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NEWS REAL

• FIFA has postponed plans to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams for the 2022 event in Qatar. The plan is still being considered for the 2026 World Cup, which will be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. According to FIFA, “(There was not enough) time for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact.” The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.

• The NFL and NFL Players Association have unveiled two joint agreements that are intended to “support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.” Full story here.

• The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and social impact education innovator EVERFI, Inc. have oined the students of Santee Elementary School in San Jose to launch The Compassion Project for the 2019-2020 school year, described as a “national nonprofit dedicated to providing compassion education to elementary school students across the U.S.”

• The U.S. Golf Association has aligned with Marvel Entertainment to create exclusive golf education products to “engage junior golfers on the essential elements to learning the game." Scheduled to launch in June at the 2019 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the collaboration features printed and digital comic books with many of Marvel’s super heroes The story follows Tony Stark (Iron Man) and other Avengers as they teach the next generation of Marvel Super Heroes about golf. Limited-edition Marvel-themed golf posters will be distributed (while supplies last) at the Junior Experience at the 2019 U.S. Open.

• Major League Lacrosse has signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch to have its Bud Light brand become the official beer partner for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game, being played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD on July 27. The deal includes “prominent signage on the playing field, fan zone activation and various on-site promotions at several sports bars and retail locations in the Greater Annapolis area leading up to the All-Star Game.”

• Stating that “we are continually seeking opportunities to evolve our product offerings,’ Kohl’s has signed an exclusive long-term alliance with Fanatics, a global leader in licensed sports merchandise with the addition of “hundreds of thousands of items.” 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

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23 players who will represent the U.S. in France and seek to defend their FIFA Women’s World Cup crown (July 7-Aug.7).

GOALKEEPERS

Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS
Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS
Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)
FORWARDS
Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

KEEPING SCORE

Luka Dončić, Trae Young Head NBA All-Rookie Team
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team includes LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office May 17-19
1. John Wick 3 $57M
2. Avengers: Endgame $29.4M
3. Pokemon Detective Pikachu $24.8M
4. A Dog’s Journey $8M
5. The Hustle $6M
6. The Intruder $4M
7. Long Shot $3.4M
8,. The Sun Is Also A Star $2.6M
9. Poms $2M
10. Uglydolls $1.6M
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).

Thursday
Feb112016

Borders Patrol: With League At A Crossroad, WNBA Names Lisa Borders New President 

By Barry Janoff

February 10, 2016: On the heels of unveiling a multi-media campaign and a few months shy of beginning its 20th season, the WNBA said that Lisa Borders has been named its new president.

Borders, who most recently was chair for The Coca-Cola Foundation and vp-global community affairs at Coca-Cola, replaces Laurel Richie, who resigned as WNBA president this past November after five seasons in the position.

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum had been overseeing the WNBA on an interim basis.

Borders will officially join the WNBA on March 21, about two months before the 2016 season starts on May 14.

She is no stranger to the league, having been "instrumental in bringing the WNBA to Atlanta in 2008, when she served as vice-Mayor of Atlanta and president of the City Council", according to the NBA.

“As a proven executive with a passion for the WNBA and the game of basketball, Lisa is the right leader at a pivotal time in the league’s history,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “She will be responsible for spear heading our efforts to strengthen the WNBA and accelerate its growth.”

She arrives at a time when the WNBA is coming of off low attendance figures and soft TV ratings.

The WNBA's average attendance in 2015 was 7,318, the lowest in league history. That average was down 3% from 2014 and down from a one-season high average of 10,864 in 2009.

The downturn included a 37% decrease in average attendance for the San Antonio Stars, which has to move from its AT&T Center home venue to the smaller Freeman Coliseum due to renovations.

TV ratings on ESPN and ESPN 2 fell about 14% from 2014, averaging an estimated 202,000 viewers, according to industry analysts.

The league's strategy also was put under a harsh spotlight by SIlver.

"I think we might have been ahead of ourselves 20 years ago in terms of what we were doing. (In 2015, interest is) not where we hoped it would be," Silver said during a sports marketing conference in September. "We thought it would have broken through by now. We thought ratings and attendance would be higher.”

According to Silver, "In terms of our marketing overall, we may have lost our way at certain points."

The commissioner later clarified that statement, saying that he and the NBA were very supportive of the WNBA. "We are 100% committed to the league," he said.

Borders comes into a league with several attributes in its favor, including a lineup of strong marketing partners and team rosters with many of the top women hoops players in the world.

“The WNBA has reached a significant milestone, and I feel privileged to be joining the league at such an exciting time,” Borders said in a statement. “I have always been a staunch supporter of this league and its tremendous athletes.  I am impressed by their talent and inspired by their passion."

WNBA Tip-Off 2016 will be presented by Verizon. It consists of 12 games over nine days — May 14-22 — including the home opener of every team.

Samsung was the presenting partner for both the 2015 WNBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

Marketing partners also include adidas, American Express, BBVA Compass, Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light), Coca-Cola, Diageo, EA Sports, Gatorade, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, SAP, Spalding and State Farm.

Several teams ended the 2015 season with jersey-sponsor deals, including the Washington Mystics (Draft Ops), Chicago Sky (Magellan), Minnesota Lynx (Mayo Clinic), Phoenix Mercury (Casino Arizona), Indiana Fever (Finish Line),  Los Angeles Sparks (EquiTrust) and New York Liberty (DraftKings).

Among the changes this season, the Tulsa Shock have relocated and rebooted as the Dallas Wings.

The new multi-media campaign, "Watch Me Work," celebrates the current and future WNBA as it touts such stars as 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne, WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi (who missed the 2015 season to focus on playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League), Skylar Diggins and Candace Parker.

The campaign also looks back at the players who drove the league and inspired players through its first two decades. The WNBA launched in April 1996 and began play in June 1997.

"The athleticism of the game and the sportsmanship exhibited between teams offers clear evidence of our ability to grow women’s basketball," said Borders.

ESPN networks will air as many as 33 games this season, then will broadcast every WNBA post-season game, including the WNBA Finals presented by Verizon.

NBA TV will televise more than 40 games during the regular season.

This season will see an interruption in its scheduled to accommodate for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As many as 25 WNBA players likely to represent their respective countries at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from Aug. 5-21, the league has not scheduled any games from July 23-Aug. 25, also forgoing this season's All-Star Game.

WNBA Eyes Challenges, Rewards, Growth In 20th Season

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