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Entrepreneurs Grind

A Look At Tom Brady’s TB12 Brand With Co-Founder Alex Guerrero

The key to longevity as an athlete is health and consistency. At 44-years-old, Tom Brady has been able to have one of the longest and most successful careers in the history of professional sports, and as Brady begins this NFL season with yet another Super Bowl win under his belt, people are once again asking how he does it. If you want the answers on how he does it, look no further than TB12, the health and wellness brand he co-founded with longtime body coach Alex Guerrero in 2013. With the season back in full swing, we spoke with Guerrero about TB12, the importance of athletes caring for and maintaining their bodies, and how you can live a pain-free life. 

TB12

ONE37pm: You and Tom Brady launched TB12 in 2013. What was that process like then, and how has the company evolved since?

Guerrero: When I first started working with Tom, he couldn’t toss a ball without feeling pain. I worked with him using what would later be coined as muscle pliability, and he noticed a difference within two days of receiving his treatment. From there, our friendship and partnership began. I remember one day in 2012, we were sitting in Tom’s living room during a break in their offseason training and we reflected on the impact our work together had made on his ability to improve his performance.

I asked myself: If what we’re doing works for you, why wouldn’t it work for everyone? And so, the TB12 brand was born. TB12 is really a holistic approach to optimize pain management, performance, and recovery, with a focus on nutrition, hydration, and movement – and it can be applied to anyone. We are hoping to change the game for health and wellness globally and help people live their lives to the fullest and do what they love for as long as possible.

TB12 has a large and growing web presence, including virtual workout sessions.

The eCommerce store sells everything from pliability and performance equipment to the highest-quality nutritional supplements on the market.

ONE37pm:  These last few years one of the biggest questions in regards to Brady is how he has been able to achieve this type of longevity and stay in such great shape. Can you give us more insight into his overall process?

Guerrero: To perform your best is to perform pain-free. Tom and I work on several things to prevent overload to elbows and shoulders and maintaining mobility and strength through his hips and spine.  But the constant through it all was the hard work and determination that propelled Tom personally.  There are many ways to stay healthy, but one key part of longevity is muscle pliability.  For applying some of the practices of pliability that Tom works on,  you can roll out your muscles pre-and post-workout.

TB12

One of the best ways to experience deep-tissue manipulation is with a TB12 Body Coach whose process is modeled after my work with Tom. If you don’t have access to a Body Coach, you can perform pliability work at home using devices like the TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, our Vibrating Pliability Sphere, or our Vibrating Mini Sphere. The second way to get pliable is to pursue a lifestyle that minimizes inflammation, which comes from a balanced approach to nutrition and an emphasis on proper hydration. A lifestyle that supports your pliability also has to include a good amount of sleep, which helps your brain to recover and develop. The result of pliability is that you recover faster, play better, and spend less time on the sidelines.

ONE37pm: Some of the core elements of TB12 are pliability, hydration, and living a pain-free life. A lot of our readers are young athletes that want to have long careers and just be healthy in general. Can you expand upon those concepts?

Guerrero: TB12 is centered around a holistic methodology for your overall health and athletic performance with personalized services from Body Coaches mirroring my approach to training Tom. TB12 integrates revolutionary concepts in deep-force muscle pliability work, hydration, nutrition, movement, and mental fitness. With a focus on performance and recovery, we help people do what they love better and for longer. Through this work, it is our mission to empower people to live pain-free and perform their best. 

Some of the key differentiators of the TB12 Method are the emphasis on pliability and recovery as a whole:  

At TB12, we believe everything begins with pliability, which is the daily lengthening and softening of muscles to promote recovery and help protect from injury. 

Core pillars of the TB12 Method include pliability, hydration, mental fitness, movement, and nutrition. We also believe that the recovery process is multi-faceted – it includes rest, hydration, diet, and pre and post-workout pliability. 

Overall, the body and brain need re-centering, rest, and recovery in order to perform their best 

ONE37pm: Last but not least, is there anything else that TB12 has in store for the rest of 2021. Obviously, the season is back in action which is exciting.

Guerrero: In addition to our Tampa, Boston, and Foxborough locations, TB12 has major growth plans that include expansion into markets such as NY, LA, and Florida. Our vision is to become the world’s most trusted authority on health and wellness.

You can continue to keep up with TB12 on both Instagram and Twitter.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

Here’s How Lil Uzi’s Net Worth Has Skyrocketed in Recent Years

Lil Uzi Vert aka Uzi is one of the most popular rappers and songwriters in the world. In the process of rising to fame, he has also been able to achieve a growing net worth through his hit records and popularity. While it takes time to build an empire, Uzi is already off to a fast start with an estimated net worth of $25 million. Now you may be wondering how he has been able to hit the 25 million mark in just a few short years, so we’re going to break it down for you right now.

Early Beginnings
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Lil Uzi

The 27-year-olds journey began in Philadelphia where he grew up inspired by the rappers and artists of the late 1990s and early 2000s. During that time period, he began dabbling into his own musical skills when he started rapping in high school. According to Wikipedia, Uzi began rapping with different music groups such as his group Steakhouse and released his first EP Purple Thoughtz Vol. 1 in 2014. The project captured the attention of music industry executives, and the rapper released his follow-up mixtape The Real Uzi later that same year, eventually signing a record deal with Atlantic Records.

Career Success
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Lil Uzi

Uzi began building even more steam in 2015 setting himself up for his 2016 breakthrough where he was a part of XXL’s 2016 Class. Each new release was more successful than the previous and thus resulted in the artist earning more with each new project. Uzi also began working with some of the music industry’s most elite artists like Migos, Gucci Mane, and Playboi Carti while also elevating his presence in the touring scene. Similar to the way most major athletes make more from their endorsement deals than their actual playing contracts, musicians tend to earn more from live performances and tours as opposed to their albums/EPs.

In 2017, Uzi landed a gig performing on the European leg of The Weeknd’s Legend of the Fall Tour, and began piling on the hits with his feature on “Woke Up Like This,” and the August 2017 release of Luv Is Rage 2 which paved for his April 2019 signing with Roc Nation. 

2019-2020
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Lil Uzi

Uzi has spent the last couple of years continuing to build his catalog with a steady stream of releases. Unfortunately, the pandemic has halted/delayed a lot of performing opportunities for entertainers, which means they haven’t been able to get out on the road as much. Uzi spent the majority of 2021 releasing the anticipated deluxe addition to Eternal Awake, which added fourteen tracks to the original and included major features from Future, Lil Durk, Gunna, and more. The album was number one with 400 million streams during the first part of the pandemic, making it the largest streaming count since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter 4

2020- Present
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Lil Uzi

So what’s in store for Lil Uzi in the future? The only thing we know right now is that he’s currently in the studio working on new projects. According to Wikipedia, Uzi is recording an album called Forever Young, and has plans to release a follow-up to 2017’s Luv Is Rage 2. At the moment there are no confirmed concert dates in the works, but we imagine that Uzi is probably waiting it out to see what the landscape will look like in terms of this ongoing pandemic and how safe live performances will be. That said, a lot of artists have returned to the performing scene, so it’s possible that we can see Uzi back on stage once he releases again. 

Lil Uzi’s career and net worth is continuously growing, and it will be interesting to see what other major moves he makes in the years to come.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

Why Diverse Creators Are Choosing NTWRK

If you are involved in the world of content, entertainment, and e-commerce, then at some point you have probably seen something from NTWRK pop up in your social media scrolling. The North American premier live stream platform has become the go-to incubator for diverse, world-class creators, catering to the growing digital-native consumer market while also partnering with multicultural creatives and brands to amplify both their stories and products. NTWRK focuses on a target audience of Gen Z and Millennial consumers actively zooming in on partnerships that allow them to grow as creators while bringing in revenue.

NTWRK
NTWRK

Simply put—NTWRK is a creators’ dream regardless of which level you’re currently at in your journey. The company has already achieved several monumental milestones, including being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, and is only getting started. NTWRK continues to partner with a wide range of diverse collaborators, including Bad Bunny, Sophia Chang, and J Balvin.

Recently coming off their latest partnership with DJ turned jeweler Ben Baller for an exclusive MTV chain, the company has big plans for the remainder of 2021. We spoke with NTWRK’s CMO Jason Brown on why creators, specifically those of color, are choosing the company as their e-commerce platform of choice.

ONE37pm: How did the concept of NTWRK come to fruition?

Brown: Actually, the funny thing is I’ve personally only been here for 60 days, but I’ve been on the outside looking in for a while because I’ve had a close relationship with the CEO Aaron Levant dating back to the early days of their comic book store on the Hollywood Strip when I was the head of marketing at Foot Locker. So I’ve always been on the outside looking in.

NTWRK
NTWRK CMO Jason Brown

ONE37pm: How do you feel your previous career experiences have helped your new role at NTWRK?

Brown: All of my career experiences have helped in a number of ways, as well as the life that I’ve been living since I was five years old. I’ve always been enamored with culture, sports, music, and entertainment, even before I officially entered corporate America. So this is like everything coming together along with tapping into my life experiences.

ONE37pm: NTWRK has received numerous accolades already. What do you feel has contributed to that quick growth?

Brown: A couple of things. First, I would say it’s the vision of our CEO Aaron Levant, who understands the white space in the culture. Then it’s all of the people that work at NTWRK, which is over 100. One hundred employees might sound like a lot of people, but their execution and team effort is needed and have helped with our growth.

NTWRK
NTWRK’ Diverse Creators

ONE37pm: You guys have done a lot of partnerships with world-class multicultural creators to tell their stories and showcase their products. How has that been?

Brown: Many of us here at NTWRK have similar lifestyles to these creators in terms of our passion, and some of us had previous existing relationships with these same creators before coming here. NTWRK is one of the most curated platforms in the world. People see what we’re doing and want to join us, for example—our Ben Baller partnership. We knew Ben Baller before becoming a jeweler. He was previously a DJ and lived the cultural lifestyle in a very different way than what he does today. It was definitely a full-circle moment! 

Other creators who have been able to utilize NTWRK’s far-reaching platform include:

**A first-generation Guatemalan born and raised in California, Joshua Vides is a graphic artist known for transforming everyday objects and occupiable space through sleek, hand-drawn illustrations. Vides has previously partnered with Fendi, Harrod’s, and Converse. 

**Afro-Mexican artist, Cristina Martinez finds beauty in the unexpected. Martinez’s work is an amalgamation of her love for both creating on a canvas and at a sewing machine.

**Dexter the Creator is an American artist of Mexican & Jewish descent who communicates his messages through the medium of footwear. At 21, Dexter began creating his now-signature bespoke sneaker pieces, composed of high-quality exotic materials sourced from around the globe.

**Sophia Chang is a pioneering Taiwanese American entrepreneur who, in less than a decade, managed to champion a name for herself in the art, design, and streetwear community worldwide. Chang has collaborated with a-list names such as Samsung, Nike, Apple, and HBO.

**Korean-American Ben Baller comes from a family with 35 years of jewelry-making history. The self-proclaimed “best jeweler in the world” has a clientele that includes Mariah Carey, The Weeknd, Kanye West, and even Michael Jackson. 

**Bad Bunny, the chart-topping Puerto Rican singer, rapper, and producer based in San Juan is a dominant voice in Latin trap and a general trendsetter for música Urbana. The multi-faceted artist has graced the cover of Rolling Stone, won a Latin Grammy, and received Variety’s Achievement in International Music Award in 2020. 

**Award-winning Colombian Urbano singer J Balvin is a chart-topping recording artist whose polished urban singles and multi-platinum-selling albums have made him a top-tier Latin pop crossover act. 

**Jeff Staple (born Jeffrey Ng) is a creative visionary with work encompassing graphic design, fashion design, footwear design, and brand marketing. He is the founder of the streetwear brand STAPLE, the creative agency REED ART DEPARTMENT, and the creator of the infamous NIKE x STAPLE PIGEON DUNK. Jeff has worked on creative projects ranging from startup brands to Fortune 100 companies.

NTWRK
NTWRK Soled Out

ONE37pm: You sort of covered our next question! We were going to ask why you think creators are choosing NTWRK, but is there anything else you want to add?

Brown: Part of our ability to book talent is definitely NTWRK’s credibility, but it’s also the steam we’ve been able to build on our own too, like with the Cheetos x Bad Bunny capsule. People are much more inclined to work with us because they’ve seen our body of work. We also make a conscious effort to provide a platform for multicultural creators and amplify their voices while giving them a unique avenue to profit from their passions.

ONE37pm: What else is NTWRK bringing us for the rest of the year?

Brown: We have a handful of plans starting with our TRANSFER festival with Edison Chen, which is all about design culture. Then we have our second iteration of “Beyond The Streets” which is a digitized way for artists and creators to celebrate their work. That’s as close to “IRL” we’re getting this year, but we will also be launching our first official NTWRK campaign.

It sounds crazy, but we haven’t had a consumer-facing brand introduction in nearly two years, and there’s still a lot of people who don’t know who we are or what we do. We want to introduce ourselves and have conversations about creators who aren’t Ben Baller or Sophia Chang. Also, I can’t reveal too much yet, but we will have a NTWRK gift guide coming out in November for the holiday season so we are looking forward to that as well.

And so are we. You can keep with NTWRK’s latest updates on Instagram and Twitter.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

What Is Michael Jordan’s Net Worth?

We’re already familiar with Michael Jordan’s legacy as a basketball player, but sometimes his legacy as an entrepreneur and mogul gets lost in the mix of his GOAT status. One could very well argue that Michael Jordan continues to have the most impactful individual brand in the history of sports. According to a report from Forbes, Jordan has an overall net worth of $1.6 Billion, with the majority of those earnings having come off the court.

The six-time champion and Hall of Famer continues to be a powerful earning force in the entertainment industry as evidenced by last year’s ESPN docu-series The Last Dance, and his weekly sneaker releases that oftentimes have the sneaker communities fighting for a shot at snagging new pairs to add to their collections. We’ll be looking closer at Michael Jordan the businessman, and chronicling his evolution.

Early Beginnings
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Michael Jordan

Every story has a first chapter, and for Jordan, that chapter starts in 1984 when he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. The NBA landscape was a lot different in that era, and players weren’t earning as much as they can command today. Nonetheless, Jordan’s signing with the Bulls marked his first professional basketball contract, and thus the start of his career earnings.

According to a June 2020 article written by Kriel Ibarrola, the iconic Jumpman logo brings in roughly $3 billion annually, and MJ nets roughly $100 million in Nike Royalties.

Other Endorsements
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Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

When looking at Jordan’s entrepreneurial rise, it’s important to understand that it took years (maybe even decades) to fully build the Jordan brand. While super successful, MJ wasn’t raking in hundreds of millions at the very beginning, and Jordan didn’t have ambassadors signed to shoe deals until he was near his first retirement.

Prior to that Jordan was viewed as the “competitor” which meant his NBA peers likely wouldn’t be sporting his shoe because, well, you can’t exactly wear your enemy’s shoes. As number 23 continued to grow the business element of his career, he also signed endorsement deals with Gatorade, McDonald’s, and later on Hanes.

Jordan has also partnered with other big-name brands like Coca-Cola, Wheaties, and Upper Deck over the years, and like most other athletes, earned more from his sponsorships than basketball which only netted him $90 million for the entirety of his playing career.

Space Jam
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Michael Jordan Space Jam

In 1996 Jordan signed on to star in the now cult-classic basketball film Space Jam. While nobody knows exactly how much he was paid to do the movie, Space Jam was a monster box office success grossing over $250 million worldwide, eventually going on to become the highest-grossing basketball film of all time.

Post-NBA Earnings
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Michael Jordan

We already mentioned earlier the massive earning power of the Jordan brand due to its hype, popularity, regular releases, and signees, but since his second retirement in 2003, Jordan has also continued to earn money in other areas. In 2010, MJ took majority control of the Charlotte Hornets. Additionally, an April 2021 report from Clutchpoints states that Jordan bought the Hornets for a whopping $175 million, which wound up being an excellent investment for him as the franchise is now worth roughly $1.5 billion.

Surely nothing in this article is a surprise. Michael Jordan has been a force to reckon with both on and off the court for nearly four decades. He’s one of the most prolific athletes of all time who was able to crossover and have an impact on people who weren’t even major basketball fans. Jordans remain the most popular and in-demand sneaker, MJ’s presence still commands major attention, and he remains one of the most powerful people on the face of this planet. 

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ONE37pm Has A Conversation With The Harlem Globetrotters

If you are anything like me, then you have been fascinated by the Harlem Globetrotters for pretty much your entire life. Since being founded in 1926, the Harlem Globetrotters have been capturing global attention for decades, passing down their immense basketball talent, entertainment skills, and mind boggling tricks literally through generations. Of course, as you all know, last year was tough in many different capacities, and for those of us that are sports lovers, our outlet is, well, sports. For the first time in our lives, sports were completely taken away from us, and the world stopped. Whether you were an athlete or an avid sports fan, that period of time felt like a part of your life was missing.

Harlem Globetrotters
Harlem Globetrotters

Now over a year later sports are fully back, and so are the Harlem Globetrotters. Kicking off their 2021 Spread Game Tour, the Globetrotters are putting on a show as usual, while welcoming the addition of some new on-court characters. The tour has been a massive success so far, with plenty more U.S and International dates lined up through October. We caught up with players Nate aka “Big Easy,” Corey aka “Thunder,” and Cherelle aka “Torch” to discuss how the season is going so far, what it means to them to represent black excellence on and off the court, and the meaning behind being a Harlem Globetrotter.

ONE37pm: First of all, we just wanted to congratulate you guys on the tour! How has that been for you guys so far?

Big Easy: It’s been good! We haven’t been out here in about sixteen months, and I think the fans need something to do right now because everybody has been locked up due to Covid. It’s been good to just get out there and make people smile, and give them something to do with their families. We are doing that times 10!

Thunder: I’ll piggyback off what Easy said. The last sixteen months has not been what we’re accustomed to, and one thing the world definitely needed was the Globetrotters. We’re representing joy and spreading it all over the world creating memories. It’s definitely been good to get back to what we love, and I’m enjoying it!

Torch: I feel the same as the guys! To get back into these arenas and see these fans has been nice.

ONE37pm: This piece is about getting to know you all off the court. For those that don’t know you on a personal level, what do you like off the court? What are your hobbies and interests?

Big Easy: I’m a girl and boy dad! I’ve got two girls and two boys. For me, I’m all about spending time with my family. I’ve been a licensed real estate agent for the past six years, and I’m big into that. Especially during Covid where I had time to be home consecutive months. I’m all about that and doing good for the next generation. I’m trying to teach kids what I’ve learned at 30 and 40, and give them that knowledge at 17. I talk to these kids not about basketball, but about the importance of having credit, saving money, and just things in general that you aren’t taught in the black community. My dad passed and he never had a debit card. My mother is 60 and she still doesn’t have a credit card. I want to help those that are coming behind me understand what’s important. I’m a golfer too, and I just ordered some new golf clubs. Hopefully my game will get better! I like to chill, sit back, and relax.

Thunder: I’m a girl dad! When I’m not working, whatever I do involves them. I enjoy being with my family and friends, and if it’s a weekend you are definitely going to catch me at somebody’s brunch. I’ve got to get my brunch and mimosas in! I also just picked up golfing and I’m into real estate as well. I’ve got a few properties and have some real estate in Florida, so that’s been going well. I just enjoy life, and I’m very happy and outgoing. The person I am on the court is who I am off of it. I like to dance, laugh, and have a good time.

Torch: I love to play flag football! I’m a daughter and a sister, and I love all sports. I’m into acting which I began doing after Covid, and I started spending time with family during the downtime that we had. I was just trying to make up for time that we normally spend on the road because you miss a lot of memories. During Covid I just tried to do other things because even though I love the game of basketball, I love other sports and family time too.

ONE37pm: The Harlem Globetrotters exemplify black excellence on and off the court, and you guys are working together to target racial and social injustice, anti-bullying, and just using your voices in general to make a change. Could you speak a little more about that?

Big Easy: I think it’s super important. I did the Amazing Race three times, and I wanted to do it because I knew 14 million people were going to be watching. That was also good for the Globetrotters from a PR standpoint. I wanted all the black and brown kids to look on the screen and see a black athlete that could compete for a million dollars, and wasn’t a bad person that was getting in trouble, being disrespectful to women, etc. I wanted them to see somebody who was doing all of these cool things in the community.

I’m straight from the projects in New Orleans, and I understand what some of these kids are going through, but I want them to know that I’m on the other side. They need to know that the stuff they are going through is part of their journey, not their destination. I’ve been through all of the same things, and I want them to feel that they can come out and do it better than me. I love that responsibility. We started on somebody’s shoulder, so now we have to reach out and pull up.

Thunder: I remember when I first joined the Globetrotters, Big Easy put me on to so much game. The knowledge he spread was so important, and when I go to camps, I’m not talking to kids about basketball. I’m talking to them about how to set themselves up for life because the ball is going to stop bouncing one day. You want to leave a legacy, and that is what I’m about right now. I’m also about breaking curses, and it’s time to break a lot of those cycles that Easy already spoke on. If I could use this Globetrotters name on my chest to get their attention, I am absolutely going to do that.

Torch: I feel that representation is so important. A lot of times at games when I run out with the guys—there’s a great chance that there is a female in the stands that didn’t even know that female globetrotters exist. Everyday I try to be the best that I can be, and just about every night there is a parent that tells me that their daughter was inspired. Being a positive role model for young black and brown girls is all that I can ask for every single night. It’s truly been a blessing to have this position.

ONE37pm: What does it mean to represent the Harlem Globetrotters?

Big Easy: Being a Globetrotter is like being a superhero! We were in an elevator recently, and this man asked if we were really Globetrotters. He was in town with his son who has brain cancer to start radiation treatment for him. He asked if we could take a picture with his son, and we went downstairs to take the picture. There’s no telling what this kid is going through and how his family is suffering, but for that moment he was able to smile, and his mom was able to smile and start crying.

We were able to make a kid who probably hasn’t smiled in weeks, laugh and smile. We could tell you hundreds of stories about our impact around the world and in our communities. When I come home they treat me like a hometown hero, and it’s something that feels good.

Thunder: The Globetrotters have an annual draft, and I was one of the players drafted in 2013. I had just graduated college, and I told my mom that I’d gotten an email from them (the Globetrotters), and she was just so excited. She instantly told me the story of Curly Neal coming to her school, and she remembered it vividly. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into until I played my first game and saw these kids going crazy. I had a chance to meet this kid named Michael George in Houston who was dealing with Leukemia. I visited his class, went to his house, and showed him the Globetrotter video. He started crying and shaking, and he told me how excited he was to see me. To be a part of something like that changed my life. It means a lot to be a Globetrotter.

Torch: I’m fortunate to be a part of an organization that has been changing lives for 95 years globally. It doesn’t matter if I’m in Australia or Tupelo, Mississippi, everybody has the same stories and it trickles down through generations. It’s amazing! I feel it’s our job to keep this legacy going because they talk about the Curly Neals, but one day they are going to talk about Big Easy. It’s like a dream come true. When I come home my family will ask me how Jerusalem was and the rest of my travels. My family looks at me and holds me to a higher standard, and we make them proud. I want to continue the legacy of us being great basketball players and great people.

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what can we expect for the rest of the season?

Big Easy: I look forward to the kids who will experience seeing us for the first time. I want to make sure those same kids are on YouTube showing their children Harlem Globetrotter videos 20 or 30 years from now and passing it on. This has been going on for 95 years and I am not about to mess it up. We’re going to keep this going. I’m getting closer to the end, but I know we’re in good hands. I want to make sure every night there is somebody new watching that leaves in the arena happy. If I do that, nothing else matters.

Thunder: Every night when I’m put on that jersey I feel like a superhero. That’s the swag I have every night. Each game is going to have somebody that has never seen us before, and we might even be in a place where there aren’t many Black people. We want to counter those stereotypes of us, and I want to change any negative mindsets. That’s how I rock and that’s how I feel every game.

Torch: I feel like the guys said everything I was going to say! Whether there’s three people in the stands or hundreds, we are going to do what we do every night. Like Big Easy said, there is a kid each game that hasn’t seen us, and that is who we go hard for.

Be sure to check out the Harlem Globetrotters on tour this season, and visit their official website to purchase tickets. You can also follow the Globetrotters on Instagram.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

Everything To Know About Lebron’s Agent Rich Paul

Ohio stand up! At this stage of the game, Rich Paul is an instantly recognizable household name. The literal definition of a power player, Paul has established himself as one of the most prominent sports agents in the world with his sports management in company Klutch Sports Group, which represents a large number of some of the best athletes in the world including: Trae Young, Anthony Davis, and of course, longtime friend and business partner Lebron James. Like many success stories, Paul’s journey to the top wasn’t easy, and if you are from Ohio (I lived there for several years during my childhood), then you are more than familiar with his story.

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Rich Paul, Lebron James, Maverick Carter, and Beanie Sigel in 2005

Through the years there have been plenty of documentaries and written pieces (such as Lebron’s 2008 documentary More Than A Game) crafted on the business side of Lebron James and his team, but working with James early on in his career was just the beginning, and now names like Rich Paul, Maverick Carter, etc., stand completely alone with their own set of power. Ten years ago you may have automatically associated Rich Paul with James, but that is not the case in 2021. Simply put, Paul is a massive force in the sports and entertainment industry as a whole, and this is only the beginning of plenty more to come. Here’s a breakdown of how he was able to do it.

How Did Rich Paul Meet Lebron James?
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Rich Paul at the opening of the 40/40 Club

In Paul’s case, his meeting with Lebron James was a bit different than the others. Maverick Carter and James were teammates at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School prior to Carter leaving for college, and Randy Mims’ relationship with James dates all the way back to his childhood. If you’ve ever been to Akron/Cleveland, then you are aware of how small the city can be. It can be one of those places where everybody knows one another, but as fate would have it James and Paul didn’t cross paths until James was in high school. According to a 2014 article from Business Insider, the two met at the Akron-Canton airport in 2002 while both were waiting to board their respective flights.

Apparently the then 21-year-old Paul was rocking a Warren Moon throwback jersey (which James was impressed by), and was headed to Atlanta to buy more jerseys (Paul had a business where he sold jerseys out of the trunk of his car). Paul gave James the name of his Atlanta connection, told him to drop his name for a discount, and the two eventually became friends as Lebron continued to soar through his historic high school career.

Shortly after James was drafted as the No 1. pick in the 2003 draft, Paul came on board as James’ personal assistant.

What Were The Early Years Like?
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Rich Paul

Paul quickly went from James’ personal assistant to part of his agency/marketing team, taking a position working under Leon Rose (James’ agent at the time) at Creative Artists Agency. Rose had previously negotiated James’ 2006 contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Paul spent six years under his tutelage before deciding it was time to start his own agency.

Enter Klutch Sports Group
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Rich Paul, Maverick Carter, and Jay-Z

You had to be there. Nearly ten years later we can look back at the start of Klutch Sports as a “moment in history,” but at the time this was a move that received quite a bit of skepticism and even negativity from certain individuals. In 2012, Paul was known more so for his work with Leon in regards to James’ career, and there was some chatter about his ability to strike out on his own and create a successful sports agency. Well, Paul certainly proved all of those critics wrong.

James immediately left CAA and signed with…Rich Paul and Klutch Sports. In the span of six-short years, Paul went from working with James’ agent to being actually his agent, and from there the doors opened for Paul to sign more high-profile clients. Through the years, Klutch Sports has added on a long list of signees to their roster such as Anthony Davis, John Wall, and plenty more, along with James’ negotiations to return to Cleveland in 2014, and his move to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018.

What Is Rich Paul’s Net Worth?
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Rich Paul and Kobe Bryant

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Paul is currently worth a whopping $100 million, which should come as no surprise seeing as though he represents some of the most elite figures in sports. To date, Paul manages over 20 NBA players and added a football division to Klutch in 2019. Paul has been reported to earn over $70 million from his rising players, so one can only imagine what he rakes in from his all-star and superstar clients.

Of course the emergence of new NIL rule amongst college athletes will be something to keep an eye on from Klutch Sports as collegiate athletes can now profit from their name, image, and likeness. Paul has already gotten started in that department as it was announced two weeks ago that USC quarterback Kedon Slovis would be signing with the agency for representation.

For as much as Rich Paul has accomplished in such a relatively short amount of time, it still feels like bigger is on the way. Time will tell what else Paul has up his sleeve in terms of his major business moves, but if history is any indication, those moves will be massive. 

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Entrepreneurs Grind

Rennia Davis Plans To Comeback Better Than Ever

Rennia Davis has a bright future ahead of her.

Coming off an incredibly successful collegiate career at the University of Tennessee where she averaged 15.4 points and eight rebounds over the course of her four years with the team, Davis finished top 10 in just about every statistical category imaginable in Tennessee history including scoring, rebounds, and double-doubles. Her performance during the 2020-2021 campaign earned her the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, and she was subsequently drafted 9th by the Minnesota Lynx in this year’s draft.

Unfortunately, Davis suffered a stress fracture in her foot early in the season, putting her out indefinitely. Still, as we all know, setbacks are setups for comebacks, and Davis is working hard to come back better than ever. We caught up with one of Tennessee’s all-time greats to talk about her college career, what it was like to experience the moment of being drafted, and what we can expect from her in the coming months.

ONE37pm: Okay let’s start by taking it back to the University of Tennessee where you established yourself as one of the best women’s college basketball players in the country. What was that like for you?

Davis: Honestly, my time at Tennessee was not how I was expecting it to go. It was definitely a grind! It feels good now looking back, but it wasn’t easy. Teams played us harder because we were “Tennessee.” We’ve won eight national championships, and our name holds a lot of weight. I remember we played Kentucky my sophomore year, and they beat us. They were sort of rubbing in our faces like “yeah we beat Tennessee.” We were getting the best of teams every night, so it does feel good now.

ONE37pm: Draft Night is a defining moment for every athlete. Unfortunately, it was virtual like last year, but what was it like to hear your name called?

Davis: It wasn’t unfortunate for me at all! I got to be around my family and it was more of an intimate setting. It still would have been a special moment if I had been there, but to have all the people that love and care about me was great. You know this was my dream, and it was a really good feeling. A different energy for sure!

ONE37pm: You suffered a stress fracture in your foot just a few days after training camp, but we all know you are very resilient. How has the rehab process been going?

Davis: It’s been very tough, but as you said, I’m a very tough individual. I’ve actually had this stress fracture since March, so I went through finishing the season, pre-season, and that little bit of training camp with it. It’s a different approach to each day, but whenever I face challenges, I take a deep breath because I know there is a blessing waiting on the other side. It’s a balance of being positive and realistic. Sometimes it gets complicated because I’ll be trying to do core work, but then I have to worry about my leg. I’m working through it.

ONE37pm: Where would you say you are right now in terms of recovery on a scale of 1-10?

Davis: I’m not gonna lie—I’m very close to a 1, but it’s my doctor’s orders. I can’t rush this process at all.

ONE37pm: Absolutely! Don’t rush it at all because you’ve got plenty of time. On another note, what have you been doing to make the most of your time off?

Davis: I’ve been doing a lot of big things! I’m trying to stay involved in the game without necessarily having a basketball in my hands. I’ve been interacting with my supporters in different ways, and I’ve been focused on trying to build my actual brand with Distinction, my marketing agency. I’m working on my logo, and I am going to have t-shirts dropping soon. I also plan on starting a weekly live session, and obviously starting off it will be with people that I know in the league. I’m still very much involved with my teammates and the league, and I’m also starting a five meal in five days program. The first meal actually came out this week! I eventually would like to own a restaurant because I have other passions and dreams too.

ONE37pm: What can we expect from you in the future, and is there anything else you would like to mention?

Davis: I’ve got my t-shirts coming really soon! I want to have them released before the end of the season. Also, go Lynx! Keep supporting us!

You can keep up with Rennia on Instagram and Twitter for all of her latest updates.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

GaryVee Talks To Pro Athletes About How to Make An Impact

If you saw the “30 for 30″—then you already know the story.

“By the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress; within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.”

Former Tennessee Titan, Derrick Morgan, is looking to change that.

Last Friday, Morgan spearhead a financial conference called “I AM Nation.” It included guests speeches from the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk and Anthony Pompliano.

“Life is only about access. And the great mistake of athletes is not going aggressive enough, to make relationships in the cities where they have played,” Vaynerchuk had to say when speaking at the event, emphasizing the need for personal connections.

In addition to increasing financial literacy, Morgan, and a slew of other current and former athletes, are hoping to also make an impact. They’ve laid out their priorities as capital, community, and culture.

When players are in the primes of their career, financial strategy and investing are rarely discussed in the locker room. The event was made to provide a forum for players to learn, network, and open that conversation.

The “I AM Nation” group has put together quite the team. The roster includes Josh Childress, Byron Jones, Stephen Tulloch, Winston Justice, Justin Forsett, EJ Manuel, Vincent Fuller, Kevin Byard, and Spencer Paysinger.

These players’ backgrounds are all different. Some of them have already dabbled in entrepreneurship and others are just getting started. Either way, their involvement is helping diversify the investment space.

At the event, the conversations revolved around NFTs, real estate, cryptocurrency, and stock trading. Each subsection was given a speaker dedicated to providing valuable information for the group.

“[Athletes] are playing in real cities, with real die-hard fans. Football is one of the great passions of our society.  And because of that passion, you can access some really influential people, who will take a meeting with you, who will say yes to doing business with you” Vaynerchuk emphasized.

The event united the focuses of Morgan’s vision, by bringing capital, community, and culture together.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

New Orleans Pelicans Star Wes Iwundu Announces Partnership With Diplomacy

New Orleans Pelicans star Wes Iwundu is teaming up with black-owned streetwear brand Diplomacy for a new capsule collection called Free The Future. A life-long lover of streetwear fashion, Iwundu and Diplomacy have collaborated to bring forth a capsule that includes high-quality statement tees, shorts, socks, and accessories all made in California. Working closely with Diplomacy founder and creative visionary Eric Archibald, the ultimate goal of this collection is to create expression through fashion, escapism, and pieces that promote mindfulness, tact, and civility, as we continue to battle a global pandemic, racial injustice, economic hardship, and political division.

Diplomacy
Wes Iwundu

Additionally, Iwundu and Diplomacy will be helping the community, as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Houston, as they will work to deliver high-quality afterschool to their community’s most at-risk youth. Ahead of the launch, ONE37pm caught up with Iwundu to discuss how this partnership came to be, and his aspirations for this capsule.

ONE37pm: First of all, congratulations on this partnership! How did this come to fruition, and how important is it for you to be teaming up with Diplomacy?

Iwundu: I’ve always wanted to be able to bring an idea to life through fashion. Partnering with Diplomacy gave me the opportunity to be in a creative mindset.  We chopped it up, they listened to my ideas, and the project evolved from there

ONE37pm: Has streetwear always been something you have loved or been passionate about?

Iwundu: Streetwear was always a passion of mine. Ever since I was a kid asking my mom to take me to the store to pick up the cool trends. Elementary school had a dress code, so I wasn’t able to show really off my drip yet, ha-ha.  But I love the socially conscious vibe that drives streetwear, and I think Diplomacy does this in really creative ways.

Diplomacy

ONE37pm: You have been working with creative director Eric Archibald on this Free The Future capsule which has hoodies, tees, accessories, etc. There is truly something in this collection for everybody. What was the design process like in terms of creating and selecting the pieces?

Iwundu: Eric has been amazing.  So inspiring to work with. Being in the same room with his imagination really gets me thinking in new directions. The process of creating and coming up with the pieces was very detailed and took time. We needed to explore what “free the future” means and how we could represent it visually in the most exciting ways. From there we looked for fabrics, and Los Angeles is a great place for that, I wanted the fabric to feel so good that when you try on the hoodie or the shorts or the tee there is an immediate reaction.  You don’t want to take it off.  Same with the fits — it had to fit like the favorite pieces in my closet.  In the end I think we came up with stuff that’s super dope.

ONE37pm:  A portion of the proceeds from the capsule will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Houston, your hometown, which is awesome! How much does it mean for you to continue to give back to the community?

Iwundu: I’m so excited to be teaming up with The Greater Boys & Girls Club of Houston. The name of the collab is “Free the Future”, and kids literally are the future, like Whitney says, so the partnership made a lot of sense.  It’s really gratifying to be able to give back especially to the community where I grew up. 

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what does Diplomacy represent in your eyes, and is there anything else you want people to know about this collection?

Iwundu: Diplomacy to me is about being heard.  Listening to others and having them listen to you.  The toleration and/or acceptance of opposing views.  I can make my point without making an enemy.  Even if we just agree to disagree.  That’s Diplomacy to me.

You can shop the collection here.

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Entrepreneurs Grind

How Sole Retriever Is Changing The Sneaker Game

Whether you are a sneakerhead or a casual sneaker wearer, there will come a point where you have to purchase a new pair of kicks. For some of us (like myself), sneaker collecting is a passion the same way others collect items such as trading cards, comic books, and now crypto, however, the process of getting your hands on new sneakers has recently become quite difficult. That is where Sole Retriever comes in. Since its 2019 launch, the company has been somewhat of a “middle-man” to help give consumers a better shot at snagging sneaker Ws. Sole Retriever allows sneaker enthusiasts of all levels to have access to raffle-based drops, giving users a list of all upcoming releases, and the different retail shops offering raffles for that specific drop.

Recently launching their mobile app this past April, Sole Retriever is a must-have for any sneakerhead, and currently has a waitlist of 50,000 users (yes you read that correctly) anxiously awaiting their turn to get in. With their website and mobile app booming, Sole Retriever is already becoming a powerplayer in the sneaker market, and ONE37pm spoke to one of the co-owners, Harry, about the company’s beginnings, the success Sole Retriever has achieved so far, and their plans for the future.

ONE37pm: How did the concept of Sole Retriever come to be?

Harry: We launched the site in 2019, and just released our mobile app this past April. Sneakers in general are hard to get, and the process has become very fragmented. Sneaker raffles are a way to make that process more fair. We research, collect and aggregate data to source all of the places that are offering sneakers, so that way people can enter different raffles. More shops have leaned into raffles because of the first come first serve aspect of sneakers, and this is going to be the future! Also COVID played a major role in accelerating the trend of online raffles as well because obviously you couldn’t go in-store as much. We have a strong sneaker community online and via socials as well which is great too! 

ONE37pm: For those that may now be fully aware, just how important are raffles going to be in the future?

Harry: Depending on the release, which sneaker it is, and who is carrying the shoe, companies will typically allocate a certain amount of sneakers to retailers such as Foot Locker, KITH, etc. Raffles are super important because what we’ll do is provide a calendar of online release dates for sneakers that users can enter so that way they have access to all of the information and resources necessary to increase their odds of landing a pair. We are a supplement that helps people generally become more aware so that way they multiply their chances of getting Ws.

ONE37pm: Have there been any challenges that you have encountered along the way?

Harry: Definitely! It has sort of mitigated as of late, but there were some difficulties when we first started to gain traction. There’s three people on the team, and that meant (and still means) sometimes waking up in the middle of the night to stay on top of everything happening, keep our users updated, and put out any fires that may arise! There were also some growing pains along the way as well. As of now, we are investing into resources and working on scaling up to continue to support our increasing user-base, but these are definitely good problems to have!

ONE37pm: Obviously there are hyped releases with every brand such as Yeezys x Adidas, but would you say there is definitely more demand with Nikes/Jordans?

Harry: For sure. There has been a resurgence with the Nike SBs, and they have become one of the most demanded silhouettes, especially with a ton of recently hyped collaborations. Many of the recent Jordan and Yeezy drops tend to be released in sizable quantities, limited collabs, excluded, but with the SB’s, it’s been quite a combination of insane demand and great colorways that has resulted in their recent popularity spike.

ONE37pm: You touched on this a bit earlier, but it can be so hard to get sneakers retail, and the resell market can be crazy. How does Sole Retriever help with that?

Harry: Just by opening up the window to more potential Ws by introducing users to places and stories they didn’t even know existed. Even if you are unsuccessful with getting a W on a particular sneaker release, you are still benefiting from the knowledge gained, time saved, and convenience and accessibility provided to you.

ONE37pm: Last but not least, where do you see Sole Retriever in the future?

Harry: We have a lot of fun stuff in the pipeline, and right now we are really focusing on our mobile app. We launched the app in April, and there is currently a waitlist of 50,000 users, which we are letting in on a rolling basis. We are also releasing new features on the app, and it will be suitable for whatever sneaker level you classify yourself as. Whether you are an entry-level sneakerhead, or collector, we appeal to any sneakerhead! At the end of the day it’s all about access and convenience, and that’s what we’re here to provide.

The Sole Retriever app is available via IOS and Android devices, so be sure to sign up and mark your spot on the waitlist today. Boost your position by referring your friends and gain instant access when you reach five referrals! In the meantime, you can up with all of the latest Sole Retriever updates through their official website, Instagram, and Twitter.