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NEWS REAL

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• 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

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $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).

Tuesday
Apr042017

Soda Wars Pop Up In MLB As Coke Reclaims Official Status From Pepsi

By Barry Janoff

(Originally Published in MediaPost)

April 4, 2017: Coca-Cola has unveiled a deal to become the official soft drink of MLB, rights to which it last held in 1996 when it was replaced by rival Pepsi.

Financial terms of the multi-year deal were not released.

The alliance was highlighted during a MLB media event in the New York Mets Citi Field on Monday (April 3), attended by Sandy Douglas, president for Coca-Cola North America, and Bob Bowman, president for MLB business and media.

The deal follows one that MLB signed last week naming Nathan’s Famous the league’s official hot dog.

"All we need is apple pie and we’re all set," joked Bowman.

Although Douglas said it was too early to reveal marketing details, he did say the brand would have a major presence at MLB jewel events, beginning with the All-Star Game in Miami this July, as well as the playoffs and World Series.

He also said that digital and social media would be driving factors in the alliance to "entertain and refresh fans on a daily basis."

"The way to reach a vast demographic of consumers is via social media," said Douglas. "That wasn’t the case during our first alliance (with MLB), but the way brands reach consumers, and the way consumers and fans react (to marketing) is constantly changing.

“It’s innovative. It speaks to the total transformation across marketing toward digital and not just (in-stadium) or traditional media.”

Douglas said the company and its brands would "engage baseball fans through MLB LB Advanced Media digital platforms" such as MLB.com, team Web sites, MLB.com At Bat, official MLB social media accounts and ads on MLB Network and MLB.tv.

As as example, Douglas said Coke would use the MLB.com Ballpark app to offer stadium check-in deals, ticket upgrades and concession promotions.

Bowman said that any marketing would be include MLB players. "As we do with all of our nationals sponsors, we expect much of their campaign to be player-centric. The players are important to this alliance."

Which didn’t seem much of a problem for Coca-Cola.

"We’re excited to partner with MLB at a time when the league has so much positive momentum on the field and such a large group of exciting players," said Douglas.

Coca-Cola also has an official alliance with MLS.

Among Coca-Cola’s 18 MLB teams are the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals.

"As we do with all of our nationals sponsors, we expect much of their campaign to be player-centric. The players are important to this alliance."

PepsiCo said it has official deals with 11 MLB teams, including the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays,

The Oakland A’s have a deal with Zevia soda.

Pepsi has official deals with the NBA, NHL and NFL, including sponsorship for the Halftime Show at the Super Bowl.

PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Aquafina remain the official energy drink and water of MLB under separate deals.

The All-Star Game in Miami will take some branding sleight of hand as Coke is aligned with MLB but the Marlins are aligned with Pepsi.

"That is not a problem," said an MLB spokesperson. "Unless a company not officially affiliated with MLB has naming rights to a stadium we are able to cover and replace signage or products (of rival brands) to feature our partners."

Coca-Cola’s ties with baseball date back to the early 1900s, including some of the first ads to feature baseball players. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb not only appeared in ads but had stock in the company.

Let’s Be Frank: MLB Names Nathan Famous As First Official Hot Dog

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