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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).

Wednesday
Jun012016

Warriors, Thunder, Spurs, Heat Find Fan Loyalty Entails More Than Winning

By Barry Janoff

June 1, 2016: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," UCLA head football coach Harry "Red" Sanders was first quoted as saying some 65 years ago, a motivational phrase then made famous by legendary NFL head coach Vince Lombardi.

However, when it comes to fan loyalty in the NBA, winning is vital, but is only part of the equation.

“It’s important to keep in mind that teams don’t leap to the top of the loyalty roster just because they win a playoff or championship," according to Robert Passikoff, founder and president for Brand Keys, a New York-based brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy. "It adds to the loyalty bond, but you need the complete package.”

There are three other "emotionally based factors that must be taken into account" when measuring fan loyalty, according to Passikoff: Authenticity, Fan Bonding and History & Tradition.

Based on this criteria, the just released NBA 2015-16 Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index shows that the Oklahoma City Thunder have replaced the Los Angels Clippers as the team with the most loyal fans.

Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, jumped to the top spot from No. 6 last season, but had been as high as No. 2 in 2014.

The Clippers, led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, slipped to a tie for No. 5 with the Chicago Bulls.

The San Antonio Spurs were second, the Miami Heat came in at No. 3 and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors No. 4 in the NBA Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index.

According to Brand Keys, making the NBA playoffs raises a team’s fan loyalty level by about 10%; winning the NBA title almost doubles that.

"When a team makes the playoffs, they always get a lift in fan loyalty,” said Passikoff.

The Warriors set an NBA record this past season with 73 wins; the San Antonio Spurs, which most recently won the league title in 2013-14, set a franchise record with 67 wins. The Thunder had 55 wins and reached the Western Conference finals against Golden State.

That led to more national TV game broadcasts, more marketing and more awareness for each team and their respective players.

According to Brand Keys, fan loyalty "correlates very highly with broadcast viewership, merchandise purchase and, to a certain degree, ticket revenues.

“Brand support has a lot to do with building concomitant fan loyalty and a larger viewer audience,” said Passikoff. “It becomes a symbol of genuine teamwork.”

In 2015, the top teams in the NBA Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index were the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

In 2014 the top teams were the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks tied for fifth.

Neither the Knicks or the Mavs made the Top Five in 2016.

At the other end of the spectrum, the teams with the "least loyal" fans this past season were the New Orleans Pelicans (26), Utah Jazz (27), Milwaukee Bucks (28, following two previous Index's in which they were 27), Minnesota Timberwolves (29 for the second consecutive season) and Sacrament Kings (30 for the third consecutive season).

“It’s important to keep in mind that teams don’t leap to the top of the loyalty roster just because they win a playoff or championship."

How important are history and tradition?

“That’s one of the strongest drivers when it comes to fan loyalty in any Major League sport,” said Passikoff. “For some teams it accounts for the lion’s share of loyalty they possess.

"Think about a team like the Washington Wizards. Only a reasonable level of history and tradition keeps them out of the bottom five," said Passikoff.

According to Brand Keys, teams need to meet some minimum levels on all four factors to create reasonable levels of fan loyalty. If one of those drivers weakens, or disappears, so do high levels of loyalty.

“Want proof?” asked Passikoff, “Look at the Sacramento Kings.”

The Brand Keys Sports Fan Loyalty Index was "designed to help professional sports team marketers identify the key drivers of fan loyalty in their home and national markets by identifying emotional aspects surrounding the team that require strategic brand coaching."

Brand Keys said it assesses all of the teams in the league, interviewing 250 self-classified basketball fans from each of the 30 NBA teams’ immediate metropolitan areas.

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