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Bahamas Red Cross donation site. #HelpUsHelp

• In an effort to “send a message of inclusion to its widely diverse fan base,” the NBA champion Toronto Raptors said they are the first NBA to offer an athletic hijab for Muslim women. The Nike Pro Hijabs with the team’s logo were inspired by the Hijabi Ballers, a Toronto-based non-profit organization dedicated to "celebrating and increasing the involvement of Muslim females in sports." “Inspired by those brave enough to change the game” the team posted to its social media platforms along with a video of the Hijabi Ballers in action.

• Greenleaf Foods said it has signed a deal with the Los Angeles Rams to become the first plant-based food brand to officially partner with an NFL team. As part of this partnership, Greenleaf’s Lightlife Burger will be available at Rams home games this season, beginning Sep. 15 during the team’s 2019 home opener ( agasint tthe New Orleans Saints). Lightlife plant-based protein products will also be featured in the Rams Game On! Program at Albertson’s, Vons, and Pavilions.

• The NFL and Facebook have signed a multi-year partnership extension that will “deliver more diversified NFL video content to fans worldwide through Facebook Watch,” expanding a relationship that began in 2017

The NFL will continue distributing recaps from all 256 regular season games, as well as playoff games and the Super Bowl; plus video highlights from such postseason tentpole events las the Pro Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and NFL Draft. The NFL will also utilize Facebook Watch for distribution of an array of unique content including NFL news and analysis, Video versions of NFL-produced podcasts and classic and special NFL 100 content.

In addition, the NFL will create Facebook Groups around content themes and work to share relevant video in those groups.

• American Airlines will not renew its naming rights deal with the venue that is home to the NBA’s Miami Heat, which has been AmericanAirlines Arena since it opened in 1999 via a 20-year deal valued at $42 million, according to Miami Today. The team and Miami-Dade County executives are in “advanced talks”with another national company. American will remain the official airline for the Heat.

• Bowlero Corp,, the leading owner and operator of bowling centers in America, has acquired the Professional Bowlers Assn. which has been in operation since 1958. Bowlero said, “All scheduled tournaments and programming will continue, with plans to build upon key initiatives including the PBA's groundbreaking Fox Sports partnership.” Full story here.

• Marshawn Lynch has been named as the founded for the expansion Oakland Panthers of the Indoor Football League, with the team beginning play in February 2020 in Oakland (formerly Oracle) Arena. The NFL Raiders are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas beginning with the 2020 season. Full story here.

• The Paley Center for Media, NY, will honor the 100th season of the NFL with a new exhibit: "A Century of Football: Celebrating the NFL’s 100th Season," free and open to the public (Sept. 14-Oct. 27), which includes the first public screening of the only known complete broadcast of Super Bowl I (then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game) in January 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs

• 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

 Pro Football Hall of Fame First-Time Candidates Class of 2020
• DE John Abraham
• LB Lance Briggs
• WR/Special Teams Josh Cribbs
• RB Maurice Jones-Drew
• S Troy Polamalu
• DE Justin Smith
• WR Reggie Wayne
• LB Patrick Willis

The full list includes 122 players eligible to be selected to next year's class. Full story here.

KEEPING SCORE

Top Brands in 2019 Brand Keys “Consumer Loyalty Index”
• Airline: JetBlue
• Athletic Footwear:Nike
* Automotive: Hyundai
• Banks: Chase
• Beer: Corona Extra (regular), Miller Lite (Lite)
• Bottled Water: Dasani
• Casual Dining: Panera
• Coffee (OOH): Dunkin’
• Energy Drinks: Red Bull
• Headphones: Bose
• Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s
• Major League Sports: MLB
• Online Music: Slacker
* Online Retailer: Amazon
• Online Travel Booking: Booking.com
• Pizza: Domino’s
• QSR: Chick-fil-A
• Retail Sporting Goods: Dick’s
• Social Networking Sites: Instagram
• Soft Drinks: Coca-Cola (regular), Diet Coke
• Tequila: Jose Cuervo
• Ticketing Services: StubHub
• Vodka: Zubrowka
• Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s

FULL LIST HERE

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Sept. 6-8
1. It: Chapter Two $91M
2. Angel Has Fallen $6M
3. Good Boys $5.4M
4. Lion King $4.2M
5. Overcomer $3.8M
6. Hobbs & Shaw $3.7M
7. Peanut Butter Falcon $2.3M
8. Scary Stories $2.3M
9. Ready Or Not $2.2M
10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold $2.2M

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).

Entries in Rugby (1)

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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