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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Tuesday
Mar182014

Mark Cuban Helps AT&T Play Name Game During March Madness, Final Four

By Barry Janoff

March 18, 2014: AT&T is all in for the 2014 Div. I Men's Basketball Tournament, and not just because the telecommunications firm is an official corporate champion of the NCAA and the exclusive wireless partner of the NCAA and Final Four.

For the first time, a corporate partner will also have its name on the marquee of the venue where the Final Four will be played. The two semi-final games and the championship game are in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, North Texas, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

That certainly has gotten the attention of Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, who will be one of the stars of AT&T's March Madness campaign activities.

Cuban is featured in one of the TV spots that AT&T will air throughout the month, "Cuban & Legends," which also stars former NCAA and NBA players David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo and Michael Finley. It supports U-Verse, which enables customers to watch live TV on their mobile devices from anywhere in their home.

The spot will run concurrently with commercials under the theme "Nothing But Network," with the AT&T "network guys" Frank and Charlie. In "Office," the pair fine-tune the AT&T network "so it's ready when and where employees need it." In "Rock Band," Frank and Charlie are at a concert enhancing the AT&T network so so that fans  can post and upload when show starts.

AT&T's platform also includes print and digital; NCAA Courtside presented by AT&T, which provides behind-the-scenes images and video in real time via Twitter and other social platforms; and as co-presenting sponsor of the NCAA March Madness Live app, giving people portable access to more than 150 hours of live streaming on Windows and Android.

Last year, AT&T spent some $70 million to activate in and around March Madness, second only to the $80.7 million spent by General Motors, according to marketing and research firm Kantar Media, NY.

AT&T plans to have a multitude of activations on the ground in and around Dallas, where the company is headquartered, leading to and then during Final Four Weekend, April 5-7.

AT&T received more than $16 million in media value via on-air branding and its related platforms during the 2013 tournament, according to Kantar.

That figure will go up this year via the built-in mega-marketing device of AT&T Stadium, for which the firm acquired naming rights last July in a deal with Cowboys and stadium majority owner Jerry Jones, The value of the pact was put at upward of $19 million annually over the next ten years by industry analysts.

Among AT&T's plans are experiential outdoor ads such as interactive store fronts, building projections and a “3D spectacular"; the AT&T Block Party as part of the NCAA March Madness Music Festival; an AT&T Mobile Lounge and AT&T Fan Zone at Bracket Town, where fans will have the opportunity to meet current NCAA coaches and other basketball legends.

AT&T will also sponsor a 360-degree camera during the Late Night with Conan O’Brien show, which airs on March Madness network TBS, being broadcast from Dallas March 31-April 3. According to AT&T, the “Team Coco” app allows people to “get in the director’s chair” to choose what camera angles they want to view from their wireless devices during the show’s Dallas stay.

In "NCAA Cuban & Legends," Cuban hosts a bevy of former players who come to his house to watch March Madness. Robinson arrives first, followed by Mutombo and Finley.

Fortunately for Cuban, he has AT&T's U-Verse, which enables him to continue to watch hoops action on his mobile device as he continually runs from the living room to the front door to let people in. (See the full spot here.)

According to AT&T, the "It's Not Complicated" campaign featuring kids who appear to answer questions off-the-cuff, and which had new creative during March Madness last year, is on hiatus but still in play.

NCAA corporate champions are AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola. NCAA marketing partners include Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe's, Nabisco, Northwest Mutual, Reese's, Unilever and UPS.

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