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NEWS REAL

• The Professional Fighters League has formed a partnership with Mike Tyson, with the first initiative "Mike Tyson's New Fight Game: The PFL." Tyson will provide “fighter perspective, inside analysis, and irreverent discussion never before experienced in combat sports. The series debuts tonight (Oct. 10 10 PM ET) on PFL and Tyson digital and social platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

• Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, said she would represent Japan, where she holds a citizenship, in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

• NBC Sports Regional Networks has signed a partnership with Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — to develop and produce "Head Strong: Mental Health and Sports," a “comprehensive multi-platform content initiative on mental health as well as men’s health issues.” The joint project will launch in November.

• Per NFL Media: Consumption figures through Week 5: More than 142 million people have watched NFL games. Viewership is up 6%. The entire list of Top 20 TV shows this season are NFL games.

The Top Three games to date all involve the Dallas Cowboys: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys (Fox, Oct 6) 24.6M; New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (Fox, Sept. 8) 24.3M; Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints (NBC, Sept. 29) 24.2M.

• PGA Tour Champions and Ascension signed a four-year partnership to host a new pro golf tournament in St. Louis. The Ascension Charity Classic will debut Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2020 at Norwood Hills Country Club in North County. It will be the first time the PGA Tour has hosted an annual event in the St. Louis region since 2001.

• Zenni Optical, based in San Francisco, whose alliances include being an official partner with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, has expanded its role with the Bulls, which features a five-year deal as the team’s jersey patch logo partner.

Zenni has unveiled its Off-Court Style collection, supported by Bulls members and brand ambassadors including Zach LaVine, Robin Lopez and Wendell Carter Jr. being outfitted with their “favorite Zenni frames and matching them with their off-court style to give fans an exclusive look at what they wear when they aren’t in uniform.

• 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. 

• The Paley Center for Media, NY, will honor the 100th season of the NFL with a new exhibit: "A Century of Football: Celebrating the NFL’s 100th Season," free and open to the public (thru Oct. 27).

POLL POSITION

Best Chance To Win 2019-20 Stanley Cup Based On Player Voting Via NHL.com

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 45%
  • St. Louis Blues 11%
  • Dallas Stars 10%
  • San Jose Sharks 7%
  • Boston Bruins 4%
  • Colorado Avalanche 4%
  • Washington Capitals 4%
  • Nashville Predators  4%
  • New Jersey Devils  2%
  • Philadelphia Flyers 2%
  • Toronto Maple Leafs 2%
  • Vegas Golden Knights 2%
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

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Nike Mo Farah Marathon 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).

Main
Wednesday
May132015

Mary Wittenberg Goes From Marathon Runner To Globe Trotter For Virgin Sport

By Barry Janoff

May 12, 2015: Mary Wittenberg, a driving force for the past decade behind the growth of the New York City Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors, is leaving her position as president and CEO for New York Road Runners to become global CEO for Virgin Sport, a new active lifestyle company under the direction of Sir Richard Branson.

According to Branson's Virgin Group, Virgin Sport "seeks to grow a global community by re-imagining 'sport' and expanding the reach of mass participatory events in running, cycling and other formats." Virgin Group also said that Virgin Sport would "deliver unique experiences for participants and spectators alike while having a positive social impact on local communities."

Virgin Sport, which will be headquartered in New York under Wittenberg, will launch in the U.K. and focus on core Virgin territories including the U.S., South Africa and Australia "through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth. Virgin Sport will also consider entering other markets of interest which have potential for growth."

Wittenberg's last day with NYRR and the New York City Marathon, of which she is race director, will be May 18.

NYRR said that Michael Capiraso, currently NYRR's COO, would become president and CEO.

In addition, Peter Ciaccia, currently NYRR;s chief production officer, will move to a newly created position of president of events as well as race director  for the NYC Marathon.

According to Wittenberg, herself a marathon participant, "It is an opportunity of a lifetime to launch and lead Virgin Sport. The Virgin brand stands for fun, innovation and making a difference. I've seen first-hand over and over the transformative power of sport in people's lives."

Wittenberg joined NYRR in 1998 and two years later became its first COO. In 2005, she was named NYRR's president and CEO and race director for what was then the ING NYC Marathon.

Under Wittenberg, the since rebranded TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) Marathon has become one of the most significant and well-sponsored marathons in the world, with marketing partners that include United Airlines, Airbnb, Asics, Coors Light, Dunkin' Donuts, Foot Locker, Gatorade, Oakley, Poland Spring, Tag Heuer, Toyota and UPS.

The World Marathon Majors was founded in 2006 and includes the TCS NYC Marathon, Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Virgin Money London Marathon, which is a sibling to the new Virgin Sport under the Virgin Group umbrella.

Global healthcare company Abbott became the first title sponsor of the WMM in October 2014.

In addition to overseeing a year-round slate of events under the NYRR auspices, Wittenberg has worked closely with the U.S. Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee to promote marathons, running and fitness worldwide.

Via a new digital platform, Virgin Sport will supplement its events with training and social opportunities providing support to people of all ages and abilities in leading active, healthy lives.

According to Branson, "We're delighted to welcome Mary as Global CEO. She is a wonderful leader and has a great track record in building wonderfully inspiring events and a strong community. It's great to welcome another superb CEO heading up one of our exciting new companies."

"My days at NYRR have been fueled by the inspiration all around me and it has been an immense privilege to serve our runners and community."

Branson said that the Virgin Sport venture is "particularly close to my heart. Keeping fit and healthy is a key priority in my life, and is part of my daily routine. I am a big believer in having fun while making a difference and Virgin Sport will make that possible for so many more people. The events we run will challenge people to push the boundaries of what they believe is possible and help them live life to the fullest."

"Marrying Virgin and Sport, we want to create a new paradigm — sport for all," said Wittenberg. "For life. No matter age or ability. As people desire to get healthier and fitter, Virgin Sport will be there with open arms and cheers, to encourage everyone to take part and to realize their fullest potential - often beyond their wildest dreams."

“Mary’s been a trailblazer in our industry and the positive impact she’s had on New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon has been historic,” George Hirsch, chairman of the board for NYRR and a founder of the New York City Marathon along with Fred Lebow, said in a statement. “Mary has proven that she is one of the top sports executives in the world and we’ll miss her vision and leadership.”  

"My days at NYRR have been fueled by the inspiration all around me and it has been an immense privilege to serve our runners and community while working side by side with so many amazing partners and talented and deeply committed staff, volunteers and board of directors,” said Wittenberg. “NYRR is fortunate to have Michael and Peter ready to take the baton with the invaluable benefit of George Hirsch, with his many years of experience, working closely with them as he and the Board have with me these past ten years. I am predicting this next leg of NYRR’s run will be the best yet.”

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