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• The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Full story here.

• "We said there's no chance that's happening. There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver regarding China’s request that the league fire Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey

• "The losses have already been substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we'll see what happens next. I don't know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." — NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the Time 100 Summit on Thursday regarding the league’s on-going situation with China.

• Showtime Sports will launch on Oct. 21 a weekly podcast, All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, in which the two NBA veterans (now retired) and NBA champs (Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively), will “deliver an authentic, unfiltered perspective on the most polarizing topics in and around the game of basketball.”  It will air Thursdays on the Showtime Basketball YouTube Channel.  

• Bluberi Gaming has signed a deal with WWE to develop a series of licensed slot games featuring WWE Superstars and Legends. Among those to be featured include John Cena, Triple H, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey. The first WWE series of slot games is scheduled to hit casinos October 2020.

• HarperCollins Publishers said it has acquired world rights to Back, the first memoir authored by Tiger Woods. According to Woods, “This book is my definitive story. It’s in my words and expresses my thoughts.” A publication date was not given.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Nominees

• Pat Benatar
• Dave Matthews Band
• Depeche Mode
• Doobie Brothers
• Whitney Houston
• Judas Priest
• Kraftwerk
• MC5
• Motorhead
• Nine Inch Nails
• Notorious B.I.G.
• Rufus feat. Chaka Khan
• Todd Rundgren
• Soundgarden
• T. Rex
• Thin Lizzy

VOTE HERE

KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

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NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Showtime: All The Smoke See More Ads Below

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).

Sunday
Feb032019

Super Goal: Valentine‚Äôs Day Record $20B Spend Will Outscore Big Game By $6B

By Barry Janoff

February 4, 2019: Now that Super Bowl LIII is history, people are looking toward the next big day of celebrating, spending, marketing, buying food and drink and being together — Valentine’s Day.

Fewer people in the U.S. will be sharing the love on Feb. 14, 2019 than in recent years, but those who are participating plan to spend a record $20.7 billion on jewelry, flowers, candy and other gifts to loved ones and friends.

They also will be spending a record $161.96 per person, good news for retailers, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC.

That is nearly $6 billion more than people spent on Super Bowl LIII — $14.8 billion — and some $5 billion more than the record spend during Super Bowl 50 in 2016, according to the NRF.

“Valentine’s Day means different things for different people,” Phil Rist, vp-strategy for Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the survey for NRF, said via the group.

“Whether it’s a day of romance or one of making sure their children have enough cards in their backpacks for each of their classmates, it’s an important day for those who choose to participate.”

The $20.7 billion spend is an increase of 6% over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion in 2016.

By comparison, people spent a record $23.1 billon for Mother’s Day in 2018 (an average of $180 per person); and during November-December 2018 spent upward of $720 billion.

The number of people who will be participating in Valentine’s Day, 51%, is down from 55% in 2018 and down 12% from the 63% in 2009.

However, the average $162 spend predicted this year in up 13% from last year’s $143.56 and an average of about $16 per person over the previous record of $146.84 in 2016.

It is also up some $60 over the $102.50 average spend ten years ago in 2009.

According to NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay, “Those who are participating are spending more than ever and that could be the result of the strong economy. With employment and income growing, consumers appear to be expanding the scope of who qualifies for a card or a box of candy.”

Shay said that  the vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, “but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends and coworkers.”

Among those celebrating, the most money will be spent on jewelry, $3.9 billion, which was cited by 18% of people surveyed.

That was followed by the $3.5 billion spend on an evening out, named by 34%.

The biggest category, though, is greeting cards, where 44% of people said they would spend $933 million.

Concurrently, people plans to spend $2.1 billion on clothing (18%), $1.9 billion on flowers (35%), $1.8 billion on candy (52%) and $1.3 billion on gift cards (15%).

Gifts for pets are popular — purchased by 20% — with spending expected to total $886 million. That would be up $519 million since NRF said it first asked in 2008.

Gifts that fall into the category of “experience” such as tickets to an event, a trip or a spa are wanted by 40% and planned to be given by 25%.

People said they would spend an average of $29.87 on other family members, $9.78 on friends, $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, $7.78 on co-workers, $6.94 on pets and $5.72 on others.

And people do not forget about themselves on Valentine’s Day, with 11% planning to treat themselves to such gifts as clothing and jewelry and 9% making time to get together with other single friends or family.

As in past surveys, men are the biggest spenders, an average of $229.54, which is up 20% from last year.

That’s more than double the $97.77 women said they would spend, which is actually down 1% (and is within the survey’s margin of error), per the NRF.

Among age groups, those 35-44 are the biggest Valentine spenders at $279.14, followed by those 25-34 at $239.07.

“Both groups typically have more people to buy for including children and children’s classmates or teachers,” according to the NRF.

As to where people get their gifts, department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 35% of shoppers, followed by discount stores (32%), online (27%), specialty stores (18%) florists (16%), small or local businesses (14%), jewelry stores and specialty clothing stores ( 9% each).

“A 2017 flash poll conducted by NRF found the top reasons consumers chose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day were that they considered it over-commercialized, didn’t have anyone to celebrate with or simply weren’t interested anymore,” Katherine Cullen, director, industry and consumer insights for NFR, said via the group.

“While more consumers say they are not officially “celebrating” on Feb. 14, many will still mark the event in some way. In fact, a quarter who aren’t celebrating admit they still plan to treat themselves to something special, hold a get-together with other single friends or even purchase an “anti-Valentine’s Day” gift.”

Among brands that are preparing for Valentine’s Day consumers in unique ways:

Dunkin’ (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) is going beyond heart-shaped donuts and other sweets with an exclusive one-day-only pop-up in Las Vegas “where couples can exchange their vows in Dunkin' style, bedecked with a hand-crafted donut bouquet.”

According to Dunkin’, on Feb. 9, (11 AM-3 PM local time), Dunkin' will be taking over Sure Thing, a Wedding Chapel by Flora Pop, in Las Vegas, “where the first 100 couples that stop by will be given an exclusive Dunkin' donut bouquet for their ceremony, or just as a unique Valentine's Day gift.

“The chapel will be decked out in Dunkin' decorations and bling complete with an official with Dunkin' pink hair available to preside over weddings and vow renewals.”

• Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. (Dove chocolate, M&M’s, Twix, Snickers, Skittles, Starburst) will have a candy-inspired pop-up salon, Sweet ReTREAT: Refresh Lounge (Feb. 13-14, in NY’s Soho Manhattan district) where people can “freshen up before a romantic date night, mix & mingle or just kick back and relax.”

Dove Chocolate also has a marketing push, including a TV spot, “Daisy,” from BBDO NY.

• Minor League Baseball team Pensacola (FL) Blue Wahoos are offering a Valentine’s Day Game Day Experience that includes delivery of balloons, candy, a Valentine’s gift, a Blue Wahoos hat, tickets to five games and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Blue Wahoos game.

California Pizza Kitchen (based in Los Angeles) and Jet’s Pizza (Sterling Heights, MI) are among those serving heart-shaped pizzas on Feb. 14 (participating locations while supplies last); Auntie Anne’s will have heart-shaped pretzels; Krispy Kreme is offering heart-shaped Valentine Conversation Doughnuts (“All the Feels,” “Be Mine,” “DM Me”).

• Hallmark is expanding its collection of Vinyl Record Cards with new cards featuring songs from such Warner Music Group artists as Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé and Kelly Clarkson. Each card includes an exclusive 7-inch vinyl record with two songs from each artist built into a sleeve on the card's cover. "Just remove the record, put it on any record player and enjoy the music."

Among other brands with dedicated Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns are Teleflora, anchored by a 90-second spot, “Love Out Loud, A Silent Film”; and Pro Flowers, with Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman (pictured above), “Order Like A Pro."

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