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• Sacramento, California's capital city, has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league's 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022. The club will build a new, $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District. 

• 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

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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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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)

Wednesday
Jan132016

Top Sports Marketers Of The Year 2015: Esurance Ensures Game-Changing Moves

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By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com

January 12, 2016: Esurance in 2015 took its game from online to on the field in a big way.

The division of Allstate signed on in April to become the official auto insurance sponsor of Major League Baseball and title sponsor for the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.

The insurance firm is also an official partner of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers (which will host Super Bowl 50 in Levi's Stadium in February) and previously partnered with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

In addition, Esurance had been the official car insurance partner for the U.S. Open from 2010-2015 and a sponsor of six Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series events leading up to the Grand Slam in New York.

Beyond sports, Esurance is a primary sponsor of South By Southwest and is preparing for the next film, music and interactive event, scheduled for March 2016. Plans include The Esurance Lounge, the Esurance Glove Box in the Austin Convention Center and an Esurance Access Pass offering people who sign up the opportunity to win goodies as well as create a personalized schedule for panels, parties and other event.

To support its MLB alliance, Esurance signed an endorsement deal with San Francisco Giants catcher and three-time World Series champion Buster Posey, who has a starring role in his own "Sorta You Isn't You" commercial.

In 2015, Esurance changed baseball when it partnered with MLB to bring to fans the first All-Star Game all-digital balloting, leaving behind paper ballots that had been in use for decades. The result: A record 620 million votes cast, plus some 111.8 million cast as part of the Final Vote, which Esurance also sponsored.

Esurance and MLB then built on their first-year pact with The 2015 Esurance MLB Awards, an "expanded awards program leveraging social media and technology culminating in a multi-platform broadcast special."

The 2015 Esurance MLB Awards aired on MLB TV and encompassed 24 categories, including Best Major Leaguer, Best Bounceback Player, Best Social Media Personality, Best Fan Catch and Best Celebrity Fan.

The Esurance All-Star and MLB Awards platforms both were supported with multi-media campaigns.

"We were really surprised at the presence were able to create leading up to and then at the All-Star Game, and the tremendous response that the e-ballots sponsored by Esurance received from fans, who filled them out in record numbers," said Chris Lee, director of brand partnerships and social engagement for Esurance. "We've had great visibility with the e-ballot platform, great visibility throughout MLB and on MLB Network. We have more than three billion impressions generated by MLB."

At the 2015 U.S. Open, Esurance created numerous activations, including a TV spot with the Bryan Brothers and other platforms that featured Victoria Azarenka.

Esurance then was among a group of advertisers signed for the NFL's first live-steam game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, played in London’s Wembley Stadium, which aired on Yahoo on Oct. 25 as part of the NFL International Series.

An Esurance TV spot, "#EqualDreams," was shot at a real wedding and featured children and gay teens who were asked to describe, in their own words, what their future wedding day would be.

Esurance is also a sponsor of Serial, a podcast that tells stories over the course of an entire season. The first season launched in October 2014 and told the 1999 story of a high-school senior named Hae Min Lee who was murdered. It had more than 100 million downloads. Season Two, which launched in December, tells the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years.

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