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NEWS REAL

• 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.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• 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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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).

Saturday
Oct072017

NBC Sports Rugby Deal Could Spur Title Sponsorship For Six Nations Championship

By Barry Janoff

October 6, 2017: Earlier this week, NBC Sports Group said it would end its deal with Formula One after having exclusive U.S. rights to the international racing circuit since 2013.

It did not take NBC Sports long to find another international sports platform partner.

NBC Sports Group said it has signed a multi-year with Six Nations Rugby for exclusive U.S. media rights agreement for the Six Nations Championship.

The pact begins with the 2018 Six Nations Championship, scheduled to take place Feb. 3-March 17.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NBC Sports said it would present "comprehensive live coverage of all Six Nations matches across its digital and linear platforms."

"Our multi-year partnership with Six Nations Rugby further establishes our commitment to the sport of rugby, one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States," Jon Miller, president-programming for NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.

NBC Sports Group already broadcasts such rugby properties as Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Games (through 2032), the Rugby World Cup (both 7’s & 15’s through 2023) and Premiership Rugby.

The addition of NBC Sports and the U.S. market could be a catalyst for Six Nations Rugby to find a new title sponsor for Six Nations Championship.

Royal Bank of Scotland had been title sponsor from 2003-2017 but did not renew for 2018 and beyond. Tournament executives have been seeking a replacement since being informed that RBS would not return.

"The Six Nations is the biggest sponsorship in world rugby by a country mile," John Feehan, Six Nations CEO, told members of the press prior to the start of the 2017 Six Nations Championship. “We’ve been in contact with well over 150 companies and we’re in a very good place.
 
“It is not just about being the highest bidder. We want a sponsor who’s actively engaged not just in Britain but around the world and see potential in markets like the USA,” said Freehan at the time.

Marketing partners for the Six Nations Championship include Guinness, Accenture and Tissot.

Six Nations Rugby was still actively seeking a title sponsor at the time it signed with NBC Sports.

According to reports out of England, Six Nations Rugby was initially seeing a six-year deal “in excess of £100 million ($130.6 million U.S)” but "may be forced to consider a short-term deal" at far less.

World Rugby, the international governing body of rugby union, and NBC Sports Group in May signed a seven-year alliance that gives NBC Sports exclusive U.S. media rights to the Rugby World Cup and other key rugby events through 2023.

The first Rugby World Cup Sevens championship to be held in the U.S. is scheduled for July 20-22, 2018, in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

"We know there are about 40 million rugby fans in the States based on our research and that’s going up,” World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said in a statement when the deal with NBC Sports was signed in May.

The annual Six Nations Championship, which dates back more than a century, consists of 15 matches played in a round-robin format with teams representing six nations: two-time defending champion England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

More than one million people attended the 15 games of the 2017 Championship.

Among the venues hosting the 2018 Six Nations Championship, both London’s Twickenham Stadium and Stade de France in Saint-Denis have capacities in excess of 81,000.

Only Aviva Stadium (51,700) in Dublin has a capacity of fewer than 67,000.

NBC Sports said that all matches would stream live on NBC Sports Gold, which is NBC Sports Digital’s direct-to-consumer live-streaming platform. NBC, NBCSN and CNBC would combine to present linear coverage; and NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app would stream all linear coverage.

The Six Nations Championship is broadcast in more than 180 countries globally and draws a TV audience in excess of 125 million just from the six nations in the event, according to organizers.

"It is fantastic that rugby’s greatest annual championship will now be showcased on NBC Sports’ broadcast, cable and digital platforms, which will allow us to bring it to a bigger audience in the USA," Freehan said in a statement.

Is Rugby Ready To Scrum With U.S. Marketers?

NBC Sports Goes All-In With Rugby

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