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NEWS REAL

• The NBA 2K League today named Tencent Holdings Limited as the league’s first distribution partner in China.

• The English Premier League has signed a multi-year deal naming Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser as its official category partner. Carling had been the EPL category partner since 2016.

• Sports and live entertainment company AEG has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renewal agreement with Toshiba America Business Solutions, extending their “comprehensive partnership across several of AEG’s flagship assets,” including Toshiba remaining a founding partner of Staples Center and the official digital signage and display provider of L.A. Live.

• As part of the NFL 100th season celebration, the NFL has teamed up with league partner EA to give one lucky fan the chance to become an EA Sports Madden NFL ratings adjustor for the day as well as be digitized to appear in the Madden NFL game. Details here.

• The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have signed a long-term deal naming  Fanatics, a  global leader for licensed sports merchandise, as the exclusive operator of all Warriors Shop locations throughout the Bay Area. Full story here.

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." 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

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 12-14
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).

Monday
Sep182017

In Quest For Monster Energy Nascar Cup Title, Harvick Driven By Fans, Sponsors

By Barry Janoff

September 18, 2017: Race car driver Kevin Harvick was in New York in the Microsoft Store on Fifth Ave. last week, appearing at a media event to talk about the 2017 ten-race Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series playoffs, appearing along with follow drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon.

For the first time, the  Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series playoffs will feature a stage racing format.

The series began on Sunday in Chicagoland Speedway with the 2017 champion to be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19 (all to air on NBCSN).

Drivers competing for the Cup also include Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chase Elliott.

But in the midst of discussing the playoffs, sponsorships, Danica Patrick and personal alliances, Harvick ended up talking about the NBA.

"I was never a basketball fan, had never been to a game, but a couple of years ago my son Keelan asked me to take him to a Charlotte Hornets game," said Harvick, who lives in the Charlotte area. "(Team owner) Michael Jordan was there. We had a great time. Now we have season tickets. We go all the time."

The NBA conversation began when Harvick was asked about the 2.5 x 2.5 ad patches that will appear for the first time on NBA jerseys this coming season.

In NBA terms, that is a change of tsunami proportions. In Nascar, drivers, fans and teams know that sponsor alliances and visible logos are part of the landscape on cars, helmets and driver suits.

Harvick said his team gets about $18-$20 million in sponsorships, which include primary sponsors Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Busch Beer, Hunt Brothers Pizza and Mobil 1, plus such brands as Ford, Goodyear, Outback Steakhouse, New Era and Fanatics.

The NBA defending champion Golden State Warriors last week set the NBA mark with a three-year deal for $60 million with Internet services provider Rakuten. The Cleveland Cavaliers signed a three-year deal with Goodyear valued at $30 million. Some 14 NBA teams to date have signed jersey-patch deals, most in the $4-$5 million range annually

"They are our life blood, they keep us going," said Harvick. about the roster of sponsors that are associated with each Nascar team and driver.

"The NBA saw this as a move they needed to make. It is added income, a source of revenue,” said Harvick.

Harvick also had a strong NBA association this past season when Mobil 1 ran a humorous multi-media effort, "Don't Change Your Oil," which paired the 5’10” Harvick with 7’2” NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo.

Last week, Smithfield Foods said that beginning with the 2018 Nascar season they would move after six  from being a primary sponsor with Richard Petty Motorsports to Stewart-Hass Racing, which currently includes Harvick, Busch, Clint Bowyer, Cole Custer and Danica Patrick.

The move became a catalyst in shakeups on both teams, with Patrick saying she would leave Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2017 season and Richard Petty Motorsports saying that driver Aric Almirola would not return.

Although he said he had not as yet spoken directly with Patrick, Harvick said, "My support for her is unwavering . . . I believe she will find a new team and (primary) sponsor."

As for Smithfield’s move to SHR: "Smithfield is a strong brand in Nascar," said Harvick. "I see this as a good relationship for SHR."

In acknowledging the strength of Nascar sponsors, Harvick also said that strong alliances were important for him as a driver, businessman and member of the racing community.

"My sponsors — in particular my primary sponsors — have supported me through the ups and downs of my career," he said. "It’s not just a logo you put on your car. When you sign with a sponsor, that is the type of quality relationship you want.

"Both sides (drivers and brands) understand that this is about supporting a race team but also about reaching fans and consumers where they live, work and shop. I am well aware that Nascar fans are extremely loyal to the brands that (drivers) are associated with. That has a big impact on the type of deals we sign."

Also of importance to Harvick is how his sponsors connect with his fans.

Last month, for example, Mobile 1 had Harvick and Mutombo appear along with his No. 4 car as part of a meet-and-greet with people in New York’s Times Square. And Outback offered people free Blooming’ Onions with their meal to celebrate Harvick’s Top Ten finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Throughout the season, Harvick autographs items for Fanatics that are made available to fans at race tracks.

And that connection with sponsors and partners also originates with Harvick. His KHI Management, a full-service sports and celebrity-marketing agency, has a suite in Bank of America Stadium, home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

"That is a great place to entertain, to build relationships with my sponsors," said Harvick.

Harvick said that Busch and Mobil 1 are already planning campaigns with him for the start of the 2018 season.

But first comes the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series, which Nascar is supporting with a multi-media marketing campaign, and an opportunity for Harvick to add to the title he won in 2014.

"Some of the drivers are looking for their first title, Some have won before (Keselowski 2012, Busch 2015)," said Harvick. "It will be very interesting to see what happens, and certainly very competitive."

Sponsorship Changes At Stewart-Haas Racing Will See Danica Driving To New Crew

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