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NEWS REAL
• In response to the mass shooting that occurred in the early hours of August 4, 2019, The Dayton Foundation has established the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

• "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

• "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

• "I intend to live forever, or die trying." — Groucho Marx RIP 8-19-1977

• Per NBC Sports: “A plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and their daughter Isla rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire upon landing today (Aug. 15)  in Elizabethon (Municipal Airport), Tenn. All (five people) aboard the plane (including two pilots) are safe.”The airport is about 14 miles south of Bristol Motor Speedway, where Earnhardt Jr. was scheduled to be part of the NBC Sports crew cowering this weekend’s Nascar races.

• Continuing its expansion into the sports betting landscape, MLB has signed a multi-year partnership designating FanDuel as an “authorized gaming operator” of the league. FanDuel called it a “landmark deal” as it marks the company’s first partnership with MLB or an MLB team. MLB also has alliances in the sports betting category that include MGM Resorts International, Draftings and Sportradar. Full story here.

• For future trivia buffs: ex-NFL and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has become the first player to officially sign with the XFL, which is scheduled to begin play in February 2020. Landry, who played in 19 games (five starts) during his NFL career (2013-18), mainly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be assigned to one of eight XFL teams via an eignt man QB draft scheduled for the fall. Financial terms were not released.
 

• Nick Kyrgios, currently ranked No. 27 in the world, has been fined $113,000 by the ATP relating to a series of incidents during his second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open Wednesday evening in Cincinnati, including five separate unsportsmanlike conduct situations, each a $20,000 fine.

• National consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand cbdMD has signed a deal with reigning UFC heavyweight world champion, Daniel "DC" Cormier, which comes as Cormier is scheduled to defend his heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Aug.17.

• T-Mobile said it would donate $2,000 per home run hit at the inaugural T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby to Little League Baseball and Softball—pledging to hit at least $1 million in total donations in its first year of partnership. The money will fund participation grants to make programs more affordable for kids and families. The donation includes the $642,000 donated at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at MLB All-Star Week.

• Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has become an investor in the MLS Seattle Sounders, along with his wife, musician Ciara; as well as rap artist Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis. The Sounders also said that founding owner Joe Roth is leaving the club.

NBA Opening Weekend presented by Kia national TV Games 2019-20:
Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors (TNT), Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers (TNT); Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN), Denver  Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN); Oct. 24 Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets (TNT), Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (TNT); Oct. 25 Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN), Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN).

• WNBA Teams, Players Now Part Of NBA 2K20: "We have arrived!" Full story here.

• The NFL said the Pro Bowl would return to Orlando's Camping Ground Stadium for the fourth successive year, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020. It will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and be simulcast on ABC (3 PM ET). Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

NBC Sports Group and Mecum Auctions have signed a multi-year partnership extension to continue coverage of Mecum car auctions across NBC Sports through 2024.

The top-five selling cars since the start of the partnership in 2014:
1, 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype GT/104 $7M (2014)
2, 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari $4.7M (2016)
3. 1966 Ford GT40 MkI $4.4M (2016)
4. 1933 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe $3.85M (2018)
5. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible  $3.5 (2014)

KEEPING SCORE

World's Most Valuable Sports Franchises

1. Dallas Cowboys $5 billion, +4%
2. New York Yankees $4.6 billion +15%
3. Real Madrid $4.24 billion +4%
4. Barcelona $4.02 bilion
5. New York Knicks $4 billion +11%
6. Manchester United $3.81 billion
7. New England Patriots 43.8 billion
8. Los Angeles Lakers $3.7 billion +12%
9. Golden State Warriors $3.5 billion +13%
10. New York Giants $3.3 billion

11. Los Angeles Dodgers $3.3 billion
12. Boston Red Sox 43.2 billion
12. Los Angeles Rams $3,2 billion
14. Washington Redskins $3.1 billion
14. Chicago Cubs $3.1 billion
16. San Francisco 49ers $3.05 billion
17. Bayern Munich $3.01 billion
18. San Francisco Giants $3 billion
19. Chicago Bulls $2.9 billion
19. Chicago Bears $2.9 billion

SOURCE: FORBES

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Aug. 16-18
1. Good Boys $21M
2. Hobbs & Shaw $14.1M
3. The Lion King $11.9M
4. Angry Birds 2 $10.5M
5. Scary Stories $10M
6. 47 Meters Down $9M
7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold $8.5M
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood $7.6M
9. Blinded By the Light $4.5M
10.The Art of Racing in the Rain $4.4M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• 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).

Monday
Jun132016

Esurance Becomes Official Partner Of MiLB As League Merchandise Sales Score Big

By Barry Janoff

June 13, 2016: Esurance, now in its second season as the official auto insurance partner for MLB, has extended its alliance with baseball by being the exclusive home and auto insurance partner of Minor League Baseball.

The alliance makes Esurance the only official national partner for both MLB and MiLB. It also includes official alliances with several MiLB clubs.

Terms of the multi-year pact were not disclosed.

“As Minor League Baseball continues to look forward and create unique platforms, a partnership with Esurance gives us yet another opportunity to connect with our millions of fans in a modern way,” David Wright, CMO and chief commercial officer for MiLB, said in a statement. "We are proud to have Esurance as the single brand currently aligning with MiLB and MLB.”

Other MiLB corporate partners include Barefoot Wine, Uncle Ray's (official potato chip), DeVry University (Official Education and Career Development Partner), John Deere (Preferred Sports Turf Equipment Supplier), OnDeck Capital and Sunrun (home solar energy).

The deal with Esurance, a division of Allstate, comes as MiLB said that the combined retail sales totals of all 160 teams set a Minor League Baseball record in 2015, topping $65.1 million.

That figure represents a 7.9% increase over 2014's total of $60.3 million, which had been the highest total recorded since MiLBs licensing program began in 1992.

According to MiLB, sales figures are based on total licensed merchandise sales from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2015, and include the "160 teams in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games."

MiLB did not list the teams according to retail sales but did name the Top 25 in alphabetical order (see below).

According to Sandie Hebert, MiLB's director of licensing, "Minor League Baseball team names and logos are quirky, fun and contemporary, but they are also incredible marketing tools for the clubs they represent. Each year, we see familiar logos on the Top 25 list, and some newcomers, showing both the longevity and modern appeal of our trademarks.

"It's interesting to see how clubs choose to brand their identities, and how that translates into merchandise sales," said Hebert.

The Biloxi (Miss.) Shuckers were one of just eight teams below the Triple-A level and the only Southern League club that made the list.

"Our merchandise continues to fly off the shelves and we ship it around the world," Kara Hayes, senior director-retail for the Shuckers, said in a statement. "The fact that we made the Top 25 and only played a half season at MGM Park in 2015 is a remarkable achievement."

The 16-team Pacific Coast League registered a league-record $13.36 million in retail sales in 2015, per PLC, an increase of 30% from 2014.

One of its teams, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, said its merchandise sales were six times the total sales from 2014, and the team's sales revenues in 2015 equaled those from 2010-14 combined.

"The Dodgers brand is one of the most iconic in sports, and we are proud that the Dodgers name now also represents our great city of Oklahoma City," Michael Byrnes, the team's president/GM, said in a statement. "The rebranding of our team (from the Redhawks following an ownership change) was passionately embraced and we are grateful to all of the fans who have welcomed Oklahoma City as part of the Dodgers family."

According to the team, the Los Angeles Dodgers' graphic design unit created the Oklahoma City Dodgers' look, incorporating several elements of the Los Angeles Dodgers' history, as well as the culture of Oklahoma City and Bricktown.

Some of the elements of the new brand — including the Dodgers script and the famous "shooting ball" — have been associated with the Dodgers since 1938. Oklahoma City's home jerseys mirror the current home jerseys of the Los Angeles Dodgers; the home OKC hat is styled after the old Brooklyn Dodgers' hats, according to the MiLB Dodgers.

MiLB said that online sales have also "played a significant role in the steady growth of league-wide merchandise sales," showing a 9.4% increase over 2014. Of the Top 25 teams, 23 have online stores using the MiLBStore.com platform, according to the league.

MilB's new Esurance deal will come with multi-media marketing and activation, anchored by an Esurance Call-Up Worthy effort.

The platform, which will live on MiLB.com, MiLB club Web sites and social media, "will celebrate that iconic moment in Minor League Baseball when a player is called up to Major League Baseball, highlighting their journey through shareable digital and social content such as virtual trading cards, video highlights and the Esurance Farm Report."

“Every player that progresses on his path through Minor League Baseball has a unique story, one that we look forward to telling through this partnership," said Wright.

San Francisco-based Esurance said it would use use MiLB players as Esurance brand ambassadors. Esurance currently uses Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants as a MLB brand spokesman in TV and other marketing.

Other elements of the pact include Esurance Rising Star Students, with support from MiLB charity partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of America; Esurance September Call-Ups, leading up to MLB's postseason; and the Esurance Home Field Advantage Award, recognizing the MiLB club with the highest percentage capacity in each of its 14 leagues.

“Our partnership with Minor League Baseball extends the fantastic experience we’ve had with the sport and its passionate fans, while introducing millions more to our brand and modern approach to home and auto insurance,” Alan Gellman, CMO for Esurance, said in a statement. “We’re proud to work with MiLB to modernize the fan experience as they follow baseball players throughout their career journey—from their first MiLB game to their call-up celebration.

"Through our partnership, we also have the opportunity to connect with local communities across the U.S. to recognize rising all-stars and hometown fans," said Gellman.

The Top 25 MiLB Teams Based on 2015 Retail Sales (in alphabetical order):

Albuquerque Isotopes, Biloxi Shuckers, Charlotte Knights, Columbus Clippers, Dayton Dragons, Durham Bulls, El Paso Chihuahuas, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Frisco RoughRiders, Indianapolis Indians, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Louisville Bats, Nashville Sounds, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Pawtucket Red Sox, Reno Aces, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, San Antonio Missions, South Bend Cubs, Tacoma Rainiers, Toledo Mud Hens and Trenton Thunder.

Buster Posey Back To Catch Esurance, MLB Campaign

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