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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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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
May162018

WNBA GMs Pick Sparks For Championship, Maya Moore MVP, A’ja Wilson Top Rookie

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

May 16, 2018:
The WNBA’s 22nd season is about to begin (May 18), which gives the league’s 12 GMs the opportunity to look ahead and make predictions about the best of the best for the coming campaign.

Among the standouts: The Los Angeles Sparks were picked to win their fourth WNBA championship, Maya Moore of the defending champion Minnesota Lynx was selected as the favorite for WNBA MVP, A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces was favored for Rookie of the Year honors and two-time WNBA Coach of the Year Cheryl Reeve of the Lynx was cited as the best coach, according to the 2018 WNBA.com GM Survey.

Among the GMs, 33% predicted a title for the Sparks, which won championships in 2001, 2002 and 2016.

Last year, Los Angeles lost a five-game Finals series to Minnesota, which has won four championships in the last seven seasons.

The Lynx were the second choice to win the 2018 title (28%), followed by the Phoenix Mercury (17%), Connecticut Sun (17%) and Dallas Wings (8%).
 
Moore, the 2014 WNBA MVP, was top pick for the 2018 MVP with 33% of the vote, one of eight players to receive consideration. 

The Mercury’s Brittney Griner (17%) was second.

Moore was also named as the player the GMs would most want taking a shot with the game on the line (58%).

The Atlanta Dream were recognized as the most improved team (50%) and the team that made the best off-season moves (50%).

That included signing veteran free agents Renee Montgomery and Jessica Breland and re-signing  Angel McCoughtry, the two-time WNBA scoring leader and four-time All-WNBA selection, who sat out the 2017 season for health reasons.

A’ja Wilson of the relocated Las Vegas Aces (from San Antonio), the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, was the clear favorite to earn WNBA Rookie of the Year honors, receiving 83% of the vote.

Kelsey Mitchell (Indiana Fever) was second (17%).

Las Vegas’ Kelsey Plum tied with Atlanta’s Brittney Sykes (25% each) as the player most likely to have a breakout season.

Seattle’s Sue Bird, who last year tied Tamika Catchings for the most All-Star Game selections (10) in WNBA history, received the most votes as the best leader (75%), the player with the highest basketball IQ (67%) and the best at making her teammates better (58%.

She also tied with Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot as the league’s best passer (42% each).

Seattle’s Breanna Stewart. the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 2017, was named as the player the GMs would start a franchise with if they could sign any player (42%).

The GMs voted the Lynx as the team with the best home-court advantage (92%) for the fourth year in a row.

The 2018 WNBA regular season runs through Aug. 19. 
 
Complete results of the survey are here.

WNBA Hires Brand-Building Firm To Reimagine League

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