Tag Archives: olympics

Beat the Streets Raises $950K with Annual Benefit, Final X New York

Fourteen athletes punched their ticket to the 2022 Senior World Championships in front of a lively crowd of 3,000 wrestling fans at the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit on Wednesday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

As great as it was for spectators and athletes, it was an even better night for Beat the Streets, which raised more than $950,000 to help in its efforts to make a lifelong impact on New York City student-athletes through the benefits and skills acquired through wrestling.

Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs (74 kg men’s freestyle), Helen Maroulis (57 kg women’s freestyle) and David Taylor (86 kg men’s freestyle), Olympic bronze medalists Sarah Hildebrandt (50kg women’s freestyle) and Kyle Dake (74kg men’s freestyle) and World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock (97kg Greco-Roman) were among the winners. The victors of each Final X New York Championship Series will represent the Team USA at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 10-18.

“This was a great night for wrestling, in large part because of the support and generosity of our community,” said Brendan Buckley, Executive Director of Beat the Streets. “They were treated to a night of exciting matches, newly crowned champions and a celebration of everything that the sport can be, and the best part is that the real winners are the many kids that will benefit from our programs year-round because of it.”

Wednesday represented the first in-person Beat the Streets benefit event since 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic safety guidelines prohibited spectators in 2020 and 2021. Beat the Streets hosted a virtual benefit on the banks of the Hudson River in 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The 2019 Benefit was also held at the Hulu Theater, and previous benefits have been at other historic New York locations such as Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and South Street Seaport. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City. To provide contributions to Beat the Streets, visit http://btsny.org/donate.

For the full results, visit https://go.teamusa.org/3MtX4ah.

Lineups Set for Final X New York/Beat the Streets on June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden

The field has been finalized for Final X New York. presented by Tezos, on Wednesday, June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Athletes qualified for Final X New York either by winning a 2021 World medal, or based upon their placement at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Coralville, Iowa, May 20-21.

The winner of each Final X Championship Series will represent the Team USA at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 10-18.

Final X New York. presented by Tezos, will serve as the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.

The lineup in New York is loaded, featuring three Olympic champions, 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs (74 kg men’s freestyle), 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis (57 kg women’s freestyle) and 2020 Olympic champion David Taylor (86 kg men’s freestyle).

The field includes four World champions who have won a combined 12 World titles: Burroughs (5x), Maroulis (3x), Taylor plus three-time World champion Kyle Dake (74 kg men’s freestyle).

It also features five Olympic medalists who have won six Olympic medals: Maroulis (2x, 2016 gold and 2020 bronze), Dake (2020 bronze), Burroughs (2012 gold), Taylor (2020 gold), plus 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg women’s freestyle).

There will be nine World medalists who have won a combined 26 World medals: Burroughs (8x), Maroulis (5x), Dake (3x), Hildebrandt (2x), Taylor (2x), two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kg men’s freestyle), two-time World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe (50 kg women’s freestyle), 2021 World silver medalist Kayla Miracle (62 kg women’s freestyle) and 2021 World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg Greco-Roman).

There are nine Olympians with a combined 11 Olympic appearances: Maroulis (2x), Burroughs, Taylor, Dake, Miracle, Hildebrandt, Hancock, 2008 and 2020 Olympian Ildar Hafizov (60 kg Greco-Roman) and 2020 Olympian Alejandro Sancho (67 kg Greco-Roman). Hafizov competed for Uzbekistan in 2012 and the USA in 2020.

The event will include 14 World Team members who have been on a total of 51 World Championships teams:

Maroulis (9x), Burroughs (8x), Hafizov (5x, 3x for Uzbekistan and 2x for USA), Lampe (5x), Gwiazdowski (4x), Hancock (4x), Hildebrandt (4x), Dake (3x), Taylor (2x), Miracle (2x), two-time World Team member Dalton Roberts (60 kg Greco-Roman), Kamal Bey (77 kg Greco-Roman), Yianni Diakomihalis (65 kg men’s freestyle) and Alan Vera (87 kg Greco-Roman).

Final X will have two sessions. The first match of the best-of-three championship series in each event will be held during the first session. The second (and third match if necessary) for all 15 weight classes will be conducted in the second session. The weight class order will be the same for both sessions. Session times for Final X New York are 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

There are a variety of ticket options available for Final X New York, beginning at $65 so you don’t miss the first in-person Benefit since 2019. Purchase your wrestling-only event tickets on Ticketmaster (https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/3B005C8B9CD81033). For information on Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages (wrestling event and exclusive after party access) that also provide the best wrestling-event seats, visit give.btsny.org/benefit (https://give.btsny.org/event/annual-benefit-2022/e396736) or email Fund Development Manager Kerry Doyle at kdoyle@btsny.org.

FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for both Final X Stillwater, presented by Tezos, and Final X New York, presented by Tezos.

The weight classes for Final X New York (by style) are:
Men’s freestyle: 65 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
Women’s freestyle: 50 kg, 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg
Greco-Roman: 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg

Final X New York Lineup (Listed in Bout Order)
Bout 1 – 77 kg GR – Britton Holmes (Army WCAP) vs. Kamal Bey (Army WCAP)
Bout 2 – 72 kg WFS – Skylar Grote (Beaver Dam RTC/NYAC) vs. Amit Elor (NYC RTC/TMWC)
Bout 3 – 65 kg MFS – Evan Henderson (Ohio RTC/TMWC) vs. Yianni Diakomihalis (Spartan Combat/TMWC)
Bout 4 – 87 kg GR – Alan Vera (NYAC) vs. Timothy Young (Illinois)
Bout 5 – 125 kg MFS – Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC – RTC) vs. Nick Gwiazdowski (Spartan Combat RTC/TMWC)
Bout 6 – 67 kg GR – Alejandro Sancho (Army WCAP) vs. Alston Nutter (Sunkist Kids)
Bout 7 – 53 kg W – Felicity Taylor (Bearcat RTC/TMWC) vs. Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids)
Bout 8 – 60 kg GR – Dalton Roberts (Army WCAP) vs. Ildar Hafizov (Army WCAP)
Bout 9 – 62 kg WFS – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) vs. Jennifer Rogers (NLWC/TMWC)
Bout 10 – 97 kg GR – G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids) vs. Braxton Amos (Wisconain RTC)
Bout 11 – 50 kg WFS – Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/NYAC) vs. Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids)
Bout 12 – 74 kg MFS – Kyle Dake (Spartan Combat RTC/TMWC) vs. Jason Nolf (NLWC/TMWC)
Bout 13 – 57 kg WFS – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) vs. Alexandra Hedrick (USOPTC/TMWC)
Bout 14 – 79 kg MFS – Jordan Burroughs (Pennsylvania RTC/Sunkist Kids) vs. Chance Marsteller (TMWC)
Bout 15 – 86 kg MFS – David Taylor (NLWC/TMWC) vs. Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids)

Columbia University’s Sports Management Graduate Program Joins Forces with Team USA and LA28

Columbia University’s Sports Management Graduate Program today announced a new joint program with Team USA and LA28 to develop, plan and help execute a variety of special initiatives in the run up to the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. The new collaboration, to include two internships per year for Columbia students, will begin in the spring of 2022 and last throughout the next six years, making it the most comprehensive engagement for the program in its 14-year history.

“We are elated to expand even deeper into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement with this comprehensive, new arrangement with the upcoming LA28 Games and Team USA,” said Scott Rosner, Academic Director of the Sports Management Program and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University. “This long-term program will give our students, faculty and staff the ability to learn and engage directly with LA28’s leadership team on a host of projects as the 2028 Games come into shape, which is a rare, sustained opportunity to take part in such a historic event taking place in the United States.”

“Kudos to Scott and his team for devising such a high-quality program for Columbia students and faculty. We look forward to advancing it in substantive and impactful ways in the coming years,” added Maureen Harper, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at LA28. “We aim to provide world-class, real life learning opportunities for students as they prepare to join the sports industry and are delighted to work with Columbia to bring this to life.”

This partnership is the latest in a series of ongoing global projects that the Columbia Sports Management Program has created with some of the world’s leading sports organizations. Others include programs with FC Bayern Munich, the NFL, A-B InBev, La Liga North America, Real Madrid and NYCFC, as well as additional short-term projects that are part of the curriculum in various programs each semester.

Recognized as one of the top five global programs, Columbia University’s master’s degree program in Sports Management, available part-time and full-time, trains professionals in all sectors of the sports industry by teaching specific management skills in the areas of finance, business intelligence, analytics, social justice, digital media, entrepreneurship, leadership, law, marketing, sales, communications and facility management. This combination of broad-based and specific skill training is a hallmark of the program and is evident in both the content and sequencing of courses. www.sps.columbia.edu/sports

Hildebrandt Accepts Final X Berth, And Will Compete For U.S. World Team Spot In New York On June 8

2020 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/USOPTC) has officially accepted her 50 kg women’s freestyle berth in Final X

Hildebrandt will battle for a spot on the 2022 U.S. World Team in Final X New York. presented by Tezos, on Wednesday, June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Hildebrandt won a bronze medal at 50 kg at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. She boasts a pair of Senior World silver medals, claimed in 2018 and 2021. Hildebrandt has dominated her continent, winning the 2019 Pan American Games gold and claiming five Pan American Championships titles. She won U.S. Open titles in 2018 and 2020. She was a two-time NCWA women’s college national champion and four-time finalist for King University. A native of Granger, Ill., Hildbrandt competed for Penn High School.

This will serve as the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.

There are a variety of ticket options available for Final X New York, beginning at $65 so you don’t miss the first in-person Benefit since 2019. Purchase your wrestling-only event tickets on Ticketmaster (https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/3B005C8B9CD81033). For information on Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages (wrestling event and exclusive after party access) that also provide the best wrestling-event seats, visit give.btsny.org/benefit (https://give.btsny.org/event/annual-benefit-2022/e396736) or email Fund Development Manager Kerry Doyle at kdoyle@btsny.org.”

The Final X series will determine the 2022 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling which will compete in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 10-18.

The Team Selection procedures for the U.S. World Teams in each style allows for 2021 Senior World medalists and 2020 Olympic medalists to advance directly to Final X at a specified weight class. Hildebrandt has met this requirement and accepted her qualification.

There are 15 weight classes contested in Final X New York, five in each discipline. The weight classes assigned to the Final X New York are:

  • Men’s freestyle: 65 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
  • Women’s freestyle: 50 kg, 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg
  • Greco-Roman: 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg

The Final X opponent for Hildebrandt will be determined at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, set for Coralville, Iowa, May 20-22.

The Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, a fan-favorite, is a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. These competitions have been at iconic locations across New York City.

This will be Hildebrandt’s first Beat the Streets Benefit event

In addition to Final X New York, Final X Stillwater will be held Friday, June 3 at Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State University. There will be 15 other weight classes contested in Stillwater.

FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for both Final X Stillwater, presented by Tezos, and Final X New York, presented by Tezos

FINAL X NEW YORK, presented by Tezos

At Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater, Wednesday, June 8

Declared Qualifiers to date

Women’s freestyle 50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/USOPTC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Men’s Freestyle 74 kg – Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Spartan Combat RTC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Men’s Freestyle 86 kg – David Taylor (State College, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Greco-Roman 97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Women’s Freestyle 57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Men’s Freestyle 79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

SARAH HILDEBRANDT

Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Club: New York AC

College: King Univ.

High School: Granger, Ind. (Penn)

Born: Sept. 23, 1993

  • 2020 Olympic bronze medalist
  • 2018 and 2021 World silver medalist
  • Four-time World Team member (2016, 2018, 2019, 2021)
  • 2019 Pan American Games champion
  • Five-time Pan American Championships champion (2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021)
  • Two-time Final X champion (2018, 2019)
  • 2018 and 2020 U.S. Open champion
  • Two-time WCWA national champion and four-time finalist

Hancock accepts Final X berth, and will compete for U.S. World Team spot in New York on June 8

2021 World bronze medalist and 2020 Olympian G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)

has officially accepted his 97 kg Greco-Roman berth in Final X

Hancock will battle for a spot on the 2022 U.S. World Team in Final X New York. presented by Tezos, on Wednesday, June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Hancock won a bronze medal at 97 kg at the 2021 World Championships, the first U.S. Greco-Roman medal since 2018. He placed seventh at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Hancock has made four straight U.S. Senior World Teams. He was a 2016 Junior World bronze medalist. In 2017, he made three U.S. World Teams (Junior, U23, Senior). A native of Fountain, Colo., Hancock was a Colorado state placewinner for Fountain-Fort Carson High School.

This will serve as the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.

There are a variety of ticket options for Final X New York, with prices beginning at $65. Purchase your wrestling-only event tickets on Ticketmaster (https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/3B005C8B9CD81033) or Benefit tickets with access to Final X New York and the Benefit celebration (after party) tickets at btsny.org (https://give.btsny.org/event/annual-benefit-2022/e396736), so you don’t miss the first in-person Benefit since 2019. For more information on Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages that also provide the best seats for watching the wrestling, email Fund Development Manager Kerry Doyle at kdoyle@btsny.org.

The Final X series will determine the 2022 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling which will compete in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 10-18.

The Team Selection procedures for the U.S. World Teams in each style allows for 2021 Senior World medalists and 2020 Olympic medalists to advance directly to Final X at a specified weight class. Hancock has met this requirement and accepted his qualification.

There are 15 weight classes contested in Final X New York, five in each discipline. The weight classes assigned to the Final X New York are:

  • Men’s freestyle: 65 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
  • Women’s freestyle: 50 kg, 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg
  • Greco-Roman: 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg

The Final X opponent for Hancock will be determined at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, set for Coralville, Iowa, May 20-22.

The Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, a fan-favorite, is a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. These competitions have been at iconic locations across New York City.

This will be Hancock’s first appearance in a Beat the Streets Annual Benefit event.

In addition to Final X New York, Final X Stillwater will be held Friday, June 3 at Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State University. There will be 15 other weight classes contested in Stillwater.

FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for both Final X Stillwater, presented by Tezos, and Final X New York, presented by Tezos

FINAL X NEW YORK, presented by Tezos

At Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater, Wednesday, June 8

Declared Qualifiers to date

Greco-Roman 97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Women’s Freestyle 57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Men’s Freestyle 79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

G’ANGELO HANCOCK

Residence: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Club: Sunkist Kids

College: Daymar College

Training Center: U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center

High School: Fountain, Colo. (Fountain-Fort-Carson)

Born: July 27, 1997

  • 2021 World bronze medalist
  • 2020 Olympian (7th place)
  • Four-time Senior World Team member (2017-19, 2021)
  • 2020 Pan American Championships champion
  • 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist
  • Made two U.S. World Teams in 2018 and 2019 (U23, Senior)
  • Made three U.S. World Teams in 2017 (Junior, U23, Senior)
  • Two-time U.S. Open champion (2017, 2019)
  • Third in 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
  • 2016 Junior World bronze medalist

photo credit: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors

Maroulis Accepts Final X Berth, And Will Compete For U.S. World Team Spot In New York On June 8

2016 Olympic champion and three-time World champion Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) has officially accepted her 57 kg women’s freestyle berth in Final X

Maroulis will battle for a spot on the 2022 U.S. World Team in Final X New York. presented by Tezos, on Wednesday, June 8 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Maroulis is a history-maker for Team USA in women’s wrestling. She became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling with her victory at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She became the first U.S. women’s wrestler to win two Olympic medals with her bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Maroulis has won three World gold medals (2015, 2017, 2021) and boasts five Senior World medals. Maroulis also won three Junior World medals. She was a four-time WCWA college national champion, winning three titles for Simon Fraser and one for Missouri Baptist. Maroulis is a native of Rockville, Md.

This will serve as the 12th Beat the Streets Annual Benefit. These unique and electrifying annual events help Beat the Streets New York raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.

There are a variety of ticket options for Final X New York, with prices beginning at $65. Purchase your wrestling-only event tickets on Ticketmaster (https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/3B005C8B9CD81033) or Benefit tickets with access to Final X New York and the Benefit celebration (after party) tickets at btsny.org (https://give.btsny.org/event/annual-benefit-2022/e396736), so you don’t miss the first in-person Benefit since 2019. For more information on Benefit tickets and sponsorship packages that also provide the best seats for watching the wrestling, email Fund Development Manager Kerry Doyle at kdoyle@btsny.org.

The Final X series will determine the 2022 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling which will compete in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 10-18.

The Team Selection procedures for the U.S. World Teams in each style allows for 2021 Senior World medalists and 2020 Olympic medalists to advance directly to Final X at a specified weight class. Maroulis has met this requirement and accepted her qualification.

There are 15 weight classes contested in Final X New York, five in each discipline. The weight classes assigned to the Final X New York are:

  • Men’s freestyle: 65 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
  • Women’s freestyle: 50 kg, 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg
  • Greco-Roman: 60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg

The Final X opponent for Maroulis will be determined at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, set for Coralville, Iowa, May 20-22.

The Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, a fan-favorite, is a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. These competitions have been at iconic locations across New York City.

This will be the seventh time that Maroulis has competed in a Beat the Streets Annual Benefit event, and she is undefeated in her previous Beat the Streets matches. Her first came in 2012, where she beat U.S. wrestler Ashley Hudson. Her most recent came in 2108, with a victory over Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria.

In addition to Final X New York, Final X Stillwater will be held Friday, June 3 at Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State University. There will be 15 other weight classes contested in Stillwater.

FloWrestling will serve as the host broadcasting partner for both Final X Stillwater, presented by Tezos, and Final X New York, presented by Tezos

FINAL X NEW YORK, presented by Tezos

At Madison Square Garden Hulu Theater, Wednesday, June 8

Declared Qualifiers to date

Women’s Freestyle 57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

Men’s Freestyle 79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (Philadelphia, Pa./Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC) vs. winner at World Team Trials Challenge Tournament

HELEN MAROULIS

Residence: Rockville, Md.

Club: Sunkist Kids

College: Simon Fraser Univ., Missouri Baptist

High School: Marquette, Mich., Rockville, Md. (Colonel Zadock Magruder)

Born: Sept. 19, 1991

  • 2016 Olympic champion (first U.S. woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal)
  • 2020 Olympic bronze medalist (first U.S. woman to win two Olympic medals)
  • Three-time World champion (2015, 2017, 2021)
  • 2012 World silver medalist
  • 2014 World bronze medalist
  • Three-time Junior World medalist (2008, 2010, 2011)
  • 2011 Pan American Games champion
  • Four-time WCWA women’s college national champion (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)

Maroulis Beat the Streets Annual Benefit History (6-0 record)

2012: Ashley Hudson (USA), 4-0, 2-1

2014: Marcia Andrades (Venezuela), Fall

2015: Yamilka del Valle Alvarez (Cuba), 10-0

2016: Samantha Stewart (Canada), Fall

2017: Yuzuru Kumano (Japan) 7-4

2018: Odunayo Adekuoroye (Nigeria), 4-1

VKTRY Insoles Bounce Their Way To Gold Medal Success In Tokyo

The summer-long growth of elite athletes and rising stars using VKTRY GEAR, the fast growing, industry leader in Performance Insoles for heightened performance and injury protection, literally reached a gold standard this past week, when Olympians Jordan Larson and Haleigh Washington led Team USA to its first-ever indoor volleyball gold medal, defeating Brazil to take the historic title. Larson and Washington were two of several members of Team USA to wear VKTRY, and their title further enhanced the growing popularity of the innovative insoles.

The win extends the company’s Olympic tradition. As VKTRY Insoles were originally invented for the US Olympic Bobsled Team to improve athletic explosiveness. In 2010, these carbon fiber insoles helped Team USA win gold in the 4-man bobsled – first time in 62 years.

“We congratulate Jordan, Haleigh and the whole team on their success and are proud to have played a small part in their performance, health and wellness,” said VKTRY CEO Steve Wasik. “We have some of the best athletes in the NFL, MLB, NBA and now on the world stage using our VKs to maximize performance and minimize injuries.”

“I’ve been really impressed with how VKTRY Insoles have helped me increase my vertical, even at my age,” said Larson, Team USA Captain. “I felt the difference immediately when I put these insoles into my shoes – Wow!”

“I’ve struggled with good foot support for my entire athletic career,” added Washington. “VKTRY has made a difference in my comfort, my explosiveness, and how my feet feel when I play!”

Larson is one of the most decorated athletes in the sport of volleyball. An All-American at The University of Nebraska she is now a three-time Olympic medalist. Larson won gold with the national team at the 2014 World Championship, the Rimini Volleyball Nations League, and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, silver at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, and bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. VKTRY has been a key part of her success in career longevity and injury recovery. Washington, a three time All-American at Penn State, and key member of the 2014 NCAA Championship team, won gold as a middle blocker in her first Olympics.

The volleyball success is the latest in a series of continued growth for the company. In June, the company announced that Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady joined the company as both a brand ambassador and a member of their growing athlete advisory team. Then in July, The Foot & Ankle Research and Innovation Laboratory at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital completed a 12-month long, IRB-approved, randomized control trial of VKTRY Performance Insoles used in the treatment of 1st Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) arthritis, commonly known as “Turf Toe.” The study showed that VKTRY carbon fiber insoles proved to be a statistically significant better solution for patients than the traditional treatment. Patients reported a demonstrable improvement in comfort and pain management with the VKTRY Insoles.

Additional announcements are expected in the next few weeks.

Made from aerospace-grade carbon fiber, VKTRY Insoles store and return energy to the athlete. They also provide a “spring-like” effect to improve shock absorption and reduce the load and stress on the athlete’s body. In independent performance testing, athletes wearing VKs increased their broad jump by an average of +4.0”, their vert by +1.6” and improved their 40 times by 0.12 seconds.

Because all athletes are not alike, VKs are customized based on the size of the athlete and the sport or activity. VKTRY Insoles are available in five different levels of flexibility to optimize performance, protection and comfort. Athletes at more than 300 professional and college teams wear VKTRY Insoles for training and competition. A recent study of 263 NCAA athletes showed 41% less foot injuries and 22% less lower leg injuries when athletes use VKs. More and more people are discovering the benefits of energy return, improved stability and the shock absorption that VKs provide.

During the 2020 NFL season, a record number of over 200 NFL players, from 29 of 32 clubs, wore VKTRY’S carbon fiber insoles, a 300% increase from 2019. Some of the brightest young stars and respected veterans in the NFL, including Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb, LV Raiders RB Josh Jacobs, Washington RB Antonio Gibson, Buffalo Bills RB Devin Singletary, SF 49ers WR “Deebo” Samuel, Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf, NY Jets Williams, Buffalo Bills CB Josh Norman, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans WR Anthony Miller, LA Chargers OT Brian Bulaga, Denver Broncos TE Noah Fant, New York Giants TE Evan Engram, Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson, Pittsburgh Steelers LB Devin Bush and many more have embraced the benefits of VKTRY Insoles.

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee introduces Athlete Marketing Platform

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today shared details of the new Team USA Athlete Marketing Platform (AMP) pilot program, a first-of-its-kind digital marketplace that expands athlete sponsorship and marketing opportunities. Created in cooperation with the Athletes’ Advisory Council and National Governing Bodies Council, AMP is an opt-in program that connects Team USA sponsors and licensees directly with athletes, providing incremental revenue opportunities and marketing exposure for Team USA athletes.

 “AMP was born from a shared recognition that empowering Team USA athletes to expand marketing and earning opportunities is the right thing to do for athletes, and an opportunity to elevate Olympic and Paralympic sport broadly,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “This program will link the incredible athletes and personalities at the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic movements with the innovative Team USA partners who help tell their stories.”

Through a streamlined program, AMP provides expanded earning opportunities to more Team USA athletes, who may otherwise have limited access to sponsors, via a guaranteed base payment for group marketing rights, and potential incremental revenue opportunities via individual endorsement and licensing opportunities.

“AMP is a huge shift in approach and an exciting step in Olympic and Paralympic athlete marketing,” said Chris Mazdzer, three-time Olympian in luge and Beijing 2022 hopeful. “Team USA athletes give their all to represent the United States at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This program recognizes that commitment – and the desire of athletes to seek out opportunities and take greater ownership in connecting with partners and managing opportunities.”

AMP is optional for Team USA athletes and does not impact any existing sponsorship deals, and creates possibilities for additional branding collaborations and incremental revenue. Participating athletes control what brands to engage with, which categories to protect, what images to approve and what causes to champion through a seamless mobile interface launching in 2021.

The digital platform will also provide greater access and ease for athletes and Team USA partners to directly connect and collaborate based on their interests, backgrounds, locations, and Olympic and Paralympic sports so that the true diversity of Team USA is represented in the collective marketing around the movements.

The program includes certain parameters for usage that intends to establish equity and diversity in representation of Team USA athletes and maintain the critical commercial funding provided to athletes by their NGB.

The USOPC, in collaboration with the AAC and NGBC, is jointly developing educational materials and will be offering athlete informational sessions prior to the opening of program enrollment in January.

Athletes who opt in to participate in the pilot in 2021 will benefit from the unprecedented and compressed window encompassing the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, and will receive a guaranteed payment in exchange for their commitment to shape the program and participate in group marketing.

The USOPC invested in robust technologies and resources with industry-leading providers Athletes First Partners and Opendorse to provide athletes with the data and capabilities to develop their personal brand and maximize commercial opportunities.

More information on the program, including athlete eligibility considerations, can be found at TeamUSA.org/AMP.

World Cup Fantasy Could Open Door to Olympic Fantasy

By Joe Favorito @Joefav @TheDailyPayoff

The success and proof of concept that Mondogoal achieved these past two weeks with Women’s World Cup showed that select niche mega-events can draw both dollars and attention.

DraftKings and other smaller companies have been looking to golf as a new growing platform because it is simple, mobile and can be played in and around live event. Their their million dollar winner for the US Open demonstrated a growing market not just for golfers but for millennials who may never play a four-hour round on a Saturday.

As we move closer to the one year out celebration that countries all over the world will put on for Rio, it’s interesting to start thinking about the permutations of Olympic fantasy and how it would work. New sports coming into Rio, golf especially, can easily be adapted to a pay fantasy model, and team sports like basketball are ripe for an engagement game.

Parlay the fact that the International Olympic Committee earlier this year approved legal sports books in Nevada to carry betting lines for next summer’s games, and that means that a deeper analytic dive will be made by betting houses around the world to find ways to create interest in sports like swimming and other individual sports as well. Fantasy gymnastics, anyone?

Maybe not gymnastics, as individual sports outside the mainstream may be too difficult to create an audience for. However for key team sports, and add in a growing sport like rugby which will be in the games for the first time and has a strong tie to traditional gambling play, and other mainstream team sports in the Games, and you have interesting opportunities for pay fantasy alongside traditional gambling being done legally from Las Vegas.

The interest in fantasy and gambling will not be lost on rights holder NBC as well. The recent numbers by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association show that the more fantasy play involved with sport, the more the viewer is engaged in the broadcast and all pieces that go along with engagement. Since the Olympics traditionally skew viewers that are older and more female, the goal is to find a younger and more engaged audience, and an investment in fantasy play may be smart, at least for American audience engagement for 2016.

“There is no doubt that pay fantasy is growing in engagement, the question is still how do you make it simple and appealing to a wide audience of casual fans, and there is no bigger event other than the Super Bowl that gathers casual fans like the Olympics,” said Chris Lencheski, longtime marketer and currently running the consulting business Phoenicia. “The amount of data available for the Olympics so vast, the broadcasters want more engagement, and the marketing dollars are there. While it might not be a huge playing audience for 2016, it can set the table for the future just like this Women’s World Cup game has, so it will be interesting to see who steps up to engage.”

While Yahoo has said they will make a big play in the pay fantasy space this fall, most other media companies have gone the partner route, looking for revenue share and advertising dollars from the bigger pay fantasy players thus far. Could that change if the marketplace shows an interest going forward? NBC has done a great job in creative engagement around its properties, and added engagement for the Olympics in the form of pay fantasy would be an intriguing look.

If it worked for WWC, maybe it can work for the Olympics as well.