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Serena William's 21 Grand Slam Singles Wins

1999 US Open v Martina Hingis
2002 French Open v Venus Williams
2002 Wimbledon v Venus Williams
2002 US Open v Venus Williams
2003 Australian Open v Venus Williams
2003 Wimbledon v Venus Williams
2005 Australian Open v Lindsay Davenport
2007 Australian Open v Maria Sharapova
2008 US Open v Jelena Jankovic
2009 Australian Open v Dinara Safina
2009 Wimbledon v Venus Williams
2010 Australian Open v Justine Henin
2010 Wimbledon v Vera Zvonareva
2012 Wimbledon v Agnieszka Radwanska
2012 US Open v Victoria Azarenka
2013 French Open v Maria Sharapova
2013 US Open v Victoria Azarenka
2014 US Open v Caroline Wozniacki
2015 Australian Open v Maria Sharapova
2015 French Open v Lucie Safarova
2015 Wimbledon v Garbine Muguruza


"We survived by the skin of our teeth. We were able to pull it out and we're moving on." — Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr after his team's Game 7 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals


$18.00: Asking price for original ticket 1942 Kentucky Derby, on eBay
$52.00: Asking price for 26 original Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses, various years, on eBay
$200.00: Asking price for original 1987 Kentucky Derby festival pin, on eBay
$325.00: Asking price for original 1945 Kentucky Derby aluminum cup, on eBay
$1,000.00: Asking price for original 1923 Kentucky Derby program, on eBay

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FRENCH OPEN May 22- June 5, Roland-Garros, Paris, NBC, Tennis Channel



NBA FINALS Game 1 June 2, ABC

MLB DRAFT June 9-11 MLB Network 7 PM (ET)


NBA DRAFT June 23, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, ESPN 8 PM (ET)

WIMBLEDON June 27-July 10, London, ESPN, Tennis Channel

T-MOBILE HOME RUN DERBY July 11, Petco Park, San Diego, ESPN 8 PM (ET)

MLB ALL-STAR GAME July 12 Petco Park, San Diego, Fox 7:30 PM (ET)



NBC $1B Milestone
USOC Marketing Goal
KT Tape Taps Games

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.
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.
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.
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.

SB LV Will Raise Naming Rights Cost For L.A. Stadium

If the Disney Co., Farmers Insurance, Live Nation or any other multi-dimensional company based in Southern California is considering making a move for naming rights to the NFL stadium being built in Inglewood, the incentive got juicier — but so did the cost, to as much as $1B — when the league awarded the venue hosting duties for Super Bowl LV in 2021, with the Los Angeles Rams, and potentially a second team, welcoming the football and sports marketing world to its $2.6B home, putting a price tag of as much as $20M a year for naming rights and more than $40M annually from top-tier sponsors, who also might get global exposure if Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics. MORE

Q&A: At 90, The Harlem Globetrotters Still Got Game

In 1926, Buster Keaton starred in The General, Babe Ruth hit 47 homers and had 153 RBI for the Yankees, RCA-GE-Westinghouse formed NBC and The Harlem Globetrotters, then known as the Savoy Five, were introduced to the world. Now celebrating their 90th anniversary, with a history that includes such iconic players as Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal, Goose Tatum, Marques Haynes and Wilt Chamberlain, they are as entertaining and innovative as ever. But as team president Howard Smith reveals in this Q&A, the challenge is to maintain the team's tradition while introducing new concepts and players and embrace the social media world to keep the Globetrotters on top of the world. 

Last Dance: Sports Authority Going, Going, Gone

Considered for years among the top sports retailers in the nation, Sports Authority is officially on its last legs, with "Going Out Of Business" signs posted in brick-and-mortar locations as well as at the company's Web site and A&G Reality Partners given the task of selling some 320 locations in 34 states, including 50 in California, 48 in Florida and 27 Colorado, with bids due in late June and merchandise scheduled to be gone in late August; although the fate of a naming rights deal to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, home to the NFL's Denver Broncos, remains uncertain. "It is with great sadness that we are intending to close all of our stores. It has been a pleasure to serve you and your family," company CEO Michael Foss wrote in a letter posted online. MORE

The Fast and the Furious Back In First Gear For 15th Fete

As Vin Diesel, playing Dom Toretto, said in 2001's The Fast and the Furious, "Let's go for a little ride," and Universal Pictures is doing exactly that by re-releasing the original film on the same day, June 22, it was released 15 years ago, not only anticipating the eighth movie in the franchise scheduled to hit theaters in April 2017, but also paying homage to the first seven, which have earned a cumulative worldwide box office total of $4.7B and brought to life characters played by Diesel, Paul Walker (who died in a car crash in 2013), Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez. MORE

Reebok, A-B, Geico Drive NHL $477M Sponsor Spend

Thanks to increased activation from such partners as Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, Geico, Toyota and DraftKings, the NHL is projected to see a record $477M from sponsorship spend this season, according to research firm IEG, which would be up nearly 7% from last season and a rise of more than $100M from 2012, with QSRs, auto, medical, insurance and beer the Top Five most active categories, all of which IEG said "reflects the growing popularity of hockey as a marketing platform." MORE

Mnt. Dew Takes People For A VR Ride With Dale Jr.

Not content to get such products as Baja Blast and Pitch Black into the hands of consumers, Mnt. Dew is using a virtual reality platform and gaming.CGI softwear to give consumers a hands-on driving experience with its Nascar team of drivers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Casey Elliot — as part of its new DEWcision 2016 campaign, with users able to drive two challenging race courses and employ a 360º option to avoid obstacles and view unique scenes not just in front of the car, but also behind, on the sides and over the vehicle, with Dale Jr. and the others providing running commentary and driving advice, plus additional elements involving Shazaam, Facebook and experiential activation this week during JR Motorsports Fan Days. MORE

Red Bull, GoPro Take Action On Global Partnership

In a deal that could have wide-ranging impact in the action/adventure sports category, Red Bull and GoPro said they would take their current alliance to a new level with a global multi-year partnership that includes content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation; gives Red Bull an investment stake in GoPro; names GoPro the exclusive provider for Red Bull 'point-of-view imaging technology for capturing immersive footage'; and provides GoPro more access to Red Bull's multi-media platforms — such as Red Bull TV, and The Red Bulletin — than ever before. MORE

Panasonic Puts Neymar Jr. On Offense For Olympic Games

With the Summer Games just about ten weeks off, Panasonic is ramping up its efforts as an official partner with the IOC, including a multi-platform global campaign, 'Sharing The Passion,' that features Neymar Jr., who will appear in TV and online ads and drive an initiative encouraging people to connect with the soccer star, as well as onsite activations in Rio de Janeiro anchored by the company's Stadium of Wonders, where visitors will find interactive exhibits and a history of the Olympics. MORE

This Is How Steph, LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade Sleep At Night

Active Dreamers, a Los Angeles-based bedding company founded by a former Miami Hurricane hoops player, wants to inspire kids to "dream bigger," so it has unveiled a line of NBA-licensed blankets and pillowcases featuring a dozen league stars, including Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Curry's teammates, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, whose images give the impression that young consumers can be just like them, with supporting marketing starring two-time MVP Curry to reinforce the message. MORE

Posey Back To Catch Esurance MLB, All-Star Game Pitch

In 2015, when Esurance became the official auto insurance partner for MLB and title sponsor for the All-Star Game ballot, it brought along brand ambassador Buster Posey, and now the catcher for the San Francisco Giants returns in a multi-platform campaign for the online insurer that includes humorous 'Smart People Get Esurance' TV spots, a series of 'What Would Buster Do?' online vignettes, Internet, social media, a sweeps and activation prior to and during All-Star Game events this July in San Diego. MORE

Tennis Channel Swings French Open, Serena Marketing

In what should be an historic run in its tenth season of French Open coverage, Tennis Channel is all-in with a multi-media marketing effort that includes TV, print, outdoor, live activation and airport and retail network media buy that includes McDonald's, Sam's Club and airports across the nation, tying in not only to Tennis Channel's expanded coverage — some 110 hours of match play, more than 300 hours overall — but Serena William's quest to win her 22nd career Grand Slam, which would tie her with Steffi Graf and put her just two behind all-time leader Margaret Court. MORE

Commercial Spotlight: Kia Share Some Soul, Fox Son Of Zorn, AT&T The Caddie, Nike Kobe 11 Muse


NFL 'TNF' Deal Gives Twitter More Than 140 Characters

Roger Goodell, commissioner for the NFL, has 485K followers on his Twitter account despite the fact that his last tweet was in September 2014 — until today, when he unveiled via the 140-character platform a new alliance that gives Twitter the ability to stream live ten NFL Thursday Night Football games beginning this season, joining CBS, NBC and NFL Network as broadcast partners on that night and following last season's first regular season live stream NFL game via Yahoo!, part of the league's strategy to boost ad options and "serve fans around the world live NFL football." MORE

CBS: New NFL 'TNF' Package Not The Deal We Wanted

The new pact unveiled this week by the NFL for its Thursday Night Football package was good for the league with a two-season value in excess of $900M, good for NBC — which joins with a five-game schedule — and good for NFL Network, but not everything that CBS wanted, as CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus reveals, with his network expecting to return with an eight-game schedule it had during each of the past two seasons but having to accept a five-game slate, albeit with certain needs that appear to have been fulfilled, because "that's what the NFL wanted." MORE

Cam Tops Peyton, Wilson As NFL's Most Marketable Player

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos has held the title of NFL's top marketed player with more than $12M in endorsements — the most among all NFL players — via such deals as Nationwide, Papa John's, DirecTV and Gatorade, but fellow QB Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is set to take the top spot and has been voted the NFL Most Marketable Player by the readers of NYSportsJournalism (as well as by industry analysts contacted by NYSJ), with Cam already at $11M in endorsements including Under Armour, Dannon Oikos, Gatorade, Microsoft, Beats by Dre and EA Sports, and more potentially to come if he helps to lead the Panthers to victory in Super Bowl 50 against Manning and the Broncos. MORE

Will Naming Rights To New NFL L.A. Stadium Hit $1B?

Would Farmers Insurance, Live Nation, Hyundai, Walt Disney or another Los Angeles-based company spend $1B for the naming rights to the stadium that in 2019 will be home to the returning Rams or for the full 298-acre complex being built to include a home for NFL network, other entertainment activations and possibly the 2024 Summer Olympics, receiving in return the attention of media across the U.S. and worldwide? Industry analysts say yes, or, at the very least, that the site now operating under the name Los Angeles Entertainment Center, represents "a new model that others likely will follow," echoing the words of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who said upon unveiling the league's approval for the Rams to move from St. Louis back to the city they left in 1994, "(This will have a lasting impact) not just on NFL stadiums and complexes but on sports complexes around the world." MORE

With $2.4B In Revenue, Super Bowl Is NFL Gold

NFL Books Mexico Trip, Adds To UK In 2016

A-B, Gatorade Push NFL Revenue To Record $1.2B

Harris Poll Finds NFL Twice As Popular As MLB

Wilson, Brady, Manning Top NFL $1.4B Merch Sales



Iverson Still Talkin' 'Practice' In Reebok Celebration Effort

Of all the moments that are considered milestones in the life and NBA career of Allen Iverson, his infamous 'practice' press conference in 2002 might be the one to which people most often refer, and now Iverson, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this summer, is addressing the moment in a new spot, "Practice," part of an evolving campaign celebrating his 20th anniversary with Reebok, '20 Questions. 20 Answers. With Allen Iverson," which also supports the launch of the Question Mid 20th Anniversary kicks collection, with the latest being the aptly named Question Mid Practice. MORE

National Dew NBA 3X Tour Hits With Media, Marketing

The NBA said it is planning a multi-platform campaign to support its initial Dew NBA 3X, a three-on-three national hoops competition with title sponsor Mountain Dew, planned to hit five cities beginning in May before culminating with the championship event this October in Los Angeles, which all will be supported by TV (with Dew spokesmen Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler), print, a dedicated Web site, social media and activation in each city, plus Hall of Famer Gary Peyton as tour ambassador and other NBA players and legends scheduled to make appearances. MORE

Movie Deal Puts Spotlight On Kobe's Post-NBA Life

On April 14, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final NBA game, then addressed fans, family and friends with a thank-you speech, ending it with the words, "Mamba out." Kobe did not spend much time out of the spotlight, signing a deal that would see Kobe Studios, part of his umbrella Kobe Inc., join with Sports Illustrated Group and Believe Entertainment to produce an animated version of 'Dear Basketball,' a poem that Bryant wrote earlier this year (and published on The Players' Tribune) when he officially announced his retirement after 20 seasons, with the creative team to include renowned animator Glen Keane and five-time Academy Award winning composer John Williams. MORE

NBA, GE Healthcare Seek To Reduce, Prevent Injuries

According to the NBA, the most prevalent injuries that tend to sideline players are those involving ankles (19.3%), knees (13.9%), thighs (9.7%) and necks/backs (9.3%), but in conduction with GE Healthcare the league plans to increase its knowledge of these and other aliments, and in turn reduce and potentially prevent many of them, by working with doctors, researchers, universities, hospitals and others who have been selected to receive support for their proposals to investigate, study and enhance methods to deal with injuries and long-term problems that impact players. MORE

Verizon's go90 Reveals Secrets Of NBA's Kyrie, Daymond

In this age of omni-present cell phone cameras, invasive social media tweets and texts and voyeur traditional media, pro athletes often are reticent to share moments of their private lives, but Verizon go90, an official NBA partner, has managed to sneak a peek into the worlds of Draymond Green and Kyrie Irving in humorous spots, all to support the social entertainment platform offering multi-layer coverage of the NBA playoffs — but the hot news is anything but: Draymond loves to make PB&J sandwiches and Kyrie knows how to fold his own laundry. MORE

Stephen Curry Stays At Front Of Line For Under Armour

This past season, Stephen Curry scored three-pointers in bunches, breaking his own record with 402 made shots, translating into a 73-9 mark for the Golden State Warriors and the continued growth of Under Armour's footwear line, which saw a Q1 64% increase in footwear revenue to $264M "primarily reflecting the ongoing success of the Curry signature basketball line," driven by the release of the Curry 1 and 2 and which this year will see the Curry 2.5 (pictured) and Curry 3 drop at retail worldwide, supported by multi-media marketing that in the playoffs has included three-second spots for each of Curry's three-pointers made and post-season will find Curry taking his second tour of China, where the company calls his impact "phenomenal." MORE

Behind Kyrie, Steph, NBA, Marketers, Go For Playoff Payoff

As 16 teams seek to win the NBA title, a roster of companies are seeking to win the hearts and wallets of fans and consumers, with a post-season ad roster that includes Kia, Gatorade, Verizon, Kaiser Permanente, Tissot, Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo activating on multi-levels, Stephen Curry leading the list of on-air deals, LeBron James again missing in playoff marketing action and appearances by the likes of Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin and Hall of Famer George 'Ice Man' Gervin. MORE

Jersey Score: NBA Eyes $100M+ With Player Billboards

Boldly going where Nascar and soccer have gone before, the NBA will start to sell brand logo space on player jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 season, with a three-year pilot program anticipated to generate more than $100M in annual revenue for teams, which comes in addition to the new Nike deal, which also begins that year, a $1B pact allowing the official apparel provider to put its 'Swoosh' on jerseys and possibly have its Jordan Brand logo on the uniforms of the Charlotte Hornets, majority owned by Michael Jordan. MORE

Team Kobe Marketers Activate For Bryant's NBA Farewell

Nike, 2K, BodyArmor, Apple, Amex, ESPN, the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers are among the brands, organizations and others activating for what has unofficially been declared 'Mamba Day,' leading to the last game in Kobe Bryant's 20-year career, including several TV spots, print, Internet, social media, apparel, the cover of NBA 17 Legend video game, a FanFest outside the Lakers' Staples Center and accolades from the likes of LeBron James, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Rob Gronkowski, Rory McIlroy, Rafael Nadal and Russell Wilson, all to honor the man who has won five league championships, made 15 playoff appearances and named to 18 All-Star Games. MORE

Breanna Stewart A Shoe Biz Star Signing With Nike

In what has already been a month of major achievements for her, Breanna Stewart has signed with Nike for her first major endorsement contract, a multi-year deal that will include marketing and potentially a signature shoe line, which she adds to such recent accomplishments as helping to lead the University of Connecticut to its fourth — and her fourth — NCAA Women's Div. I basketball title and being selected as the No. 1 overall draft pick by the WNBA's Seattle Storm, where she joins a roster that includes league All-Star Sue Bird and already is fronting ticket sales and marketing efforts for the team. MORE

Draymond Green Is Kevin Hart's Friend, Faux

WNBA Sees Hope On The Verizon With Marquee Deal

Spalding Sends Lillard, DeRozan To Find 'True Believers'

Nike, Brands, Fans Fete Kobe As Career Concludes

'Super Fan' Carmelo Brings Ninja Turtles To Macy's

'Splash Brother' Curry In Deep Water With Brita



MLB Continues To Drive With Renewed Chevrolet Deal

Not wanting to break the spirit of the classic ad that rattled off the good things about America — "Baseball. Hot Dogs. Apple Pie. And Chevrolet" — the automaker has renewed its alliance with MLB, extending the current alliance that dates back to 2005 as the official vehicle of MLB and the presenting sponsor for the All-Star Game and World Series MVP awards, but also enhancing it as the official auto partner for MLB and USA Baseball's Pay Ball platform, all to be supported via multi-platform marketing and in-stadium activations. "Chevrolet's partnership with MLB is a natural fit and allows the brand and our dealers to connect with generations of Americans on a personal level," said Paul Edwards, the car company's vp-marketing. MORE

Under Armour Ups Harper Deal To Match Curry, Spieth

Having rolled the dice and cashed in big with Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth, Under Armour has matched their contracts via a new ten-year pact with Bryce Harper, with the 2015 NL MVP to get his first signature shoe (dropping in July) and to continue to appear in multi-platform marketing efforts, moving the Washington Nationals All-Star outfielder to say, "I can't wait to share what's next with the fans," and Peter Murray, UA vp-global sports marketing, to claim, "Bryce embodies our brand's founding philosophy of (being) 'aggressive, young and fearless.'" MORE

Now Batting For Harman's JBL Audio, Alex Rodriguez

Despite his trials and tribulations over the past few years regarding PEDs, and instead citing his "relentless dedication and love for the game," Harman International has signed Alex Rodriguez to an endorsement deal to become a brand ambassador for its JBL Audio division, looking for the 22-year MLB vet — the last 12 with the New York Yankees — to use his high-profile and star status to drive consumer engagement in a multi-platform effort, with A-Rod now on a Harman roster that also includes former teammate and Yankee legend Mariano Rivera, the NBA's Stephen Curry and Damian Lilard, rock band Linkin Park and world-renowned music producer Quincy Jones. MORE

MasterCard Gets Prime All-Star Placement With MLB

MLB and MasterCard, which have partnered on numerous initiatives since airing a Priceless commercial in 1997 and including support for Stand Up To Cancer, have extend their alliance with a multi-year deal that would see MC become presenting sponsor of the All-Star Game this July in San Diego as well as All-Star Games for the duration of the new pact, enhanced activation leading up to and then on-site during All-Star Game events and more opportunities for MasterCard to "deliver advanced payment technologies to fans and consumers." MORE

Snyder's Puts Baseball Twist On National Pretzel Day

The brand is not an official MLB partner, but an ambush marketing campaign driven by Snyder's of Hanover, best known for its bevy of pretzel snacks, might get people to think otherwise as a group of current and former players — including Chipper Jones, Zack Wheeler, Jason Motte, Glen Perkins and Joe Panik — either helped to hand out free samples on National Pretzel Day in eight cities nationwide with MLB clubs or revved up their social media skills by sending out via Twitter and other resources messages about Snyder's that celebrated the company and the day with the hash tag, #PretzelsBaby. MORE

Star Power, Marketing Partners Get MLB Party Started

The All-Star Game in San Diego is still months away, but MLB has brought star power to its season-opening marketing campaign, with such players as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen and David Price getting top billing in a multi-media effort under the league's "This" push; plus a bevy of new baseball efforts from brands including New Era, Skechers, Topps, Quicken Loans and PlayStation; with ads from the likes of Papa John's and Apple soon to come. MORE

Papa John's Calls For A Slice Of MLB Marketing Pie

Already an official sponsor of the NFL, Papa John's has enhanced its sports alliances by replacing rival Dominos as the official pizza of MLB, a pact that comes with multi-level marketing and a 'Papa Slam' promotion tied to grand slams that will reward consumers with an online discount, with activation to include placement on MLB TV, across MLB social destinations and on the pizza-maker's own media outlets, in addition to expanded presence among the 21 MLB teams currently on the Papa John's roster, such as the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals. MORE

Q&A: From Berra To Trout, Topps MLB Still A Big Hit

In 1951, Bob Feller led the AL with 22 wins, Stan Musial topped MLB with a .355 BA, Bobby Thompson hit the 'Shot Heard 'Round The World' to send the New York Giants to the World Series — where they lost to the Joe DiMaggio-Yogi Berra-led New York Yankees — and Topps produced its first MLB product, a 104-piece set resembling a deck of cards, complete with player photos and bios and packed with an edible treat, not bubble gum but taffy. Now, as Topps celebrates its 65th anniversary with MLB, David Leiner, vp/GM sports and entertainment for Topps, reveals in this Q&A how multi-platform marketing including Buster Posey and Bryce Harper will support (as will presence in ballparks and at such jewel events as the All-Star Game), how it is evolving with BUNT and other digital products to meet the needs of today's fans and consumers and how honoring the history of former players such as Berra — who was card No. 1 in that first 1951 set — has a direct impact on current players including Mike Trout, who is on card No. 1 in the just-released Baseball Series 1 set.

MLB Hits Home Run With $778M Sponsorship Spend

In his first year as commissioner, Rob Manfred saw MLB score strong numbers in attendance and TV ratings and major returns in marketing and sponsorship, where league partners hit a combined record $778M in spend, with the most-active including New Era, Anheuser-Busch, eBay, State Farm, VF Corp, and PepsiCo, and lots of noise from such newcomers as DraftKings, Amazon Web Services, Esurance, Falken Tires, The Hartford, Maytag and Starwood Hotels, all of which accounted for more than $80M in growth over 2014. MORE

Kingsford, Johnny Bench Hot Over Opening Day

MLB CMO Parkes Leaving For New Field Of Dreams

The Hartford Hits A Double With MLB Teams

Pack Man: Evan Longoria Talks MLB, Marketing, Trades

T-Mobile Hits HR (Derby) With Enhanced MLB Pact

Aramark Brings Cracker Jack & Mac Attack To MLB Menu



Report: NCAA Must Change March Madness Methods

In a strongly worded report that both echoes and expands upon growing national sentiment regarding the financial state of college athletics, the prestigious Knight Commission — whose members include college presidents, coaches, former players and  ex-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue — said that the NCAA must revise the way it distributes revenue taken in from March Madness to not only focus more on education, health and student safety, but also change its position on the way it handles revenue generated by student-athletes in marketing and promotions. "The NCAA's revenue distribution policies haven't changed in a quarter of a century even though revenues have expanded dramatically," said the Commission. MORE

For $8.8B, CBS, Turner Extend NCAA Madness Alliance

Calling it "one of the most dominant sports properties out there," CBS Sports and Turner Sports have extended their alliance with the NCAA for multi-platform rights to the Div. I Men's Basketball Tournament, best known as March Madness, for eight years at $8.8B, adding to the current 14-year, $10.8B signed in 2010, which enables all games to continue to be shown across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, covers existing broadcast, digital and other outlets and "those to be created," and also continues CBS and Turner's position handling the NCAA's sales program for the event, which has seen since 2011 the number of corporate partners increase from 11 to 17. MORE

With $2B Ad Rev, March Madness Makes Dollars, Sense

it's not out of the realm of reality to talk about billions when it comes to March Madness, with CBS and Turner now in the sixth year of a $10.9B deal with the NCAA, ad revenue since 2005 nearing $9B and last year's tournament generating a record $1.9B in ad spend, which should be topped this year, according to Kantar Media, with top spenders led by NCAA partners GM, AT&T Capital One, Coca-Cola, Nissan, Unilever, Nationwide, Buffalo Wild Wings and Allstate as well as Berkshire Hathaway, Southwest, Geico and Samsung; and top categories led by automotive, telecom, restaurants, financial services and insurance. MORE

How Far Would Your Team Go For March Madness Wins?

During a game, basketball players can get called for traveling, but to get to the court some teams have to travel a lot, especially during this month of March Madness, with Hawaii leading the pack with a distance of nearly 2,900 miles from their university to the Spokane (Wash.) Memorial Veterans Arena to play California, which is going a mere 862 miles up the coast, and St. Joe's and Cincinnati trekking a combined 4,026 miles to face each other in Spokane; while a few squads will take the road less traveled, including North Carolina, going just 21 miles to play in Raleigh, and Oklahoma, on the bus for less than 24 miles to reach Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, all according to online travel destination Hotwire. MORE


AT&T Among Strongest In College Sports Spend

March Madness Marketing, Missions 'Exceed Expectations'



Activision Likes Facebook To Build eSports, Reach

Already a major player in the burgeoning eSports landscape — predicted to become a $2B category in the next few years — Activision Blizzard is launching content, experiences and partnerships to support the growth of its platform, including an alliance with Facebook that could potentially reach the social media destination's 1.6B users, with activation leading up to and then being unveiled at the MLG Anaheim Open Call of Duty: Black Ops III tournament in June, inspiring Steve Bornstein, chairman for Activision Blizzard Media Networks to say, " will play a defining role in realizing the full potential of the eSports audience by creating meaningful, memorable and sharable content." MORE

Activision 'CS:GO' Major Drives eSports Fans, Awareness

Supporting what a growing number of marketers and investors know — that eSports is involving more consumers and gamers than ever — Activision Blizzard Media said that Major League Gaming's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major championship earlier this month established new viewership records, including 71M video views, 45M hours of live broadcast watched and 1.6M concurrent viewerts across OTT, Web, mobile and in-game streaming, adding credence to numbers that show more than 225M people around the world are watching competitive gaming and that brands are expected to spend more than $325M this year on eSports sponsorships and marketing, with that latter figure expected to grow to $800M by 2019. MORE

eSports Eyes $2B Global Biz With New Brands, Money

Two separate studies, one from NewZoo and the other from SuperData, indicate what a growing number of companies and investors are already acknowledging: eSports is big and getting bigger, with increases in marketing, advertising, tournaments, media and investments on the rise from tech and videogame companies including Microsoft, Sony, Apple, EA and Activision and such non-endemic firms as American Express, Coca-Cola, Nissan and Turner, all of which see the global category bloom from an estimated $747M in 2015 to nearly $2B in 2018. MORE

Turner eLeague Takes eSports, Marketing To Next Level

The plan for an eSports competition unveiled by Turner Broadcasting and WME | IMG this past September — a strategic move into the burgeoning category that has a global viewing audience of motre than 225M and revenue expected to top $765M by 2018 — finally has a play date, with the two media companies saying that its eLeague would make its debut on May 24 featuring Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offense, including planned ten-week coverage of the event to include a regular season, playoffs and Global Championship, with Turner expected to support with such multi-media marketing as TV, tie-ins with Turner Sports properties NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA, ads during NCAA Men's Div. 1 basketball March Madness (which Turner airs on TNT, TBS and truTV in alliance with CBS), Internet and social media. MORE

EA Dives Into eSports With Platform For Madden, Battlefield

Following in the footsteps of competition such as Activision but calling it a "groundbreaking opportunity," veteran video game company EA has unveiled a strategy to build its first eSports platform, the Competitive Gaming Division, which will be overseen by EA COO Peter Moore and position such titles as Madden NFL, Battlefield and FIFA in the burgeoning category — expected to approach $300M in revenue this year and growing — with EA CEO Andrew Wilson proclaiming, "This is the latest step in our journey to put our players first and enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises." MORE


Microsoft, ESPN Lead Players For '18 Special Olympics

Following the success of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey and the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles last year — and in anticipation of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria next year — Seattle has been named as the host city for the 2018 USA Games, with hometown Microsoft already on board as premier partner, ESPN this week signing a deal with Special Olympics to remain as lead broadcast partner (through 2019) and other brands such as Coca-Cola (a Special Olympics founding partner), KPMG and Starbucks also preparing for an event that is anticipating 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and some 50,000 spectators. MORE

Finding Dory Hits Olympic Waters With USA Swimming

In what can be described as a liquid organic alliance, the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated film, Finding Dory, has teamed with USA Swimming — the sport's governing body in the U.S., including overseeing the national team for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — for a multi-platform campaign to tout the movie as well as to "encourage parents to consider swimming as an option for their children," with the effort to include print, Internet, social media and co-branded material between Disney/Pixar and USA Swimming targeting more than 300K member homes and 3K registered swimming teams. MORE

Kellogg's Unboxes Road To Rio Push With Athletes, Cereal

An official partner with the USOC and supplier of breakfasts nationwide, Kellogg's has launched a multi-layered effort leading to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, including a roster of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls on Team Kellogg's who are led by 12-time Olympic medal swimmer Dana Torres, marketing anchored by a TV spot under the theme, 'What Gets You Started,' and special-edition boxes featuring their brand ambassadors on Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes and Special K. MORE

USOC, NBCU, Brands Goal: 100 Days Until Games

Having already counted more than 1,300 days since the end of the 2012 Summer Games in London, the USOC, NBCUniversal, official marketing partners, athletes and fans have another figure in mind — 100 days until the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 and the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — which will be celebrated on April 27 with a multi-platform 'Road To Rio' event in New York's Time Square featuring a roster of marketing partners, athletes and Olympic icons, as well as the launch of NBC's multi-media campaign — creative that will run in addition to the network's more than $1B (and counting) in advertising — with brands continuing to ramp up efforts though the Games, lending credence to the USOC's claim that the upcoming event will be "the most marketed Olympics ever." MORE

IOC Launches 'Together' Effort For Summer Olympics

With just about 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Games (Aug. 5), the International Olympic Committee has unveiled a multi-layered global effort, under the umbrella theme, 'Together We Can Change the World,' which involves athletes and Olympic hopefuls, creative celebrity efforts including Uma Thurman and Questlove and a platform encompassing TV, Internet, social media and fan activation that seeks to bring to people the Summer Olympics' vision of "building a better world through sport " and, as IOC president Thomas Bach said, "Sport always builds bridges, it never erects walls." MORE

NBC Hits Olympic Milestone With $1B Ad Sales

Participating in the Olympics means going for the gold, and NBC, the official network for the Games, is doing that and more, unveiling figures that show it has reached the lofty $1B mark in ad sales in what it said is record time, some four months before the event in Rio de Janeiro, which bested the record it set in 2012 when the mark was hit just two days before the Opening Ceremony, with NBC saying that there is still inventory to sell on network, cable and digital and that "the market is very bullish on the 2016 Summer Games." MORE

At Special Olympics, Breaking Barriers A Game-Changer

The Special Olympics began more than five decades ago under the leadership of Eunice Kennedy Shriver to help level the playing field for people with intellectual disabilities, and in 2016 the movement to break down barriers is still going strong. But as Kirsten Suto Seckler, CMO for Special Olympics, reveals in this Q&A, even after successfully staging the World Games Los Angeles last summer — with athletes, coaches, supporters and fans from around the world — and helping to raise the visibility for the city in its quest to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the people who work for Special Olympics worldwide and the athletes and people who are impacted by it still face tremendous challenges and hurdles in trying to build the momentum to secure inclusion, respect and value for all.

KT Tape Expands Role In '16 Summer Olympics

Following its recent deal to become a partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee, KT Tape has built its presence heading toward the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro by aligning with several national sports governing bodies as the official kinesiology tape, including USA Cycling, USA Gymnastics, USA Track & Field, USA Rugby and USA Wrestling, adding to a roster that features U.S. Soccer and such athletes as three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, NBA All-Star James Harden and Kerri Strug, who won a gold in gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics as part of the 'Magnificent Seven,' all part of KT Tape's goal to "drive awareness" and to help "all athletes train longer so that they can finish stronger." MORE

Chocolate Milk Swims With U.S. Olympians Clary, Hardy

The people at the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) enjoy the taste of chocolate milk, but they also feel it is a good way for athletes to refuel after workouts and competition, which is why the 'Built With Chocolate Milk' effort has brought into the fold U.S. swimmers and Olympic gold medalists Jessica Hardy and Tyler Clary — both of whom will try to repeat the successes they had in the 2012 London Summer Games at the upcoming Rio Olympics — with the pair starring in a multi-platform effort anchored by TV, print and digital, joining on the Chocolate Milk roster Winter Olympics speedskating icon Apolo Ohno, Kevin Love of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, USA Swim Team and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. MORE

Despite Issues, '16 Games Will Be 'Most Marketed Ever'

Putting strong emphasis on its athletes and the competition, but also paying close attention to such issues as water pollution and the Zika virus, the U.S. Olympic Committee — which just formed an Infectious Disease Advisory Group to assist the USOC and its athletes to identify problems and offer solutions — said that the upcoming Summer Games would be the "most watched and most marketed Olympics ever," with some 39 sponsors and broadcast partner NBC hard at work on their promotions, moving USOC CMO Lisa Baird to state that they each have something special planned, with many efforts being jump-started on April 27, which will mark 100 days to the Games in Rio. MORE

En Route To '24 Olympics, L.A. Says 'Follow The Sun'

The road to hosting the Olympics is long and arduous, as Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest are finding out, but these four candidate cities seeking the 2024 Summer Games are moving ahead, each submitting required paperwork in the next step of the process with the IOC, and the LA 2020 Bid Committee, working with the USOC, unveiling its official logo, tagline — 'Follow the Sun' — marketing and a more detailed plan for venues in the region, including the $3B stadium being built for the Los Angeles Rams and such iconic places as the Rose Bowl (soccer), Staples Center (basketball), Pauley Pavilion (volleyball) and the Los Angeles Coliseum (Opening and Closing Ceremonies). MORE

Super Bowl, Olympics Drive $60B Global Sponsor Spend

The coming year will see a series of unique sports events with global impact, including the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the NHL-led World Cup of Hockey in October and the NFL's historic Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, which will combine with such factors as more companies moving toward global expansion and finding more opportunities to align with rights' hodlers to raise worldwide sponsorship spend to a projected record $60.2B — the biggest growth in three years and a jump of $9B versus 2012, according to research, marketing and consulting firm IEG, with sponsor spend in North America alone reaching record heights with a 4.5% growth over 2015 to more than $22B. MORE

Security, Money Priority For LA 2024 Bid

USOC, NBC, Marketers Begin Olympic One-Year Countdown

Visa Unveils Team Of Athletes Eyeing 2016 Olympics

LeBron, Melo Eye History With Olympic Hoops Team

With Eye On Summer Games, UA Evolves 'Rule Yourself'

Q&A: KT Tape Measures Growth With Olympics, Athletes



Court Testers: When Andy Met Luol, Competition Followed

On his court, tennis star Andy Murray knows how to win Grand Slams and Olympic Gold; on his court, Luol Dang of the NBA's Miami Heat knows how to shoot and handle a basketball. When the two met, as part of a multi-platform campaign from Standard Life, the result was Murray, a long-time Heat fan, learning some hoops skills from Dang, and Dang, a member of the 2012 Great Britain Olympic team with Murray, picking up some trick tennis-shot tips and both sharing their love for Arsenal FC; with other elements in the campaign taking people behind the scenes with Murray, where he learns to speak Mandarin and reveals that if he were to come a super hero, his No. 1 power would be invisibility. MORE

Sharapova Faults, Waits For Tennis Ban To Be Served

Stating that 'I made a huge mistake . . . I take full responsibility," tennis star Maria Sharapova said she failed a drug test during the Australian Open for a drug she had used under a doctor's care for ten years but which was banned on Jan. 1, putting her future on the court in jeopardy, her participation in the Summer Olympics in doubt and causing potential major rifts among her marketing partners, including Nike, Porsche, Tag Heuer, Avon and Evian, which bring in more than $23M in endorsements, the most among all female athletes in the world. MORE

WTT Adds New York To Busy Olympic Summer Sked

Mylan World Team Tennis, co-founded by sports icon Billie Jean King, is in a New York state of mind, adding the New York Empire to its six-team league (replacing the defunct Boston Lobsters) for its Summer schedule, which will run for two weeks during a period that will also see the Wimbledon Grand Slam, the U.S. Open and the Olympic Games in Rio, with the Empire set to be coached by Patrick McEnroe and led by Andy Roddick — which motivated singer Elton John to post on his Twitter account, "Excited to see WTT in New York this summer" — and WTT bringing to center court such partners as Mylan, Geico and Wilson. MORE

Serena, WTA A Perfect Match For Record TV, Ad Numbers

The Year of Serena Williams and her quest for a calendar Grand Slam drove tennis, media, marketing and the WTA to realize rising — and in some cases historic — numbers regarding attendance, TV viewership, digital and online visits and marketing deals, with Williams — whose accolades include Sports Illustrated Athlete of the Year and the WTA Player of the Year — taking in some $13M in endorsements (not including investments in her own and other companies) and close to $12M in earnings while bringing more attention to women tennis players and athletes worldwide, moving WTA CEO Steve Simon to state, "The depth of the playing field in our sport is unprecedented, the competition outstanding (with) growth continuing in the future." MORE


Steiner Sports Scores Deal For The Beatles Collectibles

Already known for offering memorabilia, collectibles and other items linked to such current and legendary players as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Ron Gronkowski, Steiner Sports Marketing has signed a deal to offer products featuring The Beatles, including collages of their U.S. and U.K. album covers, respectively, and canvas images of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as a group and on album covers such as Abbey Road, with future plans to expand the collection to include images of such iconic releases as Revolver and Sgt, Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as celebrating upcoming anniversaries of the Fab Four. MORE

B-Dubs Spices Up UFC 200 With TV, Sweeps, Athletes

As hot and spicy as things are in the UFC, Buffalo Wild Wings plans to make them even hotter and spicier via a multi-platform effort to support UFC 198, UFC 199 and the showcase UFC 200 event this July in Las Vegas, including a spot with middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and legend Forrest Griffin (with a guest appearance by UFC president Dana White), a sweepstakes offering a trip to see UFC in person in T-Mobile Arena, a limited takeout package for people who plan to watch on PPV and broadcasts of the UFC showdowns in B-Dubs locations nationwide. MORE

D-Wade, Reggie Bush Sweat It Out For Mission Apparel

Mission AthleteCare is gathering its roster of brand ambassadors, such as Dwyane Wade, Reggie Bush and David Villa, to take on the likes of Under Armour, Nike and adidas to support the launch of its VaporActive line, which includes T's, underwear and socks that feature the next generation of a wicking process known as 37.5, designed to remove and evaporate sweat, via a mutli-media push that comes with the tag 'Vaporize your sweat' and promises to address "the biggest complaints we've heard from athletes who use other competitive products." MORE

Days & Amused: Survey Shows Time We Run, Sleep, Text

As a follow to the launch of its campaign, '25,915 Days,' Reebok has unveiled a survey that shows how much time the average person will exercise in their lifetime (about 180 of the 25,915 days Reebok says people are allotted), how much time they will spend sitting (7.7K days), engaging with computers and other forms of technology (10,625 days) and, to balance it out, the distance the average person will travel in their life (45 times up Mt. Everest or 1,657 times to the top of the Empire State Building). MORE

Reebok: You Live 25,915 Days, Use Them To The Max

Reminding people that they have a "finite amount of time to push their limits, overcome every obstacle and to honor the body that they have been given," Reebok has unveiled a multi-media campaign, aptly titled '25,915 Days' — approximately 71 years — under the brand's umbrella 'Be More Human' platform, which includes TV, Internet and social media and encourages everyone to live to their full potential while seeking to change the way they perceive and experience fitness. MORE

Toon In: NBCU Nets DreamWorks, Home To Shrek, Panda

Calling it a move that would give it access to a broader-reaching audience in the highly competitive kids and family film and TV entertainment space, Comcast's NBCUniversal has acquired DreamWorks Animation, founded more than 30 years ago by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and which has created such franchises as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Monster vs vs. Aliens, with the value put at $3.8 billion and NBCU planning to align it with other divisions to form DreamWorks New Media. MORE

NHL's Red Wings Keep $130M Naming Rights Pact All In The Family

The Detroit Red Wings did not have to look too far for a naming rights deal for their new arena, with Little Caesars pizza chain signing a 20-year deal at an average of $6.25M per year for the right to call the venue Little Caesars Arena, scheduled to open for the 2017-18 season as part of a larger 50-block downtown renovation that could bring more than $2B into the area, with the driving force behind the naming rights pact being Mike and Marian Ilitch, whose company holdings include the Red Wings and Little Caesars. MORE

Can T-Mobile Arena Move Pro Sports To Roll Vegas Dice?

With the grand opening of T-Mobile Arena this week, Las Vegas is preparing for more high-profile entertainment such as Nicki Manai, Ariana Grande, Guns n' Roses, The Killers and Wayne Newton — and that's just the first week — but the venue was designed to house sports, with WWE, UFC, PBR and middleweight bout Alvarez vs. Cano already booked, an open invitation for the NHL to come in and incentives for the NBA and others to make it a regular stop. MORE

Led By 101K Fans, Shaq, WrestleMania 32 Sets Marks

It must be the Snickers, the Texas BBQ or Shaquille O'Neal, but all three played a role in helping WrestleMania 32 presented by Snickers in AT&T Stadium on Sunday to set numerous WWE records, including event attendance (101,763), WWE highest-grossing live event revenue ($12.6M), WWE Network subscribers (1.8M), video views (65M) and social media engagements for an event (10.9M), with Shaq on hand as part of the 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, leading WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon to say, "We are thrilled that we made history at WrestleMania 32, further cementing its place as one of the top sports and entertainment events in the world." MORE

Nascar, F1, IndyCar Get Green Flag $5.5B Sponsor Spend

Companies are going the distance and going for speed this year as global sponsorship spending on motorsports sanctioning bodies such as Nascar and F1, teams, drivers and tracks is projected to reach a record $5.58B — up 2% from 2015 and more than $2B from 2011 — according to research firm IEG, which said that Toyota, GM, Sprint, Coca-Cola, Ford, Lowe's and Go Daddy are the most active Nascar partners and that the most active categories are automotive aftermarket, retail, and automakers; with Philip Morris Pirelli, Fiat, Daimler, Honda and Diageo the top partners with F1 and the Verizon IndyCar Series partnering with such non-endemic companies as Avis, New Era, Sirius XM, Sherwin-Williams and Tag Heuer. MORE

Under Armour Hoops It Up In The Garden

In an effort to broaden its presence in college basketball, Under Armour has signed its first deal with New York's Madison Square Garden to become the official partner of college hoops during regular-season games in the 'World's Most Famous Arena,' an alliance that will be supported by multi-level marketing and anchored by 'Reunion,' a planned annual double-header scheduled to begin in December that will see South Carolina play Seton Hall and Auburn take on Boston College — all four squads being part of Under Armour's partnership roster and all four having ties to The Garden or their opponent, including SC's NIT title-winning game there in 2006 and a 1974 victory over Seton Hall in the venue, Seton Hall's regular presence as a member of the Big East Conference and Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl's history at BC, his alma mater and site of his first hoops job as an assistant coach. MORE

Jason Statham Has Top Billing In Global LG G5 Campaign

He's the star of Transporter and has had high-fuel roles in such films as Fast & Furious, The Expendables, Death Race, Killer Elite and Parker, and now Jason Statham gets to play all the parts in a global multi-platform campaign from LG to support its G5 modular smartphone, anchored by TV is which Statham relies on his acting experience to portray men, women, executives, workers and a bevy of others to enhance the company's 'Life's Good When You Play More' tagline for a product that, according to LG, "can go beyond just being a communication device and deliver a playful mobile experience than can enrich our lives." MORE

Amid Global Woes, FIFA Adds Wanda Group To Top Tier

Claiming that "We will attract new partners, new sponsors . . . we have financial challenges but we will overcome them quite easily," FIFA has signed just its sixth top tier partner — commercial, cultural and retail conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, headed by the richest man in China — to join adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai-Kia and Visa as companies that have worldwide alliances with the beleaguered governing body of soccer, which is seeking to recover from a scandal that saw now ex-president Sepp Blatter and other key executives face criminal investigation, lose more than $100M in 2015 and come under public scrutiny for its on- and off-field actions. MORE

Marketers Kick Soccer Deals In U.S. To Record $330M

Thanks in large part to such brands as adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Heineken, sponsorship spend on soccer in the U.S. is expected to top $330M this year, and these and other companies spending a record $60B worldwide on the sport, with MLS, U.S. Soccer and NASL — which just signed a league-wide deal with Under Armour — the main beneficiaries and upcoming events such as the Summer Olympics and Copa America Centenario attracting significant marketing dollars, according to research firm IEG, which also relates that the most active categories in the U.S. are quick-serve restaurants, medical, retail, food, insurance, non-alcoholic beverages, auto, beer, banking and telecom. MORE


Marketers Lace Up For World Cup Of Hockey 2016

Q&A: Does Heavy Lifting With Brains, Brawn

A-B, Gatorade Power $118M Endurance Sports Market

NASL Gets More Ground-To-Air Time With beIN Sports

Jason Statham Has Top Billing In LG G5 Campaign

With Help From Elvis, Ali Honored In U.K. Exhibit


Q&A: How UFC Marketing Is Moving Beyond The Octagon

The Ultimate Fighting Championship was formed in 1993 as a pro MMA group and acquired in 2001 by Frank Fertitta III, his brother Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White for $2M, which under the corporate auspices of Zuffa LLC now produces more than 40 live events, runs UFC GYM and is broadcast in more than 129 countries, a growth aided over the past year by the presence of such fighters as Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Conor McGregor and Chris Weidman. But as Garry Cook, former executive with Nike and Manchester City and since 2014 the UFC's chief global brand officer, reveals in this Q&A, the challenge of growing the UFC among core fans while attracting casual and non-endemic fans and marketing partners — the latter of which currently includes Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, Topps and EA Sports — means being authentic, building an interactive and vibrant platform that addresses domestic and global needs and keeping fighters up-close and personal.

Let Me Be Brave In The Attempt: Special Olympics Named Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year

The Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles this past summer successfully hosted 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, 30,000 volunteers and an estimated 500,000 spectators — organizers definied it as the "single biggest event in L.A. since the 1984 Olympics" — with such partners as AEG, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Mattel, Microsoft, the NFL, P&G, Toyota, Toys R Us, Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney and WWE, all of which played a significant role in the U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to select Los Angeles as the city to bid for the 2024 Summer Games. It was, of course, all about the athletes, who came from around the world to compete in 25 sports. For these and other reasons, Special Olympics has been voted as the GRAND SPORTS MARKETER OF THE YEAR for its work at the World Games and the year-round, on-going dedication of its people to support what ESPN called "the most extraordinary sports stories and athletes you will ever see." FULL STORY HERE