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Downtown Phoenix transforms into fan hub for NCAA Men’s Final Four

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Come ready to play in Phoenix: free concerts, fan fest, and much more

PHOENIX, March 29, 2017 /360WiseNews/ — Final Four weekend is a four-day celebration of student-athletes, basketball and the spirit of collegiate athletics. The Final Four is a culmination of March Madness, where four teams advance to compete for a national title at the University of Phoenix Stadium April 1 and April 3. The Valley of the Sun will transform like it never has before. Families, music and sport lovers alike will all find special ways to enjoy Final Four weekend. From low-to-no cost fan events to the big games at the stadium, there is something for everyone.

These four teams are heading to Phoenix: South Carolina Gamecocks, North Carolina Tar Heels, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Oregon Ducks. While North Carolina and Oregon are no strangers to the Final Four, the others on this year’s roster will be navigating uncharted territory. The big game will be played in Glendale; the majority of fan-centric activities will take place downtown Phoenix.

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  • Get outside: If you were at home you’d probably need to head to your indoor gym for exercise, but not in Phoenix. Here, you can leave the treadmill behind and hit a number of mountain trails all just a short drive from downtown (South Mountain, Piestawa Peak, Camelback and Phoenix Mountains). If hiking is not your thing, then hit the tamer trails and paths at Desert Botanical garden: no hiking boots required. Or try biking. Downtown Phoenix offers bike rentals through Grid Bike Share. Explore our quirky arts district, historic neighborhoods or explore the canals on wheels instead of foot.
  • Discover Native Ways: American Indians and the Southwest: Home to 22 federally-recognized tribes, Arizona’s American Indian influence and culture is vibrant today and a true testament to our history. Take the light rail to the Heard Museum featuring Native American art and history; or to Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park located on Hohokam ruins dating back 1,500 years. You can also hop on a trolley tour for a cultural and history tour of downtown Phoenix.
  • Hone in on your artsy vibe. Phoenix is a burgeoning hot bed of creative artists featuring murals and sculptures from artists such as Thomas “Breeze” Marcus.  Stroll along Roosevelt Row or the blossoming Grand Avenue Arts District to find some idyllic back-drops for that perfect selfie.
  • Get soiled. Yes, you may think rolling tumbleweeds and the desert – But did you know, that the Sonoran Desert is actually the wettest desert in the world averaging seven inches of rainfall annually making it one of the most fertile desert landscapes for crop production. Check out these farms within a short trek of downtown Phoenix featuring local farmers, eateries and artisans. The Farm at South Mountain, The Orchard and downtown’s Open Air Market (every Saturday).These thriving desert farms supply various restaurants crafting exquisite culinary creations from gourmet foodhalls to local neighborhood gems.
  • Cocktail hour in Phoenix. Quench your thirst with some tasty cocktails crafted in Phoenix from acclaimed mixologists like Ross Simon who is putting Phoenix on the map with his cocktail parlour Bitter & Twisted – gaining national attention after being nominated for the ‘Oscars’ of bartending Tales of  the Cocktail Awards. Get hoppy with local craft brew finds incorporating local ingredients such as ancient wheat grains or downtown breweries bringing national attention to our beer scene such as Mother Bunch Brewing.
  • Check out our latest Food Talkies series (Phoenix Food Videos) and Soul of Phoenix videos featuring local Phoenix stories.

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Eli Manning Named Celebrity Guest for 2017 FedExFamilyHouse Gala

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Chris and Debby Wallace to serve as Honorary Chairs

Tony and Desiree Allen to serve as Late Night Lounge Honorary Chairs

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 6, 2017 /360WiseNews/ — NFL Quarterback Eli Manning will join Gala guests at the 2017 FedExFamilyHouse Gala on Sat., April 8, at the Peabody Hotel.

As starting quarterback of the New York Giants, Eli Manning has led his team to two Super Bowl championships while winning Super Bowl MVP honors each time. Part of an exceptional football family, Manning carries the torch honoring their great quarterback legacy and has established himself as a strong team leader and a fan favorite.

Chris and Debby Wallace will serve as honorary chairs. Wallace joined the Memphis Grizzlies as general manager and vice president of basketball operations in June 2007. A familiar face in the community, Wallace has been a stable presence throughout the team’s successful run of six consecutive playoff appearances. Debby is a community philanthropist and long-time volunteer who enjoys spending time advocating for FedExFamilyHouse.

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Logo Brands Scores New Rights for NFL and Super Bowl Products

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Expands rights for tailgate and outdoor lifestyle categories

FRANKLIN, Tenn., March 1, 2017 /360WiseNews/ — Logo Brands, a premier manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle products, has entered into a multi-year agreement with The National Football League Consumer Products. This co-exclusive partnership expands Logo Brands’ rights to now manufacture and distribute NFL team identified and Super Bowl identified tailgate and outdoor lifestyle enthusiast products. Tailgate items, such as portable chairs and tents, have been product staples for Logo Brands for over a decade.

“We are excited to be expanding our partnership with Logo Brands. Tailgating is such a huge part of NFL culture, and the gameday experience specifically. Having a great partner like Logo Brands ensures we will have a full assortment of product for all our fans,” stated Jennifer Gray, NFL Director of Licensing.

The expanded partnership, which will take effect on April 1, 2017, will give Logo Brands NFL rights to portable tables, portable chairs, portable tents, coolers, totes, caddys, camping and beach tents and canopies, beach umbrellas, event shelters and gazebos. Keep Reading

Diverse Offerings Amp Up Consumer Spending on Recreation

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Above-Average Growth Expected for Live Entertainment, Spectator Sports

CLEVELAND, Feb. 22, 2017 /360WiseNews/ — US consumer spending on recreation services is forecast to rise 3.4% annually to 2021, according to Recreation: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Faster gains are expected in the Live Entertainment and Spectator Sports segments of the market, bolstered by growth in disposable personal income and a shift in consumer preference toward spending on experiences rather than possessions.

In addition, recreation providers are appealing to an increasingly diverse population with new amenities and entertainment offerings. Features such as nursing suites in sports stadiums cater to a growing base of female sports fans. In the Live Entertainment segment, diverse musical acts are drawing consumers of various ages to music festivals. For example, Goldenvoice’s Desert Trip festival in October 2016 featured notable musicians and groups that are especially appealing to baby boomers, such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

These and other key insights are featured in Recreation: United States. This report forecasts US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) on recreation services in US dollars to 2020. Total spending is segmented by service in terms of:

  • gambling
  • amusement parks and related services
  • clubs and participant sports
  • live entertainment
  • spectator sports
  • movie theaters
  • museums and libraries.

To illustrate historical trends, total PCE and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2005 to 2015.

More information about the report is available at

About Freedonia Focus Reports
Each month, The Freedonia Group – a division of – publishes over 20 new or updated Freedonia Focus Reports, providing fresh, unbiased analysis on a wide variety of markets and industries. Published in 20-30 pages, Focus Report coverage ranges from raw materials to finished manufactured goods and related services such as freight and construction. Additional Consumer Goods reports can be purchased at Keep Reading

Basketball Legend Charles Oakley Signs On With BIG3

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NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2017 /360WiseNews/ — The BIG3, the highly anticipated 3-on-3 professional basketball league, announced today New York Knicks legend and NBA All-Star Charles Oakley will serve as a player coach of the Killer 3s, the newly announced BIG3 team with superstar captain Chauncey Billups and co-captain Stephen Jackson in the league’s inaugural season.

The renowned defensive specialist Oakley showed remarkable durability and commitment during 19 of the most physical years in the NBA; Oakley is 18th all-time in NBA games played and 21st all-time in rebounds.  He is most famous for 10 electrifying seasons in New York in which Oakley and the Knicks made the playoffs every year. Oakley became a fan favorite for his rugged style of play, determination, and love of his team and city.  In the ’94 season he started every single regular season and playoff game for the Knicks for an NBA record 107 starts in a single season.  Oakley was named to the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA All-Defensive First Team that same year.  He was also named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1986 and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1998.  Most importantly, he was beloved by his teammates and always respected by his fellow competitors.

“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this league,” said Oakley.  “Everyone seems to realize we are about to make history together as players. What an exciting opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best ever.”

The BIG3 has recently revealed the names of the first three teams, as well as each team’s captains. Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams will captain the 3 Headed Monsters, Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington will captain the Trilogy and Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson will captain the Killer 3s. Each Wednesday, the league will announce one of the remaining team names and captains.

BIG3 founder and lifelong Knicks fan Jeff Kwatinetz noted, “Charles Oakley will forever be one of the greatest players I ever witnessed play the game.  Through his remarkable dedication to his team and willingness to leave everything he had on the floor night after night, he exemplified to me what defines a true legend.  His style of play and toughness will always be seared into my memory as the bedrock of my love for the Knicks.  It’s a personal inspiration and honor to welcome one of my heroes to our league.”

The BIG3, which was founded by producer, actor and music legend Ice Cube, and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, will tip off in late June following the NBA Finals with former Deputy Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, Roger Mason Jr. at the helm as President & Commissioner.

“The players and coaches are our central focus at the BIG3.  Charles Oakley is an NBA legend, who deserves and has earned respect, and will get just that in our league,” said Founder Ice Cube.

“When I reached out to Charles about joining BIG3, it was as a fan and fellow player.  I’ve looked up to him as so many players have and am very excited he is joining the BIG3 family,” added Roger Mason Jr.

Games will be played every week starting in June in a different arena and city across the country, with full schedule of dates and venues being announced on March 12, 2017.  All four games will take place on the same day in the same venue, so that fans will be able to see all of their favorite NBA superstars at one time.

Launched Jan. 11, the BIG3 will bring 3-on-3 half-court basketball, one of the most popular formats of the game worldwide, to arenas around the country this summer.  With a player-focused structure and fan-centric experience, the BIG3 will feature fast-paced, highly-skilled, exciting and engaging play featuring legendary players and coaches. Keep Reading

Marco’s Pizza Offers Fans Big Savings for the Big Gam

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Expandable Big Game Packages Add Large 1-Topping Pizzas for Just $7

CLEVELAND, Feb. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ 360WiseNews/– Americans will be hosting parties to watch the “Big Game,” from celebrations with just the immediate family to large gatherings with friends and co-workers. To accommodate the range of party sizes, Marco’s Pizza is offering Expandable Big Game Packages.

The smallest package starts with a Large 1-Topping Pizza, CheezyBread and 2-Liter for just $17.  Each additional package adds another Large 1-Topping Pizza for just $7 more. Up to four $7 Large 1-Topping Pizzas can be added. These packages are so special, they’re only available online. Go to or Marco’s Facebook page for details.

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Packers-Falcons NFC matchup expected to produce big offense

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(AP) — The high-scoring offenses of the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers appear poised to provide a memorable send-off for the Georgia Dome.

Factor in the teams’ leaky defenses, and Sunday’s NFC championship game could surge past the unusually high over/under of 60½ points set by the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

The Falcons led the NFL in scoring . Even so, they know it won’t be easy to keep up with the scoring pace set by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

“It’s obvious they’ve got a stud at quarterback,” Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews said Tuesday. “We’ve played a lot of great teams with great players at quarterback. … Whatever it takes, we just have to put up as many points as we need to.”

Matthews said the weekly message from offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is “I don’t know if we’re going to have to win 6-3 or 40-37.”

Of those alternatives, 40-37 appears to be the more likely target, in part because the Atlanta and Green Bay defenses don’t dominate the statistics like their offensive counterparts.

Shanahan is a leading candidate in the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching search.

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