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• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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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. 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)

NBA 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Sunday
Mar032019

Grand Sports Marketer of the Year 2018 Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks Tops Here

By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism

In the world of sports marketing, ten brands, companies, teams and people stood out from the rest in 2018 for their initiatives, skills, determination and show of strength.

For these traits and more, they were named as the Top Ten Sports Marketers of the Year for 2018 by the editorial staff of NYSportsJournalism.

The Grand Sports Marketer of the Year was then voted on by readers of and visitors to the NYSportsJournalism network; as well as from input by industry analysts nationwide.

For 2018, the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year is the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

The team now joins former winners including:

• BBVA Compass (2010)
• Mission AthleteCare (2012)
• Stand Up to Cancer with MLB and MasterCard (2013)
• The ALS Assn. (2014)
• Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles (2015)
• American Cancer Society (2016)
• adidas (2017)
• Milwaukee Bucks (2018)

Coming off a 2017-18 season in which the franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Bucks entered the 2018-19 season with a new arena, Fiserv Forum — via a 20-year naming rights deal (put at $300 million by industry analysts) from the Milwaukee-based global provider of financial technology and payment solutions — and a new sense of pride and passion.

Wes Edens and Marc Lasry paid $550 million for the franchise in 2014. They were soon joined in the ownership group by Jamie Dinah and Mike Fascitelli (with former majority owner Herb Kohl retaining a minority interest).

The Bucks franchise is now valued at just over $1 billion, according to Forbes.

The NBA is considering Fiserv Forum to host a future All-Star Game, with the next open date being 2023 (2020 Chicago Bulls, 2021 Indianapolis Pacers, 2022 Cleveland Cavaliers). Also under consideration are the Sacramento Kings (Golden 1 Center) and the Golden State Warriors, with Chase Center scheduled to open in San Francisco for the the 2019-2020 season.

In addition, thanks in part to the growing nationwide and international awareness of the Bucks and their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee is one of three cities being considered to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, along with Houston and Miami Beach.

Last June, the team signed a $200 million, seven-year deal with Fox Sports Wisconsin, including $26 million for TV rights this season, according to local reports.

Fiserv Forum, home to the Bucks as well as the Marquette University Golden Eagles men’s basketball team, includes 17,500 seats for basketball and up to 18,000 for concerts, with 34 luxury suites and three clubs.

The cost of the venue was put at $524 million. Naming rights were put at $100 million over 25 years by industry analysts.

The arena is the centerpiece of a 30-acre business, residential, cultural and entertainment revitalization in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

Founding Partners for Fiserv Forum include BMO Harris Bank, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Johnson Controls and Miller Brewing Company. Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson is the team’s jersey-patch sponsor.

With a nod to the past, the Bucks and Mitchell & Ness launched the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Collection, which incorporates the Bucks’ first logo and Abdul-Jabbar’s iconic goggles that became synonymous with his Hall of Fame career, including winning a NBA championship with the Bucks (1970-71).

Looking toward the future, Antetokounmpo has become one of the faces of the NBA, including his deals with Nike — with his first signature shoe due this year — Hulu, JBL, Tissot, BMO Harris Bank, Aegean Air and the cover athlete for NBA 2K19.

Dustin Godsey joined the team in 2012 as Director of Marketing, was named VP-Marketing in 2013 and then CMO in August 2016.

NYSportsJournalism spoke with Godsey about the growth of the Bucks on the court — going from 15-67 in 2013-14 to this season, under coach Mike Budenholzer and team president Peter Feigin, becoming the first team to clinch a playoff berth — the rise of Antetokounmpo as a NBA star, management’s robust marketing strategy and why opponents should continue to “Fear the Deer.”

NYSportsJournalism: What has the overall journey been like with the Bucks since you joined the team in 2012, and what has it been like since you were named CMO in 2016?

Dustin Godsey: It’s been a complete transformation the past few years. When I got here in 2012, we were the No. 3 or No. 4 team in our market in terms of popularity and fan base. To get to where we are now has been pretty remarkable. In a relatively short amount of time, the past three or four years, culminating with Fiserv Forum opening this season, and how the team is playing on the court, it’s all come together at the same time.

NYSJ: This has the appearance of something built for the long-term rather than a flash-in-the-pan.

DG: That was the goal from the beginning, from ownership on down. Build something sustainable. There is accountability on the team side and on the business side. From Day One, when Marc (Lasry), Wes (Edens) and Jamie (Dinan) bought the team and came in, it was about being world-class in everything we do and having that mentality.

"We are a global brand, and we want to be the mouthpiece for Milwaukee around the world, and be the reason that people think about Milwaukee."

Their message was pretty clear from the beginning: If you didn’t think that a championship team and a championship business in Milwaukee was possible, this wasn’t the place for you to be working. But everybody bought in. And now we are starting to see the benefits.

NYSJ: Working so closely with team owners who like to be hands-on is not always a good thing, but here it seems to work very well. Why is that?

DG: These owners are very involved and know what is going on. But to your point, they want to provide the right resources and put the right people in place. They are involved and invested in the success, but they let the people they have hired make decisions and do their jobs.

NYSJ: I always think it’s a good measure of how well a team is doing when you see jerseys and other team merchandise beyond your local region; people in other parts of the country and even the world talking about your team. Are you seeing that in your travels?

DG: Absolutely. Of course, it helps to have a guy like Giannis, who over the past couple of years has blossomed into an international superstar. It goes back to when new ownership took over, with two big-picture plans we wanted to work on. One was to reintroduce ourselves locally and get back into the community, and we did every possible local event and festival to make sure we had a presence with people.

But we are a global brand, and we want to be the mouthpiece for Milwaukee around the world, and be the reason that people think about Milwaukee. So when we went through plans, what people wanted to buy and wear was a big part of that. The re-branding process was key to global marketing and merchandising. And we saw right from the beginning that sales of our jerseys and merchandise jumped into the Top Ten among NBA teams domestically and globally. Which is insane for Milwaukee! And we’ve continued to build from there.

NYSJ: Antetokounmpo has become a face of the NBA not just in the U.S., but globally. Do you ever think: Man, we couldn’t have planned it better if we tried?

DG: He’s a great player and a great person. We thought highly of him when we drafted him (in 2013, first round, 15th pick overall). But I don’t think anyone saw how he would develop and what potentially he could become. He had that drive of wanting to be the best and wanting to put in the hard work. And that fit the mold of our organization as a whole. It’s great when your goals on the business and marketing side and your goals on the basketball court come together. But that type of synergy is rare.

NYSJ: It seems as if in aligning with marketing partners — including Fiserv, Harley-Davidson, BMO Harris Bank, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Johnson Controls and Miller Brewing Company — you don’t just want a name on an item, but depth and integration to the alliance impacting the team, fans and community.

DG: That is something we work to achieve and to build on. We know we’re not the biggest market and in the past we haven’t always been the flashiest. But we feel that if we can join with the right partners and work with them and understand how we can combine our goals with theirs and align what we both are trying to achieve, that will lead to success.

And it is not just in marketing, but across the organization. Our corporate and digital teams, for example, sit down with theirs, and we try to paint a picture of what everyone wants to achieve. And we put together a plan to make that work.

NYSJ: Putting a name on a venue is important and it seemed as if Bucks ownership went through a tenuous process before aligning with Fiserv.

DG: It was very important for us to find the right partner. If you look at the naming rights alone, that’s a long deal and you potentially are tied with a company for decades. But it goes well beyond that. For us, it was about finding a partner that shares our values, our drive for innovation, our drive for excellence and a desire to be an international brand that is based in the Milwaukee area.

NYSJ: Among the activation you’ve done over the past year was celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary, with unique, team-themed giveaways (such as a Bucks View-Finder and an Antetokounmpo Starting Lineup figurine,), holding special nights for iconic players in team history and the release of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar collection. What was response to those events?

DG: People really enjoyed it, not just because it showcased the history of the franchise but tying it in with the last season we played in the Bradley Center, which put a nice bow on the first 50 years. It’s great to have 50 years of history, but we presented it in a way that was looking forward, to tell the story about where the team is going.

NYSJ: I know what you and the team would like to happen on the court this season. What are you and ownership looking at for the rest of 2019 and beyond as far as growing the franchise and brand?

DG: I look at it as we are in the first year of our next three-to-five-year phase. Our tag line was ‘Own the Future,’ working toward what this year has become and how in many ways it is coming to fruition. Now it’s about redefining the next era. There is a continued and growing focus on the fan and consumer experience. Building relationships with our partners. Maximizing the spotlight that is now on our team and the Fiserv Forum. Still selling tickets but making it much more than that, with fans and consumers at the forefront.

NYSJ: Do you foresee a NBA All-Star Game in Fiserv Forum in the near future?

DG: We did submit a request to the NBA office for the next few dates that would be open, with the next open date currently being 2023. We are having on-going conversations with the league about how we would get there. But we are thinking big outside of the NBA.

Fiserv Forum has a full schedule of world-class concerts and events. And Milwaukee is one of three cities being considered for the 2020 Democratic National Convention. They might not have considered Milwaukee in the past, but the role we were able to play in speaking with (the Democratic National Committee) and talking to them about our vision. Milwaukee is now among the Final Three (along with Houston and Miami Beach). So we have big plans for the future for the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum and the city of Milwaukee.

Top Sports Marketers Of The Year 2018: Milwaukee Bucks: Deers And Greek Freak

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