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NEWS REAL

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• 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

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
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
Feb132016

Pack Man: Evan Longoria Talks MLB, Marketing, Getting Traded (As In Cards)

By Barry Janoff

February 12, 2016: Evan Longoria, third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, has visited New York many times to play the Yankees and on occasion the New York Mets.

This time he came to New York, in the middle of winter, to open sets of 2016 Topps Series 1, the first release from the iconic trading card company to celebrate its 65th anniversary with baseball cards. Carlos Beltan of the Yankees also was in the Topps offices in New York.

It also was in anticipation of the 2016 MLB season, with Spring Training camps set to open in Florida and Arizona Feb. 18-19.

Longoria, the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year, three-time All-Star and, entering the 2016 season, the Rays all-time leader in home runs (205) and RBI (708), knows his way around off the field, as well.

Among his endorsement deals are Red Bull, New Balance, Wilson, Topps and SKLZ sports training equipment. He also has appeared in spots for New Era and Pepsi. He owns a restaurant in South Tampa, Ducky's, which opened in December 2013

While getting a sneak peek at the new Topps MLB set — with Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals on packaging and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angeles voted by fans to appear on card No. 1 — Longoria spoke to NYSportsJournalism about baseball, marketing and the art of the trade (as in trading cards).

NYSportsJournalism.com: Have you seen changes in the way players endorse products and in the way fans and consumers react to those deals?

Evan Longoria: Definitely. I work with SKLZ, and I've been with them for about four years. From that standpoint, their main concern has been the authenticity of their products and the way in which people view their products. When I work with them, the goal is to continually make it a more viable representation of what a Major League Baseball player would use. So it's important for marketing companies and product companies to make sure that what they are branding and who they are using directly relates to what the product is trying to say.

NYSJ: Have you seen more of an effort from the players' side to align with companies and products that they actually use, and become more involved with the company itself, and not just get into a marketing relationship that would not be authentic with consumers?

EL: Yes. It's a give-and-take. The further you get along with your career, the more you have to align yourself with companies that make sense for you now and moving forward. You can't just take every marketing opportunity that comes your way. Inevitably, there are good ones and bad ones. Just like there are good companies and bad companies. So you have to take the time, sift through them and see what makes sense for you. In the end, you want to say that you are involved with the right companies.

NYSJ: You've been with the Rays since 2008 and are involved in the community, so are you seeing that the type of player you are on the field and the deals you make off the field have had an impact?

EL: I have definitely tried to embrace my role within the community. I love the fans there. They have been very gracious to my family and me. The team has played well. And there's been nothing negative on or off the field. It's about trying to turn the page every year and put out a good team and a good product. Be a good team and continue to support the community in as many ways as possible.

NYSJ: Have you had a chance to see the new Topps Series 1 set?

EL: I like it. I opened some packs and found my cards. I think it was rigged. (Laughs.)

NYSJ: Were you a card collector growing up?

EL: I did have cards. I grew up in southern California, so I followed the teams there and was partial to those cards. I remember keeping some of them in plastic sheets. I enjoyed opening the packs up. I enjoyed chewing the gum, which they don't put in packs anymore.

NYSJ: Do you see Topps cards and card collecting as a good way to reach young fans?

EL: Topps does a great job of that. I know kids give me my cards to sign. The company has been involved with baseball for all these years, so it is part of baseball history.

NYSJ: Do you think your Topps cards are valuable with kids?

EL: I have a lot of my own cards. I keep them to remember what that exact moment was (each season). I'd like to think kids want my cards, especially in Tampa. Maybe not so much in New York or Boston. (Laughs.)

NYSJ: How have they treated you in New York today?

EL: (Laughs.) I just got here this morning so I haven't been heckled yet by (Yankees) fans.

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