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• In response to the mass shooting that occurred in the early hours of August 4, 2019, The Dayton Foundation has established the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

• "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

• "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

• "I intend to live forever, or die trying." — Groucho Marx RIP 8-19-1977

• Per NBC Sports: “A plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and their daughter Isla rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire upon landing today (Aug. 15)  in Elizabethon (Municipal Airport), Tenn. All (five people) aboard the plane (including two pilots) are safe.”The airport is about 14 miles south of Bristol Motor Speedway, where Earnhardt Jr. was scheduled to be part of the NBC Sports crew cowering this weekend’s Nascar races.

• Continuing its expansion into the sports betting landscape, MLB has signed a multi-year partnership designating FanDuel as an “authorized gaming operator” of the league. FanDuel called it a “landmark deal” as it marks the company’s first partnership with MLB or an MLB team. MLB also has alliances in the sports betting category that include MGM Resorts International, Draftings and Sportradar. Full story here.

• For future trivia buffs: ex-NFL and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has become the first player to officially sign with the XFL, which is scheduled to begin play in February 2020. Landry, who played in 19 games (five starts) during his NFL career (2013-18), mainly with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be assigned to one of eight XFL teams via an eignt man QB draft scheduled for the fall. Financial terms were not released.
 

• Nick Kyrgios, currently ranked No. 27 in the world, has been fined $113,000 by the ATP relating to a series of incidents during his second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open Wednesday evening in Cincinnati, including five separate unsportsmanlike conduct situations, each a $20,000 fine.

• National consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand cbdMD has signed a deal with reigning UFC heavyweight world champion, Daniel "DC" Cormier, which comes as Cormier is scheduled to defend his heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Aug.17.

• T-Mobile said it would donate $2,000 per home run hit at the inaugural T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby to Little League Baseball and Softball—pledging to hit at least $1 million in total donations in its first year of partnership. The money will fund participation grants to make programs more affordable for kids and families. The donation includes the $642,000 donated at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at MLB All-Star Week.

• Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has become an investor in the MLS Seattle Sounders, along with his wife, musician Ciara; as well as rap artist Macklemore and his wife Tricia Davis. The Sounders also said that founding owner Joe Roth is leaving the club.

NBA Opening Weekend presented by Kia national TV Games 2019-20:
Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors (TNT), Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers (TNT); Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN), Denver  Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN); Oct. 24 Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets (TNT), Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (TNT); Oct. 25 Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN), Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN).

• WNBA Teams, Players Now Part Of NBA 2K20: "We have arrived!" Full story here.

• The NFL said the Pro Bowl would return to Orlando's Camping Ground Stadium for the fourth successive year, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020. It will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and be simulcast on ABC (3 PM ET). Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

NBC Sports Group and Mecum Auctions have signed a multi-year partnership extension to continue coverage of Mecum car auctions across NBC Sports through 2024.

The top-five selling cars since the start of the partnership in 2014:
1, 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype GT/104 $7M (2014)
2, 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari $4.7M (2016)
3. 1966 Ford GT40 MkI $4.4M (2016)
4. 1933 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe $3.85M (2018)
5. 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible  $3.5 (2014)

KEEPING SCORE

World's Most Valuable Sports Franchises

1. Dallas Cowboys $5 billion, +4%
2. New York Yankees $4.6 billion +15%
3. Real Madrid $4.24 billion +4%
4. Barcelona $4.02 bilion
5. New York Knicks $4 billion +11%
6. Manchester United $3.81 billion
7. New England Patriots 43.8 billion
8. Los Angeles Lakers $3.7 billion +12%
9. Golden State Warriors $3.5 billion +13%
10. New York Giants $3.3 billion

11. Los Angeles Dodgers $3.3 billion
12. Boston Red Sox 43.2 billion
12. Los Angeles Rams $3,2 billion
14. Washington Redskins $3.1 billion
14. Chicago Cubs $3.1 billion
16. San Francisco 49ers $3.05 billion
17. Bayern Munich $3.01 billion
18. San Francisco Giants $3 billion
19. Chicago Bulls $2.9 billion
19. Chicago Bears $2.9 billion

SOURCE: FORBES

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Aug. 16-18
1. Good Boys $21M
2. Hobbs & Shaw $14.1M
3. The Lion King $11.9M
4. Angry Birds 2 $10.5M
5. Scary Stories $10M
6. 47 Meters Down $9M
7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold $8.5M
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood $7.6M
9. Blinded By the Light $4.5M
10.The Art of Racing in the Rain $4.4M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• 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).

Saturday
May192018

WNBA Marketing, Media, Fans, Athletes Rock, Roll, Take A Stand In '18

By Barry Janoff

May 18, 2018: A’ja Wilson, who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Las Vegas Aces earlier this year, was born  Aug. 8, 1996.

The WNBA was officially approved by the NBA Board of Governors on April 24, 1996, and started its first season on June 21, 1997.

That means there has never been a time in Wilson’s life when there was no WNBA.

Both Wilson and the WNBA turn 22 this year, and both are ready to celebrate what should be an interesting year on and off the court.

The league officially begins its 22nd season tonight (Dallas Wings at Phoenix Mercury, NBA TV) but is touting May 20 as “WNBA All Day,” with all 12 teams in action (NBA TV and ESPN).

That is also the day for which many of the league’s marketing partners are ramping up, including new official uniform provider Nike, Verizon as the WNBA Tip-Off: Presenting Partner (opening week of the season), State Farm and FanDuel.

Among the activation, Nike’s Jordan Brand will air a new spot; and Nike will support SOS with a series of social media posts that include WNBA players discussing the Nike partnership

When the Los Angeles Sparks visit the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday in a rematch of the last two WNBA Finals (Los Angeles won in 2016, Minnesota in 2017), the Lynx championship ring ceremony, Maya Moore will be wearing special made AJ XXXII shoes that include the years of all of her championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017).

“People talk about the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers (Finals) rivalry in the NBA, but they should also be talking about the (WNBA Fianls) rivalry between the Sparks and Lynx,” said Candace Parker, two-time league MVP for the Sparks. “It’s been good for the league.”

Parker said she was not looking forward to being in Target Center when the Lynx receive their 2017 championship rings. “The last time we saw them we lost,” she said during a media conference call on Thursday, referring to the last game of the best-of-five 2017 Finals.

“Now, we’ll be there when they receive their rings. That’s is a bit like rubbing salt in the wound.”

Parker and the Sparks may have the last say this season,  33% of WNBA GMs predicted a title for the Sparks in a survey released to coincide with the opening weekend.

The WNBA and FanDuel, which just expanded its alliance with the league, are offering a free contest Sunday,with the eventual grand prize a trip to Las Vegas to see the NBA summer league in action as well as a game with the Aces.

Every WNBA game will have a FanDuel daily fantasy component; FanDuel will also have single-game contests and traditional daily fantasy contests.

As WNBA Tip-Off: Presenting Partner, Verizon will have on-air presence during games (including TV spots), and inclusion across the WNBA social media landscape.

As the league’s marquee partner, Verizon gets its logo on WNBA new Nike jersey fronts (under player numbers), sharing space with the Nike Swoosh and with individual team jersey partners for the nine clubs (to date) with such deals.

Beginning this weekend, State Farm returns as presenting partner for the WNBA Community Assist Award.

Each month of the season, a WNBA player will be awarded for their work and accomplishments within their communities. One player will be chosen to receive the season-long award. State Farm will contribute to each of their causes with their own charitable donation

ESPN has launched a multi-media campaign to support its 14-game season-long coverage,

Sibling ABC will broadcast the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game from the Target Center in Minneapolis on July 28.

NBA TV will air 49 regular season games in 2018.

Twitter will stream four games as part of #WNBAAllDay on May 20 to begin its 20-game WNBA regular season schedule.

The WNBA has hired brand design and consultancy firm Sylvain Labs to undertake a “complete review of every aspect of the league to learn more about its fans and how best to engage them.”

The move came in part as a response to comments from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who believes that the WNHA is still struggling in such area as marketing, brand awareness and connecting with a “young female audience.”

“The game looks fantastic. And it’s amazing where the league now is at from over 20 years ago when it launched,” said Silver during a recent interview on ESPN.

“But we still have a marketing problem, and we got to figure it out. We got to figure out how we can do a better job connecting to young people and to get them to be interested.

“Women’s basketball is largely supported — just in terms of the demographics — by older men, for whatever reason, who like fundamental basketball. It’s something I’ve talked a lot to the players about,. We’re not connecting with almost the same demographic that our players are.”

The WNBA has unveiled two campaigns to address these issues, an updated version of its umbrella “Watch Me Work” platform; and the new “Take a Seat, Take a Stand,” described as a women and girls empowerment program for the 2018 season.

Beginning with the start of the season, for each ticket purchased, the WNBA will donate $5 to one of six organizations working with the league (of the fans’ choosing). People can also choose to donate tickets directly to one of the organizations. 

In addition, for each ticket purchased, the WNBA will donate a ticket to “send a young woman or girl to a game to inspire her by the strength, talent and leadership of the women of the WNBA.”

 The six organizations are Planned Parenthood, It’s On Us, GLSEN, MENTOR, Bright Pink and The United State of Women.

People will also have the choice to support local organizations in all 12 teams’ communities, which will vary by city.

Nike is now in its first season as WNBA official on-court apparel provider (taking over from adidas, as it did this past season in the NBA) via an eight-year deal in 2015, valued at $1 billion by industry analysts.

Other changes this season include the Aces having relocated from San Antonio (where they were known as the Stars); New York Liberty moving north from Madison Square Garden to the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY; and the Chicago Sky moving from Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill., to the newly opened Wintrust Arena at the McCormick Place exhibition center on Chicago's Near South Side.

“We’re looking to capitalize on the momentum we got from last year’s 2017 WNBA Finals, an incredible Women’s Final Four this year, and a highly rated WNBA Draft a few weeks ago to really showcase everything these amazing athletes can do,” Rodney Vaughn, WNBA producer for ESPN, said in a statement.

“With fresh perspectives and different ways of looking at the game, we’ll be bringing fans an enhanced experience this season.”

Among the 2018 team sponsors (to date):

• Chicago Sky: University of Chicago Medicine

• Connecticut Sun: Mohegan Sun Casino (franchise owner)

• Dallas Wings: American Fidelity

• Indiana Fever: Finish Line

• Los Angeles Sparks: EquiTrust

• Minnesota Lynx: Mayo Clinic

• New York Liberty: DraftKings

• Phoenix Mercury: Talking Stick Resort and Casino

• Seattle Storm: Swedish Medical Center

WNBA Campaign Champions ‘Take A Seat. Take A Stand’

WNBA GMs Pick Best Of The Best

WNBA Hires Brand Consulting Firm To Reimagine League

Nike Begins WNBA Jersey Alliance At Draft

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