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QUICK HITS

• Puma, which is rebooting its hoops division with the signing of potential top NBA draft picks Deandre Jordan and Michael Bagley III to shoe deals, said it has named producer/musician/businessman Jay-Z as president of basketball operations. The company said it has been working with Jay-Z run Roc Nation “for quite some time.” In addition, Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier, a Puma partner for its first signature shoe in the 1970’s and long-time endorser, has signed a lifetime contract with the shoe brand.

• Panini America has signed an exclusive autograph trading card memorabilia agreement with All-American point guard Trae Young, a projected Top Ten pick in this week's 2018 NBA Draft. Young led the nation in both scoring (27.4 ppg) and assists (8.8 apg) during a his freshman season with the University of Oklahoma.

• Xyience said it would be an official sponsor and the official energy drink for the 2018 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken, a premier  occer tournament featuring top clubs and players from Europe. The ICC runs from July 20- Aug. 7 and includes 17 matches played across 14 U.S. cities. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and SiriusXM.) Sponsors also  include Heineken, Ally, Hertz, MasterCard, Gatorade, Konami and Vivid Seats.

KEEPING SCORE

Top-Selling MLB Jerseys (Jan.-May 2018)

1. Jose Altuve Houston Astros
2. Aaron Judge New York Yankees
3. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
5. George Springer Houston Astros
6. Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs
7. Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs
8. Shohei Otani Los Angeles Angels
9. Carlos Corea Hoston Astros
10. Mookie Betts Boston Red Sox
11. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
12. Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
14. Javier Baez Chicago Cubs

SOURCE: MLBShop.com

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

SEARCH

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MGM: Creed II Nov. 21 World Cup Ads Below

COLLEGE

Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
CFB Title Games '21-24

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
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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