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• Sacramento, California's capital city, has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league's 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022. The club will build a new, $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District. 

• Octagon and the National Women’s Soccer League have signed a multi-tier consulting partnership, in which Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting and Marketing divisions will "advise the NWSL on its league media rights, sponsorship, and marketing." “The growth of the NWSL over the past six years has been tremendous, and the league, its teams and players show absolutely no sign of slowing down,” Christine Franklin, SVP, Marketing, Octagon, said via the firm.

• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel. 

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

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KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 18-20
1. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $36M
2. Joker $29.2M
3. Zombieland 2 $26.7M
4. Addams Family $16M
5. Gemini Man $8.5M
6. Abominable $3.5M
7. Downton Abbey $3M
8. Judy $2M
9. Hustlers $2M
10. It 2 $1.5M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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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. 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)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Friday
Feb162018

NBA Players Union Rebrands Marketing Arm As Think450 For Group Licensing, Business

By Barry Janoff

February 16, 2018: With a stated mission to create “disruptive and substantive business relationships for the most marketable athletes on the planet,” the National Basketball Players Assn. has launched Think450.  

Think450 replaces National Basketball Players, Inc., which was established in 2017, as the public brand name for the licensing and marketing subsidiary for the NBPA.

The 450 represents the number of active NBA players.

Think450 said its mission is to “bring inspiration, growth and cultural influence to the global marketplace through an authentic connection to NBA players.”
 
“Every day, all day, our team focuses on opportunities for all 450 guys — so Think450 is a constant reminder of that approach for the players, the marketplace and our own team,” Jordan Schlachter, who joined NBPI — now Think450 — in July as president, said in a statement. “Think450 is an entirely new way to think about and communicate our role, our mission and our purpose.”

Think450 is based on the concept of NFL Players Inc., the incensing arm for NFL Players Assn., which handles marketing and business deals that employ a group of players.

Under terms in the NBA, players maintain control over individual deals and partnerships, and teams oversee any use of team names and logos.

However, the NBPA oversees the rights to players as a group, with the stipulation that they not appear not in an NBA uniform, according to the NBPA.

The NBA is on an upswing regarding marketing and awareness.

On average, NBA teams are now worth a record $1.65B, with all 30 franchises hitting the $1B mark for the first time, according to a new report from Forbes, with the New York Knicks ($3.6B) topping the list for the third consecutive year.

Sponsorship spending on the NBA and its 30 teams hit a record $861 million during the 2016-17 campaign, a 7.8% increase from the previous season.

it is expected to “skyrocket” this season mainly due to the new eight-year, $1 billion deal with Nike as the league’s official on-court uniform provider (replacing adidas) and the beginning of a three-year trial period during which teams are allowed to sell ad patches on game jerseys for the first time in league history, according to research and consulting firm ESP Properties, Chicago.

The NBA has two of the five highest-paid athletes in the world based on salary and endorsements: LeBron James No. 2 ($86.2 million, behind soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s $93 million) and Kevin Durant at No. 5 ($60.6 million), according to Forbes.

The NBA also has four other players in the Top 15: Stephen Curry ($47.3 million), James Harden ($46.6 million), Russell Westbrook 438.6 million) and Damian Lillard ($38.4 million), also based on 2017 salary and endorsements.

According to its own description, Think450 is the “innovation engine of the NBPA, charged with creating disruptive and substantive business relationships for the most marketable athletes on the planet.

“Think450 represents every current NBA player and works with leading companies and brands across all industries to help its members capitalize on growth opportunities in the content, marketing, technology, and licensing arenas — among others.”

NBPA said that Think450 has partnered with more than 30 brands to host exclusive events and business opportunities during NBA All-Star Weekend across four key pillars: Culture, Content, Commercial and Community.

The events are taking place in the London West Hollywood Hotel at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

Beyond All-Star Week, ThinkK450 said it would work with brands on a number of NBPA events and initiatives, including the Players Voice Awards, in addition to "creating year-round partnerships and content opportunities."

According to Que Gaskins, chief brand officer for Think450, “NBA players are already the most marketable athletes on the planet, and we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of what they can accomplish collectively off the court.

“With Think450, now is the time to take the next step in harnessing this marketing power and be truly disruptive — not just for a few, but for all 450 players, and those to come in the future.”

Think450’s leadership is suited for the task at hand.

Prior to joining NBPA in January 2015 as CMO, Schlachter was evp-sports for The Marketing Arm, vp-integrated media and marketing for Clear Channel Communications and managing director-new business development and athlete marketing for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Gaskins joined NBPI (now Think450) in September from Def Jam Recordings, where he had been eva-strategic marketing and brand partnerships. He also worked for three years as head of marketing for Nike’s east territory (Maine to Florida).

Josh Goodstadt, Think450’s evp-licensing, was with HBO for ten years, first as director-global licensing and retail and then as vp-global licensing and retail; and before that spent five years as avp-licensing for the NFL Players Assn.

Also among top members for Think450 are Dan Gladstone (svp-grassroots basketball and business development), Latoya Sterling (senior director-brand and growth), Brian Lee (vp-player marketing) and Inky Son (vp-licensing).

According to NBPA, as a result of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA, the NBPA “retained their own group licensing rights, effective July 1, 2017.

“As such, the NBPA established National Basketball Players Inc., a for-profit licensing and marketing business wholly owned by the NBPA and its members, the Players.”

NBPA said NBPA, now Think450, would “work to maximize revenue, among other areas, through various commercial licensing, marketing and sponsorship endeavors, content creation and distribution, and owned and operated events.”

“The main objectives for NBPI are to give the players more awareness and control over the way their names and likenesses are collectively used in licensing, sponsorship and marketing relationships, and to provide multiple new business opportunities for players to collectively commercialize their likeness and names, as well as the intellectual property of the NBPA.”

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