Sports Report

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Shaquille O’Neal Takes a Stab at Jewelry Design

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the world’s most successful athletes-turned-businessmen, whose accomplishments both on and off the court have translated into a highly sought-after consumer brand. As a business mogul, sports analyst, DJ, restauranteur, and brand ambassador, O’Neal’s unique “Business of Fun” mantra resonates throughout each of his countless endeavors.

With all of that said, Invicta Watch Group has announced that it entered into a multi-year partnership with Authentic Brands Group for Shaquille O’Neal. The Limited Edition Collection will feature exclusive design styles in collaboration with Shaquille O’Neal. “Shaq has a broad reach to all of our customers as he brings his positive approach to life and a sense of style,” said Eyal Lalo, CEO of Invicta Watch Group. The new Limited Edition Collection will have unique designs combined with innovative creations from Invicta that consumers have loved for decades and that represent the quintessential essence of the Invicta brand.

The Shaquille O’Neal timepiece collection is slated to launch in Spring 2020 on ShopHQ and will be available at Invicta Stores and retailers worldwide.

Photo Credit: lev radin /

Champion Jessica Flowers Leads the JuJitsu World

As one of the most respected female competitors in the sport, Jessica Flowers holds more than 100 titles in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu including 50 black belt titles. Her most recent achievements include taking 1st place at the IBJJF European Open and winning double gold medals during the No-Gi Championships in 2019. Additionally, she is an ADCC veteran and is one of only a few female IBJJF competitors to ever beat the famed Gabi Garcia.

Gracie Barra studio owner Pedro Araujo sought out Jessica to join the team of instructors as her work ethic and commitment to the Gracie Barra craft is second to none. That paired with her innate ability to connect and engage with students of all ages and various skill levels makes her a priceless addition to the team. As a seasoned professional, Jessica is looking forward to helping cultivate a sense of community within the new studio and while guiding students along their Gracie Barra journey.

“Having the right instructors on board to uphold the Gracie Barra brand at its highest level is very important to me as a business owner, entrepreneur and fellow competitor.” –Pedro Araujo, Owner, Gracie Barra Heights

Photo Credit: Everyonephoto Studio /

Take the SUPER PLUNGE with the Special Olympics

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run invites you to join the Polar Plunge elite and take the SUPER Plunge for the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. The league of nearly 60 SUPER Plungers will begin jumping into Lake Michigan at 2311 Campus Drive Evanston, IL. at 2 p.m on Friday, February 21, 2020. The Plunging elite will continue plunging once an hour for 24 hours until 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

All SUPER Plungers and their sidekick/support person will live in a heated tent on the beach during this fun, round-the-clock event. Anyone who is ready to “be bold and get cold” for Special Olympics Illinois can be a SUPER Plunger. Each SUPER Plunger is asked to raise a minimum of $2,500 to participate in this extreme event.

Each hour of the SUPER Plunge is themed. Blackhawks alum Dave Bolland will be on-site for the Blackhawks hour at 10 a.m. The public is invited to take the plunge with him for $100.

SUPER Plunge is 1 of 25 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunges around the state (including 7 in Chicagoland) that will benefit Special Olympics Illinois. These “traditional” Plunges are one plunge per person and the fundraising minimum is $100. Participants receive a Polar Plunge hooded sweatshirt.

Locations include:

February 20 – Edwardsville (NEW – Exclusive Cool School Plunge)
February 21 – SUPER Plunge
February 22 – Bloomington, Quincy
February 24– Evanston, Galesburg
February 29 – Carlyle, Effingham, Macomb, Mendota, Oak Brook, SIU
March 1 – EIU Glow (NEW), Yorkville
March 6 – Belleville
March 7 – Decatur, Manteno, Rend Lake, Rockford, Springfield
March 14 – Braidwood (NEW)
March 15 – Rock Island
March 21 – Mahomet
March 22 – Palatine

Over the past 21 years, more than 78,000 plungers have raised more than $22 million. Those ready to #beboldgetcold this winter are invited to join the conversation and share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo Credit: Special Olympics

NBA’s Aaron Gordon Announces New Partnership

Aaron Gordon of the NBA’s Orlando Magic has signed a partnership agreement with Chinese leading sports brand 361º. Gordon will serve as the new face of the company’s basketball division. The multi-year partnership will include an Aaron Gordon signature shoe and apparel line as well as provide support for Aaron Gordons charitable initiatives and Foundational work. Through this partnership 361º hopes to further promote their “One Degree Beyond” mentality and encourage the youth to engage in sporting activities and devote themselves to the game of basketball.

The partnership will also focus on bringing Aaron Gordon to China to help further promote and develop the sport of basketball and provide kids with the opportunity to learn to appreciate and love the game.

General Manager of 361º Brand Business Center, Zheng Yexin expressed, “We are excited to have Aaron Gordon join our 361º family. Not only is he a great player in the NBA with rare explosive power, strong running and jumping ability and excellent physical coordination but equally important, we love the fit between our brand and what he stands for as a person. This partnership will allow us continue to strengthen our professional basketball performance products while at the same time help further embrace and grow our youth following. We firmly believe this partnership will further underline that 361º basketball is becoming the engine of the brand .”

Aaron Gordon is in his sixth season with the Orlando Magic and is poised to lead the Magic back to the playoffs. Gordon once impressed the world with his jaw-dropping dunks in the 2016 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest. In this year’s 2020 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago, Gordon will wear the QU!KFOAM BIG 3 basketball shoes specially designed by 361°.

“I am excited to be a part of the 361° family and support them in their ambitions to continuously improve their products and to grow their brand in China and abroad. This partnership gives me an opportunity to support 361 in their ambition to give back to the community, grow the sport in China while at the same time allowing me to leave my own mark on the basketball community in the United States, China and globally,” says Gordon. “Lastly, I have the opportunity to help build a brand, and have complete input on designing shoes and apparel. I have always had design aspirations, so this is very exciting to me.

Photo Credit: Vasilyev Alexandr /

The NBA All-Star Weekend Host Sixth Annual Players’ Night Out

On Thursday, February 13, The Players’ Tribune (TPT), Heir Jordan and Hennessy, brought together athletes and entertainers for a fun and philanthropic casino night for their annual “Players’ Night Out” event, at The Royale. Proceeds from the event benefited the Chicago Public Library Foundation through their partnership with the Heir Jordan Foundation.

Given the strong ties to the Chicago community from the Jordan Family and The Players’ Tribune’s athlete community, this event seeks to give back to a city that has created some of the most impactful legends and leaders, with the goal of inspiring even more.

“Our greatest strength with The Players’ Tribune is our ability to connect communities through storytelling and unique life experiences,” said Asaf Peled, CEO of Minute Media. “We are excited to give back to a community that means so much to many of the athletes we work with in our organization.”

At the casino night, this year, The Players’ Tribune and the Heir Jordan Foundation combined their fundraising efforts in support of the Chicago Public Library. Hennessy, a long-standing partner of TPT joined the evening of fundraising festivities, as well.

“The Players’ Tribune highlights both the struggles and successes of communities like ours through their real and compelling narratives, in order to inspire and unite people together,” said Jeffrey Jordan, co-founder of Heir Jordan Foundation. “We share the same passion for inspiring the community and are thrilled to work with TPT to bring this night to fruition.”

All proceeds from this event will help support the Chicago Public Library Foundation, which funds the full scope of lifelong learning programs at Chicago Public Library, from early learning and teen mentorship to the maker movement and digital literacy.

Photo Credit: PhotoProCorp /

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