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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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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).

Monday
Apr062015

Batter Up: MLB, Teams, Players, Partners In Top Pitching Form For 2015 Season

By Barry Janoff

April 6, 2015: It's been a long time since Oct. 29, 2014, when a pitch thrown by Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants was popped up by Salvador Pérez of the Kansas City Royals and caught in foul territory by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval — his last act on the field with the team before joining the Boston Red Sox as a free agent — to give the Giants their third MLB World Series title in five seasons.

But a winter in which Boston and the surrounding area endured a record 110-plus inches of snow and Cleveland experienced the city's coldest February on record, with ten days where the temperature was below zero and a three-week period when it did not rise above 32 degrees, is over.

But now it's spring and new season is starting. And as the late Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle put it, "Nothing's ever been as fun as baseball."

Like players and fans, MLB partners have anxiously been awaiting the start of the 2015 campaign.

All the players on MLB's marketing roster are activating to various degrees. Among them, Church & Dwight brands Arm & Hammer and OxiClean are official presenting sponsors of Opening Week, getting national exposure on activations that include a "Cover the Bases" instant win game offering such prizes as gift cards for memorabilia from Steiner Sports, tickets and MLB licensed products. (Details here.)

DraftKings, which just renewed and enhanced its MLB alliance, will launch marketing that includes all teams and will see activation across all MLB media properties.

Domino's will again give away 20,000 pizzas after each of the first two no-hitters during the 2015 MLB regular season. Chances are good it will happen In 2014, five no-hitters were thrown — one in May and two each in June and September. The last season without a no-hitter was 2005. (Details here.)

Topps is rolling out the next generation of BUNT, the officially licensed MLB digital trading card app. Topps BUNT 2015 is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Android devices in the App Store and Google Play Store.

T-Mobile is getting the word out early about the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, including the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest.

MLB itself is launching in support of Opening Week several campaigns, including an umbrella-themed "THIS (Is Baseball)," from lead agency Anomaly, NY. A master spot (pictured left) is narrated by Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who offers, "These are the best 750 baseball players in the world. The game is being played better than it ever has. These are the good old days."

Several breakouts featuring individual players and managers will appear this week and more will be added throughout the season. The initial batch includes "Mike Trout And His Fans" (Los Angeles Angels), "David Price Is Playing For Fans" (Detroit Tigers) and "Meet Joe Madden" (manager for the Chicago Cubs).

The content will be seen on TV, online, distributed through social media and available on MLB.com/THIS.

MLB also asking fans to tweet their own THIS moments using the #THIS hash tag.

A separate effort, "MLB Field of Dreams," handled in-house by MLB, uses clips from the 1989 movie with Kevin Costner interspersed with shots of current players reciting James Earl Jones’ famous “People Will Come” soliloquy.

The cast includes Trout, Dustin Pedroia, Felix Hernandez and Adam Jones. "People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn into your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door, as innocent as children, longing for the past . . . This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come."

Trout, the 2014 American League MVP, already is out-front for the Opening Week MVP (Most Valuable Pitchman). In addition to his MLB spots, he stars in a new ad from Subway, 'Documentary," in which he offers that ever since his days in Little League he has always gone to Subway for his favorite sandwich: Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki with all white meat, Pepper Jack Cheese, Banana Peppers and lots of Jalapeños.

A major MLB Hispanic multi-layer effort, from LatinWorks, speaks to the growing Hispanic player and fan base, "Estamos Haciendo Historia Aqui" ("We Are Making History Here"). It shows clips of iconic MLB players such as Roberto Clemente and action with current stars of Hispanic descent.

MLB Network is activating its own campaign, including a spot, "Historic Monuments," which re-imagines as Mount Rushmore-type immortals the likes of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench, Rickey Henderson and Derek Jeter.

Sony Computer Entertainment's Playstation is out in force promoting MLB 15 The Show, with Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers on the cover and a campaign for the video game anchored by a TV spot, "Summer Wind."

Each of MLB's clubs also is launching marketing to target their respective fan bases both regionally and nationally.

The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants plan to carry the emotions from last season to this with "One Giant Moment."

The Dodgers evoke the history of their franchise pitching in a TV spot which boasts that no team has more Cy Young award winners, including three-time winner Clayton Kershaw (2011, 2013, 2014), Sandy Koufax (3x), Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Marshall, Eric Gagne, Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, and Don Newcombe, supporting the team's season-long Cy Young pin promotion.

A separate "Time For Dodgers Baseball We Love" spot focuses on the 2015 season and its players and in-stadium promotions.

The Oakland A's have series of humorous spots, including "Emoji T-Shirts," in which the signs used by first- and third-base coaches turn into emojis; and "#Winning," in which pitcher Sean Doolitte works hard to teach social media techniques to his coaches and manager.

The Seattle Mariners put their stars front-and-center in humorous spots that include "Bat Control" (with Robinson Cano) and "Intensely Intense" (with Felix Hernandez).

Among the Minnesota Twins commercials is one with pitcher Phil Hughes, an über Star Wars fan, to support the team's Star Wars Promo Night May 4 in Target Field, "Hughes The Force" (aka "Hughes the Fourth").

And when it comes to reaching out to a diverse fan base, some players on the Boston Red Sox speak Spanish very well and some need "Spanish Lessons."

MLB Fans Have 21M Ways To Enjoy The (Hot) Dog Days Of Summer

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