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NEWS REAL

• Nascar has signed a deal to acquire International Speedway Corp. in a transaction valued at $2 billon. ISC owns and operates venues including Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Kansas Speedway, ISM Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Watkins Glen International.

ISC also owns Motor Racing Network, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; and Americrown, a subsidiary that provides catering services, and food and beverage concessions.

• 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.

• 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).

Tuesday
Mar202018

MilB 'Copa de la Diversión': 33 Teams, 19 States, 160 Games, 360-Degree Marketing

By Barry Janoff

March 20, 2018: In February, Minor League Baseball unveiled a season-long initiative called Copa de la Diversión —“Fun Cup" — specifically designed to “embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams' local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.”

Now, MiLB has unveiled caps, uniforms and marketing plans that 33 of its teams across 19 states will be undertaking during the Copa de la Diversión campaign.

The 160-game event series begins on April 8, in Round Rock, Texas.

MiLB said this season’s effort grew from the successful launch of its national "It's Fun to Be a Fan" (and corresponding Spanish-language Es Divertido Ser Un Fan) marketing campaign in 2017.

Last season, three MiLB teams adopted new alternate on-field namesto reflect their unique and diverse fan bases: Charlotte Knights to Caballeros, Las Vegas 51s to Reyes de Plata and Visalia Rawhide to Toros.

According to MiLB, some 18.3-million U.S. Hispanics designate themselves as fans of Minor League Baseball, behind only the NBA and MLS.

Copa de la Diversión is a long time in the making and stands for all things great about MilB: Inclusiveness. Innovation,” said David Wright, CMO for MiLB. “Leveraging data to tell our story. Of course, Fun. This is not one and done . . . we are just getting started!”

Each of the 33 clubs decided how many games they wanted to play as their Copa de la Diversión versions. MilB said it suggested three. Most decided on more, with the average five games apiece.

A three-foot tall Copa de la Diversión trophy will embark on a tour of the participating cities, as part of a Gira de la Copa ("Cup Tour").

MiLB plans to embrace the Copa de la Diversión well beyond caps and jerseys.

“Participating teams will bolster their marketing and customer service efforts this season to create a culturally-relevant game-day experience through music, concessions and promotions,” according to MiLB.

According to Kurt Hunzeker, vp-marketing strategy and research for MiLB, “Minor League Baseball is built on the fun, memory-making experiences created by our teams each and every day.

“When we introduced 'It's Fun to Be a Fan' and Es Divertido Ser Un Fan last season, the overwhelmingly positive response led us to create this season-long event series, further showcasing our teams' commitment to their communities and MiLB's unique brand of fun."

The participating teams for the 2018 campaign:

• Albuquerque Isotopes Mariachis de Nuevo México
• Bowie Baysox Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake
• Brooklyn Cyclones Jefes
• Charlotte Knights Caballeros
• Corpus Christi Hooks Raspas
• Daytona Tortugas Tortugas de Daytona
• Durham Bulls Toros de Durham
• El Paso Chihuahuas
• Eugene Emeralds Monarcas de Eugene
• Everett AquaSox Conquistadores
• Greenville Drive Energía
• Hartford Yard Goats Chivos de Hartford
• Hillsboro Hops Lupus
• Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino
• Kane County Cougars
• Kannapolis Intimidators Los Rapidos De Kannapolis
• Lake Elsinore Storm
• Las Vegas 51s Reyes de Plata
• Lehigh Valley IronPigs Tocino
• Memphis Redbirds Musica
• Oklahoma City Dodgers Cielo Azul
• Omaha Storm Chasers Cazadores de Tormentas
• Pawtucket Red Sox Osos Polares
• Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Temblores
• Round Rock Express Chupacabras
• Sacramento River Cats Dorados
• Salt Lake Bees Abejas de Salt Lake
• San Antonio Missions Flying Chanclas
• San Bernardino Cucuys
• San Jose Giants Gigantes
• Stockton Ports Caballos
• Tulsa Drillers Petroleros de Tulsa
• Visalia Rawhide Toros
• Winston-Salem Dash Rayados

At the end of the season, each team will auction its Copa de la Diversion gear and donate the proceeds to a U.S. Hispanic/Latino organization in the community.

Check each team’s Web site for the respective Copa de la Diversión games.

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