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• Octagon and the National Women’s Soccer League have signed a multi-tier consulting partnership, in which Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting and Marketing divisions will "advise the NWSL on its league media rights, sponsorship, and marketing." “The growth of the NWSL over the past six years has been tremendous, and the league, its teams and players show absolutely no sign of slowing down,” Christine Franklin, SVP, Marketing, Octagon, said via the firm.

• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel. 

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 18-20
1. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $36M
2. Joker $29.2M
3. Zombieland 2 $26.7M
4. Addams Family $16M
5. Gemini Man $8.5M
6. Abominable $3.5M
7. Downton Abbey $3M
8. Judy $2M
9. Hustlers $2M
10. It 2 $1.5M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Showtime: All The Smoke See More Ads Below

COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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. 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)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Saturday
Nov052016

20 Million eSports Fans, Serena Williams Ready To Launch Overwatch League

By Barry Janoff

November 4, 2016: Blizzard Entertainment, already a major player on the eSports landscape, plans to expand its presence with Overwatch League, a multi-platform competition based on its popular Overwatch team-based shooter game.

The inaugural season of the Overwatch League is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Blizzard said Overwatch League would resemble in many ways professional sports leagues, with Overwatch League teams representing major cities from different regions.

The unveiling of the league came with an intro spot that featured a guest appearance by tennis icon Serena Williams.

"Esports is so cool!" Williams wrote on her Twitter page. "Very excited to be a part of the #Overwatch League launch! Check me out." She provided a link to the intro Overwatch League spot.

An official Web site was "built from the ground up to usher in a new era of competitive gaming," according to BLizzard.

Additional marketing support is being planned.

Overwatch, which debuted this past May, has more than 20 million players, according to Blizzard, which was a major catalyst in jump-starting the league.

"The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players," Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder for Blizzard Entertainment, told media and fans during BlizzCon on Friday in the Anaheim (CA) Convention Center. "We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved."

According to Blizzard, "The Overwatch League will focus on long-term stability for teams as well as opportunities for players to establish the types of professional careers associated with traditional sports." Once these city-based teams have been admitted to the league, "their spots will be secured, giving them the best opportunity to grow and thrive for years to come."

Also similar to combines that such pro leagues as the NFL, NBA and MLB use to evaluate athletes, Blizzard said that at the start of the season it would host a combine, where eligible players who have previously distinguished themselves in competition will be invited to try out for teams.

Players at the combine will be evaluated across a range of tests, giving teams the opportunity to sign those who best round out their rosters. Anyone picked up by a team during the signing period will be guaranteed a contract that includes a baseline minimum salary and benefits package, according to Blizzard, a division of Activision Blizzard.

Blizzard teased the Overwatch League with a mini-tournament earlier this year in alliance with eLeague, the venture launched by Turner Sports and marketing and talent agency WME | IMG, which is currently in its second season and broadcast weekly on TBS.

Blizzard said that team announcements and additional Overwatch League information would be shared in the coming months. "In the meantime, players who aspire to compete in the Overwatch League should continue making a name for themselves in Overwatch."

Other Blizzard platforms include World of Warcraft, Hearthstone; the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo franchises; and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm.

The launch of Overwatch League represents part of what has become eSport’s burgeoning growth.

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 new study from research, consulting and marketing firm NewZoo, San Francisco.

Occasional viewers in the U.S. will reach 144 million this year, with 148 million enthusiasts. Those numbers will grow to 212 million casual viewers and 215 million enthusiasts in 2019, according to NewZoo.

In dollars and cents, revenue is expected to reach $493 million this year and top $1.1 billion in 2019, per NewZoo.

A separate study from NewZoo, supported by a report from Juniper Research, indicted that eSports audiences worldwide could reach NFL levels by 2017.

Mainstream, non-endemic brands in the eSports landscape include Coca-Cola, Xfinity, Buffalo Wild Wings, General Mills, Vodafone, Sansung, Arby’s, Intel, MasterCard and Geico.

Turner Sports, ESPN, Fox, BBC, Yahoo and Sky Sports are among the media companies that have invested in the eSports category.

New Study Shows eSports Nearing Pro Sports Levels In Marketing, Money

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