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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” 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

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
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).

Friday
Feb012013

Twenty Years Later, McDonald's Jordan-Bird Super Bowl Ad Remains Nothing But Net

By Barry Janoff

February 1, 2013: On Feb, 3, more than 100 million people will be watching the San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Many of those people will also be watching the commercials that will fill the CBS national broadcast, for which companies paid an average of $3.8-$4 million for a 30-second spot, according to the network.

The burning question facing all Super Bowl XLVII marketers — from Toyota and Volkswagen to Axe and Wonderful Pistachios — is, "Will consumers remember us tomorrow?"

Twenty years ago, McDonald's ran a commercial which became so popular that people still talk about it and other companies such as Nike still try to imitate.

In 1993, just before the kickoff of Super Bowl XXVII on NBC, McDonald's aired "The Showdown" with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, a minute and a half spot in which Jordan shows up at a gym with a Big Mac and fries and is challenged by Bird to a game of H*O*R*S*E, with the winner getting the meal.

The commercial, created by ad agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, actually broke on TV late the previous year, but did not have a memorable impact until it aired on Jan. 31 in front of 90 million viewers.

People might not recall that the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills that day, 52-17, that Michael Jackson performed at halftime or that the game's opening coin toss was handled by O.J. Simpson. But the commercial, with its iconic "Nothing but net" catch phrase, lives on.

McDonald's rebooted it in 2010 with Dwight Howard and LeBron James. And Nike earlier this month unveiled "No Cup Is Safe," in which Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy try to outdo each other with longer and more intricate golf shots.

"The spots are iconic and enjoyable to the casual fan because they poke fun at our heroes' cartoonish skills with a wink, allowing us to be in on the joke."

"We watch sports to see the human drama unfold as great athletes, under inordinate pressure, deliver extraordinary results," said Jeff Pomeroy, a 20-year marketing and communications veteran, including 12 years with Turner Sports, who is now president of JDP Communications, Atlanta. "'The Showdown' spots are iconic and enjoyable to the casual fan because they poke fun at our heroes' cartoonish skills with a wink, allowing us to be in on the joke."

During the broadcast of Super Bowl XXVII, played in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif., 30-second spots were going for an average of $850,000. Also among the advertisers were American Express (with Jerry Seinfeld), Magnavox (with John Cleese), Advil (with Nolan Ryan) and Ford (with Susan Lucci).

Jordan himself appeared in another Super Bowl spot that day for Nike alongside Bugs Bunny, "Hare & Air Jordan: Space Jam."

"The Shootout" was filmed in Chicago and includes a closing shot of Jordan (then with the hometown Bulls) and Boston Celtics legend Bird atop the Hancock Building. The spot was directed by Joe Pytka, who 17 years later filmed the LeBron-Howard remake for ad agency Translation USA.

"'The Showdown'" is one of the best Super Bowl spots of all time. I would put it up there with some of the most remembered," said Robert Tuchman, president of experiential sports and celebrity travel-services firm Goviva, NY, who has more than 15 years of executive experience with sports marketing and sponsorship firms. "The interesting thing is that it had nothing to do with football, it was basketball, which makes it even more compelling."

"The interesting thing is that it had nothing to do with football, it was basketball, which makes it even more compelling."

The original spot opens with Jordan entering an empty arena carrying lunch from McDonald's.

"What's in the bag?" Bird, who has been shooting around on the court, asks Jordan.

"Big Mac. Fries," Jordan replies.

"Play you for it," Bird says. "First one to miss watches the winner eat."

In 1993, the cost of a Big Mac was about $1.99 (versus $4.30 today) and Jordan was making $4 million a year, so it must have been the challenge of beating Bird that made him agree to play for something he already owned. Months earlier, the two had been teammates on the U.S. Men's Basketball "Dream Team" that won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

There was one rule, per Bird: "No dunking." In the remake, there was also one rule, but with different ramifications: "No jump shots," says Howard to James.

What follows in the original ad is a series of side shots, hook shots, long-distance shots, shots off the glass, shots using non-shooting hands and shots from one knee.

Then the degree of difficulty really increases. The two players are in the stands when Bird says, "Off the floor, off the scoreboard, off the backboard, no rim." Next they are sitting in the rafters high above the court. Jordan says, "Over the second rafter, off the floor," followed by the first use of the now classic, "Nothing but net."

They then move outside to attempt shots through an open window. In the closing scene, they are atop the Hancock Building. "Off the expressway, over the river, off the billboard, through the window, off the wall, nothing but net," says Jordan.

"The commercial has resonated because the idea was so simple. And the personalities involved had always been, and remain, linked together.""

"The commercial has resonated because the idea was so simple," said Tuchman. "And the personalities involved had always been, and remain, linked together with the question of who was better."

McDonald's tagline in 1993 was, "What you want is what you get." But Bird had to wait for a guest appearance in the 2010 remake to actually get the Big Mac and fries.

In "Check This," which was filmed in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Howard (then with the Orlando Magic) challenges LeBron (then with the Cleveland Cavaliers) for his Big Mac and fries.

An abundance of above-the rim shots follow, including 360-degree jams, double-pump slams and a rim-rocker that begins with each player taking off near the free throw line.

Ultimately, Howard shatters the backboard and is left holding the rim. Which brings a round of applause from Bird, who is sitting in the stands. "Great show, guys. Thanks for lunch," Bird says as he walks off with LeBron's food. "Who is that?" Howard asks. LeBron relies, "I have no idea."

"This is a commercial that you can continue to recreate over the years by just changing the athletes or entertainers involved," said Tuchman.

Nike saw it that way with "No Cup Is Safe," which heralded the arrival of Rory McIlroy to the Nike Golf brand via a long-term, multimillion-dollar deal.

"The creative will have more legs in digital form and even the potential of another commercial. I wouldn't be surprised if you see fan-made YouTube versions pop up."

"I actually tweeted about the new Tiger and Rory Nike ad, that it was 20 years after the famous McDonald's Larry Bird and Michael Jordan spot," said David Schwab, managing director for First Call, the sports and celebrity acquisition and activation division of global marketing firm Octagon. "Americans love rivalries, even if it plays out in a commercial."

"The Shootout" is ranked on many lists as one of the best Super Bowl spots of all-time. But much like The Who's "Baba O'Riley," which is often mistakenly referred to as "Teenage Wasteland" (a phrase repeated in the song), the Jordan-Bird spot is often called "Nothing But Net." McDonald's did not object, and even released in 1993 a "Nothing But Net" in-store promotion of six cups featuring NBA MVPs including Bird, Jordan, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley and Bill Walton.

There may be more versions of "The Showdown" to come, but only if the stars and storyline are properly aligned.

"The creative works only when you use talent that are at the very best of what they do, like Nike has captured with Tiger and Rory," said Schwab. "The creative will have more legs in digital form and even the potential of another television commercial. I wouldn't be surprised if you see fan-made YouTube versions pop up, where they remake the Nike spot on the golf course."

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