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NEWS REAL

• Nascar has signed a deal to acquire International Speedway Corp. in a transaction valued at $2 billon. ISC owns and operates venues including Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Kansas Speedway, ISM Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Watkins Glen International.

ISC also owns Motor Racing Network, the nation's largest independent sports radio network; and Americrown, a subsidiary that provides catering services, and food and beverage concessions.

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” 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.” 

POLL POSITION

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).

GOALKEEPERS

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

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

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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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).

Sunday
Jul022017

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nascar, NBC Sports Are All Revved Up With Someplace To Go

By Barry Janoff

July 2, 2017: Meatloaf was "All Revved Up With No Place To Go."

The same cannot be said for Nascar, NBC Sports and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Although what is likely to be his final race in the Daytona International Speedway ended early, if not spectacularly, with a crash during Lap 106 and a subsequent 32nd place finish in the Coke Zero 400, Earnhardt Jr. put it all into perspective: "Man, it was a lot of fun."

Earnhardt Jr.’s presence is among the highlights NBC Sports Group is touting in 2017 as it presents the final 20 Monster Series Nascar Cup Series races, the  final 19 Nascar Xfinity Series events and select Nascar regional and touring Series events, which began July 1.

Earnhardt Jr. is taking his last laps as a full time Nascar Cup Series driver, having unveiled this past April his desire to retire after the 2017 season (with some selected events to come in 2018 to fulfill sponsorship deals).

Beyond that?

"I think he’d be an excellent broadcaster (but we will) see what he decides to do," Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports, said during a media conference call days prior to coverage of the Coke Zero 400. "It’s up to him where he wants to be in the future.

"But he’s a talented guy, and I think he’d be a great addition to any broadcast because he is curious and asks good questions and cares deeply about the sport," said Flood.

With the support of NBC Sports and his own sponsors, Earnhardt Jr. is not simply driving off into the sunset. For starters, he has launched a multi-media campaign, JR Nation Appreci88ion, a five-month campaign to get closer to, and connect with, his fans.

"The rest of this season is about two things . . . Winning and Appreci88ion," Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his social media platforms, which include more than two million followers on Twitter and nearly three million on Facebook.

"I know this year and this race is extremely important to him, to his team, to his sponsors," said veteran Nascar crew chief and Nascar on NBC analyst Steve Letarte — who lead the team when Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 in 2014 — during a the media conference call.

"I know he has a love affair with Daytona. Without a doubt his passion for this speedway bleeds over. And he showed me a lot about Daytona, I think our time here, which was capped off with that 500 win, had a lot to do with just his affinity for speedway racing. He loves it," said Letarte.

Earnhardt Jr.’s partners will chime in with congratulatory marketing throughout the remainder of the season. His alliances include Nationwide, Mountain Dew, Chevrolet, Hellmann’s, Breyers, Suave, Goodyear, Wrangler, Under Armour and Axalta.

Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races of the 2016 Nascar Cup Series while recovering from a concussion he suffered during a mid-season race.

NBC Sports Groups is supporting its coverage of Nascar with what it called a "robust marketing campaign that surrounds the heart and soul of the racing community, and shines a light on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series.

A "Guts, Glory and Nascar" effort will seek to connect with race fans via an "on-the-ground campaign" in targeted local markets that will host Nascar races.

That includes a fleet of Nascar-themed food trucks under the banner "Nascar on NBC Pit Stop," which will deliver samples to rfans throughout the country during NBC Sports’ 21-week Nascar season.

The trucks are branded as the "Nascar on NBC Race Flag Chips Truck," "Nascar on NBC Go-Go Snow Cones Truck"and "Nascar on NBC Racecar-B-Q Truck," with paint schemes inspired by Nascar race cars.

In addition to the food, people will have the ability to play yard games, meet Nascar on NBC talent and win prizes.

Blake Shelton performs the NBC Sports Group’s 2017 Nascar on NBC opening theme for all the races. Set to his song, "Bringing Back the Sunshine," it intersperses action on and off the track, including shots of Earnhardt Jr.

"Without a doubt he wants to make the playoffs in his final season," said Letarte. "That was the goal in February. I’m sure it’s the goal now in July. So I think that’s going to be the task.

"The task is going to have to be somehow controlling your emotion and the enormity of this being his final trip to Daytona and the pressure of what this race means for his season."

Nascar on NBC and Hidden Heroes, an initiative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, have partnered on a season-long program to provide military families the opportunity to attend Monster Energy NascarCup Series races.

NBC Sports Group’s Nascar programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show Nascar America, coverage of Nascar’s Awards Ceremonies, the annual Nascar Hall of Fame induction ceremony and original programming specials.

Dale Jr. Unveils JR Nation Appreci88ion Campaign To Fete Fans, Career

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