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NEWS REAL

• ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis 2019 (Aug. 1-4 U.S. Bank Stadium, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC) has signed Wendy’s as an official sponsor, joining returning sponsors Harley-Davidson, Hotels.com, Monster Energy, Nexcare First Aid Products, Pacifico, SoFi and The Real Cost (FDA). Geico will again serve as the official music stage sponsor.

On-site activation in X Fest is provided by Marvel, Go RVing, US Marines, TINCUP Whiskey, TRIA, FloWater, Star Tribune, Shred Hate, 93X, The CW, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, MN United, City Pages, GO MN, iHeart Radio and Minnesota Wild.

• ESPN said that the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – won by Novak Djokovic over Roger Federer 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) – earned an overnight rating of 3.0 for its more than five hours of coverage up 114% vs. the championship match a year ago for Djokovic vs. Kevin Anderson. The match peaked at its conclusion with a 4.6 rating. At 4:57, it was the longest match of the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament this year and the longest Gentlemen’s Singles final in Wimbledon history. It also was the first men’s singles Major championship to be decided by a tie-break.

• New York Life has signed as a founding partner of the ESPN-owned ACC Network, the national network dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference sports coverage, scheduled to launch Aug. 22. New York Life remains the official life insurance company of the ACC as well as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament which airs across the ESPN and ACC networks. 

• The Baseball Hall of Fame has signed a deal with VIDSIG, Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that offers live one-on-one video interactions between athletes and fans. The technology will allow Hall of Famers to “hold virtual meet-and-greets or autograph sessions through the use of a computer from the comfort of the athletes' homes.”

• 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

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 5-7
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
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).

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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