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• The NHL has signed what it is calling a “ groundbreaking partnership” with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which will “support research, action, advocacy and collaboration with organizations that have a significant community impact.” Full story here.

• Dick Vitale, 80, has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021-22 season, adding to a recent extension unveiled last May.

• Recently retired NBA star Tony Parker has been named president of NorthRock Sports, Artists and Entertainment, a division of Northrock Partners, a finance and lifestyle advisory firm that currently oversees $1.5 billion in assets, whose holdings include Golf Magazine, Golf.com and the Nicklaus Companies in partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

• The PGA Tour has signed a ten-year deal naming global consulting firm Korn Ferry title sponsor for the Korn Ferry Tour, replacing Web.com, which awards PGA Tour membership to the tour’s 50 leading players. The Los Angeles-based company also becomes the “official leadership development firm” for the PGA Tour.

• Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout and Javier Baez are the leading vote-getters in new All-Star Game ballot results released by MLB. Full story here.

• The WTA will premiere the NYJTL Bronx Open, Aug. 16-24, in the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx, NY. The women’s tournament will take place the week before the U.S. Open in New York and offer $250,000 in prize money.

• SunTrust and BB&T financial firms said that Truist Financial would be the name of the company following their merger later this year. The name — “intended to give the bank a single, fresh identity” — could also become the new name for the home venue for the Atlanta Braves, now known as SunTrust Stadium.

• 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

The Top Ten World’s Highest Paid Athletes
1, Leo Messi soccer $127M
2. Cristiano Ronaldo soccer $109M
3. Neymar Jr. soccer $105M
4. Canelo Alvarez boxing $94M
5. Roger Federer tennis $93.4M
6. Russell Wilson NFL $89.5M
7. Aaron Rodgers NFL $89.3M
8. LeBron James NBA $89M
9. Stephen Curry NBA $79.8M
10. Kevin Durant NBA $65.4M

Full story here.
SOURCE: FORBES

KEEPING SCORE

2019 Top Selling Summer Acts
Based on total sales on StubHub for U.S. tour dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2019
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Queen with Adam Lambert
3. Paul McCartney
4. Ariana Grande
5. Shawn Mendes
6. Billie Eilish
7. JoJo Siwa
8. Twenty One Pilots
9. Hootie and the Blowfish
10. Florida Georgia Line

Full story here.

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office June 14-16
1. Men In Black International $28.5M
2. Secret Life of Pets 2 $23.8M
3. Aladdin $16.7M
4. Dark Phoenix $9M
5. Rocketman $8.8M
6. Shaft $8.3M
7. Godzilla $8.1M
8. John Wick 3 $6.1M
9. Late Night $5.1M
10. Ma $3.6M
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
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).

Sunday
Dec232018

From Kuzma, Adams, Hardaway Jr.: NBA Budweiser Player Message For You

By Barry Janoff

December 23, 2018: What happens when you put NBA players in a Budweiser commercial? You get a message to “drink water.”

Budweiser has  been an official sponsor of MLB since 1980 and a sponsor of the NBA since 1998.

This year, for the first time since these deals were signed, Anheuser-Busch InBev is allowed to use active athletes from these leagues in commercials, versus what had been the norm of featuring only retired players and coaches in alcohol marketing.

The change came after the brewer signed pacts in September with the players unions for both the NBA and MLB.

The deal enabled Anheuser-Busch’s Bud brand to unveil this weekend "Deck The Shelves With NBA Elves: Drink Water," what is essentially a "drink responsibly" message starring Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks) and Steven Adams (Oklahoma City Thunder).

The extended 40-second spot will break during the NBA’s five-game schedule on Christmas Day (ESPN, ABC), which includes games with the teams from all three of the players.

The focus of the spot, which sees the players dressed in elf versions of their respective NBA team, is to drink water between rounds of alcohol.

Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which causes dehydration because it amplifies the need to urinate. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated and also helps to soften some effects of drinking, such as hangovers and dizziness, according to some scientific studies.

Players are not shown holding or drinking beer or harder alcoholic beverages.

Support includes digital and social media, where Budweiser offered on its Twitter page, "HAPPY Hâ‚‚OLIDAYS! @KyleKuzma, @RealStevenAdams, and @t_hardJR are watching to make sure you hydrate between Buds. #DrinkWiser #ThisBudsForYou."

The NFL sill prohibits showing active players in alcohol marketing.

In the spot, a man and his son are watching TV and enjoying Buds when Kuzma appears, sitting on a shelf in their living room.

“What is that!?” asks the startled son.

“That’s Kyle Kuzma on a shelf,” the dad replies nonchalantly. “He’s watching to make sure we hydrate between drinking Buds. He’s actually pretty encouraging. Watch this.”

Dad puts down his beer and takes a sip of water.

“Way to hydrate!” Kuzma exclaims.

When the son follows Dad's example and takes a drink of water, Kuzma shouts, “Drained it . . .  Drip, drip.”

Hardaway Jr. is sitting on a shelf at a concession stand (which appears to be in Madison Square Garden) when a man and woman order beers and “a couple of waters.” “Water!” shouts Hardaway Jr. as he starts to shimmy on the shelf. “Splash! Taking a bath.”

In OKC, a woman in a sports bar orders a Bud and a water. “And one!” yells Adams, sitting on a shelf behind the bar. “Hydration.”

A voiceover offers, “Budweiser reminds you to drink wiser. Drink responsibly and stay hydrated this holiday season."

The extended spot will run in shorter versions focusing on each player in their respective market.

Kevin Durant was the focus of a Budweiser ad this past May as a homage to his Mom, which also showed clips of various NBA players in action, including LeBron James, but did not include product shots or scenes of people holding beers.

Budweiser has also been part of individual team activations, including as a sponsor of the Atlanta Hawks 50th anniversary celebration this season and as title sponsor for the Orlando Magic’s Budweiser Legends that revisited the team’s history with former players and executives.

Budweiser also has activation during such league jewel events as the All-Star Game.

Budweiser is expected to roll out marketing with active MLB players this coming season.

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