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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
Source: Box Office Mojo

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

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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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Saturday
Jun292013

Thanks To Nike, Kevin Durant (Not Anton Barrels) Drafted As The No. 1 Overall Pick

By Barry Janoff

June 29, 2013: Kevin Durant has accomplished a lot in his basketball career: NBA rookie of the year in 2007-08, three time NBA scoring champ, four-time all-star, part of the gold medal winning USA Men's Basketball Team at the 2012 London Olympics and numerous endorsements.

But he has yet to win an NBA championship, and he was drafted No. 2 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2007 out of Texas (behind Greg Oden, who went No. 1 overall to the Portland Trail Blazers).

Durant is still searching for that NBA championship. But he has been drafted No. 1 — in a new TV commercial for Nike that supports the release of Durant's signature KD VI hoops shoes.

The scene is the Seat Pleasant, MD, 2:35 PM Draft. A group of players sit in a makeshift gym-slash-lunchroom in the local recreation hall. A board on the wall reads, Shirts-Skins. Out front is a group of TV announcers — led by ESPN's Jay Bilas and a guy who looks like former ESPN sports anchorman and current Los Angeles Dodgers radio play-by-play man Charley Steiner. They are calling the draft selection for the pick-up league as if it were the NBA Draft.

Hence, the theme of the campaign: Summer is Serious.

The action revolves around which player will be selected No. 1 overall: Durant or "local legend Anton Barrels," who is seated at a table with his crew glaring at and taunting Durant.

"He can't ball, he's just tall," says of Durant. To which Durant replies, "How you seen my highlights."

As the tension builds, Bilas describes both men and their hoops attributes.

"Durant's got guard-like skills in a big man's body," Bilas relates as we see actual highlights of Durant in action with the Thunder. "A wing-span that goes on for days."

But Barrels is not to be overlooked. "Barrels has scouts intrigued. He's built like a bowling ball," Bilas says of the 5'9", 200 lb. street-baller."He's got a low center of gravity. You can't get up underneath him, and he never backs down."

Barrel himself has confirmed that description on his Twitter account. "They call me Anton Barrels. Cause I barrels through the lane."

Finally, the moment has come. A drum roll begins, courtesy of a kid sitting at a set of skins, and the first pick is about to be made. Turns out the draft is being MC'ed not by NBA commissioner David Stern but NBA Hall of Famer George "The Iceman" Gervin.

"With the first pick in the 2:35 PM Seat Pleasant Draft, the Shirts pick . . .  Kevin Durant."

A jubilant Durant puts on a hat that reads "Shirts" and moves to get his congratulations from Gervin as a despondent Barrels looks on.

Text then offers, "Summer is Serious" and directs viewers to a supporting Twitter destination and to the NikeBasketball.com Web site.

In addition to possibly taking a dig at the Trail Blazers, the spot is filled with other hints regarding Durant. He is from the nearby Washington, DC area, and now resides in Seat Pleasant. He played college ball at U. Texas in Austin, about six hours southeast from Anton, TX. He and Gervin often are compared regarding their skills and basketball moves, and Gervin has been a vocal supporter of Durant's.

“He can flat out play the game and he loves the game, so over the summer time he’s working to get better, so that’s why I say his potential is scary," Gervin said during the NBA Finals on an ESPN broadcast of First Take.

Durant has been the marketing poster player for the NBA during the post-season. In addition to this Nike ad, which was filmed in April, he also has appeared in TV spots for Gatorade with Dwyane Wade, Sprint, BBVA Compass and Skullcandy headphones.

Durant earns about $12-$14 million in endorsements, according to industry analysts.

On Madison Avenue, Kevin Durant Is The NBA's Peyton Manning

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