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• 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.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• 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

VOTE HERE

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. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
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)

Thursday
Dec292016

Top Sports Marketer Of The Year 2016: Topps Captures The Here And NOW

By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com

December 26, 2016: In November, while the Chicago Cubs were celebrating their first World Series championship in 108 years, Topps, the exclusive trading card partner for MLB, had its own reasons to celebrate.

The iconic trading card company said that its on-demand Topps NOW platform, which launched at the start of the 2016 season, had surpassed 500,000 cards sold in the first year, "exceeding the expectations of the program and helping to re-engage thousands of fans, especially millennials, with the Topps brand."

Helping the company reach that milestone: Topps said it sold more than 9,000 sets of Cubs World Series sets.

Via Topps NOW, people are able to order an unlimited number of cards, usually within 24 hours of their availability, which Topps produces on-demand. The cards are delivered in days, as opposed to traditional methods where new cards are not available until the following season’s sets.

Topps said it produced 665 different MLB cards during the initial season of Topps NOW.

According to Jeff Heckman, Topps director of new product development and e-commerce marketplace, "This is something we’ve wanted for a long time, a way to turn product around very quickly and give fans something to remember events as they were happening. We’ve finally refined the model, and it’s exceeded our wildest expectations."

Topps said that all 30 MLB teams were represented by more than one card, with the Cubs (38 cards plus postseason), Boston Red Sox (36 plus post-season) and New York Yankees (28) leading the list.

The roster for Topps Now also includes the Premier League, MLS, AMC's The Preacher, UFC and the WWE series.

Topps Now cards are available through the Topps web site and the international ToppsDirect.com Web site.

Kris Bryant of the Cubs in November signed the biggest deal in the company’s history. He will appear on Topps and Bowman products throughout 2017, including Topps BUNT, the official trading card app for MLB.

In November, Topps signed a multi-year autograph trading card deal with Derek Jeter, former captain and five-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees, hailing it as "Jeter’s return to Topps products for the first time in more than a decade."

Jeter’s first autographed cards under the new alliance appeared in 2016 Topps Dynasty Baseball and 2016 Topps Baseball Transcendent Collection (both out in early December). He will also be featured in 2017 Topps products, starting with 2017 Topps Baseball Series 1 (available Feb. 1, 2017) and 2016 Topps Tribute Baseball.

"Adding Derek Jeter autographs to our trading card products will be thrilling for collectors," David Leiner, vp and GM for North American Sports & Entertainment at Topps, said in a statement. "He is one of the most prolific and well-known players of our time, and his addition is one collectors will be clamoring for."

Topps also has an exclusive autograph deal with Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, the 2014 and 2016 American League MVP.

November saw the release of 2016 Topps Archives Baseball 65th Anniversary Edition, a 65-card base set — one for each year of Topps card dating back to 1952 — available in Walmart.

Among Topps other top hits in 2016 were alliances with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Walking Dead and the launch of the WWE Slam digital app, which, according to Topps, will "bring thousands of WWE Superstars to life with exclusive digital cards that can be collected and traded with fans worldwide."

"WWE has been an incredible partner with Topps for many years, and we are thrilled to be able to offer WWE fans worldwide a new way to collect their favorite WWE Superstars from today and the past,"Jeremy Strauser, vp and GM for Topps Digital, said in a statement.

Other Topps apps include UFC Knockout, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, MLB BUNT, NFL Huddle and KICK, encompassing MLS, UEFA, Premier League and other soccer organizations.

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