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NEWS REAL

• 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.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• 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).

Friday
Dec212018

College Football Fans Will ‘Live’ On ESPN Billboard For National Championship Run

By Barry Janoff

December 21, 2018: About a hundred years ago, a select group of hardy — some would call them foolish — people would climb up a flagpole and spend an extended length of time on a small platform, sometimes to promote products, sometimes just to draw attention to themselves.

ESPN is bringing that fad back in a new form: Billboard sitting.

To support its coverage of the two college football semi-final games (Dec. 29) and the National Championship (Jan. 7), ESPN has selected four people who will ascend a billboard located in San Jose, near the site of Levi’s Stadium in which the National Championship game will be played, and remain there for an extended period.

The four people — representing the playoff teams of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, respectively — will move into their new digs on Dec. 27.

Those chosen to temporarily relocate 45 feet in the air to a 40-foot wide by 8-foot deep billboard are Llyas Ross Sr. (representing the Alabama Crimson Tide), Nancy Volland (Clemson Tigers), Jeanette Kim (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and Ruben Hunter (Oklahoma Sooners).

ESPN is providing a 75-inch TV built into the billboard for them to watch the semi-final games.

ESPN is also providing each with a private tent, sleeping bag, camping chair and meals.

Bathrooms and showers will be available off-premise, so the four people will actually get to ascend and descend on an intermittent basis.

After the semi-finals, the two people representing the two losing teams will return to earth, while the other two remain in their lofty positions until Jan. 7, when they get to watch the game in person in Levi’s Stadium, located in Santa Clara.

The full event will be live-streamed on ESPN3 and integrated into regular ESPN programming for the 12 days of the project, which will conclude on Jan. 7, to coincide with the National Championship Game.

Throughout their time on the billboard, the fanatic four will participate in activities and challenges to earn cash and prizes, many of which will be based upon fan engagement on social media.

People can show their support by watching the live-stream on ESPN3 and via the hash tag #ESPNBillboard on social media.

People can also watch the event in person.

The National Championship team and its respective winning billboard resident will be honored after the game.

“ESPN wouldn’t be where we are without our fans,” Emeka Ofodile, vp-marketing for ESPN, said via the network.

“This billboard celebrates the unique fandom and passion in college football by putting it on display for the nation to see and engage directly with the fans.”

The activation, under ESPN’s “Who’s In” umbrella college playoff campaign, was developed by creative agency RED with IMG Live for experiential production and Catalyst for public relations.

All three are divisions of Endeavor Global Marketing.

To be considered, some 700 people submitted video testimonials explaining why they should represent their team.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic features No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 Clemson (4 PM ET), the Capital One Orange Bowl No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Alabama (8 PM ET), both on Dec.29 on ESPN.

The National Championship game in Levi’s Stadium is scheduled for 8 PM (ET).

According to Ofodile, “The College Football Playoff is more than just the game on the field — it’s a unique cultural event, and these fans represent that.”

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