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September 29, 2022

Aaron Judge Blasts Historic Home Run No. 61

All rise. Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball’s record books. Just one day after the New York Yankees clinched their 20th AL East title, the Bronx Bombers’ outfielder hit home run number 61. The 394-foot bomb tied Judge with Maris’s record for the most A.L. home runs in one season. The historic blast came against Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Jose Berrios at the top of the seventh inning, giving the Yankees a two-run lead. Coming full circle, Berrios started Judge’s home run campaign as his first home run of the season on April 13.

Jamal Crawford Crosses Over to TV as “NBA on TNT” Host

Jamal Crawford was a walking bucket during his 20-year NBA career. Now retired, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year will reportedly replace Dwyane Wade on TNT’s Tuesday night NBA set that features Shaquille O’Neal, Candace Parker, and Adam Lefkoe. Crawford and Quentin Richardson hosted an alternate broadcast on NBA League Pass last season with a similar strategy to ESPN’s ManningCast. Wade, meanwhile, left TNT to focus on his business ventures, including his ownership stake in the Utah Jazz.

Porsche Races to a $72B IPO

After much anticipation, the Porsche IPO is upon us. The luxury car brand hit German markets at the highest share price, totaling a $72 billion IPO on Thursday. The market moves mark the second-highest IPO in German history. Shares opened up 2% early upon the stock’s debut.

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Drake Taps Juancho Hernangomez for OVO x NBA Collab

The city of Toronto has rolled out the red carpet for Hustle star Juancho Hernangomez. The Spanish international power forward, fresh off a Eurobasket MVP campaign, signed a one-year veteran minimum contract with the Raptors. To mark his arrival in the Six, Hernangomez appears as the face of the upcoming OVO x NBA Fall/Winter collection, wearing a multi-team black varsity jacket dripped out in gold detailing. The new campaign dropped on Hernangomez’s 27th birthday.

Athletes Unlimited Invests in Women with $30M Capital Raise

Athletes Unlimited is disrupting the sports industry, one league at a time. The company announced on Thursday that it secured $30 million in funding to continue to grow its athletes-first network of women’s sports leagues in a successful round led by Schusterman Family Investments. The fundraising round attracted a diverse group of investors including four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero, Philadelphia 76ers owner David Blitzer, and Rich Kleiman and Kevin Durant‘s 35V.

Deebo Samuel Inks Jordan Brand Deal

San Francisco 49ers star WR Deebo Samuel is joining Jordan Brand, becoming the latest gridiron great to join Michael Jordan’s sportswear empire. The Niners’ star officially joined the NFL Jumpman roster that also includes Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, Sterling Shepard, Jarvis Landry, and Chase Claypool. It’s the latest notch in his belt after the All-Pro hybrid wide receiver signed a three-year, $73.5 million contract extension in the offseason.

Boardroom’s Ian Stonebrook has more on the deal.

Ben Simmons RISEs Up to Combat Racism

Nets guard Ben Simmons partnered up with Brooklyn community-based organization RISE to combat racism through sports. Simmons will work with the nonprofit to provide underserved youth in Brooklyn with a range of resources to discuss issues of racism and inclusivity. The program — which started on Sept. 24 — will run every Saturday for eight weeks. Teen participants will work together as teams and develop creative projects that address critical issues of inequality and injustice in their communities. Simmons will participate in the students’ final presentation. “I’m excited to partner with RISE, we have the same belief that sport has the power to unite people from all different backgrounds and drive positive change,” Simmons said in a statement. 

South Carolina Lady Gamecocks Cash Out with Team-Wide NIL Deal

The South Carolina women’s basketball team will get paid like the champions they are. Each player on the Gamecocks will make at least $25,000 for the 2022-23 season through a name, image and likeness deal, according to a release from NOCAP Sports. As part of the deal, members of the team will be responsible for community appearances, social media engagement, sponsored interviews, and other marketing endeavors. Team officials were clear that the figure does not serve as a ceiling, and individual players can pursue additional NIL sponsorships. The reigning National Player of the Year Aliyah Boston has NIL deals with Crocs, Under Armour, and Bose.

Baby Keem Strengthens Family Ties with Converse

Baby Keem and Converse are building something special. The rapper and producer announced a new collab with Converse on Wednesday with a short film collaboration. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Baby Keem will be featured in Converse’s campaigns as the announcement comes right before Keem prepares to hit the European leg of cousin Kendrick Lamar‘s Big Steppers Tour. The Grammy Award winner joins a family of high-profile Converse endorsers, including Tyler, The Creator, Draymond Green, and Natasha Cloud.

Read more from Boardroom’s Michelai Graham. 

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