• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” 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.” 


U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).


Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup


Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).


Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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).


Money Goals: FIFA World Cup Set To Score In Marketing, Media, Merchandise

By Barry Janoff

June 13, 2018: Over the past few years, FIFA has become associated with financial problems, executive mismanagement and a defection of marketing partners.

But with the World Cup on the doorstep (June 14 to July 15), FIFA is now synonymous with making money and building marketing campaigns.

In 2014, total national TV advertising for the World Cup in Brazil was estimated at $523 million — $336 million on Univision TV networks and $187 million on ABC/ESPN, according to Kantar Media.

For 2018 , Fox and Telemundo have exclusive broadcast rights in the U.S. and are are expected to hit $600 million, according to industry analysts.

According to AP, Russia's official budget of $11.6 billion spent on World Cup projects is less than the estimated $15 billion spent by Brazil in 2014 (and far less than the $51 billions Russia said it spent for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi).

FIFA will top $6 billion for the four-year commercial cycle for the 2018 World Cup, topping its $5.656 billion target.

FIFA said it would spend upward of $791 million on teams and players, including prize money, club compensation, insurance for players injured on national-team duty, and preparation costs for 32 squads.

FIFA has a $400 million fund for the 32 competing national federations, $42 million than in  2014, according to AP.

The winner and runner-up will get $38 million and $28 million, respectively, $3 million more than  Germany and Argentina, respectively, in 2014.

FIFA global partners include adidas, Coca-Cola, Wanda, Gazprom, Hyundai-Kia Motors, Qatar Airways and Visa.

FIFA World Cup sponsors include Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Hisense, McDonald’s, Mengniu and Vivo.

Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson are among the companies that ended their FIFA deals after the 2014 World Cup.

Top ABC/ESPN advertisers in 2014 were Microsoft ($18 million), PepsiCo ($16 million), adidas ($12 million), Hyundai ($12 million) and Procter & Gamble ($11 million), according to Kantar Media.

Univision’s top advertisers included McDonald's ($29 million), Anheuser-Busch InBev ($27 million), Verizon Communications ($24 million), Deutsche Telecom ($23 million) and Coca-Cola ($23 million).

Visa has unveiled details for its World Cup activation, “Visa’s Ultimate FIFA World Cup FOMO,” which will document Zlatan Ibrahimović’s journey to the tournament and his return to the FIFA World Cup stage, not as a player but as a Madison Avenue personality.

Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser plans to make the most of its position as the official beer sponsor for the FIFA World Cup, launching a multi-platform global campaign that thinks as big as the event itself.

In the anchor spot, thousands of "Drones" deliver Bud to soccer fans in stadiums worldwide, and as people cheer, their specially designed Red Light Cups begin to shine, activated by the crowd noise — a case of art imitating life as Budweiser plans to hand out 8M of the cups before and during the soccer spectacular.

“Our campaign captures the celebratory, upbeat and premium experience of the Budweiser brand, and fans will continue to see that come to life throughout the World Cup," Miguel Patrico, global CMO for Anheuser-Busch InBev, said in a statement.

Vivo, the official smartphone sponsor for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, has launched a global campaign, “My Time, My FIFA World Cup.”

“Our campaign captures the celebratory, upbeat and premium experience of the Budweiser brand, and fans will see that come to life throughout the World Cup."

This is the first World Cup activation for Vivo, which signed a six-year sponsorship agreement in 2017 with FIFA that runs through 2022, which includes sponsorship of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The multi-platform campaign, unveiled by the company at Beijing's Olympic Forest Park, includes TV, digital, social media, on-site activation and elements involving consumers and fans, led by the Vivo Super Fan Photographer program and the Vivo Super Time project.

Vivo also launched #PassTheSwag, a “global dance movement aimed to unite both football and music fans around the world to create an iconic memorable moment for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”
The effort is played out to the official song for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, “Live it Up,” by Nicky Jam, featuring Will Smith and Era Istrefi (pictured below).

"The FIFA World Cup is the biggest stage in world football, and a massive celebration which brings together people from across the globe,” Michael Chang, brand director, international business for Vivo, said in a statement.

“In sponsoring the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we encourage fans to go beyond being just an audience, but to become a participant, a creator, and to enable extraordinary moments to be seen, shared and remembered."

Coca-Cola's multi-platform global presence includes marketing — including such spots as "Ready For," "Stock Up" and "Uplifted Alex" with a vitrual spokesperson — themed products and on-site activation.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola finished this week in Moscow after a Tour across Russia and the globe.

The Trophy travelled nearly 107,000 miles and visited 91 cities in 51 countries.

A digital Panini FIFA World Cup sticker book presented by Coca-Cola currently has 5.5 million users.

McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy allows people to compete for such prizes as a Kia Sportage, a Hisense television and signed captains’ armbands from teams competing in the Russia.

Qatar Airways’ first World Cup campaign features a re-recording of the classic song "Dancing in the Street" with singer and actress Nicole Scherzinger.

“Like millions of fans around the world, we are getting ready for the best summer of football ever,” Ms. Salam Al Shawa, Qatar Airways svp-marketing and corporate communications, said in a statement.

“We want fans to feel the fun-filled vibe that we have created with our new commercial and celebrate with us in the run-up to the World Cup. Our goal is to inspire people to dance, dream and be happy as they come together from around the world for this celebration of football.”

Adidas has multiple roles, including the official game ball, team kits (see below), and a multi-media campaign including a spot, "Create the Answer," which feature more than two dozen of the world's top players (some in the World Cup, some not), such as Leo Messi, Mo Salah, Paul Pogba, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Javier Hernandez, Dele Alli, Bernardo Silva, Mesut Ozil and Luis Suarez. Adidas is also the presenting sponsor of the full Fox Sports streaming effort across all digital platforms for the entire tournament.

According to FIFA, of the 32 national teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, adidas, an official FIFA partner, has jersey/kit deals with 12 national teams: Argentina, Belgium, Colombia. Egypt, German, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

Non-official FIFA partners Nike has deals with ten national teals: Australia,Brazil, Croatia, England, France, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Among the others, Puma with four (Serbia, Senegal, Uruguay and Switzerland), New Balance two (Costa Rica, Panama) and one each for Errea (Iceland), Hummel (Denmark), Uhlsport (Denmark), Umbra (Peru).

At the 2014 World Cup, two of adidas’ 12 teams — Germany and Argentina — made it to the finals with Germany winning trophy.

Fox Sports coverage from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia includes all 64 matches live, with more matches on network TV (38) than the last four FIFA World Cups combined.

Coca-Cola is sponsoring short-form 90 in 90 match highlights, and joins adidas as a co-sponsor of Team Channels.

“In sponsoring the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we encourage fans to go beyond being just an audience, but to become a participant, a creator."

Telemundo Deportes, the exclusive Spanish-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, will offer more than 1,500 hours of World Cup coverage  across all platforms, including more than 500 hours on TV and more than 1,000 hours across digital platforms, including the live streaming of all 64 World Cup Russia games.

ESPN said it plans extensive English and Spanish-language news and information coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia across its media platforms in the U.S.
ESPN’s English-language coverage will include a special one-hour SportsCenter – mainly on ESPN2  – on every match day of the tournament, with a focus on World Cup news and analysis. correspondents will provide on-site reports from Russia. ESPN FC, the global soccer program available exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+, the ESPN App and, will also air daily.

ESPN Deportes, the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network, will feature World Cup coverag throughout the tournament.

World Cup Guide From Fox Sports

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