Joe Montana, Alexis Ohanian Participate in $65M Funding Round for STOKE Space
Last week, Michael Strahan became the first former professional athlete and broadcaster to dabble in space travel on Elon Musk’s Blue Origin rocket. The trip is just a signal of the increased role that space may play in our daily lives in the future. And STOKE Space seeks to be a major player, building fully reusable rockets that will enable “routing travel to and from orbit in a seamlessly connected earth and space.” Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montanta and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian were each part of a successful Series A funding round that yielded $65 million that will fuel the company’s product development and scale.
Steph Curry Makes First Move to Web 3 with Commemorative NFT
Steph Curry has had a week. Not only did the Warriors secure their third win in as many games with a 111-107 victory over the Celtics on Friday, Curry locked down the NBA’s all-time title for the most three-pointers made, eclipsing Ray Allen, at MSG on Tuesday. To mark the major milestone, Curry announced on Friday that he will drop a limited-release line of 2,974 NFT sneakers, set to be released on Tuesday 12/21. All proceeds will benefit his Eat, Learn, Play foundation.
The New York Times Re-enters Exclusive Talks to Acquire The Athletic
The Athletic has had a wild year marked by several failed negotiations for its purchase. However, reports emerged on Friday that the sports media company which has a reported 1.2 million paid subscribers is in late-stage talks to be taken over by the New York Times. This is the second time such a report has emerged, you may recall that back in May there were similar speculations. The Athletic also was briefly in negotiations with Axios earlier this year.
Christian McCaffrey, Ninja Join $60M Series B for Pair Eyewear
Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey was joined by his girlfriend, model Olivia Culpo, gamer Ninja, and actor Sterling K. Brown as backers of the customizable eyewear company’s successful Series B round. Pair Eyewear made its debut on Shark Tank and offers a magnetic frame that you can swap out to match your outfit or mood. The $60 million fundraise will allow Pair to scale its production and market share in 2022.
PGA Tour Doubles Down on Partnership with BetMGM
Today marks Tiger Woods’ return to competitive play after nearly a year away from the game. It also marks a new chapter for the five-time Masters champion and will undoubtedly unlock countless bets across the country. This week, the PGA TOUR extended its partnership with BetMGM, reaffirming it as the exclusive odds provider for the TOUR through 2024. The deal with the TOUR adds to BetMGM’s expansive golf portfolio, which includes a number of individual deals with players including Max Homa, Jimmy Walker, and Kevin Na.
Mets Tap Samsung as Technology Solutions Partner
The Mets and Samsung are teaming up to make Citi Field the most technologically advanced ballpark in America. As part of the display and technology solutions partnership, which will center on Citi Field’s complex digital screen system to enhance an interactive experience for fans unlike anywhere else. The two-year project will add enhanced capacity for 4k streaming, double the number of slow-motion cameras, and equip the stadium with various viewing opportunities, including in-seat screens for select sections, and IPTV systems that will carry 100 channels.
Cyball Positioned as Play-to-Earn Soccer Power with $1.8M Seed Round
Cyball has closed a $1.8 million seed round to build an NFT-based, play-to-earn mobile soccer game. The round was led by BITKRAFT and backed by a portfolio of other investors, including Impossible Finance, Coin98, Yield Guild Games, and Ascensive Assets. Cyball shared in a release that it plans to use the fresh funding to further develop its flagship game and suite of Web3.0-based apps that go with it. The company aims to lead the blockchain gaming movement and will also use the funding to create more interactive game experiences.
Postgame App Unleashes an Army of NIL-lionaires
Postgame App started as a way to measure student-athletes’ NIL value, but this week, it expanded its services substantially when it launched its own cryptocurrency, the “NIL Coin.” The NIL Coin is the first cryptocurrency made specifically for college athletes to make money and officially launched this week. It’s the latest and most profound evolution for a brand that began a year ago by anticipating upcoming changes to the college athletics landscape.
Bowlero Goes Public with $2.6B Valuation
The future of bowling is bright. Bowlero is primed to cash in an ever-increasing market, which currently boasts over 70 million enthusiasts. The company posted a 20% year-over-year increase in sales that fueled its merger with Isos Acquisition Corporation. Together, they took Bowlero public on the New York Stock Exchange this week at a $2.6 billion valuation.