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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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2018 NFL Pro Bowl Voting (To Date)
1. Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles 273,367
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots 239,989
3. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers 227,771
4. Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams 215,687
5. Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers 215,584
6. Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints 207,751
7. Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs 204,611
8. Jared Goff QB Los Angeles Rams 200,346
9. Russell Wilson QB Seattle Seahawks 183,630
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11. Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots 168,663
12. Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles 156,183
13. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons 124,556
14. Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers 117,480
15. Kyle Juszczyk FB San Francisco 49ers 116,816
16. Aaron Donald DT Los Angeles Rams 102,194
17. Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers 101,131
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19. Everson Griffen DE Minnesota Vikings 91,621
20. Geno Atkins DT Cincinnati Bengals 88,126
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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
Sunday
Dec182016

To Rebuild Image, Beleaguered GNC Will Play In Super Bowl LI, Rebrand Stores

By Barry Janoff

December 16, 2016: If GNC was an NFL franchise, it likely would be this year’s Cleveland Browns, winless through the majority of the season and no hope for the playoffs, but with a core of loyal fans and management looking for ways to rebuild for the future.

Vitamin and supplements company GNC Holdings said it would close all of its corporate stores on Dec. 28 and reopen on Dec. 29, "providing customers a dramatically improved experience with the launch of One New GNC."

The move follows a challenging year for GNC, including replacing its CEO; being fined $2.25 million this month by the Dept. of Justice regarding the selling of illegal dietary supplements; and Q3 revenue of $628 million, down more than 8% from the same quarter last year and some $23 million below the average estimate anticipated by analysts.

To reboot the brand’s image, the company said it would bring a new retail footprint to customers.

The One New GNC will include a single price both in store and on GNC.com to replace multiple pricing structures across channels and membership levels; a new loyalty program, My GNC Rewards, designed to "give consumers an easy-to-use incentive to shop GNC"; and new POS terminals, rolling out across the chain, intended to “speed the checkout process, help guide customer decisions based on purchase history and manage loyalty programs.”

The big move will get a big stage when GNC rolls out a spot in the first quarter of Super Bowl LI Feb. 5 on Fox.

Details of the creative were not shared, but GNC said it would be part of a larger effort to "bring the One New GNC to the public,” also including Internet, social media (#ONEnewGNC), POP and, in conjunction with My GNC Rewards, a new GNC mobile app (available on or before Dec. 28) in the iTunes app and Google Play stores.

GNC said it expects the campaign to receive more than half a billion impressions in the first few weeks alone.

Super Bowl spots on Fox are going for upward of $5 million for 30 seconds, according to industry analysts.

GNC’s lead agency is Bullish, NY.

"We're making these investments because we believe in this business, its future and our ability to return to growth and deliver shareholder value," Robert Moran, interim CEO for GNC, said in a statement. "The New GNC leaves the old, broken model behind. We're confident it will have a positive impact on the business, but it will take time for the changes to take hold and translate to improved financial results."

Moran, who was an independent director of GNC and former chairman and CEO for PetSmart, replaced Michael Archbold as GNC’s CEO in July when Archibald left the ompany and resigned from the GNC Board.

According to Moran, GNC is "also building on its strength in innovation, introducing new brands and new products throughout the coming year" and making changes to its supply chain to help ensure the products customers want are in stock.

The One New GNC will launch in all 4,464 U.S. owned and franchised locations on Dec. 29, "just as consumers are resolving to get fit and stay well."

GNC paid the settlement with the DOJ but admitted no wrong-doing and stressed that the products in question "were removed from GNC's shelves years ago."

According to a joint statement, the DOJ and Food and Drug Administration, "Under the agreement, GNC will take a number of actions to broaden industry-wide knowledge of prohibited ingredients and improve compliance by vendors of third party products. These actions are in keeping with the leadership role GNC has always taken in setting industry quality and compliance standards. GNC remains committed to maintaining robust compliance policies and procedures and holding third party vendors and suppliers accountable for those standards.

According to GNC, its 4,464 U.S. owned and franchised locations will celebrate the One New GNC throughout the month of January with a 1 Million Point Giveaway contest and sampling and giveaways each Saturday during the month.

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