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• Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists Class of 2018: Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Hugh Evans, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rudy Tomjanovich, Chris Webber, Kim Mulkey, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Wayland Baptist University. Class of 2018 will be named during the NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in San Antonio March 31-April 2.

• Serena Williams, who said her first auto purchase was a while Lincoln Navigator SUV she named “Ginger,” has signed to become an official spokesperson for the brand. A social media-based marketing campaign includes videos of Williams talking about and driving the 2018 Navigator, with ongoing videos to follow. “Partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place,” she said in the first video. “Let’s just be honest: Serena Williams needs to be in the new Navigator.”

• The Smashing Pumpkins unveil 'Shiny And Oh So Bright' 36-city tour, their first tour in nearly 20 years, with founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha. Produced by Live Nation.

KEEPING SCORE

IMDbPro’s ALL-TIME TOP-GROSSING, LIVE-ACTION SPORTS-THEMED MOVIES*
1. The Blind Side (2009) $255.9M
2. The Karate Kid (2010) $176.6M
3. The Waterboy (1998) $161.5M
4. The Longest Yard (2005) $158.1M
5. Jerry Maguire (1996) $153.9M
6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) $148.2M
7. Rocky IV (1985) $127.8M
8. Rocky III (1982) $125.1M
9. Seabiscuit (2003) $120.2M
10. Blades of Glory (2007) $118.6M
*These are the Top 10 domestic-grossing, live-action movies with sports as a central theme. These numbers have not been adjusted for inflation.

Data provided by Box Office Mojo

BUY SELL

Most-Watched Winter Olympics in U.S. TV History
1. Lillehammer, 1994* 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002 187 million
T4. Torino, 2006 184 million
T4. Albertville, 1992 184 million
T4. Nagano, 1998 184 million
* Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident

Source NBC Sports

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Marvel: 'Black Panther' Winter Games Ads Below

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CFB Title Games '21-24
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NCAA: More Health $$$
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
Monday
Apr232012

Arrival Of Luck, RG3 Catalyst Behind New Panini America Deal With NFL

By Barry Janoff

April 23, 2012: With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III coming into the league, plus the movement of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow, there has been a lot of marketing news during the NFL off-season.

The latest example: Panini America has extended its alliance with the NFL and NFL Players Assn. via a long-term granting the company domestic and international rights for up to 18 product releases annually.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

NFLPA last month also signed a long-term extension deal with the Topps Co.

Panini America said it plans to have a major presence at the 2012 NFLPA Rookie Debut and Rookie Premiere, the annual event during which rookies gather to put on their new NFL uniforms and pose for shots, including those to be used on trading cards.

Earlier this month, Panini America signed Luck, QB out of Stanford who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL draft on April 26, to an exclusive deal for cards during his upcoming rookie season.

The company this year has also signed deals with USA Basketball and the baseball Hall of Fame.

The new agreement takes effect immediately and will be incorporated into Panini America's first NFL product of the season, 2012 Prestige Football, which releases in June and will include the first licensed NFL rookie cards of anticipated draft. That would also include RG3, QB out of Baylor, who is being projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft by the Washington Redskins, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and other top prospects.

The set also is expected to feature Manning in his new Denver Broncos uniform and Tebow as a member of the New York Jets.

"We're pleased to continue our relationship with the NFL and the NFLPA," Mark Warsop, CEO for Panini America, said in a statement. "The NFL and NFLPA are two of our most important licensors, and these new agreements will enable us to continue producing sought after products for NFL fans for years to come."

After signing Luck to the deal, Warsop commented, “Andrew Luck is poised to become one of the next great NFL quarterbacks, and football fans and collectors are eagerly anticipating his first NFL and NFL Players licensed trading cards. This partnership will help us deliver what absolutely will be the most-coveted collectibles of the 2012 NFL season."
                                              
According to Keith Gordon, President of NFL PLAYERS INC., the marketing and licensing subsidiary of the NFLPA, "The NFLPA is pleased to extend our partnership with Panini, a proven industry leader and innovator of NFL player trading cards. Panini football product continues to be highly pursued by hobby enthusiasts and novice collectors alike. We, along with our players, look forward to Panini's ongoing product development, hobby enrichment programs and support of our marquee events including the NFLPA Rookie Debut and Rookie Premiere."

Panini America's licensed trading cards and stickers roster includes the NFL, NFLPA, NBA, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company said it also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.

NFLPA, Topps Extend Trading Card Alliance

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