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NEWS REAL

• 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.

• Cavs Legion Gaming Club, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has unveiled plans for an eSports center in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood. The 2,700 square foot venue is scheduled to open this fall,

• The NFL Network is planning 129 hours of “Inside Training Camp Live” coverage July 22-Aug. 7 Additional coverage will appear across NFL media platforms including NFL.com, NFL Films, NFL app and NFL RedZone.

ESPN also said it would provide comprehensive coverage of the opening week of the 2019 NFL training camps beginning July 22 on daily editions of SportsCenter and NFL Live.

• NBC’s Golf Channel unveiled details for its next Golf Films project, “Tiger Woods: Chasing History,” to premiere July 22  The film will present viewers with a chronological look at the “sights and sounds from each of Woods’ 81 professional victories, from his first at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996, through the most recent win at the Masters earlier this year.”

• 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
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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