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NEWS REAL

• The NFL's 100th season will begin with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers in Soldier Field on Thursday, Sept. 5 (NBC, 8:20 PM ET). This will be the 199th meeting between the Bears and Packers, including regular- and post-season. Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will begin their season on NBC Sunday Night Football Sept. 8. Their opponent will be named when the full 2019 regular season schedule is released later this spring.

• Kraft Heinz, in partnership with the NHL and NHLPlayers’ Association (NHLPA) has unveiled the top four finalist communities competing for the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019. Voting begins March 30.

• NBA Experience, the new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando) will officially open Aug. 12, 2019. In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors, also including a NBA-themed retail store.

• D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery has signed a deal with Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher Aaron Nola, making him one of the first active, MLB players to have a partnership with a beer brand. Yuengling has been a sponsor of the Phillies since 2017,

• Alex Rodriguez' future is so hot he needs to wear shades. Good thing Jennifer Lopez also needs to wear shades. The celebrity couple stars in a new year-long marketing from Quay Australia, which is being called “their first major fashion campaign together,’ by industry analysts. Media includes print, digital and social media.

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originally 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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BodyArmor Into NCAA
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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

Sunday
Mar062011

Firestone Tires Taking A New Course, Driving Off Into IndyCar Sunset

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

March 6, 2011: After spending 100 years on the tires of some of the world's fastest drivers, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations said that it has "mutually agreed" with IndyCar to allow its Firestone brand sponsorship and supply contract to expire at the end of the 2011 season.

The decision would affect Firestone's official tire status with the sanctioning body's IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Indianapolis 500 and related marketing. Firestone's lead advertising agency is The Richards Group, Dallas.

IndyCar executives did not indicate what company might replace Firestone except to say that doing so was a top priority. Potential companies include Goodyear (which is the official tire of Nascar), Michelin, Pirelli, Hoosier and Avon, according to industry analysts.

“It’s unfortunate to lose a great partner and ambassador for the sport like Firestone,” Randy Bernard, CEO for IndyCar, said in a statement. “We are actively engaged in discussions with other tire manufacturers on opportunities to get involved in our sport as we prepare to debut our new car in 2012."

The Firestone brand's connection to the circuit began with the Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911. The Firestone brand's current open-wheel era began in 1991 with title sponsorship of the Indy Lights series.

Nashville-based Bridgestone said the decision is "in line with the company's goal of ensuring the long-term growth of its business and its brands," including Firestone.

Despite leaving IndyCar after this season, Firestone executives said they would still activate behind the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500."During our long history in racing we have met or exceeded all of our motorsports goals," Al Speyer, executive director for Firestone Racing, said in a statement. "So now it's time to set new goals — for ourselves and our brands."

Speyer stressed that the Firestone brand has been and would continue to be an important part of the global company's  business. "Companies that strive to achieve the highest levels of brand loyalty and recognition must continue to find ever more effective ways to communicate their brand messages," said Speyer. "This is part of our process to ensure that we are doing the best we can to support and further strengthen our brands. We're very excited about our future prospects to grow the Firestone brand."

Despite the tire company's lame duck situation this season, Speyer stated that Firestone Racing is "committed to maintaining the highest standards of performance and support through the 2011 season for drivers, teams and fans. He also said that company would continue to develop activation to commemorate this May the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.

Ray Harroun won the first Indy 500 running on Firestone tires. Including the 2011 event, Firestone tires will have equipped 62 of 95 Indy 500 winners, per the company. After leaving open-wheel racing in 1974, Firestone returned in 1991 with the title sponsorship of Indy Lights. Firestone Racing returned to Indy 500 competition in 1995, and the Firestone brand was on the winning car of the first IndyCar-sanctioned race in 1996.

"This is part of our process to ensure that we are doing the best we can to support and further strengthen our brands."

According to Bernard, "As the fastest, most versatile racing series in the world, IndyCar provides an ideal platform for companies looking to showcase both performance and brand on the track. In fact, Firestone credits its association with our sport in doubling the sales of its street tires in the U.S. during our first five years of partnership.”

"I would like to express our deep appreciation for the support we have received from IndyCar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the participants in the sport and our passionate fans," said Spyer. "We want to commend IndyCar on the recent positive momentum with new engine manufacturers and other corporate partners coming on board and wish the series continuing success."

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