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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.

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Most Popular NBA Jerseys (Oct.-Dec. 2017)
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
10. James Harden, Houston Rockets
11. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
12. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
13. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
14. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
15. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Most Popular Team Merchandise
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Boston Celtics
8. San Antonio Spurs
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Oklahoma City Thunder
Source: NBAStore.com

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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2018 NBA All-Star Game

East Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Joel Embiid
West Starters: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins
The All-Star teams will still feature 12 players from each conference, but the captains — James and Curry — will select the team rosters without regard for conference affiliation.

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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
Mar022016

Under Armour On The Ball With NASL Partnership To Boost Soccer Presence

By Barry Janoff

March 1, 2016: In February, Under Armour unveiled the second stage of its "Rule Yourself" umbrella campaign, which included Memphis Depay of the English Premiere League's Manchester United.

Now, the sports gear and footwear company is kicking in with another soccer alliance, signing a deal to custom-design the official match ball for the North American Soccer League.

The match ball features the NASL's signature red and blue colors, as well as the league's and Under Armour logos.

NASL clubs will exclusively use the Under Armour ball, which replaces Voit, in all training sessions, matches and community activities. It will also be available for NASL fans to purchase on NASLShop.com.

Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.

"Under Armour has quickly become a major player in the global soccer scene, and we believe that this partnership will benefit all who are involved in the game both here and abroad," Bill Peterson, NASL commissioner, said in a statement. "When our players and coaches got their feet on the Under Armour Desafio ball for the first time, the responses were great. It's a fantastic ball."

The league said it had been using the Under Armour ball during preseason training sessions. It will make its official debut on April 2 when the NASL begins its 2016 Spring Season.

New Era is the league's official cap partner. Players wear jerseys from adidas and Nike.

Late last year, Depay starred in what Under Armour called its first campaign dedicated to soccer, "Slay Your Next Giant."

In addition to Depay, the Baltimore-based company currently outfits such clubs as Tottenham Hotspur, FC St. Pauli, AZ Alkmaar, and São Paulo FC, as well as Granit Xhaka (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Lauren Holiday and Kelley O'Hara, members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team that won the FIFA Women's World Cup last summer.

According to Peter Murray, vp-sports marketing for Under Armour, "Under Armour is proud to support a professional organization such as the NASL as the league's official ball partner. Together, we will continue to help grow the sport of soccer in North America."

Under Armour's roster of endorsers also includes Stephen Curry, Cam Newton, Andy Murray, Lindsey Vohn, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, recently signed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and a line endorsed by Muhammad Ali.

The original NASL played from 1968-1984 with players that included soccer icons Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Johann Cryuff, George Best, Shep Messing, Rodney Marsh and Gerd Muller.

The rebooted NASL (with limited official ties to its predecessor, including its name and revived franchises such as the New York Cosmos, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies) kicked off in 2011.

Peterson called the upcoming campaign "our most exciting season yet. Our clubs have made unbelievable progress this offseason, and with some of the signings and announcements being made across the league, the talent on the field is going to be at an all-time high."

"Under Armour has quickly become a major player in the global soccer scene, and we believe that this partnership will benefit all who are involved."
 
Three new clubs begin NASL play in 2016: Miami FC, Puerto Rico FC and Rayo OKC. Two clubs will not participate in 2016: the Atlanta Silverbacks and San Antonio Scorpions.

"We're tremendously excited about our three new clubs, and we're impressed with what each of them has in the works for their inaugural season," Peterson said. "With those clubs joining an already strong group of existing clubs, we expect this year to be extremely competitive. The last three years have come down to the final Fall Season weekend, proving that every match really does matter in the NASL."

The NASL member teams are: Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Ft .Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada FC, Miami FC, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, Puerto Rico FC, Rayo OKC, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
 
The league operates under a split-season competition, Spring and Fall, with a year-end championship featuring both the Spring Season Champion and Fall Season Champion, as well as the two other teams with the best combined records from the Spring and Fall Seasons.

Editor's Note: Under Armour signs deal with New York Cosmos. Full story here.

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