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QUICK HITS

• Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists Class of 2018: Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Hugh Evans, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rudy Tomjanovich, Chris Webber, Kim Mulkey, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Wayland Baptist University. Class of 2018 will be named during the NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in San Antonio March 31-April 2.

• Serena Williams, who said her first auto purchase was a while Lincoln Navigator SUV she named “Ginger,” has signed to become an official spokesperson for the brand. A social media-based marketing campaign includes videos of Williams talking about and driving the 2018 Navigator, with ongoing videos to follow. “Partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place,” she said in the first video. “Let’s just be honest: Serena Williams needs to be in the new Navigator.”

• The Smashing Pumpkins unveil 'Shiny And Oh So Bright' 36-city tour, their first tour in nearly 20 years, with founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha. Produced by Live Nation.

KEEPING SCORE

IMDbPro’s ALL-TIME TOP-GROSSING, LIVE-ACTION SPORTS-THEMED MOVIES*
1. The Blind Side (2009) $255.9M
2. The Karate Kid (2010) $176.6M
3. The Waterboy (1998) $161.5M
4. The Longest Yard (2005) $158.1M
5. Jerry Maguire (1996) $153.9M
6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) $148.2M
7. Rocky IV (1985) $127.8M
8. Rocky III (1982) $125.1M
9. Seabiscuit (2003) $120.2M
10. Blades of Glory (2007) $118.6M
*These are the Top 10 domestic-grossing, live-action movies with sports as a central theme. These numbers have not been adjusted for inflation.

Data provided by Box Office Mojo

BUY SELL

Most-Watched Winter Olympics in U.S. TV History
1. Lillehammer, 1994* 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002 187 million
T4. Torino, 2006 184 million
T4. Albertville, 1992 184 million
T4. Nagano, 1998 184 million
* Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident

Source NBC Sports

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Olympics: Y&R 'Fearless' Winter Games Ads Below

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CFB Title Games '21-24
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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
Jul022017

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nascar, NBC Sports Are All Revved Up With Someplace To Go

By Barry Janoff

July 2, 2017: Meatloaf was "All Revved Up With No Place To Go."

The same cannot be said for Nascar, NBC Sports and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Although what is likely to be his final race in the Daytona International Speedway ended early, if not spectacularly, with a crash during Lap 106 and a subsequent 32nd place finish in the Coke Zero 400, Earnhardt Jr. put it all into perspective: "Man, it was a lot of fun."

Earnhardt Jr.’s presence is among the highlights NBC Sports Group is touting in 2017 as it presents the final 20 Monster Series Nascar Cup Series races, the  final 19 Nascar Xfinity Series events and select Nascar regional and touring Series events, which began July 1.

Earnhardt Jr. is taking his last laps as a full time Nascar Cup Series driver, having unveiled this past April his desire to retire after the 2017 season (with some selected events to come in 2018 to fulfill sponsorship deals).

Beyond that?

"I think he’d be an excellent broadcaster (but we will) see what he decides to do," Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports, said during a media conference call days prior to coverage of the Coke Zero 400. "It’s up to him where he wants to be in the future.

"But he’s a talented guy, and I think he’d be a great addition to any broadcast because he is curious and asks good questions and cares deeply about the sport," said Flood.

With the support of NBC Sports and his own sponsors, Earnhardt Jr. is not simply driving off into the sunset. For starters, he has launched a multi-media campaign, JR Nation Appreci88ion, a five-month campaign to get closer to, and connect with, his fans.

"The rest of this season is about two things . . . Winning and Appreci88ion," Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his social media platforms, which include more than two million followers on Twitter and nearly three million on Facebook.

"I know this year and this race is extremely important to him, to his team, to his sponsors," said veteran Nascar crew chief and Nascar on NBC analyst Steve Letarte — who lead the team when Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 in 2014 — during a the media conference call.

"I know he has a love affair with Daytona. Without a doubt his passion for this speedway bleeds over. And he showed me a lot about Daytona, I think our time here, which was capped off with that 500 win, had a lot to do with just his affinity for speedway racing. He loves it," said Letarte.

Earnhardt Jr.’s partners will chime in with congratulatory marketing throughout the remainder of the season. His alliances include Nationwide, Mountain Dew, Chevrolet, Hellmann’s, Breyers, Suave, Goodyear, Wrangler, Under Armour and Axalta.

Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races of the 2016 Nascar Cup Series while recovering from a concussion he suffered during a mid-season race.

NBC Sports Groups is supporting its coverage of Nascar with what it called a "robust marketing campaign that surrounds the heart and soul of the racing community, and shines a light on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series.

A "Guts, Glory and Nascar" effort will seek to connect with race fans via an "on-the-ground campaign" in targeted local markets that will host Nascar races.

That includes a fleet of Nascar-themed food trucks under the banner "Nascar on NBC Pit Stop," which will deliver samples to rfans throughout the country during NBC Sports’ 21-week Nascar season.

The trucks are branded as the "Nascar on NBC Race Flag Chips Truck," "Nascar on NBC Go-Go Snow Cones Truck"and "Nascar on NBC Racecar-B-Q Truck," with paint schemes inspired by Nascar race cars.

In addition to the food, people will have the ability to play yard games, meet Nascar on NBC talent and win prizes.

Blake Shelton performs the NBC Sports Group’s 2017 Nascar on NBC opening theme for all the races. Set to his song, "Bringing Back the Sunshine," it intersperses action on and off the track, including shots of Earnhardt Jr.

"Without a doubt he wants to make the playoffs in his final season," said Letarte. "That was the goal in February. I’m sure it’s the goal now in July. So I think that’s going to be the task.

"The task is going to have to be somehow controlling your emotion and the enormity of this being his final trip to Daytona and the pressure of what this race means for his season."

Nascar on NBC and Hidden Heroes, an initiative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, have partnered on a season-long program to provide military families the opportunity to attend Monster Energy NascarCup Series races.

NBC Sports Group’s Nascar programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show Nascar America, coverage of Nascar’s Awards Ceremonies, the annual Nascar Hall of Fame induction ceremony and original programming specials.

Dale Jr. Unveils JR Nation Appreci88ion Campaign To Fete Fans, Career

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