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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).

Wednesday
Oct122016

LeBron James Says He Won’t Sell You A Sprite In New 'Wanna Sprite’ Campaign

By Barry Janoff

October 12, 2016: LeBron James has been endorsing Sprite since 2003 and is very familiar with the strategies and tactics used to sell the product to the public.

But in its new “Wanna Sprite” integrated marketing campaign, Sprite said it is offering a “refreshingly honest take on endorsements and what it means to be a Sprite endorser.”

Here, James takes the role of passive endorser, relating in an extended spot that “I would never tell you to drink Sprite, even if I was in a commercial for Sprite, which I am . . . Even if you’re just eating tacos with extra hot sauce, and you were holding an extra cold Sprite, and for some reason you’re waiting for me to tell you to drink it, I still wouldn’t tell you to drink that thirst-quenching Sprite.”

The punch line of this sales pitch: "I wouldn't tell you to drink a Sprite — I’d ask you: You wanna Sprite?"

The campaign includes several other celebrities, such as rapper Lil Yachty, actor and TV host Segun Oduolowu, hip-hop artist Vince Staples and a group of other “influencers."

The 60-second spot, “LeBron James Is A Sprite Endorser,” breaks online this week and launches on TV Oct. 17. Several shorter versions also are being released, each featuring a segment of their longer sibling.

Lead agency is Widen & Kennedy, NY.

"@Sprite rolled w/ me since day one,” James wrote on his Twitter page. "Always a pleasure. #JustAKidFromAkron #StriveForGreatness #WannaSprite."

"Our friend LeBron James embodies all the values Sprite supports — authenticity, transparency and individuality," Bobby Oliver, director-Sprite & Citrus Brands, Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement.

"There is no one more fitting than LeBron to star in our new ‘Wanna Sprite’ campaign, which is meant to empower our fans to stay true to their love of the brand and celebrate how delicious, refreshing and thirst-quenching Sprite is," said Oliver.

The campaign, which is scheduled to run into 2017, will "actively engage with its fans in social and digital media and offer them ways to endorse the brand they love,” according to Sprite.

Among other activations, Spirte said it would post original #WannaSprite content featuring James, such as stills, GIFs and cinemagraphs, throughout the campaign.

In addition, the #WannaSprite hashtag will be accompanied by a custom green Sprite bottle Twitter emoji.

According to Danielle Henry, group director, Integrated Marketing Content, Coca-Cola North America, "We created ‘Wanna Sprite’ to have a bit of fun with endorsements. Sprite is being as clear and transparent with the idea of endorsements as the beverage itself.

"The tone of the creative is intended to be fun and lighthearted, while also being authentic and honest — just like our Sprite fans," said Henry.

In his ad segment, “Lil Yachty Is In An Ice Cave Singing A Song About Sprite," the musician is seen playing a piano inside an ice cave covered with bottles of Sprite.

James’ disembodied head (!) enters and, in keeping with the passive sales pitch, explains, “Even if this were a metaphor about Sprite, and I was talking about Sprite, and Lil Yachty here was being paid by Sprite to write lyrics about Sprite" — at which point Lil Yachty changes the lyrics from one of his songs, replacing the chorus "Cold like Minnesota" with "Cold like a Sprite soda" — "I still would’t tell you to drink Sprite."

"Guys. I'm in an ad for @Sprite! I'm not going to tell you to watch it but I'll ask you - WANNA WATCH MY COOL #SPRITEAD? #WannaSprite," Lil Yachty wrote on his Twitter page.

Other shorter spots include "LeBron James Eats Tacos With His Friends And Drinks Spirte, Too" and "You Gotta See How Cool These Influencers Are While They Drink Sprite."

In 2014, the Coca-Cola brand introduced a limited flavor, Sprite 6 Mix, developed in conjunction with James.  After winning the NBA title last season, Sprite released a limited-edition can with James on it to celebrate.

Among other efforts, James and Sprite have supported Boys & Girls Clubs, and Sprite released a spot when James returned to Cleveland in 2014, “First Home Game.”

James earns about $54 million in annual endorsements, according to industry analysts, with deals that also include Nike, Kia, Samsung, Beats by Dre and Upper Deck.

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