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NEWS REAL

• Nascar has signed a deal to acquire International Speedway Corp. in a transaction valued at $2 billon. ISC owns and operates venues including Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Kansas Speedway, ISM Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Watkins Glen International.

ISC also owns Motor Racing Network, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; and Americrown, a subsidiary that provides catering services, and food and beverage concessions.

• 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.

• 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.” 

POLL POSITION

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).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
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)
MIDFIELDERS
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)
FORWARDS
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

KEEPING SCORE

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).

BUY SELL

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

SEARCH

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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
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).

Thursday
Jan262017

Atlanta Begins Year-Long Marketing Campaign For CFB '18 Title Game

By Barry Janoff

January 25, 2017: The city of Atlanta is living up to its nickname of "Hot-Lanta" these days.

The NFL’s Falcons are in Super Bowl LI and next season will begin play in their new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Hawks are making a strong run for the NBA playoffs. The expansion United FC are preparing for their first MLS season. This spring, for the 2017 MLB season, the Braves will move into their new stadium, SunTrust Park.

In February 2019 Super Bowl LIII will be played in 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

And this January, the 2018 College Football National Championship Game will be played in the new stadium.

Although that game is more than 340 days off, the Atlanta Football Host Committee wants to get the party started now. This week, AFHC unveiled a multi-media effort to raise awareness not only for the game and the host venue but also for the city of Atlanta.

The effort initially will be titled "I’m In" and include Internet, digital and outdoor featuring politicians, celebrities and local leaders "who make hosting the game possible."

Creative will feature Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta chief of police Erika Shields, Atlanta public schools Teacher of the Year (2015-16) Jerry Kosoff, world-renowned locals Zac Brown Band and other "behind-the-scene employees who make it possible to host such a major sporting event," according to AFHC.

A press conference to launch the campaign was held this week in Centennial Olympic Park near the first sign, which depicts Mayor Reed alongside the words, "I’m In" and the 2018 championship game logo.

"For Atlanta, this event is more than just a football game," said Dan Corso, president for the Atlanta Sports Council.

Other billboards will be located throughout the city, with one keeping running countdown until game day.

The week prior to the game itself will see the campaign morph to "Atlanta’s All In."

Outfront Media, one of the largest out-of-home media companies in North America, was signed to work in partnership with AFHC for the '18 College Football Playoff National Championship.

Outfront Media's in-house full-service creative boutique, Outfront Studios, worked with AFHC to "conceptualize, create, and develop the 'I’m In' out-of-home campaign, aiming to build awareness for Atlanta being named host city for next year's event.

"We are excited to work with the AFHC on a campaign that has deep ties to Atlanta and its people," Eddy Herty, Outfront Media's national creative director, who also leads Outfront Studios, said in a statement. "We pride ourselves on the ability to deliver impactful and engaging work for our clients, and our team had a lot of fun working with the AFHC on the 'I'm In' concept and creative.

"We believe it will resonate with both Atlanta residents and college football fans across the nation. There are 128 schools competing to reach the final game in Atlanta, and our efforts will help promote this championship every day until it takes place," said Herty.   

Trenches Sports and Entertainment in Atlanta is the exclusive sales agency.

Also this week, the Atlanta Sports Council launched a Championship Hosting Division, which will focus on "streamlining efficiencies for planning and producing major sporting events locally."

For ASC, that includes the '18 College Football Championship, Super Bowl LIII and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four, which will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"Sporting events of this caliber are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be a part of, and we're honored Atlanta was chosen to host next year's game," ASC’s Corso said in a statement. "Our goal for the 'I'm In' program was to create a sustainable campaign that could attract national attention all year long, but also tie into our local roots.

"The creative highlights how everyone came together — both well-known Atlanta stars and those playing pivotal behind-the-scenes roles — all to make the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship the best experience yet.," said Corso.

Mercers-Benz Stadium, scheduled to officially open this summer, currently has ten founding partners, including Coca-Cola, Equifax, The Home Depot, NCR, Novelis, SCANA Energy, SunTrust, IBM and American Family Insurance.

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