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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• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.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 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
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

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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