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POLL POSITION
Sports Marketer of the Year
 
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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

Most-Watched Winter Olympics in U.S. TV History
1. Lillehammer, 1994* 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002 187 million
T4. Torino, 2006 184 million
T4. Albertville, 1992 184 million
T4. Nagano, 1998 184 million
* Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident

Source NBC Sports

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CFB Title Games '21-24
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NCAA: More Health $$$
Cancer Drives Home
NCAA Reballs Madness

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
Friday
Jun092017

Is Rugby Ready To Scrum On The U.S. Sports Stage With Fans, TV, Marketers?

By Barry Janoff

June 9, 2017: Armed with new deals from adidas and NBC Sports, and with the first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. scheduled for 2018, rugby appears to be primed to move up the ranks among pro and collegitate sports in America.

Rugby already seems to be on the rise in the U.S., at least based on the increase in fan attendance, media interest and marketing activation over the past few years.

According to Bill Beaumont, World Rugby chairman, "The USA is one of the fastest-growing markets for rugby participation and fan growth."

USA Rugby, the governing body for the sport in the nation in the U.S., will put that support to the test with a pair of upcoming games against top-rated international opponents.

As part of the Emirates Airline Summer Series, USA Rugby Men’s Eagles will play Ireland, scheduled for June 10 in Red Bull Arena (home to the MLS New York Red Bulls), with the match to air on NBCSN.

A week later, the Men’s Eagles are scheduled to play another international match, this one against Georgia Rugby Union in Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw (GA) State University on June 17.

The games are being presented by Rugby International Marketing, the commercial arm of USA Rugby, and TLA Worldwide.

The matches will be the last preparatory competition for the U.S. ahead of a Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier series with Canada, scheduled for June 24 and July 1.

Both games have been supported via multi-media marketing, including a national TV spot as well as digital and other activation from LIFT, San Francisco, which has been working with USA Rugby to help grow the sport nationwide.

According to World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, "We know there are about 40 million rugby fans in the States based on our research and that’s going up."

Adidas recently signed a multi-year deal to be the official kit supplier for USA National Teams and representative teams.

World Rugby and NBC Sports Group in May signed a seven-year alliance that gives NBC Sports exclusive U.S. media rights to the Rugby World Cup and other key rugby events through 2023.

Among the companies also aligned with USA Rugby are AIG, Gatorade, KT Tape, Crabbie’s, Thorne and WorldRugbyShop.com.

The first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. is scheduled for July 20-22, 2018, in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

More than 80,000 people attended a USA Sevens international tournament in March 2016 in Las Vegas, and 61,500 attended a USA vs New Zealand match in November 2014 in Soldier Field, Chicago.

The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, held June 3-4 in Talen Energy Stadium Philadelphia, with 24 teams from across the nation, saw a tournament record of more than 37,500 fans attend throughout the weekend. It aired on NBCSN.

"This exciting and unprecedented deal with one of the world’s most prestigious broadcasters will ensure that more people than ever before in the USA will be able to access the world’s top men’s and women’s 15s and sevens events.,” said Beaumont of the World Rugby-NBC Sports alliance. “NBC will be the destination for rugby in the USA."

The deal piggy-backs on NBCU’s exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics, which in 2016 saw Rugby Sevens make its Olympic debut in Rio. (The sport was last played in the 1924 Summer Olympics when a Rugby Union competition was held),

USA Rugby has more than 115,000 members, including more than 32,000 college rugby members, 1,200 high school teams, 900 college teams, 700 senior club teams and 400 youth teams.

Another sign of the sport's growth: The first Rugby Business Executives Assn. Leadership Conference has been scheduled for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier weekend in San Diego, Calif., to be held at Marriott Mission Valley Friday, June 30.
 
The purpose of the conference: "To connect senior executives having a passion for rugby for networking, sharing knowledge, and the promotion of the sport in key regional markets."

Citing Team, Fan, Sponsor Growth In U.S., NBC All In With Rugby

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