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Start your morning with Buzzcast: F1's big renewal with Disney/ESPN; NACDA lands in Vegas; NHL ends season with growth among female fanbase.

Avalanche win Stanley Cup; Daly presents trophy

The Avalanche won their third Stanley Cup in franchise history last night in Tampa in front of a capacity crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the Cup to Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog following the win against the Lightning "because Commissioner Gary Bettman was sidelined by the coronavirus." Bettman recently tested positive and was "unable to produce enough negative results to get back to the series in time." That left Daly to "give the traditional end-of-season speech and shake Landeskog’s hand before presenting the trophy." It marks the first time "someone other than Bettman handed out the Cup since he took over in 1993." A league spokesperson said that Bettman was "resting at home and feeling better" (AP, 6/26).

The Avs' championship celebration kicks off Thursday at 9:00am MT in Denver's Civic Center Park with "live music, Avs season highlight reels and a live video feed from the parade." The stage will be "on the top steps of the City and County Building at Civic Center Park." The victory parade will start at 10:00am and go from Union Station to Civic Center Park (DENVER POST, 6/26).

FRONT-PAGE HEADLINES: DENVER POST: "Champions" ... COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE: "Cup Champions!" ... TAMPA BAY TIMES: "Not This Time" ... SI.com: "How the Avalanche Stormed to the Stanley Cup"

See more in the Daily edition of SBJ.

USFL back for second season, says Fox's Shanks

By John Ourand

The USFL will come back for a second season and expand into more markets, Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks told SBJ in an exclusive interview. While it was generally expected that the spring football league would embark on a second season, this marks the first time that the USFL has confirmed that it will play in 2023. Shanks, who also serves as Chair of the USFL BOD, said that the league will continue to have its league office in Birmingham, where it has played all of its games this season. But the USFL’s eight teams will play out of between two and four markets next season, meaning each market will house multiple teams. Eventually, the plan is for all the teams to be in their home markets. “We’re talking to those cities now in terms of how many we’re going to be in locally,” Shanks said during a telephone interview over the weekend.

The league, which plays its inaugural championship game this weekend, will not expand the number of teams next season beyond eight, but it expects to add more teams by 2024. “We’ve always had an expansion plan that could potentially come into play in year three and beyond,” Shanks said. “Next year, it will still be eight teams, but they will play in multiple cities, so we’ll get more home markets involved.” The USFL will keep roughly the same schedule next season: starting just after the Masters and concluding July 4 weekend. “We have a multi-year plan to build this football business,” Shanks said. “If anything, the success of season one makes me even more excited than we were before going into Season 2 and beyond."

The decision to embark on a second season is noteworthy, as several spring leagues, including the Alliance of American Football and two versions of the XFL, failed to make it past one year. A third version of the XFL is slated to launch next spring and compete with the USFL.

Ole Miss wins CWS as event draws record crowds

Ole Miss won their first College World Series title, sweeping Oklahoma in a two-game final series, and the 2022 CWS "set a new attendance record with 366,105 fans over 15 games" in Omaha. That eclipsed the record of 361,711 fans set in 2021 when cross-state rival Mississippi State came out on top. Sunday's crowd of 25,972 "was 1,467 over stadium capacity and the biggest crowd in a College World Series finals game since 2017." That total included "20,000-plus Rebels fans," demonstrating that "no one supports their college baseball teams like fans from Mississippi." The state "isn't just on top of the college baseball world today, but is poised to stay there for quite a while" (Jackson CLARION LEDGER, 6/26).

LIV Golf swells ranks with new young golfers

LIV Golf today is announcing "two new recruits under the age of 25, both of whom are rated as possessing huge potential." Matthew Wolff was ranked in the world’s top 20 at the start of last year, while Spain's Eugenio Chacarra is the "world’s second highest ranked amateur," having played in the U.S. collegiate circuit with Oklahoma State. Chacarra’s "mentor is Sergio Garcia, who is already on LIV’s books," and he is "believed to be joining the stable of GSE Worldwide," which also reps Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace and Wolff. The agency has Carlos Ortiz as a client as well, and it is "understood the 31-year-old will be third player named by LIV today" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/26).

Angel City to host Mexican women's national team

By Alex Silverman

NWSL club Angel City FC will host the Mexican women’s national soccer team in a new annual match dubbed the Copa Angelina under a multiyear deal brokered by Soccer United Marketing. The inaugural edition will be held at Banc of California Stadium on Labor Day, Sept. 5. The match is the first example of the Mexican Football Federation’s (FMF) new push to create commercial opportunities in the U.S. for its women’s national team, something it emphasized last month when it renewed its partnership with SUM, the commercial arm of MLS. Mexico's men’s national team has been touring the U.S. annually since '03 and played its 100th tour match on June 5 in Chicago.

“It's a great chance to start opening this market and to give our female national team the chance to play in U.S. against a really important team,” said FMF Sporting Dir Gerardo Torrado. Organizers of the event believe it is the first promoted match hosted by a women’s pro soccer team in its home stadium against a national team. Angel City President Julie Uhrman said the club has been in conversations with FMF and SUM for several months about the partnership and creating an event that engages L.A.'s vast Mexican-American population. "We wanted to do something together where not only do we put on a great soccer match, but also build up to it so that we can find ways for our communities to come together and have a significant impact," Uhrman said.

A fan fest will be held outside the stadium beforehand, and a to-be-announced musical artist will perform at the game. Uhrman said additional community events will be held in the days leading up to the match. Angel City’s official healthcare partner, Cedars-Sinai hospital, is the only sponsor signed on to support the event thus far. SUM said it is in the process of bringing on additional partners, including a presenting sponsor. Angel City season-ticket holders will receive their regular seats for Copa Angelina unless they opt out of the match, and tickets will be available to the general public on July 12. Copa Angelina will air on the TelevisaUnivision family of networks in the U.S. and Mexico.

In its first NWSL season, Angel City FC is leading the league in attendance with an average of 18,709 through five home games at Banc of California Stadium, according to Soccer Stadium Digest.

Nike set for Q4 earnings report today

Nike is set to report Q4 earnings today after the market close, and it is a "chance for the athletic giant to settle the score after its recent selloff." Nike has "long been a powerhouse, rising nearly 90% in the past half decade, ahead of the S&P’s 60% gain." There have been "plenty of years when it has easily outpaced its consumer discretionary peers as well, with the stock reaching all-time highs during the pandemic." Yet the stock, like so many others, has "been pummeled this year: Nike has lost almost a third of its value in 2022, compared with the broader market’s roughly 20% loss." Consensus calls for Nike to "earn 81 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter, due out after the close on Monday, on sales of $12.07 billion" (BARRONS.com, 6/27).

Covid lockdowns in China "took a toll in the May-ended quarter," and Nike also "just announced a plan to fully exit Russia" (INVESTORS.com, 6/24).

Griner to appear in pre-trial hearing in Russia

WNBA Phoenix Mercury C Brittney Griner is set to appear in court today in Russia for a "preliminary hearing ahead of her trial." She could "face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs." Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and "unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned." The trial date "has not been announced, but is expected soon; Griner was recently ordered to remain in pretrial detention until July 2." The hearing in the court of the Moscow suburb of Khimki is to "address procedural issues" (AP, 6/27).

Wimbledon main draw begins with 14 sponsors

By David Broughton

Wimbledon's main draw is underway, and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the event's owner, has 14 "official suppliers" for the 2022 event. Slazenger is the sponsor that receives the most exposure each year, as the U.K.-based company has been the tennis ball supplier since 1902, the longest partnership in sporting goods history. The company will supply 54,250 balls for this year's tournament. Similarly, Polo Ralph Lauren's products gain significant TV screen exposure, as the company outfits judges, umpires and ball persons with apparel accented in the club's official colors of purple and green.

More behind-the-scenes, Jaguar will supply 179 vehicles for event operations, and most of them will be the I-PACE, an all-electric SUV. Meanwhile, Sipsmith, the event's first official gin, is available on-site. New to the Wimbledon roster this year is Vodafone, which took on the connectivity category.

2022 Wimbledon suppliers/sponsors
BRAND CATEGORY SINCE
Slazenger Ball 1902
Rolex Timekeeper 1978
IBM Information technology 1990
Lanson Champagne 2001
Ralph Lauren Outfitter 2006
HSBC Bank 2008
Evian Water 2008
Lavazza Coffee 2011
Jaguar Land Rover Car 2015
Pimm's Partner 2017
American Express Payments 2019
OPPO Smartphone 2019
Sipsmith Gin 2021
Vodafone Connectivity 2022
Download the
Wimbledon sponsors 2022

Speed Reads....

The Southern California Jewish Sports HOF recognized Lee Zeidman on Sunday with the Eli Sherman Pillar of Achievement, honoring individuals whose efforts have significantly enhanced their local communities. Zeidman, longtime President of Crypto.com Arena and LA Live, was joined in his induction class by 18 others, including NWSL K.C. Current F Arielle Ship, golfer Max Homa, and Braves P Max Fried (Bret McCormick, SBJ).

Chase Elliott won yesterday's NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway in "front of a crowd of 32,000." The race started at 4:00pm CT, was "delayed twice, the second time for more than two hours because of lightning and rain," and finished at 11:00pm (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/27).

Morning Hot Reads: Coming to America

The L.A. TIMES notes Gareth Bale's signing with LAFC shows how MLS is "winning over European stars." Bale was once the "world's most expensive soccer player," but his deal to join the MLS side "has no downside" for the club. But the deal also "reveals how the U.S. is viewed by European-based stars." Whatever "problems this country has, millionaire soccer players want to come here." They "party here" and "spend their offseasons here." And "more than a couple of them are now playing here, including some who still have mileage left in their legs." See more on Bale's signing in today's SBJ Daily edition.

Also:

This Week's Events: June 27-July 3

MONDAY
TUESDAY

THURSDAY

  • Avalanche to stage Stanley Cup championship parade in Denver
  • Leaders Meet: Performance Pathways at St. George’s Park, Burton-on-Trent, U.K. Learn more here 

Have an event we should feature? Send an email to pbounds@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

Twitter Me This....

Final Jeopardy!

Friday night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Oscar-Winning Actors.”

“Each of the 3 films for which he won an Oscar, from 1975, 1983 & 1997, also garnered a Best Lead Actress Oscar.”

Friday night’s edition of “Jeopardy!” featured the category “Baseball Babes.”
$200: “From 1914 to 1935 pitchers walked him 2,062 times, with good reason.”
$400: “After eight seasons in the Majors, hotheaded Babe Pinelli became one of these, with which he had frequently argued as a player.”
$600: “In 1909 Pittsburgh’s Babe Adams became the only rookie ever to pitch and win three games in one of these.”
$800: “In 1928 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle said this team’s Babe Herman is ‘a great outfielder except for his inability to catch flyballs.’”
$1000: “When this man’s 2,130 consecutive-game streak ended in 1939, Babe Dahlgren took his place and went 2 for 5 with a homer."

Today's Back Pages....

The Morning Buzz offers today's back page sports covers from some of North America's major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post N.Y. Daily News Newsday Boston Herald Chicago Sun-Times Philadelphia Daily News

Final Jeopardy....

"Who is Jack Nicholson?"

The films were “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Terms of Endearment” and “As Good as It Gets.”

The correct responses to the “Baseball Babes” category were:
$200: “Who is Babe Ruth?”
$400: “What is an umpire?”
$600: “What is a World Series?”
$800: “Who are the Brooklyn Dodgers?”
$1000: “Who is Lou Gehrig?”

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