West Coast Streetwear — when flexing on the internet goes wrong.
Nike Exec Out After Son’s Sneaker Biz Exposed
Photo: West Coast Streetwear/Design: Alex Brooks
Love or hate the grey area ethics of flipping shoes, the sneaker resale market has proven to be pandemic-proof and ever-booming.
The problem is racking up the initial purchases on a credit card belonging to your mom who works at Nike.
Ann Hebert, the vice president and general manager of Nike’s North America arm, resigned Monday after 25 years with the company. She had become the head of North America in June 2020.
Last week, a Bloomberg feature glorified the “bona fide asset class” of rare shoes, but exposed how Hebert’s 19-year-old son, Joe, had spent over $132,000 on sneakers using a card in her name before flipping those sneakers for profit.
Joe Hebert had been reselling shoes and streetwear since high school and his West Coast Streetwear business was flipping hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of kicks each month.
He vaguely told Bloomberg his mother was insulated from his dealings because of her standing, and that he hadn’t used advantages like discounts or insider information.
A Nike representative told Bloomberg that Ann “disclosed relevant information about her son’s business” to the company in 2018.
Nike said it plans to announce Hebert’s replacement soon.
McLaren’s Mercedes-Driven Redesign
Photo: McLaren/Design: Alex Brooks
Repeatedly left in the dust by top race car maker Mercedes, British competitor McLaren redesigned its Formula One 2021 contender using the German automaker’s engine.
Mercedes won 13 of the 17 races in the 2020 Formula One World Championship. McLaren wants to compete more effectively with the current champion going forward.
McLaren’s MCL35M, the successor to the MCL35, required a redesign to accommodate the Mercedes unit: it features a new chassis, gearbox, and fuel, hydraulic, electrical, and cooling systems.
The U.K.-based racer hopes the new model can eventually end its Formula One losing streak, which dates back to 2012.
McLaren is also making major changes to its luxury cars, spurred not by losses at the track, but by goals and mandates of European countries and U.S. states. All new McLaren’s will be hybrids by 2026, with plans to produce all-electric models by the end of the decade.
In February, McLaren released the Artura, its latest hybrid model.
McLaren developed a carbon composite chassis in-house, has plans to make its own batteries, and is looking to monetize both technologies with other automakers.
In 2018, the company committed $1.67 billion to research and development through 2025.
McLaren, defined by its light weight, faces new challenges in designing an EV, due to the heaviness of today’s car batteries.
“Vehicle mass is the enemy of performance whether a car has a conventional internal combustion engine or a fully electrified powertrain, so winning the weight race is an absolute priority for us,” CEO Mike Flewitt said last year.
Leverage Digital Solutions to Increase Fan Engagement
While the pandemic altered the in-person sports fan experience, it also resulted in more fans cheering and interacting virtually. The key to engaging them? Reimagine the at-home fan experience to feel just as immersive and real-time as the roaring atmosphere of the stands.
Join Front Office Sports for a Partner Showcase on Tuesday, March 9 at 1pm EST, as Michael Porter, SVP of Business Development at Telescope joins Stephanie Connolly, Head of Marketing at Front Office Sports to break down how 2020 has revolutionized the way fans interact with sports, entertainment and live events – perhaps forever – and provide compelling digital products and key interactive solutions to engage fan bases in 2021.
PC hardware developer Nvidia is at the top of its game.
The company reported $5.3 billion in Q4 revenue, a 61% increase year-over-year. Revenue for its fiscal year hit $16.7 billion, a 53% uptick.
The successful quarter was fueled by Nvidia’s gaming business, which saw a record-breaking $2.5 billion in revenue, up 67% increase from a year earlier.Full-year gaming revenue reached $7.8 billion, up 41%.
This comes as PC gaming has grown into a $29 billion industry powered by hardware, Nvidia’s bread and butter.
DFC Intelligence estimates that the number of gamers worldwide is slightly over 3 billion, with roughly 48% using a PC.
PC gaming shows no signs of slowing down. PC game distribution service Steam saw 62.6 million daily active users and 2.6 million first-time purchasers per month in 2020.
Nvidia’s main obstacle is supply chain issues for its high-performance graphic cards. Shipping restrictions on the company’s new GeForce RTX Series products have kept sales from reaching their potential.
“Demand for GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs is incredible,” CEO Jensen Huang said in a statement. “Nvidia RTX has started a major upgrade cycle as gamers jump to ray tracing, DLSS and AI.”
Sinclair Broadcast Group Struggling With Sports
Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
Better days may not be ahead for Sinclair Broadcast Group and its sports networks.
The telecom firm’s bleak forecast shows that cord-cutting and the pandemic have cratered business.
Sinclair acquired 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports from Disney for $9.6 billion in 2019. The deal included exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams across the four major U.S. sports leagues.
But due to events canceled and delayed by the pandemic, Sinclair lost a slew of distributors including Dish, YouTube TV, and Hulu. The company’s stock price fell to $30.93 Friday, wiping out its 2021 gains, before a slight rebound to $32.65 at market close Monday.
Over the past few months, Sinclair has joined forces with Bally’s Corp. to combat the losses.
In November, the company signed a naming rights deal with the casino operator in which Bally’s agreed to pay Sinclair $85 million over 10 years for exclusive naming rights to the company’s 21 sports networks. Sinclair received a 15% stake in Bally’s, with the right to increase the holding to 30% if broadcast goals are met.
In February, Bally’s announced its acquisition of free-to-play sports game provider SportCaller. It also acquired sports betting platform Bet.Works and fantasy sports operator Monkey Knife Fight.
Sinclair will lean on the sports betting ventures and a potential debt exchange to dig itself out of the hole created by its sports networks.
Four Champions. Three Title Fights.
Champion meets champion as light heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz makes his first title defense against middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
Plus, Amanda Nunes and Petr Yan put their belts on the line—all at UFC 259, only on ESPN+. Prelims at 8PM/ET, Main Card at 10PM/ET.
Gatorade launched its first wearable device. The Gx Sweat Patch is a one-time-use device that provides information about a user’s athletic performance and hydration levels by analyzing sweat.
The NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars has a new set of investors. The ownership group led by majority owner Arnim Whisler is an eclectic team that includes former Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije and journalist Sarah Spain.
Kings guard Buddy Hield reached 1,000 career three-pointers faster than any player in NBA history. He did it in 350 games, passing Steph Curry who did it in 369 games. Get more stories like this in The Association — a free, daily NBA newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
Four champions, three title fights: Blachowicz vs Adesanya. Nunes vs Anderson. Yan vs Sterling. Stream UFC 259 live Saturday, March 6 on ESPN+. Prelims at 8PM/ET and Main Card at 10PM/ET.*