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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).

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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