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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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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).

Wednesday
May032017

Former Home Run Hitter David Ortiz Will Now Walk The Bases Wearing Skechers

By Barry Janoff

May 3, 2017: Since retiring at the end of the 2016 MLB season, David Ortiz has been one of the busiest people in sports.

Now, as if he didn’t have enough to do — and he already has plenty on his plate — Big Papi has signed a deal to represent Skechers in marketing and promotional efforts.

The alliance comes just ahead of the release of his book, Papi: My Story (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 16) which will be accompanied by a promotional tour.

Skechers said that Ortiz, who hit  541 home runs during his MLB career, would draw a walk appearing for men’s footwear in a multi-platform global marketing campaign schedule to launch this Fall.

Other members of the brand’s roster include boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard, former football stars Joe Montana and Howie Long, actor Rob Lowe and singer Meghan Trainor.

"We’re thrilled to have Big Papi joining Team Skechers and bringing with him the personality, heart and passion loved by baseball fans everywhere," Michael Greenberg, president for Skechers, said in a statement.

"David represents a perfect fit for our athletic and casual Men’s footwear collections. The respect he garners will be a home run for Skechers. And with a fanbase beyond the United States, especially across the Americas, he’ll help us build awareness around the globe," said Greenberg.

Ortiz, a ten-time All-Star, spent 14 years with the Boston Red Sox and six years with the Minnesota Twins.

The Red Sox plan to retire Ortiz’ No. 34 during a ceremony in Fenway Park on June 23.

A celebrity roast is scheduled for June 22 in Boston’s House Of Blues, with proceeds benefiting the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.

According to Ortiz, "Twenty seasons in the majors took its toll on my body and especially my feet, While I knew I’d miss things about the game, I’m definitely able to enjoy my retirement in comfort thanks to my new partnership with Skechers.

"Toward the end of my career it felt like I was playing on two stubs, but now these Skechers have me feeling like I’m walking on the clouds!" said Ortiz.

Since retiring from baseball after 20 MLB seasons, Ortiz 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 for JetBlue, TurboTax, ESPN, Amazon and others.

Ortiz, with the assistance of John Hancock, last month put out a RFP to his fans and the public-at-large: "I have too much time on my hands. What should I do next?"

The effort, "Retirement Rookie," requests suggestions. According to Ortiz, "I’ll choose some of your ideas, and we’ll make videos of (me doing) them."

Among the proposals: surfing, synchronized swimming, learn to play guitar, become a vendor in Fenway Park and travel the world.

The multi-media effort supports John Hancock’s financial retirement planning services.

It also served as a lead-up to John Hancock’s position as one of the lead sponsors for the Boston Marathon. Team Papi was among the competitors in the event (April 17) to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.

"With a fanbase beyond the United States, especially across the Americas, he’ll help us build awareness around the globe."

Among the other activities on Ortiz’ schedule since retiring have been launching Big Papi Cigars; helping to promote Big Hapi, a limited-edition beer from Sam Adams; publicizing Big Papi’s Kitchen (such products as tortilla chips, hummus and salsas in Target, Legman’s, ShopRite, Shaw’s and elsewhere); appearing in exclusive content for The Big Papi Network on Verizon’s Go90 mobile video platform; and promoting BigPapiShop.com (Big Papi-themed headwear, apparel, novelties and memorabilia).

In addition, he hosted the annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic in Al Sol Resort Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

All of his efforts help to publicize and/or benefit the Children’s Fund.

In Boston, he played for three Red Sox World Series champions: 2004, 2007 and 2013, when he was also named series MVP.

He ended his career with 541 home runs, 1,768 RBIs and 2,472 hits. He is the all-time leader among designated hitters in home runs, RBIs and hits.

Big Papi Is ‘Bored,’ Wants Exciting Ideas From Fans

Rob Lowe Takes High Road For Skechers

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