Thursday’s announcement confirmed what was expected: the Phoenix Suns, with a league-best 29-11 record, will have two representatives at the All-Star Game. Devin Booker and Chris Paul were selected as reserves, making it the first time since 2000 that the Suns have had two All-Stars. Both players have been instrumental in the Suns’ success this season, with Booker averaging 24.8 points and Paul averaging 16.1 points and 8.7 assists per game. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz also made NBA history, with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell becoming the first teammates in franchise history to be chosen as All-Star reserves in the same season. Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is averaging 13.9 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. Mitchell, who made the All-Star team for the third time in his career, is averaging 24.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. On Thursday, sports journalists across the globe celebrated the NBA’s decision to select Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell as All-Star reserves. The Phoenix Suns, with a league-best 29-11 record, now have two All-Star players, while the Utah Jazz also made franchise history by having two representatives in the same season. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers were represented by guard Darius Garland, who was chosen as the sole All-Star from the Eastern Conference. Fans can look forward to cheering on these four talented players when they come together for the All-Star Game on February 20th.
Baylor’s 19-Year Streak in AP Women’s College Basketball Rankings Ends
After 19 years and 365 polls, Baylor’s streak in the Associated Press women’s college basketball rankings is over.
Ranked since January 5th, 2004 and having spent 21 weeks as the number one team in 2011-12, only Tennessee and UConn have had longer streaks in the history of the poll. Meanwhile, South Carolina has held onto the number one spot for 30 consecutive weeks, tying UConn for fourth longest all-time.
Ohio State took advantage of recent losses by other teams and has moved up to number two, their highest ranking since 2006, while LSU is now third, their highest mark since 2006. South Carolina and LSU are two of the three remaining unbeaten teams, the other being Ohio State.
Designer Thom Browne Wins Legal Battle Against Adidas Over Stripes
In a court spat with sportswear behemoth Adidas over the use of distinctive stripes on high-end athletic apparel and accessories, fashion designer Thom Browne prevailed. Adidas had accused Browne of utilizing striped patterns that were too similar to the brand’s signature three stripes, but a jury in a federal court in Manhattan found in favor of Browne.
Browne, who is renowned for his dramatic runway performances, started selling clothes in 2001 and has since achieved great success as a fashion designer. More than 300 sites throughout the world currently exhibit Browne’s business. Adidas said in a statement that they will “vigilantly enforce our intellectual property, including filing any required appeals,” suggesting that their battle may not yet be done.
Under Armour Challenges Nike and Adidas with New CEO Stephanie Linnartz
Under Armour on Wednesday named hotelier Stephanie Linnartz as its new chief executive, banking on her expertise in e-commerce and branding strategy to reinvigorate the apparel maker’s sales.
Facing the challenge of weakening demand due to high inflation, Under Armour revised its annual guidance last month and its stock has dropped more than 50% this year.
The company, whose product lines are endorsed by actor Dwayne Johnson and NBA’s Stephen Curry, is also facing stiff competition from Nike, which had a strong quarter and is working to solve its inventory woes.
Under Armour’s new hire, who will join on February 27, is an outside-the-industry move akin to Nike’s appointment of eBay’s former CEO John Donahoe in 2017 to strengthen its online strategy.
Linnartz, who currently serves as president of Marriott International, will receive a base salary of $1.3 million and a one-time sign-on bonus of $375,000.
Patrik Frisk, who stepped down in June after two years on the job, will be replaced by Linnartz while interim CEO Colin Browne will resume his role as chief operating officer.
Under Armour’s stock fell 2% in aftermarket trading following the news.
Sports fans have their eyes on Under Armour’s new CEO Stephanie Linnartz as she joins the Baltimore-based company with the task of reviving its sales. With her background in e-commerce, branding strategy and Marriott’s digital strategy and membership programs, the veteran hotelier has the expertise to help Under Armour compete with Nike and Adidas AG. Linnartz’s appointment comes as an outside-the-industry move similar to Nike’s three years ago, and her one-time $375,000 sign-on bonus shows the company is betting on her success.
Ja Morant restores young fan’s faith in humanity with selfless act
In a heartwarming display of sportsmanship, Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant stepped up to help a young fan in distress. 11-year-old Ellie Hughes, a devoted Grizzlies fan from Forrest City, Arkansas, had her prized basketball, which she had collected signatures from players on for the past six years, stolen during Monday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
But Morant, who had heard of the incident through social media, reached out to Hughes’ family and invited her to Wednesday night’s rematch against the Spurs. Not only did he give her his game-worn jersey, but he also gifted her a pair of his highly-coveted Ja 1 Nike shoes, which haven’t been released to the public yet.
“It’s something I pretty much love to do,” said Morant of his act of kindness. “You touch somebody’s heart like that. A big fan of the Grizzlies for years. It’s moments like that that mean the most to them. Something they will never forget.”
The Grizzlies guard also put on a show on the court, scoring 38 points and leading the team to a 135-129 victory over the Spurs for their season-high eighth straight win. Morant, who had missed the previous two games due to a thigh injury, shot 14 of 25 from the field and had a highlight-reel dunk over Spurs center Jakob Poeltl with 3:35 remaining in the game to secure the win for Memphis.
The Big 5: Uncovering the Top US Sports Marketing Agencies
Sports marketing is a booming industry in the US, and the number of sports marketing agencies continues to grow. With a variety of different agencies catering to different areas of sports marketing, it can be tough to identify the top ones. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the top US-based sports marketing agencies and some of their more prominent clients.
1. Octagon: Octagon is one of the largest sports marketing agencies in the US. Some of their most notable clients include the NFL, NBA, NHL, and PGA Tour. They specialize in marketing partnerships, media rights, event operations, and athlete representation.
2. Wasserman: Wasserman is a full-service sports marketing agency that works with some of the biggest brands in the world. Their clients include Nike, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft. They specialize in athlete representation, content production, brand activation, and digital media.
3. IMG: With offices around the world, IMG is one of the most recognizable names in the sports marketing industry. They have worked with some of the biggest names in sports including the NBA, NFL, and PGA Tour. They specialize in event marketing, athlete representation, media rights, and licensing. 4. CSM: CSM is a full-service sports marketing agency that works with some of the biggest sports leagues and teams in the US. Some of their more prominent clients include the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. They specialize in event management, sponsorship, and digital media.
5. Lagardère Sports: Lagardère Sports is a global sports marketing agency that has worked with some of the biggest names in sports. Some of their notable clients include the NBA, NFL, MLB, and FIFA. They specialize in event management, sponsorship, and athlete representation. These five sports marketing agencies are some of the top names in the US. Each one specializes in different areas of sports marketing, and they have worked with some of the most prominent names in sports. Whether you’re looking for brand activation, event production, or athlete representation, these agencies can help you get the most out of your sports marketing efforts.
Concordia Coach Suspended After Players Hospitalized Following Intense Workout
After five players from the Concordia Cougars Division III basketball team were hospitalized following a high-intensity workout on the 31st of December, the university’s athletic director, Pete Gnan, sent a letter to families stating that the intensity of the practice was a consequence of players breaking curfew while on a late December trip to California.
The five players were hospitalized between the 2nd and 4th of January and the last one, Jacob Collicott, was released on the 6th. His father, Ryan Collicott, told WBBM that Jacob was dehydrated and his muscles had broken down and gotten into his bloodstream.
Due to this incident, the Cougars postponed their games last Tuesday and Saturday, and the coach has since been suspended. Ryan Collicott said that, as a parent, he does not feel the coach should be fired, but is instead more concerned for him now that Jacob is safe.
Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen: The All-Star Sleeper?
It is likely that the Utah Jazz will have a representative at the upcoming NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City. After the first fan returns, former Arizona star Lauri Markkaken is ranked seventh in the Western Conference amongst front court players. As fan votes make up 50% of the selection process, Markkanen has already received 466,988 votes. His impressive stats for the small-market team have definitely made a statement.
The 7-foot Finnish player is having a stellar first season with the Jazz, after being traded from Cleveland last summer. His field goal percentage has increased from 44.5% to 52.9%, and he has scored 28 or more points in the last five games. Although his potential game-winning three-pointer against the Kings was released too late, there is no denying his high-level performance this season.
The Jazz are currently nineteenth in the Western Conference, with a record of 19-21, and the team looks to Markkanen to help them secure the tenth and final playoff spot. It is highly likely that he will be selected to the All-Star Game, with the help of the fan votes and the support of the NBA players and media members.
NBA Trade Rumors: Five Likely Trade Targets Right Now
The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and several star players’ names have been swirling around in trade rumors. Here are the top five most likely trade candidates:
Bradley Beal: The Washington Wizards’ guard has been linked to a number of teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics. Beal is a two-time All-Star and one of the most dynamic scorers in the league, so it’s no surprise he’s at the top of this list.
Christian Wood: The Detroit Pistons’ forward/center has reportedly been drawing considerable interest from teams around the league. With his size and skill set, he could be a valuable addition to any team looking to bolster their frontcourt.
Zach Lavine: The Chicago Bulls’ guard is another player who has been generating a lot of buzz in the trade market. Lavine is one of the most explosive scorers in the league, and he could be a great addition to a team looking for an offensive boost.
Caris LeVert: The Brooklyn Nets’ guard has been linked to a number of teams, including the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets. LeVert is a versatile player who can score, pass, and defend, so it’s easy to see why teams are so interested in acquiring him.
Jae Crowder: The Memphis Grizzlies’ forward is another player who has been drawing a lot of attention in the trade market. Crowder is a veteran who brings a lot of experience and leadership to any team he joins, making him a valuable asset. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, these five players are some of the most likely to be moved. Teams looking to bolster their roster will be keeping a close eye on these players, so we’ll have to wait and see who ends up where.
Mavericks Cut Ties with Kemba Walker After Nine Games
On Friday, the Mavericks announced they are waiving guard Kemba Walker after nine games. His salary was set to become guaranteed for the rest of the season the following day, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Walker was signed in November, but he didn’t make his first appearance with the team until December 10. Through nine games, he posted 8.0 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Walker’s best performance with the Mavericks was on December 17, when he scored 32 points with seven assists and five rebounds in a game vs. Cleveland. He only surpassed 10 points one other time, and compiled eight points in his last four games, playing under five minutes in three of them.
In place of Walker, Dallas is giving more minutes to Jaden Hardy and McKinley Wright IV, as reported by MacMahon. Over 17 games this year, the two have averaged less than 11 minutes each.