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• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Showtime: All The Smoke See More Ads Below

COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Sunday
Nov202016

MLS, Marketing Partners Taking Advantage Of Rise In Attendance, Consumer Support

By Barry Janoff

November 20, 2016: As Major League Soccer prepares for its conference finals and MLS Cup championship, sponsors and marketing partners are reaping the rewards for what has been a time of steady growth for the league.

As MLS commissioner Don Garber recently told Forbes, “If MLS was a publicly traded company, now would be a really good time to buy.”

MLS teams are worth, on average, $185 million, up 18%  from 2015 and up 80% from 2013, according to Forbes.

Attendance is also on the rise, with the league drawing more than 7.37 million fans this season, for an average of 21,692; up from 7.35 million total and a 21,546 average in 2015 and a 19,149 average in 2014.

That is particularly good news for such companies as adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Comcast, Brown-Forman and PepsiCo, which are among the league’s most active supporters.

Food companies and restaurants top the list of most active sponsor categories among companies aligned with MLS.

But adidas, as the official kit supplier and game ball provider for MLS, is the single most active brand with the soccer circuit and 100% of its clubs, according to a new report from research and consulting firm IEG, Chicago.

The sports apparel and footwear company has its three-stripe logo on the jerseys of all 20 MLS clubs.

After adidas, the most active brands aligned with the league and/or its clubs are Anheuser-Busch (48%), Advocare (48%), Heineken (43%), Comcast (38%), Brown-Forman (33%), PepsiCo (33%), Great Clips (33%), DraftKings (29%) and Papa John’s (29%).

Chipotle is the most active non-endemic MLS sponsor, with 52% of properties with a sponsor in the restaurant category reporting a sponsorship with the company, according to IEG.

Audi is currently getting high visibility among fans and consumers as the presenting sponsor for the MLS playoffs and the MLS Cup championship (scheduled for Dec. 10). The MLS Final Four are Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC (East) and Seattle Sounders versus Colorado Rapids (West).

Food is the most active category, with food companies “5.8 times more likely to sponsor MLS than the average of all sponsors,” according to the IEG 2016 MLS Sponsorship Report.

After food, the most active categories in MLS are quick-serve restaurants (5.1 times more likely to sponsor MLS than the average of all sponsors), medical/health (4.5), insurance (3.5), automobiles (3.2), beer (3.2), non-alcoholic beverages (2.9), telecom (2.8), sports apparel and equipment (2.8) and baking (2.6).

IEG did not indicate how much was spent in total sponsorships on the MLS. In a report earlier IEG wrote that sponsorship spend on soccer in the U.S. in 2016 is expected to set a record of $333 million, up nearly 10% from 2015. Those numbers encompass all pro soccer leagues, including MLS, NASL, USL, the National Women’s Soccer League and the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

All 20 MLS teams in 2016 had jersey-front sponsorships. Broken down by category, airlines, banks/financial services, food, insurance, medical, pharmaceutical and telecoms each had 10% of jersey deals.

The other 30% is claimed by such categories as men’s grooming, oil, corporate solutions and gaming (Seattle Sounders Microsoft’s Xbox), according to IEG. (See full list below.)

Of the league’s 20 clubs, 16 currently play in stadiums that have sold naming rights. The four that do not play in such venues are DC United (RFK Stadium), NYCFC (Yankee Stadium), Portland Timbers (Providence Park) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (BC Place).

In addition, three MLS expansion teams already have stadium naming-rights deals in place: Atlanta United (Mercedes-Benz Stadium) and Minnesota United (TFC Bank Stadium), both joining in 2017; and Los Angeles FC (Banc of California Stadium, now under construction), scheduled to join the league in 2018. (See full list below.)

During the 2016 season, MLS official sponsors included adidas, Advocate, Allstate, AT&T, Audi, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Continental, DraftKings, EA Sports, Etihad Airways, Heineken, The Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Makita, Mondelez International (Chips Ahoy, Ritz, Trident), SeatGeek and Southern New Hampshire University.

MLS Jersey Sponsors (2016)
Chicago Fire Valspar (Paint)
Colorado Rapids TransAmerica (Financial Services)
Columbus Crew Barbasol (Men’s Grooming)
DC United Leidos (Security, Health, Engineering Solutions company)
FC Dallas Advocate
Houston Dynamo BHP Billiton (Oil)
Los Angeles Galaxy Herbalife
Montreal Impact BMO (Bank of Montreal)
New England Revolution United Health Care
NYCFC Etihad Airlines
New York Red Bulls Red Bull (Energy Drink)
Orlando City FC Orlando Health
Philadelphia Union Bimbo Bakeries
Portland Timbers Alaska Airlines
Real Salt Lake LifeVantage
San Jose Earthquakes Sutter Health
Seattle Sounders Xbox
Sporting Kansas City Ivy Funds
Toronto FC BMO
Vancouver Whitecaps Bell (Telecom)

2017-2018
Atlanta United American Family Insurance
Los Angeles FC TK
Minnesota United (from NASL) Atomic Data

MLS Stadium Naming Rights (2016)
Chicago Fire Toyota Park
Colorado Rapids Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Columbus Crew Mapfre Stadium
DC United RFK Stadium
FC Dallas Toyota Stadium
Houston Dynamo BBVA Compass Stadium
Los Angeles Galaxy StubHub Center
Montreal Impact Saputo Stadium
New England Revolution Gillette Stadium
NYCFC Yankee Stadium
New York Red Bulls Red Bull Arena
Orlando City FC Camping World Stadium
Philadelphia Union Talen Energy Stadium
Portland Timbers Providence Park
Real Salt Lake Life Rio Tinto Stadium
San Jose Earthquakes Avaya Stadium
Seattle Sounders Century Link Field
Sporting Kansas City Children’s Mercy Park
Toronto FC BMO Field
Vancouver Whitecaps BC Place

Atlanta United Mercedes-Benz Stadium (2017)
Los Angeles FC Banc of California Stadium (2018)
Minnesota United (from NASL) TFC Bank Stadium (2017)

Eastern Conference Finals: Montreal Impact versus Toronto FC Leg 1 Nov. 22, Leg 2 Nov. 30

Western Conference Finals: Seattle Sounders versus Colorado Rapids, Leg 1 Nov. 22 Leg 2 Nov. 27

Audi MLS Cup Championship Dec. 10 (8 PM ET Fox).

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