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Culture News

TikTok’s ‘For You’ Podcast Featuring Special Guest Jason Rodelo

TikTok’s For You podcast series starring host Brittany Broski continues with Episode 5, featuring content creator Jason Rodelo. Considered one of the best dancers and comedians on the platform, Rodelo has built a strong following and talks to Broski about his TikTok rise, dancing background, and plans for the future.

The budding TikTok star currently has over 350,000 followers on the app, with 6.5 million likes and counting. As a trained professional, Rodelo will often make several videos in a row to fully break down his choreography to his audience. True to his style, he also rarely misses an opportunity to provide comedic relief, never straying too far away from his humorous roots. The dance/comedy combo has helped take Rodelo’s TikTok career to the next level as the Los Angeles native continues to be one of the most talked-about and re-posted comedians, turning the hashtag ‘Affirmations’ into a global trend on TikTok with his Motivational Warriors series.

Below is a snippet from Broski and Rodelo’s conversation. A new episode of For You will debut every Wednesday at 5:30 pm PST/8:30 pm EST on TikTok LIVE. You can also catch it on all major podcast platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google.

Broski: “You have been dancing for a long time. When did that transition to ‘TikTok dance’ come about? When did you download the app and what kind of drew you to it?”

Rodelo: “My relationship with TikTok is so interesting! As a professional dancer, and this is the energy of a lot of dancers in the industry who have been training, taking classes have—when a thing like TikTok came around, a lot of us laughed. It was all of these simple dances and I was like ‘I’m working ten hours a day and doing music videos. I’m out here eating one meal a day!’ I honestly used to dislike the app, but that was me misjudging it. I started seeing it pop off after quarantine began, and that is where the transition happened. The dance world shut down, and all of my opportunities and income stopped. After that, I really started looking at TikTok.”

Broski: “I wanted to ask you about having a platform in general. Are there any issues that you feel pressured to speak about? Are you passionate about anything? Do you see yourself as a creator more or a choreographer?”

Rodelo: “I think I definitely see myself as a creator for sure. I have to pay respects to that because I did create, and people gave me a response, and that response has been doing wonders for myself and my life. I’m also showing different sides of what I have to offer as well. You see comedy—and a little bit of everything. There is one issue though, and I would say it’s a general thing. There is this weird incohesiveness with people and their expectations with this thing called viral. You have to find something deeper within your content in terms of what you really want to put out.”

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Sneakers Style

The 5 Hottest Sneaker Drops This Week

Le Sigh. There are so many dope colorways being released this week, and to be honest, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I know last week was very disappointing for some folks—a lot of us didn’t get the sneaker drops we wanted (one of these days, we are going to have a very real conversation about resellers), but alas, this is a new week with new opportunities! I realize I may sound like a Disney character, but I truly have high hopes for this new round of releases. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Ivy Park Super Sleek 72 Shoes
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fnike-dunk-high-sail-pale-ivory-w
Adidas
Ivy Park Super Sleek 72

Release Date: 2/19

Okay, I’m making an exception to the rule with these because this was technically last week, but the ‘Super Sleeks’ are a thing of beauty. I copped a couple of items from the Icy Park release last week, but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about these sneakers. The platform sole and the neutral colors give the shoe a smooth classy look pairable with just about anything in your wardrobe. You could wear them with athletic apparel, or dress them for a formal look. Luckily there are still a few pairs in stock, but I imagine this won’t be the case for long. A solid pick-up for sure.

BUY NOW
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fnike-dunk-high-sail-pale-ivory-w
2. Nike WMNS Dunk High ‘Football Grey’
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fnike-dunk-high-sail-pale-ivory-w
GOAT
Nike WMNS Dunk High ‘Football Grey’

Release Date: 2/25

I think the ‘Football Grays’ could be a good replacement for those unable to get the ‘Silver Toes’ last week. Nike seems to really be feeling springtime pastels at the moment, and this shoe is a nice mixture of light taupe with baby blue overlays. Not too overstated, but still eye-catching. Plus, they are high tops (since y’all swear up and down you don’t like mids), and you can never go wrong with highs. I think this a great addition for any level of sneaker fandom personally!

BUY NOW
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fnike-dunk-high-sail-pale-ivory-w
3. Nike Air Force 1 Low ‘Rose’
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fair-force-1-low-07-qs-valentine-s-day-love-letter-dd3384-600%3Futm_source%3Dgoogle_int%26utm_medium%3Dgoogle_shopping_int%26utm_campaign%3D11548457463_113867805298%26utm_content%3D477267975289_%26utm_term%3D194954719542%26gclid%3DCj0KCQiAst2BBhDJARIsAGo2ldXCgy5Tf4hHd5MZt4Zm-THtM39J1AlF4OPW8qCJZ1fZqLHNG3lIl00aAoDXEALw_wcB
GOAT
Nike Air Force 1 Low ‘Rose’

Release Date: 2/25

I had a strong inkling that this shoe would be hard to come by, and I guess I was right. Honestly, I’m surprised these didn’t come out for Valentine’s Day a couple of weeks ago! The pink hues combined with the rose design on the midsole just screams ‘romantic,’ but I digress. The pink is light enough not to be considered a ‘bold’ colorway, and I think you could swap out the laces for white ones (or even red) to give the shoe different looks. ‘Forces’ have always gone well with a number of outfits, but for some reason, I’m getting pantsuit vibes with these. Anywho, on to the next!

BUY NOW
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fair-force-1-low-07-qs-valentine-s-day-love-letter-dd3384-600%3Futm_source%3Dgoogle_int%26utm_medium%3Dgoogle_shopping_int%26utm_campaign%3D11548457463_113867805298%26utm_content%3D477267975289_%26utm_term%3D194954719542%26gclid%3DCj0KCQiAst2BBhDJARIsAGo2ldXCgy5Tf4hHd5MZt4Zm-THtM39J1AlF4OPW8qCJZ1fZqLHNG3lIl00aAoDXEALw_wcB
4. Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 ‘Ash Blue’
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fadidas-yeezy-boost-350-v2-ash-pearl
StockX
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 ‘Ash Blue’

Out of all the ‘Yeezys’ scheduled to release this week, I believe the ‘Ash Blues’ might be the best. I personally love ‘Yeezys,’ but sometimes I have a hard time figuring out how exactly I can pair them with certain items in my closet. I know some have expressed similar sentiments, so I think these are a good choice. The ‘Ash Pearls’ feature splashes of dark grey and blue and are definitely more subtle compared to previous 350 releases. This is a great shoe for beginning ‘Yeezy’ wearers and a good addition for any collector itching for a new purchase.

BUY NOW
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstockx.com%2Fadidas-yeezy-boost-350-v2-ash-pearl
5. Puma Suede Classic
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fsuede-classic-21-black-white-374915-01
GOAT
Puma Suede Classic

Release: 2/19

I’m breaking tradition again because these were released last week as well. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t included enough releases from Puma, New Balance, etc., and I’m going to do a better job of that going forward. As you all know, Puma has become synonymous with their ‘Suede Classics’ over the years, and their recent ‘Suede Campaign’ featured some pretty notable names, including LaMelo Ball and Lauren London. The classics are loaded with colors and have tons of sizes available for men, women, and children. I personally own a pair of the ‘Suedes,’ and they are definitely one of my tried and trues!

BUY NOW
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fsuede-classic-21-black-white-374915-01

That’s all I got for this week! I’ll be back next week with another round of releases, and you can keep up with my collection on Instagram and Twitter!

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Aaron “Don” Dukes Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With KCP Kate

On this edition of Inside The Screen, presented by host Aaron aka ‘Don’ Dukes, Don welcomes special guest KCP Kate, a young phenom playing for the Kansas City Pioneers, who has been dominating Rocket League. While the 21-year-old is still a relatively new face in the esports and gaming scene, she is making quite a splash with not only her skillset but for her competitive and fiery spirit. Kate is truly a beast behind the controller, and she and Don talked about this next step in her career, being a young woman navigating the esports and gaming scene, and more. 

Don kicks off the conversation getting the scoop on Kate’s signing with Kansas City. “It’s been good—I love KCP! Obviously, with Covid, we can’t visit or anything, but that is definitely something that we want to do!” KCP Kate has been earning her stripes this year, being ranked in the top 100 for most of the season, which is something that is incredibly tough to do in just under a year—especially when you consider the tough mechanics required for a game like Rocket League. “At least for me, this was my first game on PC basically. I had played indie games before that, but when Rocket League came out, that was the first major game that I had actually ever played.”

Don and Kate go in-depth on a ton of topics during this 20-minute episode, with Don asking the rising streamer about her early interest in gaming. “I started off watching other streamers on YouTube, and when I got my PC, I was super big into speedrunning. One of my favorite people in the world, FullGrownGaming, streamed speed runs of Majora’s Mask, and I was there all the time watching it. I started speedrunning myself with Super Mario Sunshine, and I did that for a long time. Eventually, the group of YouTubers that I watched started playing Rocket League, and I played soccer all of my life so it seemed perfect!”

After a quick conversation about Kate’s parents and her support system, Don then gets Kate’s thoughts on being a woman in esports and how things have changed for the better. “I think that every single woman will have a different experience with it, but at least for me—when I was in the speedrunning community—everybody was so nice to me, and I never really experienced a lot of the things that I saw, but then when I came to Rocket League and played Overwatch at the same time, that obviously got pretty toxic. I think the same way it’s been really harsh to get used to; it has also made me a better person.”

We definitely don’t want to spoil this amazing conversation between Don and KCP Kate, so be sure to check out the full interview in the video above. You can continue to follow both Don and Kate on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Going ‘Up’ with Cardi B, DIYs, and More

We’re back with another week of viral TikTok challenges, and this edition is loaded with throwback jams, dance trends and DIYs. While creating dance routines are always a good source of fun, the majority of the top recent trends have been dominated by creators showcasing their choreography skills, making this week a bit refreshing from that standpoint. With the bulk of us still spending most of our time at home, these challenges are fun interesting concepts that you can do by yourself, or with a group of people. So let’s dive in!

1. ‘UP’ – Cardi B

Cardi B has been sparking trends ever since ‘Bodak Yellow,’ and her song ‘UP’ has inspired the latest challenge to take over the platform. The recently released single made history this past week by debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and fans didn’t waste any time creating a new challenge for Cardi’s latest hit. For this one, you can literally do anything you want! Some have created dance routines while others have used the song for makeup challenges. Use your imagination and have fun with it!

2. ‘How To Save A Life’ – The Fray

A major throwback to 2005, many had forgotten about this record—that is until TikTok brought it back. This challenge is for everyone who has been dying to let out their inner ‘weird’ side (and let’s face it—we all have one.)  Get creative with this challenge! One TikToker made a video about her boyfriend’s obsession with his hamster, and another creator recorded herself playing house with her favorite plushies. The options are limitless, but just remember to make it weird!

3. ‘Just Water’- Bryansanon

Even Chance The Rapper had to get in on this challenge! Another dance trend, the theme of this challenge is…water. Bryansanon just might have one of the most catchy TikTok trends of 2021 so far, and all you have to do is pretend like you are drinking a bottle of water as you bust out your dance moves. Simple right? 

4. ‘Born For This’- Foxxi

Ah the memories of 2018! Sometimes certain songs are so upbeat and positive that makes you dig deep  and tap into your talents, and that is exactly the case with the ‘Born For This’ challenge. A ‘DIY,’ TikTok creators are using the song to display their arts and crafts skills, showcase their recipes, and more. So if you have a special talent that you want the TikTok universe to know about, then this trend is right up your alley!

That’s going to do it for this week’s roundup, but as usual we will be back next week with the latest trends and challenges.

Categories
Culture Music

MixedByAli Talks Music and Business Ventures in A Conversation With ONE37pm

MixedByAli is one of the top engineers in the music industry with a loaded resume including work with Kendrick Lamar, the late great Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, and more. The six-time Grammy nominee and three-time Grammy winner has no intentions of slowing down and caught up with ONE37pm’s Mike Boyd to talk music, entrepreneurship, and more.

Boyd: I wanted to first talk about you working on ‘What It Feels Like’ from Nipsey and Jay-Z. What was that process like for you?

MixedByAli: Just a full circle moment for me honestly with me doing the work on Victory Lap, and even before that, the relationship Nipsey and I had organically outside the music. It felt good to hear his voice again and continue his legacy. It’s an incredible record—Jay killed it! The soundtrack was amazing. Personally, it was a moment for me with Nip leaving untimely, and to be able to sonically get into it, and give this back to the world.

Boyd: Talk to us about the art of engineering and the process because I know you are working on special songs all the time—maybe not as special as ‘What It Feels Like’ but I feel like you are popping up in all the song credits! What’s that like?

MixedByAli: First of all, it’s just a blessing to be able to have that type of reaction. I’ve always been one of those people that have severe ADHD and didn’t know how to stay still. As a kid, I liked to take things apart and put them back together, and as I grew, I liked how I could do that with music. Something that was never there before is recorded through a microphone, and then it’s timeless at that point. The fact that I can add my two cents to it gives me that same feeling. I can break something apart and put it back together.

Boyd: I’ve been in the studio with you and I notice you use all of the studio tools in the room.

MixedByAli: They’re in the room, so why not use them?! All the gear I need to succeed is behind me, so why not get to it and include that in my workflow? That is one of the major reasons why my music has been the way it is—the analog sound that these tools can offer. That instantly is going to sound better than mixing the song through a computer. It’s a part of my process. If I could put an SSL board on my back, I would!

Boyd: I know you have a daughter and she has a consignment boutique—talk to us about instilling business ideas and work ethic within young children.

MixedByAli: It just goes back to me being a kid. I was always interested in business and infatuated with making money. I realized I needed to show that to my own daughter, and now she won’t even need my help in the future. She’s three-years-old, but she’s excited to do some work! The company is called Aria’s Clubhouse, and it’s to help mothers get clothes for their kids during Covid times where they may not have jobs.

Boyd: You mentioned you’re at the Bishop headquarters—I wanted to talk to you about your entrepreneurship. Tell us why you started your company EngineEars and what it means to you.

MixedByAli: The whole reason why I started EngineEars is that I was a diamond in the ruff—nobody wanted to give me that chance when I was coming up. I had to fight and work for everything I had. I always promised myself that I would give back. It started with a simple Instagram, and through that, the community started moving faster. From there I said let’s take it a step further and create something more tangible. 

I started a workshop, and from that we had organic conversations with the audience. We posted those videos, and we had people all over the world saying to come to their countries and do workshops. So we started an engineering world tour. I realized through conversations that we were all having the same problems, so I wanted to create something that would disrupt the business model. EngineEars provides upcoming engineers with the tools to build their business. I want to create a legacy that my family can be proud of through actions and not words.

Be sure to follow MixedByAli for his latest releases and business updates on both his Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Sneakers Style

The 5 Hottest Sneaker Drops This Week

You know what they say: If you have an opportunity to go for the dunk, you gotta take it. I’m actually not sure if anybody has ever said that, but what I do know is that this week’s sneaker releases feature a lot of ‘Dunks’ that are absolute fire. I could actually make a majority of this list “Dunk” heavy, but I will torture myself and only pick one (or maybe two). Aside from the ‘Dunks,’ we also have Nike dropping a new round of Jordan 1s (here we go again) and 3s, plus a dope drop from Reebok. Oh, and Beyonce will be releasing her heavily anticipated ‘Icy Park’ line over the weekend as well. This was my toughest week of selections by far, so let’s get to it!

1. ‘Nike Dunk Low’
GOAT
Nike Dunk Low

Release Date: 2/18

Fine, I’ll only pick one out of the three ‘Dunks’ that were released this week. This was a tough call, but I’m going with…the UCLA theme colorway. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘UNLV’ and ‘Hyper Cobalt’ are very nice, but the ‘UCLA’ inspired ones are cold. These remind me of the ‘UNC Jordan 1s,’ but those can be extremely hard to come by, so this just may have to be the next best option.

Nike did release a ‘Dunk Low’ for women in a UNC color scheme last Spring, but those are nearly double the price of its original release. I’d say try to pick these up ‘Dunks’ now if you can, because I can definitely see a world where you will have to pay double or triple the price if you wait too long. Plus, March Madness is slowly creeping upon us. It would certainly be a good time to get a university colorway. Just saying.

BUY NOW
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/dunk-low-coast-dd1503-100?utm_source=google_int&utm_medium=google_shopping_int&utm_campaign=11548457463_113867805298&utm_content=477267975289_&utm_term=194502192919&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvbiBBhD-ARIsAGM48bxZOi69trxes7BekmlgBg-A6r-Gy1b9fMKUKcRYcpTnB7MoMRs9cKYaAitbEALw_wcB
2. ‘Paris Saint-Germain x Air Jordan 1 Zoom’
Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain x Air Jordan 1 Zoom

Release Date: 2/17

I’m beginning to have a love-hate relationship with 1s. Honestly, I’m tired of never being able to snag new releases in my size, and it is breaking my heart. So here is yet another pair that won’t be in my possession anytime soon—the ‘Paris Saint-Germain Jordan 1s.’ The ‘PSG’s’ are dope, and the tie-dyed purple and pink collar is a rare feature on 1s. The cream suede is an added bonus (you guys know I love suede), and the black overlay mixture really gives the shoe a smooth, classy look. You could wear these casually or pair them with a dressier outfit (pantsuit, skirt, etc.). The versatility of the ‘PSGs’ is incredible. You can definitely create different looks for various occasions—which is one of the most important things you can look for in a sneaker. 

BUY NOW
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/paris-saint-germain-x-air-jordan-1-high-zoom-comfort-paris-db3610-105?utm_source=google_int&utm_medium=google_shopping_int&utm_campaign=11551954535_111796929839&utm_content=477369526964_&utm_term=194500897724&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvbiBBhD-ARIsAGM48bwZ7x9nTk066S7HLgAGQnrh9BRSlJoLoJarf3Jt3ZeFRo9u84W5JnIaAgYBEALw_wcB
3. ‘Hot Ones x Reebok ‘Spicy and Icy’
Reebok
Hot Ones x Reebok ‘Spicy and Icy

Release Date: 2/17

Reebok ‘Spicy and Icy.’ Fire and Desire. Flamin Hot Cheetos and Smirnoff Ice. Okay, I’ll stop. Seriously this is probably Reebok’s best drop of 2021 so far. Designed to bring you a fiery ‘Spicy’ colorway representing the ‘Last Dab Apollo Sauce’ and an ice water ‘Classic Leather Legacy’ shoe to ‘cool things down,’ the ‘Spicy and Icy’ shoes are a unique approach for Reebok. They really put a lot into not only the design of both shoes but also the overall promotional campaign.

The ‘Spicy’ silhouette features an all-red design with a yellow rubber outsole, while the ‘Classic Leathers’ sports an all-blue theme with a water design. If I had to choose one, I would go with the ‘Spicy’ colorway. The yellow outsole gives the shoe that extra finesse, and I feel like 2021 is the year to make bold fashion statements. What do you think?

BUY NOW
https://www.reebok.com/us/hot-ones-question-mid-mens-basketball-shoes/GV7093.html
4. ‘Air Jordan 3 Cool Grey’
GOAT
Air Jordan 3 Cool Grey

Release Date: 2/20

These sneakers release tomorrow, so make sure you have everything ready to go on SNKRS because I have a feeling the ‘Cool Grays’ are going to go pretty fast. These have been rumored since last summer, and this is a re-release of the 2007 AJ3s. This is the first time in history that Jordan 3s have gone retro, and the upgrades are definitely worth the purchase. The new-and-improved 3s sport an all-grey colorway with an elephant theme design in the overlay. The imaginary sneaker designer in me says that you could even play around with different lace colors. These would look absolutely sick with a yellow or red lace. You could even do a blend (white/grey, black/grey, etc.). I personally think the 3s would be a good investment and a great start for beginner sneakerheads or casual wearers.

BUY NOW
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/air-jordan-3-retro-cool-grey-2021-ct8532-012?utm_source=google_int&utm_medium=google_shopping_int&utm_campaign=11551954535_111796929839&utm_content=477369526964_&utm_term=194501118361&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvbiBBhD-ARIsAGM48bxeVIsiZM_hR1W0-l2UYdgDENKxwWjUfLRcu48VAZfPrsF_ALzQIzEaAkuEEALw_wcB
5. ‘WMNS Air Jordan 1 Silver Toe’
GOAT
WMNS Air Jordan 1 Silver Toe

Release Date: 2/19

I could end up being wrong, but I’m already getting ‘Jordan 4 Off-White Sail’ vibes from these in the sense that I don’t think they are going to be $170 for very long. The ‘Retro Black and Whites’ remain amongst the most popular Jordan 1s, and these are essentially the same thing, but with a high-top design as opposed to a mid. The silver leather gives the shoe a crisp retro look, and I think these can be worn year-round. I’m going to call it now—the ‘Silver Toes’ are going to be one of the sneakers of the summer. Book it.

BUY NOW
https://www.goat.com/sneakers/wmns-air-jordan-1-high-og-metallic-silver-cd0461-001?utm_source=google_int&utm_medium=google_shopping_int&utm_campaign=11551954535_111796929839&utm_content=477369526964_&utm_term=194501079587&gclid=Cj0KCQiAvbiBBhD-ARIsAGM48bx6IZUOYSFaX2kYevoo1Alkg86VGr-4BoZI-B9zygxa6sMGULxmYrIaAv8HEALw_wcB

Well that is going to do it for this week! I’ll be including the Icy Park sneakers in next week’s round-up. In the meantime, you can keep up with my collection on Instagram and Twitter!

Categories
Sports Strength

Major League Soccer History: How MLS Became A Big Business

A legitimate argument can be made for Major League Soccer (MLS) potentially being one the fastest rising sports in the world in terms of success and universal popularity. Last season marked the 25th anniversary of MLS’s debut, and as the league approaches its 26th season, major plans are in the works for long-term growth and expansion. We will get into what the next 25 years are set to look like for Major League Soccer later in this article, but before we dive into the future, we have to revisit the past in order to get a firm understanding of how the MLS became a global entity.

Getty Images
Alan Rothenburg, President of United States Soccer

Chapter One of the MLS’ story dates back to 1988 when the United States Soccer Federation created a Division 1 Professional Soccer League as an exchange to FIFA to award the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States. The MLS was officially formed seven years later in 1995 and made its national debut the following year. The ‘94 World Cup had brought a surge of interest in the sport, and the MLS was eager to take advantage of that success. Prior to the creation of the MLS, there had previously been only two professional Division 1 football leagues in the United States and Canada: The American Football Association(AFA) and the National American Soccer League (NASL), which had previously been the United States’ premier soccer organization.

Doug Logan was the league’s first commissioner, and the MLS launch came with ten U.S. teams ready for action: Tampa Bay Mutiny, Dallas Burn, Colorado Rapids, New England Revolution, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Kansas City Wiz, NY/NJ MetroStars, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the San Jose Clash. Marquee players such as Jorge Campos and Alexi Lalas were among the faces of the league, and ESPN and ABC sports secured the broadcasting rights for the MLS in a three-year deal that included 35 games plus the MLS World Cup. The inaugural season opened on April 6th, 1996, in a D.C. United vs. San Jose Clash matchup at the then-named Spartan Stadium in San Jose, and D.C. United would go on to form the MLS’ first dynasty, winning three of the league’s first four MLS Cup titles. Despite this early success, the MLS still faced financial troubles. 

Getty Images
Chris Duvall

Even with the 1994 FIFA campaign’s success, many teams still struggled to fill seats, and the league’s recurring revenue issues remained a consistent problem for its first several seasons. During this time, the MLS experimented with multiple rule changes such as the ‘shootout’ rule for tie games in an attempt to bring more interest from the American audience. In 1997, the league added two more teams, Chicago and South Florida, in the hopes of gaining the interests of their respective die-hards—but that didn’t work either.

The MLS continued to tinker with both its rules and organization, making several changes to tie game rules and replacing commissioner Doug Logan with Don Garber in the hopes that a leadership change would eventually turn the tide. The U.S. men’s national team’s first-round elimination in the 1998 World Cup certainly didn’t help matters, and the international players that had joined the league during its opening seasons eventually departed, leaving the MLS in a further damaged state.

The beginning of the 2000s still saw the MLS scrambling for solutions in order to avoid what felt like an inevitable shutdown. The league lost roughly $600 million in its first seven years of operation, and the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion franchises folded in 2002. The never-ending misfortunes began to slowly turn around for the better with the ‘02 World Cup when the U.S. beat Portugal and Mexico to advance to the quarterfinals. The resurgence in attention led to the record-setting 2002 MLS Cup, which saw the then-largest attendance in MLS Finals history, as the crowd watched the Los Angeles Galaxy capture their first title.

Getty Images
David Beckham

As the years progressed, there were two megastars that really helped pivot the popularity of the MLS: Freddy Adu, one of the most highly-touted prospects in MLS history, and a man by the name of David Beckham. In 2007, Beckham signed a five-year $250 million deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy. From a ‘superstar’ standpoint, there are very few athletes who have been able to command the fanfare and popularity that Beckham was able to achieve (especially during the peak of his career.) Beckham’s marketability was unmatched with loads of hype (Bend It Like Beckham may ring a bell) and endorsement deals, bringing a brand new audience to the MLS.

2008 saw the debut of Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer Thierry Henry, who agreed to a five-year deal with the New York Red Bulls. That same year featured the return of the San Jose Earthquakes, while 2009 and 2011 marked the additions of the Seattle Founders, Philadelphia Union, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and the Portland Timbers. The Montreal Impact joined the league in 2012, and the New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club followed in 2013. U.S.-based international soccer stars like Clint Dempsey from the English Premier League began joining MLS teams, and the past several years have brought additional expansions and signings as league interest continues to surge.

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Tigres UANL

So what does the future look like for the MLS? Well, for starters, the league has a ‘25-year’ plan set in motion, but in order to fully work, that is going to take more general interest from fans, media deals, excellent marketing strategies, and the most important thing—expansion. David Beckham continues to be a key factor in the MLS’ maturation, being approved in 2018 for a new expansion team, Inter Miami CF, who made their debut in 2020. Nashville SC, who was granted approval in 2017, also made their team debut last season. FC Cincinnati’s West End Stadium is scheduled to open this spring, and Austin FC and Charlotte FC will make their arrivals this upcoming year as well. Sacramento and St. Louis are on track to debut in 2022, and with one of the highest average attendances in the U.S., the league is on a good path.

Like all major sports leagues, Coronavirus has had a massive impact on the MLS. The MLS is still pretty reliant on audience attendance, and as we all know, Covid can make that component (as well as the general health of players) difficult. That said, the sports world will eventually be back to normal, and while that 25-year plan might be slightly delayed, things are continuing to progress at a rapid pace. There will be brand new stadiums, partnerships, and a new broadcasting deal next year when the current one expires. If all goes well with those negotiations, we could see more of the top international players joining MLS teams and additional opportunities for fans and casual viewers to have better access to games as we continue to head towards more of a digital/linear way of media consumption.

All eyes are on the MLS, and the countdown to 2022 begins now.

Categories
Gaming New Releases

Here’s Why You Should Be Playing ‘Valheim’

One of the most addicting games of 2021, Valheim is the newest game that is beginning to capture attention but still remains relatively underrated. Recently passing two million sales, the game is challenging, thrilling, and sometimes frustrating, providing an adventure like no other in recent memory. Playing Valheim is a similar experience to games like Minecraft and Ark and even has the aesthetics of Outward, making it visually captivating. 

Released on February 2nd, Valheim already has two million active users in just two short weeks, making it one of the fastest-growing games on the market. Via Stream Charts, Valheim has ranked twelfth globally in the last seven days on Twitch alone with over ten million views total and a peak of 137,464 concurrent viewers.

Valheim is a testament to why Survival Multiplayers are going to be the next genre of gaming to blow up. When the Battle Royale game mode exploded, it exploited the strong desire for an open-world MMO, which is something that many gamers want to see more of. The reason I’m saying this is because right now, we are seeing the stage set of how we may actually get a new, strong MMO in the future. We started off with Battle Royales, and now we are witnessing a lot of people getting super interested in other popular SMPs like Terraria, The Forest, and Rust.  

Valheim is a great game! I love how you don’t fully know the map until you discover and explore it. The further you travel from ‘Spawn’ (the origin point), the harder the game gets—which is cool because it forces you to actually use your skills and play in order to learn the essentials and mechanics necessary for survival. In other games, you can see a crafting table, and it shows you everything that you can build—which can be a spoiler in a way. In my opinion, not knowing everything ahead of time makes it more exciting and the game more rewarding. Why? Well, because in real-time survival, there are two things: you only know what you know, and what you don’t know is what you don’t know.

I don’t know yet if Valheim will be trending in the sense that you will see big-time streamers playing it, but I do think people will enjoy playing it. In a world where we see a lot of free games become among the best, Valheim is worth paying. If I could pay $20 again, I would. 

Categories
Culture News

This Week In TikTok: Throwbacks With Lil Uzi, Will.I.Am, T-Pain, and More

This past week was full of love, laughter, and…viral TikToks. While our last roundup was pretty dance heavy, this week saw a good mixture of both singing and dancing trends taking over the platform. These challenges are crafty, easy, and fun, so let’s not waste anymore time and get straight to them!

1. ‘Two’- Lil Uzi Vert

Released in 2017, off of Lil Uzi Vert’s album Luv Is Rage 2, this song originally made waves on social media as Uzi made the single as a way to address those who were copying his style and lyrical cadence. Now years later, the song has become popular again as TikTokers are using the intro to make funny lip syncing videos. Some have made date night videos at restaurants while others have chosen to make their TikToks leaning over the toilet pretending to be ‘drunk.’ So as you can see, there are no limits to this challenge.

2. ‘Throat Baby Remix’ – BRS Kash ft. DaBaby and The City Girls

You may remember the original ‘Throat Baby’ challenge from this past Fall. Well, the newly released  remix has reignited the trend, bringing on a fresh set of dances. Unlike other challenges, there isn’t specific choreography for this one, so you can make up any dance you like! While dance videos do take up the majority of this challenge, some have also chosen to make TikToks lip synching to the song in their cars. It is really up to you which direction you want to take.

3. ‘Scream and Shout’- Will.I.Am ft. Britney Spears

This 2013 Will.I.Am and Britney Spears collab has officially made its way onto the platform, as many younger TikTokers are discovering the song for the first time. Again there aren’t any real ‘rules’ to this challenge, so you are free to use your creativity. Some are making ‘flashback’ TikToks, while others are taking advantage of the app’s animations to create unique dancing videos. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you have fun with it!

4. ‘Up Down (Do This All Day) – T-Pain ft. B.o.B

Another 2013 throwback, this hit single remains an oldie but a goodie. This trend appears to actually have choreography that goes along with it, making this particular challenge different from the others on this list. However, the routine isn’t too complicated, so you can definitely perfect it with a little bit of practice. You can do this challenge solo dolo, or grab a group of friends. It’s up to you!

That’s going to do it for the challenges for this week, but we will be back next week with another round of TikTok trends!

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Corsair, the Gaming Gear and Streaming Equipment Leader, Acquires VBI

Visuals By Impulse (VBI) is undergoing a major shakeup in this first quarter of 2021. Last week Corsair, the leader in gaming gear and streaming equipment, came to a groundbreaking deal to acquire VBI from founder Caleb Leigh for an undisclosed amount, as the company continues to move deeper into the streaming scene. VBI is a leading design platform for creators on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming, and among the most respected for streamers in the esports and gaming community with their graphics being used in some capacity by over 400,000 streamers. VBI has done working with some of esports’ finest including; 100 Thieves, Valkyrae, Myth, Lachlan, CouRage, Scump and more.

The deal follows Corsair’s 2018 acquisition of Elgato and their 2020 purchase of EpocCam, marking it as the third major move for the organization in the past three years. Corsair’s VBI buyout makes them the first major tech player to heavily invest in a creative platform and design team, and the company plans to add a new product line to VBI while also offering branding and digital design resources for creators.

As live-streaming services continue to soar to unseen sights during the midst of this pandemic, the VBI acquisition will open up the doors to new collaborations with other Corsair brands such as SCUF Gaming and Gamer Sensei. Streamers and content creators will also have access to more free and paid designs than ever before, giving them the opportunity to elevate their brand while experiencing world-class technology.

VBI, who has experienced enormous growth since March, will now operate as a separate brand and product line underneath Elgato, where fans will have access to top-of-the-line visuals alongside their favorite Elgato products. 

ONE37pm’s Aaron ‘Don’ Dukes spoke with VBI Founder Caleb Leigh ahead of this announcement.

When I spoke with you on your podcast—I had already been working on this since around September 2019. This has been happening for a very long time, and it’s finally done. I’m stupid excited about this!

For me I am no longer the CEO of VBI, I am not the founder. All of the media releases will be going out on Tuesday, but those are all going to be mostly investor related, and we realized we wanted to make a bigger deal out of this than just investor relations because this is the first time we have a digital product in our product line. We are going to pour gasoline all over it!

No staff reductions were made as a result of this agreement, and this move continues to highlight just how bright the gaming landscape is for live streaming.

You can keep with all of the latest announcements for both Corsair and VBI/Elgato via their official websites.