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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
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
SUPER BOWL LIII

Wednesday
Mar162016

WNBA Sees Hope On The Verizon With New Multi-Platform Marquee Alliance

By Barry Janoff

March 15, 2016: The WNBA, fast approaching the start of its historic 20th season, has made its second major move in a month, signing a deal with Verizon to become a league-wide marquee partner.

Verizon replaces Boost Mobile, which signed with the WNBA in 2011, as the league's lead marketer.

The alliance comes about a month after Lisa Borders was appointed as its new president.

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

Via the Verizon deal, Borders signing and other moves, the WNBA seeks to re-energize itself coming of off a season of low attendance figures and soft TV ratings.

The Verizon deal encompasses a multi-platform activation, starting with WNBA Tip-Off 2016 presented by Verizon, which consists of 12 games over nine days — May 14-22 — including the home opener of every team; and jersey-front branding on the front of ten of the WNBA's 12 teams.

The jersey placement includes the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Dallas Wings (relocated from Tulsa), Indiana Fever, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics.

The other two league teams are the Connecticut Sun and San Antonio Stars, both of which have team deals with rival AT&T (the Stars also play in AT&T Center).

As part of the alliance, for which financial details were not shared, Verizon will become the presenting partner for the WNBA Playoffs and WNBA Finals, and a partner of the WNBA Draft, which is being presented by State Farm.

In addition, the company will serve as a partner of the annual WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon — which recognizes individuals who have blazed new paths on the court, in the boardroom, and in the community — as well as one of the event’s key awards.

Throughout the season, Verizon will also bring fans “WNBA Top 20 Moments presented by Verizon," a digital program highlighting some of the most memorable moments from the league’s history.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the WNBA, especially during a milestone like their 20th year," John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon, said in a statement. "It’s a great way to connect our customers to the excitement these athletes bring every time they step foot onto the court.

“These women always inspire, striving to push their performance to the next level and at Verizon that’s our focus, always pushing to deliver on our promise of ‘Better’ to our customers.,'" said Nitti.

The league's average attendance in 2015 was 7,318, the lowest in its 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 Stars, which had 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.

WNBA marketing partners also include adidas, American Express, BBVA Compass, Anheuser-Busch (Bud Light), Cisco, Diageo, Gatorade, Harman, Kaiser Permanente, Kia, Nike, PepsiCo, Sansung, SAP, Spalding and State Farm.

WNBA Names Lisa Borders New President

After Two Decades, WNBA Still Seeking Strength In Numbers

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