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NEWS REAL

• ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis 2019 (Aug. 1-4 U.S. Bank Stadium, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC) has signed Wendy’s as an official sponsor, joining returning sponsors Harley-Davidson, Hotels.com, Monster Energy, Nexcare First Aid Products, Pacifico, SoFi and The Real Cost (FDA). Geico will again serve as the official music stage sponsor.

On-site activation in X Fest is provided by Marvel, Go RVing, US Marines, TINCUP Whiskey, TRIA, FloWater, Star Tribune, Shred Hate, 93X, The CW, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Lynx, MN United, City Pages, GO MN, iHeart Radio and Minnesota Wild.

• ESPN said that the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Championship – won by Novak Djokovic over Roger Federer 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) – earned an overnight rating of 3.0 for its more than five hours of coverage up 114% vs. the championship match a year ago for Djokovic vs. Kevin Anderson. The match peaked at its conclusion with a 4.6 rating. At 4:57, it was the longest match of the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament this year and the longest Gentlemen’s Singles final in Wimbledon history. It also was the first men’s singles Major championship to be decided by a tie-break.

• New York Life has signed as a founding partner of the ESPN-owned ACC Network, the national network dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference sports coverage, scheduled to launch Aug. 22. New York Life remains the official life insurance company of the ACC as well as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament which airs across the ESPN and ACC networks. 

• The Baseball Hall of Fame has signed a deal with VIDSIG, Inc., a San Francisco-based software company that offers live one-on-one video interactions between athletes and fans. The technology will allow Hall of Famers to “hold virtual meet-and-greets or autograph sessions through the use of a computer from the comfort of the athletes' homes.”

• 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 5-7
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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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).

Tuesday
Mar162010

Woods Seeks To Again Become The Masters Of His Domain

March 14, 2010: Tiger Woods, who has not been seen in a competitive golf situation since November, said he would return from his self-imposed hiatus at The Masters at the Augusta, Ga. National Golf Club.

The return to the PGA Tour is the next step in Woods' attempt to return to the top of the sports and marketing world following a Thanksgiving Day accident, which opened a Pandora's box of marital infidelity that threatened to destroy his public and personal life.

In a statement, Woods said, "The Masters is where I won my first major and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I'm ready to start my season at Augusta."

The two opening rounds of The Masters will be on ESPN on April 8-9. The final two rounds will be on CBS on April 10-11. Practice rounds are scheduled for April 5-7 and normally do not get national coverage. Should Woods elect to arrive at Augusta early in the week, the event likely will attract major attention from ESPN and CBS, both of which will already be on the scene, as well as from a plethora of other media.

TV ratings without Woods this year have been down by as much as 50%, according to industry observers, as they were when he missed much of 2008 following knee surgery. Marketing partners such as Nike heralded his return in 2009 with dedicated TV spots and other ad support. None of Woods' partners said they would have similar marketing campaigns this time, preferring to let the focus be Woods on the golf course.

The official program for the 2010 Masters could become a collector's item.PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem typified the reactions from Woods' marketing partners and associates. "We were pleased to learn that Tiger Woods will be playing the Masters in a few weeks," Finchem said in a statement. "He has invested a lot of time taking steps, both in his personal and professional life, in order to prepare for his return. We all wish him and his family the best as he rejoins the Tour."

Since his private indiscretions became public knowledge, Woods has lost endorsement deals with Accenture, AT&T and PepsiCo's Gatorade. Concurrently, EA Sports has released two titles under its Tiger Woods line, while Nike, Tag Heuer, Gillette and Upper Deck have supported his personal decisions while maintaining their marketing distance. Woods earned about $100 million in endorsements in 2008, but General Motors ended its alliance due to the automaker's economic situation. Without the companies that recently cut ties with him, Woods could still earn more than $50 million this year in marketing deals.

Analysts do not expect current marketing partners to end their deals now that Woods is returning to golf, but new deals may not be forthcoming, either, until 2011. AT&T is a marketing partner of The Masters, however, and will still receive the benefit of increased attention being paid to the event. IBM and ExxonMobil also are among The Masters' marketing alliances.

Woods, whose last golf tournament was in November in Melbourne when he won the Australian Masters, said in his statement that he considered, but then bypassed, playing in the upcoming Tavistock Cup and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Analysts see The Masters as being a "friendly" environment regarding media and public pressures. However, the expectation of his return will create a media event that would be hard to match.

"Tiger will always have media pressure," David Schwab, vp-managing director of First Call, the celebrity-marketing consultantcy division of Octagon, McLean, Va., pointed out when Woods made his public apology on Feb. 19.

EA Sports has continued to support Tiger Woods with new product releases.In addition, he will have the personal backing from such golf legends as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, who will be sharing "honorary starter" roles. Both Palmer and Nicklaus have supported Woods during his personal challenges.

Earlier this month, Nicklaus also indicated that he expected Woods to play at The Masters. "It would surprise me if he didn't [play at The Masters], Nicklaus told reporters. "I can't imagine in 100 years that he is going to miss Augusta."

Woods made that observation a reality with his statement. "When I finally got into a position to think about competitive golf again, it became apparent to me that the Masters would be the earliest I could play. I called both Joe Lewis and Arnold Palmer and expressed my regrets for not attending the Tavistock Cup and the Arnold Palmer Invitational," Woods said in his statement. "I again want to thank them both for their support and their understanding. Those are fantastic tournaments and I look forward to competing in them again.

"I would also like to thank the Augusta National members and staff for their support. I have deep appreciation for everything that they do to create a wonderful event for the benefit of the game."

ESPN, which will cover the first two rounds, has been running its regular promo for much of this month. It could turn its pre-coverage coverage into a Super Bowl-type event, with day-long coverage and analysis from in-studio and on-site. It already has plans to cover the event on ESPN, ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes, with SportsCenter on April 7 live from The Masters.

"Tiger's return to competitive golf at this year's Masters Tournament will surely be one of the biggest stories the sporting world has seen,"  John Wildhack, ESPN evp-programming and acquisitions, said in a statement. "We will cover the Masters Tournament and Tiger's return across a variety of ESPN platforms, both domestically and internationally."

Despite Co-Billing, Tiger Still A Star At EA Sports

Marketers Have Tiger's Back As Woods Goes Public

Woods Set To Speak, But Will His Voice Resonate With Fans, Marketers?

Why Cutting Ties With Tiger Is Bad Business

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