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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” Full story here.

• 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

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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Terminator 6: Dark Fate 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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