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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.

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3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
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6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
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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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2018 NBA All-Star Game

East Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Joel Embiid
West Starters: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins
The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains — James and Curry — will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.

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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
Friday
Jul162010

ESPY's LeBron Spoof Has Legs, But Is ESPN Getting A Kick Out Of It?

July 16, 2010: Chili's Bar & Grill, Outback Steakhouse and the upcoming movie, Dinner for Schmuck, got several minutes of prime time product placement during the 2010 ESPY's on July 14 via a humorous clip in which actor Steve Carell does a parody of LeBron's James' prime time "show" on ESPN revealing his plans for the 2010-11 NBA season. Chili's is continuing to milk the moment with a letter from its president denouncing the announcement from Carell that the actor was switching his restaurant alliance from Chili's to Outback.

Outback has not as yet responded.

As part of his introduction monologue at the ESPYs, host Seth Meyers said that, like Lebron James'  "The Decision" on ESPN on July 8, in which James revealed his plan to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat, Carell  also had a major announcement to make. The event, "live from Greenwich, Connecticut"  turned out to be a hunger-driven move from Chili's to rival Outback.

The James time on ESPN has been called out by some critics as being an infomercial. The Carell bit seemed to be both a parody of that presentation and an indictment of ESPN itself, which has seen the ongoing encroachment of product placement cut into the time used present news and information. For example, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, who co-star in the upcoming movie, The Other Guys, have recently been seen several times across ESPN's network, including an extended promotion for the ESPY's, despite the fact that their buddy movie is not sports related and advances no news story other than the movie itself.

Chili's  jumped on the Carell parody bandwagon on July 16, issuing a statement that defiles what it called the "worst decision ever in the history of restaurant selection." A "letter" from Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar,  continued to parody the LeBron James event by mimicking a letter from Cleveland Cavaliers' owner Daniel Gilbert berating James for his decision.

"As you know, Steve Carell, our former hero, who grew up enjoying these very meals that he deserted [July 14], will no longer be dining at Chili's,"" wrote Roberts. "This was announced in a self-promotional, national TV three-minute special of his 'decision' on the ESPYs. It was unlike anything ever 'witnessed' in the history of casual dining and probably the history of entertainment.

The Roberts letter continued in ALL CAPS, again a parody of Gilbert's original letter to James, "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT CHILI'S MENU ITEMS WILL BE BOLDER AND TASTIER THAN THOSE OF THE SELF-TITLED 'STEAKHOUSE KING.'"

(See the full Chili's letter here.)

In the parody itself, Carell and Paul Rudd, who both star in the upcoming Dinner for Schmucks, were seated opposite each other, recalling the setting a week earlier when James sat opposite Jim Gray and disclosed his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat.

"How did you make this decision?" asks Rudd. "I used a Magic Eight Ball," responds Carell. "Do you have any doubts?" Rudd asks. "I have five doubts," Carell answers. "Was it a hard decision?" Rudd continues. "In some ways it was incredibly hard and in other ways it was just very hard," Carell offers. Ultimately, it turns out that Carell has already told everybody about his decision except for Rudd. "I'm the only person on earth you haven't told?!" Rudd asks. "Yes," says Carell. (Full clip here).

According to Chili's, "Steve Carell's shameful display of selfishness and betrayal has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. His heartless and callous actions will only fuel our constant search for freshness and flavor."

Chili's is owned by Dallas-based Brinker International. Outback is headquartered in Tampa and owned by OSI Restaurant Partners.

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