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• The NHL has signed what it is calling a “ groundbreaking partnership” with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which will “support research, action, advocacy and collaboration with organizations that have a significant community impact.” Full story here.

• Dick Vitale, 80, has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021-22 season, adding to a recent extension unveiled last May.

• Recently retired NBA star Tony Parker has been named president of NorthRock Sports, Artists and Entertainment, a division of Northrock Partners, a finance and lifestyle advisory firm that currently oversees $1.5 billion in assets, whose holdings include Golf Magazine, Golf.com and the Nicklaus Companies in partnership with golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

• The PGA Tour has signed a ten-year deal naming global consulting firm Korn Ferry title sponsor for the Korn Ferry Tour, replacing Web.com, which awards PGA Tour membership to the tour’s 50 leading players. The Los Angeles-based company also becomes the “official leadership development firm” for the PGA Tour.

• Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Mike Trout and Javier Baez are the leading vote-getters in new All-Star Game ballot results released by MLB. Full story here.

• The WTA will premiere the NYJTL Bronx Open, Aug. 16-24, in the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in The Bronx, NY. The women’s tournament will take place the week before the U.S. Open in New York and offer $250,000 in prize money.

• SunTrust and BB&T financial firms said that Truist Financial would be the name of the company following their merger later this year. The name — “intended to give the bank a single, fresh identity” — could also become the new name for the home venue for the Atlanta Braves, now known as SunTrust Stadium.

• 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

The Top Ten World’s Highest Paid Athletes
1, Leo Messi soccer $127M
2. Cristiano Ronaldo soccer $109M
3. Neymar Jr. soccer $105M
4. Canelo Alvarez boxing $94M
5. Roger Federer tennis $93.4M
6. Russell Wilson NFL $89.5M
7. Aaron Rodgers NFL $89.3M
8. LeBron James NBA $89M
9. Stephen Curry NBA $79.8M
10. Kevin Durant NBA $65.4M

Full story here.
SOURCE: FORBES

KEEPING SCORE

2019 Top Selling Summer Acts
Based on total sales on StubHub for U.S. tour dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2019
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Queen with Adam Lambert
3. Paul McCartney
4. Ariana Grande
5. Shawn Mendes
6. Billie Eilish
7. JoJo Siwa
8. Twenty One Pilots
9. Hootie and the Blowfish
10. Florida Georgia Line

Full story here.

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office June 14-16
1. Men In Black International $28.5M
2. Secret Life of Pets 2 $23.8M
3. Aladdin $16.7M
4. Dark Phoenix $9M
5. Rocketman $8.8M
6. Shaft $8.3M
7. Godzilla $8.1M
8. John Wick 3 $6.1M
9. Late Night $5.1M
10. Ma $3.6M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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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).

Wednesday
Mar092011

WNBA Plans Plethora Of Team, Marketing Activations To Celebrate 15th Anniversary

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

March 9, 2011: Back in the day, skeptics were vocal in decrying the future of the WNBA.

In 2011, to celebrate what is being called "a significant milestone for the WNBA," the league will fete its 15th campaign with season-long celebrations involving past and current players, coaches and executives and activation from its array of marketing partners.

A multi-media marketing campaign featuring current and former players and coaches will run nationally under the theme, "WNBA 1997-2011. Expect Great."

“This is a significant milestone for the WNBA,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement.  “The league continues to be the destination for the greatest women basketball players in the world. The WNBA has also developed into an icon and a vehicle for social change, providing extraordinary role models for young women and individuals of all ages.”

The WNBA said it would celebrate its 15th season, which tips off on June 3, by selecting the top 15 players and greatest moments in league history. ESPN2 will feature the 15th anniversary of the league’s inaugural contest and WNBA teams will host specially themed events and fan promotions.

Among other activations, the WNBA will select and honor the league’s most influential players since its inception in 1997. According to the WNBA, the top 15 players in league history will be named "based on their overall contribution to the league. Consideration will be given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball." 

A panel comprised of media members and basketball experts has compiled a list of 30 past and current WNBA players that will be unveiled this spring. From that list, the top 15 players will be selected, and that group will be announced during the week of the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game.

The 2011 All-Star Game is scheduled for July 23 in San Antonio.

The WNBA is currently seeking to replace Donna Orender, who resigned at the end of the 2010 season after five seasons as league president.

Teams are also running individual promotions to select the greatest players in each respective franchise's history. The New York Liberty, for example, is asking fans to vote for the top six players in team history. Each player will then be honored with a Liberty ticket feature their image.

The Los Angeles Sparks are among the teams that will unveil 15th anniversary logos, with Sparks jersey sponsor Farmers Insurance part of the activation.

"With the WNBA celebrating its historic 15th season this summer, we are pleased that an outstanding brand in Farmers Insurance will continue its alignment with one of our most accomplished franchises in the Los Angeles Sparks,” Christopher Granger, NBA evp-team marketing and business operations, said in a statement. “This partnership has been a tremendous success since 2009, broadening both organizations' reach to WNBA fans and to the community as a whole.”

The WNBA’s 15 greatest moments will also be determined during the 2011 campaign and unveiled during the second half of the season and the playoffs.

WNBA teams will celebrate the league’s historic milestone by hosting specially themed games, fan promotions, interactive events and presentations to long-time season ticket holders throughout the season. In addition, ESPN2 will nationally televise the 15th anniversary of the league’s inaugural game on June 21, when the Sparks, led by Candace Parker, host Cappie Pondexter and the Liberty at Staples Center.

That match-up comes 15 years to the date of the first game in WNBA history when those same teams squared off in The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Led by then head coach Nancy Darsch, the Liberty defeated the Sparks, 67-57, before a crowd of 14,284. Penny Toler, who as a member of the Sparks scored the first basket in league history, went on to become the team’s general manager and joined with head coach Michael Cooper to lead the team to a pair of WNBA championships in 2001 and 2002.

“This is a significant milestone for the WNBA. The league continues to be the destination for the greatest women basketball players in the world."

Tina Thompson of the Sparks is the lone remaining player from the WNBA’s first season. The league began with eight teams and now operates with 12. Nine teams along the way have folded or relocated: Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Detroit Shock (now in Tulsa), Houston Comets, Miami Sol, Orlando Miracle (now the Connecticut Sun), Portland Fire, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz (now in San Antonio).

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