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QUICK HITS

• Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists Class of 2018: Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Hugh Evans, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rudy Tomjanovich, Chris Webber, Kim Mulkey, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Wayland Baptist University. Class of 2018 will be named during the NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in San Antonio March 31-April 2.

• Serena Williams, who said her first auto purchase was a while Lincoln Navigator SUV she named “Ginger,” has signed to become an official spokesperson for the brand. A social media-based marketing campaign includes videos of Williams talking about and driving the 2018 Navigator, with ongoing videos to follow. “Partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place,” she said in the first video. “Let’s just be honest: Serena Williams needs to be in the new Navigator.”

• The Smashing Pumpkins unveil 'Shiny And Oh So Bright' 36-city tour, their first tour in nearly 20 years, with founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha. Produced by Live Nation.

KEEPING SCORE

Most Exciting Sports Worldwide
1. Athletics (i.e. Olympics) 47% Very/Quite Exciting
2. Tennis 43%
3. Football (soccer) 43%
4. Rugby 41%
5. Gymnastics 36%
6. Boxing 32%
7. Formula 1 32%
8. Swimming 26%
9. Horse Racing 25%
10. Cycling 25%

Most Boring Sports Worldwide
1. Golf 70% Very/Quite Boring
2. U.S. Football 59%
3. Cricket 58%
4. Darts 58%
5. Snooker 57%
6. Basketball 52%
7. Horse Racing 52%
8. Cycling 50%
9. Formula 1 49%
10. Boxing 46%

Poll from YouGov.com

BUY SELL

Top Selling MLS Player Jerseys
1. Miguel Almirón Atlanta United
2. Bastian Schweinsteiger Chicago Fire
3. Josef Martínez Atlanta United
4. Jordan Morris Seattle Sounders
5. David Villa NYCFC
6. Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders
7. Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC
8. Kaká Orlando City FC
9. Andrea Pirlo NYCFC
10. Nicolás Lodeiro Seattle Sounders
SOURCE MLS STORE

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Kellogg's: Chloe Kim Winter Games Ads Below

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CFB Title Games '21-24
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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
Monday
Sep182017

In Quest For Monster Energy Nascar Cup Title, Harvick Driven By Fans, Sponsors

By Barry Janoff

September 18, 2017: Race car driver Kevin Harvick was in New York in the Microsoft Store on Fifth Ave. last week, appearing at a media event to talk about the 2017 ten-race Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series playoffs, appearing along with follow drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon.

For the first time, the  Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series playoffs will feature a stage racing format.

The series began on Sunday in Chicagoland Speedway with the 2017 champion to be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19 (all to air on NBCSN).

Drivers competing for the Cup also include Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chase Elliott.

But in the midst of discussing the playoffs, sponsorships, Danica Patrick and personal alliances, Harvick ended up talking about the NBA.

"I was never a basketball fan, had never been to a game, but a couple of years ago my son Keelan asked me to take him to a Charlotte Hornets game," said Harvick, who lives in the Charlotte area. "(Team owner) Michael Jordan was there. We had a great time. Now we have season tickets. We go all the time."

The NBA conversation began when Harvick was asked about the 2.5 x 2.5 ad patches that will appear for the first time on NBA jerseys this coming season.

In NBA terms, that is a change of tsunami proportions. In Nascar, drivers, fans and teams know that sponsor alliances and visible logos are part of the landscape on cars, helmets and driver suits.

Harvick said his team gets about $18-$20 million in sponsorships, which include primary sponsors Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Busch Beer, Hunt Brothers Pizza and Mobil 1, plus such brands as Ford, Goodyear, Outback Steakhouse, New Era and Fanatics.

The NBA defending champion Golden State Warriors last week set the NBA mark with a three-year deal for $60 million with Internet services provider Rakuten. The Cleveland Cavaliers signed a three-year deal with Goodyear valued at $30 million. Some 14 NBA teams to date have signed jersey-patch deals, most in the $4-$5 million range annually

"They are our life blood, they keep us going," said Harvick. about the roster of sponsors that are associated with each Nascar team and driver.

"The NBA saw this as a move they needed to make. It is added income, a source of revenue,” said Harvick.

Harvick also had a strong NBA association this past season when Mobil 1 ran a humorous multi-media effort, "Don't Change Your Oil," which paired the 5’10” Harvick with 7’2” NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo.

Last week, Smithfield Foods said that beginning with the 2018 Nascar season they would move after six  from being a primary sponsor with Richard Petty Motorsports to Stewart-Hass Racing, which currently includes Harvick, Busch, Clint Bowyer, Cole Custer and Danica Patrick.

The move became a catalyst in shakeups on both teams, with Patrick saying she would leave Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2017 season and Richard Petty Motorsports saying that driver Aric Almirola would not return.

Although he said he had not as yet spoken directly with Patrick, Harvick said, "My support for her is unwavering . . . I believe she will find a new team and (primary) sponsor."

As for Smithfield’s move to SHR: "Smithfield is a strong brand in Nascar," said Harvick. "I see this as a good relationship for SHR."

In acknowledging the strength of Nascar sponsors, Harvick also said that strong alliances were important for him as a driver, businessman and member of the racing community.

"My sponsors — in particular my primary sponsors — have supported me through the ups and downs of my career," he said. "It’s not just a logo you put on your car. When you sign with a sponsor, that is the type of quality relationship you want.

"Both sides (drivers and brands) understand that this is about supporting a race team but also about reaching fans and consumers where they live, work and shop. I am well aware that Nascar fans are extremely loyal to the brands that (drivers) are associated with. That has a big impact on the type of deals we sign."

Also of importance to Harvick is how his sponsors connect with his fans.

Last month, for example, Mobile 1 had Harvick and Mutombo appear along with his No. 4 car as part of a meet-and-greet with people in New York’s Times Square. And Outback offered people free Blooming’ Onions with their meal to celebrate Harvick’s Top Ten finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Throughout the season, Harvick autographs items for Fanatics that are made available to fans at race tracks.

And that connection with sponsors and partners also originates with Harvick. His KHI Management, a full-service sports and celebrity-marketing agency, has a suite in Bank of America Stadium, home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

"That is a great place to entertain, to build relationships with my sponsors," said Harvick.

Harvick said that Busch and Mobil 1 are already planning campaigns with him for the start of the 2018 season.

But first comes the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series, which Nascar is supporting with a multi-media marketing campaign, and an opportunity for Harvick to add to the title he won in 2014.

"Some of the drivers are looking for their first title, Some have won before (Keselowski 2012, Busch 2015)," said Harvick. "It will be very interesting to see what happens, and certainly very competitive."

Sponsorship Changes At Stewart-Haas Racing Will See Danica Driving To New Crew

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