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• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• 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

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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
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).

Thursday
Feb282019

Puma Calls 10-Year, $860M Kit Deal With Manchester City Historic In Scope, Ambition

By Barry Janoff

February 28, 2019: Defining it as “the largest deal that we have ever done both in scope and ambition,” Puma has signed a multi-year pact to become the official kit supplier for Manchester City, champions of the English Premier League, replacing Nike beginning in July.

Although financial terms were not shared, the deal could be worth more than $860 million — $86.4 million per year for ten years, according to industry analysts.

The pact covers all the clubs that are part of Manchester City’s City Football Group, also including Melbourne City (Australia), Girona (Spain), Club Atletico Torque (Uruguay) and Sichuan Jiuniu (China), supplying all representative teams including men’s, women’s and youth football.

“Puma’s partnership with City Football Group is the largest deal that we have ever done — both in scope and ambition,” Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden said via the company.

“We look forward to building the most innovative partnership in football by redefining the sports partnership model both on and off the pitch. We want to maximize on-field performance as well as football culture, in areas such as music, gaming and fashion to connect and inspire the fan base of each team.”

Nike, a Manchester City kit supplier since 2012, had a $26.7 million annual deal with the club, according to analysts.

The $860 million dfigure makes the agreement the second largest in Premier League history, behind only Manchester United’s pact with adidas, a ten-year deal signed in 2014 valued at more than $99.6 million per year.

Nike and FC Barcelona have the most lucrative kit deal, a ten-year pact signed in 2018 valued at more than $132.8 million per year through 2028.

That is followed by a kit alliance between Real Madrid and adidas, $130.2 million annually via a deal that was renewed in 2018 for ten years.

Puma’s current roster of soccer also includes Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Olympique Marseille and Premier League team Arsenal,.

The Puma Arsenal deal ends next season, with adidas taking over via a five-year pact valued at nearly $80 million per year.

Puma and Manchester City already have several player partnerships, including captain Vincent Kompany, midfielder David Silva and striker Sergio Agüero; as well as Caroline Weir, Pauline Bremer and Nikita Parris of Manchester City Women FC.

According to Ferran Soriano, CEO for CFG, “This announcement marks the start of an exciting new chapter for City Football Group.

“Our relationship with Puma, covering five City Football Group clubs across four continents, will reset the model for sports partnerships on a truly global scale whilst being locally relevant and authentic for fans around the world.

“Puma share our vision for challenging expectations, and we are looking forward to what we believe will be a ground-breaking partnership,” said Soriano.

Puma has been very active of late, signing a deal earlier this month to become an official partner with the NBA, signing an alliance with the WNBA last year.

The company is also building a roster of athletes that includes soccer stars Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku (in addition to the Manchester City players); NBA rookies Marvin Bagley III, Zhaire Smith, Michael Porter Jr. and Deandre Ayton; veterans DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Terry Rozier; WNBA star Skylar Diggins-Smith; and hoops Hall of Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

Puma also has deals with such celebrities as Selena Gomez, Adriana Lima, Big Sean and “creative director” Jay-Z.

In October, Puma launched a campaign, “Reform,” directly inspired by Olympian Tommie Smith and his “Silent Gesture” that sparked global debate around the issues of civil rights and universal equality at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Puma was named a Top Ten Sports Marketer of the Year for 2018 by NYSportsJournalism.

Puma Signs Multi-Year Pact To Become NBA Partner

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