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NEWS REAL

• ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis 2019 (Aug. 1-4 U.S. Bank Stadium, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC) has signed Wendy’s as an official sponsor, joining returning sponsors Harley-Davidson, Hotels.com, Monster Energy, Nexcare First Aid Products, Pacifico, SoFi and The Real Cost (FDA). Geico will again serve as the official music stage sponsor.

On-site activation in X Fest is provided by Marvel, Go RVing, US Marines, TINCUP Whiskey, TRIA, FloWater, Star Tribune, Shred Hate, 93X, The CW, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, MN United, City Pages, GO MN, iHeart Radio and Minnesota Wild.

• ESPN said that the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – won by Novak Djokovic over Roger Federer 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) – earned an overnight rating of 3.0 for its more than five hours of coverage up 114% vs. the championship match a year ago for Djokovic vs. Kevin Anderson. The match peaked at its conclusion with a 4.6 rating. At 4:57, it was the longest match of the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament this year and the longest Gentlemen’s Singles final in Wimbledon history. It also was the first men’s singles Major championship to be decided by a tie-break.

• New York Life has signed as a founding partner of the ESPN-owned ACC Network, the national network dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference sports coverage, scheduled to launch Aug. 22. New York Life remains the official life insurance company of the ACC as well as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament which airs across the ESPN and ACC networks. 

• The Baseball Hall of Fame has signed a deal with VIDSIG, Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that offers live one-on-one video interactions between athletes and fans. The technology will allow Hall of Famers to “hold virtual meet-and-greets or autograph sessions through the use of a computer from the comfort of the athletes' homes.”

• 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 5-7
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

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

EA Sports: NHL 20 Trailer See More Ads Below

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).

Wednesday
Mar302016

Kingsford, Johnny Bench All Fired Up About MLB Opening Day/Night/Day Games

By Barry Janoff

March 30, 2016: Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench loves baseball. But he's pissed off over the modern version of Opening Day.

And he will tell you so in words and song in a new guerrilla marketing campaign from Kingsford Charcoal, "Take Back Opening Day," which has created a petition asking the "powers that be to bring back the real Opening Day: 30 teams playing in 15 cities on one glorious afternoon."

MLB 2016 Opening Day covers three days and two nights — April 3-5 — with games on ESPN, ESPN 2 and MLB Network.

Kingsford's distress: "This year, with an eye clearly fixed on television ratings and revenue, Opening Day has become Opening Days. Three days to be exact, with eight teams debuting on Sunday, 20 on Monday and two more on Tuesday."

"We love baseball on TV — the more the better," Matt Gregory, general manager for Kingsford Charcoal, said in a statement. "But Opening Day is special. It's about family and friends coming together, savoring a special afternoon — and, yes, maybe firing up the grill."

According to Gregory, "With these changes, we've lost the tradition of an entire nation coming together. We are asking for it back.  And offering some amazing 'Que if the league takes us up on it."

Not surprisingly, Kingsford Charcoal, a division of The Clorox Co., is not an official partner with MLB.

With the help of Bench, Kingsford has created a petition for people to sign, which would then be forwarded to MLB "in hopes that they will restore tradition and bring back Opening Day — 30 teams playing in 15 cities on one glorious afternoon — for the 2017 season."

The petition is being hosted on Change.org.

The campaign is far from altruistic. In return, Kingsford said that if baseball "steps up and goes back to the traditional" Opening Day, it would "delight the local fans by doing what it does best: Hosting Opening Day BBQs in all 15 cities next year."

Bench, who played his entire 17-year MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds, appears as an irate fan in a series of Take Back Opening Day spots.

In "Anger," he states, "Bring back Opening Day games! What the hell have they done!? Opening nights?! That's so totally whacked! Cut the crap and bring Opening Day back. Mute. Mute. Mute. Text. Tweet. Post. SCREAM!"

In "Sadness," he sings to the tune of "Take Me Out To The BallGame," "Take me out to a day game, sit me down in a crowd. Soak up some sun, hear the crack of the bat. All I want is my Opening Day back. Guess it's moot, moot, moot to dream this dream. The world's moved on — who's to blame? Guess it's time to turn on the lights. Baseball's just not the same. Tradition got screwed. That's so lame. One, two, three days . . .  or nights. That's not Opening Day."

He then drops his bat and storms off the set.

And in "Disgust," also sung to the tune of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game," he shares his anger about why things have changed. "Opening Games at night on TV and the price that is being paid. Stay glued to your TV, if you look away they're not paid. They want one? Two? Three times the bank? On this Opening Day!"

"There's just nothing better than getting together with friends, firing up the grill and celebrating the start of baseball season — whether you're at the stadium parking lot or your own backyard," Bench said in a statement. "Nationally televised night games are great for the sport, but Opening Day is special — it's tradition, and you don't mess with tradition."

Suffice to say, although seemingly done tongue-in-cheek, this campaign does not reflect the same Opening Day-related campaign tone as the one in 2014 when Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser lead an effort to "Make Opening Day a National Holiday."

That effort also was led by a Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith (St. Louis Cardinals), whose presence helped get more than 100,000 people to sign a petition.

"There's no denying the passion that baseball fans have for America's national pastime," said Smith at the time. "The more than 100,000 people who signed the petition are just a fraction of the 1.3 million who will attend Opening Day games this year. The day is already an unofficial holiday, but now it's time to make it official."

Although President Obama acknowledged the importance of the occasion, Opening Day remains an unofficial day.

This is not Kingsford's first attempt to take on a sports power.

Last year, Kingsford, admonished the NCAA during March Madness over the issue of paying college student-athletes, putting on its bag of The Original charcoal an image of Ed O'Bannon, a former student-athlete at UCLA who has been at the forefront of seeking to have college athletes paid for the use of their images in efforts that reward the NCAA.

"Kingsford Charcoal has become one of the many companies to use the likeness of a famous amateur basketball player for marketing purposes during that mad, mad month of March," said in a statement during that effort. "Kingsford is just adding a surprising twist: the charcoal brand is actually going to pay that player — Ed O'Bannon — for placing him on the front of a limited (edition) bag of charcoal."

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