Sports News for New Jersey Sat, 10 Oct 2015 16:01:07 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Devils Cool Mask Promo Scores On A Hot Day 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO

The New Jersey Devils have spent the offseason telling the world that “new” is the buzzword around their home, The Prudential Center in Newark. As their cross river rivals the Rangers continue to improve on the ice, and the upstart Islanders move into their first season at Brooklyn’ Barclays Center coming off their best season in years, New Jersey has its business challenges; they are third in a three team market in terms of production on the ice, and must continue to battle years of lack of promotion of their star players to continue to gain market share for their new owners.

Now there is no doubt the team has made strides in and around New Jersey since their ownership change in terms of brand identity. Even in the final years of owner Jeff Vanderbeek, the team made digital and social engagement a priority, and they came, and continue to be, one of the most digital savvy franchises in the teach-friendly world of the NHL. In recent years they have extended their brand even more into the community, building affinity town by town. Now with new leadership on the ice, the latest move being longtime GM Lou Lamoriello’s departure for Toronto last week, the team will probably be more aggressive in marketing their stars and personalities, especially their younger, rising stars, than ever before, and the offseason is no time to waste in doing so.

Professional Fri, 14 Aug 2015 14:31:53 +0000
Seventeen Years In, The Jackals Continue To Score 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO

The state of New Jersey is certainly not at a loss for quality minor league baseball entertainment. Affiliated teams like the Lakewood Blue Claws and the Trenton Thunder as well as the independent Atlantic League’s Camden Riversharks and Somerset Patriots are constantly on the top of the list for not just being innovative but for running smart and effective businesses with respected brands. Just to the north the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League have spent marketing and media dollars trying to impact not just New York state but adjacent Bergen County as well, drawing some affluent families for a night of fun at Provident Bank Ballpark.

However in the middle of all that fun remains a minor league stalwart with a unique partnership in the New Jersey Jackals. The jackals, also in the Indy Can-Am league now (they have spent time in the short-lived Northeast league and the Northern league as well) have called the growing area in and around Montclair and Little Falls home for an amazing 17 years now, drawing fans to Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University with the promise of affordable fun, free parking, and a great day enjoying baseball, usually at a pretty fast pace. This past Wednesday, an 11 am start had stands full of young campers and groups of all kinds, with mascot Jack the Jackal keeping people entertained between innings. Those who turned out for the early start even got to witness baseball history of sorts, as Jersey swiped 11 bases, a Can-Am League and team record, in a two hour, 20 minute rout of the visiting Fargo-Morehead Redhawks.

Professional Fri, 24 Jul 2015 02:37:40 +0000
Red Bulls Add Partners: Continue To Grow The Business 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO

There was a time not too long ago when the Red Bulls played to the notion that star power and the value of their parent company’s marketing would drive buzz and attendance and build the following of the team. They had a new stadium, several global stars, success on the pitch and were the only soccer show in town. Roll out the balls, serve up some Red Bull and the stadium will fill.

That didn’t really work as well as could be. In the last few years, partially with a change in club management on and off the field, partially because of the increasing shift of the marketplace with not just one aggressive club (NYCFC) but two (the always pushing NASL Cosmos) the Red Bulls have been on a team on the change. Marketing has increased at the grassroots level, viewing parties have been expanded in the area on both sides of the river and a more aggressive tact on communications and team-specific digital campaigns have all been rolled out. On the field, a lessening of international flash and a strengthening of cohesive team play has led to the development more of home grown talent, which has also added to a growth of brand in the local soccer community.

Professional Fri, 17 Jul 2015 03:12:06 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Knicks Note To Porzingis And Jackson: We’re Sorry New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER

Of those that bashed Knicks President Phil Jackson for taking Kristaps Porzingis fourth in the draft three weeks ago, some would be equally outraged today if he was traded for Jalil Okafor.

How crazy is that?

The 19-year-old Latvian is doing everything people said he couldn’t do, already proving he’s more Dolph Lundgren than Andrea Bargnani.

“I surprised people who had never seen me play before,” said the 7’3” rookie after nine points while matched against Jalil Okafor during Tuesday’s Knicks NBA Summer League win over the Sixers in Las Vegas. “They thought the skinny guy from overseas can’t play.”

Indeed they did. I did. Heck, most of us did.

After handling his draft night boos shower with aplomb, Porzingis’ Vegas performance has made many swallow their ire. We thought he’d be a soft, jump shooting, defensive liability. What’s worst, Porzingis was associated with the dreaded P word: project.

Professional Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:24:42 +0000
NJ Softball Dads Fight it Out on YouTube (VIDEO) softballdads072015_optBY BOB HOLT

The opening of the United States Specialty Sports Association girls’ softball World Series began in Maryland this week.

Parents once again took over the spotlight from their children the first night. Two of the girls’ fathers from New Jersey would have done their daughters well to stay home on Tuesday.

WJLA reports that according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office, 48-year-old Michael Barbella and 45-year-old Michael Duffy engaged in a violent fight at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday outside the civic center while opening ceremonies were taking place. "We're aware that an incident took place outside the civic center that had nothing to do with the event whatsoever," said organization director Bill Dowell. reported that a video of the fight was recorded, and posted on You Tube. Barbella, of Ventnor, challenged Duffy, of Mays Landing, to a fight through text messages, according to authorities. The fight was reportedly over why Barbella’s daughter was taken off the team.

Professional Sat, 18 Jul 2015 16:39:22 +0000
Women’s World Cup Soccer Success; What’s Next? 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO

Monday Women’s World Cup hero and New Jersey native Carli Lloyd appeared on The CBS Morning Show, just one of a host of late night/early morning stops the U. S. Women’s National team, and her teammates would be making on this whirlwind tour celebrating their 5-2 win over Japan on Sunday night. However what was even more impressive, and led more hope to the cause that women’s soccer might be turning a big page, was the commercial leading into Lloyd’s appearance with her teammate Christen Press, for Coppertone.

The fact that brands had engaged and had gotten ROI going into World Cup, not just with one player but with a sold half dozen, shows how far the sport has come, and the marketability of these telegenic, engaging and hardworking athletes.

The numbers as a first look soundbites are impressive, but they should be, given the younger interest in soccer and all the hype around the event; Fox and Telemundo finished with a combined 26.7 million viewers for the U.S.-Japan FIFA Women’s World Cup final last night, marking the most-viewed soccer match ever on U.S. TV. The match passed the ’14 men’s World Cup final, which saw ABC and Univision draw 26.5 million viewers for Germany-Argentina. Outside the U.S., Fuji TV drew 9.3 million viewers to the Japan semifinal match against England and large audiences tuned in in every soccer-loving and engaged nation across the world.

Professional Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:32:22 +0000
300 Words Or Less: JPP’s Leaked Medical Record Causes Leaky Ethical Arguments New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER

This Jason Pierre-Paul story has people being very hypocritical trying to sound like Hippocrates.

Hippocrates is considered the Father of Western Medicine.

Of course it’s wrong, legally and ethically, that someone leaked JPP’s medical record to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, revealing the New York Giants defensive end's finger amputation. Most journalists and fans say Schefter could have reported it without showing the documentation.

Hold it right there.

Many reporters acknowledge they couldn’t pass up delivering the JPP amputation scoop, but insist they’d never “cross the line” ethically by publishing JPP’s record. Technically however, once JPP’s amputation was revealed, wasn’t his medical privacy already invaded, with or without written documentation?

Professional Thu, 09 Jul 2015 13:51:37 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Knicks Learn Free Agents Are Like Boxes Of Ziti New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER

There’s that memorable Sopranos episode centered on the Executive Game, where the poker players guard against possible FBI eavesdropping, referring to large sums of money bet as “boxes of ziti,” with Tony rejecting a friend trying to enter.

“Sorry, this game is only for high rollers,” Soprano says, before the friend later sneaks in anyway, unlike Phil Jackson, who couldn’t land a seat at the table this week with top NBA free agents. DeAndre Jordan’s meeting was more a courtesy call, and LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly cancelled upon learning Jackson wanted to move the league’s best power forward to center.

While elite players are avoiding the Knicks because they’re not championship timbre, most expected Jackson to at least go down fighting. Hypothetically however, if Aldridge was paired with Carmelo Anthony and another decent signee, wouldn’t the Knicks, albeit not the best, immediately become one of the East’s better teams?

It appears Jackson’s ability to better pitch the Knicks is due more to his increasingly perceived inability to turn them around. Players publicly praise him, but the younger stars especially may view Jackson as the wise old grandfather whose time has passed, respected but also avoided at family gatherings.

Professional Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:38:50 +0000
Cooper Fortney Represents NJ Surfers fortneycooper070715_optBY BOB HOLT

While most of the local sports excitement has been with Mt. Laurel resident Carli Lloyd leading the USA Women’s soccer team to the World Cup, a kid from Manasquan has been out in California making his mark.

The results are in for the 2015 National Scholastic Surfing Association Interscholastic Championships, and the news is good for New Jersey’s Cooper Fortney.

In a two-day tournament in June, The Orange County Register reports that Fortney took first place in the High School Longboard Division. Kirk Weissinger of Huntington Beach High School took overall men’s honors, and San Clemente’s Shorecliffs Middle School won its 12th NSSA title.

Professional Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:24:33 +0000
Special Olympics New Jersey, A Look back To A Successful Games, A Look Ahead To The World Games 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO

In less than a month, the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games will open in Los Angeles, California. The 2015 Games will feature competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and many other summer sports involving 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world. Some of that impact will be experienced and felt in New Jersey, which just over a year ago hosted one of the most successful events, the Special Olympics National Games at sites all over the state.

The resonation from those Games, combined with the World Summer Games, continues to grow, so we caught ip with Heather Bell Andersen, , Chief Marketing Officer for Special Olympics New Jersey to talk a bit about what is coming up, and how last year impacted the state and the organization for years to come.

Having gone through such a major event in New Jersey last year for Special Olympics, what advice if any have you passed along to the folks in Los Angeles for this year?

Each Special Olympics Games has its own Games Organizing Committee that completely organizes the event. As the host state, the best advice we would offer to Special Olympics Southern California would be to take every opportunity they have to piggy-back off of the exposure, experiences and any sponsorship/support opportunities from the World Games.

Professional Fri, 03 Jul 2015 02:51:31 +0000