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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 15-17
1. Captain Marvel $69.3M
2. Wonder Park $16M
3. Five Feet Apart $13.2M
4. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World $9.4M
5. Madea Family Funeral $8M
6. No Manches Frida 2 $3.9M
7. Captive State $3.2M
8. Lego Movie 2 $2.1M
9. Alita: Battle Angel $1.9M
10. Green Book $1.3M
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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Friday
Feb152013

MetLife Comes Out Swinging, Joins World Baseball Classic Marketing Roster

By Barry Janoff

February 15, 2013: Insurance firm MetLife, perhaps best known in the sports world for its naming rights deal at the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets MetLife Stadium, as well as for the signature blimp that flies over some 100 events annually, is now taking a swing at baseball.

The New York-based company has signed a deal to become a global sponsor and the official insurance company for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

MetLife said it would support the alliance with on-site and multi-media marketing and activation, incorporating its brand ambassador, Snoopy, "into multiple aspects of the event" on worldwide media platforms.

Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.

MetLife joins Brand USA, Delta Air Lines and Konami as the World Baseball Classic's four global sponsors.

The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, will feature the world’s best players representing their countries and territories. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2-19. (Full schedule here.)

All games will be broadcast on MLB Network and ESPN Desportes. MetLife will provide aerial coverage from its blimps – Snoopy One, Snoopy Two and Snoopy J. — which will be flying above all the games played in Phoenix, Miami, San Francisco and Tokyo. The WBC is being distributed to more than 200 countries and territories.

"Many of the countries fielding World Baseball Classic teams are also countries where MetLife is a leading insurer," Richard Hong, vp-brand, advertising and promotion for MetLife, said in a statement. "With MetLife’s strong presence in Japan and Korea where the sport is widely popular, and with market leading positions in countries like Mexico and the U.S., millions of our customers and thousands of our employees are looking forward to watching some of the world’s best play baseball this March."

Under terms of the agreement, MetLife will be the title sponsor of the All-World Baseball Classic Team, which will be selected after the event and will be comprised of the top players at each position during the tournament.

In addition, Snoopy will wear World Baseball Classic jerseys and make special appearances during games to interact with fans and distribute gifts.

Team Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, having won in 2006 and 2009, the last time the WBC was held. The event will be played every four years moving forward.

The United States is in Pool D with Mexico, Italy and Canada, which begins play on March 7 in Phoenix.

"With a strong presence in the global market, MetLife is well-positioned to illuminate its brand message across the expansive WBC platform."

Members of Team USA include Joe Mauer, reining National League Cy Young winner R.A. DIckey, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Adams Jones, Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Vogelsong and Heath Bell, and is being managed by Joe Torre. Players will be taking time off from Spring Training and before the 2013 MLB season starts to participate.

The World Baseball Classic is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation.

"With such a strong presence in the global marketplace, MetLife is well-positioned to illuminate its brand message across the expansive World Baseball Classic platform," Paul Archey, svp-International Business Operations for Major League Baseball, said in a statement. "MetLife will have a variety of touch points, both inside and outside the tournament venues, fully integrating them into the event program this March."

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, will be the site of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

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