• 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, 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, 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.” 


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.


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.


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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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).


NBA, Marketers Look For Playoff Payoff, Led By Stephen Curry But Sans LeBron James

By Barry Janoff

April 19, 2016: While 16 NBA teams are seeking to win the 2015-16 championship, a bevy of NBA partners and other companies are seeking to earn a marketing title on Madison Avenue.

Kia, Gatorade, Verizon, Kaiser Permanente, Tissot, adidas, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Diageo are among the companies with post-season activations, reaching fans and consumers via ESPN, TNT and NBA TV; as well as through Internet, social media, POP and sweepstakes.

Stephen Curry of the defending NBA world champion Golden State Warriors has become the lead player in several campaigns, including a PSA, "The Mentorship," with President Barack Obama, in addition to efforts that include Kaiser Permanente, Brita and roles for Tissot and the NBA's playoff and League Pass.

His presence heightens the fact that LeBron James, who has appeared in numerous campaigns during the season, has again elected to have his on-air marketing presence kept to a minimum during the playoffs, with little to show beyond the Kia K900 spots that broke earlier this season.

Kaiser Permanente recently debuted a spot featuring Curry and wife Ayesha, “Practice,” in which they offer advice to help viewers break bad habits and profess that “offense is the best defense” when it comes to the overall well-being of body, mind and spirit.

The spot is part of a larger effort, anchored by a dedicated Web site, Ask Coach Curry, with more than two dozen short videos in which the Currys answer questions relating to life, love and health, with such topics as smart phones, BFFs, losing, team spirit and practice.

Curry goes solo in a commercial from Brita ("Drink Amazing"), but is part of a group effort in generic spots from Tissot ("This Is Your Time") and the NBA's umbrella "This Is Why We Play" playoff push ("Every Second Counts."

In addition, new shoes from Curry's signature line have been released by Under Armour, which is supporting by airing a series of three-second ads with Curry every time he makes a three-point shot.

Tissot, which also includes Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) as an endorser, is hosting a sweepstakes offering a trip to the 2016 NBA Finals (Details here.)

A new spot, "Play Cool" from Gatorade to support its Frost line, stars Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat and Hall of Famer George Gervin, with the latter passing ice basketballs to the former and Wade sinking shot after shot as they both riff on what is cool: A penguin in a tank top, a convertible with a snow plow, streaker at a hockey game, a finger roll in February, a Yeti eating frozen spaghetti.

Support includes reactive digital banners, which feature special NBA team messages, based on fans’ profiles.

Verizon has unveiled "Data Dunk" with Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, supporting a promo in which Verizon customers select six NBA players and then "score free data" when a player on their "Data Dunk" team dunks during a playoff game. (Details here.)

Kia this week launched the latest in a series of spots with Blake Griffin, "Chess," in which the Los Angeles Clippers forward explains how, to him, basketball is like a game of chess.

Kia is also hosting a sweepstakes via @NBA (Twitter and Instagram) encouraging fans to predict winners of certain games and series for a chance at NBA Finals tickets and gift cards.

Anheuser-Busch has launched the Bud Light Playoffs Play of the Day, a highlight series running throughout the playoffs on and Anheuser-Busch digital and social channels including Facebook, Twitter, IG, YouTube and Snapchat.

Nike continues to run its farewell to Kobe Bryant spot, "The Conductor," and has released new shoes for such endorsers as James, Irving and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Creative with Bryant also continues to run from Apple TV ("Father Time") and 2K (NBA 2K17 "Legend").

Likewise, adidas unveiled playoff-themed creative in each participating market, “Rep Hard,” including brand endorsers Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and James Harden (Houston Rockets), with and print, digital, POP and new shoe releases.

PepsiCo brands Ruffles and Mountain Dew are giving people an opportunity to win tickets and NBA merchandise during a post-season sweepstakes. (Details here.)

Dr. Scholl’s “Make Your Move to The Finals” sweepstakes is running throughout the Playoffs, allowing fans to select their favorite ‘move’ from a number of historical postseason highlight clips – featuring some of the game’s greatest. The winner will receive a trip to the 2016 NBA Finals. (Details here.)

Movie studios are  airing cross-promotional spots throughout the post-season, including Sony (Angry Birds), MGM (Barber Shop: Next Cut) and Universal Studios (The Secret Life of Pets) during the first round; with Warner Brothers and Disney movies will be featured in later rounds of the Playoffs and a Sony movie to be featured during The Finals.

Among other efforts, State Farm continues its "The Hoopers" push with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Lillard and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves).

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