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deal w O via the NFL Players Inc. licensing- unit. "Since partnering in 2013, and have helped nearly 1,000 players connect with hundreds of brands to share campaigns, reaching more than 1 billion fans worldwide."

• The has named Shenzhen, as the host city for 2019-2028, a deal that includes the building of a 12K-seat venue, and doubling the prize money to $14M for the Top 8 singles players and Top 8 doubles teams.

• Overwatch League said that its first week of competition drew more than 10 million viewers via Twitch, MLG, and Chinese streaming partners ZhanQi TV, NetEase CC and Panda TV. Opening day had an average audience per minute of 408,000.

• Coca-Cola, International Speedway Corp. and Nascar have signed an extension to their partnerships under which Coca-Cola, would "continue its deep-rooted history in the sport by engaging racing fans across Nascar’s three national series and 12 ISC-operated race tracks" and events including the Coca-Cola 600 and the Coca-Cola 400. Coca-Cola-sponsored drivers include Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. Coca-Cola said it "has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years," and became an official partner with Nascar in 1998.

• NBC Olympics will debut Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota, a live, daily figure skating show airing nightly (7 PM ET) on NBCSN beginning Feb. 10 and continuing through Feb. 24. Live Olympic figure skating competition will follow the show in primetime. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will present a digital-exclusive version of Olympic Ice Presented by Toyota immediately following prime-time coverage beginning Feb. 8.

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Top NBA All-Star Game Votes (To Date)
Eastern Conference
1.  Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 863,416
2.  LeBron James (CLE) 856,080
3.  Kyrie Irving (BOS) 802,834
4.  Joel Embiid (PHI) 433,161
5. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 359,459
6.  DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 259,368
7.  Victor Oladipo (IND) 251,886
8.  Kevin Love (CLE) 221,969
9.  Ben Simmons (PHI) 210,085
10. John Wall (WAS) 175,990
Western Conference
1. Kevin Durant (GSW) 767,402
2. Stephen Curry (GSW) 735,115
3. James Harden (HOU) 602,040
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 438,469
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 359,442
6. DeMarcus Cousins (NOP) 356,340
7. Draymond Green (GSW) 325,612
8. Manu Ginobili (SAS) 231,460
9. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) 212,650
10. Carmelo Anthony (OKC) 194,239

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. TNT will televise (8 PM ET)

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Top-Selling NFL Jerseys By Team 2017 At Dick’s Sporting Goods
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Denver Broncos
6. Carolina Panthers
7. New York Giants
8. Seattle Seahawks
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. Chicago Bears
15. Green Bay Packers
16. Oakland Raiders
17. Kansas City Chiefs
18. Baltimore Ravens
19. Washington Redskins
20. Arizona Cardinals

SOURCE: DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

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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
Wednesday
Dec282016

Top Sports Marketer Of The Year 2016: NFL Steps Up With My Cleats, My Cause

By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com

December 26, 2016: The NFL is constantly on the firing line by critics for getting things wrong.

In this case, they got it right.

For all games during Week 13 — beginning with the Dallas Cowboys at the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football on Dec. 1 and running through Monday Night Football on Dec. 5 — some 500 NFL players wore cleats they each designed to support specific charities, events, people and causes, under the umbrella "My Cause, My Cleats" platform.

The NFL extended the event to the next weekend for the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, who wore their cleats on Dec. 11 because they had a bye week the previous weekend.

The focus of respective messaging included raising awareness about cancer, birth defects, mental health, diabetes, bullying, lack of water in East African communities, pet adoption, arts and improving education to kids nationwide. Many of the players supported their own foundations, including Drew Brees (Brees Dream, which works to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families) and Von Miller (Von’s Vision, a non-profit group that gives glasses to children in need).

The league, NFL Players Assn. and the players worked with NFL partners Nike, adidas and Under Armor to create the plethora of shoes. The initiative was a culmination of 18 months of collaborative work between the NFL and its players.

NFL said it is talks with NFLPA to expand the platform for 2017 and beyond.

"These will be seen on nationally televised games, so it will bring so much attention to so many causes," said Alfred Morris, running back for the Cowboys, whose cleats supported The Salvation Army. "This is the first year we are doing this. Even if you are not involved with a cause, we want people to relate to them and get actively involved."

Following the games, the league said each player would have the opportunity to raise funds for their respective cause by auctioning their cleats at NFL Auction.

All of the funds raised were to be donated to the designated charities, which must have 501c3 status, according to the NFL.

Among marketing support was a "My Cause, My Cleats"-themed TV spot support, with the tag line, "Every Cleat Tells A Story." It showed wide receiver Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets designing his cleats along with kids from his Project 375 foundation, which focuses on promoting awareness of mental health.

In addition to on-air visuals and mentions during broadcast games, support includes a dedicated Web site, social media and a online player platform in partnership with The Players’ Tribune.

"One of the great NFL traditions is how our players passionately support important causes in their communities and around the globe every year," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a media event. 

"They are incredibly creative by nature so we are not surprised how they are seizing the opportunity this week with inspiring expressions of their charitable commitments on their cleats, online and through social media."

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