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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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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).

Thursday
May032018

Kyrie’s Uncle Drew Scores His Own Wheaties Box, Makes Marketing History

By Barry Janoff

May 3, 2018: The character of Uncle Drew, which came to life via a Pepsi Max campaign featuring NBA star Kyrie Irving, is not only coming to the big screen but also to your breakfast table.

And making some marketing and cereal history along the way.

Wheaties said that Irving would do double-duty on an upcoming box, appearing in his Boston Celtics uniform on one side and on the other as the title character of the upcoming film, Uncle Drew.

The Kyrie Irving/Uncle Drew limited-edition Wheaties box will be available nationwide in late May 2018.

Wheaties, a General Mills brand, is supporting with Internet, social media and POP.

Irving marketing partner Nike has also collaborated with Wheaties for a very limited-edition signature Kyrie shoe package (100), with Wheaties-inspired shoes in a shoe box adorned with Wheaties packaging along with a mini-box of Wheaties, a cereal bowl and a spoon. Nike said the special-edition package would be given out by Irving at his discretion, but that the shoe itself would soon hit retail.

Although there have been non-athletes adorning the iconic "Breakfast of Champions" (dating back to aviators Elinor Smith and Martin and Osa Johnson in 1934), this is the first time in more than 60 years that a Hollywood character is appearing on the box.

Among the Hollywood stars to appear on Wheaties (backs and/or panels) were Shirley Temple and Johnny Weissmuller in the 1930s and movie and TV cowboy stars including Gene Autry and William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd in the 1950s.

There also is another distinction for the two-sided Irving box.

"For the first time in (nearly two) decades Wheaties will feature two great athletes on its box at the same time," Kathy Dixon, marketing communications manager for Wheaties, said in a statement.

Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield were each on one side of a Wheaties box in 2001. Until now, that was the first and only Wheaties box that highlighted different athletes on the front and back, according to Wheaties.

"Kyrie is a proven winner based on all of his accomplishments on and off the court, and the story of Uncle Drew reminds us that no matter your age, you can still have fun and be successful at the things you love to do,” said Dixon.

Uncle Drew (due out June 29), is based on the marketing campaign conceived by Pepsi Max, which began in 2012, with Irving as a 75-year-old streetball legend “known for his amazing handles and ability to go to the rim.”

Expect lots of product placement in the film, including Pepsi, Nike and Gatorade.

According to Paula Kupfer, Lionsgate svp-global partnerships and promotions, "It's truly incredible to have Uncle Drew featured on the legendary Wheaties Box.

“We're thrilled to be a part of a campaign that celebrates Kyrie Irving as an amazing athlete and Uncle Drew as a beloved big screen character."

Among other current and former pro basketball stars in the movie are Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie.

According to Webber, Irving was in his Uncle Drew character about to film a scene last summer when he received news that he had been traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Celtics.

According to Wheaties, the product was created in 1922, the result of an accidental spill of a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove by a Minnesota clinician working for the Washburn Crosby Company (which later became General Mills).

"For the first time in (nearly two) decades Wheaties will feature two great athletes on its box at the same time."

Early on in Wheaties history, the brand had a fictional character who regularly appeared on the box, “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy,” whose Indiana Jones-type exploits were depicted in a live-action Hollywood “B” movie serial.

Irving continues a tradition that dates back to 1934 when Lou Gehrig became the first athlete on a Wheaties box, with the brand putting images on the sides and/or back of the book.

The first athlete to actually appear on the front cover was track & field star Bob Richards in 1958.

Michael Jordan has been on the most Wheaties boxes, 18 times.

From Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment label, the film is also produced by Temple Hill in association with Pepsi Productions.

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