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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

• NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a live, daily figure skating show airing nightly (7 PM ET) on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present a digital-exclusive version of Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota immediately following prime-time coverage beginning Feb. 8.

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Top NBA All-Star Game Votes (To Date)
Eastern Conference
1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2.  LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3.  Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
4.  Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
5. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
6.  DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
7.  Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
8.  Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
9.  Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
10. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
Western Conference
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
3. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
6. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
7. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
9. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
10. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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Top-Selling NFL Jerseys By Team 2017 At Dick’s Sporting Goods
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Denver Broncos
6. Carolina Panthers
7. New York Giants
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. Chicago Bears
15. Green Bay Packers
16. Oakland Raiders
17. Kansas City Chiefs
18. Baltimore Ravens
19. Washington Redskins
20. Arizona Cardinals

SOURCE: DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

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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
Dec172017

Lakers, Marketers, Fans, NBA Set To Fete Kobe At Jersey Retirement Ceremony

By Barry Janoff

December 18, 2017: When the defending Golden State Warriors come to town, that is usually the top NBA story for the day.

Not so with the Warriors trip to play the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night (Dec. 18), when the No. 1 story will be the retirement ceremony for the No. 8 and No. 24 Lakers jerseys worn by Kobe Bryant.

Locally, Spectrum SportsNet will begin coverage of the pre-game celebration in the sold-out Staples Center at 5:30 P.M. (PT) and will air the game live at 7:30 P.M. (PT) on Spectrum SportsNet and Spectrum Deportes.

NBA TV will air the halftime ceremonies nationally. Both NBA TV and NBA.com this past week dedicated significant space to honoring Bryant’s career, with highlight games, videos and career recaps.

Vivid Seats has two Row 1 court side tickets starting at more than $27,000 each.

Row 1 court side baseline tickets were going for $6,855.

Bryant will become the 10th player in Los Angeles Lakers history to earn this distinction, but the first to have two numbers retired, joining Wilt Chamberlain (13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Earvin "Magic" Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (33), Shaquille O'Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

"Kobe's jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time," Jeanie Buss, Lakers CEO and controlling owner, said in a statement when the jersey retirement ceremony was unveiled in September.

"There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant,” said Buss.

Although no Lakers player can wear No. 8 or No. 24 again, the public is not restricted.

Among other activation, Nike, the NBA’s official on-court jersey partner, is offering Kobe Bryant retirement jerseys for No. 8 and No. 24.

Both come with a special patch that have Bryant’s faux signature, five stars (one for each NBA title), his “Black Mamba” nickname and the date of the jersey retirement, December 18, 2017. (MSRP $525).

The Lakers’ on-line shop is offering a plethora of Kobe merchandise, including exclusive 9Fifty Retirement Patch Snapback caps, T-shirts, jerseys and photos of Bryant, wearing No. 8 and No. 24, each framed with a special-edition coin commemorating the event.

To celebrate the day of the jerseys retirement,  the Lakers will host KobeLand a street festival to take place on Chick Hearn Court at L.A. LIVE on Ddec. 18 (4-7:00 PM PT).

Lakers corporate partners, many of whom will have a presence in KobeLand and/or inside Staples Center during the game and halftime ceremonies include American Express, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Canon, Delta Airlines, Gatorade, Jack in the Box, Tissot, Toyota, Verizon, Wingstop and the team’s jersey patch sponsor Wish.

The festival, free and open to the public, will feature a variety of interactive games, a Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, a special basketball shootout, photo opportunities, branded merchandise and a live deejay. Nike will also have a prominent presence at the festival including a Kobe “8” & “24” branded truck onsite.

Many former teammates and opponents and all-time Lakers greats are expected to be in attendance at the game.

All of the Warriors will be in attendance, not just for the game but court side during the ceremony itself, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

Bryant wore each number jersey for ten seasons.

Bryant appeared in 707 games while wearing No. 8. During that time, he averaged 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists; and helped to guide the Lakers to four NBA Finals, and three championships (2000-02).

He wore No. 24: for 638 games, averaging 26.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, leading the team to NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, being named MVP in both championship finals.

According to  Magic Johnson, former player and now Lakers president of basketball operations. "Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all-time and he's definitely on my Mount Rushmore.

"I look forward to seeing both of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family."

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