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NEWS REAL

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• 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 12-14
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).

Friday
Nov272015

Super Bowl, Star Wars, Twisted Sister (!) Intrude On Black Friday Marketing

By Barry Janoff

November 27, 2015: Marketing efforts during Thanksgiving Day weekend were not just about Black Friday, 2 AM discounts at Big Box retailers and food companies offering products to enhance turkey leftovers (and leftovers of leftovers).

TV viewers also saw high-profile movie trailers, a spoiler-alert spot for the Super Bowl 50 Pepsi Halftime Show, Verizon putting a spin on delayed flights, Nationwide getting Peyton Manning to sing about turkey legs and comedian Rob Riggle dressed as Dee Snyder of big in the 1980s rock band Twister Sister covering Bon Jovi for Fox Sports.

On Thanksgiving Day, the NFL played three games, which, much to the delight of companies that made commercial buys, combined to average 28.6 million viewers, the highest three-game audience on Thanksgiving, according to the NFL.

But the league received a lot of reaction from non-football fans due to a "Spoiler Alert" spot that teased more than it spoiled. The spot indicated that the Pepsi-sponsored halftime show during Super Bowl 50 (CBS, Feb. 7, 2016) could possibly feature the biggest music roster in Super Bowl history, "honoring the past, recognizing the present and looking ahead to the next 50 years."

The spot also revealed that one of the of stars scheduled to perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show "would  be revealed" during the Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions game on CBS and NFL Network on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Anticipation also came via several Hollywood trailers, with the Big Daddy being a new clip-fest for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits theaters Dec. 18.

Viewers also saw clips for Captain America: Civil War (May 2016), the animated The Secret Life of Pets (July 2016) and Concussion (Dec. 25), which had several airings during NFL games. The latter was an interesting media buy as it stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who played a major role in taking the NFL to the public by tying brain damage to football players who had suffered repeated concussions during games.

Peyton Manning was featured in three 15-second spots for Nationwide, in which he continued the theme from previous commercials in which he sings the insurance company's commercial jingle ("Nationwide is on your side") in different scenarios. In "Turkey Leg," before sitting down to dinner, he chimes, "Turkey leg you taste so good." In the next, having finished another portion of food, and with indigestion coming on, he offers, "Seconds were a bad idea." Finally, laying down on a couch, he sings to the Nationwide tune, "Think I'm gonna take a nap," before drifting off.

Verizon offered a spot called "Home," in which people who are trying to get home for the holidays are faced with the challenges of delayed flights, long waits, snow storms and icy roads. The telecom's words of wisdom: "This time of year, having a network you can rely on matters more than ever — until you're finally home with loved ones, and it doesn’t matter at all."

Perhaps the most eclectic showing of all came prior to the NFL game on Fox between the Philadelphia Eagles and hometown Detroit Lions, which pitted teams with a combined 7-13 record. Fox Sports spokesman/comedian/actor Rob Riggle, who has been doing irreverent pre-game spots all season, here showed up dressed like Dee Snyder fronting a band and singers who covered Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive."

Riggle's version, "Like It Or Not," included digs at the anticipated low-expectations for the game (the Lions won, 45-14); and the mental status of Jerry Jones, the 73-year-old owner of the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys, who would play at home in the second game on Thanksgiving Day (on CBS, losing 33-14 to the Carolina Panthers). Riggle as Snyder crooned, "He owns the Cowboys/Unless he's so old he forgot/Today he's watching them/Like It Or Not."

Riggle also took a mild swipe at the offensive coordinator for the Lions — "Happy Thanksgiving Jim Bob Cooter and everyone with a less funny name" — before justifying the NFL's presence on TV throughout the day: "I guess these same old games/Still beat no games at all."

Riggle also accurately predicted events that would take place during the then as-yet-to-be-played NFL games: "I'm sure the QBs will throw some picks/and get turnovers on downs. It's lucky Jerry Jones' face looks more realistic when it frowns." (See the full spot here.)

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw three interceptions and was taken out of the game in the third quarter when he reinsured his left collarbone — which forced him to miss seven games this season — an injury diagnosed the next day as a fracture that would keep him off the field for the remainder of the season.

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