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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

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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
Monday
Jan152018

WWE 'Mixed Match Challenge' Going The Distance For Cause-Marketing Charities

Special to NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

January 15, 2018: WWE’s new 12-episode in-ring series, Mixed Match Challenge, which will stream live in the U.S. exclusively on Facebook Watch on Tuesday nights beginning Jan. 16 (10 PM ET), is not just about winning in the ring.

Airing in 20-minute segments, Mixed Match Challenge will feature male and female WWE Superstars from Raw versus stars from SmackDown Live “competing in a single-elimination mixed tag-team tournament to win $100,000 to support the charity of their choice.”

In addition to the grand prize, each team's charitable organization will automatically receive $10,000.

Prior to the first episode, WWE has unveiled the 12 charitable organizations paired up with WWE Superstars competing in WWE Mixed Match Challenge.

“Giving back is in WWE's DNA and part of our long history, so we are thrilled that each Mixed Match Challenge team will compete to win the grand prize of $100,000 to support organizations that are truly important to them,” Michelle Wilson, WWE chief revenue and CMO, said in a statement.

“This unique and exciting content partnership with Facebook allows us to raise awareness and funds for important initiatives and supports our mission of putting smiles on people's faces around the world."

WWE has been promoting the series across its digital and social footprint, including a new Facebook Watch show page dedicated to Mixed Match Challenge.

A promotional trailer has been on-air during Monday Night Raw and SmackDown.

Each team also filmed a video to promote the event and their respective charities. Among them:

Elias & Bayley: Americares helps save lives and improve health for people affected by poverty or disaster.

Jimmy Uso & Naomi: Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides the resources needed to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss: Connor’s Cure raises awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research, in partnership with The V Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Bobby Roode & Charlotte Flair (pictured): Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation initiative, inspires and connects girls globally through its leadership program that positions girls to be changemakers in their communities.

Rusev & Lana: Global Citizen encourages the collective actions of people around the world with the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Alicia Fox & Goldust: Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce.

Big E & Carmella: KaBOOM! is dedicated to making sure all kids get the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play.

Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya: Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

The Miz & Asuka: Rescue Dogs Rock is an animal rescue organization whose goal is to provide homeless, neglected or abused dogs the medical care they need and the loving home they deserve.

Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch: UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first and works toward the day when no children suffer from preventable causes. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.

Finn Bálor & Sasha Banks: Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to empower people with intellectual disabilities.

Apollo Crews & Nia Jax: Susan G. Komen’s mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.

Facebook Watch is a new platform for shows on Facebook where brands can build and engage with a community of fans.

According to WWE, “Each 20-minute episode will reflect a progressive approach to production, with elements optimized for mobile consumption, experimentation and social interaction, including the ability for fans to engage with Superstars during the show. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to select match-ups, match stipulations and more, on Facebook.”

Facebook Watch is available on desktop, mobile and connected TV apps. Fans can follow WWE Mixed Match Challenge to add episodes to their personal Watchlists.

New WWE Series Pits Raw Vs. SmackDown Stars On Facebook Watch

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