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NEWS REAL

• ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis 2019 (Aug. 1-4 U.S. Bank Stadium, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC) has signed Wendy’s as an official sponsor, joining returning sponsors Harley-Davidson, Hotels.com, Monster Energy, Nexcare First Aid Products, Pacifico, SoFi and The Real Cost (FDA). Geico will again serve as the official music stage sponsor.

On-site activation in X Fest is provided by Marvel, Go RVing, US Marines, TINCUP Whiskey, TRIA, FloWater, Star Tribune, Shred Hate, 93X, The CW, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, MN United, City Pages, GO MN, iHeart Radio and Minnesota Wild.

• ESPN said that the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – won by Novak Djokovic over Roger Federer 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) – earned an overnight rating of 3.0 for its more than five hours of coverage up 114% vs. the championship match a year ago for Djokovic vs. Kevin Anderson. The match peaked at its conclusion with a 4.6 rating. At 4:57, it was the longest match of the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament this year and the longest Gentlemen’s Singles final in Wimbledon history. It also was the first men’s singles Major championship to be decided by a tie-break.

• New York Life has signed as a founding partner of the ESPN-owned ACC Network, the national network dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference sports coverage, scheduled to launch Aug. 22. New York Life remains the official life insurance company of the ACC as well as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament which airs across the ESPN and ACC networks. 

• The Baseball Hall of Fame has signed a deal with VIDSIG, Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that offers live one-on-one video interactions between athletes and fans. The technology will allow Hall of Famers to “hold virtual meet-and-greets or autograph sessions through the use of a computer from the comfort of the athletes' homes.”

• 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

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 5-7
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
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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