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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
17. Kansas City Chiefs
18. Baltimore Ravens
19. Washington Redskins
20. Arizona Cardinals

SOURCE: DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

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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
Wednesday
Aug082012

NFL Kicks Off Back To Football Campaign With Eli, Nike, Serena, NY Road Runners

By Barry Janoff

August 8, 2012: Back to school? Back to the pool?

Fuhgeddaboutit! What the NFL wants fans to clamor about is going back to football.

With the assistance of Nike, Serena Williams, Condoleezza Rice, New York Road Runners and others, the league has moved front and center with a "Back to Football" multi-media effort supporting the countdown to Sept. 5, when the defending Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys.

The game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, to air nationally on NBC, will not only be the start of the 2012 NFL season, but also the culmination of a month-long campaign that will encompass teams, players, marketing partners and consumer-driven activation.

Nike, now in its first season as the official uniform supplier for the NFL, is the presenting sponsor of Back to Football. The NFL said that the Back to Football theme would be "prominent across all NFL channels, including broadcast media, digital media, social media, print media and retail, at both league- and club-levels with messaging to schools, league and club partners and the entire NFL fan base."

Among the elements, the NFL and Nike are looking for 32 fans — one for each NFL team — to participate in a photo shoot in New York on Sept. 4. (Full details here.) The activation coincides with a print campaign, "It's My Team," set to break in September for the NFL women's apparel division. Among the participants are Williams, who with sister Venus has a minority investment in the Miami Dolphins, who appears in a high-end Dolphins' T-shirt.

Among the others in the print campaign are Donald Trump's wife Melania, Summer Sanders, former secretary of state Rice and daughters of the owners of the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs.

The NFL is joining with New York Road Runners, which oversees the ING NYC Marathon and numerous racing events throughout the year, for the inaugural "NFL Back to Football Run." The event, scheduled for the evening of Aug. 30, is a four-mile run through Central Park open to both casual and avid runners. Before and after the run, participants will have the oppoprtunity to win NFL-themed prizes and meet former NFL players.

Among the media elements is a 30-second spot featuring Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Cowboys' linebacker DeMarcus Ware. The spot opens with a couple in their front yard. "Hey, Eli," the guy says to Manning, who it turns out is at the Giants training facility. "I'm taking my son to his first Giants game . . . " At which point his wife, wearing a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, interrupts by saying, ". . . his first Cowboys game."

"She's trying to turn him into a Cowboys fan," the husband continues talking to Manning. "Can you help me out, score a touchdown to win him over." After Manning agrees, the man's wife begins to talk to Ware, who is in the Cowboys' training facility. "Okay, DeMarcus, I'm going to need a sack."

After Ware agrees to her request, she takes a moment to introduce the two players. "DeMarcus . . .  Eli. Eli . . . DeMarcus." To which her husband replies, "I believe they've already met."

Then it's back to the requests. "Two touchdowns?" the husband asks Eli. "Three sacks," is his wife's response to DeMarcus. "Four touchdowns?" "Five sacks?"

The players continue to accept the challenge, although with less and less enthusiasm. Ultimately, when Manning moans at the request to score six touchdowns, the husband/dad goes for sympathy:

"It's just that he's my only son, Eli. He might become a Cowboys fan otherwise." (See the full spot here.)

The NFL is also using the effort to support its Play 60 national program, which encourages youngsters to exercise for at least one hour a day.

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