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NBC SUNDAY NIGHT 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

• Thursday Sept. 7
NFL Kickoff 
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
• Sept. 10
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
• Sept. 17
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
• Sept. 24
Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins
Oct. 1
Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks
*Oct. 8
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans
• Oct. 15
New York Giants at Denver Broncos
• Oct. 22
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots
• Oct. 29
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions
• Nov. 5
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
• Nov. 12
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
*Nov. 19
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
• Thursday Nov. 23
Thanksgiving Day
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
• Nov. 26
Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
• Dec. 3
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
• Dec. 10
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
• Dec. 17
Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders
• Saturday Dec. 23
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
• Dec. 31
TBD
Source: NBC Sports

NYSJ NETWORK
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2017 NBC THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

• Thursday, Aug. 3
Hall of Fame Game 8 PM. ET on NBC
Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
• Nov. 9
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
• Thursday Nov. 16
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
• Nov. 30
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
• Dec. 7
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
• Dec. 14
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
• Monday. Dec. 25
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
*Games will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed live on Amazon Prime

SOURCE: NBC SPORTS

COLLECTIBLE CORNER

• $10.95: Asking price for 'Run Floyd' T-shirt from Conor McGregor, on eBay
• $12.95: Asking price for Mayweather Jr.-McGregor fight poster, on eBay
• $225.00: Asking price for 11x14 autographed Conor McGregor photo with COA, on eBay
• $249.99: Asking price for boxing glove autographed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. with COA, on eBay
• $15,000.00: Asking price for (2) tickets to Mayweather Jr.-McGregor fight in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, on eBay

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U.S. OPEN TENNIS SERIES  Thru Aug. 26 ESPN, Tennis Channel

FLOYD MAYWEATHER Jr. v CONOR McGREGOR Aug. 26 T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas Showtime PPV

MLB PLAYERS WEEKEND Aug. 25-27

U.S. OPEN Aug. 28-Sept. 10 Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Queens, NY ESPN, Tennis Channel

COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2017 OPENING WEEK Aug. 26-Sept. 2

NFL 2017 KICKOFF Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Sept. 7 NBC 8:30 PM (ET)

NFL 2017 SEASON OPENERS Sept. 10

NHL CHINA GAMES (Pre-season) Sept. 21, Sept. 23 Los Angeles Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks

iHEART RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL Sept. 22-23 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas

NFL LONDON SERIES Sept. 24 Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Wembley Stadium

NFL LONDON SERIES Oct. 1 New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins, Wembley Stadium

MLB PLAYOFFS Oct. 3

NHL 2017-18 Oct. 4

NBA 2017-18 Kia Opening Week Oct. 17-20 TNT, ESPN

WORLD SERIES Oct. 24

COLLEGE

Coaches Make ACS Call
NCAA Plans '18 Final 4
Final Four '22 In NOLA
Cancer Drives Home
Nissan House Open

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

Target, adidas, Fans Drive MLS Value To Record $4.5B

Boosted by new alliances with Target and other major companies, plus an estended $700M deal with adidas, the value of Major Soccer League has hit a record $4.46B, with each club valued at an average of $223M, according to a new report from Forbes, numbers that pale compared to the NFL and MLB — the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in the world at $4.2B followed by the New York Yankees at $3.7B — but great news none the less for soccer people in the U.S., who point to the MLS and such clubs as the Los Angeles Galaxy (valued at $315M) and Seattle Sounders ($295M value and a league-leading average attendance of 42.8K) as key factors in the sports' growth. MORE

Serena Top-Paid Woman Athlete, But Brands Bank On Men

She has cemented her legacy as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, athlete on the sports landscape, and for tennis star Serena Williams that has translated into being the top-paid female athlete in the world, with earnings at $27M, per Forbes, but that puts her well behind 50 men — including tennis' Roger Federer at No. 1 ($58M) — and reveals shortcomings in sports winnings, marketing and ad campaigns as there are only nine other female athletes who earned more than $6M over the past year, none from the WNBA, LPGA or U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. MORE

ESPN Takes QB Role In '19 College Football 150th Fete

Saying it would offer 'year-long, multi-faceted, storytelling programming to showcase the college football experience as never before,' ESPN has unveiled the role in plans to play in 2019 when the sport celebrates its 150th anniversary, a celebration that will also see major media, marketing and other activation from such organizations as the NCAA and its corporate partners, National Football Foundation, the College Football Hall of Fame and universities nationwide, all tracing back to Nov. 6, 1869, when the first official college football game was played and culminating in January 2020 with that season's National Championship in New Orleans. MORE

MLS, NHL Top NFL, MLB In Fan Game Day Experience

Houston is riding high in sports these days, with the MLB Astros and MLS Dynamo atop their respective conferences and the NBA Rockets having acquired Chris Paul to improve their status, and that shows with fans in the city ranking their enjoyment of game day experiences in-stadum and in-arena No. 1 in the nation and that the Astros Minute Maid Park is tops in brand recognition, according to a new study from J.D. Power, which also relates that the New York Red Bulls are No. 1 overall among teams and that five MLS clubs are in the Top Ten while the NFL barely cracks the Top 20. MORE

'Tsunami,' 'Dirty Craig' Ready For Players Weekend

MLB has always been a breeding ground for great nicknames — 'Stan the Man,' 'Mr. October,' 'Dizzy,' 'Goose,' 'Big Train' — and the league picks up the modern-day gauntlet with Players Weekend (Aug. 25-27) when players get to pick thieir own moniker and wear them on the back of their jersey, as well as specially designed hats, socks and other equipment, with game-worn jerseys then being auctioned to raise funds for the MLB-MLBPA Yout Development Foundation, so get ready for the likes of 'Tsunami,' 'No Panic,' 'Don't You Know,' 'White Shark,' 'The Sheriff' and 'Dirty Craig.' MORE

NBA Opens Opening Week, Xmas, International Gifts

The calendar may read August, but the NBA wants you to bookmark Opening Week in October and Christmas Day, unveiling a plethora of anticipated games for the 2017-18 season — which begins Oct. 17, the earliest for the league since 1980 as it seeks to reduce back-to-back games and travel time — including 14 different teams playing in eight nationally televised games as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2017, then five games on Dec. 25 on ESPN, ABC and TNT, as well as regular-season games in Mexico in December and London in January. MORE

Harley-Davidson Rides With NBA For Advertising Deal

Calling it a perfect fit, Miwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has signed an alliance with the NBA's hometown Bucks to become the team's first jersey sponsor, with the iconic motorcycle company getting a patch on the uniform under the league's new jersey three-year ad test program — joining 11 other teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers (Goodyear), Boston Celtics (GE), Orlando Magic (Disney) and Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub) — plus other marketing incentives, which Harley said could garner more than three billion impressions worldwide. MORE

NBA, NHL Arena Gets Capital One Name For $100M

The NBA's Washington Wizards and NHL's Capitals are now part of the answer to the question, What's in you wallet? as Monumental Sports and Entertainment has signed a deal estimated at $100M over ten years with financial firm Capital One for naming rights to the venue formerly known as Verizon Center in which those teams, as well as the WNBA's Mystics, play, to be called effective immediately Capital One Arena. MORE

Can Nadal, Federer Take Top Spot From Murray?

With world No. 4 ranked Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 Novak Djokovic both out of the upcoming U.S. Open due to injuries, No. 2 ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer seek to make a move on top-ranked Andy Murrray — who himself is dealing with a hip problem — which, as Yogi Berra said, would be déja vu all over again as both Raja and Roger previously held the No. 1 spot in the world and are heading into the final tennis Grand Slam tournament of the season on high notes and within striking distance of Murray based on ATP Worldwide Tour points. MORE

Florida, Stanford, UCLA Named Top College Sports Programs Of Past 25 Years

Most athletes would name their own college or university as having the best sports program, but the Florida Gators, Stanford Cardinals and UCLA Bruins come out on top among all Div. I athletic programs over the past 25 years, according to a new report from Best College Reviews, which looked at a variety of team and individual championships and successes but focused on achievements in football, men's and women's basketball, men's baseball and women's softball, as well as parameters established by the NCAA, to compile its list of Top 30. MORE

YouTube Trending: Death Wish, Hot Ones Steve-O, Clash of Clans, Mayweather Jr. Media Day

NEWS FROM NFL 2016

Tom Brady Confirmed As NFL's GOAT Merch Salesman

Considered by many to be the greatest QB of all time and one of the greatest players ever, Tom Brady might also be the NFL's GOAT salesman, at least according to figures from the NFL Players Assn., which said that the man who led the New England Patriots to victory in SBLI is No. 1 among all players in sales recorded across more than 70 officially licensed merchandise categories for Q1 2017, a position he has held four times over the past 13 quarters as well as ranking among the Top 3 nine other times. MORE

NFL Stars Shine With Carrie For Sunday Night Football

Antonio Brown, Dont'a Hightower, Derek Carr, Julio Jones, Von Miller, Jason Pierre-Paul, Patrick Peterson and Dak Prescott are among ten players who will get some extra high-profile airtime this season when they appear with Carrie Underwood in the new opening segment for NBC's Sunday Night Football, set to debut Sept. 10 when the New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys — but with a sneak peak to come during a pre-season game on Aug. 27 — with the guys joining Carrie for a rebooted rendition of her hit, 'Something Bad,' here re-envisioned for the top-rated telecasts as 'Oh, Sunday Night.' MORE

Cowboys, Yankees Top List Of Most Valuable Franchises

Many people may not refer to the Dallas Cowboys as 'America's Team' but  even naysayers have to call them the most valuable franchise in the world, estimated at $4.2B, according to a new report from Forbes, which has the New York Yankees second overall ($3.7B), three soccer clubs in the Top 5  - Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona - and 29 NFL teams overall among the Top 50, with 'all 32 NFL franchises turning a profit of at least $26M.' MORE

With Jersey Sales Like This, Marshawn Could Run For Prez

Marshawn Lynch apparently made the right move in coming out of retirement and being traded to his hometown Oakland Raiders, as least as far as jersey sales are concerned, as the running back tops the list supplied by NFLShop.com for sales in May, beating No. 2 Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott from the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr., his former QB Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and even his new QB Derek Carr with the Raiders, not only heading the overall list but finishing No. 1 in sales in 14 states, perhaps an homage to the fact that he has more than 2M followers combined on Facebook and Twitter. MORE

Manning Joins Riddell As NFL Seeks Safer Helmets

Peyton Manning, who retired from football after winning Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos, knows a lot about football helmets and is bringing his expertise to Riddell, where he will be a strategic adviser and spokesman, a move that comes soon after the NFL and NFL Players Assn. released a list of 33 helmets that had been tested and approved in varying degrees for player use this coming season, all part of the league and union's dedicated process to improve equipment and enhance the safety of its athletes. MORE

Cowboys Elliott Runs Hot Into Fanatics Deal

Following his breakout season with the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott has had a hot off-season, becoming the first rookie to top the NFL Players' Assn. list of merchandise sales and now signing a deal with Fanatics that enables the officially licensed sports merchandise company to be the sole outlet for Elliott's autographs and memorabilia, with the running back joining a company roster that also includes Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Stephen Curry, Kris Bryant and David Ortiz. 'To accomplish this level of success shows just how passionate football fans are,' said Elliott. MORE

NFL Has Los Angeles, Teams Doing Super Bowl Shuffle

When the Los Angeles Rams last week said that due to extreme weather conditions their new stadium would open a year later than planned — 2020 instead of 2019 — it set off a series of events, including the NFL pushing back the Rams planned hosting of Super Bowl LV in 2021 to Super Bowl LVI in 2022, moving in Tampa Bay to now host Super Bowl LV and sending notice to other teams that were considering future Super Bowl bids, possibly including the Detroit Lions and the Oakland-to-become-the-Las Vegas Raiders, that the next available game would now be Super Bowl LVIII in 2023. MORE

Elliott, Cowboys Top NFL's $1.6B Retail Merch Sales List

Running back Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys not only made an impact on the field during this past NFL season but also in marketing and retail sales, becoming the first rookie to finish No. 1 on the fiscal year-end NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales list, where total retail sales surpassed $1.6B, based on official merchandise and products sold by more than 80 licensees, with the Cowboys as a team proving to be America's favorite by placing three players among the Top 4 — Elliott, Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant — and a league-leading five players overall. 'To accomplish this level of success shows how passionate Cowboys fans are in Dallas and around the world,' said Elliott. MORE


Houston Had $350M Impact During SB LI

NFL Sponsor Spend Top Record $1.2B

Brady Takes On Madden NFL Cover Curse

Led By NFL, MLB, Licensed Sports Merch Nears $48B

Romo: Why I'm Taking CBS Sports Over Cowboys

Twitter Gets All Social With Enhanced NFL Pact

 

NEWS FROM MLB 2016 

MLB, Topps Want You Carded On Natl. Baseball Card Day

Aug. 12 is a busy day: It is National Vinyl Record Day (to commemorate the day popularized when Thomas Edison completed the model for the first phonograph in 1877), National Julienne Fries Day, National Bowling Day, National Garage Sale Day, National Middle Child Day and, most important for baseball fans, National Baseball Card Day, driven by iconic trading card company and MLB partner Topps, which will see special sets of cards available at participating hobby stores nationwide (while supplies last) and team-specific card sets handed out by players in MLB stadiums. 'This is a way for long-time collectors to celebrate and for newcomers to see everything baseball cards have to offer,' said David Leiner, vp and GM North America for Topps. MORE

MLB Partners Load Up With All-Star Game Marketing

While Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, José Altuve, Bryce Harper and other top players take the field for the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, MLB partners including MasterCard, Coke, T-Mobile, Chevrolet, Esurance, Nathan's and Topps will be activating on-air (Fox, ESPN, MLB Network) or on-site in and around Miami, including new creative, in FanFest, at parties and events and with cause-marketing platforms, using such players as hometown hero Stanton, All-Star catcher Buster Posey and baseball icon David Ortiz and actor Josh Duhamel. 'The All-Star Game provides us with a unique opportunity to deliver something special for fans,' said Andres Siefken, evp-marketing for MasterCard. MORE

Movement Builds To Retire Clemente's 21 Across MLB

With the initial goal of obtaining 100K signatures, a group led by the Roberto Clemente Museum and MARC USA, both based in Pittsburgh, made their presence known during the All-Star Game and surrounding events in Miami and will continue to do so this summer in various cities and ball parks in an effort to have Clemente's No. 21 join Jackie Robinson's No. 42 as the only numbers retired by all major league teams, a quest based not only his 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates — with Clemente being the first Latin American player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame — but also for the life he lived, which was cut short in 1972 when he died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. MORE

MLB, MLBPA Add $1M To Negro Leagues Museum Legacy

A significant and vital part of baseball history received major support this week from MLB and MLB Players Assn. via a $1M donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum that is ear-marked to 'inspire future generations of minority youth to play basebal' by supporting Museum services, expansion, operations, education and community programming. During an event at the Museum -- which brings to life the lives and Negro Leagues days of such players as Jackie Robinson, 'Cool Papa' Bell, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, 'Because of the sacrifices and triumphs of the men and women of the Negro Leagues, the Museum is an inspirational experience for fans of any age.' MORE

Citigroup Pitches Card Campaign With Syndergaard, Breuer

In the next iteration of its humorous "If everyone said what they meant" campaign, Citigroup has spilled into baseball with a series of spots featuring New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, Mets broadcasters (and fomer players) Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez and actor/comic and Mets uber-fan Jim Breuer, all of whom are seen in real-life scenarios but in which true intentions direct dialogue, including Syndergaard during a post-game press conference and Breuer at a game yelling cliché phrases and useless stats 'so everyone thinks I know what I'm talking about.' MORE

MLB Gets Real With Intel VR Live-Stream Games

As in Field of Dreams, MLB and MLB Advanced Media believe if you show games in VR, people will come, a big part of the reason the league has signed a deal with Intel to offer fans nearly a dozen games this season via Intel True VR, which also will offer weekly highlights and on-demand replays of each game — a platform similar to the one Intel and the NCAA used during March Madness earlier this year — and another part of MLB's strategy to bring games into homes via technology and social media, with Facebook and Twitter also live-streaming games in 2017. 'As a VR partner of MLB, Intel is delivering a truly immersive virtual reality live-stream where fans can experience the excitement of being at the ballpark every week,' said James Carwana, GM for the Intel Sports Group. MORE 

Q&A: Fans Spoke, Brand Keys Listened, MLB Again No. 1

With baseball in full swing and the NFL coming off a campaign that saw overall viewing and ratings numbers take a hit, many people were asking, 'Can baseball reclaim its spot as the favorite sport among fans?' According to the recently released 25th annual Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Index, that has happened, with people ranking MLB No. 1 and the NFL dropping to No. 3 behind the NBA. In this Q&A, Robert Passikoff, founder and president for Brand Keys, reveals how the Chicago Cubs played a key role in moving baseball back to the top spot it last held a decade ago, how MLB is building loyalty between players and fans in ways that the NFL can not, how attitudes among fans have changed over the past quarter century and why baseball may remain No. 1 for years to come.

Led By Yankees, Cubs, MLB Teams Top $1.5B In Value

Stating that 'long gone are the days when MLB was replete with teams bleeding cashing,' a new report from Forbes shows that, on average, MLB's 30 teams are valued in excess of a record $1.5B, led by the New York Yankees ($3.5B), Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.75B), Boston Red Sox ($2.7B), World Series champion Chicago Cubs ($2.68B) and the San Francisco Giants ($2.65B); with the league's per team average trailing the NFL ($2.39B) but ahead of the average of the world's top 20 soccer teams ($1.49B), the NBA ($1.36B) and the NHL ($517M). MORE

Tailgating Rules During MLB Dog Days Of Summer

MLB is famous for its dog days, those hot, oppressive games in summer when players and plays seem slow and lethargic, but MLB is also known for its Dog Days — aka Bark in the Park, Pups at the Park and Pooches in the Ballpark — when canines can go to the stadium along with their owners, with more than half the league's teams holding such events this year, supported by team marketing partners and aligned with local and national animal adoption or rescue agencies, including Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) under the auspices of three-time winning World Series manager Tony La Russa. 'Our commitment to people saving animals and animals saving people has never been stronger,' said La Russa. MORE


Church & Dwight MLB Deal Includes Jennie Finch

MiLB Sees Ballparks Of The Future

Under New Ownership, Majestic Still In MLB Plans

Topps, Aramark Cook Culinary Treats For Fans

Soda Wars: Coca-Cola Reclaims MLB From Pepsi

MLB Players Pitch New Plan To Sell Autographs

 

NEWS FROM COLLEGE 2016

NCAA Urged To Spend More On Health, Diversity Issues

A major report from the Knight Commission is urging the NCAA to increase funding for initiatives that support the health and safety of athletes and programs that will expand diversity among head football coaches as well as men's and women's hoops coaches, with the Commission — founded in 1989 to recommend and promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports — saying that although the NCAA has been more proactive 'it's time for them to demonstrate national leadership on health and safety issues' while also offering data showing that diversity among head coaches has not changed much since 2007, with just 10% of FBS coaches and  25% of hoops head coaches African American. MORE

NCAA Eyes Changes In Men's Hoops, March Madness

With the end goal being to 'create more excitement' and 'create a less-compressed schedule to benefit student-athletes,' the NCAA said it would spend the next six-to-12 months gathering data that could initiate such changes in men's hoops as widening the lane, extending the three-point line, reconfiguring games from two 20-minute halves to four ten-minute quarters and starting the campaign days earlier while providing a break during mid-season, some or all of which could happen for 2018-19. According to the NCAA, the Men's Basketball Rules Committee would 'conduct a holistic review of potential significant rule changes, including an examination to determine if changes would benefit the sport and help positive trends continue.' MORE

NCAA, March Madness Returning To North Carolina

Looking ahead to the 2019-22 seasons, the NCAA has unveiled more than 600 host sites for preliminary and finals games across its 90 championships, with perhaps the biggest take-away being a return to North Carolina, which the NCAA, NBA and others had previously withdrawn from due to HB2, the controversial bill that local officials said has since been amended but which major opponents claim has not. While the NCAA stated that is decisions on these host sites would 'create a great atmosphere for student-athletes, coaches and fans,' James Essecks, director for the ACLU's LGBT and HIV Project, had a different view. 'When the NCAA originally withdrew from North Carolina they did so because they claimed to care about fairness and inclusion for college athletes and fans. It's a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside.' MORE

Nike, adidas, UA Get A Foothold On Big Dance Kicks

According to the saying, There's no business like shoe business . . .  especially if those shoes can help take you to the NCAA hoops championship, and the big three brands during March Madness are Nike which has deals with 40 schools — including No. 1 seeds Villanova, Gonzaga and UNC, as well as women's No. 1 overall seed UConn — adidas with 15 schools (including No. 1 seed Kansas) and Under Armour with ten schools plus Russell Athletic (which outfits the feet of Texas Southern), according to Apex Marketing Group, whose numbers also show that while Nike sits atop the Big Dance kicks count, they have eight fewer schools than in 2015 while Under Armour (plus six) and adidas (plus four) schools have taken those spots in the tourney this year. MORE

$1.2B Ad Spend Makes Tourney 'Valuable TV Franchise'

When it comes to March, there is no shortage of Madness or marketing, with the 2017 tournament seeking to top last year's record $1.24B ad spend, driven by NCAA partners including GM ($493M), AT&T ($80M), Coca-Cola, Capital One and Unillever and such categories as automotive, telecom, financial services, restaurants and insurance; with broadcast partners CBS and Turner Sports' TBS, TNT and truTV again loaded with companies seeking to reach eyeballs and wallets from the First Four (March 14-15) through the Final Four (April 1) and Championship Game (April 3). MORE

Q&A: Ivy League Learning Lessons In Hoops Tourney 101

The Ivy League is going to a new classroom — its first post-season men's and women's basketball tournament, being played in the iconic Palestra in Philadelphia (March 11-12), with the winning teams getting a bid to the NCAA Tournament; joined by such marketing partners as presenting firm Citizens Bank, Coca-Cola, Nike and Under Armour, and games to air on ESPN platforms. But as Paul Bamundo, former marketing exec for the NBA and Subway and now CMO for Ivy League Sports — a collaboration between JMI Sports and the Ivy League — relates in this Q&A, although the Ivy League was the last NCAA hoops conference to organize a post-season event, the excitement, intensity and competition will rival that of more-established basketball tournaments.

NCAA Details Activation For '18 Final Four

Unhidden Figures: Hoops Means Money, Beer

College B-Ball Coaches Make Call For ACS

NCAA Plays In Candy Aisle With Hershey

Marriott Books Room For Tourney Campaign

 

NEWS FROM NBA 2016-17

Western Union Sends A Message With NBA Jersey Deal

Founded in 1851 and based in Denver, Western Union now has a new way to get messages to the public, signing a three-year multi-tier alliance with the hometown Nuggets that would see the company's logo on the front of player jerseys (as part of the NBA's three-season test), signage in the team's home Pepsi Center arena and various other activation that could have an impact across three sports and in two cities as Nuggets majority owner Kroenke Sports & Entertainment also has properties that include the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, the under-construction billion-dollar stadium outside of L.A., the MLS Colorado Rapids and the club's home venue, Dick's Sporting Goods Park. MORE

New Nike Jerseys For Players, New Revenue For NBA

Next season, company logos will be coming to NBA jerseys, as will recycled bottles and several new versions of uniforms, according to Nike, the league's incoming official on-court apparel provider via an eight-year deal valued at $1B, which has worked with the NBA to replace traditional 'home' and 'away' uniforms with four new options — Association (home), Icon (road) and two others to be unveiled closer to the season opener (all made using recycled bottles) — as well as Classic options to be worn by eight teams, adding up to new revenue for the NBA as fans purchase the premiere jerseys and new ad revenue estimated to top $100M with nine teams to date having signed deals with companies to be official jersey-patch sponsors. According to the NBA and Nike, the uniforms were 'developed using player input (and) inspired by the mindset of the NBA athlete and the communities that support their teams.' MORE

WNBA Players Still Seek Awareness Among Marketers

Now in its 20th season, the WNBA has had a plethora of renowned players on its rosters, and the current crop of stars seem destined to carry on that situation, but even with the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game on July 22 on national TV (ABC), such players as Diana Turasi, Sue Bird, Elena Delle Donne, Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Brianna Stewart and Brittney Griner may be popular with fans (and even NBA players) but still lack national impact with marketers. MORE

NBA G League Unveils First Marketing In Its History

The newly minted NBA G League - rebranded from the Developmental League via a multi-year deal with Gatorade - is breaking the first marketing campaign in its 16-year history under the umbrella theme, 'We Don't Do Good. We Do Great,' anchored by a TV spot to debut during the MGM Resorts International NBA Summer League games on NBA TV and ESPN, with support including Internet, social media and in-arena activation when the season begins in November. 'The campaign will spotlight the grit and determination that G League players need to fulfill their NBA dreams.' MORE

Curry, Warriors Also Take NBA Jersey, Merch Sales Crown

With four players listed among the season-ending most popular NBA jerseys, the Golden State Warriors have added the sales crown to their league championship, led by Stephen Curry (No. 1), Kevin Durant (No. 3), Klay Thompson (No. 10) and Draymond Green (No. 11), with the Warriors also claiming the No. 1 spot among best-selling team merchandise, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are well-represented by LeBron James (No. 2) and Kyrie Irving (No. 5) and the team No. 2 in merchandise sales. MORE

Mountain Dew Has MVP Plans For Russell Westbrook

Soon after he was named the NBA's MVP, Russell Westbrook marketing partner Nike unveiled an animated congratulatory spot, and now Mountain Dew, another of Westbrook's partners, has shared details on its multi-platform effort to honor the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, including limited-edition cans and, in a nod to Westbrook's eclectic sense of fashion, a Triple-Double Breasted suit being designed that is adorned with stats and other accouterments from his record-setting season, which he will wear as the next NBA campaign approaches. MORE

NBA, LeBron Earn Partners $440M+ In Social Media Value

The NBA is one of the most successful sports organizations in the world on social media, with nearly 83M followers combined on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, while LeBron James is the second-most followed athlete worldwide (more than 91M followers, second to Cristiano Ronaldo's 174M), which, combined with the social media success of NBA champion Golden State Warriors and their star point guard Stephen Curry, has created a significant impact for marketing partners of the league, its teams and its players, to the tune of $444M in brand value, according to social media index and valuation platform MVPindex, with Kia, Nike and Bud Light among those benefiting most. MORE

LeBron James Takes Lead Role On Showtime NBA Project

People know that he produces results on the court with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, but LeBron James continues to have an impact with his production off the court, as well, a significant part of that coming from SpringHill Entertertainment, which he founded with this business partner (and longtime friend) Maverick Carter, the latest offering a deal with Showtime Networks to create a three-part documentary series on the history, growth and influence of the NBA, which will be directed by Gotham Chopra (Kobe Bryant's Muse, David Ortiz: The Last Walkoff) and is scheduled to air in 2018. According to Carter, 'We developed the idea for these films because of the incredible, generational impact some of the NBA's most successful players have had on every aspect of American culture.' MORE

McEnroe: 'Toxic' Knicks Hit Bottom . . . Time To Move Up

It's 'Bottom's up!' for John McEnroe as far as the New York Knicks are concerned. Although best known for his tennis prowess, the seven-time Grand Slam winner and ESPN commentator is a decades-long,  high-profile, devoted fan of the Knicks, having grown up in Queens and a supporter through good and bad dating back to the team's last two NBA titles (1970, 1973), so it hit close to home when New York parted ways with president Phil Jackson, who was a member of both championship squads, after three seasons of less than stellar results and unusual moves, including his handling of team stars Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingas. 'Yesterday, I thought that Phil would finish out his contract and turn things around,' said McEnroe, currently with the ESPN crew preparing to cover Wimbledon. 'Now, it seems as if things had gotten too toxic, that the team has hit bottom. But maybe that's when you start to move forward.' MORE

Disney All Ears With Orlando Magic Jersey Pact

NBA G-League Marketing Off And Running

LeBron, Cavs See Global Reach With Goodyear Deal

Survey: NBA Teams Find Fan Loyalty More Than Winning

State Farm Tops NBA $800M Sponsorship Spend

NBA Bringing ASG Back To North Carolina

 

NEWS FROM NHL 2016-17

NHL Games, Jewel Events Get Center Ice On NBC Sports

It may be the Dog Days of Summer in MLB, but the for the NHL it's just about time to sharpen the blades and put the Zamboni on ice, and the league will get a lot of ice time this season with NBC and NBCSN set to air 99 regular season games and a bevy of jewel events — including the All-Star Game, Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown and NHL100 Classic — with highlights to feature appearances by rising stars Conor McDavid and Auston Matthews, the first season for the Vegas Golden Knights and the opening of the Detroit Red Wings new venue. 'We're proud to offer our most diverse NHL schedule ever to fans across the country,' said Sam Flood, executive producer and president for NBC Sports. MORE

T-Mobile Signs As Presenting Sponsor NHL Awards, Draft

Watching the Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators is not the only thing occupying NHL executives, marketers and fans these days as the league has signed T-Mobile as presenting sponsor for the upcoming Awards Ceremony and Expansion Draft — an organic move as the two events will both take place on June 21 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas — has also tapped Tampa Bay to host the 2018 All-Star Game and surrounding activation and has named Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD, as the site of an outdoor game next season between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. MORE

NHL Plans To Build Sport In China, But Not In Olympics

Having already planned its first two games in China for this fall, the NHL said it would work with the government, sports leaders and marketers to help the nation reach a goal of having 300 million more participants in winter sports by 2022, when the Winter Olympics will be staged in Beijing, 'particularly and including hockey,' but that does not mean the NHL has changed its position about not playing in the Games in either 2018 (South Korea) or 2022. 'We're working very hard and are very focused with developing the Chinese market,' said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. '(But) the focus is more loing-term and not about what happens for two weeks in 2022.' MORE

NHL Will Ice NY With '18 Bridgestone Winter Classic

New York hosted an open-air Super Bowl in February so why not an outdoor Bridgestone Winter Classic in January, with the game scheduled for Jan. 1, 2018 to be broadcast on NBC from Citi Field, home of MLB;s New York Mets, where the hometown Rangers will host the Buffalo Bills in the ten-year anniversary of the Winter Classic in Buffalo that started it all. 'These games capture everybody's attention, it's emotional, it's our fans getting together in larger numbers than usual, it conjures up memories for our players who learned to skate outdoors. It's phenomenal,' said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. MORE

Q&A: Upper Deck Holds Top Cards, Coins, Connections

In 1989, Upper Deck made sports history by releasing its first MLB set with then rookie Ken Griffey Jr. in the leadoff spot as card No. 1, and earlier this month the company again made history with the release of the Grandeur Hockey Coin Collection featuring 20 NHL icons and stars, including Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane and young phenom Connor McDavid, which comes in limited-edition and is available via 'blind pack' in silver and gold. But as Jason Masherah, president for Upper Deck, relates in this Q&A, it's not such products as the coins, the Griffey Jr. card, collections from Disney and Marvel or NHL and other sports collectibles that are driving the trading card and memorabilia category, but rather the personal aspect he is seeing as more parents are connecting with their kids via these pieces of sport.

NHL Puts '18 Games On Ice, Players, IOC Feel Burned

Stating that 'we now consider the matter officially closed,' NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league would not stop play to allow its players to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, citing finances as a major issue, but there was an opposing viewpoint from the NHL Players' Assn., calling Bettman's decision 'disappointing' and 'short-sighted,' as well as from the IOC, which stated, '(We) feel sorry for the atheltes' and from the players themselves,' including All-Star Alex Ovechkin, who said he still plans to be in the Olympics with Russia's National Team, and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Ludqvist, who posted on his Twitter page, 'A huge opportunity to market the game at the biggest stage is wasted.' MORE

 

At 125, Stanley Cup Still Life Of The Party

Stars Trash The Place For Bauer Hockey Push

Will Hockey World Cup Drive Fans, Brands To ESPN?

NHL Players, Fans Can Now Run On Dunkin'

Pittsburgh Penguins Add 'Most Loyal' Fans To Cup Reward


NEWS FROM eSPORTS

Despite DFS Woes, Fantasy Sports Is 59M Players Strong

Daily fantasy sports companies FanDuel and DraftKings are facing an injunction from the FTC over their proposed merger, but fantasy sports as an industry is feeling no such setback, with a record 59.3M players in the U.S. and Canada who are spending more than $7B, according to a new survey from the Fantasy Sports Trade Assn., which also has invigorating numbers that show these players spend $1B on such 'ancillary' items as draft parties, food, drink and memorabilia; and favor Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Burger King, Wendy's and McDonald when ordering food for their fantasy draft events. 'Fantasy sports data shows tremendous gains in the scale of participation and economic impact,' said Paul Charchian, president for the FSTA. MORE

NBA Sending 17 Teams Into New eLeague Competition

Led by teams that have appeared in the last 13 finals, including three of the past four champs, the NBA said 17 of its clubs will participate in the upcoming NBA 2K eLeague competition, scheduled to launch in 2018, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat heading up a field that also includes the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards. 'This is the first step in what promises to be an extraordinary league,' said NBA 2K eLeague managing director Brendan Donohue. MORE

Momentum-PMK*BNC Unite To Bring Brands To eSports

Two high-profile agencies, both under the Interpublic Group umbrella, are joining forces to provide opportunities for brands to become involved with video gaming and the burgeoning eSports category, seeking to offer opportunities for sponsorships, marketing, branded content, live-event experiences and media outreach, with Momentum Worldwide bringing experience from working with such companies as Coca-Cola, Verizon, Mondelez, AmEx and Kia; and PMK*BNC via a roster that includes Emma Thompson, Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Downey Jr. With more than 2B fans around the world, 'The opportunity in gaming for brands is enormous,' according to Chris Weil, Momentum chairman and CEO. MORE

eSports, Mobile Boost Games Rev To $100B Worldwide

Stating that 'consumers are embracing the possibilities that games now offer to view, create and play on every screen,' marketing and research firm NewZoo's Global Games Market Report shows that revenue from the global games market hit a record $99.6B last year and would top $100B in 2017, led by such titles as League of Legends, Heroes of Warcraft, Counter Strike: Global Offense and Minecraft; that eSports, mobile and live-stream are the leading drivers; that the top companies are led by Tencent ($10B revenue), Sony ($7.8B), Activision Blizzard ($6.6B) and Microsoft ($6.5B); and with China overtaking the U.S. as the nation with the largest games revenue. MORE

How Shaq, A-Rod Are Helping DC Become eSports Capital

In what was called a move intended to help make Washington DC the 'eSports capital' of the world, Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, has signed a deal to be an exclusive sponsor for NRG eSports, the Los Angeles-based organization that has teams in numerous eSports competitions, which was co-founded by owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and lists among its investors Shaquille O'Neal, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Collins, with Events DC also making alliances with Overwatch and other players in the eSports field. 'DC is no longer your grandparents' capital,' said Max Brown, chairman for Events DC. 'In the next five to eight years, DC will be positioned to be the capital of eSports.' MORE

Twitter Builds eSports Platform With ESL Live-Stream

Following live-streaming deals with the likes of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, Twitter is now boosting its presence in the burgeoning landscape of eSports by signing alliances with top category players ESL and DreamHack to not only live-stream events during the coming year — beginning with the Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland — but to also run live and original content, including a weekly show from ESL to include highlights, behind-the-scenes footage and access to gamers and upcoming competitions, encompassing some 1,500 hours of content. 'eSports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers who already use Twitter as a primary source of content,' said Anthony Noto, COO for Twitter. MORE

Report: eSports Revenue To Accelerate To $1.5B By 2020

Envisioning it as the next battleground for brands, marketers, media and players, the global eSports landscape will continue to grow in 2017 and accelerate thru 2020, reaching revenues of $1.5B, according to a new study from research and consulting firm NewZoo, which anticipates that the number of players will top 58M, the audience will hit 358M and the global eSports economy will near $700M this year; and forecasts the category could impact nearly 2B people over the next four years, driven by increased viewership on TV, the addition of more pro sports leagues such as the NBA and FIFA; and more investments and activation from non-endemic companies, a list that already includes the likes of Coca-Cola, Bud Light, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bell, Ford, Hyundai, Gillette, Axe and sportswear and shoe companies Nike, adidas and Under Armour, 'which will battle it out for eSports team jerseys and footwear deals.' MORE

Call Of Duty World League Builds eSports Success

Armed with eye-popping stats from Season 1 that includes the participation of more than 1,000 teams, more than 1.2B minutes watched of live competitive content and 120M tune-ins, Activision has unveiled activation for Season 2 of Call of Duty World League Presented by Playstation4, scheduled to run from Dec. 7 through the championship in August 2017, with an anticipated multi-media marketing campaign and interaction with fans worldwide as part of the growth of eSports that is predicted to top $1.1B in revenue in 2019. MORE

20M eSports Fans, Serena Launch Overwatch League

Blizzard Entertainment, already a major player on the eSports landscape, will expand its presence in 2017 with Overwatch League, based on the game it launched in May and now encompassing 20M players worldwide, with marketing support including a spot featuring tennis icon Serena Williams and plans to emulate professional sports with teams representing different cities and a combine to evaluate talent. 'We're building a league that's accessible to fans and players, sustainable and exciting for everyone involved,' said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder for Blizzard, all part of the burgeoning success of eSports that industry analysts said would top $1.1B in revenue by 2019. MORE

 

Turner's eLeague Takes eSports To Next Level

Study Shows eSports Nearing MLB, NBA Heights

General Mills Joins eSports Mix With Yahoo

EA Dives Into eSports With Madden, Battlefield

Fantasy Sports Face Highs, Lows, Challenges

 

NEWS FROM TENNIS 2016-17

No Joker: Injury Shuts Novak Down For '17 Season

Citing the advice of doctors who confirmed what he already believed, Novak Djokovic has decided to withdraw from the remainder of the 2017 tennis season, giving him time to recover from an injured right elbow that he said has been bothering him for about 18 months and was the cause of his retirement during the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, meaning that he would miss the U.S. Open and break a streak of appearing in 51 consecutive Grand Slam events dating back to 2004, of which he has won 12 — including two U.S. Opens and six of a possible eight Grand Slams between 2014-16 — but vows to return in 2018 along with a marketing roster that includes Lacoste, adidas, Seiko and Jacob's Creek. MORE

Bed Of Sales: Serena Keeps Marketing Ball In Play

She is pregnant with her first child and has an endorsement deal with Tempur-Pedic, but Serena Williams — who has not competed in a pro event for most of this year but will still finish ranked among the Top Ten — is not asleep on the job, appearing in several marketing campaigns (including Gatorade, Intel and Tempur-Pedic), on the cover of Vanity Fair and in an on-going series of workout videos, all while supporting sister Venus' run to the Wimbledon finals, a schedule she said in a media Q&A that is not likely to slow down until her due date (which would coincide with the U.S. Open). MORE

Now Serving: Marketers Get The Ball Rolling In Wimbledon