills and game situations, to leadership and mental toughness. This on demand content will be provided to every member of 3d Lacrosse as part of their commitment to innovation and providing the best training tools to their members. 3d Lacrosse members will download the Famer app and get access to the on demand video library as well as exclusive weekly content from 3d Lacrosse year-round.

“Famer shares 3d Lacrosse’s mission to deliver content and experiences that allow players and coaches to reach their full potential,” said Famer Chief Executive Officer Bill Richardson. “We are proud to have been chosen to power 3d Lacrosse’s digital player and coach development programming. Virtual coaching and training has become a critical component of the way forward thinking organizations coach and train their players and coaches. As we move beyond the pandemic, physical and digital training have merged forever. This partnership demonstrates the value of virtual coaching and mentorship extending and enhancing the core work coaches and athletes do on the field.”

“3d Lacrosse has developed an innovative Methodology for coach and player development,” says Greg Waldbaum, VP Lacrosse, 3Step Sports. “Famer enables us to bring together our best resources and share those amongst our coaches, players, and parents in an effective manner. By providing access to our coaches ‘in their pocket’ through Famer, we will be at the forefront of education and innovation for our sport and will continue to help our athletes develop their skills and be the best they can be”.

Famer and 3d Lacrosse will work closely to bring the best coaching and mentorship programming exclusively to 3d Lacrosse members. Local coaches will be able to use the Famer Team platform to provide interactive team training with group chat and workouts with their own custom content on top of the core 3d Lacrosse video library. Kids and parents will have access to the 3d Lacrosse Methodology library to train and improve anywhere and anytime.

For more information, visit 3d Lacrosse at https://www.3dLacrosse.com or Famer at https://www.famer.us.

CELSIUS Partners With Caleb Williams as NIL Athlete

CELSIUS fitness drink today announced its new partnership with the University of Southern California’s quarterback, Caleb WilliamsCELSIUS continues its support of collegiate athletics by partnering with athletes nationwide as part of the company’s growing Collegiate Program.

CELSIUS University, which officially launched in August 2022, has begun partnering with college athletes nationwide as part of the NCAA’s new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policy that allows college athletes opportunities to monetize their name. The CELSIUS Program aims to provide best-in-class consumer experiences with elite brand partners within NIL and collegiate sports. 

 “Proud to be a brand partner of CELSIUS who has been pioneering their way into college football,” said the University of California’s star quarterback. “I’m looking forward to the projects we’ll do together to support college athletes in the future and bring more visibility to NIL as a whole.”

Athletes partnering with CELSIUS are further educating their peers and audience through their social media channels, while promoting the energy drink and LIVE FIT lifestyle, the brands mantra which aims to inspire people to LIVE FIT in the world around them and in everything they do.  LIVING FIT isn’t just for the gym, it’s a mindset and a lifestyle. CELSIUS provides people with the Essential Energy they need to elevate their everyday lives and achieve their personal bests. 

Caleb’s work on and off the field truly embodies the CELSIUS “Live Fit” mentality and lifestyle.  His shared passion for supporting his community, and love for the brand is the type of partnership CELSIUS® is proud to be part of and looks forward to continuing to help empower collegiate athletics. The partnership with Caleb and CELSIUS will run for 6 months. 

National Lacrosse League, San Diego Seals Announce First-Ever Outdoor NLL Game March 4

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the world’s largest and most successful professional lacrosse league, and the San Diego Seals today announced that the Seals’ March 4th game against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs will be staged outside at San Diego’s new Snapdragon Stadium, the first regular season outdoor game in the history of the NLL. The game will be played at 4:30 pm ET/1:30 pm PT and will be distributed live on ESPN+, TSN.ca and the TSN app. Additionally, the game will re-air the same day on ESPNU at 11:00 pm ET/8:00 pm PT.

“Our goal for the NLL and for the sport of lacrosse is to continue to increase awareness, enthusiasm and enterprise value well beyond where it exists today. This epic setting gives us another unique opportunity to showcase our world class athletes and on-field product, and not only engage with our core audience but attract diverse sports’ fans in search of new entertainment passions,” said Brett Frood, NLL Commissioner. “We are looking forward to working with the Seals and all our supporters in Southern California to making this an event to remember.”

“The Seals have been working on this event for a long time now, and we’re very excited to see this idea come to life. It’s crazy that in the 36-year history of the league this has never been done before,” said Seals President Steve Govett. “We can’t wait to build our box on the field of Snapdragon and play in the San Diego sunshine. Let’s take this outside!”

“We’re honored to host the Seals first ever outdoor NLL game,” added Adam Millar, General Manager of Snapdragon Stadium. “Looking forward to seeing another amazing San Diego team out on our field, and excited to welcome a whole new set of fans to the stadium!”

In addition to the Seals-Desert Dogs game on Saturday, Snapdragon Stadium will also be hosting an NCAA Women’s lacrosse tournament with two games on Friday and two on Sunday. Teams include: San Diego State University, Stanford University, Kent State University, and UC Davis.

This will be a weekend celebration of lacrosse in San Diego that lacrosse fans around southern California will not want to miss. Broadcast talent and other events connected to the game will be announced in the coming weeks.

Snapdragon Stadium will be scaled for 10,100 seats for the special event. A limited number of tickets for the Snapdragon Showdown are now available at SealsLax.com. If you are interested in a group outing for game, please contact the Seals at 619-375-3755 or email [email protected]

The Seals will open their home season this Friday against the Saskatchewan Rush at 7:00 pm at Pechanga Arena, available to watch on ESPN+, TSN.ca and the TSN app.

MSG Networks to Air First-Ever NHL ‘BetCast’ on Monday

On Monday night, MSG Networks will be airing a sports-betting focused simulcast of the Rangers game against St. Louis, which will mark the first time the network produces a sports betting-focused simulcast of an NHL game (the network has recently aired sports betting simulcasts of Knicks games). The upcoming hockey ‘BetCast’ will air on Monday at 7pm on MSGSN, alongside the traditional Rangers telecast on MSG.

The alternate Rangers telecast will feature Rangers reporter Michelle Gingras, former Rangers and Devils center and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez and sports betting hosts Alex Monaco and Sean Little breaking down the play on the ice from a sports betting perspective. They will deliver live reaction to all the betting action on the game from the spread, player props and more, as well as provide in-game updates to the odds and lines as they move throughout the night.

NFL Coaches, Former Players Across Eight Teams To Support First Campaign Honoring Coach Greg Knapp

Eight NFL teams today announced that select coaches, athletes and staff will participate in different ways to support the first-ever Coach Knapp fundraiser this December, which will benefit The Coach Knapp Memorial Fund. The fund exists to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, reduce the number of distracted driving related deaths, and promote distracted driving awareness reform. The fund was created by his wife Charlotte and close friend and agent Jeff Sperbeck, to honor the legacy of Greg Knapp who tragically passed away in July 2021 after being hit by a distracted driver while he was bicycling. Coach Knapp was known for climbing the stadium stairs before every single NFL game he coached over his 25 season career. All will be tagged #knappstairclimb on social platforms.

An image of the shoes being worn this weekend can be found at https://www.knappmemorial.org/

“We can think of no better way to honor Greg’s legacy and raise awareness for such a simple, but vital cause than by doing one of the activities he loved the most, climbing the stairs on gameday,” said Steve Mariucci, former NFL head coach and one of Knapp’s key mentors, who is now at analyst on The NFL Network. “To see the amount of support this has gotten is really touching, and most importantly, we firmly believe it will save lives well into the future.”

“Knapper was one of the very best teammates I’ve ever been around. His Energy, optimism and high standards as a coach made such an impact on anyone who was fortunate to be around him,” added Dallas Cowboys Defensive Coordinator, Dan Quinn, another of Greg Knapp’s loyal fellow coaches, “Please join me in making sure his legacy as a great teammate and friend lives on.”

At the time of his passing, Knapp was recently named Passing Game Coordinator of the New York Jets under head coach Robert Saleh, after serving as an assistant coach for over a quarter of a century with the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Known as a “quarterback whisperer,” Greg coached some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history helping chart the careers of many young athletes with kindness, humor and trust.

In honor of Coach Knapp, NFL coaches, players, executives and alumni will participate in raising funds and awareness at each NFL stadium prior to team warm ups between Week 14 (Dec. 11th), Week 15 (Dec. 18th) or Week 16 (Dec. 24th) of the NFL season. In addition, coaches and staff from several teams will wear custom designed shoes honoring Coach Knapp’s legacy as part of the annual “My Cause, My Cleats” celebration the weekend of December 4th. The shoes will be designed by several local artists working with each team. Participating coaches and former players will include: Steve Mariucci, Dan Quinn, Peyton Manning, Joe Lombardi (LA Chargers), Chris Strausser (Indianapolis Colts), Frank Pollack (Cincinnati Bengals), Jeff Ulbrich, TJ Yates, among many others. Teams confirmed to participate include: New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.

Fans, athletes, and coaches at any level can also participate wherever is most convenient to them across the country, such as apartment building stairs or a high school sports stadium. Images will be shared on various social channels.

Registration is $100 per climber, with proceeds going to The Coach Knapp Memorial Fund. Details can be found at https://www.knappmemorial.org/stairclimb

Additional participants at other teams will be announced in the coming weeks.

World Cup Miami 2022, City of Miami Team For Second FIFA World Cup Soccer Watch Event December 10

The global phenomenon that is FIFA World Cup is upon us, with Group play already underway in Qatar. For fans in Greater Miami looking to celebrate with thousands of other supporters, World Cup Miami 2022 (@worldcupmiami2022) is excited to announce that it will be co-hosting, along with the City of Miami, a second massive World Cup Watch Event live at Bayfront Park on December 10, featuring the last two World Cup quarterfinal matches.

The collaboration between World Cup Miami 2022, City of Miami, and The DNA (Downtown Neighbors Alliance) further strengthens the amazing push towards the 2026 World Cup in Miami. The December 10 World Cup Miami Watch Event will feature everything fans would expect from an amazing fan-fest: tasty food and drinks, interactive activities, and famous special guests.

“There is a strong and deep-rooted soccer culture in Miami,” said James Torres, President of The DNA, “which is why our collective vision for hosting these events is to allow all soccer fans to experience the World Cup in an environment like no other. We are determined to break the usual tradition of watching matches in an over-priced and over-crowded bar and show the amazing Miami soccer community an event they will never forget!”

This will be an amazing opportunity for soccer fans to take part in another exciting and unique World Cup watch event. It represents the second Watch Event Hosted by World Cup Miami 2022, following the extravaganza set for this Friday, November 25 at Miami Dade Fairgrounds, highlighted by the USA vs. England matchup. Popular international broadcaster beIN Sports will film the event, making it a can’t miss for all soccer fans.

Tickets for the December 10 Watch Event will go on sale this Friday, November 25 at https://worldcupmiami2022.com/. Fans attending the first World Cup Miami Watch Event on Friday will be able to purchase their tickets to the December 10 Watch Event at a special discount of 50%.

Sports Gambling Podcast Network Uses Short-Form Video To The Max

Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s (SGPN) latest offering of short-form content on YouTube has grown seven-fold over the last three months and is tracking to hit 750,000 views before the end of the year, outpacing industry growth metrics significantly as the college football season heads down the stretch and pro football hits the midpoint of its season.

The sports wagering industry’s leading independent provider of free analysis and picks, SGPN registered a record-breaking September and continues to see growth across multiple platforms. With over 6,350 subscribers on YouTube and over 100,000 followers over multiple platforms, SGPN has seen the number of views of shortform videos on YouTube alone go from 33,500 in August to over 208,700 in October.

A recent Instagram story featuring SGPN co-hosts and co-founders Sean Green and Ryan Kramer discussing Tom Brady’s recent struggles off the field is set to hit 1 million views alone.

Its model of sophisticated, entertaining, no-cost content resonates strongly with the growing audience of sports fans interested in the legal wagering boom sweeping the United States. Another boost is expected when the World Cup in Qatar begins Sunday, driving audience to The World Cup Gambling Podcast, which hit the airwaves on November 13. It provides users with in-depth wagering and picks around the biggest sporting event in soccer and one of the biggest in the world.

A key component of the SGPN success is the community they’ve created by offering completely free content spanning the full scope of bettable sports. Many SGPN competitors are designed to drive visitors to sign up for wagering accounts at various sportsbook websites, a revenue-generating approach that is transaction-oriented as opposed to relationship-oriented. The evidence that it is working is the dramatic audience growth on multiple platforms.

“Our sponsors and advertisers invest in our audience size and then find additional value in the response from our followers, who connect their products favorably to SGPN and its unbeatable value proposition of great information and guidance at no cost,” said Sean Green, co-founder and CEO who is now in his second decade with the company.

“We’ve found the short-form video to be a sweet spot because it enables us to provide the sports gambling content in an efficiently entertaining way as we cover sports news as it relates to betting the games,” added Ryan Kramer, co-founder of SGPN and an analytics geek in the art of picking winners. “This time of year is crazy with all the action. We’re proud of the depth and frequency of the content we produce.”

The news of the growth on YouTube comes one month after SGPN set a company record of 1.1 million downloads in September. That is more than twice (2.44x) the number of downloads experienced in September of 2021. For 2022, SGPN has seen over 6.5 million downloads from fans, already surpassing last year’s company record of three million downloads.

SGPN’s new World Cup podcast is hosted by Malcolm Bamford, who is advancing the event now and will break down game winners and totals with other insights once the competition begins. He’ll also dive into other wagering options that will help bettors find some easy money in the blockbuster international spectacle that is slated for major cover here in the United States, continuing through the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 18.

According to the American Gaming Association’s inaugural survey on World Cup wagering, an estimated 20.5 million American adults plan to bet a total of $1.8 billion on the upcoming World Cup, adding that 72 percent of bettors plan to place traditional bets either online, with a bookie or at a physical sportsbook.

Islanders, FaZe Clan Announce Esports Night, Immersive Gaming Collaboration

The New York Islanders and FaZe Clan, the lifestyle and media platform rooted in gaming and youth culture, today announced a new immersive and innovative collaboration bridging the fandom between sports and gaming as part of Islanders Esports Night at UBS Arena on Dec. 6.

The evening will feature the long-awaited matchup between North American NHL Gaming World Champion, Regs, and European NHL Gaming World Champion, Eki; limited edition FaZe Islanders merchandise, a meet and greet with FaZe Clan athletes and other unique crossover opportunities designed to better link the global fandom of gaming and professional hockey.

Islanders Esports Night, begins at 5pm with the matchup of Regs vs. Eki and the meet and greet, with the team’s game to follow at 7:30pm.

“The NHL has done a fantastic job linking the passionate fan bases of gaming and hockey in recent years. The Islanders are amplifying those efforts with a dedicated night towards esports, where we are creating a physical touchpoint between likeminded fans,” said Jordan Zelniker, Esports Lead at the New York Islanders. “As part of our 50th anniversary season, we are continuing to utilize gaming to expand Islanders causal and dedicated fandom, linking our past, present, and future.”

FaZe Clan returns to Long Island, home to the very first FaZe House in Plainview, New York, where members FaZe Banks, FaZe Temperrr, FaZe Apex, FaZe Rain, FaZe Adapt, FaZe Blaze, FaZe Teeqo and FaZe Sensei took up residency in 2014 and is now widely recognized as one of the first ever ‘content houses’ inspiring the global trend that has transcended into dozens of different creator groups around the world. FaZe Clan is paying tribute to their beginnings by collaborating with the New York Islanders, creating content with the local fanbase, and establishing limited edition FaZe Islanders merchandise. As part of the collaboration, FaZe Clan branding has been integrated within the Islanders Fisherman logo through the well-known “FaZe Up” hand gesture.

“We’re thrilled to honor our roots and come back to Long Island,” said FaZe Clan member and original FaZe House member, FaZe Blaze. “FaZe Clan’s history begins here and to be back and working with the Islanders feels like a powerful tribute in honoring these hometown brands. The Islanders have an innovative vision to find new ways to be inclusive and fun in aligning the gaming and traditional NHL fans together in an immersive and educational night, and we are proud to be part of this historic collaboration.”

Sportshandle.com: California Sports Gambling Initiative Among Greatest Losses in State Election History

Despite a record of nearly $500 million spent and raised – the most expensive ballot in U.S. history – to bring sports betting to California, a new Sportshandle.com story reports that the initiative was one of the worst losses in the state’s election history.

If passed, Prop 27 would have modified the state’s constitution to legalize mobile wagering.

Overall, the 83% to 17% defeat ranks as one of the most lopsided in the state’s history, making Prop 27 among the 99.6th percentile in terms of the scale of the loss, dating back more than a century to 1910.  

SportsHandle.com’s Mark Saxon goes in-depth on Prop 27 ranking No. 6 all-time as the worst bill ever in the state of California.  The only propositions that have fared worse than Prop 27 fared at the voting include:

  • Prop 101 (1988)
  • Prop 24 (1914)
  • Prop 13 (1940)
  • Prop 24 (1938)
  • Prop 5 (1922)

A link to Saxon’s column can be accessed by clicking here – California Wagering Initiatives Made The Worst Kind Of History

Soccer Fans Gear Up For FIFA World Cup Watch Event In Miami Friday, November 25

For soccer fans in South Florida and beyond, the next best thing to being in Qatar for FIFA World Cup is coming to Miami Dade Fair Expo on Friday, November 25, when World Cup Miami 2022 (@worldcupmiami2022) hosts a massive World Cup Watch Event. Gates open at 10:30 for a full afternoon of interactive family friendly activities, live music, food and drinks, raffles, special guests and much more. And, most importantly, both matches will be televised on two huge LED JUMBOTRONS!

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with an attempt at a record-breaking March-In by team support groups and fans. After the gates open at 11 am, there will be various interactive activities for all soccer fans to enjoy throughout the day, along with merch booths, vendors, food courts, beer garden, photo zone, and much more. At the conclusion of the match will be a closing ceremony to announce all winners of the activities and raffles. Admission, schedules and more details are available at https://worldcupmiami2022.com/.

“The World Cup Watch Party in Miami will be the best way for fans stateside to gather to cheer on their favorite team in a raucous atmosphere that’s as close to being in Qatar as possible,” said Joe Avino, Event Organizer. “We can’t wait to help fans experience the excitement of soccer at its highest global level and celebrate with thousands of others who love this beautiful sport.

In addition to general admission, fans can take advantage of VIP and Ultra VIP opportunities, which will include an ultra posh VIP area, beer garden, designated rest room facilities, first in line access to all activities and additional beverage and raffle tickets. Youth soccer players under 12 are admitted for free. See you at the Fair!

Dan Good’s ‘Playing Through the Pain’ Named CASEY Award Finalist

Playing Through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever, the story of the three-time All-Star and 1996 National League MVP whose addictions and use of steroids derailed his career and life, has been named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious CASEY Award, which Spitball magazine annually honors as top baseball book. Written by seasoned book writer, ghostwriter, journalist, and editor Dan Good, “Playing Through the Pain” was published in May by Abrams Press to great acclaim in the baseball, sports and mental health communities.

Good began researching Caminiti in 2012 and conducted his first interviews for his biography in 2013. Since then he interviewed 400 people, providing him with an exclusive and exhaustive view into Caminiti’s life.

More than two decades later, the full truth about Major League Baseball’s steroids era remains elusive, and the story of Caminiti, the player who opened the lid on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball has never been properly told. A gritty third baseman known for his diving stops, cannon arm, and switch-hit power, Caminiti voluntarily admitted in a 2002 Sports Illustrated cover story that he used steroids during his career, including his 1996 MVP season, and guessed that half of the players were using performance-enhancing drugs. “I’ve made a ton of mistakes,” he said. “I don’t think using steroids is one of them.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the CASEY Award by Spitball, a literary baseball magazine founded in 1981 and dedicated to poetry, short fiction, prose, art, and book reviews; all devoted to baseball. Among the previous CASEY Award winners are notable authors and baseball historians such as Joe Posnanski, Marty Appel, Rob Neyer, Kostya Kennedy, Howard Bryant, Larry Tye, Leigh Montville, Phil Dixon, Bill James, Roger Kahn and others.

“It’s truly an honor to be considered among this amazing group of books and authors,” said Good, who has held leadership roles with the New York Daily News and New York Post and also worked for NBC News, ABC News, and local news outlets in New Jersey and his native Pennsylvania. “I’m pleased that the Spitball team has considered Caminiti’s story worthy of inclusion among the other compelling ones that this list represents.”

The 10 books listed as finalists for the award, to be announced in March 2023, are as follows:

• The Book of Joe: Trying Not to Suck at Baseball and Life by Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci, Twelve Books;
• Charlie Murphy: The Iconoclastic Showman Behind the Chicago Cubs by Jason Cannon, University of Nebraska Press;
• The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit by Ron Shelton, Knopf;
• The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series by Tyler Kepner, Doubleday;
• The Lineup: Ten Books that Changed Baseball by Paul Aron, McFarland;
• Playing through the Pain: Ken Caminiti and the Steroids Confession That Changed Baseball Forever by Dan Good, Abrams Press;
• Red Barber: The Life and Legacy of a Broadcasting Legend by Judith R. Hiltner and James R. Walker, University of Nebraska Press;
• Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original by Howard Bryant, Mariner;
• In Scoring Position: 40 Years of a Baseball Love Affair by Bob Ryan & Bill Chuck, Triumph Books; and
• True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy, St. Martin’s Press

MSG Networks Announces Lineup of Sports Betting Focused-Simulcasts of Knicks and Rangers Games

MSG Networks today announced a lineup of sports-betting focused simulcasts of select Knicks and Rangers games this season. The alternative broadcasts presented by DraftKings will air on MSGSN alongside the traditional game telecasts on MSG, featuring real-time commentary and analysis through the sports betting lens. The first BetCast will air tonight at 7:30pm ET when the Knicks take on Atlanta at home.

The schedule will include a total of 12 BetCasts between the Knicks and Rangers, which will mark the first time MSG Networks produces a sports betting-focused simulcast of an NHL game. The network debuted the BetCast during the 2021-2022 NBA season, offering the simulcast for five Knicks games.

The alternate Knicks telecasts will feature a rotating mix of sports betting experts and on-air talent from the network’s roster of shows, including Alex Monaco, Keiana Martin, Sean Little, Erik Coleman, Jeff Johnson, Harrison Sanford, Kazeem Famuyide and eight-year NBA veteran John Henson. The hosts will deliver live reaction to all the betting action on the game from the spread, team totals, player props and more, as well as provide in-game updates to the odds and lines as they move throughout the night.

The first hockey BetCast will air on Monday, December 5th at 7:00pm ET for the Rangers’ game against St. Louis. Rangers reporter Michelle Gingras and former Rangers and Devils center and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez will break down the play on the ice from a sports betting perspective.

MSG Networks will integrate DraftKings odds into the BetCasts, as well as highlight specific bets and parlays on the air that will be available for viewers exclusively within the DraftKings Sportsbook app. The simulcasts are also expected to include appearances by various on-air personalities from DraftKings.

All BetCast coveragewill also be available to view on MSG GO, the network’s live streaming and video on demand platform.

photo credit: Jean-Baptiste Bellet

Strat-O-Matic, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum To Launch NFTs Honoring Greats, Partner With Fanaply

Few organizations have stronger ties to the rich history of baseball than Strat-O-Matic (@StratOMatic), the market leader in sports simulation, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (@NLBMuseumKC). In their latest collaboration, the two venerable institutions today announced the planned February 2023 release of digital collectibles in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) honoring several Hall of Fame Negro Leagues players, in partnership with Fanaply (@fanaply), the eco-conscious NFT solution provider for the world’s biggest names in sports, music, and entertainment.

Each NFT will feature a short audio commentary on each player’s legacy, contribution to baseball and their lasting impact. A photo montage of many never-before-seen images related to each player will accompany the voiceover. In addition, Fanaply is creating an exclusive, NFT-powered at-bat simulation using Strat-O-Matic’s proprietary statistical game engine. This will allow NFT owners to simulate at-bats of each player against figures from throughout baseball history. Players to be included in the initial set will be announced at a later date.

“The Negro Leagues had a profound impact on the advancement of American civil rights and culture.” said Adam Richman, Strat-O-Matic C.E.O. “These NFTs will preserve this legacy and celebrate these players, who need to have their stories and contributions to history preserved for future generations.”

With today’s announcement, Fanaply, Strat-O-Matic and the NLBM have issued a free NFT that represents a stylized NLBM logo and is now available to all fans at https://fanaply.com/moment/negroleaguesbaseballmuseumnft.

“Collecting and trading baseball cards has been part of the storied history of America’s pastime. We are thrilled to partner with Strat-O-Matic and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to bring their dedicated fan bases an innovative and exciting new way to commemorate the trailblazers of the past,” said Danielle Maged, Fanaply’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Both the NLBM and the families of the depicted players will receive a portion of the profits from the offering, which may also include a collection of traditional limited edition printed cards.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is proud to continue its amazing partnership with Strat-O-Matic, which has long been a supporter of the museum and Negro Leagues history,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM President. “The NFT offerings are a creative new way to help fans and collectors celebrate the greatness of these legendary players while supporting our mission.”

Fans can look forward to exciting rewards and experiences tied to participation, including potential opportunities to collect exclusive player NFTs with varying tiers of rarity, various opponents to simulate at-bats against, physical collectibles, and more.

Philadelphia Takes Down Houston In Seven Games In Strat-O-Matic Series Simulation

Philadelphia’s storybook run through the baseball playoffs continues as the National League’s sixth seed claimed its first title since 2008, defeating Houston, 4 games to 3, including wins in Games 6 and 7 on the road, in the simulation conducted by Strat-O-Matic (@StratOMatic), the market leader in sports simulation.

In the decisive seventh game, won by Philadelphia, 5-3, the visitors erased a 1-0 deficit with five straight runs, capped by J.T. Realmuto’s seventh-inning, two-run home run for a 5-1 lead with nine outs to go. Houston rallied with two in the seventh but Zach Eflin closed the door with 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless frames in the win.

Kyle Schwarber blasted three home runs, drove in five runs and slashed .333/.484/.708 to win the simulated series MVP. Zack Wheeler won his two starts for Philadelphia, tossing 13 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and one earned run in Games 3 and 6 triumphs. Justin Verlander won two games for Houston, allowing three runs and five hits over 14 2/3 frames in his two starts and one-inning Game 7 relief appearance.

A quick game-by-game summary follows:

Game 1: @Houston 8, Philadelphia 5; Verlander permits 3 runs and 4 hits over 6 2/3, Alex Bregman homers, drives in 3.
Game 2: Philadelphia 7, @Houston 2; Realmuto, Alec Bohm home runs back five-hit pitching of Wheeler, three relievers
Game 3: Houston 6, @Philadelphia 0; Cristian Javier and four relievers combine on a four-hit shutout, Jose Altuve homers twice
Game 4: @Philadelphia 7, Houston 2; Hosts bang out 11 hits, three by Nick Castellanos, and Schwarber knocks his second four-bagger
Game 5: Houston 5, @Philadelphia 1; Verlander permits just one hit over seven scoreless innings as Altuve and Jeremy Pena homer to send Houston home with a 3-2 series edge
Game 6: Philadelphia 3, @Houston 0; Zach Wheeler (7 2/3 IP) and Jose Alvarado team on a five-hit shutout to even the series. Bryce Harper’s first-inning three run homer accounts for all the scoring.
Game 7: Philadelphia 5, @Houston 3; Eflin’s superb relief outing closes the door as Realmuto homer, Bryson Stott RBI single prove the difference in the deciding contest

“As the leader in sports simulations, Strat-O-Matic is pleased to present its simulation of the upcoming series between Houston and Philadelphia,” said Hal Richman, Strat-O-Matic founder.“We hope that the games on the field turn out as exciting as our results, especially for Philadelphia fans.”