You can never question J.J. Watt’s heart and determination. Reebok feels the same way. They teamed up with the Texans star player to launch Watt’s sneaker called the JJ I. The JJ I provides the athlete who wears it with ultimate heel to toe stability. The raised topline midsole keeps the foot locked in on top of the platform for increased support, while the outsole provides multidirectional traction for strong, dynamic grip during the most intense agility workouts. In the mid-foot, FlexCage technology, a substructure cage with webbing tie-downs integrated into the upper, provides the lock-down feel without sacrificing agility and responsiveness, ensuring maximum transition of power. A second cage is integrated into the toe for added protection during jumping and pushing exercises. The JJ I also introduces Reebok Liquid Foam technology for the first time, which allows for rapid reaction to every impact.
“I’ve trained in many different shoes throughout my career, but there was never one that I felt was clearly the best shoe to get the job done,” said J.J. Watt. “So I decided to build one and with the help of some great designers, I am proud to say that we have created the best training shoe I’ve ever worn. We spent over a year making sure that this shoe would perform at the highest level on any surface for any activity. Everyone has their own personal vision of greatness, the JJ simply ensures that you have the right tools for the hunt.”
The JJ I will be available for $99.99 on Friday, July 15th at retailers including Reebok.com, Academy, and additional stores nationwide.
We all love football. Whether it is from the pro level to college to high school we enjoy watching the games and rivalries unfold. Still we want all the players to be safe. Thankfully tThis week, Riddell kicked off the second season of its Smarter Football program, a grassroots campaign that recognizes and rewards those who advance the sport through a commitment to safer, more intelligent practice and playing habits.
As part of the program, Riddell is donating a total of $100,000 in equipment to the teams that best articulate how an equipment grant will strengthen their ability to implement a safer, smarter game on and off the field. Parents, players, coaches and fans can now apply for a chance to win an equipment grant for the upcoming 2016 football season at smarterfootball.riddell.com.
Last year, Riddell received hundreds of submissions from teams at all levels of play. Seven teams in all received an equipment grant from Riddell, including the Juniata Thundercats, a youth program from northeast Philadelphia. Now is your chance to work with Riddell.
The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio this August, and we’ll be treated to some new events during this edition of the world’s most celebrated athletic competition. In addition to golf and kite surfing, rugby sevens will be making it’s debut on the Olympic stage. A fast paced game, rugby sevens features two sides of seven players (instead of the usual 15 players per side) that compete in two seven minute halves. The sport of Rugby hasn’t been played on the Olympic stage since 1924, and this is the first year that rugby sevens will be featured. Qualification for the event started with the 2014–15 Sevens World Series for both men and women. Twelve teams will compete in the event from August 6 to 11, including the US Men’s National Rugby Team.
US National Rugby player Perry Baker is partnering up with Team Budweiser, the Official Beer Sponsor of Team USA, to promote the upcoming games. Baker wasn’t always a rugby player. When you’re uncle (Wes Chandler) plays a decade in the NFL (including four trips to the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver) and your brother (Dallas Baker) earns the nickname “Touchdown Maker” before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Round 7 of the 2007 NFL Draft, football is in your blood. Perry played college football at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and played two seasons in the Arena Football League before a knee injury ended his hopes of playing football at the highest level. Undeterred, Perry picked up rugby, a sport he was first introduced to by one of his high school football coaches. Perry began playing rugby full time in 2013 and he made his national team debut at 2014 Gold Coast Sevens in Australia. With a few years under his belt, Perry is ready to represent his country in Rio.
Last week we sat down with Perry Baker to discuss his role with Team Budweiser, the 225-foot Olympic mural designed by artist artist Malika Favre in midtown Manhattan, the pace of rugby sevens and how football has influenced his new career. Here’s the interview:
Alexi Lalas has a passion for soccer. You saw it in playing days and now as he breaks down the game he loves so much on TV. Just like in soccer, Lalas knows it takes a team effort to help out a community. Alexi has teamed up with Nabisco for the ‘Pass The Love Back’ program. This program empowers communities by sponsoring local youth soccer teams through Pear. Teams can earn up to $1,000 toward custom t-shirts or a team donation.
While Alexi is helping us spread the word that parents and players can go to www.PassTheLove.com to donate to local teams to receive up to $1,000 for shirts, equipment or team donations. I spoke with Alexi on his work with Nabisco and a bit on the evolution of soccer.
Art Eddy: Let’s first talk about the #PassTheLoveBack campaign that you are working with Oreo, Ritz Bitz and Chips Ahoy. Tell me a bit about that promotion.
Alexi Lalas: If I am going to work with somebody I want them to be passionate about the game that I love which is soccer. Oreo, Ritz, Chips Ahoy, and Nabisco have been a huge partner with U.S. Soccer for many years. The Pass the Love Back program enables communities to raise money up to $1,000 for teams. You can get it out at http://www.passthelove.com.
While I talk about the professional game and the World Cup the real stuff is being done at the ground at the grass roots level. A lot of these communities and a lot of these teams need as much help as possible. This is a very easy opportunity to raise some money. The Pass the Love Back program is away to raise money for your local teams.
AE: You do a great job breaking down the game of soccer. From the time you were playing to now are you happy with the evolution of the game?
AL: Yeah! We love to kick ourselves for what he haven’t done when it comes to our soccer in the United States. I think we have to pat ourselves on the back for just how far we have come in the last 20 years on and off the field.
There is a generation now that looks at soccer as not just their sporting landscape, but cultural landscape. There is a whole American soccer culture that is no longer underground or a niche. It is above ground. It is vibrant. It is passionate. It knows what good and bad soccer is. The generation that is growing up now has Major League Soccer. They have been able to watch the Women’s (National) Team win the World Cup last summer. There is professional men and women soccer out there.
So we live in really good times. It is not the Wild West that I grew up in. I am real happy about the direction that we are heading right now, but we can always do more. We are getting ready for a summer of soccer with the U.S. Men’s National Team involved in Copa Americano. For the Women’s National Team, they are in the Olympics. So there is always another game. Thank God that there is because it is a game that I love and I can’t get enough of it.
It is that time of year again! We get to honor one lucky hero! In case you didn’t know Indianapolis was crowned as the racing capital of the world. Just like in the past the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the ability to make a dream come true for one lucky hero at NASCAR’s most popular summer race.
One deserving man or woman will go down in sports history as the grand prize winner of Crown Royal’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, receiving the naming rights to the NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24th, 2016. This race will mark the tenth time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. The program focuses on all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in their communities, from firefighters and police officers to first responders and local volunteers. Every year five heroic finalists are nominated and through consumer voting, one winner is chosen to have their name cemented in sports history.
Adult consumers can go to CrownRoyalHeroes.com to vote for the hero they think is most deserving of naming rights to the race. Voting runs through June 9th and the grand prize winner will be announced shortly after.
What do you say to someone that has accomplished so much? How do you show your appreciation and gratitude? Gatorade found a way to do that for Peyton Manning by using his own words. To honor Manning’s hall of fame career and recognize him as he has for others through his iconic handwritten letters, Gatorade captured a selection of recipients from the letters Peyton wrote. Sentiments from the letters were read on film and then strung together into a new letter delivered as a message for Peyton – crafted from his own words.
The people who are in the video and who received a letter from Peyton are:
Tony Dungy – Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts head coach, 2002-2008; Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee; current NBC Analyst
Jon Scott – Peyton’s friend and current Indianapolis Colts Vice President of Equipment Operations
David Cutcliffe – Peyton’s quarterback coach at University of Tennessee, 1994-1997; current Duke Head Coach
Pam Frenzel – Mother of Tyler Frenzel; Peyton befriended Tyler – diagnosed with leukemia – during a visit to the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent in Indianapolis and remained in close contact with Tyler until his death in 2004 at age 9
Jeff Saturday – Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts teammate, 1999-2011; NFL center, 1992-2012
Eli Manning – Peyton’s brother; current New York Giants quarterback
Demaryius Thomas – Peyton’s Denver Broncos teammate, 2013-2016; current Denver Broncos receiver
Derek Jeter – Peyton’s friend; fellow Gatorade athlete; New York Yankees shortstop, 1995-2014
Brandon Stokley – Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts and Broncos teammate, 2003-2006 and 2012 respectively; NFL receiver, 1999-2013
Archie Manning – Peyton’s father; NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, 1971-1984
Chris Mortensen – Peyton’s friend; current ESPN NFL analyst
Brandon Washington – First recipient of PeyBack Foundation Scholarship; currently a graduate student at University of Indiana
Dwyane Wade might have gotten fouled during the end of the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets game, but he can still stay cool with Gatorade. Recently Wade teamed up with NBA old school legend George “The Iceman” Gervin in Gatorade’s latest campaign to launch the newest flavors from the brand’s Gatorade Frost line, the 7-11 exclusive Summit Storm, as well as, Artic Blitz and Icy Charge.
You get to see Wade and Gervin are trying to one up each other through an array of unexpected challenges that are meant to test Wade’s ability to play cool – cool like a yeti eating frozen spaghetti. The commercial called “Stay Cool,” has one of hip-hop’s most successful and well known bands, The Roots.
Gatorade Frost helps athletes stay “cool under pressure” while also offering a clean and crisp flavor profile and the same fueling benefits that people have come to expect from the sports fuel leader.
It’s the night before the 2016 NFL Draft. Tomorrow night, a bunch of young football players will be millionaires. Almost half of these guys will be busts. That’s just how it goes. The stakes are as high as the hopes. And in the NFL, hope is what gets you paid.
NFL teams don’t reward yesterday’s stars for yesterday’s stats. Not like they do in the NBA. Can you imagine the Broncos bringing back Peyton Manning for a Kobe-style victory lap season as a thank you for his past efforts? No way. The NFL doesn’t work like that. If you don’t produce, you’re gone. It’s that simple. If you get paid, it has much more to do with your future potential than your previous accomplishments. The next man up is probably more affordable anyway.
Sure, there are exceptions. When the Steelers paid Troy Polamalu after he was gassed, it was more a gesture of thanks than an expectation of All-Pro production. But for the most part, NFL players have to produce to get paid and even when they produce, they may have to get paid somewhere else.
Matt Forte has produced. For eight very solid seasons. Since entering the league in 2008, he has more yards from scrimmage than any other player in football (12,718). Forte has more targets (636) and catches (487) than any running back during that span. He also owns the single-season reception record for a running back (102).
And since he entered the league eight seasons ago, no one has more touches (2,522) than Forte. Nobody.
Therein lies the problem, though. Because of how NFL teams reward players, Forte knew he wasn’t going to cash in with a third contract from the Chicago Bears. It became clear last season that the Bears wouldn’t even try to re-sign him. Mediocre NFL players are expendable, but ultra-productive NFL running backs turning 30 with more touches and total yards from scrimmage than anyone else over an eight year stretch are expendable, too.
But Forte found a home with the New York Jets, who signed him to a three-year, $12 million deal ($8 million guaranteed) this offseason. If he can stay healthy, he can certainly be a force in that offense. That’s the hope, anyway.
Leading up to the most hopeful day on the NFL calendar, we sat down with Matt Forte to chat about his new team, new coach, God, Tom Brady, the most under-appreciated player in football, the 2016 NFL Draft and how Verizon can help you stream draft coverage tomorrow on your mobile device with the Verizon NFL Mobile App. Here’s the video:
Baseball is here. A lot of fans including myself are psyched for another year of watching their favorite team try to make it to the World Series. What if you were surprised by a former player from your favorite team on Opening Day? Well some New York Yankee fans experienced this earlier this month thanks to Pepsi.
Pepsi is celebrating the New York Yankees this season with former Yankee player Johnny Damon and SNL comedian and lifelong Yankees fan Pete Davidson. In an entertaining video, the two take to the streets of New York City on Opening Day to give a few lucky fans a chance to “Earn Their Pinstripes” by dropping everything and riding with them to Yankee stadium.
Fans can also get a chance to “Earn Their Pinstripes” by entering the #EarnYourPinstripesContest. By sharing a photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #EarnYourPinstripesContest, fans are entered to win fun prizes including tickets to a game, meet and greets with Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman, Yankee gear, a game of catch with Didi Gregorius on the field and more!
We are a few days from the Final Four. Coach Jim Calhoun knows something about March Madness since he won three National Championships as the head coach for UConn. Thanks to Dove Men+Care I was able to chat with him today about hoops, his work is Dove Men+Care, and coaching.
Since the 2010 launch at the Super Bowl, Dove Men+Care has been committed to representing men in an authentic way, supporting all the caring moments that we all men experience. Learn about what makes a real hero from NCAA basketball coach Jim Calhoun and coach Kevin Ollie. The unique bond that they share is a perfect example of how care makes a man stronger.
“A real hero is not the player that hits the game winning shot, it’s the guy that has your back when you miss it.”
Visit dovemencare.us to see other highlights that define #RealStrength and learn about the products that Dove Men+Care offers. Care makes a man stronger.
Here is my interview with Coach Jim Calhoun.