5 Most-Valued Female Athletes on Social Media in '16

5-most-valued-female-athletes-on-social-media.jpg

The Top 25 Most Valued Athletes on Social Media in '16 was released earlier this week by 120 Sports and MVPindex. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson earns the #1 spot for the second straight year, and there are now 5 female athletes that have moved up the rankings to join the list!

Alex Morgan jumped from #48 last year to #15 this year, Serena Williams is at #16 (previously #10), Ronda Rousey moved up to #18 (previously #26), Hope Solo moved up to #22 (previously #46), and Kerri Walsh Jennings moved up to #25 (previously #44). Congrats ladies! Give them a follow on Instagram if you don't already! 

How were the rankings determined?

“For years, the yard stick in determining social media value was based solely on the number of followers someone had. But at MVP we know that quantity does not mean quality,” MVPindex co-founder Kyle Nelson said in a statement. “With our sophisticated Engagement Value Assessment tool, we look at social media impressions, engagement, virality and social authority to help figure out what it’s all really worth.” - SportTechie

Here is the full list of 25:

#1     Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
#2    Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.
#3    Texans DE J.J. Watt
#4    Golfer Rory McIlroy
#5    UFC fighter Conor McGregor
#6    Cavaliers F LeBron James
#7    Golfer Tiger Woods
#8    Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
#9    Patriots QB Tom Brady
#10   Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
#11    Warriors G Stephen Curry
#12   Steelers WR Antonio Brown
#13   Nets G Jeremy Lin
#14   Mariners 2B Robinson Cano
#15   Soccer player Alex Morgan
#16   Tennis player Serena Williams
#17   Panthers QB Cam Newton
#18   UFC fighter Ronda Rousey
#19   Angels CF Mike Trout
#20  Former NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon
#21   Warriors F Kevin Durant
#22   Soccer player Hope Solo
#23   Bulls G Dwyane Wade
#24   Cowboys WR Dez Bryant
#25   Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings

Source: Sports Business Daily

Who do you think will be the newcomers to the list next year?!

Weekly Roundup: Design, Style, Sports

WeeklyRoundup.jpg

Cubs BullPen / A Velvet Clutch / She Plays We Win / Cute Handwritten Font / Think Grow Prosper
 

SPORTS WORLD / WORLD SERIES:
What you need to know >>> Aroldis Chapman, Cubs Pitcher, just saved his team Sunday night, in Game 5 of the World Series. He got pulled in from the bullpen early (in the 7th inning) to protect his team’s one run lead. Game 6 is tonight, Tues Nov 1 in Cleveland.

“When Joe Maddon (Cubs manager) walked out to the mound in the seventh inning Sunday night, pointed his left hand to the bullpen, and summoned hell and fire and filth and chaos into the fifth game of the World Series, you felt things. You felt confidence. You felt fear. You felt like you were seeing baseball players pushed to the brink of their abilities, and that something just might snap. You felt like a manager was choosing this moment to make a final stand… When Chapman came in, it meant that the Cubs would push this back to Cleveland for a sixth game, or the Indians would at least have to produce an instant classic to seal the victory. He saved not only the Cubs but the Series itself.” – from ESPN.com, read the full article here.

 

FONT:  Officially in love with this handwritten font

STYLE: Bring on the velvet. This foldover clutch is on my wishlist.  

INSPIRIE: Rewarding Instagram to follow @thinkgrowprosper 

SHE PLAYS WE WIN: Check out this amazing collaboration between ShePlaysWeWin.com (a passion project by photographer Christin Rose) and Under Armour. Love it because it a) highlights the importance of girls playing sports and b) you never know where your passion project could take you! For inspiring pics, follow along at @sheplayswewin

 

 

In Case You Misssed It: This Serena Williams Nike Commercial Will Give You Chills

Serena-Williams.jpg

Confession. I only started watching Serena Williams play a few summers ago. I had missed watching the majority of her tennis career, and subsequently some of the greatest moments in sports history. How could I respectfully call myself a sports fan, a former college & professional athlete, and NOT have paid attention?! So I made a point to start watching her compete. This September during the US Open, Nike aired this incredible commercial that gave me chills, and also helped filled in the gaps for me. Where did their creative inspiration (the "Mad Men moment") come from? Here's the back story, as told by Adweek

At a press conference at Wimbledon in July, a reporter asked Serena Williams how she felt about going down in the history books as "one of the greatest female athletes of all time." She responded simply, "I prefer the words 'one of the greatest athletes of all time.' ... With just a few words, the winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles was able to combat the subtle sexism that permeates how female athletes are treated by the media. Now, just two months later, Nike uses that moment as inspiration for its latest 60-second spot, a celebration of all that makes Williams great, timed to the U.S. Open. 

The Nike Commercial – Unlimited Greatness featuring Serena Williams:

Even better, Nike provided this reference key for the on-screen text:

  • Compton—Serena Williams swung her first racket at the age of 3 in Compton, Calif., soon after her family moved from Michigan.
  • Sister, Outsider—Along with her sister, Williams proved that precocious talent always trumps preconceptions.
  • Pro—Williams turned pro in 1995, when she was 14.
  • #304—Two years later, with a ranking of 304, she beat two top 10 opponents and became the lowest-ranked player in history to achieve this feat.
  • Winner—In 1999, she claimed her first slam and rose to No. 4.
  • Top 10—The following two years, for the first time, she ranked in top 10.
  • Paris, London, New York—In 2002, Williams took Paris, London and New York—plus the No. 1 ranking.
  • Melbourne—A 2003 victory in Melbourne solidified her first "Serena Slam."
  • Injured—Injury briefly derailed William's game but never her drive. She dropped to No. 139 in 2006, struggled with confidence and critics labeled her obsolete.
  • Struggling—Williams responded by winning Melbourne in 2007, as an unseeded player, completing the year among the sport's top 10.
  • No. 169—After another bout of injury, she declined to 169, but quickly battled back and resumed her ascent.
  • Done, comeback, focused—In 2013, she became the oldest player ever to earn the rank of No. 1.
  • No. 1—Williams held the top spot through 2014—the second woman to retain it for a full year—and took her sixth title in New York.
  • Legend—Today, she is revered as the greatest and her influence transcends the game of tennis.

 

Source: Adweek
Photo: Annie Liebovitz, Vogue Magazine, April 2015

5 Reasons to Follow Women's Boxing in Rio

#1) MAKING HISTORY

Women’s Boxing first premiered as an Olympic sport at the London 2012 Games. At 17 years old, Claressa Shields (middleweight from Flint, MI) made history by becoming the sport’s first Gold medalist. Four years later, she’s going for her 2nd Gold in Rio, and could make history again by becoming the first American boxer (male or female) to win a consecutive Gold medals. Claressa names Serena Williams as her greatest source of inspiration:

“I really didn't know what to do after I won the 2012 Olympics when I was 17. A lot of people screamed at me to go to college and to turn professional. Serena Williams has a picture of her with 2 Olympics gold medals, one on both sides of her face. That picture, let alone with her dominance in her sport, made me wanna be as dominant in my sport as she is in hers."

Claressa's USA teammate, Mikaela Mayer (lightweight from Los Angeles, CA) fell just short of making the 2012 London Olympics. But her dreams of making it in 2016 came true this past March, when she won gold at the Americas Qualifying Tournament in Buenos Aires. 

#2) BRINGING WOMEN'S BOXING TO THE SPOTLIGHT

Despite having virtually no sponsorship interest after London, the two women have together been quickly earning more attention for the sport, which has already been an Olympic men’s sport since 1904. Claressa received one of the highest media honors as an athlete –  being featured in the 2016 ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue, released this July.

Mikaela, a sponsored Under Armour athlete, has been featured in multiple publications recently including The EverygirlThe AtlanticCosmopolitan. And you may have first recognized her from this inspiring Dr. Pepper “1/ One of a Kind” commercial back in 2013.

#3) THEY'RE STRONG, TOUGH & BEAUTIFUL

In the ring, these two women are wild & fierce competitors, not afraid to take a punch in the face. They train daily, working on footwork, speed, cardio, strength, focusing on their nutrition and eating enough of the right foods to keep their bodies strong and fit. 

“Fighting is something God wants me to do. I'm built the way that I am -- with my shape and my figure, with my muscles - because God blessed me with that, and I'm grateful for it. He wants me to be a boxer and to be a fighter.”


#4) BOXING SAVED THEM

Claressa found boxing at only 11 years old, when her father (a boxer in the underground leagues) told her a story about Laila Ali and how she took up the sport after her father. Claressa's the first in her family to graduate high school, and had lived in almost a dozen homes by the time she turned 11 years old. She has an incredible story of overcoming adversity in one of America’s most impoverished cities.

“I consider myself a hero and a role model for Flint. I thought my winning the Olympics gave people a lot more hope and a lot more faith than the city has had in a long time. I think it gave them a sense that even though you're from Flint, you can do anything you want to do.”

Mikaela grew up outside of Los Angeles, and in high school had lost her sense of direction – almost quitting school and getting in trouble for fighting and bad grads. At age 17 she drove past a boxing gym by her house, stopped in, and signed up with her last $100. The first thing she asked the trainer was: "Do you think I'm too old to start competing?"

"I was hungry for success in something at that time, because I wasn't doing well at anything. I was like, 'I want to be good at something.' It's always been inside me. I've always had that fire. I didn't have anywhere to direct it."

#5) "T-REX" DOCUMENTARY & UNIVERSAL MOVIE DEAL

When the 17 year-old from Flint, Michigan qualified for the London Olympics, her story gained the attention of documentary filmmakers Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari. They raised over $64,000 on Kickstarter to film the documentary "T-Rex" about Claressa's Fight for Gold, it's won numberous film festival awards & will be premiering on PBS August 2nd, and will be available on Netflix later this summer. You can also rent it on Vimeo. Earlier this year, Claressa also won a movie deal with Universal Pictures, acquiring life rights to film a Rocky-esque type movie about her inspiring true story. 

To follow Claressa & Mikaela in Rio, visit the NBC Olympics boxing page or download the Rio Spectator's Guide.