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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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2018 NFL Pro Bowl Voting (To Date)
1. Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles 273,367
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots 239,989
3. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers 227,771
4. Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams 215,687
5. Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers 215,584
6. Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints 207,751
7. Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs 204,611
8. Jared Goff QB Los Angeles Rams 200,346
9. Russell Wilson QB Seattle Seahawks 183,630
10. Alex Smith QB Kansas City Chiefs 178,392
11. Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots 168,663
12. Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles 156,183
13. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons 124,556
14. Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers 117,480
15. Kyle Juszczyk FB San Francisco 49ers 116,816
16. Aaron Donald DT Los Angeles Rams 102,194
17. Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers 101,131
18. A.J. Buoy CB Jacksonville Jaguars 92,686
19. Everson Griffen DE Minnesota Vikings 91,621
20. Geno Atkins DT Cincinnati Bengals 88,126
SOURCE: NFL

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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
Tuesday
Jul182017

WNBA All-Stars Gaining Popularity, Still Seek National Awareness Among Marketers

By Barry Janoff

July 17, 2017: The WNBA began play in 1997 and, over the past 20 years, has produced a plethora of great players, including Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Tamika Catchings, Kappie Pondexter, Swin Cash, Becky Hammon and Sheryl Swoopes; plus a current roster of such players as Maya Moore, Diana Turasi, Sue Bird, Candace Parker, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Elena Delle Donne, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles.

The challenge for the WNBA has been in nationally marketing its stars, whose resumes are stellar but whose faces are not nearly as well known as their counterparts in the NBA.

With the Verizon WNBA All-Star Game scheduled for July 22 (3:30 PM ET ABC in Seattle), the league would like to see its players get more national acclaim. (See TV spot here.)

"Although awareness among most WNBA players is low, they present a unique combination of strength and beauty scoring high for marketable attributes," according to a new study from research and consulting firm E-Poll, Encino, Cal. Those attributes: "Dynamic, Confident, Physically Fit and Talented (Strength); as well as Attractive, Beautiful and Glamorous (Beauty)."

According to E-Poll, the Top 5 WNBA players based on the aforementioned attributes are Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynz), Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics), Swin Cash (New York Liberty, retired) and Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks).

At No. 7, represented by Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports, Dallas Wings star Skylar Diggins-Smith is, according to E-Poll, an "advertiser’s dream in addition to her game." E-Poll’s survey said she is at the top or near the top for many attributes.

Also, per E-Poll. "Expected to have a breakout rookie season for the San Antonio Stars, we are tracking where media darling Kelsey Plum’s 53% Appeal will be by the season’s end."

E-Poll, which tracks the careers of thousands of celebrities, politicians and athletes, said that the current rooster of WNBA players might be the most marketing ever. And not solely for reasons of profit.

“The league is empowering its primary target audience, as many women describe the league as ‘inspirational,’ ‘powerful’  and ‘Incredible,’” according to E-Poll. “Men love the WNBA as well calling the league ‘athletic, high action, [and] fast’.”

A campaign to support the 2017 WNBA season supports that latter observation, with one spot, "Tribute," featuring such NBA stars as Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, DeAndre Jordan, DeMar DeRozan Karl-Anthony Towns and Paul George not only proclaiming their respect for the WNBA but also calling out WNBA stars by name.

In addition to marquee partner Verizon, WNBA marketing partners include adidas, American Express, BBVA, Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light), Cisco, ExxonMobil, Gatorade, Jack Daniel’s, JBL, Kaiser Permanente, Kia, Nike, PepsiCo, SAP, Shock Doctor, Spalding, State Farm, Tissot and Under Armour.

E-Poll WNBA Appeal Rankings

1. Breanna Stewart Seattle Storm
2. Maya Moore Minnesota Lynz
3. Elena Delle Donne Washington Mystics
4. Swin Cash New York Liberty (retired)
5. Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles Sparks
6. Diana Turasi Phoenix Mercury
7. Skylar Diggins-Smith Dallas Wings
8. Sue Bird Seattle Storm
9. Tamika Catchings Indian Fever (retired)
10. Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
11. Kelsey Plum San Antonio Stars
12. Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury


NBA Stars Show Props For WNBA Stars

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