Archive for the ‘ESPN’ tag

Guest Q&A: American Sports Journalist Bonnie Bernstein

with one comment

Bonnie CI final 72dpiPhoto Credit: Jeff Parks

For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Bonnie Bernstein, American sports journalist and executive with a 20 year career. Currently Vice President, Content & Brand Development and On-Air Host for Campus Insiders, Bonnie was named one of the most accomplished female sportscasters in history by the American Sportscasters Association. Additionally, she freelances for The Dan Patrick ShowESPNespnW and DirecTV and serves as a guest commentator on several news networks, including MSNBCNBC and FOX News Channel. Bonnie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of sports, broadcasting and public health.

BONNIE BERNSTEIN
@BonnieBernstein
www.bonniebernstein.com

How did you get your start as a sports broadcaster?
I decided when I was 12 or 13 that I wanted to be a sports writer, majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, then landed my first gig out of school at a start-up country radio station in Lewes, DE, called KIX 106. I was the News and Sports Director–a much more glamorous title than the job actually entailed! I’d wake up at 4:30 every morning for hourly studio updates from 6-9am, then head out in our white, clunky van adorned with a massive cowboy boot on the side and drive up and down the state of Delaware, covering everything from city council meetings to state politics to local high school basketball games. It was a blast and a tremendous learning experience… and I actually grew to love country music (Which, for a kid from NJ, was something you’d probably not expect!)

What’s your favorite part about broadcasting?
I love the adrenaline rush of “live.” It’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt to the actual rush of athletic competition (I did gymnastics for 14 years, all the way through college). You’re spewing information into a microphone and you have precisely one shot to get it right. I also love storytelling. There’s nothing better than gleaning a piece of information from someone or eliciting an anecdote from an interview subject he or she is sharing for the first time. Knowing even the most informed fan will walk away thinking, “Huh. Didn’t realize that” is a great feeling!

What is your favorite sporting event to attend each year, working and then as a fan?
Don’t really have a favorite in either category. I’d just say championship games, in general. Super Bowl, College Football Playoff Championship, Final Four. It’s the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work for both teams, but only one will be crowned when the clock expires. The biggest thrill, quite frankly, is being on the field/court for postgame. Confetti’s flying everywhere. Emotions are soaring (or sinking, in the case of the losing team). And I get to be at the center of it all as we round up interviews with players and coaches!

Do you have a favorite team and if so what is it?
New York Giants. Been a rough couple of years for Big Blue, but I’m hopeful for next season, especially with the prospect of having Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, Jr, healthy and on the field together! If Eli can’t get it done with those two, I just don’t know…

IMG_7738Photo Credit: Bonnie Bernstein

You have forayed your experience as a broadcaster to the boardroom. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing now?
I am the Vice President of Content and Brand Development for a new college sports network called Campus Insiders. It was an extraordinary entrepreneurial opportunity I couldn’t pass up! Essentially, I’m wearing two hats: I do a lot of on-air work during the college football season and March Madness for college hoops, but I also have the chance to touch other verticals of our business. I do everything from attending sales pitches and helping develop branded content concepts to working on PR/social media strategy to devising brand extensions for the network. It’s kinda like going to business school, but getting paid and the learning curve is truly invigorating!

In our research, we learned that you suffer from Deep Vein Thrombosis, as does one of our colleagues. Can you tell us a bit more about DVT, your story and what we can do to help?
I was diagnosed with DVT in 2006. A massive blood clot that ran the length of my entire left leg broke off and infiltrated both of my lungs (known as Pulmonary Embolism). I was just 36 years old, so for the many folks out there who feel blood clots only inflict the elderly, I can tell you first hand, that’s not the case. More than two million Americans suffer a DVT each year and and complications take the lives of more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The good news is, the condition is largely preventable, if you’re aware of the symptoms and risk factors. Common risk-factors include age (over 40), family history, obesity, smoking, (for women) use of estrogen-based birth control (the Pill, Nuvaring, etc) or hormone replacement therapy and frequent travel where you’re immobile for extended periods, such as long-haul flights. Additionally, if you’re being treated for cancer or heart disease or are having major surgery, you’re at increased risk for blood clots. If you’re experiencing leg pain, redness and/or swelling, shortness of breath or acute chest pain, it’s always best to check with your doctor to see if you may have suffered a clot. The rule of thumb is, if you have three or more risk factors, you are high-risk, but again, the point to hit home is that by and large, DVT is preventable.

Share Button

MKTG INC Plays the Field at Super Bowl XLIX

with 2 comments

Some quick sports trivia: How many celebrities crossed an MKTG-affiliated threshold at this year’s Super Bowl? Answer: At least 100 yards’ worth. From Nick Lachey to Nick Jonas, from Erin Andrews to Andrew Luck, from Mark Teixeira to Mark Sanchez, MKTG collaborated on no fewer than 4 different brand activations throughout the Big Game weekend.

NFL BARBER SHOP
NFL Barber Shop
Super Bowl Media Day took place on the Tuesday before Super Bowl XLIX at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. To help make players and personalities feel at home before their media interviews, MKTG INC tempted up with the NFL to create a premium lounge experience for Seattle Seahawks players.

The NFL’s Barbershop experience staffed top celebrity barbers for players about to “go live” on camera. The service menu included everything from haircuts to straight razor shaves to trims to hot towels. 

As soon as the doors opened, the Barbershop was crowded with Seahawks looking for a pre-camera makeover. Several players even asked for in-room hotel visits from our celebrity barbers, so they could look their best before the big game.

SUPERB OWL III
Superb Owl v2
The 3rd annual Superb Owl took place on the Friday before Super Bowl 49 at RnR Gastropub in the heart of Old Scottsdale, AZ.

A little bit of background: The Superb Owl is the international take on the celebrations surrounding the American Football Championship game, the Super Bowl. The idea was concepted by 5 English pals – some living in London and some in NYC – who wanted to create a unique experience unlike the usual testosterone-fueled, beer & wing fest that go hand-in-hand with the Super Bowl.

This event is part networking, part spectacle with light entertainment and a quintessentially English theme.

Now in its 3rd year (and best year yet!), the Superb Owl has evolved into a staple event for key influencers in the Sports & Entertainment industry, various US & UK media partners, key clients and prospective clients. This year’s Superb Owl, which has been hosted by MKTG and the 5 “Owls” from the UK in the years prior, was joined by a third host, psLIVE.

The cross-agency collaboration enjoyed record turnout for a jolly good night of networking, noshing and libations.

TEQUILA DON JULIO AND 1OAK PRESENT THE NEON CARNIVAL AT THE BIG GAME
Don Julio Neon Carnival
For the fifth year in a row, Tequila Don Julio made an exciting impact on the Big Game Weekend social scene, but this time with something entirely new and unexpected. In collaboration with nightlife impresario 1OAK, the brand brought the legendary Neon Carnival event from the desert of Indio, CA to the desert of Phoenix, AZ for the first time ever.

Hosted at Castles n’ Coasters on Friday, January 30th, this one-of-a-kind exclusive event featured the fun of carnival games and rides, handcrafted cocktails served from the Airstream Speakeasy and the hottest music in town by acclaimed DJs Ruckus and Politik. The buzzed-about event attracted influencers such as actor Chris Evans, NFL star Mark Sanchez, host of VH1’s Morning Buzz Nick Lachey and reality star Audrina Patridge.

WHEELS UP SUPER SATURDAY TAILGATE
WU

The 2nd Annual Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate Party pulled out all the stops this year at the Maya Club in Scottsdale with 1,000 members and their guests, which was the talk of Phoenix. Among the celebs in attendance were “Dancing With the Stars” Host/Fox Sportscaster Erin Andrews, “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, ESPN “College GameDay” host Kirk Herbstreit, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira, Miami Dolphin Ryan Tannehill, NFL Network host Rich Eisen, Indianapolis Colt Andrew Luck, New Orleans Saint Drew Brees and ESPN host Mike Golic. Singer Nick Jonas performed.

The event featured a cigar roller, pool-top go-go dancers, specialty cocktails, a branded bar and tastings led by National Zacapa Ambassador Robert Pallone.

 

Share Button

Raising the Roof at the Heisman House

with one comment

IMG_3634

They say all good things have to come to an end, but we say not before one last hurrah. Which is exactly what ESPN and psLIVE did with the Nissan Heisman House on its final tour stop in Dallas. The 10-stop tour visited major universities throughout the season, helping bring the advertising campaign to life, but the final event happened at the Championship Tailgate Party prior to the National Championship Game.

Over 10,000 consumers made their way to the Heisman House, where they snapped photos with the Heisman Trophy, sat in a (digital) car with a Heisman winner, and tossed footballs in our virtual QB Challenge cage. A steady stream of top talent and past Heisman winners, from Herschel Walker to Troy Smith and Joey Harrington, graced our threshold. All were interviewed on our ‘Late Night in the Middle of the Day’ set, hosted by ESPN Sportscenter’s Neil Everett.

HeismanHouse

The only two-time Heisman winner, Archie Griffin, also stopped by to film a segment played on ESPN and ESPNU during pre-game coverage as well as a :30 vignette that will air on ESPN this week. The Championship was the perfect place to close another great season of the Heisman House tour.

Share Button

ESPN and Aloe Blacc: A True Night of Champions

without comments

-9a4cd0adece86987

As the inaugural match for the new College Football Playoff format, we knew the 2014 National Championship Game (Oregon Ducks v. OSU) would be history-making by default. But we also knew that ESPN was part of college-football history, so we set out to prove it with its night-before-the-game VIP party called “Night of Champions.”

1200+ VIP guests were treated to specialty cocktails and photos with the National Championship Trophy, the All-State Field Goal and the ESPN the Magazine news desk. Along with interactive sponsor activations, guests were entertained by DJ Krakernuttz and a Campus DJ Spin-Off Championship, in which each school’s best DJs battled for bragging rights – and a record contract.

But the night’s biggest moment came when a local high school marching band wove its way through the crowd to the main stage, illuminated by a National Championship bracket showcasing each team’s season-long video highlights. While marching to ESPN’s SportsCenter theme song, the band made way for the evening’s top act: Grammy- and BET-nominated artist Aloe Blacc and his 12-piece band.

Everyone danced and sang through the early morning hours. It was historic.

-7af10369887955fe

Share Button

“I Am the Queen of Chicago”

with 2 comments

Eliud Kipchoge Rita Jeptoo

The Chicago Marathon is the definition of an epic event. Television and radio commercials take place leading up to the big day, getting the city prepared and excited for the ordeal. 1.5 million — that’s right, million — spectators get out on the sidelines to cheer on strangers by their first names (which are often proudly displayed on their shirts).

To a runner, this weekend is the world. I will always hold my marathon race-days as the best days of my life. If you really think about it, you’re a celebrity for a day. Streets in 29 different Chicago neighborhoods shut down simply to let you run through them. Strangers tailgate for hours just to cheer you on while they enjoy a good bloody mary. The entire city is asking questions like, “What are you doing for Marathon?” As a runner, you get to say, “I’m running it,” and enjoy all the #respect that comes with that declaration.

Last weekend marked the first in 2 years that I was not lining up with 45,000 other runners getting ready to #OwnChicago. It was a rather bittersweet experience, though it did allow me to experience a part of the race I had not yet seen: the elite runners.

This year, I watched from the sidelines at Mile 24, the mile I remember as being the first moment you truly know you’re almost done. You’re running in the direction of the finish line, you can vaguely see your last turn, and even at your absolute slowest run you don’t have more than 12 minutes left. This mile means so much more to the elite runners. This is the moment of truth. This is after the runners kick up their speed for that last drive. You can feel their passion as they fly passed. I quickly realized I couldn’t even sprint at their marathon pace.

I watched as the fastest men passed, knowing that it would be close as they all picked up their speed moving toward the finish line. Eliud Kipchoge ultimately took first place. Kipchoge missed a personal best by just 6 seconds, and it was his fourth time finishing under 2:06. The only other three men who have met this milestone have been the fastest men in the world at some point in their career. As Kipchoge passed the finish line, we saw the first woman elite runner, Rita Jeptoo, pass by our cheer-station. She was amazing, fearlessly running towards the finish line. Jeptoo went on to finish as the woman champion of the 2014 Chicago Marathon. She is one of 6 women in the world to win the Chicago Marathon two consecutive years.

Jeptoo’s quote of the day, according to ESPN, is “I am the Queen of Chicago.” That she was, and hopefully every other person passing the finish line felt overwhelmed with a similar sensation. As far as I’m concerned, those finishers, elite and otherwise, do #OwnChicago and, even for a mere moment, they’re Chi-Royalty.

Share Button

Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 17th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Rev Your Motors: The Chase for the Sprint Cup Is Here

without comments

This past month, MKTG INC felt the need – the need for speed. The NASCAR Contenders live event, held at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ballroom, brought together the top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers as they continued their journey toward a championship with only 10 races left. This action-packed event allowed fans to get up close and personal with top NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The event was hosted by Nicole Briscoe of ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown and featured an interactive Q&A with the sport’s top drivers, plus an exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR Cup champion and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Jarrett, led by NASCAR president Mike Helton.
Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon hosted the pre-show, and Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood was on hand to present the sweepstakes winner, Heather Ringbauer, with a brand-new Toyota Tundra. But the chase isn’t over yet – keep watching, it’s anyone’s race!

DSC_7191Photo Credit: Getty Images

This past month, MKTG INC felt the need – the need for speed. The NASCAR Contenders Live event, held at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier Ballroom, brought together the top 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers as they continued their journey toward a championship with only 10 races left. This action-packed event allowed fans to get up close and personal with top NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. The event was hosted by Nicole Briscoe of ESPN’s NASCAR Countdown and featured an interactive Q&A with the sport’s top drivers, plus an exclusive Q&A with former NASCAR Cup champion and 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee Dale Jarrett, led by NASCAR president Mike Helton.

Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon hosted the pre-show, and Top Gear’s Rutledge Wood was on hand to present the sweepstakes winner, Heather Ringbauer, with a brand-new Toyota Tundra.

But the chase isn’t over yet – keep watching, it’s anyone’s race!

Written by: Liz McKeon

Share Button