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NEWS REAL

• For the 15th consecutive year, ESPN will present the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in its entirety, with the 15-game, 16-team tournament beginning with regional action March 29-31 and concluding with the Frozen Four on April 11 and 13. The Frozen Four will be in Buffalo, NY, with all three games on ESPN2.

• The NFL's 100th season will begin with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers in Soldier Field on Thursday, Sept. 5 (NBC, 8:20 PM ET). This will be the 199th meeting between the Bears and Packers, including regular- and post-season. Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will begin their season on NBC Sunday Night Football Sept. 8. Their opponent will be named when the full 2019 regular season schedule is released later this spring.

• Kraft Heinz, in partnership with the NHL and NHLPlayers’ Association (NHLPA) has unveiled the top four finalist communities competing for the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019. Voting begins March 30.

• NBA Experience, the new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando) will officially open Aug. 12, 2019. In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors, also including a NBA-themed retail store.

• D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery has signed a deal with Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher Aaron Nola, making him one of the first active, MLB players to have a partnership with a beer brand. Yuengling has been a sponsor of the Phillies since 2017,

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
Source: Box Office Mojo

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Gatorade: 'Keep Moving' See More Ads Below

COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
SUPER BOWL LIII

Friday
Jun292018

NBC Sports, Marketing Partners Ready For Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Next Ride

By Barry Janoff

June 29, 2018: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a veteran of some 20 years as a race car driver — and another lifetime more as the son of iconic driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. — when he retired following the 2017 Nascar season,.

But back to being a rookie this year in the broadcast booth.

NBC Sports Group launches its 2018 Nascar season this weekend with more than 18 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway, culminating with the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Overton’s 400 on July 1 on NBCSN.

Along for the ride for the first time will be Earnhardt Jr., not as a driver but as an analyst and color commentator.

“I'm excited to finally be at the racetrack with my teammates and getting ready to go to work,” Earnhardt Jr. said on Thursday during a media conference call prior to his first official Nascar race on he media side. “We've been practicing, and here it is, it's time to get to work."

Earnhardt Jr. said that NBC put him through some trial runs in the radio booth this year to gain some knowledge and first-hand experience. He also did some feature reporting for NBC at the Winter Olympics this past February and over the years has made some quest appearances as a commentator during live broadcasts.

But now comes the real deal.

“Well, here goes nothing! @chicagolndspdwy @nascaronnbc,” offered on his Twitter account, on which he has more than 2.5 million followers (and some three million on Facebook).

Earnhardt Jr.’s marketing partners have also come along for the journey.

Wrangler just broke a campaign showing how Dale Jr. has been preparing for his new career.

Spots include him calling a "Go-Kart Race" (“Welcome to the Dirty Mow Acres 300. I don’t if we’ll make it a full 300 but we’ll see how far we get”), "Reporting on Lawn Mowing" as a neighbor drives a riding mower to cut the grass (“Fred has a good steady pace going. He;s got the pattern down”) and doing "Play-by-Pay for a Buffalo Race,” which is basically watching three buffalo walk around in a field (“No. 93. Your first win. Good race. Good form”).

Another spot shows Dale Jr. taking a "New Warm-Up Lap" by practicing his vocals by doing tongue-twisters: “Billy Buttons bought a bunch of beautiful bananas. Unique New York. Billy Buttons went to unique New York.”

Mountain Dew has been running a humorous campaign in which Earnhardt Jr. is replaced as a driver by Dewey Rider (comic Danny McBride).

Earnhardt’s multi-year alliance with NBCUniversal will also provide him with opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television and podcasts.

“When you're a driver, you think you have all these ideas about what the sport needs to be better . . . we're always trying to improve the health of the sport,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Everybody has got the sport's best interest at heart, and as a driver you have those opinions of what those things are.

“Then when you go into the broadcast booth and you're on the other side, just looking at it through a totally different lens, some of those things change like 180 degrees.”

Earnhardt Jt. said that when he was a driver, he  didn't like being involved in rivalries, and “tried to fly under the radar and didn't want to be front-page news all week with a dust-up with another driver or be in any type of disagreement or conflict.

“I didn't like to be the story all week leading up to the next race or any of the videos coming up for the next race's promotion about me and some other driver running into each other.

But now that he’s on the media side?

“I understand what the purpose behind that type of promotion is and why the media exercises to share that with fans and help them understand the story lines in the sport," he said. "That's so critical, and I just didn't see it that way as a driver.

“And that's just one of many, many things that my perception has changed on.”

Earnhardt Jr. is not the only ex-driver in the booth. He will join NBC television analyst Jeff Burton, a 21-race winner who retired from Nascar competition three years ago, as well as former veteran crew chief Steve Letarte.

“This has been a lot of fun,” he said. “It feels like I retired from racing and haven't been working. It's been pretty surreal.”

Through the end of his full-time career, Earnhardt amassed 26 career victories, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s.

He also has a new book, Racing To The Finish: My Story, due out in October.

Now comes a new career, new goals, new challenges.

“I felt like that I had a lot more understanding of what I was getting myself into with race cars,” Earnhardt Jr. said during the media conference. “Growing up around it, and my family being so involved in it on my mom's and my dad's side, I was pretty sure at least when I was younger that I thought I knew everything about racing.

“But I had no history or background in broadcasting. Really kind of coming from a blank page here and drawing from my teammates, Jeff and Rick and Steve and everybody around me at NBC, just trying to draw all the information I can.

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport."

“I’m excited for that challenge. I feel very confident about the direction of the sport and the health of the sport and the future of the sport, or I wouldn't be in this position and want to be part of this team. I'm excited about where we're going and where we're headed, and I think we're going up, and I want to be on that ride.”

As the official home of the Nascar Playoffs, NBC Sports Group will present the final 20 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series races, final 19 Nascar Xfinity Series races and select Nascar Regional and Touring Series events in 2018.

NBC Sports Group’s Nascar programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, Nascar America, coverage of Nascar’s Awards Ceremonies and the annual Nascar Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

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