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Kobe Bryant Trading Card Fetches Record-setting $2M

The NBA honored the Top 75 players of all time on Sunday, including the late, great Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba’s presence was felt throughout the celebratory weekend. Reports indicate that last week a hobby enthusiast purchased a 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald card for a record-setting $2 millionin a private sale by PWCC Marketplace. The sale is notable both for its price and for the fact that the card itself does not feature an autograph or a piece of in-game memorabilia. However, the cards run in high demand due to their design and delicacy, which makes the Beckett Grading Services 8.5 an exceptional rating. 

Battle for Premier League’s NFT License Nears $600M

European soccer fans are known for their rabid support of their favorite teams. Now, the Premier League is preparing to bring fans into the game in a new way, creating a new set of NFTs. But first, they are on the lookout for an official partner, soliciting bids from a four companies in the process. The Daily Mail reports that the short-list includes French company Sorare, which recently appointed Serena Williams to its board. The bids for the four-year contract are reported to range between $300-600 million.

Kanye West Hosts Donda 2 Listening Event

Kanye West loves a spectacle to surround the rollout of a new album, and the run-up to Donda 2 has been no different. The Chicago rapper announced last week that the Future-produced album would be released exclusively on a $230 stem player. And just like his last several records, he ushered the new album to the public with an over-the-top release concert, this year in Miami. The event featured appearances by a number of collaborators, including Jack Harlow, The Migos, and Pusha T

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Brooks Running Sprints to $1B in Sales

Following its most successful year on record, Brooks Running is now a billion-dollar brand. The company posted a 31% increase in year-over-year revenue in 2021, due in large part to the outdoor activity boom that accompanied the global pandemic. The milestone comes just four years after Brooks reorganized its book of business and focused its product range exclusively on running.

Women’s March Madness Tournament Sells Out ESPN Ad Space

This year, for the first time in history the women’s college basketball tournament will be officially branded as “March Madness.” In advance of the most wonderful time of the year, Sports Business Journal reports that ESPN has sold out all of the advertising opportunities throughout the tournament. In total, 22 sponsors have secured time throughout the tournament, which will culminate with the Final Four in Minneapolis. 

Call of Duty Set to Skip 2023 Release

Last month, news that Microsoft planned to purchase Activision Blizzard for $70 billion sent shockwaves through the gaming industry. Just a short time later Bloomberg reports that the company’s franchise game, Call of Duty, will not release a new edition of the franchise favorite in 2023. However, gamers can rest assured that they will be treated to ongoing content throughout the year that the game’s makers are hopeful will make up for the delay. 

TaylorMade Tees Off Into the Metaverse

Pretty soon you may be able to hit the links with TaylorMade-sponsored golfing greats such as Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy…in the metaverse. Trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis reports that the golf giant is the most recent company to file trademarks, setting the foundation for its foray into Web3. The trademarks cover a wide range of virtual goods including golf clubs and apparel, as well as NFTs. 

DC United Names XDC Network as Official Blockchain and NFT Marketplace Partner 

The MLS season is upon us. In advance of Saturday’s opener, DC United has announced a three-year partnership with blockchain company XDC Network. As part of the arrangement, the two will work together to develop dynamic fan engagement opportunities in both the physical and virtual worlds. Additionally, DC United kits and pre-game jerseys will feature an XDC Network patch. 

Jimmy Butler Serves Miami Padel Open’s Honorary Chairperson

This week in Miami, everyone from Jimmy Butler to Rick Ross will gather for an unexpected reason. No it is not the official NBA All-Star after party, but rather the Blockchain.com Miami Padel Open. The six-day event presented by Richard Mille will crown a champion in the rising sport, and features an epic slate of performances that includes Rick Ross, Ludacris, Wyclef, and more.

Converse All Star BB Shift Gets Feb 28 Release Date

All eyes were on the feet of Golden State’s Draymond Green on Christmas Day as the outspoken forward debuted Converse’s newest sneaker. Now the company’s newest basketball silhouette — the Converse All Star BB Shift — can be yours as the shoe sets to drop on Feb. 28. The shoe will be available globally on the company’s official website, as well as at select retailers.

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