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• The NHL has signed what it is calling a “ groundbreaking partnership” with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which will “support research, action, advocacy and collaboration with organizations that have a significant community impact.” Full story here.

• Dick Vitale, 80, has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021-22 season, adding to a recent extension unveiled last May.

• Recently retired NBA star Tony Parker has been named president of NorthRock Sports, Artists and Entertainment, a division of Northrock Partners, a finance and lifestyle advisory firm that currently oversees $1.5 billion in assets, whose holdings include Golf Magazine, Golf.com and the Nicklaus Companies in partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

• The PGA Tour has signed a ten-year deal naming global consulting firm Korn Ferry title sponsor for the Korn Ferry Tour, replacing Web.com, which awards PGA Tour membership to the tour’s 50 leading players. The Los Angeles-based company also becomes the “official leadership development firm” for the PGA Tour.

• Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout and Javier Baez are the leading vote-getters in new All-Star Game ballot results released by MLB. Full story here.

• The WTA will premiere the NYJTL Bronx Open, Aug. 16-24, in the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx, NY. The women’s tournament will take place the week before the U.S. Open in New York and offer $250,000 in prize money.

• SunTrust and BB&T financial firms said that Truist Financial would be the name of the company following their merger later this year. The name — “intended to give the bank a single, fresh identity” — could also become the new name for the home venue for the Atlanta Braves, now known as SunTrust Stadium.

• 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

The Top Ten World’s Highest Paid Athletes
1, Leo Messi soccer $127M
2. Cristiano Ronaldo soccer $109M
3. Neymar Jr. soccer $105M
4. Canelo Alvarez boxing $94M
5. Roger Federer tennis $93.4M
6. Russell Wilson NFL $89.5M
7. Aaron Rodgers NFL $89.3M
8. LeBron James NBA $89M
9. Stephen Curry NBA $79.8M
10. Kevin Durant NBA $65.4M

Full story here.
SOURCE: FORBES

KEEPING SCORE

2019 Top Selling Summer Acts
Based on total sales on StubHub for U.S. tour dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2019
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Queen with Adam Lambert
3. Paul McCartney
4. Ariana Grande
5. Shawn Mendes
6. Billie Eilish
7. JoJo Siwa
8. Twenty One Pilots
9. Hootie and the Blowfish
10. Florida Georgia Line

Full story here.

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office June 14-16
1. Men In Black International $28.5M
2. Secret Life of Pets 2 $23.8M
3. Aladdin $16.7M
4. Dark Phoenix $9M
5. Rocketman $8.8M
6. Shaft $8.3M
7. Godzilla $8.1M
8. John Wick 3 $6.1M
9. Late Night $5.1M
10. Ma $3.6M
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
Jun142017

For Foot Locker, Lonzo Ball Takes Humorous, But Real, Swipe At Dad LaVar

By Barry Janoff

June 14, 2017: Father’s Day is June 18, and the NBA Draft is scheduled for June 22, national sports retailer Foot Locker is celebrating both with a group of young players expected to be among the top incoming NBA rookies.

The premise: No player makes it to Draft night on his own. For Father’s Day, we asked a few of this year’s top prospects to reflect on everything their Dads have done to support them on their journey.

De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum and Jonathan Isaac recall fond memories with their respective dads — "One-on-one games in the driveway that he let me win . . . Never missing a game . . . Waking up early to drive to tournaments . . . Fishing . . . "

But when Lonzo Ball gets his turn in "Father’s Day," the humorous spot takes an unexpected turn.

"There’s that day when your dad berates your high school coach in front of the entire crowd for not giving you enough touches,” Ball says of his father, LaVar, who has earned a reputation for being outspoken and brazen when it comes to gloating in public about the talent of son LaVar and his future in the NBA.

"Shouting back and forth on (ESPN’s) First Take with Stephen A. Smith about how you’re already better than the reigning MVP," Ball continues.

The spot, part of Foot Locker's "Approved" platform, breaks today and will air nationally on ESPN during the live broadcast of the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22.

Support includes Internet, social media and POP.

Lead agency is BBDO.

"Foot Locker has heritage in basketball culture and the NBA Draft. We are proud to have made a tradition of working with top athletes to have fun with some of the biggest sports moments and trending news," Stacy Cunningham, vp-brand marketing and services for Foot Locker North America, said in a statement.

"It's exciting to work with these talented young players during this momentous time in their careers, and honor the important father-son relationship around Father's Day."

Ball is expected to be among the top picks on June 22, with hoops analysts predicting he would be drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.

LaVar Ball has indicated that son Lonzo would not do any pre-draft workouts for any team except the Lakers.

The 19-year-old Lonzo, whose family lives in the Los Angeles area, played his rookie college season at UCLA before declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

His father recently released a signature line of basketball shoes for Lonzo, which retail for $495, under LaVar’s Big Baller Brand. That was after Nike, adidas and Under Armour rejected his $1 billion offer to sign Lonzo to a shoe deal.

In the spot, LaVar remembers more about his dad.

"The moment when you’re dad sits you down and tells you where you’re going to college . . . When he copy-writes your name to make it part of a family lifestyle brand . . . All those interviews from the stands . . .  Public spats with all-time greats . . .  Sound bites with national media . . . Telling 29 out of 30 teams not to bother drafting you . . . "

"Shouting back and fourth on (ESPN’s) First Take with Stephen A. Smith about how you’re already better than the reigning MVP."

in the spot, Fox, Isaac and Tatum are each wearing gear from Foot Locker's top brands, including items from Nike, Jordan and adidas.

Ball is seen in a T-shirt with text, "Born in Springfield, Raised in LA" from new lifestyle brand RAISED, which will be available in select Foot Locker stores and online later this summer.

According to LaVar, "The NBA Draft is a milestone I've been working toward for a long time and it's exciting to celebrate it with a Foot Locker commercial. I loved last year's spot with Ben Simmons and D'Angelo Russell and I love how they give us players the opportunity to make light out of things.

"It's been a big year for my family, and I know we're just getting started. My dad and I both love the humor of the spot and I'm glad I got to have a little fun around the topic before going to the league,” said Ball.

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