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• In response to the mass shooting that occurred in the early hours of August 4, 2019, The Dayton Foundation has established the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

• "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

• "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

• "I intend to live forever, or die trying." — Groucho Marx RIP 8-19-1977

• Per NBC Sports: “A plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and their daughter Isla rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire upon landing today (Aug. 15)  in Elizabethon (Municipal Airport), Tenn. All (five people) aboard the plane (including two pilots) are safe.”The airport is about 14 miles south of Bristol Motor Speedway, where Earnhardt Jr. was scheduled to be part of the NBC Sports crew cowering this weekend’s Nascar races.

• Continuing its expansion into the sports betting landscape, MLB has signed a multi-year partnership designating FanDuel as an “authorized gaming operator” of the league. FanDuel called it a “landmark deal” as it marks the company’s first partnership with MLB or an MLB team. MLB also has alliances in the sports betting category that include MGM Resorts International, Draftings and Sportradar. Full story here.

• For future trivia buffs: ex-NFL and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has become the first player to officially sign with the XFL, which is scheduled to begin play in February 2020. Landry, who played in 19 games (five starts) during his NFL career (2013-18), mainly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be assigned to one of eight XFL teams via an eignt man QB draft scheduled for the fall. Financial terms were not released.
 

• Nick Kyrgios, currently ranked No. 27 in the world, has been fined $113,000 by the ATP relating to a series of incidents during his second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open Wednesday evening in Cincinnati, including five separate unsportsmanlike conduct situations, each a $20,000 fine.

• National consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand cbdMD has signed a deal with reigning UFC heavyweight world champion, Daniel "DC" Cormier, which comes as Cormier is scheduled to defend his heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Aug.17.

• T-Mobile said it would donate $2,000 per home run hit at the inaugural T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby to Little League Baseball and Softball—pledging to hit at least $1 million in total donations in its first year of partnership. The money will fund participation grants to make programs more affordable for kids and families. The donation includes the $642,000 donated at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at MLB All-Star Week.

• Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has become an investor in the MLS Seattle Sounders, along with his wife, musician Ciara; as well as rap artist Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis. The Sounders also said that founding owner Joe Roth is leaving the club.

NBA Opening Weekend presented by Kia national TV Games 2019-20:
Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors (TNT), Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers (TNT); Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN), Denver  Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN); Oct. 24 Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets (TNT), Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (TNT); Oct. 25 Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN), Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN).

• WNBA Teams, Players Now Part Of NBA 2K20: "We have arrived!" Full story here.

• The NFL said the Pro Bowl would return to Orlando's Camping Ground Stadium for the fourth successive year, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020. It will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and be simulcast on ABC (3 PM ET). 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

NBC Sports Group and Mecum Auctions have signed a multi-year partnership extension to continue coverage of Mecum car auctions across NBC Sports through 2024.

The top-five selling cars since the start of the partnership in 2014:
1, 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype GT/104 $7M (2014)
2, 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari $4.7M (2016)
3. 1966 Ford GT40 MkI $4.4M (2016)
4. 1933 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe $3.85M (2018)
5. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible  $3.5 (2014)

KEEPING SCORE

World's Most Valuable Sports Franchises

1. Dallas Cowboys $5 billion, +4%
2. New York Yankees $4.6 billion +15%
3. Real Madrid $4.24 billion +4%
4. Barcelona $4.02 bilion
5. New York Knicks $4 billion +11%
6. Manchester United $3.81 billion
7. New England Patriots 43.8 billion
8. Los Angeles Lakers $3.7 billion +12%
9. Golden State Warriors $3.5 billion +13%
10. New York Giants $3.3 billion

11. Los Angeles Dodgers $3.3 billion
12. Boston Red Sox 43.2 billion
12. Los Angeles Rams $3,2 billion
14. Washington Redskins $3.1 billion
14. Chicago Cubs $3.1 billion
16. San Francisco 49ers $3.05 billion
17. Bayern Munich $3.01 billion
18. San Francisco Giants $3 billion
19. Chicago Bulls $2.9 billion
19. Chicago Bears $2.9 billion

SOURCE: FORBES

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Aug. 9-11
1. Hobbs & Shaw $25.4M
2. Scary Stories $20.8M
3. The Lion King $20M
4. Dora and the City of Lost Gold $17M
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood $11.6M
6. The Art of Racing in the Rain $8.1M
7. The Kitchen $5.5M
8. Spider-Man Far From Home $5.3M
9. Toy Story 4 $4.4M
10. Bring the Soul $2.3M
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).

Monday
Nov252013

Q&A: Why The NHL Rules The Day It Decided To Move Games Outdoors

By Barry Janoff

November 25, 2013: In 2012-13, the NHL's second lockout in seven years — and the third since 1995 — cut the season down to 48 games and appeared to be the final setback in a plan to attract fan and marketing interest beyond the league's self-proclaimed nucleus of hard-core followers.

In 2013-14, the league embarked on what executives called "our most ambitious season ever," moving from two outdoor games — including the Bridgestone Winter Classic that has been an annual New Year's Day event on NBC since 2008 — to six.

The games include the Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 1 in 100,000-plus capacity Michigan University Stadium (the Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs; and the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic on March 1 in Vancouver's BC Place (the hometown Canucks host the Ottawa Senators).

There also are four new outdoor games under the umbrella Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Anaheim Ducks (Jan. 25) in Dodger Stadium; two games in Yankee Stadium hosted by the New York Rangers (New Jersey Devils on Jan. 26, New York Islanders on Jan. 29); and on March 2, the Pittsburgh Penguins heading to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Blackhawks.

The season also encompasses the Winter Olympics (Feb. 7-23), during which the NHL will suspend play but send an array of players to represent their respective nations in the hockey medal competition, led by 2010 gold medal winner Canada and silver medal winner USA.

HBO will debut 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, on four consecutive Saturday nights, beginning Dec. 14.

The NHL and NBC are supporting the Winter Classic and Stadium Series with a multi-platform marketing campaign. That includes a seven-part documentary series, NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other, described as an "all-access, behind-the-scenes look" at the teams involved in the Stadium Series outdoor games as well as the players who will be part of the WInter Olympics.

The jewel events begin this Friday with the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown, which will see the Boston Bruins host the New York Rangers on NBC.

John Collins, COO for the NHL, and Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network — the men who, beginning in 2007, are credited as being the main catalysts behind the league's strategy to play outdoors — spoke to NYSportsJournalism and other members of the media about the six outdoor games, the Winter Olympics and marketing at an invitation-only luncheon in New York last week.

Q: How important are the Winter Classic, Heritage Classic and Stadium Series to the growth to the NHL?

John Collins: For the NHL and the NHL Players Assn., this is a huge year. It's been a process for us. In 2006, we laid out a plan to build the league on a national scale. We were a $2.2 billion business, but less than 6% of that came from national revenue. We didn't have much of a national halo.

We’ve been focused now over the last six years in growing our global scale and business. We brought in our blue chip partners to help grow the league. We believe the Stadium Series and outdoor games can add more than $1 billion in revenue to the league and give us what would be more than $4 billion in total revenue. Our aim is to make national revenue a bigger piece of the NHL pie, as much as 25%.

Q: How confident is the NHL that it has made the right decision?

Collins: We are excited about the games and the players who will be involved. We want to make it as big as we can. We want to reach not just core fans but casual fans, which is where we can grow the game.

We love the game, we admire the players and we want to take that and make it as big as we possibly can. We want to make it big through the events we do. We want to make it big through the programming we do. It's not just enough to feed the core hockey fan, but we want to expose the sport to casual fans as well and continue to grow the game. That's been a huge part of the partnership with [the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.] and it's been a huge part of the NBC relationship.

Q: Can you talk about the importance of NBC in the NHL's strategy this season and moving forward?

Collins: A huge part of this is our relationship with NBC. This is a unique year. We have the Winter Classic and Heritage outdoor games, the four games in the Stadium Series in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. And we have the Olympics, which will involve many of our players representing their [respective] nations. And we are building it together with NBC.

It's a huge storyline for how we want to profile the game and how we want to profile the players. CBC and NBC have come on board, as they always do, to make some of this a reality. We've been able to pull together really an all-star lineup of executive producers to tell the stories that are going to come out of a hundred days and nights of shooting throughout this process.

Jon Miller: I don't think there are many leagues out there besides the NHL and really with John's leadership and vision that could have put this all together in this short period of time. When the Winter Classic first happened this was something he had thought about and we had talked about for a long time, about bringing games to stadiums. The natural progression is bringing fans inside the ice and letting people see what is going on, which is what NHL Revealed will do.

"Outdoor games can add more than $1 billion in revenue to the league and give us what would be more than $4 billion in total revenue."

Q: How important are the Winter Olympics to the NHL and NBC strategy?

Collins: When we went to the [International Olympic Committee] with the plan, they basically said, 'If CBC and NBC are comfortable with this, then obviously we’re comfortable with it. It created a really unique opportunity to do this. Through all the debate about whether we should be [in Sochi] as a league or not be there: We’re there. It’s a great platform. The [challenge] was how we could use (the Olympics) to grow the sport and grow the league brand but also to keep the momentum going in our business. Our thought was, We should try to take better advantage of it while we’re there.

Q: Ross Greenburg, who was president of HBO Sports (2000-11) and oversaw HBO’s initial 24/7: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, is the executive producer for NHL Revealed. Beyond that, how would you compare HBO's 24/7 NHL series to NHL Revealed?

Collins: HBO does a phenomenal job. But [24/7 viewership] can be like that Wilt Chamberlain 100-point game [in 1962]  where everyone says they were there. HBO’s distribution in the U.S. is what it is. Nowhere near the firepower of what NBC’s going to bring to [NHL Revealed]. And their distribution in Canada is less than 1 million homes, certainly, far less than what the CBC brings to [NHL Revealed]. Being able to use these two networks to push it out is a game-changer.

Miller: The main similarities are that they are both all-access-driven shows about hockey. 24/7 is about two teams and the players on those teams. NHL Revealed will follow all nine teams and the Olympics. We are having NHL marketing partners involved in the docu-event but we also are looking to bring other marketers into it.

For the NHL Revealed, basically what we're looking at is 100 days and nights of shooting. This stuff works very well for us. You have seen our commitment to the outdoor games and the Olympics.

Collins: 24/7 is a chronological, intense look at two teams that has a beginning, a middle and an end at the Winter Classic. The coaches in 24/7 tend to be the focus because that's who controls much of the action and what goes on. I don't think that's expected to be the case here. We're going into [NHL Revealed] with a view toward saying we want to make the players the focus. And because we have nine teams, and all these various events with the Olympics in the middle, you're not going to get that same chronological countdown.

Q: What were the pros and cons in the NHL's decision to add more outdoor games?

Collins: In July and August, when we were looking at the schedule, we saw a great opportunity to add more outdoor games. We have great rivalries, and we see these games as being great events in each geographical region. This allows us to get into some markets on a national basis more than one time during the season, and allows us to get back into well-traveled markets. What it does in terms of hockey is it brings great rivalry games to a national audience and also builds the rivalry in each area.

Miller: [Laughs.] We did have a moment where we said, 'What have we gotten ourselves in to?' But we've had many more 'Ah-ha, we got it right!' moments.

Q: How important has the Winter Classic become to reaching new fans and marketers and growing the league?

Miller: Any time we can showcase these players without their helmets on is a great opportunity. Because of the Winter Classic, the NHL now owns New Year's Day. When we talked about adding the Stadium Series, the locations were very integral. Yankee Stadium can't host a Winter Classic because of other scheduling (New Era Pinstripe Bowl college football game), but it can be part of the Winter Classic. Having Yankee Stadium, Chicago's Soldier Field and Dodger Stadium as part of the Stadium Classic is really amazing.

Collins: The Winter Classic is a jewel event. It gets bigger every year. We learn new things each year. It exploded onto the landscape.

Q: What made that first game work for you?

Collins: There was concern going into that first game in Buffalo [played on Jan. 1, 2008]. We didn't know if we would sell enough tickets [to fill 71,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium]. We didn't know if we would get people to watch on New Year's Day, where college football has been the staple of TV viewing.

I remember heading into a meeting with [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman and NHL and NBC executive about a half hour before the game. The last I had heard, we had sold about 40,000 tickets, which would have made the stadium about half empty. But when I asked [for an update] about ticket sales, they said, 'They're all gone. They're all sold.' So that was great news to tell the commissioner. It snowed during the game, and the fans loved it, the players loved it and the TV audience loved it. We knew we had something.

Q: Will the NHL try to take advantage of the global focus on New York that will take place because of Super Bowl XLVIII, which is being played the week after the two outdoor games in Yankee Stadium?

Collins: We won't intrude on what the NFL is doing in New York that week, but we will take advantage of the attention for our league and our marketing and media partners.

Q: Will the NHL attempt six outdoor games next year?

Collins: I don't think anybody sees us doing six outdoor games a year going forward. Not six, but more than one. There is no shortage of cities that want to host outdoor games, and there is no shortage of marketers who want to activate behind it.

Q: How do you address the critics who claim that six outdoor games in one season would dilute the product?

Collins: We don't look at it as dilution on the national level if that's the issue. We look at what it does in the local market as far as lighting up hockey and what it does in terms of converting new fans to become hockey fans. Each event creates its own opportunities. And we certainly will look for new opportunities. The more exposure we give to the league, the more stories we tell, the more people we reach, will help to grow the business and make the sport more accessible. These are big events in a long regular season.

Each event creates its own opportunities. And we certainly will look for new opportunities. The more exposure we give to the league, the more stories we tell, the more people we reach, will help to grow the business and make the sport more accessible. These are big events in a long regular season.

Q: How much of an impact such as NHL Revealed have on attracting fans and marketers?

Collins: Growing up in NFL Films (where he worked for several years beginning in 1989 prior to joining the NFL front office, where she ultimately became svp-marketing and sales, and then, after two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, joining the NHL in 2006) and seeing how they helped to shape the image of the NFL, I've come to see so many more opportunities to celebrate the game, to expand the game, than ever before. So many people in the U.S. didn't grow up with the game or watching the game. Events such as the Winter Classic and Stadium Series have a huge ripple affect on the hockey culture.

"I don't think anybody sees us doing six outdoor games a year going forward. Not six, but more than one. There is no shortage of cities that want to host outdoor games."

Q: What is your overall assessment of the outdoor games?

Colliins: These games are profitable. We are reaching not just core fans and consumers but casual fans. With the merchandise, marketing, tickets and exposure on NBC, it's like having another NHL franchise. This is not just about [title sponsors] Bridgestone, Coors Light and Tim Hortons. Pepsi, McDonald's and all of our corporate marketing partners look at cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles as being important to their sales.

We have the building blocks in place to grown the sport. Social media, technology, NBC, marketing support. From the research we did, we know that what people love about the NFL are the same things that people love about the NHL. We're coming up on our 100th anniversary and yet, there's so little storytelling. We cover the games, but we don't have a chance to kind of slow it down and celebrate the moments and that's what I think we're starting to do here.

NHL Outdoors: Is Six Too Much, Not Enough, Just Right?

Farrelly Directs Effort For Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown

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