Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will play for charity to support COVID-19 relief, bragging rights and laughs as part of a May 24 event.
Capital One's "The Match: Champions For Charity," pitting Woods and Manning against Mickelson and Brady at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., will be simulcast on TNT (US), TBS (US), truTV (US)and HLN (US) on May 24 at 3 p.m. ET., with pre-match coverage on the Bleacher Report app.
"The Match" is the latest event on the calendar as the U.S. slowly reopens sports competitions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A Turner spokesman said all of the advertising inventory on the simulcasts has been sold out through Capital One’s title sponsorship, presenting sponsors positions from Audi of America, Michelob Ultra and Progressive, integration partners Cisco and DraftKings, and associate partners Callaway, E-Z-Go, Wheels Up, AT&T and HBO Max. Some digital and social packages remain available for Bleacher Report, while addressable and audience extension opportunities can be accessed through advanced advertising unit, Xandr.
Turner Sports parent Warner Media LLC and the golfers will donate $10 million to COVID-19 relief charities. Contributions will also be made via on-course challenges.
Marketers' interest in "The Match" underscores the pent-up demand for sports after the pandemic shut down live events in early March.
Fox Corp. CFO Steven Tomsic noted on the company's May 6 earnings call that there has been strong demand among ad clients for inventory in an upcoming series of NASCAR Holdings Inc. races, starting May 17.
That is the same day TaylorMade Driving Relief will match Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a team event from Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., also to aid COVID-19 relief efforts. NBC (US), Golf Channel (US), NBCSN (US) and Sky Sports will present the match live.
For its part, the PGA TOUR Inc is looking to resume play on June 11-14 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
In Germany, the game plan, following governmental approval on May 6, now calls for DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH's Bundesliga and Bundesliga2 to resume play May 16. The soccer seasons are now scheduled to conclude June 26. Like the other events, the action will not be played in front of fans. Univision Communications Inc. and FOX sports are the U.S. rights holders to the top-level German circuit.
Back in the States, UFC President Dana White is bringing a pay-per-view card, headlined by Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje in a lightweight title bout May 9.
The fighters were supposed to meet April 18. White postponed the card at what he said was the behest of the highest levels of The Walt Disney Co. and its sports arm ESPN Inc., the rights holder to the mixed martial art circuit.
The lightweight pay-per-view event could bolster the subscription count for ESPN+, which will air the matches on Saturday night. On past earnings calls, then-CEO and now Executive Chairman Bob Iger pointed to UFC as being a key driver for the streaming service, growth for which has slowed in the absence of live events.
ESPN + counted 7.6 million subscribers as of Feb. 3 but finished the company's quarter ended March 28 with 7.9 million.