Category Archives: Press Releases

O’Neil, Mackey, Foster Among Negro League Stars Featured In Strat-O-Matic, NLBM NFT Partnership

Strat-O-Matic, the market leader in sports simulation, and the Negro League Baseball Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America, today announced a partnership to distribute NFTs (non-fungible tokens) featuring all-time baseball greats from the Negro Leagues. The program includes partnerships with the estates of superstars like new Hall of Famer Buck O’Neil, Biz Mackey, Bill Foster, Rube Foster, Leon Day and Pete Hill in the first set of digital collectibles.

The NFT offerings will include images or media owned by the NLBM or estates as well as a voiceover discussing the player’s career and legacy and their unique Strat-O-Matic game card, playable via Strat-O-Matic’s proprietary game technology.

The NLBM will receive 25% of profits from the offering, making it one of the first philanthropic digital collectibles available.

“The Negro Leagues had a profound impact on the advancement of American civil rights and culture.” said Adam Richman, Strat-O-Matic C.E.O. “These NFTs will preserve this legacy and celebrate these players, who need to have their stories and contributions to history preserved for future generations.”

“The Negro League Baseball Museum is proud to continue its amazing partnership with Strat-O-Matic, which has long been a supporter of the museum and Negro Leagues history,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM President. “The NFT offerings are a creative new way to help fans and collectors celebrate the greatness of these legendary players while supporting our mission.”

cover image: credit kc congdon

National Lacrosse League Launches Pick ‘Em Challenge

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the launch of the NLL Pick ‘Em Challenge for the 2021-22 Season in partnership with Genius Sports (NYSE:GENI). Each week, fans will answer 10 questions relating to the upcoming weekends action for their chance to win cash and other prizes. Fans have the chance to win a weekly $10,000 prize should they answer every question correctly in any regular season week. The free-to-play game is available for fans at www.nllpickem.com/.

“NLL Pick ‘Em is another way that fans can stay engaged with the league and its players on a deeper level, encouraging greater knowledge of the game and rewarding our most loyal supporters,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “And with all of our games more accessible in the U.S. and Canada, following the progress of their NLL Pick ‘Em selections will be easier than ever.”

NLL Pick ‘Em was developed in association with Genius Sports, the official data and technology partner that powers the ecosystem connecting sports, betting, and media. Genius Sports was also selected to develop the NLL Summer Polling Challenge which ran during the summer of 2021, asking NLL fans their opinions on a variety of topics.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

National Lacrosse League Promotes Heritage, Inclusion, Service With Launch Of NLL Unites

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, continues its unwavering commitment to its foundational pillars of heritage, inclusion and service with the unveiling of NLL Unites, the league’s umbrella social responsibility program. NLL Unites will combine the efforts of the league, teams, players and partners to promote each of those pillars through storytelling, education, activation and access.

NLL Unites will continue to evolve as the program develops and grows. Most visibly and imminently for the coming 2021-22 NLL season, players will wear a specially designed helmet decal with a Every Child Matters logo designed by Curt Styres and the Halifax Thunderbirds organization, raising awareness of the history and role of residential schools throughout North America.

“We are very proud to roll out NLL Unites and continue to amplify the great work already being done by the league and its teams, players and partners with respect to all our efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “NLL Unites is the creation of a tremendous amount of work led by our Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and many others throughout the process. It will provide continued direction increasing our commitment to important initiatives that make a meaningful difference in many lives and will also allow support of programs that are authentic in their connection to lacrosse.”

The pillars of heritage, inclusion and service are at the heart of NLL Unites:

  • Heritage involves honoring the history of lacrosse and being advocates for the indigenous community. It connects inherently with our sport, NLL players and staff.
  • Inclusion is focused on making sure anyone who wants to play, watch or experience the NLL feels welcome. We want more people and kids having access to lacrosse. We embrace the challenge to make lacrosse for everyone.
  • Service highlights the community efforts of the league and its teams as the NLL is now in 15 markets across North America; we will work to positively impact our communities and give back.

NLL Unites was formed through collaboration and consultation with various partners and leaders in CSR. RISE conducted a series of focus groups with NLL players, teams, and front office staff to explore topics around diversity and inclusion, heritage, and equality. Together with the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, students conducted a CSR landscape analysis and recommended suggestions and initiatives that contributed to the framework of NLL Unites. Furthermore, the NLL reached out to other leagues, consultants, and ongoing partners to best understand the unique needs of the sport and its growing fandom.

Specific initiatives and programs will be announced throughout the 2021-22 season and beyond as NLL Unites puts a clear vision to the league’s corporate social responsibility efforts. These commitments will be guided through the subject matter expertise of the NLL’s non-profit partners including RISE, You Can Play and Right to Play, with more partners to come. Fans and anyone else who is interested can learn more about NLL Unites and learn how to get involved at nll.com/nll-unites.

Entain Foundation U.S. Sponsors NBA Legend Charles Oakley’s ‘Oak Out Hunger’ Community Project

The Entain Foundation U.S., the not-for-profit charitable trust of Entain, is to sponsor an initiative led by retired NBA legend Charles Oakley to include education in responsible gambling with other forms of support to impoverished, underprivileged communities facing hunger, addiction, and economic challenges in cities across the U.S.

The Entain Foundation U.S. sponsorship will provide both funding and expertise in preventing and mitigating problem gambling to the Oak Out Hunger initiative. It means that, for the first time, education in responsible gambling will sit alongside other valuable and worthwhile community services provided by the Charles Oakley Foundation, including anti-addiction and education programs.

Early next year this program will operate in U.S. cities including Los Angeles, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia and New Orleans – coinciding with major sporting events including the Super Bowl and March Madness, the college basketball tournament. In addition, the campaign will visit further cities and towns also home to universities including Indiana University, the University of Michigan and Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, West Virginia and Tennessee.

“As sports betting takes off across many U.S. states, we’re committed to do all we can to ensure that people only bet what they can afford – which is especially important in more deprived communities,” said Martin Lycka, Entain senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling, and trustee of the Entain Foundation U.S. “The Oak Out Hunger campaign is truly unique – and effective – in providing essential services to impoverished and underprivileged urban communities across the U.S. The Oakley Foundation is an ideal partner to help us reach those in most need with education on responsible gambling.”

“It’s all about giving back to people who are trying to get through life,” Charles Oakley said. “I go all over. And you see people hanging out on the streets, nowhere to get a meal, some of whom use what little money they have to fund addictions. Our program is about helping to break that cycle. Give them a chance and a good meal. Meet some different people and have a good time.”

With the Entain Foundation US sponsorship, the Charles Oakley Foundation and Oak Out Hunger campaign join other nationally and globally recognized partners who collaborate with Entain to prevent and combat potentially harmful behaviors among at-risk populations.

Entain and its two sister foundations, the Entain Foundation and the Entain Foundation U.S., operate some of the world’s most innovative and comprehensive portfolios of programs designed to prevent and mitigate problem gambling.  For example, a free app, developed by Entain, called “Gamble Responsibly America,” is available through the App Store and Google Play, with no branding or commercial promotion.

The Entain Foundation U.S. is a first-of-its-kind non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance in the U.S. The Foundation was launched in 2019 by the Entain Global Foundation and the Entain Group. Entain is the leading global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment operator, which jointly owns BetMGM in the U.S.

cover image: Charles Oakley (credit Bryan Horowitz)

Longtime NHL Referee Don Koharski Named NLL Director of Officials

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the appointment of retired 32-year veteran National Hockey League referee Don Koharski as its Director of Officials. Koharski, affectionately known as ‘Koho’, will begin his NLL duties immediately as the league gears up for the 2021-22 season launching on December 3.

Koharski, 65, officiated 1,882 regular season, 262 playoff and 11 Stanley Cup Finals games in his NHL career, which began in 1977 as a linesman before ascending to referee in 1981. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native has been a longtime lacrosse supporter, as a player helping the Nova Scotia team to a silver medal in the Canada Summer Games in 1973 and coaching the Hamilton Bengals midget lacrosse team in 1980 and 1981. He is a member of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, inducted in 2007.

“In preparation for the 2021-22 season, Koho will take a deeper dive into more effective positioning and movement patterns, enhanced game management and communication skills allowing our officials to take their skill set to the next level” said Brian Lemon, NLL EVP of Lacrosse Operations. “His passion for the sport of lacrosse and the respect he earned in more than 2,000 NHL games will be crucial when recruiting and developing the best amateur officials for our sport.”

“I am honored to be a part of the National Lacrosse League, and excited to work with our officiating staff to make them the best they can be for the 2021-22 season and beyond.” said Koharski

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

VKTRY Brings NFL Star Jonathan Taylor On Board As Latest Brand Ambassador

VKTRY GEAR, the fast growing, industry leader in Performance Insoles for heightened athletic performance and injury protection, continued to make 2021 a record year, announcing six months in a row of month over month sales increases while bringing fast-rising NFL running back Jonathan Taylor on as the latest brand ambassador. The Indianapolis Colts star has the second highest grade among all NFL running backs per Pro Football Focus and is second in the league in rushing heading into this weekend. Players on all 32 NFL clubs are now using VKTRY insoles for the first time in the history of the company.

“When I first put VKTRY Insoles into my cleats, it was an instant boost of explosion, power & speed. Being able to explode out of my cuts with more power helps me separate from a defender,” stated Jonathan Taylor. “Knowing that VKTRY Insoles are made with the latest and greatest technology makes you feel almost like you’re a superhero or something out of this world. Having this high-tech product inside your cleats makes you feel like no one can stop you on the field.”

“We are honored to have two of the best young running backs in the NFL as VKTRY’s spokespeople – first Nick Chubb – and now Jonathan Taylor,” said VKTRY CEO Steve Wasik. “JT is one of the most explosive players in the league, highly respected by everyone who knows him. We are honored to have him representing VKTRY.”

During the 2021 NFL season, a record number of over 200 NFL players, from all 32 clubs, are now wearing VKTRY’S carbon fiber insoles, a 75% increase from 2020. The list includes some of the brightest young stars and respected veterans in the NFL: Nick Chubb, Saquan Barkley, Antonio Gibson, Bryan Bulaga, George Kittle, Josh Norman, DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel and many more. VKTRY Insoles are used across multiple sports and the company’s endorsements include NBA legend Tracy McGrady, Captain of the Gold Medal-winning US Women’s Volleyball Team Jordan Larson, MLB slugger Vlad Guerrero, Jr., and 3X PGA major winner Padraig Harrington.

Made from aerospace-grade carbon fiber, VKTRY Insoles store and return energy to the athlete. They also provide a “spring-like” effect to improve shock absorption and reduce the load and stress on the athlete’s body. In independent performance testing, athletes wearing VKs increased their broad jump by an average of +4.0″, their vert by +1.6″ and improved their 40 times by 0.12 seconds. Because all athletes are not alike, VKs are customized based on the size of the athlete and the sport or activity. VKTRY’s Gold Insoles are available in five different levels of flexibility to optimize performance, protection and comfort.

“VKTRY’s Gold Insoles have been designed for serious athletes, while our recent launch of Silver Insoles appeals to more casual athletes or weekend warriors”, stated Wasik. “2021 has proven to be our best year ever as sales are trending at close to +40% higher than year ago. More and more athletes are discovering the performance and protection benefits of VKTRY Insoles.”

Taylor added: “If a teammate asked me about VKTRY Insoles, I would tell them that this is the one product that would help them take their game to the next level. Foam insoles don’t respond or give you anything back. Wearing VKTRY’s carbon fiber insoles, the one thing I notice instantly is that extra power & explosion that they give me.”

600 Picks For Dant On Tap As CBB & CFB Seasons Intersect

 Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN) college sports handicapping expert Colby Dant will make a total 593 selections against the spread on college football and college basketball contests, in accordance with the slate of FBS and Division I basketball games in place for November 14-20.

With college basketball teams swinging into action across the country while the college football season continues apace, Colby Dant, his brother, Nick, and Patty C  will produce the Week 12 College Football Experience podcast and add The College Basketball Experience podcast in addition to posting their picks on SportsGamblingPodcast.com for the myriad SGPN audiences (CFB picksCBB picks).  Dant has spearheaded the selection of every game over the past four years and boasts a success rate well above industry standards during that time.

The commitment to providing input and a pick against the spread for each major college game is part of the exhaustive approach of Sports Gambling Podcast Network (SGPN), the only independently owned and operated sports gambling media network that places a premium on entertainment value.  The predictive podcasts are most readily available on the SGPN app, downloadable at Apple’s App StoreThe Google Play Store , and from www.SportsGamblingPodcast.com.

“It is, by far, the craziest week of the year,” offered Dant, who is 31 games over .500 on college football prognostications this year.  “Though it breaks my heart, the college football slate slows down as Thanksgiving week arrives.  That allows for a transition of focus to the hardwood, where there are great wagering opportunities because the oddsmakers will be putting up unsophisticated lines.  So, join us and we’ll give you some early-season college BBall winners.”

“We just sit back in amazement,” said Sean Green, co-founder with Ryan Kramer of SGPN’s formidable lineup of sports wagering content offerings.  “The college podcasts are among our most popular, so we’re expecting traffic increases as the audiences join Colby in embracing the simultaneous hardwood action.”

  • In prominent college football games this week, Dant likes four underdogs to cover, as posted on the website.  He has homestanding Pitt +6.5 over North Carolina, Michigan +7.5 at Penn State, Tennessee +22 hosting Georgia and Purdue +23.5 at Ohio St.  Among his season over/under win total predictions that cashed by midseason was South Carolina over 3.5 wins.  The Gamecocks are now 5-4 after their dismantling of Florida Saturday night.

NLL Announces Partnership with Ontario Junior Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, announced a partnership with the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (@TheOJLL) of the Ontario Lacrosse Association, focusing on game-related matters, from coaching and officiating development to marketing and sponsorship initiatives.

Although details of the partnership are being formalized now, the NLL and the OJLL have been working together informally for the last several months as the OJLL adopted nine rules from the NLL ahead of their 2021 season, providing players, coaches, and officials with enhanced opportunities to elevate themselves to the next level. Many members of the NLL were involved in OJLL Commissioner Mark Grimes’ recommendation to implement the rules, including NLL general managers Ed Comeau (Georgia Swarm), Paul Day (Philadelphia Wings) and Derek Keenan (Saskatchewan Rush), and NLL referee Ian Garrison.

“We have been very impressed with what the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League has been able to accomplish under the leadership of Mark Grimes since he took over in April of 2021,” said Nick Sakiewicz, NLL Commissioner. “We want to continue to grow and unify the game of lacrosse under a consistent rulebook and serve as an inspiration to the players, coaches, and officials who are currently and will eventually go through the OJLL.”

“We have some of the best minds in the National Lacrosse League behind the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League right now,” said OJLL Commissioner, Mark Grimes. “The OJLL is committed to remaining the NLL’s number one source for talent and this partnership brings together two leaders in the sport to provide a continuous pathway of development for players, coaches, and officials.”

“The NLL is very excited about continuing our work with the OJLL,” said Brian Lemon, EVP of Lacrosse Operations for the NLL. “The ability to have OJLL playing NLL rules will benefit players, coaches, and officials for the future. Now is the time to establish these relationships with the lacrosse organizations as the NLL continues to grow, needing the next crop of talent and to unify the game.”

The OJLL has perennially provided top level talent to the NLL and 2021 was no exception— 48% of all selections in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft were developed in the OJLL, including 12 first-round picks. Heading into the 2021-22 NLL season, three officials were onboarded to the NLL after demonstrating standout performances in the 2021 OJLL season. These three officials will join 24 others as members of the NLL staff who began their careers in the Ontario Lacrosse Association and are veterans of the OJLL.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas NLL, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

2021 American 7s Football Season to Launch on fubo Sports Network

On the heels of a pilot program between the American 7s Football League and fubo Sports Network, the network will showcase the top games from the A7FL’s hard-hitting 2021 season.  The partnership, which kicked off October 25 and will continue each Monday thereafter at 6 PM ET with fubo Sports Network providing fans with their first free opportunity to view A7FL’s signature no helmets no pads football action from the league’s recently wrapped 7th season.

The fast-growing A7FL topped 200 million total video views in 2021 and grew to 750,000+ social media followers.  The league recently extended its successful StartEngine fundraising campaign and added 4 new division owners, expanding to 8 divisions and 32 teams nationwide for its 2022 season, which runs April-July.  In just the past year, several new sponsors have joined the fold including Cricket Wireless, Marshawn Lynch’s ZoomBang / Beast Mode, Herff-Jones, BioHemp+, and BetDSI.

Monday night’s game on fubo Sports Network features perennial A7FL powerhouse the Trenton BIC facing off against the Baltimore Cobras.  The BIC head into their 2021 campaign led by explosive two-time MVP Matt Riddick and 2020 Rookie of the Year Ashante Worthy.  The Cobras feature the always dangerous Jon “Ace Boogie” Gause Jr. at quarterback while nose guard Derrell Harris can clog holes on defense but can also break games open behind center or at wide receiver.

“We are thrilled to give fans the chance to tune in every Monday night to enjoy the action from our top games from the 2021 season,” said A7FL Co-Founder and CEO Sener Korkusuz. “Since we launched our “From the Vault” series with fuboTV in late summer, we’ve seen a 47% increase in viewing, so these games are clearly resonating with their sports-oriented audience – just as they have on social media and other platforms.”      

“Our audience has a strong appetite for action-packed sports content from partners like the American 7s Football League,” said Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Sports Network and original programming, fuboTV. “We’re excited to bring the 2021 A7FL season to Fubo Sports Network and provide viewers with even more unique 7-on-7 football the league is known for.”

Available on 75 million devices, fubo Sports Network is the live, free-to-consumer TV network featuring sports stories on and off the field. Launched by live TV streaming platform fuboTV (NYSE: FUBO) in September 2019, fubo Sports Network airs live sports, award-winning original programming and partner content from BeIN Sports Xtra, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, Stadium, USA TODAY and VSiN, among others. Stream for free on Hisense Smart TVs, LG Channels, Sports on Tubi, Plex, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio Channels and XUMO or as part of fuboTV’s subscription packages of 100+ sports, news and entertainment channels.

For Soccer Ventures Announces Topps, 47 Brand, Umbro Among Partner Lineup for FootyCon, November 10

For Soccer Ventures (FSV) today announced the lineup for FootyCon, a soccer and lifestyle digital festival taking place exclusively on the NTWRK app at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 10.

FootyCon was founded by Curtis Brown and Ben Hooper to unite the diverse communities of the sport of soccer through art, fashion, and culture. The festival on NTWRK will bring together consumers from around the globe and give them access to exclusive products as well as the chance to engage with cultural tastemakers, personalities, and players with deep ties to the sport.

“We’re thrilled to reveal the lineup for the inaugural FootyCon festival,” said Heath Pearce, Chief Creative Officer at FSV. “We know fans of the game and its culture will connect and engage with the creators and brands that are participating and we’re excited to host a great event with NTWRK.”

As part of the announcement, Topps was also revealed as the exclusive collectible partner of FootyCon. Topps and FootyCon will collaborate and feature unique content and exclusive giveaways to fans from its Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, and Bundesliga collections during the buildup to the festival and the event itself.

“Topps is excited to partner with FSV for their inaugural FootyCon festival,” said Emily Kless, Topps Communications Manager. “FootyCon provides a unique opportunity for football fans to connect from anywhere in the world, and we’re proud that Topps trading cards are featured as the medium in which to unite creators, brands and fans alike.”

NTWRK presents FootyCon – Festival Lineup, Nov. 10

47 Brand – Premier sports lifestyle brand founded in Boston, Ma. that uniquely melds sport and style.

Angel City FC – Angel City Football Club is a member of NWSL and will take the pitch in Spring 2022 in Downtown Los Angeles. Angel City seeks to set higher expectations on and off the pitch through equality and impact. This is a different way of building a sporting club where mission and capital can coexist and make positive change in the community.

The Black Star Initiative – The Black Star Initiative has been developed to accelerate the growth of soccer in Black American communities and to increase access and opportunity in the sport at the grassroots level, while celebrating and amplifying the diverse Black soccer culture.

Bumpy Pitch – Purveyors of gourmet soccer culture.

Fan Ink – Fi Collection is an official licensed premium football (soccer) inspired lifestyle collection, with a focus on head-wear and accessories that express our passion of the sport and club.

FC Dorsum – F.C. Dorsum is a Los Angeles based brand conceptualized around a fictitious football club to fill the void between football and fashion.

Kicks to the Pitch – Kicks to the Pitch represents the future of soccer through sneakers, fashion, music and art.

LA Galaxy – The most celebrated and decorated club in Major League Soccer.  From uniting a city in ’96 through winning five MLS Cups, the Galaxy have made a lasting impact in the global game and united Angelenos for over 25 years.

LAFC – LAFC is dedicated to building a world-class soccer club that represents the diversity of Los Angeles and is committed to delivering an unrivaled experience for fans. LAFC’s ownership group is comprised of local leaders and innovators of industry with intellectual capital, financial prowess, operations expertise, and success in the fields of entertainment, sports, technology, and media.

NR – Heritage Italian sports brand rooted in style and soccer.

Oakland Roots – Oakland Roots Sports Club seeks to harness the magic of Oakland and the power of sport as a force for social good. Whether on the pitch, in the stands, or within the community, Oakland Roots will represent our one-of-a-kind city with passion, pride, and commitment to all things Oakland.

Umbro – Umbro founder Harold Humphreys believed that style was a performance advantage – if you look smart, you play smart – a belief we retain today, combining stylish and technical team and street wear with a professional service for all.

Venice Beach FC – Venice Beach Football Club is a community of dreamers, drifters, nobodies and somebodies; home to champions, rising stars, beach bums, and everything in between.

Additional participants in FootyCon will be announced at a later date.

About For Soccer Ventures

For Soccer Ventures (FSV) is a new media company, leading a collaborative movement to connect brands and platforms to the diverse American soccer community through immersive storytelling, properties, activations and strategic services. Uniquely positioned within the industry, the company’s mission is to advance soccer in the United States, both on and off the field. FSV’s host of capabilities and properties are aimed at putting the fan and player first. FSV’s current properties and investments include Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, Alianza de Futbol, Black Star Initiative, FootyCon, The Association, JUGOtv, YSC Academy, YSC Sports, APL Leagues and Tournaments, Best Soccer Show Podcast, Orange Slices Podcast, and the FSV Soccer Influencer Network.

About NTWRK

Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, NTWRK is the premier North American livestream shopping platform where “entertainment meets e-commerce” (Forbes). Built on a digitally-innovative model of daily product drops, livestream shopping festivals and exclusive partnerships with world-renowned brands and creators, NTWRK has fostered an organic global community of artists and fans since its launch in 2018. Under the motto “Shopping At The Speed of Culture,” NTWRK provides a curated digital shopping experience and access for Gen-Z and millennial consumers.

National Lacrosse League Signs Historic Multiyear Agreement with ESPN

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced the most extensive United States media rights agreement in its history, giving ESPN and ESPN+ exclusive rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Canada for live NLL games. All NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN linear networks – with a minimum of 10 live games annually – and ESPN+ will combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year. It will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league.

“We are so proud, honored and excited to work with ESPN and ESPN+ in this unprecedented landmark announcement for the NLL. Never before in the 35-year history of the league have fans, sponsors, teams and players had this type of access and exposure across the United States,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “While we, our sport and the industry continue to focus on digital native fans, we will also have the benefit of expanded reach through live distribution on ESPN linear networks. We’ve been steadily building on our media strategy and towards this kind of distribution over the last few years and are excited about the momentum an announcement like this generates heading into NLL Faceoff Weekend, December 3-4.”

“We’re thrilled to reach this new multi-year rights agreement with the National Lacrosse League, adding to our already extensive commitment to the sport of lacrosse on ESPN platforms. The NLL features elite players competing in an exciting and fast-paced game that we look forward to showcasing across ESPN and ESPN+ in the years ahead,” said Dan Margulis, Senior Director, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN.

The broadcast schedule for the 2021-22 season on ESPN’s linear networks will be announced in the coming weeks. The regular season begins with the Vancouver Warriors at San Diego Seals on Friday, December 3; and six games on Saturday December 4, including the debut of the expansion Panther City (TX) Lacrosse Club at the Philadelphia Wings and the 2019 NLL Championship Finals rematch between the Calgary Roughnecks and Buffalo Bandits in Buffalo.

The agreement with ESPN follows an earlier announcement for TSN in Canada for both linear television and live streaming coverage of NLL games, the first broadcast deal for the NLL in Canada since 2016.

For the most up-to-date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

Caesars Sportsbook App is Now Live in Louisiana

Legalized sports betting is on its way to Louisiana and today, Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) (“Caesars”) announced its best-in-class Caesars Sportsbook app is officially available for download and sign-up by eligible sports fans in Louisiana. In celebration of its longstanding presence in Louisiana, and in advance of the launch of mobile sports betting in the state, Caesars is excited to offer local sports fans an early chance to download the Caesars Sportsbook app, register, deposit funds, and explore a deep array of pre-match and live markets and odds – including for every local team.

In addition, early registrants will receive special benefits. Starting today, customers can combine offers for a first bet experience unlike any other:

Register early to get a $100 Free Bet bonus:
Download and register prior to the first day of sports betting to receive a $100 Free Bet bonus the day mobile wagering goes live
Plus, deposit and have funds in an account at launch, and for every point scored by select local teams during launch week, receive an additional $1 in Free Bet bonuses:
Deposit and retain in your account $50 or more by mobile launch date to earn a Free Bet bonus equal to the points scored by top Louisiana teams during our mobile sports betting launch week
“Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast region are a special part of the Caesars family. We couldn’t be more excited to build on our longstanding commitments in the state with the launch of legal sports betting,” said Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital. “We know how passionate Bayou State sports fans are about their teams and we’re confident our brand-new Caesars Sportsbook app and the exciting offers we have for launch can offer them a sports experience that can’t be matched.”

The Caesars Sportsbook app links the excitement of mobile sports betting with the industry-leading loyalty program, Caesars Rewards. Every wager, win or lose, rewards the bettor with Tier Credits and Reward Credits that can be used to unlock unbeatable experiences within the Caesars portfolio of properties and partnerships. Customized offerings, a wide range of betting lines and flexible limits allow Caesars Sportsbook to treat every sports bettor like royalty.

Every bet earns – win or lose, every wager gives you more with Caesars Rewards. Each bet earns Caesars Rewards Tier Credits and Reward Credits. Caesars Sportsbook links with Caesars Rewards, making it as easy to earn and redeem online as it is in person at one of Caesars’ more than 50 destinations across 16 states. Reward Credits earned within the Caesars Rewards network can be redeemed everywhere, meaning everything you earn online can be used for free play, dining, getaways, and specially curated sports and entertainment experiences

Thousands of ways to wager – Caesars Sportsbook provides extensive odds and flexible limits, including live in-play betting, player props, and same-game parlays, making it the most dynamic way to bet sports

Easy to play – Caesars Sportsbook makes it easy to get a bet down, and to deposit and withdraw funds securely through a wide variety of industry-leading wallet options

A trusted name in casino entertainment – Caesars Sportsbook has best-in-class partnerships with some of the biggest leagues, teams, and media companies in Louisiana and nationally
In addition to mobile sports wagering, sports bettors in Louisiana can soon enjoy in-person sports betting at iconic Caesars properties Harrah’s New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City. Each casino will soon take in-person bets at temporary retail locations inside their properties, before the unveiling of their new Caesars Sportsbooks, pending regulatory approval in the state. In the fall of 2022, Isle of Capri Lake Charles will be renovated into Horseshoe Lake Charles and reopen with an additional Caesars Sportsbook location.

Caesars’ commitment to Louisiana includes the recent 20-year, exclusive naming-rights partnership with the New Orleans Saints to rebrand New Orleans’ iconic downtown stadium as the Caesars Superdome. Caesars Sportsbook is also the official sportsbook partner of LSU Athletics, the official casino sponsor and an official sports betting partner of the NFL, and has partnerships with the NBA, NHL, MLB, and several individual teams.

For betting insights, a fresh take on the day’s action as games unfold, and special promotions and offers, follow the Caesars Sportsbook social handle @CaesarsSports on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Caesars Sportsbook app is available for download on iOS or Android.

Costacos Collection Announces Inaugural NFT Drop with Baseball Legend Willie Mays

Today, the Costacos Collection announced its inaugural drop will feature one of the most respected legends in professional sports, Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays. The 90th Birthday Celebration Drop will take place this Sunday, October 24, as an ode to Willie’s iconic number and two days before the start of the 117th World Series. For the fifth year, the MVP of the Fall Classic will be recognized as the “Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player.”

Willie will be donating all proceeds from the drop to his Say Hey Foundation’s effort to honor the people who gave him a start in life, by establishing a baseball academy for underprivileged youth where he grew up in Alabama, and to restore the historic baseball facilities at Rickwood Field where Willie started his career with the Negro League Birmingham Black Barons. Mays said, “I’ve never forgotten the people who supported me, taught me, and helped me find my way. I want every child to have the same chances that I had, and this gives me a way to do that starting in my original hometown. Rickwood was the first place I ever got to see professional ballplayers, and I want these kids to learn the game and be inspired the way I was.” Rickwood Field itself serves as a central theme of the drop’s art.

The first drop tells the story of Willie’s path to the majors, from Fairfield Industrial High in Birmingham, to the Negro American League, culminating with his move to the New York Giants with whom he would win the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951. The various edition pieces capture the key themes and statistics of those periods, and the 1/1 hero piece adds to the story with a number of never-before-seen personal documents and images from Willie’s journey – most notably, a copy of Willie’s high school diploma, in which he was assigned a career in “cleaning, dyeing, and pressing.” Willie recalls that all Black kids were assigned trade careers, while white kids “on the other side of the barbed-wire fence” were able to choose their paths and professions. Willie’s journey to becoming one of America’s most beloved sports figures and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom was only possible because of baseball and the people of Fairfield and beyond who helped him chart a different path. The NFT art piece includes a voiceover in which Willie’s powerful story is told by an iconic voice of sports, Bob Costas, who will join Mays in donating to the baseball academy and Rickwood Field restoration project.

Costacos explained, “In the mid-1960s, I learned to read a box score by stealing my dad’s paper to see what magic Willie Mays had done the night before. Yet with all the historic moments in his career, Willie, the humblest GOAT you’ll ever meet, asked us to focus not on his 24 All Star Games, 2 MVP awards, World Series victory in ‘54, his 12 Gold Gloves or 660 home runs – rather, he saw this as a unique opportunity to pay tribute to his roots and earliest days growing up in Fairfield, Alabama. We’re honored to partner with the great Willie Mays and to give fans an opportunity to connect with the legend through one-of-a-kind digital art in support of the Say Hey Foundation.”

MSG Networks Announces Expanded Lineup of Sports Betting Programming

As it looks to further serve the growing sports betting market, MSG Networks today announced an expanded lineup of original sports betting programming. The expansive content push signifies the network’s continued foray into sports betting as it aims to engage fans in a fun and informative way.

The lineup will feature “Odds With Ends,” a new Sunday morning show that will air from 11:00am-12:00pm ET during the football season, with former Giants defensive end and 2x Super Bowl Champion Mathias Kiwanuka and former Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion David Tyree. The one-hour program will serve as the premier sports betting show on game days, providing fans with in-depth player analysis, game breakdowns and top picks and betting predictions in the lead-up to kickoff. Drafted in the first round in 2006, Kiwanuka went on to record 38.5 sacks during his nine seasons with the Giants, finishing ninth on the franchise’s all-time list. Tyree earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors as a special teams player with the Giants in 2005, although is most known for his iconic late game catch against his helmet in Super Bowl XLII that helped propel the Giants to victory.

As former NFL players and teammates with the Giants, Kiwanuka and Tyree will provide valuable insight and bring a unique betting perspective to the broadcast. A mix of other former New York athletes will also regularly join the show to lean into all the football betting action that day and discuss the latest betting lines and point spreads across the league. The first episode will air on Sunday, October 24th.

“As I go from the defensive line to now breaking down betting lines, I’m looking forward to connecting with the fans again every Sunday morning on MSG Networks,” said Kiwanuka. “David and I will provide fans with a unique perspective around sports betting that only former players can give. We will chop it up and deliver analysis that will be helpful for NFL fans betting on games each week.”

MSG Networks will also premiere “The Bettor Half *Hour,” a fast-paced, energetic show that will give an inside look at the sports betting landscape. Hosted by sports betting host Alex Monaco, the show will entertain, yet educate viewers on how to approach sports betting. Monaco will break down effective betting strategies, analyze the latest storylines and react to the latest odds and betting action each night. The half-hour program will include interviews with industry leaders and expert voices in the betting field that will present the viewer with even more tips, news and information. “The Bettor Half *Hour” will air at 5:00pm ET every Monday through Thursday, beginning tonight, Wednesday, October 20th.

MSG Networks’ recently launched “The Betting Exchange,” a dynamic roundtable style show that dives into the latest betting trends across the sports world. Hosted by sports betting on-air personalities Katie Mox and Jeff Johnson, the half-hour show delivers news and analysis through the sports betting lens, while also exploring and providing insight into the nuances of betting. After initially debuting as a weekly program in September, the show will now expand to four nights a week, airing Monday through Thursday at 5:30pm ET, starting tonight, Wednesday, October 20th.

A rotating mix of New York athletes, such as Tyree and former Jets safety Erik Coleman, and sports betting experts including Minty Bets, Alex Glaze and Sean Little, will regularly join Mox and Johnson each night, where they will take part in spirited and entertaining debates on everything from upcoming game lines, player props, over/under totals, future bets and more.

“With the rapid rise in sports betting interest around the country, we are excited to expand the reach of the MSG Networks brand and further immerse our fans in the sports betting culture,” said Kevin Marotta, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Content Strategy, MSG Networks. “We will significantly increase our sports betting presence with the launch of these fun and energetic shows, which will uniquely position us to become one of the premium destinations for sports betting content.”

The sports betting programming airing on MSG Networks will also be available to watch on MSG GO, the network’s live streaming and video on demand platform.

To coincide with the programming launch, MSG Networks is also significantly expanding its online presence by debuting a new social media handle on both Twitter and Instagram tied to sports betting, @MSGPlusMinus. The new handle will serve as the dedicated social media home for the network’s sports betting initiatives. The @MSGPlusMinus channels, along with MSGNetworks.com and the network’s YouTube page, will feature exclusive content, highlight top picks and drive the overall betting conversation amongst bettors each day.

MSG Networks’ expansive push into sports betting is the latest example of its commitment to innovation. In 2017, MSG Networks became the first network to offer a live fantasy/gaming infused broadcast of a live game (Knicks), in partnership with DraftKings. In 2018, MSG Networks was the first regional sports network to integrate live stats and interactive games on its MSG GO streaming app, which the network will continue to expand and build on going forward. And last year, MSG Networks became the first regional sports network to announce a standalone app, MSG Networks Pick ‘Em, for free-to-play pick ‘em-style contests. The prediction gaming app will now include new football contests for fans this season, in addition to its existing basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer offerings.

Iconic Sports Pop Culture Artist Costacos Unveils New Blockchain-based Digital Collectibles Company

Iconic, award-winning pop culture artist John Costacos, who established a genre of sports art with his famed sports personality poster creations, along with co-founder and CEO Justin Moorad and Digital Art Director Mike Campau, today unveiled a new blockchain-based digital collectibles company, the Costacos Collection.

The Costacos Collection is partnering with an initial lineup of legendary NFL, MLB, and NBA players and their charitable foundations, including Warren Moon, Troy Aikman, Pudge Rodriguez, Jim McMahon, Roger Clemens, Will Clark, and others to be announced in the coming weeks. The Costacos Collection – the predecessor of which sold over 30,000,000 posters from 1986-96 – utilizes the blockchain medium to help the world’s greatest athletes capture their most significant moments, tell their most meaningful stories, and create new digital experiences to connect with fan communities. In addition to re-imagining John’s revered poster art, the Costacos Collection is creating new digital art as NFTs, with the tokens serving as the ticket to the company’s upcoming Hall of Fame Metaverse.

The Topps Company will also be a partner of the Collection, drawing on content from its vast historical archives and working with Costacos to create new content with Topps’ current-athlete partners.

CostacosCollection.com will serve as the gateway to the company’s listings as well as post-sale experiences, which will include communities and experiences exclusive to NFT owners. The company plans to fill the gap where Big Tech’s social media has failed: enabling fans to connect with and support their heroes directly. Through community engagement features, museum-style social displays, games, raffles and giveaways, trading and staking based on live and AI-generated sporting events, and the bridging of the digital with physical items and events, the company is pursuing a vision not held back by any one particular partnership or association.

“We believe in the long-term power of the technology,” said CEO Justin Moorad. “With a chain-agnostic approach, we’re able to form partnerships across the ecosystem – from the highest-quality art minted securely on Ethereum, to games built on Solana, to opportunities for proprietary fungible tokens, the Costacos Collection is building technology that positions our athletes at the center of the evolving landscape.”

John Costacos’ posters included imagery, slogans, and nicknames that stuck with players for the rest of their careers, including his first poster, Kenny Easley’s “The Enforcer,” the Oakland A’s “Bash Brothers,” Charles Barkley’s “Get Off My Backboard,” Jerry Rice’s “Goldfingers,” Michael Jordan’s “Space, The Final Frontier,” Joe Montana’s “The Golden Great,” Jim McMahon’s “Mad Mac,” Walter Payton’s “Chicago Vice,” Rickey Henderson’s “Man of Steal,” Troy Aikman’s “Strong Arm of the Law,” and many others with athletes such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Ken Griffey Jr., Bo Jackson, John Elway, Dominique Wilkins, and Magic Johnson. In addition to working with legacy athletes, Costacos will create new digital artwork with a growing number of today’s future Hall of Famers, Rookies of the Year, and Heisman-level college athletes.

“As an athlete of color and an entrepreneur, and as someone with roots in Seattle personally and professionally, nothing exuded cool more than a Costacos poster,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. “The Costacos Collection will now be able to recapture that cool in digital art, which is going to be fun for all the veteran athletes from all sports who became part of his ‘must have collection’ as well as for a new generation who will be engaging with this unique artwork for the first time. It’s an honor to be part of this unveiling.”

“My relationship with every athlete came from listening to their creative process and thinking of what we, as fans, would want to see, and that process has never really changed over the years,” Costacos said. “The growth of digital technology gives us an exciting chance not just to offer pieces in digital form, but to take them and retell the story with the athlete’s input now 20 years later, along with all-new digital art pieces.”

“John Costacos and his artwork helped expand the reach of the most legendary athletes of a generation to fans who knew us for being in unique artwork sometimes more than what we did on the field,” said Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. “Now being able to revisit that artwork as NFTs will open new doors for fans who can collect the pieces yet again. I know for the LatinX audience that craves connecting with its heroes, this will be a fun and unique experience that should open more opportunities for NFTs as well.”

Completion Of Unikrn Deal Underpins Entain’s Launch Into Esports Wagering In 2022

Entain, the leading global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment operator, has completed its acquisition of the assets of Unikrn, a leader in esports betting and skill-based wagering. The deal paves the way for Entain to launch innovative new esports products for customers in 2022.

Entain has bought the technology, products, platform, and brand from Unikrn which, together with its 50-strong international team, will spearhead its launch on a global scale.  Justin Dellario, who recently joined Entain from Twitch as Managing Director of Esports, is leading the push into this new market as part of a greater drive into interactive entertainment. 

Unikrn is known for a suite of products and services, including U-Mode, which stands out in the market for enabling gamers to bet on their own ranked matches in some of the world’s most competitive video game titles, and Streamer Bet, their AI-powered real-time updating odds for betting on Twitch streams.

“Entain is all about creating exciting and innovative products for our customers. With Unikrn, we’ll now be able to offer competitive gamers and esports fans alike rewarding experiences surrounding the games and events they love,” Justin Dellario said.

Esports is now established as a mainstream sport, with over 450 million gamers aged 18-35.   Entain believes that many of these have strong potential to become new customers in other areas of its business, recently noting that video gamers are more than four times more likely to participate in sports-betting and iGaming than others in the same demographic.

Entain will extend its safer gaming initiatives and player protections to new customers across skills-based wagering in sports, and interactive entertainment products. Through its not-for-profit Entain Foundation, The Group has also forged partnerships with external organisations to provide education and support to players at potential risk of gaming disorder. These include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, which represents professional players across esports, Kindbridge and Rise Above the Disorder.

TeamWorks Media Launches La Vida Sports

TeamWorks Media, the parent company of La Vida Baseball, today announced the launch of La Vida Sports, a newly created business to connect brands, media companies and content creators with the LatinX community, the largest growing and most underserved demographic in the U.S. La Vida Sports is a natural progression of TeamWorks Media’s development and growth of La Vida Baseball which launched in 2017. More than $10 million of investment capital has been committed to develop La Vida Baseball and La Vida Sports.

“We have had a growing number of clients, from brands to media companies to leagues and teams, come to us and say ‘we’ve seen how your reaching the LatinX audience through baseball, but we’d like you to help us with our ability to connect with audience in other ways’ to the point where we know we are responding to an important business need,” said Jay Sharman, CEO of TeamWorks Media. “Our opportunity is to help solve this gap for clients to connect with English, Spanish and bilingual fans by leveraging our decades of experience producing engaging content and building media platforms to the vital and underserved Latinx audience. Very few have the track record or cultural understanding of the Latinx audience like our La Vida Sports team does and we are excited about this opportunity to empower millions of fans at the intersection of culture and sports.”

“We’ve demonstrated the concept of building an engaged audience and delivering culturally relevant content,” said Jesse Menendez, Managing Director of La Vida Baseball. “What we do within La Vida Baseball has always been transferable. We’re expert storytellers and each sport is brimming with incredible Latinx stories that demand to be told. We’ve supported others with their engagement within the Latinx space; so now to meet the demand for culturally rich content, we are proud to expand our scope with the launch of La Vida Sports.”

Menendez further added, “This move allows us to expand our mission beyond one sport. We truly believe in creating inroads into the Latinx community in a way that amplifies the incredible stories that exist. We’ve done this for current partners at Marquee Sports Network, NBC Sports Chicago, Minute Media and look forward to many more.”

La Vida Sports contains three business units, delivering both Spanish and English language solutions:

Consulting – Research clients’ existing approach to the LatinX marketplace, build new revenue-generating roadmaps, and implement new creative strategies and execution plans.

Content Studios – Expand existing resources to create, execute and manage turn-key Latinx-focused content solutions for media companies and brands, similar to La Vida Baseball’s recent projects with Turner Sports, MLB, NBC Sports, Topps, Goose Island and the Smithsonian.

Media Publishing – La Vida Baseball, the four-year old LatinX baseball and culture media company, provides daily, year-round content to US & Latin American baseball fans reaching 10 million per month. A trusted award-winning supplier, La Vida Baseball is currently producing primetime TV content for NBC Sports Chicago, Marquee Sports Network and will have new content partnerships to announce soon.

“La Vida Baseball has a stellar reputation in the industry for creating culturally relevant sports lifestyle content,” added Carlos Sanchez, EVP and GM, FOX Deportes. “The expansion to create a company dedicated to connecting with the rapidly growing US LatinX population in both English and Spanish through all sports makes a ton of sense given the momentum in the marketplace and brands’ increased awareness of this important audience.”

In recent months, TeamWorks Media has launched a partnership with NBC Sports Chicago for content around Ozzie Guillen and his sons, ‘Being Guillén,’ with other projects that include ‘Locker Room Talk’, a weekly show highlighting the achievements of women and Latinas in sports hosted by Julie Alexandria and Jennifer Mercedes, ‘Pólvora, Voz & Diamante’, a high-energy Spanish language show hosted by Jesse Castillo, a two-time Mexican League MVP, Polo Ascencio, the Cardinals Spanish language broadcaster, and Mexican rock star Pliego Villarreal, as well as a Latino Heritage Month show on Chicago Cubs Marquee Sports Network.

More programs and a now expanded portfolio outside of baseball will be coming in the fourth quarter and in 2022.

Electronic Gaming Federation To Launch Season Three With New Titles and Over 100 Teams

The Electronic Gaming Federation, the national governing body for formalized collegiate D-I esports and high school level leagues, today announced their most comprehensive lineup for both games and participating schools in the organizations three year history. The season three of EGF will have participation from over 100 teams representing 60 colleges and universities from across the country,  as well as full participation from both the MAAC and BIG EAST Conferences returning. EGF will run leagues for Rocket League, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and FIFA 21 as well as adding CS:GO and Chess to their growing list of supported titles. Play begins on Friday October 8 with live streams being broadcast on twitch.tv/officialegf..

“Our goal with season three was to continue to bring uniformity, consistency and a continued raised quality of play to EGF events, and we see by the increased number of schools, increased games and expanded and inclusive format we can say mission accomplished,”  said Tyler Schrodt Founder of the Electronic Gaming Federation. “Most importantly this fall will set the tone for aggressive and calculated expansion into the winter and spring, with our goal of having the largest, most comprehensive Division I esports competition in place well ahead of our five year goal.”

In addition, the organization will also begin its expansive high school program, EGFH, with 600 teams concluding with a National Championship to be played in-person at ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in June. 

New schools for the fall include:  Iona College, Bowling Green State University, University of Montana, University of South Alabama, and Washington State University for this fall, with over 100 schools expected to compete in EGF events this coming spring as well.

NLL To Support National Day for Truth and Reconciliation With Season-Long Helmet Decal, Initiatives

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, today announced its support of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a series of initiatives that begin today and will continue throughout the upcoming 2021-22 season. The season-long program will start with a specially designed decal to be worn on all player helmets, an in-depth story with Halifax Thunderbirds player Cody Jamieson about the impact of the residential schools on his life, and more to come through the 2021-22 season. This is the first in a series of Social Responsibility programs that the league and its teams will be part of in the coming year.

“Having the opportunity to spend several days in Six Nations, learning of the history of the residential schools and touring one of the schools when I first became Commissioner was an experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget. The NLL is humbled, very proud and honored to support all the efforts by our teams and players in this important recognition of a sacred day,” said Nick Sakiewicz, NLL Commissioner. “Indigenous culture is indelibly tied into the sport of lacrosse, and we are proud that so many across the league want to support these initiatives to remember, reflect, honor and most importantly influence positive change.”

This program is inspired by its teams and players, including Halifax owner/GM Curt Styres and equipment manager Dave Sowden, who have shared their design of a leftward-facing palm print and feathers to be used by all teams for the 2021-22 season in the form of a decal to acknowledge the ‘Every Child Matters’ movement.

“We thank the other NLL teams for their support and appreciate that they will also be adding the Every Child Matter decals to their helmets for this season,” said Curt Styres. “We see this as a time of healing and we want to be here to support any way that we can and encourage everyone to become educated on the history of residential schools, become aware, increase awareness and reach out in their communities to see what can be done to help.”

Designated by the Canadian government as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation beginning last year, on September 30, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada.

For the most up to date information and breaking news, sign up for the NLL newsletter at NLL.com. Also follow Deputy Commissioner Jessica Berman and Commissioner Sakiewicz on Twitter @JessicaBerman1 and @NLLcommish, respectively.

Image: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

BetMGM Announces Content Partnership with Bill Burr and All Things Comedy

BetMGM, a leading sports betting and iGaming company, announced today a content partnership with comedian Bill Burr and All Things Comedy, the leading comedy podcast network. BetMGM’s sportsbook data and promotional offers will be integrated into the All Things Comedy-produced podcasts, “Anything Better” hosted by Bill Burr and Paul Virzi, as well as into episodes of Burr’s “Monday Morning Podcast” and YouTube channel.

“You gotta have some juice on the game, otherwise what are we doing? Sitting outside eating hot dogs?” said Burr.

Burr is a top comedic voice, achieving success in TV and film as well as on stage. The comedian’s animated Netflix series F Is For Family joins Burr with actors Laura Dern, Justin Long and Sam Rockwell and is scheduled to premiere its fifth and final season in late 2021.

Burr starred opposite Pete Davidson and Marisa Tomei in the Judd Apatow film, The King of Staten Island, and stars as Mayfeld in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. He also was just seen in a guest role on the hit FX on Hulu series, Reservation Dogs. In September 2019, he released his sixth hour-long comedy special, Bill Burr: Paper Tiger, which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award, was recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall and streams on Netflix.

Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM, said, “Bill Burr has one of the funniest, most distinctive and outspoken voices in comedy. We look forward to seeing BetMGM content incorporated into his Podcast and broader social channels.”

The BetMGM app is available on both iOS and Android, as well as accessible via desktop. As BetMGM continues to expand to new areas, responsible gaming education remains a key focus. BetMGM is proud to provide resources to help customers play responsibly. For more information on BetMGM, follow @BetMGM on Twitter.