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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).

Tuesday
Oct102017

NBA Spurs Growth In Japan With Rakuten Global Marketing, Media Partnership

By Barry Janoff

October 10, 2017: Last month, international Internet services provider Rakuten made its first inroad into the NBA, signing a three-year jersey-patch and marketing deal with the Golden State Warriors valued at $60 million.

Rakuten is now all-in with the NBA, signing a multi-year pact to become a global marketing partner with the league and the league’s exclusive distribution partner in Japan for all live NBA games.

The NBA said this would be its "most comprehensive media partnership in Japan" as well as Rakuten’s first alliance with a North American sports league.

The NBA said the partnership would help to continue to build its presence in Japan, which dates back to games and programming on-air there since the 1988-89 season.

Financial terms of the partnership were not shared, but its value was put in excess of $200 million by industry analysts.

“Rakuten is one of the world’s most innovative companies and an ideal partner for the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.  "Our new relationship with Rakuten speaks to the appetite that our passionate fans in Japan have for live NBA games and content, and we look forward to working with Rakuten to provide the most comprehensive NBA coverage to date.”

According to the NBA, the global marketing partnership enables Rakuten to create NBA and team zones and sell select NBA and team merchandise on its e-commerce channels worldwide.

That would include Rakuten Ichiba in Japan and Ebates, a membership-based online cash-back site in the U.S. 
 
In addition, Rakuten Viber, Rakuten’s instant messaging platform, "becomes an official platform for the NBA and its teams, providing its 900 million-plus users with access to league content."

This season, Rakuten will offer NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, exclusively to Rakuten members in Japan through NBA.com, the NBA App and for purchase through Rakuten’s VOD service, Rakuten TV.

NBA League Pass would enable customers in Japan to watch all NBA games including pre-season, regular-season and playoffs games, NBA All-Star, NBA Conference Finals and The Finals, in addition to other exclusive programming. 
 
Rakuten will also offer a subscription package on Rakuten TV, providing fans with access to nine games a week, one game per weekday and two games each on Saturdays and Sundays.

"Our new relationship with Rakuten speaks to the appetite that our passionate fans in Japan have for live NBA games and content."

According to Hiroshi  Mikitani, founder and CEO for Rakuten, “We are very excited to partner with the NBA to bring all the action of the world’s top basketball league to fans in Japan.

“As we have recently announced that we are proud partners of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA’s reigning champions, it is an honor to expand our contributions to the global growth and development of basketball with this NBA partnership," said Mikitani.

Founded in Tokyo in 1997, Rakuten's services reach more than 1 billion people. The company’s North American headquarters are in San Francisco.

This is the company’s second alliance this year with a sports franchise that has global reach. In July 2017, Rakuten became the main global partner, jersey-front sponsor and official innovation and entertainment partner for FC Barcelona.

The NBA's presence in Japan includes officially licensed league merchandise available at more than 180 Xebio stores nationwide.

The league pointed to a number of events it has conducted in Japan, including 12 regular-season games in three cities, interactive fan activaiton, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives; and in 2012, Basketball without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program.

Warriors Patch Into Movement, Sign $60M Jersey Deal With Rakuten

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