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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
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18. Baltimore Ravens
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20. Arizona Cardinals

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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
Friday
Aug232013

AmEx Puts American Players Stephens, Keys, Sock At Center Court In U.S. Open

By Barry Janoff

August 23, 2013: Serena Williams enters the U.S. Open as the No. 1 women's player in the world and also as the top-ranked American player among men or women.

However, American Express has signed a deal with three young Americans — Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Jack Sock — to represent the financial firm in multi-media activations as they seek to work their way to the top.

The 20-year-old Stephens is ranked No. 17 in the world among women and the 18-year-old Keys No. 40, but they are No. 2 and No. 5, respectively among U.S. women.

Sock, 20, is No. 87 among men worldwide and No. 3 among U.S. men behind John Isner and Sam Querrey.

Stephens' alliance extends to 2014, according to American Express, an official partner of the U.S. Tennis Assn. and the U.S. Open.. Stephens also has deals with Under Armour, Head and Johnson & Johnson's Listerine. Keys has deals with Nike and Wilson. Sock has an alliance with adidas.

Financial terms of the AmEx deals were not released.

Stephens, Keys and Sock will appear in a variety of activations during the U.S. Open, which runs Aug. 26-Sept. 9. That includes Internet, social media such as Facebook and YouTube and appearances at the American Express U.S. Open Fan Experience in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

In addition, the three players have been working with American Express to refurbish tennis courts in their respective home towns. These are among 80 community tennis courts being refurbished this year through AmEx's Fresh Courts initiative.

Tennis continues to be a strategic part of marketing and sponsorship for a growing number of companies nationwide. The projected spend at the professional and amateur level this year predicted to top $700 million for the first time, up more than $125 million from 2009, according to sponsorship, marketing and research firm IEG, Chicago.

Companies are high on Stephens and Keys because of their playing and marketing upsides. Patrick McEnroe, former player and U.S. David Cup captain, who is working at the U.S. Open as an ESPN analyst, said that Stephens and Keys were the most likely among all American women currently on the WTA tour to join Serena Williams as Grand Slam tournament winners.

"Other than Serena, Sloane Stephens would be the first one [to win a Grand Slam] that comes to mind," said McEnroe. "She's getting close. She's close to the top 10. She's done well in the big tournaments, so would be No. 1. Madison Keys has shown a lot of big game potential, so she would be No. 2."

In addition to AmEx, sponsors for the U.S. Open include Chase, Citizen, Emirates Airline, IBM, JP Morgan, Mercedes-Benz, Esurance, Heineken, Ralph Lauren, Xerox, Evian, Grey Goose, Panasonic, Moet & Chandon, Westin and Wilson.

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