Did you know today is the birthday of both Barcelona legend, Gerard Pique, and his long-time girlfriend Shakira? The couple met on the set of her "Waka Waka" music video, the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup - a tournament Pique went on to win with Spain.
While the relationship I've decided to focus on this week isn't going to fill the gossip columns like this Super-Bowl-headlining x World-Cup-winning couple, it's certainly significant. And it also ties a global superstar to the world of football...
I hope you enjoy!
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BY ANDY MARSTON
It's all aces for athlete-activist Osaka.
There was an added layer of rivalry when Naomi Osaka met Serena Williams at a recent exhibition match in Adelaide. It is no longer just the battle of two superstar tennis players, but the “Showdown of NWSL owners.”
The move shows Osaka’s motivations to emulate the 23-time Grand-Slam winner also apply off-the-court: To inspire the next generation of female athletes and support social causes.
Having previously used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement, she has since attracted new sponsors and increased her appeal as an investor.
“I am thrilled to welcome Naomi as an owner of the North Carolina Courage,” said Steve Malik, Chairman of the North Carolina Courage. “Naomi embodies the values we have been striving to cultivate at our club, and she brings an invaluable viewpoint on topics beyond sports.”
In doing so, she joins a number of other superstar athletes who have become involved in sports ownership in recent years. WNBA star Candace Parker, gold-medallist skier Lindsey Vonn, and Williams, as previously mentioned, were all investors in NWSL expansion franchise Angel City last summer. None are as young and ahead of the game at Osaka at 23 years old (besides Alexis Olympia Ohanian).
She is the brilliant embodiment of a new era of athletes – who are both socially and business aware. And with news coming out of the NBA, we can expect more young athletes to soon follow in her tracks.
The Weekly Round Up
Yesterday saw one of the quietest January transfer windows draw to a close. However, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty going on elsewhere. Here are a few of the best articles I've read this week...
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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Naomi Osaka won her 3rd Grand Slam in 2020, capturing the world’s attention against the backdrop of a pandemic and social unrest.
She was named was named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, Forbes Highest Paid Female Athlete of all Time, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Her name also became known as a voice in activism on and off the court with bold statements publicising the names of victims of police brutality and shining a light on social inequality.
So, the question is, is there a more marketable athlete in global sport right now?
ALK Capital buys Burnley with aggressive debt structure, doubts exist about their ability to service loans - John WallStreet.
Evidence-based, fad-free approach to fitness and nutrition with Loughborough inspired app
Coaches at Loughborough University are the brains behind a newly launched personalised health and fitness app.
Named Oro, it sets a new standard for online fitness and nutrition, applying the latest scientific research used for professional athletes to help individuals reach their own goals.
The app has been built in partnership with Loughborough University Sport’s Performance Support team - who have supported the likes of Olympic legend Lord Sebastian Coe and world record-holder Paula Radcliffe, to modern-day champions including James Wilby, Beth Dobbin, and Sarah Hunter.
The team has now taken this expertise and created a fitness and nutrition programme that adapts to its users week-by-week. The idea of Oro is based on one of simplicity and flexibility focusing on the following values:
“Brilliant basics” - training which is fuss and fad-free, backed by science and is proven to achieve optimum results.
Whole-body approach - focusing on primary, secondary and tertiary muscles to develop and protect the whole body over the long-term.
Personalised meal plans - focused on flavour and designed to meet the users’ needs as they progress, flexing with the prescribed strength and conditioning programme each week.