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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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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
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).

Wednesday
May092018

Shaq Stands Big & Tall, Front & Center In JCPenny ‘Penney Parade’ Campaign

By Barry Janoff

May 8, 2018: No one has ever accused Shaquille O’Neal of being shy, and his role in a new campaign from JCPenney will not change that image.

Inn March, O’Neal signed as exclusive style ambassador for the men’s big and tall departments for the national retailer.

He will also create a big and tall menswear line and furnishings under the Shaquille O’Neal XLG brand, in association with Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing, and entertainment firm that represents O'Neal. 

In his first effort under the deal, Shaq literally leads a parade to support JCPenney’s offerings for big and tall men — of which Shaq is front-and-center at 7’1”, 320-plus lbs.

“Big and tall and better than ever,” he shouts in the lead spot, “Penney Parade,” with musical accompaniment from the Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Pipers (Montgomery, Al.).

“Finally a shirt I can flex in,” Shaq says, jumping among floats filled with other big and tall men wearing such brands as Stafford and The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. “Go big or go home.”

Shaq then becomes a DJ for a post-parade parting, encouraging people to "Go big at JCPenney,” with sizes up to 6XL and 5XLT.

The spot breaks this week during NBA playoff programming on ESPN and the NBA on TNT, the latter of which is home to Inside the NBA, where O’Neal is a commentator alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.

Support includes Internet, social media and POP.

Lead agency for Plano, Texas-based JCPenney is Badger & Winters, NY, which won the account in January (taking over from McGarryBowen).

Shaq’s line of clothing and furnishings will launch in select JCPenney stores and online on JCPenney.com.

Like the rest of the retail, category, JCPenney has dealing with down-sizing to re-imagine a stronger brand. The company operates about 875 department stores after closing some 140 locations in 2017.

JCPenney posted a stronger outlook for 2018 based on Q1 and Fiscal Year 2017 financials released in February.

"In 2018, we will intensify our market share efforts in appliances, mattresses and furniture, while continuing to take steps to modernize our apparel assortment and omni-channel,” Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and CEO, said in a statement when the financial report was released.

“Our strategy and plan is clear and consistent, and we remain focused on two critical factor: To operate the business for growth and deliver profitable earnings.”
 
O’Neal, who signed as Chief Fun Officer for Carnival Cruise Line earlier this year, will appear on-screen in the Kyrie Irving-fronted movie, Uncle Drew, due to hit theaters June 29.

The film also stars such current and former NBA nd WNBA players as Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber and Lisa Leslie.

Shaq’s endorsements also  include Gold Bond, Icy Hot, Wix, Zales, Nabisco’s Oreos, Krispy Kreme (also an investor) and The General insuance (including a new campaign for Uncle Drew in which Shaq in is his "Big Fella" character).

He appears in marketing for Ring doorbell video security, in which he has an equity stake that earned him a solid payday when the company was acquired by Amazon for $1.1 billion in February.

Shaq Plans To Have Fun Cruisin' With Carnival

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