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NEWS REAL

• 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.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• 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

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BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
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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).

Tuesday
May292018

Four-Peat: Cavaliers, Warriors, ESPN Again Ready To Fast-Break To NBA Finals

By Barry Janoff

May 29, 2018: The NBA Finals are set, with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors roster of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant Draymond Green and crew set to meet for the fourth consecutive season.

There will be some repeats, as well, in broadcast and marketing support, but there also will be a lot of new activation when the NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV begin May 31 on ABC.

Even longer than the Cavs-Warriors four-peat, this season is the 16th consecutive time ESPN has produced the NBA Finals on ABC.

The longest-tenured NBA Finals broadcast quartet — Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Doris Burke — will call their ninth championship series together. Officiating expert Steve Javie will provide additional analysis.

Each game during the NBA Finals on ABC will begin with a custom broadcast open. This year, it will feature several songs from J. Cole’s KOD (pictured below), including “ATM,” “Motivat8,” “Photograph” and “Brackets.”

ESPN and the NBA ("Finally Mine" under its "This is Why We Play" banner) have activated their own marketing efforts, including TV, Internet and social media.

Such NBA partners as Nike, 2K, EA, Kia, New Era, State Farm, Anheuser-Busch, Tissot, Kaiser Permanente, Fanatics, Jack Daniel’s, Taco Bell, American Express, Gatorade, Kumho Tire, Kia, Mtn. Dew, Spalding and Finals presenting partner YouTube TV are unveiling activation during The Finals or adding elements to platforms that broke during the post-season.

Among the highlights, 2K will announce the cover athlete of NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition; on June 9, EA will release a first-look trailer for NBA Live 19.

Presenting partner YouTube TV along with NBA and ESPN digital properties will create custom spots to air on ABC's broadcast of the NBA Finals.

YouTube TV will also be promoting tune-in of the NBA Finals on ABC with YouTube TV to existing YouTube TV members and prospective members through YouTube and Google digital properties

The NBA will run a co-promotion with Sony Pictures for The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington (pictured below, in theaters July 20).

As part of ESPN’s” all-in coverage” of the NBA Finals, it will unveil  “NBA Surround,” which will include pre-game and in-game second-screen streaming offerings for every game, and special post-game “NBA at the Mic” shows (ESPN2 or ESPNEWS, which will carry post-game press conferences).
 
During every NBA Finals game, ESPN will also present “Full Court Press,” a second-screen experience featuring ESPN NBA commentators and special guests (ESPN3 on the ESPN App).

ESPN Radio, in its 24th season of NBA coverage, will serve as the national radio home for the NBA Finals. Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown will be calling his record 17th NBA Finals as an analyst.

NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless — ESPN and ABC’s pregame show — will be on-site throughout the NBA Finals for back-to-back 30-minute shows on ESPN and ABC leading into each game.

Detail, the basketball analysis and film study show from ESPN and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, will document every NBA Finals game exclusively on ESPN+.

The NBA Finals will be available in Spanish, exclusively on ESPN Deportes.

The NBA Finals will air on ESPN platforms globally, including Latin America (including Brazil), Caribbean and Oceania. Additionally, ESPN brand licensing partners will air the event including, BT Sport (UK), TSN (Canada), Sony (India), Kwese (sub-Saharan Africa), and Tencent (China).

As for the outcome of the Finals:

“This is the biggest difference that I remember between two teams heading into the Finals in my time in the NBA,” Van Gundy said on Tuesday during an ESPN media conference call. “I can’t — I can’t think of a bigger gap from a team perspective.

According to Mark Jackson, “I’m not going to say zero percent chance; they have the best player in the world . . . in the NBA Finals.

“With that being said, Cleveland, one thing about Houston, (a) majority of the series, they did a very good job defensively following game plan discipline. The Warriors will make you pay the price for making mistakes.”

Jackson said that for James and the Cavaliers to have any chance of beating the Warriors at all, they have to “make sure that defensively you’re one accord. But they are clearly the favorite, without question, but the luxury of having the best player in the world in that situation, anything can happen.”

On whether or not people will tune into watch Warriors-Cavaliers 4.0, “I don’t think it’s up to us to try to excite people,” said Van Gundy. “The games will either excite people (or not); the results will either excite people (or not).

“If James and the Cavaliers win Game 1, you know, the interest is going to skyrocket because they are going to have done what they — very few except for them maybe think they can do, which is win at Golden State.”

(Editor's note: If the Cavs win Game 1 or 2 at Golden State, a Taco Bell promo kicksoffering people nationwide the opportunity to “steal” a free Doritos Locos Taco; details here.)

But, said Van Gundy, “If they get blown out both games, it doesn’t matter what we say. People aren’t going to be as excited. To me, it’s all about — it’s not about what we say, it’s about what happens on the floor and the results that the teams get.

“And if it’s a competitive series, it’s going to be great for the NBA because one, obviously it’s the Finals, but two, I think it’s going to be an unexpected competitive series if it is truly competitive.”

“It’s great for the league to have the two best teams make it to the Finals, and that’s what took place, the two best teams in their respective conferences are representing them,” said Jackson.

“It’s great when you look at the Warriors team filled with great, great players and a great coach and been able to accomplish what they have been able to accomplish,” said Jackson. “You look on the other side, a great coach and all-time great player, it’s a tremendous story. It’s awesome for the league to have tremendous star power on the biggest, brightest stage.”
 
NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV Schedule On ABC:

• Game 1 May 31 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 9 PM ET
• Game 2: June 3 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 8 PM ET
• Game 3: June 6 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET
• Game 4: June 8 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET
• Game 5 June 11 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 9 PM ET*
• Game 6: June 14 Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers 9 PM ET*
• Game 7: June 17 Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors 8 PM ET*
*If Necessary

NBA Marketers, Denzel Ready To Play During The Finals

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