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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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Which Team Will Win Overwatch League 2018?
 
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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
Monday
Jan082018

Topps Signs Japanese Star-MLB Rookie Shohei Ohtani To First National U.S. Deal

By Barry Janoff

January 8, 2018: Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani has yet to play a game in MLB, but he already has made quite an impact.

Claiming that Ohtani would have “some of the most highly coveted baseball cards and collectibles on the market in 2018,” Topps has signed the 23-year-old athlete to his first national deal in the U.S.

Financial terms of the exclusive trading card and long-term autograph deal with Topps were not shared.

Last month, when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels, his Topps NOW card in his new Angels uniform set a category record with 17,323 copies sold in a 24-hour period.

That bested the mark set during the 2017 season when a Topps NOW card of New York Yankees Aaron Judge setting the single-season rookie home run record (16,138 cards).

Topps said that Ohtani’s first pack-pulled trading card would appear in late spring to coincide with Spring Training. His cards, including exclusive autographed items, would then be featured in Topps products throughout the year.

“Getting a deal with Shohei Ohtani was a priority for us because we want the best for our Topps fans,” David Leiner, global general manager, sports & entertainment for Topps, said in a statement.

“Ohtani is a dynamic two-way player who has gained a lot of attention because of his incredible talent. We are thrilled to offer his trading cards and autographed cards to baseball fans,” said Leiner.

Ohtani was the focus of a MLB multi-term off-season quest, ultimately won by the Angels.

In Japan, with the Nippon Ham Fighters, he was known for his pitching — 624 strikeouts in 543 career innings in the Japan Pacific League — and hitting. Over the last two seasons in the JPPL, Ohtani hit .322 with 30 home runs and 98 RBI in 169 games.

When he was signed by the Angels in early December, they said, “We are honored Shohei Ohtani has decided to join the Angels Organization. We felt a unique connectivity with him throughout the process and are excited he will become an Angel.

“This is a special time for Angels fans, the Ohtani family, and Nez Balelo (his agent) and the team at Creative Artists Agency."

According the Leiner, “He’s an incredible talent that transcends baseball and we’re exciting for him to join a long list of great baseball players who have Topps rookie cards.”

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