The Australian Open doesn’t kick off until Monday, but there has been no shortage of fanfare surrounding the grand slam event in its run up. And on Thursday one of the sport’s biggest stars, Naomi Osaka unveiled her newest off-court collaboration: a signature watch with luxury brand TAG Heuer. In an Instagram post, Osaka said the the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Naomi Osaka Limited Edition uses a green color palette to reflect her two “current passions – tennis and nature.”
StockX Eyes IPO
StockX is reportedly looking to go public during the first half of 2022. The e-commerce company, which was valued at $3.8B last April, is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs on the deal. StockX boasts a lengthy list of investors including Tiger Global Management, rapper Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, and GGV Capital.
In Pursuit of New Venture, Shaq Sells Stake in Sacramento Kings
A few weeks after adding “.ETH” to his Twitter profile, Shaq announces he is selling his ownership stake in the Sacramento Kings “as a result of a new business endeavor.” The big man announced the news via social media on Wednesday, indicating that due to league rules, he would not be able to continue serving as a part-owner of the team and thanking the city and the fans for their ongoing support.
Legendary Music Manager Guy Oseary Signs World of Women
The World of Women universe is about to get a whole lot bigger. The NFT collection featuring 10,000 unique artworks of women in the spirit of diversity, inclusion, and representation has taken off of late, garnering the attention of tech investor and legendary music manager Guy Oseary. He’s adding WoW as a client for representation, alongside a star-studded list that includes Madonna, U2, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and, as of October, Bored Ape Yacht Club. Eva Longoria, Napheesa Collier, and Reese Witherspoon are each among the collection’s celebrity owners.
TPG On Pace to Raise $1B in IPO
The company became publicly listed on the Nasdaq on Thursday, setting share prices at $29.50 at a $9 billion valuation. Experts estimate that TPG is set to raise $1 billion on its first day of trading. TPG is the parent company of CAA and owns a 30% stake in DirecTV, and has an expansive portfolio that includes Airbnb, Spotify, and Uber.
Al Harrington and Viola Raise $13M in Bridge Funding Round
Viola, the multinational cannabis company co-founded by NBA veteran and activist Al Harrington, announced a $13 million bridge funding round Wednesday. Santa Monica-based investment bank DelMorgan & Co. served as the dedicated transaction advisor. The news follows a series of milestones in 2021 that include the celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary and a partnership with Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson on an exclusive cannabis strain.
PGA and Netflix Link for New Docuseries
Through the years, Netflix has had a number of certified hits with documentary-style sports series, including “Drive to Survive,” “Cheer,” and “Last Chance U.” Now the streaming service is trying to recreate its winning formula, announcing on Wednesday that it was teaming up with the PGA TOUR for a documentary series that will go behind the scenes of life on the tour.
Spencer Dinwiddie Launches “New Money” Podcast
The Washington Wizards’ Spencer Dinwiddie is an outspoken proponent of cryptocurrency. He’s now taking that interest to the airwaves, announcing on Wednesday that he is launching a podcast in partnership with CoinDesk called “New Money with Spencer and Solo.” Dinwiddie will co-host with his Calaxy co-founder, Solo Ceesay. The show’s first guest is former Bachelor, Matt James.
Hennessy Releases First-ever NFT
With an assist from crypto technology, the onward march of digital commerce has touched the world of fine spirits. On Wednesday, Hennessy’s first NFT offering debuted on digital marketplace BlockBar, giving investors an innovative opportunity to buy into a rare drop of the brand’s Hennessy 8 cognac — whose production was limited to 250 bottles — via the purchase of non-fungible tokens.
BRADY Brand Arrives
Tom Brady’s TB12 empire is officially expanding into the fashion lane. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback launched the BRADY Brand clothing line Wednesday morning with over 100 pieces available to purchase online. Ahead of the release, TB12 made headlines by signing 10 athletes — nine of them still in college — to lead his campaign. The full NIL roster includes Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara, Jackson State signal-caller Shedeur Sanders, plus eight others that play baseball, tennis, and hockey.
Fan Controlled Football Closes $40M Round
Fan Controlled Football announced the closing of a $40 million series A investment round led by Animoca Brands and Delphi Digital. Additional investors include Gemini Frontier Fund, 6th Man Ventures, executives at GoldenTree Asset Management, Jump Crypto, and Sebastian Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox. As part of the fanfare, FCF is also announcing two new “FCF Ballerz Collective” NFT expansion teams featuring Bored Ape Yacht Club and the Gutter Cat Gang.