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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
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18. Baltimore Ravens
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20. Arizona Cardinals

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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
Monday
Mar212011

Marketers Testing The Water For LeBron James' NBA Post-Season Appearance

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

LeBron and Hodge get ready to rumble in new 'Magic Jingle' commercial from State Farm.March 20, 2011: One year ago, LeBron James was seen virtually non-stop in marketing between the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA Finals. This season, he has had a relatively non-descript presence in national marketing, having gone from the most-liked to most-hated list due largely to public perception regarding the manner in which he rode free agency out of Cleveland and into Miami.

But with the 2011 NBA playoffs just a month off, James' marketing partners are testing the waters and slowly putting him back into the national mix in preparation for a bigger and more extensive presence.

This past weekend, during the NCAA tournament and on NBA games, State Farm put into regular rotation a national TV spot starring James, his first for the company since he joined the Miami Heat. That, along with a McDonald's spot from last season with James and Dwight Howard that the fast-feeder put back in to rotation, gave viewers a taste of what could come once the NBA playoffs being on April 17.

In February, Sprite broke "Bring Your Court to Life," a TV spot in which James, sporting a Nike "Witness" sweatshirt, is seen playing ball at a neighborhood playground. The campaign, which supports the rebuilding of neighborhood basketball courts nationwide, will be refreshed by the Coca-Cola brand to coincide with the NBA playoffs.

Nike has had some new campaigns this season with James to support shoe releases, most recently at Christmas and the NBA All-Star Game. But James himself has had limited face time and was actually bundled with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant in the efforts.

James will also be seen nationally via YouTube in a new animated series, The LeBrons, featuring characters inspired by previous Nike commercials.

James earns about $30 million annually from endorsements deals, the most among NBA players. His marketing is handled by LRMR, Cleveland, a company that James formed with his friends.

The new State Farm spot with James, "Magic Jingle: LeBron’s Rumble," from Translation, New York, is part of the campaign that has given rise to such catch phrases as "The girl from 4E" and "Can I get a hot tub."

Boxing announcer Michael Buffer shares his signature, 'Let's get ready to rumble' in State Farm spot with LeBron James.In his spot, James, who has been with State Farm since February 2008, is in need of the company's services. It opens with James standing next to his friend, played by actor Aldis Hodge (currently on TNT's Leverage) and an SUV that has smashed into a mailbox and a statue on a front lawn.

"Call your agent," Hodge says to James. "My agent?" James replies. "You were driving."

"No. It's cool," offers Hodge. He then sings the jingle, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there," which, as per the theme of this campaign, causes the State Farm agent to magically appear.

"See what he made me do," Hodge immediately says, pointing to James. "It was him."

That initiates a mini-quarrel between the pair. James retaliates by singing [sort of], "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there . . .  with the world's smallest violin [which appears]. 'Cause this is what I hear when you talk," James says to Hodge as he plays the violin.

Aldis is annoyed. "Can I bet a binky for baby Bron-Bron." Which appears in James' hand. "That's it," exclaims James. "Michael Buffer!"

The legendary boxing announcer pops into the shot and shouts his catch phrase: "Let's get ready to rumble!" At which point boxing gloves appear on James and Hodge's hands. (See the full spot here.)

A companion 15-second spot shot at the same time shows James break-dancing. A voiceover asks: "Why is LeBron dancing? Go to StateFarmNation on Facebook to see more."

Rival Allstate has been running a local radio spot in the Chicago area, "Big Decison," that takes a direct shot at James' decision to bypass the Chicago Bulls in his move from Cleveland to Miami.

Cast of characters from the animated YouTube series, 'The LeBrons.'In it, actor Dennis Haysbert , the company's spokesperson, says, "Shopping for car insurance. Think of yourself as a free agent with a big decision to make. Should you go where you'll get the most for your money or go with your hometown organization? Or maybe you should team up with one of the best in the business. You won't need months to decide because you can get all three at Allstate. They're from Chicagoland. For Chicagoland." (Hear the full spot.)

During the NCAA tournament, McDonald's has been airing the spot with James and Dwight Howard, which is an updated version of the classic Michael Jordan spot with Larry Bird. It shows the players in an über game of H*O*R*S*E, with a Big Mac and fries as the prize. In the new version, Bird himself appears and walks off with the food.

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