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NEWS REAL

• 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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BodyArmor Into NCAA
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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. 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).

Sunday
May052019

Batter Up: With Baseball A Hit, Sports And Fitness Products Industry Tops $92B

By Barry Janoff

May 3, 2019: People will do many things to stay healthy and keep in shape.

The translates to investing more than $92 billion in 2018 to do so.

The fitness market, including 25 different categories of equipment, reported positive growth nearly across the board.

The baseball/softball category experienced the greatest growth among team sports at 7.7%, driven by a huge year in baseball bat sales, reporting 18.9% growth, according to a new report from the Sports and Fitness Industry Assn., the trade association of leading industry sports and fitness brands, suppliers, retailers and partners.

SFIA said its 2019 SFIA Manufacturers’ Sales Report is broken down into four categories, “all of which experienced an increase in sales": Sports Equipment $25.1 billion (0.8%), Fitness Equipment $5.4 billion (3.6%), Apparel $36.6 billion (1.2%) and Footwear $16.6 billion (4.6%).

“Last year’s performance reflects a challenging market environment, where it’s more about the market share than it is about industry growth,” Tom Cove, SFIA president and CEO, said via the Silver Springs, Md.-based organization.

“As an industry, we must understand the critical importance of increased sports and fitness participation, as a long-term strategy to fortify the foundation of our industry.”

According to SFIA, “Fitness participation is the highest it's been in six years,” with 66% of the population involved in one or more of seven key activity categories, including fitness, outdoor sports, individual sports, team sports, water sports, racquet sports and winter sports.

That figure is up from 60.1% participation in 2013.

Regarding baseball, SFIA said there was an “increase in participation; baseball is thriving.”

The surge in bat sales was driven by a USA Baseball rule change in 2017, “which created a new standard for all youth bats starting on Jan. 1, 2018, requiring all players and leagues to purchase a new bat last year.”

Also likely a factor: Baseball and softball are returning to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games for the first time since the 2008 Games in Beijing.
 
Another potential factor for the rise in baseball equipment sales: The sport was voted No. 1 in fan loyalty in 2017 and 2018, passing the NFL for the first time in a decade, according to the Sports Loyalty Index survey conducted by research and media intelligence firm Brand Keys, NY.

Although baseball was replaced again by the NFL in the 2019 survey, the sport remains No. 2 among the major pro sports in the U.S.

Overall, athletic footwear experienced an increase of 4.6%, with sport sandals/slides (20.0%), casual/fashion (18.0%) and classic/originals (10.0%) ranking as the top three growth categories, according to the 2019 SFIA Manufacturers’ Sales Report.

“Fitness participation is the highest it's been in six years,” with 66% of the population involved in one or more of seven key activity categories."

“The top three categories are not performance wear, representing the strong influence of sports and fitness styles in today’s fashion world,” reported SFIA.

Apparel sales grew 1.2%, while licensed merchandise came in with at 5.8% growth, “indicating greater fandom and new opportunities for brands and apparel manufacturers.”

Golf clubs also experienced healthy growth at 8.9%.

Boutique fitness trends, responsible for introducing people in the U.S. to many nontraditional exercises, “are likely stimulating across the board increases in the fitness and martial arts equipment categories,” according to SFIA.

PHOTOS COURTESY SFIA

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