Lionel Messi made lucrative moves last transfer season as he took the leap to PSG. Having secured one of the largest contracts in sporting history, Messi finds himself sitting atop Forbes’ Highest Paid Athlete list. Between his contract and his lengthy list of endorsements, Messi netted $130 million. Soccer and basketball claimed the top spots, with Messi followed by LeBron James ($121.2 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million), Neymar ($125 million), and Stephen Curry ($92.8 million).
Naomi Osaka Launched Evolve Agency Following IMG Exit
Naomi Osaka has been very clear that over the last year, she’s choosing herself and her wellness every time. In her most recent move, the 24-year-old tennis champion announced that she is leaving IMG to start Evolve, a “small boutique and bespoke agency,” with her long-time agent Stuart Duguid. Osaka follows in the footsteps of other athletes, including LeBron James who departed from traditional, large-scale agencies in favor of something smaller. Evolve promises to place the full athlete at the center. As Duguid told Reuters, “It’s athlete-driven and focused on big picture brand building rather than quick checks with a commission attached.”
Kendrick Lamar Reveals Presumptive Artwork for Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
We are less than 24 hours out from Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album. The secretive rapper has released few details about the forthcoming project, but fans believe that Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers will take the form of a double album. And on Wednesday, Lamar dropped the album’s presumptive artwork. The photo features Lamar holding a toddler while wearing a thorned crown as a woman sits on a bed and breastfeeds in the background against the backdrop of a simple room. It was shot by Renell Medrano, who also captured Venus and Serena Williams for their iconic March cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
The NBA’s Postseason Trophies Get a Facelift from Tiffany & Co.
As part of the ongoing celebration of its 75th anniversary, the NBA has unveiled a lineup of reimagined trophies for the postseason. Named after NBA legends who shaped the league, the trophies are a collaboration by artist Victor Solomon and Tiffany & Co. The collection also includes two new pieces of hardware to be given to the Eastern and Western Conference MVPs, which are named after the two sides of one of the NBA’s most legendary East Coast/West Coast rivalries: Bird and Magic.
Man City and Puma Celebrate 93:20 Anniversary with Commemorative NFT Drop
The future of Man City is bright, but the club is spending some time these days looking back on a dynamic decade. As it celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its first Premier League title – and the epic ‘93:20’ goal off the boot of Sergio Aguero – the club has linked with Puma for a dynamic NFT designed by Belgian illustrator Musketon. The limited collection, which includes a run of 120, will drop on Friday the 13th.
Charles Barkley Gets Heated with The Great Debate
Never one to back down from a discussion, Charles Barkley’s newest project taps into his talents. The Great Debate with Charles Barkley will premiere on May 18 at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT. In the feature-length documentary, Sir Charles will select the greatest NBA players decade by decade over the course of the league’s first 75 seasons. The Hall of Famer will punctuate his selections with his own stories about and perspectives on some of his favorite players – and his most challenging rivals.
Chelsea Nabs $24M Shirt Deal with WhaleFin
Chelsea is making lots of changes all at once. As the details of its sale are finalized, the club has secured a new shirt sponsor. Crypto company, WhaleFin, will claim jersey real estate with a deal worth an estimated $24 million annually. The news comes as Chelsea continues to face restrictions on commercial dealings, due to its previous owner Roman Abramovich’s involvement with Putin and the Russian regime. However, as the Todd Boehly-backed group inks the deal on ownership, the future is looking bright for the club.
Amanda Nunes Goes Virtual with New Training Format
The MMA legend and UFC featherweight champion teamed up with The Sports Metaverse to open up a virtual gym poised to get you ready for the octagon. With the move, Nunes becomes the most recent athlete to partner with The Sports Metaverse’s parent company, SportsIcon, following in the footsteps of Chelsea superstar Romelu Lukaku. The Sports Metaverse boasts a deep bench of backers, including Nas, Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou, YouTube founder Chad Hurley, and NBA champion Andrew Bogut.