September 28, 2016: Pro Sports Leagues Are Becoming More Inclusive of L.G.B.T. Fans at Events, Presidential Debate Breaks Ratings Record, How Live Video Is Contributing to Twitter's Resurgence

1. PRO SPORTS LEAGUES ARE BECOMING MORE INCLUSIVE OF L.G.B.T. FANS AT EVENTS: Many professional U.S. sports leagues have a history of being homophobic, but recently leagues have been embracing L.G.B.T. fans at games and with events aimed at the community. Bloomberg: "So far this year, about three dozen professional baseball, soccer, and women’s basketball teams have hosted pride nights, inviting members of the LGBT community to throw first pitches or participate in coin tosses, handing out commemorative merchandise, and donating a portion of ticket sales to LGBT causes. 'From the NBA standpoint, this is a core value and a core strategy of how we are running our business and ultimately growing the game,’' says Oris Stuart, the NBA’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. More teams will be hosting such events in the coming season, he says. The NBA’s Orlando Magic will honor the victims of the Pulse shooting at their home opener on Oct. 26 and is planning a pride night for later in the season. The Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce will host its second pride event Oct. 23 at Detroit’s Ford Field, when the NFL’s Detroit Lions host the Washington Redskins. Just two years ago, such gestures were rare. 'With respect to the LGBT community and where society is today, it totally makes sense that teams are being more proactive and reaching out,' says Jessica Berman, vice president for special projects and corporate social responsibility at the NHL. At least half of all NHL teams will host LGBT nights as part of a diversity week in late February. The league partnered in 2013 with the group You Can Play, which promotes LGBT sports participation, and in the 2015-16 season, Berman says, nine teams hosted pride nights. … To keep the pressure on sporting arenas, Athlete Ally, an advocacy group whose mission is to end homophobia in sports, is developing tolerance ratings for 127 venues based on several factors, including whether the stadium has held a pride night and if it makes accommodations for transgender people. 'The reality is that fans travel for their team and they will want to know if a venue is welcoming to them,' says founder Hudson Taylor."

2. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE BREAKS RATINGS RECORD: The first general-election presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump broke a ratings record, drawing 84 million viewers across 13 channels according to Nielsen data. The number makes the event the most-watched presidential debate in history. Politico: “Until last night, the most-watched debate in history was the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. That debate averaged just over 80 million viewers. With a few networks still to be counted by Nielsen, and the 80 million figure not including anyone who watched online, last night's debate will end up with more people watching than any prior presidential debate. In 2012, the first debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama averaged 70 million viewers. In 2008, the first debate between John McCain and Obama averaged 53 million viewers. On cable news, Fox News led the way with more than 11 million viewers. NBC led the broadcast networks with more than 18 million people tuning in. The ratings put the debate in rare company. Of TV programs that drew an average of more than 80 million viewers, most were NFL Super Bowl broadcasts, with the others were the finales of M.A.S.H. and Cheers. Of course, the debate aired on a dozen TV networks and streamed online, whereas the Super Bowl and M.A.S.H. only aired on one channel each. The numbers do not include anyone watching on PBS, Univision or non-rated TV channels like C-SPAN, nor does it include anyone that streamed the debate online. Data from Facebook, YouTube and other digital sources suggests that millions more people watched the debate live online.”

3. HOW LIVE VIDEO IS CONTRIBUTING TO TWITTER'S RESURGENCE: Twitter's recent venture into live streaming high-profile events—including the presidential debate and Thursday Night Football—is bringing the company back to the forefront of relevant social platforms. Adweek: "'It's an extension of what we've always been doing,' said Adam Bain, Twitter COO, speaking in front of a few hundred people at IAB Mixx in New York Tuesday morning. 'You should view it as we are just getting started in the live [space].' In recent months, Twitter has been busy inking deals with the NFL, MLB, the NHL, the NBA, the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference, Bloomberg Media, CBS News and Cheddar. The moves are designed to make Twitter both an alternative to linear TV and a complementary feature to it. … A key move toward attracting a bigger audience, Bain suggested, was making the logged-out experience on Twitter 'nearly identical' to logged-in viewing. Everyone sees the content and real-time tweets about the action, which, for Twitter's sake, hopefully will draw more viewers to the platform who are not part of its 310 million monthly users. Meanwhile, Monday night's debate was buzzy this morning nearly everywhere online and offline—from the halls of the IAB event at Times Square's Crowne Plaza Hotel to the controversial #TrumpWon hashtag on Twitter. During the 89-minute debate, the social chatter was palpable. According to SocialFlow, there were more than 3 million mentions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the debate on Twitter, with the Democratic nominee generating 233,000 more mentions."


COAST TO COAST:  AccorHotels has announced its new worldwide brand Jo&Joe. The new venture, which targets millennials, offers living spaces that combine private-rental, hostel, and hotel formats. The brand is aiming to open 50 venues in cities including Paris, Rio de Janerio, and Budapest by 2020.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has named Anne-Marie Law chief human resources officer, effective October 3.

AUSTIN:  AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center has hired Alison Berg as director of sales and marketing.

BOSTON:  The Boston Symphony Orchestra's Opening Night Gala, which took place September 24, raised $1.5 million.

CHICAGO:  International culinary organization Identitá Golose will host the third-annual Indentitá Chicago Saturday and Sunday at Eataly Chicago. The event will include chef master classes and a luncheon.

Retail Confectioners International will celebrate its 100th anniversary at its 2017 Convention & Industry Expo on June 12-16 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center.

LAS VEGAS:  The Mob Museum unveiled Al Capone’s revolver at a press preview on Tuesday; it goes on public display today.

Boyd Gaming Corporation has completed its acquisition of ALST Casino Holdco, the holding company of Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa.

LOS ANGELES:  David Rubin will produce the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' eighth annual Governors Awards, which will take place November 12 at Hollywood & Highland's Ray Dolby Ballroom. The Hollywood Reporter:

Viceroy Santa Monica’s Cast Restaurant has a new executive chef, Larry Monaco.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  PokéBao, an Asian fast-casual eatery from chef/owner Daniel Bouza, will open in November in Coral Gables.

NASHVILLE:  HRI Properties and Hyatt Hotels Corporation plan to convert the current James Robertson building into a luxury hotel joining the Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio. HRI Properties will spend approximately $50 million to turn the building into a 191-room hotel that will open in late 2017.

NEW YORK:  The 71st annual Tony Awards will air live on CBS June 11. A venue for the ceremony will be announced at a later date.

The second annual Bronx Documentary Center Photo Auction Benefit will take place October 13 at the Brooklyn Brewery.

The Brooklyn Museum's 10th annual Brooklyn Children's Book Fair will take place November 12. The fair will feature more than 50 Brooklyn-based authors.

Holiday Inn Express LaGuardia Airport Hotel has named Eldin Elezovic general manager. The 84-room hotel, operated by M&R Hotel Management, will expand to 119 rooms by the end of the year. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Union Street Fantasy of Lights will take place December 3.

In 2019, Virgin Hotels Silicon Valley will open in Milpitas, within a new mixed-used neighborhood development called the Fields. The hotel, which will be managed by Virgin Hotels and developed by Lyon Living, is expected to break ground in the fall 2017. 

TORONTO:  This year's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will take place November 4-13 at Exhibition Place. The event features a horse show and more than 2,000 agricultural competitions that will showcase animals, butter sculpting, giant vegetables, and more.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Cognac Le Bar at La Ferme opens today at La Ferme Restaurant in Chevy Chase. The new bar, which can seat as many as 25 people, will offer small plates, charcuterie selections, and homemade terrines. Local caricaturist Mike Caplanis contributed to the bar's wall decor with sketches of celebrities.

This year's Fall Fest for local businesses will take place Saturday on Rhode Island Avenue NE between 20th and 24th Streets NE. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include more than 40 participating vendors. Fall Fest Week kicks off the festivities with fall-theme events taking place today through Friday, at various locations that will have art projects, tastings, and demos.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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