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Shaq Making Metaverse Moves With Trademark Filings

Authentic Brands Group, the company that manages Shaquille O’Neal branded merchandise, filed three trademark applications for “SHAQ,” Josh Gerben reports. The filings indicate an intent to sell SHAQ-branded virtual goods such as clothing, toys, and sporting goods. In addition, the filings claim that there with be a SHAQ-branded marketplace for buyers and sellers of digital art, music, and video clips authenticated by NFTs.

Crocs Rounds Out Huge Year with Palace Skateboard Collab

Crocs is not letting up the gas on its big year. The comfortable footwear company announced that it is teaming up with cult brand Palace Skateboards for its newest collaboration, which is set to drop on Dec 31. This is the second collab for the two companies and, just like the last one, is rooted in a camo croc and a set of custom Jibbitz, which includes a drinking Einstein, a four-leaf clover, and yin-yangs. 

Ferrari Formula 1 Team Races Towards NFTs with Velas Partnership

The Scuderia Ferrari racing team has been tearing up the track and blowing past checkered flags for nearly 100 years. On Monday, Scuderia Ferrari announced a multi-year partnership with Velas Network AG, a Swiss-based company specializing in blockchain technology and NFTs that will work to create special digital collectibles and experiences for motorsport fans.

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Michael Jordan Continues Web3 Prep with Trademark Filings

Just two weeks after the Jumpman and his son announced they were launching HEIR Inc., five trademark applications have been filed: 1. HEIR, 2. HEIR Token, 3. Meta Brand, 4, H.E.I.R. How Excellence Is Remembered, and 5. H.E.I.R. How Excellence Is Recognized. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property reports that by securing federal trademarks, HEIR Inc. is further illustrating its intentions to build within virtual worlds.

USWNT Equal Pay Hearing Gets a Date

The US Women’s National Team finally received a date for an upcoming hearing in their quest for equal pay. The hearing will take place on March 7 at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, CA. It will be the most recent chapter in a long-standing disagreement between the women’s team and US Soccer Federation led by the team’s stars, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. The dispute served as the foundation for this year’s HBO documentary LFG.

Kyle Kuzma and Nick Young Team Up with Spacerunners

The market for digital kicks is hot. Just weeks after Nike purchased digital sneaker company RTFKT, current and former NBA stars teamed up with Spacerunners for a limited release NBA Champions Collection drop. The metaverse fashion brand tapped the Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma and NBA Champion Nick Young for its first collection, which sold out in just nine minutes during the Dec 23 event.

Alabama Women’s Gymnastics Inks Team Deal with CrowdPush

It’s a big week for the Alabama athletic department. As the football team prepares for the college football playoffs, the gymnastics team has become only the third women’s team in the nation to sign a deal under the NCAA’s revised name, image, and likeness rules. They will team up with Alabama-based CrowdPush, which serves as a platform for fans to directly support their favorite teams. The athletes will support the brand with social postings and video interviews.

NBA Sets Active Player Record

We’re not even at the All Star break yet, but the NBA is charting new territory. After the completion of Monday night’s games, data indicates that a record 546 players have participated in on-court action this season. The inflated number is the result of teams’ efforts to stock their rosters with large numbers of replacements to avoid game cancellations in the wake of COVID-19. 

Niantic Raises $300M as Pokémon Go Gets Ready for Next Chapter

The wildly popular augmented reality game which has over 150 million users worldwide has set its sights on the metaverse. Its parent company, Niantic, has raised $300 million to develop the Web3 offering, which the company intends will reflect a “metaverse of the real world.” With the additional fundraising, it launched the company’s valuation to $9 billion. There is no word on the timeline for Pokémon Go‘s metaverse rollout at this time. 

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