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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy 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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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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Sunday
Feb272011

Somewhere During Moving Merchandise And Product Placement, There Was An NBA Slam Dunk Event

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

This dunk earned Blake Griffin the 2011 Slam Dunk contest crown and gave Kia a new commercial.February 27, 2011: How low can the NBA go? Apparently as high as a Blake Griffin slam dunk.

Turns out there was more than product placement and marketing partner overkill involved when Blake Griffin won the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk contest during All-Star Weekend presented by State Farm. While the Crenshaw Select Choir sang "I Believe I Can Fly" at midcourt, and with now ex-teammate Baron Davis tossing him a pass from inside the car, Griffin jumped over the hood of a Kia Optima – yes, the official car of the NBA – to impress the judges.

Griffin, who is the leading candidate for ROY honors and also has a new marketing campaign with Subway, impressed the executives at Kia, as well. Footage of the dunk is now the nucleus of a national TV commercial, and the shot of Griffin in mid-air is being used in supporting marketing via print and Internet.

"Blake Griffin's incredible feat during NBA All-Star 2011 was anything but average and we are proud the all-new Kia Optima played a role in his Sprite Slam Dunk championship," Michael Sprague, vp-marketing and communications for Kia Motors America, said in a statement. "Kia Motors is the official automotive Partner of the NBA and we are tremendous fans of the game of basketball."

Kia's 30-second TV spot using footage of Griffin's dunk from the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest broke over this past weekend during NBA coverage on ESPN and TNT. It will run throughout the season with the tag:  "Not your average dunk. Not your average midsize sedan."

"This new spot underscores the fact that the Optima is not your average midsize sedan and allows us to share the excitement of Griffin's historic feat."

"This new spot underscores the fact that the Optima is not your average midsize sedan and allows us to share the excitement of Griffin's historic feat with our fellow fans," said Sprague.

Griffin's feat on TNT was part of the most watched NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm in the event's 26-year history. Following the Slam Dunk contest, Griffin autographed the 2011 Kia Optima over which he dunked, and the sedan will be provided to one of Griffin's charitable interests, according to Kia.

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