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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).

Friday
Mar232018

As Spend On Pets Tops $69B, MLB Pitches Paw-Fect Game With Bark At The Park

By Barry Janoff

March 23, 2018: The dog days of baseball traditionally not until August.

The bring your dog to the park days happen all season long.

Central Garden & Pet brands AvoDerm Natural Pet Foods and Nylabone along with the American Pet Products Assn. is joining with several MLB teams for a Bark at the Park campaign to “promote pet adoption and raise awareness about the powerful bond between people and their pets.”

The Bark at the Park tour will make stops this season during games in the stadiums of numerous MLB teams, including  the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers.

The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers are among teams conducting a similar promotion, Pups in the Park; while teams such as the Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves conduct their own Bark in the Park events.

All told, more than half of MLB’s teams hold bring your canine to the game day on an annual basis.

Each of the teams work with local pet rescue and/or adoption agencies to raise funds and awareness.

Tony La Russa, Hall of Fame manager and vp-special assistant with the Boston Red Sox (pictured below) returns as Bark at the Park’s official ambassador.

He will help promote the program through a PSA campaign at participating ballparks encouraging people to adopt a new pet or a pal for their current pet.

La Russa is co-founder and chairman for the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), which will again receive donations from Central Garden & Pet and the teams to support ARF’s many initiatives, including their Pets For Vets program, which provides dogs and trains them to be service dogs for military veterans in need.

The MLB initiatives come as overall spending in the pet industry hit a record $69.51 billion in 2017, nearly $3 billion dollars and a 4% growth over the $66.75 billion spent in 2016), according to the American Pet Products Assn.

The figure covers pet spending in the market categories of food, supplies/over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services.

Spending on pet food continues to be the highest source of dollars spent $29 billion plus, up from $28.2 billion in 2016. The figure is expected to grow to almost $30 billion in 2018.

Veterinary care spending remains the second highest source of spending in the pet industry at $17.07 billion, up 7% from 2016.

The third highest source of spending is in supplies and over the counter (OTC) medications, with $15.11 billion spent on items such as beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food and water bowls, and other accessories in 2017, according to APPA.

One of the highest growth categories is 2017 was “other services,” with $6.16 billion spend, up almost 7%. The category includes pet services outside of health care such as grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting and yard services and more.

Regarding Bark at the Park, “More than 30,000 dogs and their families have attended our Bark at the Park events over the years,” Jim Heim, president-business development for Central Garden & Pet, said in a statement.

“Our pets are part of our families and people are including their pets in family trips and activities. Baseball has really embraced this trend over the last decade and we are proud to have helped develop and promote the concept through our various team partnerships.”

At the games on designated days, people can purchase tickets for themselves and their dogs, join in a pre-game parade around the field and enjoy pet-friendly activities and free product samples.

The season-long program will include in-store messaging at local independent retailers in select markets, PSAs, national media, charitable fundraising and direct engagement with fans at ballparks nationwide.

Tickets for Bark at the Park, Pups in the Park and similar promotions are available through the respective teams’ official Web sites (while tickets last).

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