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• The NFL has unveiled the Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, an initiative this season to "surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota on February 4, 2018. A total of 500 free tickets will be distributed under the program as a way to give back to dedicated NFL fans and provide them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
• Farmers Insurance has extended its alliance with PGA TOUR player Rickie Fowler for three years (2018-2020).  Fowler has been a brand ambassador since 2012. Fowler has been featured in the Farmers "We Know From Experience" advertising campaign, including the recent "Chauffeur Terrier" television commercial, along with other digital marketing platforms.
Heroes Evolved, featuring an in-game and playable Bruce Lee, has hit the multi-player online battle arena via R2Games and the Bruce Lee, LLC (owned and operated by Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee).
• In it's ninth season as the official wardrobe supplier for the National Basketball Coaches Assn., Men's Wearhouse said that 24 NBA head coaches would be outfitted with Joseph Abboud Custom suits for the 2017-18 season. According to Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, "With 82 games a season, it's important to look professional and have confidence on the court."

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MLB 2017 Awards Schedule
• Oct. 26
Rawlings Gold Glove finalists on Twitter (12 PM. ET)
• Nov. 6
BBWAA Awards Finalists MLB Network
• Nov .7
Rawlings Gold Glove Awards ESPN (9 PM. ET)
• Nov. 9
Louisville Silver Sluggers MLB Network, (6 PM. ET)
• Nov. 10
Wilson Defensive Players of the Year MLB Network (6 PM. ET)
• Nov. 13
Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year MLB Network (6 PM ET)
• Nov. 14
Managers of the Year MLB Network (6 PM. ET)
• Nov. 15
Cy Young Awards MLB Network( 6 PM ET)
• Nov. 16
Most Valuable Players MLB Network ( 6 PM ET)
• Nov. 17
Esurance MLB Awards MLB Network

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NBA Teams With Jersey-Patch Deals (To Date):

• Atlanta Hawks (Shareware)
• Boston Celtics (GE)
• Brooklyn Nets (Infor)
• Cleveland Cavaliers (Goodyear)
• Denver Nuggets (Western Union)
• Detroit Pistons (Flagstaff Bank)
• Golden State Warriors (Rakuten)
• Los Angeles Lakers (Wish)
• Miami Heat (Ultimate Software)
• Milwaukee Bucks (Harley Davidson)
• Minnesota Timberwolves (Fitbit)
• New York Knicks (Squarespace)
• Orlando Magic (Disney World)
• Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub)
• Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond)
• Toronto Raptors (Sun Life)
• Utah Jazz (Qualtrics)
All patches will be 2.5 x 2.5 on the left side, with a Nike Swoosh logo on the right side.

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Final Four '22 In NOLA
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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
Thursday
Jan192017

Target Buys Into Major Alliance With MLS, Minnesota United, Youth Soccer Programs

Special to NYSportsJournalism.com

January 19, 2017: Calling the move its largest push into team sports, national big box retailer Target has signed a multi-year deal to become an official partner with Major League Soccer, US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

In addition, the Minneapolis-based company will become the jersey-front sponsor for the expansion MLS Minnesota United FC, with activation to include presenting sponsorship for the team’s initial campaign.

Financial terms of the alliance were not released.

As part of the strategy, Target said it would partner with a number of its leading vendors, including Belkin, Crest, Degree, Dove, Energizer, GE, Gillette, GSK, Hershey’s, Kimberly-Clark, Philips, Scotch-Brite, Smuckers, Tide and Venus.

"There are so many things that drew us to soccer — it’s multicultural, watched and played by families and is growing immensely in popularity,” Rick Gomez, svp-marketing for Target, said in a statement. "We’ve partnered with several incredible organizations and vendors to invite soccer fans everywhere to engage with the Target brand in new ways."

Target said it sold one million soccer balls last year and that sales of soccer-related merchandise rose 15%, its "fastest growing sub-category in the sporting goods business."

Target is prominent in sports in its hometown via naming rights for Target Center, which is home to the NBA’s Timberwolves and WNBA Lynx; and Target Field, home to MLB’s Twins.

Under terms of the deal, Target will run spots during MLS broadcasts on Univision, Fox Sports and ESPN; and will have "opportunities for in-stadium experiences, player appearances and ownership of certain major MLS platforms," which the league said would be unveiled in the future.

According to Kathy Carter, president, Soccer United Marketing, the commercial arm for MLS, "We’re excited to welcome Target to the soccer family. It’s great to see such a holistic approach being taken — from the professional ranks to the youth level. It’s also ideal timing as Target’s hometown club, Minnesota United FC, joins Major League Soccer this year. We look forward to working together for many years to come."

In addition to the Target logo and presenting sponsorship with the Minnesota United, Target said it would be a premier sponsor at MNUFC events across the Twin Cities, and would have signage in TCF Bank Stadium at all 17 home matches.

Minnesota United moved to MLS this season from the NASL,

In its alliance with US Youth Soccer — which includes more than three million players ages 5-19, plus 900,000 coaches, volunteers and administrators — Target will become the official retailer for the organization and the presenting sponsor of the Target United Cup, a recreational soccer tournament that will visit 30-40 cities.

"We’ve partnered with several incredible organizations and vendors to invite soccer fans everywhere to engage with the Target brand in new ways."

Target has also provided a $75,000 grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation to support national expansion of the organization’s Soccer for Success program, a free after-school program intended to help kids "establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through caring coach-mentors and family engagement."

According to Nick Rogers, president, Minnesota United FC, "Target believes they have a role to play in fueling the potential of soccer and soccer players at all levels in Minnesota and the entire club is thrilled to have them as a partner. I can’t wait to see our players and fans proudly displaying the iconic Target bullseye across their chests.

"Together, Target and Minnesota United will represent the state of Minnesota in our global game," said Rogers.

MLS partners also include adidas, Advocate, Allstate, AT&T, Audi, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Continental, DraftKings, EA Sports, Etihad Airways, Heineken, The Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Makita, Mondeléz, SeatGeek, Southern New Hampshire University, Tag Heuer and Wells Fargo.

The 2017 MLS season begins March 3.

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