• 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 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.”


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).


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)



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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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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