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• The NBA 2K League today named Tencent Holdings Limited as the league’s first distribution partner in China.

• The English Premier League has signed a multi-year deal naming Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser as its official category partner. Carling had been the EPL category partner since 2016.

• Sports and live entertainment company AEG has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renewal agreement with Toshiba America Business Solutions, extending their “comprehensive partnership across several of AEG’s flagship assets,” including Toshiba remaining a founding partner of Staples Center and the official digital signage and display provider of L.A. Live.

• As part of the NFL 100th season celebration, the NFL has teamed up with league partner EA to give one lucky fan the chance to become an EA Sports Madden NFL ratings adjustor for the day as well as be digitized to appear in the Madden NFL game. Details here.

• The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have signed a long-term deal naming  Fanatics, a  global leader for licensed sports merchandise, as the exclusive operator of all Warriors Shop locations throughout the Bay Area. Full story here.

• 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.

• 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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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
Apr212010

Microsoft Signs Deal With WNBA Putting Bing Logo On Team Jersey

Logo motive (left to right): Storm player Ashley Robinson; Danielle Tiedt, general manager of marketing for Bing at Microsoft; Storm player Swin Cash; Storm CEO Karen Bryant. (Photo: Seattle Storm)April 21, 2010: In what could be the most impactful marketing deal in recent U.S. sports history, the WNBA has signed a multi-year pact with Microsoft that includes putting the Bing search engine logo on the jersey front of the Seattle Storm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Although LifeLock with the Phoenix Mercury and Farmers Insurance with the Los Angeles Sparks already have logos on WNBA team jersey fronts, the deal with the Seattle-based company that had $58 billion in revenue in 2009 will by far have more repercussions on the future of the WNBA and future alliances in other pro sports. Concurrently, Microsoft will use the alliance to continue its efforts to cut into search engine territory controlled by rival Google.

"It was critically important that we not only secure a marquee partner but secure a marquee partner that aligned with both our values and our business objectives. Bing absolutely fits those criteria," Storm CEO Karen Bryant said on StormBasketball.com. "It's a real indicator of the health of the business, a real reflection of Microsoft's commitment to our community and the beginning of what I know will be a long and very productive partnership. To have a company the caliber of Bing make a strategic decision to invest in a local, independently owned WNBA franchise is a significant milestone."

More such WNBA jersey deals are expected although it was not indicated by the WNBA if that would happen by the time the 2010 WNBA season begins in May. As with the other WNBA deals, the logo of team uniform supplier adidas and the team's own logo will remain on the jersey front, although much smaller than the Bing logo.

The NFL and NBA have been allowing teams to sell space on practice jerseys but not actual game jerseys.  Bing also has a deal with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks for logo placement on the team's practice jersey. About two-thirds of Major League Soccer teams have company logos on their jersey front, and Nascar long has allowed drivers and their teams to sell space on race togs to numerous sponsors. However, the deal with Microsoft could push the NBA closer to becoming the first of the big four sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) into selling off the prominent front of jersey space on game uniforms.

The deal also helps to build the foundation for the future of the WNBA and also secures the WNBA's territory in Seattle. The NBA no longer has a franchise in the city following the relocation of the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season.

In addition to jersey placement, Bing will become the official "decision engine" of the Storm and be "deeply integrated into Storm marketing and promotional materials," per the team. Bing will also become the presenting sponsor of the Jr. Storm youth basketball initiative. Bing and the Storm said they would unveil a "variety of innovative marketing promotions" in the coming weeks.

According to Microsoft, the Storm audience reaches a "highly valued demographic with fans who demonstrate an affinity for using products from sponsoring companies and considering sponsoring companies as leaders in their industry." Microsoft said the Storm partnership would reach audience segments "who already demonstrate favorability for Bing. For example, mothers comprise nearly 20% of Bing users and the youth audience has grown 25% since the Bing launch [on June 3, 2009]."

“The Seattle Storm is a major sports franchise in a major market, and we are thrilled to join with them and invest in our hometown,” Danielle Tiedt, general manager of marketing for Bing at Microsoft, said in a statement. “Bing shares in the passion and dedication that the Storm organization has for the Seattle community and this partnership helps Bing reach the Storm’s dedicated fan base in a unique way.”

The Storm rank among the top WNBA teams in terms of attendance and fan base.

“We are proud to welcome Bing and Microsoft as the third major marquee partner to the Women’s National Basketball Association,” Donna Orender, WNBA president, said in a statement. “Adding these prominent brands is an indication of the league’s continued growth on the global sports landscape. Bing also shares our focus toward improving and inspiring communities.”

WNBA Jersey Deal With LifeLock Follows Route Taken By MLS, Nascar

L.A. Sparks Become Second WNBA Team With Jersey Sponsor Deal

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