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QUICK HITS

• Puma, which is rebooting its hoops division with the signing of potential top NBA draft picks Deandre Jordan and Michael Bagley III to shoe deals, said it has named producer/musician/businessman Jay-Z as president of basketball operations. The company said it has been working with Jay-Z run Roc Nation “for quite some time.” In addition, Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier, a Puma partner for its first signature shoe in the 1970’s and long-time endorser, has signed a lifetime contract with the shoe brand.

• Panini America has signed an exclusive autograph trading card memorabilia agreement with All-American point guard Trae Young, a projected Top Ten pick in this week's 2018 NBA Draft. Young led the nation in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg) during a his freshman season with the University of Oklahoma.

• Xyience said it would be an official sponsor and the official energy drink for the 2018 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken, a premier  occer tournament featuring top clubs and players from Europe. The ICC runs from July 20- Aug. 7 and includes 17 matches played across 14 U.S. cities. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM.) Sponsors also  include Heineken, Ally, Hertz, MasterCard, Gatorade, Konami and Vivid Seats.

KEEPING SCORE

Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (Jan.-May 2018)

1. Jose Altuve Houston Astros
2. Aaron Judge New York Yankees
3. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
5. George Springer Houston Astros
6. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
7. Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
8. Shohei Otani Los Angeles Angels
9. Carlos Corea Hoston Astros
10. Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
11. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
14. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

SOURCE: MLBShop.com

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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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
Tuesday
Jan092018

On Cusp Of Competition, Overwatch, Twitch Sign ’Historic’ Live-Stream Global Alliance

Special to NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

January 9, 2018: Calling it a “historic eSports media-rights partnership,” Overwatch League has signed a two-year pact with social video service Twitch to present live every match of Overwatch League’s inaugural seasons.

With the exception of China, Twitch will be the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean and French.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but industry analysts put the figure at $45 million per season, calling it the largest such eSports deal ever.

The Overwatch League is a global professional eSports league, comprised of 12 city-based teams across Asia, Europe and North America.

The first season is scheduled to begin Jan. 10 and run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. The prize pool is $3.5 million.

Investors include Robert Kraft, majority owner for the New England Patriots; Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets), Comcast Spectator, Jeff Wilpon, COO for the New York Mets; and NBA Sacramento Kings’s co-owner Andy Miller.

"Connecting and engaging the world through epic entertainment is our mission,” Bobby Kotick, CEO for Activision Blizzard, said in a statement. “The launch of the Overwatch League will provide our very best professional players the chance to inspire our engaged, connected audiences around the world.

"We are so grateful to our team owners, our media partners, our sponsors, and most of all our players for their pivotal role in the establishment of the Overwatch League.”

The Overwatch first-person shooter game, created by Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2016, has more than 30 million players worldwide, per Blizzard.

For the inaugural season, all games are scheduled to take place in Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a live-event venue in Burbank, that has been custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment eSports events.

The Overwatch League and Twitch are also “developing innovative rewards for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with Overwatch League in-game items.”

“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” Armin Zerza, COO for Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement.

“That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard, for Twitch, and — most importantly — for our growing global fan base.”

According to Kevin Lin, COO for Twitch, “The Overwatch League is making a major impact on eSports by reshaping the industry with city-based teams.

“Given Overwatch’s consistent reign as a top-viewed game by our community, we look forward to offering their pioneering style of league play to a large and passionate fan base that will be able to bond over not only their favorite plays, but hometown pride.”

Twitch recently signed with the NBA to live-stream G-League games for the upcoming season.

For the inaugural season, Overwatch League teams include Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons.

Among U.S. men ages 21 to 35, eSports "is as popular as baseball & ice hockey," with 22% watching eSports frequently, according to Why Sports And Brands Want To Be In eSports, a report from research, consulting and eSports marketing firm NewZoo, San Francisco.

By 2019, there will be 212 million casual viewers and 215 million enthusiasts, according to NewZoo.

In dollars and cents, NewZoo said revenue is expected to top $1.1 billion in 2019.

Overwatch League matches are scheduled to be played each Wednesday thru Saturday. (A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at OverwatchLeague.com).

All matches on Twitch can be viewed live at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague (English-language channel), Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_kr (Korean-language channel) and Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_fr (French-language channel).

Viewers can also watch on MLG.com and the MLG app (on iOS and Android), OverwatchLeague.com and the Overwatch League companion app, which launched Monday for iOS and Android.

In addition, Blizzard players will be givenaccess to the Overwatch League’s Web presence via a new Overwatch League tab in the Blizzard Battle.net Desktop App.

ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC, and Panda TV are expected to be the official broadcasting platforms of the Overwatch League in China, providing live-streams, VODs, feature programs and othercontent to Chinese audiences.

According to Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder for Blizzard Entertainment ,“The Overwatch League was created to deliver an awesome and unique experience for players, teams, and fans.

"With 12 first-class teams representing major cities from Asia, Europe, and North America, we’re confident that the inaugural season of the league is going to redefine what people expect from eSports—and be a giant celebration of the Overwatch community as a whole.”

Overwatch League Teams/Ownership 2018 Season

• Boston Uprising (Kraft Group)
• Dallas Fuel (Team Envy)
• Florida Mayhem (Misfits)
• Houston Outlaws (OpTic Gaming)
• London Spitfire (Cloud9)
• Los Angeles Gladiators (Stan and Josh Kroenke)
• Los Angeles Valiant (Immortals)
• New York Excelsior (Jeff Wilpon and SterlingVC)
• Philadelphia Fusion (Comcast Spectacor)
• San Francisco Shock (NRG eSports)
• Seoul Dynasty (Kevin Chou)
• Shanghai Dragons (NetEase)


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