Monday, June 28, 2021

United City FC enters eSports scene, forms UCFC Esports with BrenPro

Jab Escutin, COO of BrenPro and Eric M. Gottschalk, CEO of UCFC during the launch of the UCFC Esports division

United City Football Club continues to make inroads into the Filipino sports scene, as they announced a new partnership Monday with BrenPro Inc. to establish the ground work for its eSports team.

Called UCFC Esports, it is the latest reflection of the club's commitment towards being one of the best in the region, whether on the football field or on the gaming realm, whilst retaining its ethos of inspiring the next generation of fans and followers.

Team co-founder and CEO Eric Gottschalk shares, "The global growth of esports has been tremendous, and we are fortunate that the Philippines' esports scene is growing rapidly, which paves a great path for us to take on this venture. We are very serious about expanding our horizons to a younger demographic, and we set out to replicate the sporting success of our football division, with our esports division to adhere to the same mission and values that the club has already established. We are further excited to bring professional gaming with us as part of our LGU partnership with Clark City and the Pampanga and Tarlac region – a sport that has seen tremendous growth, support, and interest by the local communities."

In order to achieve excellence, UCFC will enlist BrenPro Inc.'s assistance. The firm is best known for as the group behind Bren Esports, which is one of the leading eSports organizations in Southeast Asia.

Established in 2017, Bren Esports is one of the most notable eSports teams in the country, and has achieve impressive results overseas. It also has one of the biggest eSports training facilities in the region. CEO Bernard Lu Chong shares about the upcoming partnership, "Our formula for success is that we instill excellence in every step of the way, which enables us to groom and develop future esports champions. We are definitely committed and confident that we can guide and shape UCFC Esports to be a leading esports contender not just locally but globally."

Gottschalk adds, "We tapped BrenPro's esports management services as we identified them to be the right partners for us to create and develop champions which will allow us to emulate our success in football. Their values, mission, and vision for the development of the Esports community in the Philippines, in general, align very well with our ambitions as a sports organization, and we would like to thank the team of BrenPro for their support and commitment to helping us establishing a competitive esport division in such a short period of time."

UCFC Esports has pinpointed four games relevant locally that it will devote themselves to: Valorant, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and FIFA 2021. The team has already established its Facebook page ( for fans to check out, with plans for dedicated fan membership and a jersey design contest in the horizon. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

United City secures shirt sponsorship from Allianz

Allianz PNB Life's Alexander Grenz & Gino Riola,
with the UCFC home and away kits
United City Football Club unveiled its latest partner on Tuesday, with Allianz serving as the shirt sponsor for both continental and local play.

UCFC co-founder and president Eric M. Gottschalk shares, "We are proud to announce this ground-breaking partnership with Allianz for our Club.  Not only were we able to bring such a leading global brand with a strong reputation to engage in long-term sports partnerships but also because it shows that football partnerships are possible in the Philippines – even amidst a global pandemic."

He adds, "Football has been steadily on the rise in the country, and having Allianz support our Club might be just the attention-getter for other brands to support local and regional football."

Concluding, Eric says, "I would like to personally thank Alexander Grenz, President of Allianz PNB Life and his team led by Mr. Gino Riola, Allianz PNB Life's Chief Marketing Officer, for their shared vision for football in the Philippines. We look forward to delivering a strong partnership across all of our platforms for the mutual benefits of all parties."

Allianz, represented in the country by Allianz PNB Life, is globally recognized by its football club partnerships with both Bayern Munich and Juventus, having secured the naming rights for their respective home stadiums. In addition, they set to become the Worldwide Olympic Insurance Partner following the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Locally, Allianz PNB Life has its own initiatives to help grow the sport, helping organize the National Youth Futsal Invitational in the last couple of years pre-pandemic, as well as sending outstanding young Filipino footballers to the Allianz Junior Football Camp regionally in Thailand and globally in Germany.

During the pandemic, they have conducted programs seeking to establish sustainable transport for Filipinos through cycling. Through the Allianz Ride Safe campaign, they have formed a partnership with the San Juan local government to launch the first solar-powered bike pit stop and repair station in the country this past November, whilst also donating bollards for use with the city's bike lanes.

Last month, the campaign also donated artistically designed bike racks to the City of Manila, allowing bikers to park and lock their bikes on these structures safely.

On this new partnership, Allianz PNB Life President Alexander Grenz shares, "Allianz aims to be an Insurer of Sport, and we have long-standing partnerships with football clubs and stadiums all over the world. We are very excited to extend that tradition to the Philippines by being the official shirt sponsors of United City Football Club, a team we are certain will capture the hearts and minds of fans in the country and the Asian region."

The partnership sees the Allianz brand being shown on both the home and away kits of UCFC for their upcoming AFC Champions League campaign and the Philippines Football League. The brand will also be on the replica Chronos merchandise kits set to be sold to fans.

Monday, June 14, 2021

United City plants football flag in New Clark City

Left: Arrey A. Perez (BCDA)
Right: Eric M. Gottschalk (UCFC)

United City Football Club has found a new home.

The defending Philippines Football League champions has selected New Clark City in Pampanga as its future base of operations on Monday.

UCFC President and Co-Founder Eric Gottschalk shares, "This is a historic day for all of us within the organization as we are finally able to announce New Clark City as our permanent home. This has been in the works for several months, and we would like to thank Vivencio B. Dizon, President & CEO of BCDA (Base Conversion and Development Authority), and his team for their support in bringing professional football to the Province of Pampanga and New Clark City."

Gottschalk adds, "Our move to Pampanga has a lot to do with the already existing sports mentality within the community, especially the love for football, and since the PBA has no foothold in Clark, UCFC will be the only professional sports franchise in the province."

The club already has plans in place, as Gottschalk notes, "Our community work will start right away with many plans already developed. The UCFC football academy will take shape before the end of 2021, and we continue to finalize the location for our future football stadium."

Serving as the temporary home of UCFC will be the New Clark City Stadium, the 20,000-seat athletics stadium that served as the central hub of the 30th SEA Games in 2019. Plans are set to host its first match at the venue in early August, once the AFC Champions League campaign in Uzbekistan has been completed.

In addition, the club already has identified a prime location to break ground for their future stadium, with only the necessary paperwork needed to be completed before it is made official.

To mark the move and reflect its commitment to its new community, UCFC will also embark on a name change effective after the conclusion of the 2021 PFL season, becoming United Clark Football Club in the process. The change will also be reflected on its crest, as well.

UCFC becomes the latest crown jewel for New Clark City and its ambition to become the Philippines' sports hub. Having hosted the SEA Games, it also is set to host the final qualifying window for the FIBA Asia Cup, and is also set to host a couple more major competitions later this year.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Cignal TV, TV5, Smart & PLDT affirm commitment to Tokyo 2020 broadcast coverage

Tokyo 2020, via Cignal TV

Filipino fans can once again be very much excited for the Olympics, as the 2020 edition in Tokyo slated from July 23 to August 8 will be shown locally through the efforts of the MVP Group of companies, namely Cignal TV, TV5, PLDT, and SMART Communications.

Cignal TV and TV5 President & CEO Robert P. Galang shares, "The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 symbolize the highest level of athletic excellence and stands as a beacon of hope for Filipino athletes and sports spectators, both here and abroad. In our commitment to providing the best sports content to our viewers, we will ensure extensive coverage and daily access to the Games across our free-to-air, pay TV, and OTT platforms, and through our partnership with Smart and PLDT."

Sports fans in the country will have comprehensive end-to-end access to the XXXII Olympiad, whether through its free-to-air channels TV5 and One Sports, to its cable channel One Sports+ on Cignal TV. Cignal TV will also allot a couple of exclusive channels for 24/7 broadcast of the Games, whilst Cignal Play will be offering exclusive channels that would provide live updates for subscribers. The app will also provide exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. As for One News, it will serve as group's news hub, leading the way with round-the-clock news coverage, whether highlights, results, and other updates.

For its part, SMART will funnel its complete Olympic coverage onto, becoming its latest flavor for its variety of content, which will also have its own exclusive content aside from being a complement to the terrestrial broadcast. As for PLDT, ten channels will be made available for select PLDT Triple Play subscribers.

PLDT and SMART President & CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio shared his thoughts about their conglomerate's undertaking, "It is our great pride to provide our subscribers access to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for them to enjoy this global sporting spectacle. We are also honored to be able to show support to Filipino athletes as they embark on their journey to make our country proud and showcase their skills through sports and athletics."

Galang also reaffirmed the MVP Group's commitment to sports. "Our coverage of international sporting events will not end with the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Our viewers and subscribers can rest assured that we will continue to source and provide them the best quality sports content which they can enjoy on multiple platforms."

‘Rise Up Stronger: NCAA Season 96’ officially opens June 13 on GTV

The first athletic league in the Philippines is going to finally commence with its long-delayed season, as it finally ushers it in with the Opening Ceremonies this Sunday, June 13.

With due observance to the ongoing health and safety protocols, "Rise Up Stronger: NCAA Season 96" finally kicks off after a long delay, with a new broadcast partner in GMA Network.

Host school Colegio de San Juan de Letran is expected to showcase the world-class talent of the student-athletes from its member-schools.

NCAA Policy Board President for this season, Fr. Rector Clarence Victor C. Marquez, OP of Letran, emphasized the significance of being able to open the season during these times. He shares, "Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut us down last year, the NCAA—the Philippines’ first and longest-running collegiate athletic competition—has resolved to move forward and to carry the good fight, for our love of the game. GMA Network, the NCAA, and all our member school communities, our student-athletes, our fans, shall all rise up stronger, shall boldly and bravely face the challenges of the new normal in collegiate athletic competition and sports broadcast."

NCAA Management Committee Chairman for this season, Rev. Fr. Victor Calvo Jr., OP, also from Letran, adds, "NCAA would like to show the creativity and resilience of the Filipinos, especially in the pandemic. We don't give up—that’s the message we want to deliver. We have to adjust to the situation and make the most of it."

After a long relationship with ABS-CBN Sports, the league has a new broadcast partner in GMA Network. GMA Regional TV and Synergy First Vice President and Head Oliver Victor Amoroso says, "We are grateful to the NCAA for their confidence in GMA Network as their new home and to our student-athletes for keeping the passion for sports alive. After months of preparation, we are finally unfolding NCAA Season 96. We are excited to start the next phase of our partnership with NCAA. Season 96 officially kicks off with the GMA-produced opening ceremony that is apt and fitting to NCAA, a premiere collegiate sports league. We are rising to the challenge of showcasing world-class talents of our Filipino student-athletes while still adhering to the health and safety protocols. Season 96 puts forth an awareness that there is more to NCAA than institutional achievements as it continues to provide thousands of young Filipino athletes the opportunity to achieve their dreams and become the best version of themselves."

For the Opening Ceremony, Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos have been tapped as hosts, with Rise Up Stronger: the Road to NCAA Season 96 hosts Martin Javier and Sophia Senoron acting as co-hosts.

Fr. Marquez will provide the opening remarks, while Fr. Calvo will lead the invocation. Men's Basketball Team Captain Jeo Ambohot will oversee the virtual oath-taking of the student-athletes.

The Opening Ceremony also serves as a stage for Kapuso artists to shine, from performances by Aicelle Santos and a variety of The Clash alums. GMA Artist Center talents will also serve as flag bearers and muses:

Ralph Troy Noriega and Angela Alarcon for Arellano University

Kimson Tan and Pam Prinster for De La Salle-College of St. Benilde;

Caloy Tingcungco  and Ysabel Ortega for Emilio Aguinaldo College

Kim de Leon and Lexi Gonzales for Jose Rizal University

Brent Valdez and Kyline Alcantara for Lyceum of the Philippines University

Gab Yabut and Ayra Mariano for Mapua University

Manolo Pedrosa and Crystal Paras for San Beda University

Jamir Zabarte and Zonia Mejia for San Sebastian College-Recoletos

Jeremy Sabido and Shaira Diaz for University of Perpetual Help System DALTA

Radson Flores and Mikee Quintos for Colegio de San Juan de Letran

After the Opening Ceremony, the NCAA primer, "Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96," takes on a new role as the show to cover the league's competitions, starting with Poomsae and Speed Kicking. The latter is a new competition that the Philippine Taekwondo Association has devised and tailored for the upcoming season.

Aside from Javier, GMA has also tapped a familiar face for NCAA aficionados, as Anton Roxas joins the network to call the action, as well as highlights.

Fans can check out Rise Up Stronger: The Road to NCAA Season 96 everyday, with weekdays at 2:45pm, while it is on Saturdays at 4:30pm and 5:05pm on Sundays, all of which on GTV. Fans based overseas can check them on GMA Pinoy TV and GMA News TV. 

The league also released an app that would provide updates for both Android and iOS users.

For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasports on social media.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Hennessy expands partnership with NBA, becomes league's Official Spirit worldwide

Never Stop, Never Settle

True to its "Never Stop, Never Settle" ethos, Hennessy has expanded its partnership with the NBA, with both announcing its global expansion, with the former becoming the "Official Spirit of the NBA" worldwide.

Having entered into a partnership back in February 2020 for North America, both sides have since entered into a multi-year agreement highlighting the NBA's first-ever global partnership with a spirits brand.

Hennessy Global CMO Julie Nollet shares, "We are honored by the distinction as the first global spirit partner in the NBA’s history. The NBA is more than basketball, and Hennessy is more than cognac. We represent global communities, and this partnership empowers us to support a game and culture that brings people together through entertainment and camaraderie despite the current challenges faced by fans around the world. We share the NBA’s core values of integrity, teamwork, respect and innovation, which are more powerful than ever as we work to inspire and unite people across the globe."

Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Media and Business Development adds, "This partnership expansion marks an exciting milestone for the league as Hennessy becomes the NBA’s first-ever global spirits partner. We look forward to continuing to celebrate the game of basketball alongside this iconic brand and our fans around the world."

To commemorate this partnership, the brand is set to launch a global adaptation of its "Hennessy x NBA: Lines" campaign that celebrates those who push the game forward. In addition, the new exclusive Hennessy VS and VSOP Limited Edition bottles highlighting this partnership are slated for a worldwide release in the second quarter of 2021. These bottles are already currently available in the United States.

Aside from these, there will also be a variety of events, activations, and content set to take place throughout the year. Through these actions, Hennessy will celebrate the tradition and mindset of basketball fans around the world.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Bragging Rights set for FIGHT SPORTS HD

Time for some "Bragging Rights"

One of the more anticipated matchups in boxing is set to take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. steps into the boxing ring once again to take on Logan Paul.

The event will take place LIVE starting 8am on July 7, with a same day replay on 10pm.

Fans in the Philippines able to check it out on Fight Sports HD, which is Channel 187 available on SKYcable subscribers in the Greater Manila Area and Batangas. The channel is among those that can be available by adding the Sports Pack to one's package, which is worth PhP 550.

The future boxing hall of famer last fought in an exhibition against former two-division UFC titleholder Conor McGregor in 2017, toting a 50-0 record in the squared circle, with a who's who of the sport that includes Canelo Alvarez, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Manny Pacquiao. 

The social media sensation, on the other hand, lost his professional debut against fellow YouTube creator KSI. The elder brother of Jake Paul, Logan is looking to end his and Floyd's streaks in this star-studded matchup.

For those interested to avail of the fight, one can head to One can also check out @myskyupdates on the various social media platforms for more details.