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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).

Thursday
Jan172019

Antetokounmpo, Thompson, Lillard Star In NBA Chinese 'Year Of Pig' Campaign

By Barry Janoff

January 17, 2019: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors have lead roles in multi-media marketing for the NBA’s celebration of 2019 Chinese New Year.

The three stars appear in three TV spots breaking this week to support the NBA honoring the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig, which begins Tuesday Feb. 5.

New this year, the NBA’s eighth Chinese New Year celebration, is KUN (Cai Xukun) a 20-year-old singer who was born in Huaihua,China, and is the NBA Chinese New Year celebration brand ambassador, which marks the first time the NBA has featured a Chinese celebrity in its Chinese New Year activation.

The NBA said a record 15 NBA teams would host Chinese New Year-themed celebrations in their home arenas over a two-week period, beginning  Jan. 29 with a national broadcast doubleheader on TNT featuring the New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets followed by the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Lakers.

“Chinese New Year is a global event, and the NBA is thrilled to bring joy and basketball to our fans as they celebrate the holiday with their families,” Derek Chang, NBA China CEO, said via the league.

“It’s great to see more players and teams joining the celebration and engaging with our passionate Chinese fans in authentic ways.”

The trio of spots — “When It Begins,” Favorite Part” and “So Special” — each starring Antetokounmpo, Lillard, Thompson and KUN, will air across NBA media partners throughout the month, including ESPN, TNT and NBA TV; in-arena and on NBA social media platforms.

Participating teams will wear special Chinese New Year jerseys and celebrate the holiday with various in-game elements, fan giveaways, musical performances, special content, dancers, food, courtside signage, concourse decorations and partner activations.

During the NBA Chinese New Year Celebration 2019, fans in Greater China will be able to watch more than 65 live games on CCTV, Tencent, BesTV, Guangdong Radio and Television, GreatSports, Videoland, ELTA, Eleven Sports, Sports 2 World, Migu C and ViuTV.

“Participating in the NBA Chinese New Year campaign has been such a great experience and opportunity to learn more about Chinese New Year traditions,” Antetokounmpo. said via the league  “I’m looking forward to playing during the holiday period and putting on a show for all my fans.”

The NBA’s entity that conducts all of the league’s businesses in China was formed in January 2008 after its first office opened in Hong Kong in 1992.

Following NBA China Games 2018, 17 NBA teams have played 26 games in China.

The spots highlight the best parts of Chinese New Year.

When It Begins” looks the start of Chinese New Year, from family reunions to nighttime fireworks.

Favorite Part” celebrates the best parts of Chinese New Year, such as family reunions and nighttime fireworks,

So Special” features the traditions of Chinese New Year, including  red envelopes filled with gifts to homes filled with decorations.

According to Thompson, “I am happy to celebrate Chinese New Year with the fans in China.

“I love being able to meet my Chinese fans each summer and appreciate this chance to give my new year’s blessings during this festive time in such a fun, unique way.”

Teams participating in the NBA’s 2019 Chinese New Year events include the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

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