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• The NFL said today (Nov. 13) that it would move the Monday night game on Nov. 19  (ESPN) between the Kansas City Chiefs-Los Angeles Rams, originally scheduled for Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

According to the NFL, “The decision is based on the determination — in consultation with the NFLPA and following a meeting and field inspection this afternoon by NFL and club field experts as well as local and independent outside experts — that the playing field at Estadio Azteca does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday.”

• CBS said that Tim Tebow would be the host for its in-production reality series, Million Dollar Mile, from LeBron James’ Springhill Entertainment, Warner Bros. and  Fly on the Wall Entertainment. Commentators will be Maria Taylor and Matt Smith. The premise: A team wins $1 million if they can survive an obstacle course being built on real city streets.

• ESPN Events is adding a bowl game to its roster beginning in 2020, the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The game will feature teams from three conference partners: Conference USA, Mid-American Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Each conference will participate up to four times between 2020 and 2025. The Myrtle Beach Bowl will be played in Brooks Stadium, located on the campus of Coastal Carolina, nationally televised on ESPN networks.

• Between now and Nov. 19, every use of #SaluteToService on Twitter will generate a $5 donation, up to $5 million, to the NFL’s military non-profit partners – including the Pat Tillman Foundation, TAPS, USO, Wounded Warrior Project and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

POLL POSITION

MLB FINALISTS MOY, MVP, CY Young, ROY

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
• Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH Los Angeles Angels

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
• Ronald Acuna Jr., OF Atlanta Braves

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
• Bob Melvin Oakland A's

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
• Brian Snitker Atlanta Braves

AL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
• Mookie Betts, OF Boston Red Sox
• Jose Ramirez, 3B Cleveland Indians
• Mike Trout, OF Los Angeles Angels

NL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
• Nolan Arenado, 3B Colorado Rockies
• Javier Baez, 2B/SS Chicago Cubs
• Christian Yelich, OF Milwaukee Brewers

AL CY YOUNG
• Corey Kluber Cleveland Indians
• Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays
• Justin Verlander Houston Astros

NL CY YOUNG
• Jacob deGrom New York Mets
• Aaron Nola Philadelphia Phillies
• Max Scherzer Washington Nationals

KEEPING SCORE

NBA Teams With Jersey-Logo Deals (to date):

• Atlanta Hawks (Shareware)
• Boston Celtics (GE)
• Brooklyn Nets (Infor)
• Charlotte Hornets (LendingTree)
• Chicago Bulls (Jenni Optical)
• Cleveland Cavaliers (Goodyear)
• Dallas Mavericks (5miles)
• Denver Nuggets (Western Union)
• Detroit Pistons (Flagstaff Bank)
• Golden State Warriors (Rakuten)
• Houston Rockets (Rokit)
• Los Angeles Clippers (Bumble)
• Los Angeles Lakers (Wish)
• Memphis Grizzlies (FedEx)
• Miami Heat (Ultimate Software)
• Milwaukee Bucks (Harley Davidson)
• Minnesota Timberwolves (Fitbit)
• New Orleans Pelicans (Zatarain’s)
• New York Knicks (Squarespace)
• Orlando Magic (Disney World)
• Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub)
• Phoenix Suns (PayPal)
• Portland Trail Blazers (Biofreeze)
• Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond)
• San Antonio Spurs (Frost Bank)
• Toronto Raptors (Sun Life)
• Utah Jazz (Qualtrics)
• Washington Wizards (Geico)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. 2-4
1. Bohemian Rhapsody - 20th Century Fox - $50M
2. The Nutcracker And The Four Realms - Disney - $20M
3. Nobody's Fool - Paramount - $14M
4. A Star Is Born, - Warner Bros. - $11.1M
5. Halloween - Universal - $11M
6. Venom - Sony - $7.8M
7. Smallfoot - Warner Bros. - $3.8M
8. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween - Sony - $3.7M
9. Hunter Killer - Lionsgate - $3.5M
10. The Hate U Give - 20th Century Fox - $3.4M
11. First Man - Universal - $2.3M
12. Night School - Universal - $2M

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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COLLEGE

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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
Friday
Jun092017

Is Rugby Ready To Scrum On The U.S. Sports Stage With Fans, TV, Marketers?

By Barry Janoff

June 9, 2017: Armed with new deals from adidas and NBC Sports, and with the first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. scheduled for 2018, rugby appears to be primed to move up the ranks among pro and collegitate sports in America.

Rugby already seems to be on the rise in the U.S., at least based on the increase in fan attendance, media interest and marketing activation over the past few years.

According to Bill Beaumont, World Rugby chairman, "The USA is one of the fastest-growing markets for rugby participation and fan growth."

USA Rugby, the governing body for the sport in the nation in the U.S., will put that support to the test with a pair of upcoming games against top-rated international opponents.

As part of the Emirates Airline Summer Series, USA Rugby Men’s Eagles will play Ireland, scheduled for June 10 in Red Bull Arena (home to the MLS New York Red Bulls), with the match to air on NBCSN.

A week later, the Men’s Eagles are scheduled to play another international match, this one against Georgia Rugby Union in Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw (GA) State University on June 17.

The games are being presented by Rugby International Marketing, the commercial arm of USA Rugby, and TLA Worldwide.

The matches will be the last preparatory competition for the U.S. ahead of a Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier series with Canada, scheduled for June 24 and July 1.

Both games have been supported via multi-media marketing, including a national TV spot as well as digital and other activation from LIFT, San Francisco, which has been working with USA Rugby to help grow the sport nationwide.

According to World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, "We know there are about 40 million rugby fans in the States based on our research and that’s going up."

Adidas recently signed a multi-year deal to be the official kit supplier for USA National Teams and representative teams.

World Rugby and NBC Sports Group in May signed a seven-year alliance that gives NBC Sports exclusive U.S. media rights to the Rugby World Cup and other key rugby events through 2023.

Among the companies also aligned with USA Rugby are AIG, Gatorade, KT Tape, Crabbie’s, Thorne and WorldRugbyShop.com.

The first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. is scheduled for July 20-22, 2018, in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

More than 80,000 people attended a USA Sevens international tournament in March 2016 in Las Vegas, and 61,500 attended a USA vs New Zealand match in November 2014 in Soldier Field, Chicago.

The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, held June 3-4 in Talen Energy Stadium Philadelphia, with 24 teams from across the nation, saw a tournament record of more than 37,500 fans attend throughout the weekend. It aired on NBCSN.

"This exciting and unprecedented deal with one of the world’s most prestigious broadcasters will ensure that more people than ever before in the USA will be able to access the world’s top men’s and women’s 15s and sevens events.,” said Beaumont of the World Rugby-NBC Sports alliance. “NBC will be the destination for rugby in the USA."

The deal piggy-backs on NBCU’s exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics, which in 2016 saw Rugby Sevens make its Olympic debut in Rio. (The sport was last played in the 1924 Summer Olympics when a Rugby Union competition was held),

USA Rugby has more than 115,000 members, including more than 32,000 college rugby members, 1,200 high school teams, 900 college teams, 700 senior club teams and 400 youth teams.

Another sign of the sport's growth: The first Rugby Business Executives Assn. Leadership Conference has been scheduled for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifier weekend in San Diego, Calif., to be held at Marriott Mission Valley Friday, June 30.
 
The purpose of the conference: "To connect senior executives having a passion for rugby for networking, sharing knowledge, and the promotion of the sport in key regional markets."

Citing Team, Fan, Sponsor Growth In U.S., NBC All In With Rugby

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