• Kraft Heinz division Devour Food has joined with the American Cornhole League to uncover from among its ranks the "Devour Man of the Year," with the winner earning $10,000 and free Devour Pizza for a year. Details here.

• Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Grand Slam at French Open, citing her shoulder injury and recovery.

• Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird will be the co-recipients of the NBA Lifetime Achievement Award, to be honored during the NBA Awards on June 24 (TNT).

• The American Gaming Assn. has released a new set of self-regulations on advertising and marketing legal sports betting, the “Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering. The code, developed in coordination with its members, “extends commitments made by individual companies through their own responsible marketing activities and those adhered to by all association members through the Responsible Gaming Code of Conduct. “The new code includes self-imposed restrictions on target audiences, outlets and materials branding, while mandating responsible gaming inclusion.” 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.” 


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).


Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
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)
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)
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


Results from NBA Draft Lottery 2019 presented by State Farm — aka the Zion Williamson Lottery:
1. New Orleans  
2. Memphis        
3. New York        
4.Los Angeles Lakers     
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix          
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta
 9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte        
13.  Miami
14.  Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)


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.
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.
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.
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.
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).


NBA Players Union Rebrands Marketing Arm As Think450 For Group Licensing, Business

By Barry Janoff

February 16, 2018: With a stated mission to create “disruptive and substantive business relationships for the most marketable athletes on the planet,” the National Basketball Players Assn. has launched Think450.  

Think450 replaces National Basketball Players, Inc., which was established in 2017, as the public brand name for the licensing and marketing subsidiary for the NBPA.

The 450 represents the number of active NBA players.

Think450 said its mission is to “bring inspiration, growth and cultural influence to the global marketplace through an authentic connection to NBA players.”
“Every day, all day, our team focuses on opportunities for all 450 guys — so Think450 is a constant reminder of that approach for the players, the marketplace and our own team,” Jordan Schlachter, who joined NBPI — now Think450 — in July as president, said in a statement. “Think450 is an entirely new way to think about and communicate our role, our mission and our purpose.”

Think450 is based on the concept of NFL Players Inc., the incensing arm for NFL Players Assn., which handles marketing and business deals that employ a group of players.

Under terms in the NBA, players maintain control over individual deals and partnerships, and teams oversee any use of team names and logos.

However, the NBPA oversees the rights to players as a group, with the stipulation that they not appear not in an NBA uniform, according to the NBPA.

The NBA is on an upswing regarding marketing and awareness.

On average, NBA teams are now worth a record $1.65B, with all 30 franchises hitting the $1B mark for the first time, according to a new report from Forbes, with the New York Knicks ($3.6B) topping the list for the third consecutive year.

Sponsorship spending on the NBA and its 30 teams hit a record $861 million during the 2016-17 campaign, a 7.8% increase from the previous season.

it is expected to “skyrocket” this season mainly due to the new eight-year, $1 billion deal with Nike as the league’s official on-court uniform provider (replacing adidas) and the beginning of a three-year trial period during which teams are allowed to sell ad patches on game jerseys for the first time in league history, according to research and consulting firm ESP Properties, Chicago.

The NBA has two of the five highest-paid athletes in the world based on salary and endorsements: LeBron James No. 2 ($86.2 million, behind soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s $93 million) and Kevin Durant at No. 5 ($60.6 million), according to Forbes.

The NBA also has four other players in the Top 15: Stephen Curry ($47.3 million), James Harden ($46.6 million), Russell Westbrook 438.6 million) and Damian Lillard ($38.4 million), also based on 2017 salary and endorsements.

According to its own description, Think450 is the “innovation engine of the NBPA, charged with creating disruptive and substantive business relationships for the most marketable athletes on the planet.

“Think450 represents every current NBA player and works with leading companies and brands across all industries to help its members capitalize on growth opportunities in the content, marketing, technology, and licensing arenas — among others.”

NBPA said that Think450 has partnered with more than 30 brands to host exclusive events and business opportunities during NBA All-Star Weekend across four key pillars: Culture, Content, Commercial and Community.

The events are taking place in the London West Hollywood Hotel at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

Beyond All-Star Week, ThinkK450 said it would work with brands on a number of NBPA events and initiatives, including the Players Voice Awards, in addition to "creating year-round partnerships and content opportunities."

According to Que Gaskins, chief brand officer for Think450, “NBA players are already the most marketable athletes on the planet, and we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of what they can accomplish collectively off the court.

“With Think450, now is the time to take the next step in harnessing this marketing power and be truly disruptive — not just for a few, but for all 450 players, and those to come in the future.”

Think450’s leadership is suited for the task at hand.

Prior to joining NBPA in January 2015 as CMO, Schlachter was evp-sports for The Marketing Arm, vp-integrated media and marketing for Clear Channel Communications and managing director-new business development and athlete marketing for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Gaskins joined NBPI (now Think450) in September from Def Jam Recordings, where he had been eva-strategic marketing and brand partnerships. He also worked for three years as head of marketing for Nike’s east territory (Maine to Florida).

Josh Goodstadt, Think450’s evp-licensing, was with HBO for ten years, first as director-global licensing and retail and then as vp-global licensing and retail; and before that spent five years as avp-licensing for the NFL Players Assn.

Also among top members for Think450 are Dan Gladstone (svp-grassroots basketball and business development), Latoya Sterling (senior director-brand and growth), Brian Lee (vp-player marketing) and Inky Son (vp-licensing).

According to NBPA, as a result of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA, the NBPA “retained their own group licensing rights, effective July 1, 2017.

“As such, the NBPA established National Basketball Players Inc., a for-profit licensing and marketing business wholly owned by the NBPA and its members, the Players.”

NBPA said NBPA, now Think450, would “work to maximize revenue, among other areas, through various commercial licensing, marketing and sponsorship endeavors, content creation and distribution, and owned and operated events.”

“The main objectives for NBPI are to give the players more awareness and control over the way their names and likenesses are collectively used in licensing, sponsorship and marketing relationships, and to provide multiple new business opportunities for players to collectively commercialize their likeness and names, as well as the intellectual property of the NBPA.”

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