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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).

Friday
May052017

WWE All-In To Expand Fan, Consumer, Ad Base With Social Media ‘Land Grab’

By Barry Janoff

May 5, 2017: The WWE has released its Q1 numbers and, although soft in some areas, the financial figures were pretty much a smack down, including expanding its "land grab" in the social media landscape.

Among the highlights, WWE revenue increased 10% to $188.4 from $171.1 million in the prior year quarter, WWE Network averaged 1.49 million paid subscribers over the first quarter 2017, which represented a 16% increase from the Q1 2016 and social media topped a WWE record 770 million.

"We delivered a strong revenue growth of 10%, and that is due to our live event as well as our Network and television businesses, generally speaking," Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO for WWE, said during a media financial conference call on Thursday (May 4).

"(A) barometer I use is our content as far as our social media and digital. We had more than four billion video views combined on our social and digital platforms for the first quarter, up 8%, and it continues to be a  (success).

“For many years we have trying to be part of that land grab. And I can say we are still grabbing (while) holding onto ours. Social media itself, we have 774 million followers, up 23%, which is extraordinary. And speaks to the power of the brand. And the health of the brand on-going,” said McMahon.

WWE’s main Facebook destination has just shy of 36.5 million followers, its RAW Facebook page has more than 12.6 million followers and WWE Network’s Facebook site has more than 10.6 million followers.

On Twitter, WWE has some 9.1 million followers.

Among its athletes, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has more than 69 million followers on Facebook (58 million) and Twitter, John Cena more than 53 million followers (43.8 million on Facebook), Undertakers and Roman Reighs each have more than 17 million followers on their respective Facebook pages and Nikki and Brie Bella have nearly 20 million followers combined on Facebook and Twitter.

WrestleMania 33 in April (during Q2) was a major driver and continued to build on Q1 numbers, according to the company, with attendance topping 75,000 and subscribers on WWE Network over 1.9 million, although McMahon said that latter number came up short of expectations.

During WrestleMania Week, WWE Network subscribers watched 22.5 million hours of content (or an average of approximately 13 hours per subscriber), representing a 4% year-over-year increase.

The WWE also said that WrestleMania 33 was the most social event in its history, led by 5.19 million interactions on Facebook.

"You know the WrestleMania results were excellent in terms of all aspects," McMahon said. "As far as our network, right after WrestleMania we were at 1.94 million subs. We just missed 2 million, which we were hoping for.

"Speaking of live-event attendance, that has always been one of my barometers since Day One. We’ve increased our attendance by about 100,000 over the first quarter last year. Which is pretty amazing. (And we had) 91 (live) events as compared to 72 (in 2016)," said McMahon.

Sponsors activated across numerous WWE platforms, including on-site during WWE WrestleMania Week in Orlando, reaching fans, viewers and consumers alike.

Snickers was presenting sponsor for the second consecutive year. Partners also included DiGiorno, 5-Hour Energy Drink, Mattel and Cricket Wireless.

“For many years we have trying to be part of that land grab. And I can say we are still grabbing (while) holding onto ours."

"All of our partners took advantage of our reach across all of our platforms,” Michelle Wilson, chief revenue officer and CMO for the WWE, said during the conference call. "The development of new video content adds increasing value to advertisers . . . (They realize) the increasing strength of our brand."

WWE touted its social media growth as a vital part of the company’s strategy.

"Our strategy on social and digital is that absolutely we have to be there," said Wilson. "Vince mentioned it as a land grab. Not only for monetization in the long term but also to bring in new consumers.

"We know that’s where they are discovering brands and where they become attached to brands. They are not necessarily turning on the TV for us, (so social media is) imperative to our growth," she said.

McMahon said the WWE is focusing on building not only the core audience but younger fans and more women, as well.

"There is a huge effort on our part to grow our base," said McMahon. "And you can grow the base and continue to grow the base. As far as women, they are the gate-keepers many times to programming and likes of whether or not they enjoy the brand. There is an initiative now, and has been for a while, to get to the younger audience.

"One of our secrets, of course, has been generation after generation. So we continue to broaden our platform and our overall bases. You have to grow. We are looking at all of these areas and continue to invest in them. We have a long-term point of view. We try to hit as many different areas and as many different demos as we can. There are many different ways in which we are doing it but generally we are trying to reach a broader audience,” said McMahon.

Looking forward, WWE sees the growth among fans and sponsors continuing, including new deals being formed worldwide and such jewel events as the first WWE Women’s Tournament, including 32 participants, scheduled for the fall.

This week, WWE and Combos, a brand from Mars. Inc., launched an in-store promotion and sweepstakes at some 75,000 retailers. The "BUY, SNAP, WIN" effort directs people to take a picture of their Combos purchase receipt and submit it via social media for a chance to win such WWE prizes as tickets, gear and WWE experiences. The effort runs now through June 30. (Details here.)
 
"As we continue to focus on producing engaging content across all platforms, we remain on track to achieve our 2017 financial objectives with record revenue, record Adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization)results and record subscriber levels," George Barrios, WWE chief strategy & financial officer, said during the conference call.

According to Wilson, "We think all parts of the eco system are important. The digital and social bringing in the next generation and ultimately moving them to long-form on pay TV and then up to our direct-to-consumer WWE Network. So in our view, it all works in concert."

WrestleMania 33 Numbers Bring Down The House

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