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• Under Armour said this morning that Patrik Frisk, the company’s president and COO, would become its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020. He will also remain president. Company founder, chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, will become executive chairman and brand chief. According to Friske via Under Armour, "The opportunity that lies ahead of us is incredible as our entire global team continues to lean hard into our transformation."

• Sacramento, California's capital city, has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league's 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022. The club will build a new, $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District. 

• Octagon and the National Women’s Soccer League have signed a multi-tier consulting partnership, in which Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting and Marketing divisions will "advise the NWSL on its league media rights, sponsorship, and marketing." “The growth of the NWSL over the past six years has been tremendous, and the league, its teams and players show absolutely no sign of slowing down,” Christine Franklin, SVP, Marketing, Octagon, said via the firm.

• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

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KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 18-20
1. Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil $36M
2. Joker $29.2M
3. Zombieland 2 $26.7M
4. Addams Family $16M
5. Gemini Man $8.5M
6. Abominable $3.5M
7. Downton Abbey $3M
8. Judy $2M
9. Hustlers $2M
10. It 2 $1.5M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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Cancer Drives Home
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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. 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 2019 Opening Nights
• Oct. 22 New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors TNT 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 22 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers TNT 10:30 PM (ET)

• Oct. 23 Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ESPN 8 PM (ET)
• Oct. 23 Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ESPN 10 PM (ET)

Monday
May222017

Citing Fan, Team, Sponsor Growth In U.S., NBC Sports Goes All-In With Rugby

By Barry Janoff

May 22, 2017: Calling the U.S. "one of the fastest-growing markets for rugby participation and fan growth," World Rugby and NBC Sports Group have 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.

According to World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, "We know there are about 40 million rugby fans in the States based on our research and that’s going up."

The agreement includes U.S. media rights on all platforms and in all languages to the Rugby World Cups in 2019 (in Japan) and 2023; the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017 (Ireland) and 2021; the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 (San Francisco) and 2022; and the annual World Rugby U20 Championships from 2017-2023.

Financial terms were not shared.

However, Gosper said during an interview to unveil the partnership (posted to the World Rugby twitter page), "This is a huge deal for us. It’s a lot of money — about three-times what we earned in the last cycle."

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.

Among the companies aligned with USA Rugby are Emirates Airway, AIG, Gatorade, KT Tape and adidas, which last month signed a multi-year deal to be the official kit supplier for USA National Teams and representative teams.

The deal piggy-backs on NBCU’s exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics, which in 2016 saw Rugby Sevens make its Olympic debut in Rio.

The last time rugby was played in the Olympics was the 15-a-side version of the game in 1924. The U.S. won the gold medal that year (the U.S. men’s team finished ninth in 2016, the women’s team fourth).

"This agreement is the culmination of years of cultivating our rugby portfolio," Jon Miller, president—programming for NBC Sports Group, said in a statement. “It began with U.S. collegiate rugby clubs and now, through this unprecedented agreement, includes the greatest tournaments, teams, players and coaches in the world.

"Whether it is men’s or women’s, sevens or 15s, pros or amateurs, rugby fans can rest assured that they will have more access to more premier rugby content than has ever been possible in the U.S.," said Miller.

NBC Sports said it plans to use NBC, NBCSN, The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold (NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer product) "and possibly other platforms to provide more comprehensive U.S. coverage of the numerous events included in the agreement than ever before."

According to USA Rugby, the governing body for the sport in the nation, USA Rugby has more than 115,000 members, including more than 32,000 college rugby members, 1,200 high school teams, 900 college teams, 700 senior club teams and 400 youth teams.

More than 80,000 people attended a USA Sevens international tournament in March 2016 in Las Vegas, and 61,500 attended a USA vs New Zealand match in November 2014 in Soldier Field, Chicago.

"NBC is a great deal and a great deal for rugby fans in America," Gosper said during his interview. "This will open the market in the United States over the next two World Cups.

"(The U.S. is) the biggest commercial sporting-entertainment market in the world. it also means it’s the most competitive . . . There is a huge marketing for women, too, where about 30% of the player base is women. So we may well see some explosive growth in the years to come," said Gosper.

"(The U.S. is) the biggest commercial sporting-entertainment market in the world. it also means it’s the most competitive."

"The USA is one of the fastest-growing markets for rugby participation and fan growth," Bill Beaumont, World Rugby chairman, concurred in a statement. "This exciting and unprecedented deal with one of the world’s most prestigious broadcasters will ensure that more people than ever before in the USA will be able to access the world’s top men’s and women’s 15s and sevens events. NBC will be the destination for rugby in the USA."

The agreement begins this spring with the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 from Georgia.

In a post-2016 Summer Games survey, World Rugby found that the number of rugby fans in the six markets surveyed grew by more than 16.3 million as a result of the sport's inclusion in the Rio Olympics.

In addition, "driven by broadcast and social media interaction reaching new audiences, the total number of rugby fans worldwide grew to more than 300 million."

Of the six core markets surveyed before and after the Games, World Rugby research showed rugby's Olympic inclusion "increased the reach of the sport in France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and the USA. Support was particularly marked among women and the 18-24 age group, with strong agreement that rugby sevens was great addition to the Olympic Games.”

Following is a year-by-year breakdown of the events included in the NBC Sports agreement:

• 2017: Women’s Rugby World Cup (Ireland); World Rugby U20 Championship (Georgia)
• 2018: Rugby World Cup Sevens (San Francisco, Calif.); World Rugby U20 Championship
• 2019: Rugby World Cup (Japan); World Rugby U20 Championship
• 2020: World Rugby U20 Championship
• 2021: Women’s Rugby World Cup; World Rugby U20 Championship
• 2022: Rugby World Cup Sevens; World Rugby U20 Championship
• 2023: Rugby World Cup; World Rugby U20 Championship

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