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• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.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

Thursday
May252017

Ortiz Was An All-Star, But Can He Act Like Stars Damon, DiCaprio, Affleck, Barrymore?

By Barry Janoff

May 25, 2017: David Ortiz has not played baseball since leaving the Boston Red Sox after the 2016 season, but he certainly has not waked away from the public spotlight.

In a new humorous campaign for Omaze, he is trying his hand at acting, recreating roles played by the likes of Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Afflack, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jimmy Fallon and even Drew Barrymore.

The focus of the effort is the No. 34 retirement ceremony being held in his honor on June 23 in Fenway Park, where he helped to lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles.

Via Omaze, an online site in which people make donations for the opportunity to participate in unique experiences, Ortiz is offering a VIP package that includes accommodations in a four-star Boston hotel, attending a celebrity roast for Ortiz in the House of Blues, watching the retirement ceremony from the owner's seats, going to batting practice, taking selfies with Ortiz and getting a personalized autographed Ortiz Red Sox jersey. (Details here.)

Every donation supports The David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation.

Winner(s) are chosen at random.

Donations range from $10-$5,000. Each comes with a Big Papi item (i.e. autographed book, signed lithograph, baseball bundle) and an increased number of chances to win depending on the size of the donation. (Details here.)

Ortiz is promoting the Omaze opportunity in a spot, appropriately titled "Big Papi: Famous Boston Movie Scenes," in which he gets to show off his acting ability, re-enacting roles from movies that were filmed in Boston.

Among them, Ortiz plays roles from The Town (Ben Affleck), Good Will Hunting (Matt Damon and Robin Williams), Fever Pitch (Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore) and The Departed (Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon).

"I will be honest. I miss it," Ortiz says in the spot. "The lights, the crowd, the big show. Which is why I’m teaming up with Omaze to fly you and a friend to Boston to join me at Fenway Park the day they will retire my jersey. And then I will immediately come out of retirement . . . to become an actor.

"Many people say, But Papi, what about your (Dominican Republic) accent? To them I say, I’m proud of my Boston accent. So enjoy . . . "

A handwritten sign reads: Big Papi Productions Presents . . . A Boston Cinema Tribute starring David Ortiz.

He then re-enacts scenes from the movies.

"Wow," he says rubbing tears form his eyes when the clips end. "Very powerful stuff, man."

Then, smiling, he says, "Just kidding. that was acting, too."

Then he makes the pitch for the trip to Boston. "Go to Omaze.com/papi for your chance to join me, in Boston."

Ortiz has been anything but retired since leaving MLB after 20 seasons with 541 career home runs (plus 17 in the post-season) and 1,768 RBIs and being selected to ten All-Star Games.

He currently stars in a campaign for John Hancock, "Retirement Rookie," in which he is fulfilling requests submitted by people, including taking an aquatic swimming class with senior citizens (see the spot here), treasure hunting and becoming a vendor in Fenway Park.

He also has been involved in numerous endeavors: promoting cigars, beer, chips, salsa, T-shirts and The David Ortiz Children's Fund; going golfing; attending World Series games; and appearing in campaigns including JetBlue, TurboTax, Dunkin’ Donuts, MLBAM, ESPN and Amazon. He just signed with Skechers and this month released his book, Papi: My Story.

Among the other adventures currently being offered at Omaze are getting an all-access pass from Robert Downey Jr. during the filming of the next Avengers movie, going to Ringo Starr’s birthday party and having a day at the beach with Orlando Bloom.

The David Ortiz Children’s Fund helps children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need.

The Red Sox Foundation has distributed more than $93 million to support programs serving children and families across New England.

Big Papi Is Bored: What Should He Do Next?

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