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2 mins read

City Girls Golf is Honoring Legacy and Swinging for Change

City Girls Golf is an organization founded with the mission of empowering women of color through the game of golf.

Founded by Sierra Morris, this organization specifically focuses on creating a space for women in urban areas to learn and enjoy golf, a sport traditionally seen as exclusive and expensive.

Morris’s inspiration stemmed not just from her own experience growing up in New York City where golf courses were scarce, but also from the rich legacy of the Wake-Robin Golf Club (WRGC).

Established in 1937, WRGC is the oldest registered African American women’s golf club in the United States.

These pioneering women paved the way for countless women of color to tee off and excel on the green. City Girls Golf proudly carries the torch, ensuring the legacy of Black women in golf thrives.

city girls golf
A group of women golfers celebrating the 10th anniversary of the clubs foundation at the Wake-Robin golf club, Washington DC, June 6, 1947. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

One of the biggest hurdles for newcomers, particularly women of color, is feeling out of place on the golf course. City Girls Golf tackles this by creating a sense of community. It’s about camaraderie, shared experiences, celebrating every accomplishment – from sinking a putt to finally figuring out your grip – and having a blast while doing it!

So, if you’ve ever been curious about golf but felt it wasn’t for you, City Girls Golf is here to rewrite the rules. It’s a chance to experience the thrill of the game, and meet like-minded women.

Pick up a club and join the City Girls Golf movement – they’re redefining what it means to be a golfer, one swing at a time.

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2 mins read

StatusPRO Raises $20M to Fuel Virtual Reality Sports Growth

StatusPRO,  a sports technology company that combines data with augmented, mixed, and virtual reality to provide training and gaming products has secured a $20 million Series A funding round.

This investment, one the largest Series A investments for a VR gaming entity thus far, marks a pivotal moment for the company, positioning it as a frontrunner in the VR gaming sphere.

Led by Google Ventures and backed by Dream Sports, alongside notable celebrity investors like LeBron James and Drake, this funding underscores StatusPro’s aggressive strides toward dominating the VR landscape.


“No matter if it’s virtual reality or spatial computing, our vision at StatusPRO is to define first-person sports and deliver experiences that truly embody the emotion, competition, and sense of community that comes with being a professional athlete,” said Troy Jones, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of StatusPRO.

NFL Pro Era, the company’s immersive NFL training and gaming platform, has already racked up over 1 million users, boasting an average playtime double the industry standard. This engagement highlights the strong demand for VR experiences that blur the lines between training and entertainment.

But StatusPro’s ambitions extend beyond the gridiron. The Series A funding will fuel the development of new VR experiences across various sports, potentially creating a diverse VR sports ecosystem that caters to a wider audience.

The investor lineup adds another layer of excitement to StatusPRO’s story. Google Ventures’ backing signifies the tech giant’s confidence in VR’s potential to reshape the sports landscape. Sports tech leader Dream Sports brings valuable industry expertise, while celebrity investors like LeBron James and Drake lend star power and cultural relevance.

This strategic blend of financial muscle, industry knowledge, and star power positions StatusPro for an exciting future. The company is poised to capitalize on the surging VR market, estimated to reach $20.9 billion by 2025.

With its innovative approach, passionate team, and now, ample resources, StatusPRO is well on its way to becoming a leading force in the VR sports revolution.

by Tony O. Lawson

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3 mins read

Eastside Golf Receives $3.4 Million to Drive Cultural Shift in Golf

Eastside Golf, the lifestyle golf brand founded in 2019, recently closed a $3.4 million seed round led by EP Golf Ventures, a partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures. The investment aims to accelerate Eastside Golf’s growth and redefine the cultural perception of golf.

Founded by Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper, Eastside Golf has achieved remarkable success, experiencing a 600% year-over-year growth in the past two years. The company has grown from 2 employees to 16, its revenue reportedly increasing from $100,000 in its first year to $4 million in 2023.

eastside golf
Eastside Golf founders, Earl Cooper (L) and Olajuwon Ajanaku (R)

The brand’s unique apparel line has resonated beyond traditional golf circles, embraced by professionals, celebrities, and athletes.

EP Golf Ventures, recognizing Eastside Golf’s potential, commended the founders for creating a brand that transcends golf’s traditional boundaries. Jay Adya, Managing Partner at Elysian Park Ventures and EP Golf Ventures, expressed confidence in Eastside Golf’s capacity for immense growth.

Seth Waugh, CEO of PGA of America, highlighted the organization’s commitment to evolving golf culture. The partnership with Eastside Golf aligns with PGA of America’s goal to broaden participation in the sport and make it more inclusive. The investment supports Eastside Golf’s mission to create new entry points for diverse audiences.

With the secured funding, Eastside Golf plans to launch new product lines, including wholesale and women’s apparel. The company aims to double the number of pop-up events in major markets, hosting its second-annual Eastside Golf Invitational during New York Fashion Week. The highly anticipated “Spring Forward” collection will debut at the PGA Show in Orlando.

eastside golf

The company’s success extends to celebrity endorsements, including NBA stars Chris Paul and Jayson Tatum, NFL great Victor Cruz, musician DJ Khaled, and former President Barack Obama. Collaborations with global brands like Jordan Brand and strategic partnerships with the NBA, MLB, and Mercedes Benz underscore the brand’s impact.

Deeply committed to social causes, Eastside Golf has donated $150K to support HBCU golf, emphasizing inclusivity and authenticity. The founders envision creating brick-and-mortar locations and expanding internationally, with gratitude for EP Golf Ventures’ support.

With a focus on inclusivity and innovative design, Eastside Golf is poised to lead the way in making golf more accessible and appealing to a diverse audience.

by Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Fantasy Sports Stock Market, PredictionStrike Secures $10 Million

PredictionStrike, a fantasy sports stock market that allows fans to buy and sell shares of professional athletes, announced yesterday that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Bullpen Capital, with participation from MaC Venture Capital, Sixty8 VC, Correlation Ventures, Elevate Capital, Gaingels, and HighSage Ventures.

The new funding will be used to expand PredictionStrike’s platform and reach new users. The company plans to add new sports leagues and countries, develop new features and products, and grow its marketing and sales team.

PredictionStrike is a unique and innovative way for fans to engage with sports. The platform allows fans to put their knowledge of sports to the test and potentially make money by making accurate predictions about the performance of athletes.

“There’s something revolutionary and fulfilling about helping Americans turn their pastimes into financial opportunities,” said Deven Hurt, Co-Founder and CEO of PredictionStrike. “With PredictionStrike, we’ve taken a new approach to participating in sports and leveled up to encourage and inspire our users to learn and understand how to invest. We’re committed to finding new ways to connect fans with athletes and building a platform where sports fans can invest in what they know”.

The company’s business model is based on charging fees and subscriptions. PredictionStrike charges a 2.5% fee on all trades, which is paid by the buyer or seller of the shares. Users also subscribe to receive lower transaction fees and gain access to other perks, such as the ability to trade more shares and participate in more contests.

PredictionStrike has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2021. It has over 100,000 users and has processed over $15 million in transactions.

by Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

Tradeblock, a Black Owned Sneaker Trading Platform Just Raised $9 Million

Tradeblock, a Black owned sneaker trading platform has raised over $8.9 Million dollars in funding from investment partners Courtside VC, Trinity Ventures, and Concrete Rose Capital.

From its humble beginnings in 2020, with just 300 users and just under 5000 shoes, Tradeblock has experienced exponential growth in its 2 years of operation, amassing more than 1 Million shoes listed in users’ virtual closets this year.

The monumental growth of the online marketplace can be attributed to the platform’s unique consumer experience that was key in the vision of making Tradeblock a reality.

Co-Founder and CEO Mbiyimoh Ghogomu, along with Co-Founders Darren Smith and Tony Malveaux, sought out to bridge the gap for passionate collectors who were losing the battle against bots on sneaker drops and those who cannot afford rapidly increasing resale prices; increases that are largely driven by resellers cornering the market on popular shoes for the sole purpose of profits.

Tradeblock will use the proceeds from the financing round to help further invest in growth in its sneaker business as well as expanding and improving its one-of-a-kind authentication and logistics operation, which involves inspecting and authenticating shoes from both sides of the trade simultaneously in a complex and highly-interconnected process.

Additionally, Tradeblock will be investing in more data science capabilities to enhance the customer experience as it continues to define the virtual bartering experience by developing the marketplace further.

The funding raised within this round brings Tradeblock closer to its north star of providing accessibility in the resale market for those who should not let high and unjust prices define the attainability of their dreams and culture and also of ensuring that the marketplace offers the best in class services for its members.

Tradeblock is also driven by a deep passion for building a company that actually resembles the people it serves. “Black and brown communities have always been the backbone of the sneaker industry and sneaker culture,” says Co-Founder and CEO Mbiyimoh Ghogomu. “Showing those folks that they can be the owners and operators of this industry as opposed to just consumers is both a point of pride and a deeply rooted responsibility for everybody at Tradeblock.”

The Tradeblock team embodies this sentiment of representation within their workforce: besides having three Black founders, Tradeblock’s workforce is more than 80% BIPOC, and the senior leadership team is over 75% BIPOC.

Tradeblock | Secure Sneaker Trades

The marketplace is set for a rolling close to end their Seed II round and is expecting an additional $4.5 Million in investment by the end of it. Tradeblock aims to redefine the basis of sneaker culture by focusing on their pillars of community, accessibility and sustainability.

The mission and vision resonate with the public and trumpet the goal of leveling the playing field for the BIPOC community who has played a tremendous role within the culture that is the foundation of the sneaker industry.

“Tradeblock is revolutionizing the way forward for the new emergent asset class of footwear. The founding team’s understanding of the nuances of culture and tech gives them an unfair advantage in the industry and the team’s desire to lead with inclusion, representation, and authenticity also provides them with unique and meaningful organic engagement,” says Tradeblock angel investor Jason Mayden, a former Nike and Jordan footwear designer who now serves as President of Fear of God Athletics.

The marketplace’s continual growth goes to show the long lasting impact it will have within the sneaker industry for years to come.

Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Naomi Osaka Becomes First Professional Woman Athlete To Open Her Own Sports Agency

Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka has announced that she is launching her own sports agency, Evolve.

“I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional,” Osaka said in an email. “Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way.”

Osaka’s contract with IMG expired at the end of 2021, and as she explored a renewal with more flexibility in the kind of partnerships she could do, it became clear a renewal was not going to work.

Osaka started Evolve with her agent Stuart Duguid, who has also left IMG. Both will hold equity stakes in Evolve. There are no outside investors at this point.

The move isn’t unprecedented for athletes, though it’s rare.

LeBron James started LRMR for his marketing work in 2006 and entrusted close friend Rich Paul with his on-court contracts, while Maverick Carter handled business off the court.

Kevin Durant and Rich Kleinman founded Thirty Five Ventures in 2016 to operate the business of the four-time scoring champion.

However, Naomi Osaka is the first female athlete at that level to take full control of her business endeavors and attempt to build an agency.

In a recent statement to Sportico, Duguid said, “The core of Evolve is building Naomi’s business from $50 million a year to $150 million a year.”


Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Erin Jackson Becomes First Black woman to win Olympic medal in Speedskating

Erin Jackson made history when she earned a gold medal in the 500-meter speedskating event at the Winter Olympics in Beijing Sunday.

The 29-year-old former inline skater won the women’s 500 meters at the National Speed Skating Oval with a time of 37.04, earning her first Olympic medal in what has been her best event. She also makes history as the first Black woman to win an Olympic medal in speedskating, according to The Associated Press.

It was also the Americans’ first speedskating medal of the Beijing Olympics.

Erin Jackson

Jackson joined Shani Davis as the only Black athletes to win speedskating medals at the Olympics. Davis, also an American, won gold in the men’s 1,000 meters and silver in the 1,500 meters in the Olympics in Turin in 2006.


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2 mins read

Olympian Allyson Felix Launches Her Own Shoe Company After Leaving Nike

Allyson Felix is a four-time Olympian and one of the most accomplished sprinters in U.S. track and field history. She is also the president and founder of her own shoe company called Saysh.

Two years after her public split with Nike, Felix announced the upcoming fall launch of her lifestyle company. Felix didn’t present as an activist at first glance, but her op-ed detailing Nike’s failure to provide maternity protection for its sponsored athletes proved otherwise.

Felix has since embraced her role as a fierce advocate for working moms in sports, and now she’s given birth to a company that’s dedicated entirely to women. Saysh’s first shoe, the Saysh One, is already available for preorder on the company’s website.

From the brand’s simplicity and the airy silhouette of the premiere shoe, it’s clear that Saysh shoes are designed with the everyday woman in mind.

“It’s really about meeting women where they are,” Felix said in a recent interview. “It’s for that woman who has been overlooked or feels like their voice hasn’t been heard. That was the biggest thing when I spoke out, was hearing from other women across industries. And having such a connection there, feeling like it’s so much bigger. There’s just that power in the collective.”

With a company led by women—including designers and engineers, Felix aims to fight against the unequal sports industrial complex and create a more equitable world for women and mothers in sports.

If you’re wondering, the track star has been running in a Saysh track spike during the Olympic trials and will wear them in the Tokoyo Games as well. Felix confirmed her spot in this year’s Olympics a couple of weeks ago, so she will technically be the first athlete to run in her own brand.

You can watch Allyson Felix perform in the unreleased Saysh shoes during the Tokoyo Games, which start July 23rd.

Visit and join them at @bySaysh on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok.

1 min read

Former Athlete Moved to Rwanda to Launch a Sports Apparel Business

Allen Simms is the founder of Impano Sports, a company that provides African inspired quality sports apparel designed specifically for athletes, runners, and the active lifestyle community.

Before the big move, Allen was an award-winning athlete at the University of Southern California and a coach at Cornell University.

In this interview, we discussed why he decided to move to Rwanda and what it has been like living and operating a business in East Africa.

We also discussed the sports academy he started to identify and coach young talented athletes to elite level.

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Tony O. Lawson

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3 mins read

Black Female Fishing Team Earns Historic Win In First Tournament

The Ebony Anglers, a Black female fishing team, took first place in the King Mackerel division of Carteret Community College Foundation’s Spanish Mackerel & Dolphin Tournament in Morehead City on the weekend of July 17-18.

The competitive women’s fishing team, established and based in the Triangle area, reeled in a 48 lb. King Mackerel, earning them a coveted citation from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The award recognizes anglers for their outstanding recreational catches of fish most commonly caught in North Carolina.

The Ebony Anglers (l-r) Bobbiette Palmer, Gia Peebles, Tiana Davis, 48-lb King Mackerel, Glenda Turner, Lesleigh Mausi, and their boat driver at the tournament’s weigh-in.

The Ebony Anglers is a team of five professional Black women who embrace the sport of competitive fishing while balancing family, motherhood, and business. The team’s inception was the idea of Durham, NC salon owner and proprietor Gia Peebles when she and her husband witnessed the annual Big Rock Fishing Tournament in Beaufort, NC this past June.

“When I saw women of all ages coming from their fishing boats with fish and winning prizes, I noticed that there were no women of color competing,” says Peebles. “I said to myself, ‘We can do this. I already know accomplished women who are leaders and know how to win in other aspects of their lives. We can do this.’”

The women she had in mind, all of which are business owners from the Triangle area, were educator and festival owner Lesleigh Mausi, nail tech entrepreneur Glenda Turner, digital marketing specialist & editorial model Bobbiette Palmer, and Gourmet Catering Company owner Tiana Davis. Each woman accepted the call, and the Ebony Anglers was born.

Black Female Fishing Team
Holding the 48-lb King Mackerel are (l-r) Peebles, Mausi, tournament official, Palmer, and Turner.

In addition to embracing the sport of fishing, the Ebony Anglers honor a deep commitment to youth and cultural engagement through their annual mentoring and leadership programs. Black Girls Fish (BGF) and Black Boys Boat (BBB) are two educational initiatives of the Ebony Anglers.

The mission of both educational programs is to share with (and develop in) young girls and boys an appreciation and agility for fishing (and boating) as an outdoor sporting lifestyle; to educate youth in the fundamentals of fishing (and boating), both as a sport and as a lifestyle; and to empower youth with life skills that promote self-sufficiency, physical and intellectual fortitude, and sound leadership values.

The Ebony Anglers will now move on to compete in qualifying events throughout 2021, leading up to their ultimate goal: to compete in the Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament in June 2021.


Source: Spectacular Mag

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