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QUICK HITS

• Puma, which is rebooting its hoops division with the signing of potential top NBA draft picks Deandre Jordan and Michael Bagley III to shoe deals, said it has named producer/musician/businessman Jay-Z as president of basketball operations. The company said it has been working with Jay-Z run Roc Nation “for quite some time.” In addition, Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier, a Puma partner for its first signature shoe in the 1970’s and long-time endorser, has signed a lifetime contract with the shoe brand.

• Panini America has signed an exclusive autograph trading card memorabilia agreement with All-American point guard Trae Young, a projected Top Ten pick in this week's 2018 NBA Draft. Young led the nation in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg) during a his freshman season with the University of Oklahoma.

• Xyience said it would be an official sponsor and the official energy drink for the 2018 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken, a premier  occer tournament featuring top clubs and players from Europe. The ICC runs from July 20- Aug. 7 and includes 17 matches played across 14 U.S. cities. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM.) Sponsors also  include Heineken, Ally, Hertz, MasterCard, Gatorade, Konami and Vivid Seats.

KEEPING SCORE

Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (Jan.-May 2018)

1. Jose Altuve Houston Astros
2. Aaron Judge New York Yankees
3. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
5. George Springer Houston Astros
6. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
7. Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
8. Shohei Otani Los Angeles Angels
9. Carlos Corea Hoston Astros
10. Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
11. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
14. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

SOURCE: MLBShop.com

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

SEARCH

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HBO: Robin Williams 7-16 World Cup Ads Below

COLLEGE

Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
CFB Title Games '21-24

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
May122017

G.O.A.T. Tom Brady Scores Madden NFL 18 Cover, Takes On Madden Curse Challenge

By Barry Janoff

May 12, 2017: Tom Brady, who took on commissioner Roger Goodall and the NFL over "Deflate-gate," and faces opposing defenders on a regular basis, is now dealing with something even more ominous: the Madden NFL Curse.

Electronic Arts reveled today that Brady, veteran quarterback for the New England Patriots and MVP of Super Bowl LI this past February, would be on the cover of Madden NFL for the first time.

"The Madden NFL 18 cover is a great honor for me," Brady said in a statement. "Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the (San Francisco) Bay Area."

Brady also referenced the legendary Madden Curse, which has seen several Madden NFL cover athletes succumb to injury, poor performances on the field or a trade following their cover stint, including teammate Rob Gronkowski last year when he appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 17.

"I’m not one to believe in curses, so I'm ready to take the challenge head on like always!," said Brady. "It doesn't stand a chance!!!"

If nothing else, Brady has the numbers to back up his words: Five Super Bowl titles — perhaps highlighted by Brady leading New England from a 28-3 deficit to a 34-28 win in Supe rBowl LI — four-time Super Bowl MVP, 12-time All-Pro, 61,582 yards passing and 456 touchdowns.

This marks the first time in Madden NFL history that teammates have had back-to-back covers.

Gronkowski and EA Sports last season even created a humorous ad that cautiously poked fun at the Madden Curse.

Madden NFL 18 is scheduled to hit retail on Aug. 25.

A trailer for Madden NFL 18 shows Brady walking down a tunnel to the field as a crowd chants, “MVP. MVP.” As he hits the field, fireworks go off and Brady raises a No. 1 finger to the sky.

Text offers, "Madden like you’ve never seen it." This year’s game will be "powered by Frostbite, one of the industry’s world-class game engines, creating a Madden NFL experience like you’ve never seen before," according to EA Sports.

"Frostbite delivers a significant visual leap not only to the players, but crowds, stadiums and more. Such a special game truly deserves an equally-special cover athlete," said EA Sports. (See the full spot here.)

According to EA Sports, new details about the game, including a new mode, are set to debut at EA PLAY on June 10.

Along with the cover news, EA also said that people who pre-order the standard edition would receive such perks as the choice of an Elite player from their favorite NFL team for use in Madden NFL 18 Ultimate Team, as well as five Squad Packs, redeemable at launch.

People who pre-order the G.O.A.T. Edition get perks from the standard edition as well as one of five G.O.A.T. players of their choice for Madden NFL 18 Ultimate Team.

"I’m not one to believe in curses, so I'm ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn't stand a chance!!!"

EA Sports said that people who pre-order the G.O.A.T. Edition would get three-day early access, letting them start their season on Aug. 22.

EA Access members can play for up to ten hours starting August 17 with the EA Access Play First Trial.

Although this is his first cover, he is not the first quarterback. Previous Madden NFL covers have featured Michael Vick (’04), Donovan McNabb (’05), Brett Favre (’08) and Drew Brees (’11).

Since its launch in 1988 (when it was know as John Madden Football), Madden NFL has sold more than 150 million copies and topped $4.5 billion in total sales.

Gronkowski Laughs In The Face Of Madden Curse

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