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• Six first-year eligible candidates are among the 27 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018: CB/S Ronde Barber, G Steve Hutchinson, LB Ray Lewis, LB Brian Urlacher, WR Randy Moss andDE/DT Richard Seymour. The Class of 2018 will be unveiled during NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally (Feb. 3, 2018) on the eve of Super Bowl LII.
• The New York Knicks named Dan Sabreen vp-public relations, effective Nov. 27. Sabreen has spent more than a decade at CBS Sports, most recently as vp-communications.
• For every save made by goalkeepers during MLS Eastern and Western Conference Championships and MLS Cup, Allstate said it would donate two new soccer nets to fields in need in that club's city. MLS goalies participating inlcude Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew), Joe Willis (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) and Alex Bono (Toronto FC).
• 2018 BBWAA ballot unveiled, with 14 1st timers including Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Johan Santana, Omar Vizquel Full ballot

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2018 NFL Pro Bowl Voting (To Date)
1. Carson Wentz QB Philadelphia Eagles 273,367
2. Tom Brady QB New England Patriots 239,989
3. Le’Veon Bell RB Pittsburgh Steelers 227,771
4. Todd Gurley RB Los Angeles Rams 215,687
5. Antonio Brown WR Pittsburgh Steelers 215,584
6. Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints 207,751
7. Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs 204,611
8. Jared Goff QB Los Angeles Rams 200,346
9. Russell Wilson QB Seattle Seahawks 183,630
10. Alex Smith QB Kansas City Chiefs 178,392
11. Rob Gronkowski TE New England Patriots 168,663
12. Zach Ertz TE Philadelphia Eagles 156,183
13. Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons 124,556
14. Joey Bosa DE Los Angeles Chargers 117,480
15. Kyle Juszczyk FB San Francisco 49ers 116,816
16. Aaron Donald DT Los Angeles Rams 102,194
17. Luke Kuechly LB Carolina Panthers 101,131
18. A.J. Buoy CB Jacksonville Jaguars 92,686
19. Everson Griffen DE Minnesota Vikings 91,621
20. Geno Atkins DT Cincinnati Bengals 88,126
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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
Tuesday
Jan122016

Top Sports Marketers Of The Year 2015: eSports = Groundbreaking Opportunities

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By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com

January 11, 2016: "On a global scale, the number of eSports enthusiasts compares well to mid-tier traditional sports," consulting and marketing firm NewZoo, San Francisco. wrote in a study of the category in 2015.

According to NewZoo, the number of eSports enthusiasts worldwide has grown from 89.7 million last year to 116 million in 2015, By 2017, "the global number of eSports fans will come close to that of American football."

Domestically, the eSports audience is currently 32 million people with anticipated growth to more than 50 million by 2017, with more than half of adult eSports viewers younger than 35 years old, according to Turner Broadcasting and WME | IMG, which in 2015 formed an alliance to create an eSports competitive gaming league.

Global eSports viewership in 2015 was more than 226 million people, with the total expected to climb to 323 million by 2018, per NewZoo.

Among the non-endemic brands aligned with eSports are Coca-Cola, Intel, Nissan, Microsoft and T-Mobile.

Coca-Cola in 2015 signed a deal with Internet media company IGN to become title sponsor for eSports Weekly with Coca-Cola.

According to Matt Wolf, head of gaming for Coca-Cola, "Over the last few years, we have made it our mission to elevate and celebrate eSports and gaming at large. Coca-Cola’s partnership with IGN will bring an unprecedented level of exposure, recognition and uplift to the industry and community. Coca-Cola and IGN have come together to ignite the passion of eSports’ fans every week by creating and delivering content that has never been done before.”

Calling it a "groundbreaking opportunity," video game veteran Electronic Arts in 2015 unveiled a strategy to build its first eSports platform.

"The Competitive Gaming Division is "the latest step in our journey to put our players first (and) will enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL and Battlefield," Andrew Wilson, EA's CEO, wrote on the company's blog site.

The EA CGD will operate under Peter Moore, who becomes evp and chief competition officer.

Leading videogame company Activision Blizzard, which has become a global front-runner in the burgeoning eSports category via Call of Duty, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and other platforms, also formed an eSports division, under the auspices of former CEO for ESPN and the NFL Network Steve Bornstein and Mike Sepso, previously co-founder and president for Major League Gaming.

Just before midnight Jan. 1, 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired the assets of Major League Gaming for $46 million.

According to Activision Blizzard, the new division would "build on the company’s competitive gaming leadership by creating all-new ways to deliver the best-in-class fan experience across games, platforms and geographies, furthering the development of its eSports ecosystem."

Through their venture, Turner and WME | IMG said they would beginning this year "deliver competitive gaming events for all platforms including premium live fan experiences, televised coverage airing exclusively on TBS and extensive, high quality live digital event coverage and content extensions."

Skillz, a global leader in mobile eSports, said it has raised $15 million in Series B funding, led by Wildcat Capital Management, with The Kraft Group, owners of the NFL's New England Patriots and Marc Lasry, co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, participating in the round.

In December, Evolve Labs, developers of the Evolve social collaboration platform for PC gamers (with nearly two million members), rolled out an eSports arena, BlackFlag, which enables five-person League of Legends teams to compete against each other for cash prizes.
 
According to Evolve, "There are currently over 250,000 League of Legends players already on Evolve, playing 750,000 League of Legends matches each month, so this new competitive format is a natural fit for the company."

A League of Legends world championship throughout October offered a top prize of $1 million. According to game developer and world championship developer Riot Games, more than 11 million viewers watched the championship "in 19 languages via 40 broadcast partners."

“eSports is one of the fastest growing entertainment genres among young adults around the world,” Lenny Daniels, president for Turner Sports, said regarding the formation of the Turner-WME | IMG alliance.

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