Posts tagged with "football"

Soccer Illustration via 360 MAGAZINE

ITALIAN SERIE A

The most spectacular defenders currently in the Italian Serie A

In football, we are often more enthused about the goals and the heroics of the attackers. But we too often forget that winning teams need good defenders to keep things neat at the back as much as they need attackers to score goals.

The Italian Serie A has some of the finest defenders in the game. These warriors have a masterful combination of intelligence, bravado, tenancy, and patience.

Care to know some of them?

  1. Fikayo Tomori

After graduating from the Chelsea Academy, Fikayo found it difficult to earn a spot in the team, which led to loan stints at Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City, and Derby County. After these largely unsuccessful loan stints, he returned to Stamford Bridge for the 2019–2020 season, and this time, he was successful in earning first-team appearances for the Blues.

His flashes of brilliance convinced AC Milan to offer him another loan stint with the club in the January 2021 transfer window, with the possibility of a long-term deal. Four impressed immediately, displaying formidable defensive capabilities and scoring his first goal in a three-nil win over Juventus four months later. He signed a long-term contract with the team in June of that same year, keeping him there through 2025.

Thanks to teammate Simon Kjaer‘s injury, Fikayo became a regular in the team, playing a pivotal role in the defense. Fikayo is quick and well composed on the ball. Additionally, he can read the game well, making crucial interceptions and creating obstacles in the way of the opposing strikers.

Due to his talent, Fikayo has emerged as one of the top defenders in Serie A and not just for AC Milan. He assisted his team in winning the Scudetto in the 2021–2022 season, their first in 11 years while conceding only 32 goals—the fewest of any Serie A team other than Napoli.

  1. Milan Skrinair

The Slovakian captain is another Serie A center-back worthy of mention. The 27-year-old plies his trade with Inter Milan, joining the club in 2017.

After his €20 million move to the Serie A side, Skrinair immediately integrated into the team, nailing down a starting place as a center-back and playing in all 38 league matches of the 2017-2018 season.

Skrinair has since developed to be more formidable at the back, notorious for bullying opponents with his imposing figure and strong tackling as he attempts to clear the ball. He is also very good at getting into the right positions when necessary and has a good aerial capability.

Skrinair was part of the Inter Milan team that won the Scudetto in the 2020-2021 season, featuring in 32 games in the league that season.

  1. Gleison Bremer

Prior to this time, Gleison Bremer was a relatively unknown name, even though he has been a professional football player since his youth days in his home country Brazil with Desportivo Brasil. However, his arrival at Torino in 2018 after spells with Sao Paulo and Athletico Mineiro turned out to be the turning point of his career.

The 25-year-old developed steadily, initially used as a reserve before securing a starter’s role as a defender. Subsequently, he became a regular, featuring in 27, 33, and 33 league appearances in the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 seasons, respectively.

The right-footed center-back is known for his speed and physicality. He is also very versatile, with situational awareness and good positioning.

Bremer’s prowess earned him the Serie A’s best defender of the season in the just concluded 2021-2022 season. In addition, top-tiered Juventus couldn’t help but notice his talent, securing his services on a five-year deal.

  1. Stefan De Vrij

De Vrij started his Serie A campaign with Lazio in 2014, representing the club till 2018 when he left for Inter Milan on a free transfer. It was at Inter Milan that he solidified his position as a defender, further developing to be one of the best defenders in Serie A.

Since his arrival, the Dutch international has become a regular for the Milan side, consecutively featuring in more than 20 league appearances for the club in each season so far.

De Vrij is a versatile defender with a knack for making crucial interceptions. He is also strong and resilient, giving his all to ensure that the opponent does not get past him. His prowess saw him win the Serie A best defender award in the 2019-2020 season. In addition, he was also part of the Inter Milan squad that won the Scudetto the following year.

  1. Gianluca Mancini

A.S Roma also has one of the finest Serie A center-backs to grace this list – Gianluca Mancini. The Italian defender is not a newcomer to the Italian league, having spent his entire career in Italy playing for Fiorentina, Perugia, and Atalanta.

Now with Roma, he has developed into a world-class defender, competing with the best that the league has to offer.

Mancini is a physically strong defender who stops at nothing to ensure that the opponent is stopped in his tracks. Besides, his 6ft 3in height makes him an aerial goal threat during set pieces.

The defender has featured regularly for Roma, notching up 33 league appearances for Roma in the just concluded 2021-2022 season. In addition, he is part of the team that won the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League. You can find out more about the Conference League HERE.

  1. Leonardo Bonucci

The 35-year-old Italian defense maestro is an old face in the league. He has spent the larger part of his career with Juventus having first signed for them in 2010. With the Old Ladies, he has since secured both starting and regular roles, also helping them to win many trophies.

Bonucci is known for his passing techniques and the ability to start up attacks from the back with long passes. He also has a good positioning sense, is a good tackler, and often poses an aerial threat.

Thanks to his capabilities, Bonucci has won many individual honors. He has also won the Serie A eight times in his career.

Best Five Sporting Directors in Europe

The director of football or the sporting director’s role is highly essential in association football. A sporting director links the head coach and the board, facilitates transfers, and helps shape the club’s philosophy at all levels.

Many European clubs have sporting directors, and some of these directors have been hugely successful in their role, making great signings and also positively impacting the club during their tenure. 

This article will outline some of the best sporting directors in Europe at the moment and what makes them deserving of the label. 

Best Sporting Directors in Europe at the Moment and What Makes Them Stand Out

1. Monchi

Sevilla appointed Monchi as a sporting director in 2000. He was a goalkeeper at the club during his playing days before retiring in 1999. Monchi became so good at his job that his strides led Sevilla to become a European powerhouse, with the club winning 11 trophies under his watchful eyes, including 6 UEFA Europa League titles.

Sevilla tasked him with developing their youth system while establishing a vast transfer policy in European and global football. He undertook the task with near perfection as he would be responsible for discovering talents like Jesus Navas, Sergio Ramos, Alberto Moreno, and numerous others.

Monchi also oversaw profitable transfer decisions involving players like Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic, Seydou Keita, and many others, thanks to his network of 700 scouts he established globally. It’s fair to refer to Monchi as the man who single-handedly spearheaded Sevilla’s golden generation, qualifying him as one of the best sporting directors in Europe. 

2. Michael Zorc

Aside from being a Bundesliga powerhouse, Borussia Dortmund is famous for its magnificent transfer strategies. Of course, this is mainly because of the prowess of their sporting director Michael Zorc who oversees major transfer decisions at the club.

Michael Zorc played at the club for 17 seasons, and he has the most appearances for Borussia Dortmund. He was appointed as sporting director after his retirement and went on to extend his legendary status at the club. Zorc was responsible for signing Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Erling Halland, and Jadon Sancho.

He is a man who knew and developed European football from Dortmund’s perspective. His strategic decisions had a massive impact on the club’s philosophy and will uphold its status as a European stronghold for years to come. Zork will retire this year after spending 43 years at the club to make way for Sebastien Kehl. 

3. Michael Edwards

Many people will associate Liverpool’s success over the last few years with Jurgen Klopp. However, there’s another unsung hero behind the scenes whose actions have directly impacted the club’s successes; Michael Edwards.

Micheal Edwards was the brain behind the signings of all of Liverpool’s recent superstars, including Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk, Naby Keita, and Ibrahima Konate. He was also responsible for selling Philippe Coutinho for a club-record 142 million pounds to Barcelona in 2018.

Edwards was famous for selling unneeded players at the club for decent amounts, including the sales of Dominic Solanke, Rhian Brewster, and Jordan Ibe. While he wasn’t the one who necessarily scouted transfer targets, Liverpool always trusts him to get the deal done. Edwards left Liverpool F.C at the end of last season and has been on the radar of many top clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea. Find Out More about which club the top bookmakers think Michael Edward will move to next. 

4. Txiki Begiristain

Manchester City has made a series of good decisions following its takeover in 2008, and appointing Txiki Begiristain as sporting director is one of them. Bergiristain has always been a football man as he was an integral member of the legendary Johan Cruyff dream team. He also served as sporting director at Barcelona, where he formed a formidable relationship with Pep Guardiola.

The relationship would later pay off when Guardiola was appointed the coach of Manchester City in 2014. Bergiristain worked well with Guardiola and used their collective experience to develop an average Manchester City team into one of the most feared clubs in Europe. His tenure at Manchester City birthed 15 trophies for the club.

His transfer policy at Manchester City revolves around signing the best players that will blend immediately into the club’s style of play, with almost all of the current Manchester City players coming through him.

5. Guiseppe Marotta

Succeeding as a sporting director in Italian football is more complex than in most other leagues, as Italian clubs rarely splash substantial amounts on transfers. Marotta thrived using this budget spending system and was responsible for signing world-class players for near nothing, most notably Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, and Claudio Marchisio.

His impact saw Juventus become a powerhouse in local and European football, winning the league seven consecutive times during his tenure and reaching the finals of the UEFA Champions league. Apart from making impacting transfer decisions, his bold appointments were also notable as he was the one who appointed Antonio Conte and Maximilian Allegri.

Marotta currently serves as Inter Milan’s CEO of sports, helping them to their first Serie A in eleven years. He was inducted into the Italian Football hall of fame in 2014 for his immense contributions to the country’s football growth.

Conclusion

The transfer market is becoming more competitive than ever, and clubs see the need for skillful negotiators to get the best deal. Many clubs are therefore looking for sporting directors who are up to the task. Considering the massive changes to football over the past decade, here are the industry’s best directors. 

How Erling Haaland boosts Manchester City’s potential success

As one of the best squads in the world, Manchester City is always known for its strength in its lineup. Manager Pep Guardiola is always blessed with the best talent possible and that has happened again with the signing of a Norwegian superstar striker, Erling Haaland. 

With years of experience playing for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, Haaland has proven that he is one of the most promising goal-scorers in the world. He was an amazing star player during his time at Dortmund and before he even played for the Yellow Wall, he was the star for RB Salzburg in Austria. 

At only 21 years of age, Haaland has the potential to become the best player in the world in the long term future. Now that he is at Man City, he has the biggest platform possible to become one of the world’s best players. He was already on his way to that level during his time with Dortmund but City’s team will help him cement a championship pedigree. 

If you are going to any website for football crypto betting, you should expect that Man City will come in as a favourite for almost any match. They have proven that with the talent that they have, they can win trophies. While the Champions League has continued to elude them, City is primed to become one of the legendary clubs that have won Europe’s top club competition. 

Haaland will become the club’s top goal-scorer

Man City has been thriving with their goal-scoring even without a true number nine. They have run a system with a free-flowing offence where anyone can score as long as they are in the right position. This will not happen anymore with Haaland in the lineup because they finally have a cornerstone who is well known for scoring countless goals. 

With Kevin De Bruyne serving as the team’s playmaker, you can expect that he will have a field day having a striker of Haaland’s quality play with him. KDB himself talked about how much he appreciates having a striker like Haaland on his team moving forward.

The Belgian midfielder said, ‘Erling Haaland is a top striker. His move should help us to grow as a team. Everybody expects a lot. They’ve always been looking for a number nine, but I think it’ll be good to have that striker that maybe scores 20-25 goals a season’.

Haaland fits in with Pep’s system

Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers of all time. That kind of title is not given to anyone just for the sake of it because Pep has done a stellar job of creating systems that best fit his teams. This was prominent during his time with Barcelona when he was the mind behind their signature ‘tiki-taka’ style with Lionel Messi as the focal point of the offence.

Now at City, Pep has done a good job of building a system despite the lack of a true striker over the past two seasons. With Haaland coming in, Pep will most likely revamp his system because he has to accommodate and maximise Haaland. The combo of this coach and player will instil fear into defenders because Pep has special plays in his backpocket for Haaland. 

Man City has its Agüero replacement

When Sergio Agüero left for Barcelona in 2021, Man City lost their best-ever player and striker. That was a large void that was not filled by any player until now. With Haaland’s arrival, Man City has one of the best replacements that you can ever get for a club legend. He is primed to become the best striker in the world in the long term future. He will surely bring trophies back to Manchester given that he’s such a phenomenal player in terms of talent and an imposing physique. 

Expect Man City to keep winning

Haaland already has a case to be called one of the best players in the world and with further training under Pep and stars like KDB, Haaland will only improve. If you are on any website for football crypto betting, never forget that City has a top striker who can change the complexion of any match. It is a tough time to be a defender, especially if they’re playing against Man City. 

Russell Wilson and Ciara founders of Why Not You Foundation via 360 Magazine

CIARA × RUSSELL – WNYF

On Saturday, the Why Not You Foundation (WNYF) and College Success Foundation (CSF) hosted an unforgettable evening to celebrate scholars, demonstrate the impact of education, and ensure students have the support, mentoring and services necessary to achieve their dreams. The Dream Big: Anything Is Possible event brought together an intimate group of thought leaders from the Seattle community to connect and discuss topics ranging from the challenges underserved students experience to the future of education. The event took place at The Boathouse on the shores of Lake Union and was hosted by WNYF’s Russell Wilson and Ciara and presented by HomeStreet Bank. Funds raised at the event will benefit the Why Not You Academy and College Success Foundation college-access and success programs. 

The Dream Big: Anything is Possible initiative was created by the Why Not You Foundation in 2018 as a platform to inspire and drive change for youth in Washington’s diverse communities. Since its launch, the initiative has engaged and supported hundreds of students with programs and scholarships, and welcomed the first students to the Why Not You Academy.

“We were honored to co-host this special evening celebrating the Why Not You Foundation’s partnership with College Success Foundation and the transformative opportunities we’ve been able to provide to students together,” said WNYF’s co-founders Russell Wilson and Ciara. “It’s enduring partnerships like this that have enabled the WNYF to grow deep roots in the Seattle community which will continue to prosper and impact many more people for years to come. Seattle has a special place in our hearts and will forever be a place we call home.”

This ongoing partnership with College Success Foundation is just one example of WNYF’s sustained commitment to the Seattle community where it was founded in 2014. In just eight years they have helped raise over $10M for pediatric cancer research with Safeway Albertsons, opened the Why Not You Academy, a tuition-free charter school, and have inspired countless young people to realize their true potential and pursue their dreams. Alongside co-founders Russell Wilson and Ciara, the Why Not You Foundation will continue to work closely with its partners to strengthen the Seattle community and beyond. 

“We are appreciative of Russell and Ciara’s dedication to supporting important education initiatives in Seattle,” said College Success Foundation’s President & CEO James Dorsey. “We prepare CSF Scholars with the academic, financial, social and emotional support they need to be successful in life, beginning in middle school and continuing through high school, college and beyond,” “We’re proud of the more than 11,600 CSF Scholars – and counting – who have graduated from college.” 

Despite the extreme challenges facing underserved, low-income students, CSF educational attainment rates remain ahead of national benchmarks in all areas. To combat pandemic-created challenges, College Success Foundation is expanding this year to serve even more students in high school and college through the Rally for College initiative. 

About Why Not You Foundation:

Founded in 2014, Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through education, empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude. The foundation supports student access to equal education opportunities, children’s health and food security initiatives. Its mission is to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders. In Fall 2020, the foundation announced its first Why Not You Academy, a school that blends real-world applications with classroom learning. Learn more at www.whynotyoufdn.org.

About College Success Foundation: 

College Success Foundation is a national nonprofit that provides a unique integrated system of supports and scholarships to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school, graduate from college and succeed in life. CSF serves students in public high schools and college campuses throughout Washington state and the District of Columbia. Learn more at collegesuccessfoundation.org.

 

Featured Photo: from left: Why Not You Foundation co-founder Russell Wilson, Why Not You Academy student Trinity, and Why Not You Foundation co-founder Ciara pose together at the Dream Big: Anything is Possible dinner on May 21, 2022 in Seattle. (Photo by Stephanie Cristalli)

Washington Commanders x USO via Shannon Donohue for Pitch Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine

Commanders × USO

Washington Commanders co-owner and co-CEO Tanya Snyder, Head Coach Ron Rivera and his wife Stephanie Rivera and Commanders players Jonathan Allen and Jamin Davis teamed up with USO to hand deliver care packages to troops at BWI Airport just before they boarded the plane for deployment.  

The care packages handed out were packaged during the Commander’s packaging event held on March 10th at FedExField, when the team and USO together packed 4,000 Care Packages comprising more than 24,000 items for troops. The care packages include hygiene essentials such as combs, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as team merchandise and snacks. March 10th‘s event was the largest local USO packaging event to date. Tanya and Dan Snyder, Washington Commanders staff, Active-Duty Service Members, 15 Washington Alumni including Ken Harvey, Doc Walker, Fred Smoot, Dexter Manley, and Women of Washington Wives were in attendance. 

In March, Co-Owners and Co-CEOs Tanya and Dan Snyder also donated $300,000 to support response efforts for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine to the USO and the following organizations: 

  • USO Support our Troops, which has mobilized to support service members who have been deployed to Ukraine and the surrounding areas as well as their families, through care packages, USO2GO, and boxed snack programs.  
  • DC-based World Central Kitchen, providing nourishing, hot meals through distribution points across six countries to refugees, in addition to partnering with local restaurants in Ukraine to support local needs for those who are staying in their cities.  
  • International Rescue Committee, which is working to rush critical aid and direct support to displaced families through locally based organizations.   
  • Save the Children, which is working with Ukraine’s most at-risk population, children, to address physical harm, severe emotional distress and mass displacement by coordinating efforts to provide immediate aid, supplies, psychosocial support and cash assistance.   

About The USO 

The USO continues to provide critical resources for U.S. service members deployed to Eastern Europe. From care packages to call centers, USO programs ensure troops remain connected to family, home, and country throughout their deployment.

Basketball illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

NCAA Division I Tournament Ratings

South Carolina‘s wire-to-wire victory in the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship scored 4.85 million viewers Sunday night to become the most-watched women’s title game since 2004, and the fourth-largest audience to watch a women’s championship game since ESPN began exclusively airing the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament in 1996.

The 4.85 million viewers tuning in across ESPN networks Sunday was the most-watched cable program of the day, an audience increase of 18% year-over-year and 30% from 2019. The matchup peaked from 10-10:15 p.m. ET with 5.91 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, as South Carolina captured its second national title during ESPN’s MegaCast presentation.

“ESPN’s commitment to women’s basketball has never been stronger and this year’s viewership numbers are a clear indication of the growing popularity of the sport and the NCAA Women’s Tournament,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. “Since ESPN began exclusively televising this event more than two decades ago, we have consistently strived to raise the bar in our presentation, and we are particularly gratified by our expanded coverage and the introduction of new elements like the MegaCast this year. We look forward to working with the NCAA to further enhance our presentation in the years ahead.”

Women’s Final Four Most-Watched Final Four in a Decade

The 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four is the most-watched Final Four weekend since 2012, averaging 3.46 million viewers. The audience for the trio of games throughout the weekend was up 20% from 2021.

The National Semifinals scored 2.7 million average viewers, up 21% year-over-year and the most-viewed semifinals in a decade. Connecticut and Stanford‘s showdown registered 3.23 million viewers, up 19% from 2021 and 49% from 2019—the most-watched women’s semifinal game since 2012 (Stanford vs. Baylor). The matchup was the second-most-watched cable program of the day and most-watched overall among the coveted P18-49 demo. Louisville vs. South Carolina recorded 2.16 million viewers, up 27% and 43% from 2019, registering the most-watched audience of an early semifinal game since 2016 (Connecticut vs. Oregon State).

2022 NCAA Tournament Viewership Up Double Digits

The full NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament averaged 634,000 viewers per game, up 16% from last year’s coverage. The total hours of consumption were up 6% year-over-year, with viewers devouring 74.6 million hours of content across ESPN platforms, roughly 4.1 million more hours compared to 2021.

The 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament experienced several additional viewership milestones throughout, including:

  • The most-consumed early rounds on record
  • The most-watched early round window in more than 10 years
  • The most-watched Sweet 16 game on cable since 2017
  • The most-watched Elite Eight round in more than 10 years
  • The most-watched Elite Eight game in more than 10 years
Football illustration for 360 Magazine

Inspire Change

Inspire Change, the NFL‘s social justice initiative, recently revealed that the organization has greatly exceeded fundraising expectiations.

In December, it was announced that the league’s Inspire Change initiative had reached $180M toward the 10-year, $250M commitment in social justice. At the annual owner’s meetings, it was announced that Inspire Change has eclipsed $237M toward this commitment, bringing them almost 5 years ahead of schedule.

The increase includes additional league funding as well as widespread club and ownership efforts not yet tallied as of the December announcement and through the end of the 2021-’22 league year.

Inspire Change, which aims to move us toward a more equal and just tomorrow by reducing barriers to opportunity, is built on four pillars: education, economic advancement, police-community relations, and criminal justice reform. Most recently, four organizations—Year Up, Wall Street Bound, Free Minds Book Club, and Get Schooled—received grants. The money has gone to nonprofits and hundreds of grassroots organizations nationwide since 2017.

About Inspire Change

Working with the Players Coalition, a 501(c)(3), Inspire Change is the NFL’s charity. It is led by players and coaches within the league and allows for the organization to give back to local communities through financial means, hoping to reduce barriers to opportunity and strengthen their communities.

Universal Standard via Create Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine

Universal Standard – Squad Goals

Beginning the morning of Sunday, February 13, 2022, the world’s most size-inclusive fashion brand Universal Standard kicked off “Squad Goals”—a surprise and delight stunt disrupting Big Game tailgate parties all over Los Angeles.

Offering a refreshing and unexpected take on the Big Game’s typical entertainment, Universal Standard organized an impressive cheer squad to hype up tailgate parties with over-the-top flash mob performances that celebrate inclusivity in fashion and beyond. The brand tapped Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed choreographer Jemel McWilliams, best known for his work with Lizzo, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, and more, to lead the cheer squad, which featured the Nae Nae Twins, and other renowned celebrity dancers—all of whom were outfitted in custom Universal Standard styles, which ranged in sizes 00-40. 

This accomplished talent roster moved around the SoFi stadium tailgate, as well as other tailgates and watch parties throughout the city, performing for fans gearing up for the Big Game. Specific performances included grand choreographed dances set to an upbeat mashup of iconic 80s hits, cheers, and chants encouraging inclusivity, inspiring signage, and more. 

In line with the brand’s mission to democratize the fashion industry, Squad Goals celebrates all of us, as we are, whether a size 2 or a size 20.

“Joining forces with Universal Standard has been an honor, a privilege, and a no-brainer. I am thrilled to expand Universal Standard’s inclusive mission to the world of football through celebration, dance, and positivity,” said Jemel McWilliams. “It means so much to me to be a part of this revolutionary performance, which I hope sets the stage for how brands show up in sports, fashion, and all other industries in the future. As a working professional in entertainment, it has always been so heartbreaking to see some of my dancers and artists feel underrepresented or underappreciated when it comes to wardrobe, casting, and the industry in general. Universal Standard and I are aligned with the idea that there is room for all of us. Everyone should feel included.” 

“We are so excited to dance alongside Universal Standard with an amazing cheer squad that actually feels representative of the world we live in, said the Nae Nae Twins. “Football has never seen a cheer squad like this before! We can’t wait to dance with fans all across the city and celebrate them for who they are.”

“At Universal Standard, we know that in order to spark change, our promise to revolutionize the shopping experience must extend beyond the four walls of our showroom. This year, it took us to the Big Game, where we joined forces with the entertainment industry’s most talented to celebrate fans and hopefully inspire important conversations about equality in fashion,” said Alex Waldman, Universal Standard Co-Founder.

All events were open-air, and all talent and participants were required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result dated within 72 hours. Through city and county guidelines, the activation ensured a COVID-19 safe and compliant consumer experience.

OBJ Courtesy of the Show Surgeon

World’s Most Expensive Cleats

The world’s most expensive cleats have been commissioned by The Shoe Surgeon for the RAMS to wear this Sunday! 

Superstars, Odell Beckham Jr. and teammates Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp, and Von Miller have teamed up with famed sneaker designer The Shoe Surgeon & world-renowned bespoke jeweler, Jason of Beverly Hills to come correct this Sunday to hopefully walk away with their superbowl ring. 

These 1-of-1 bespoke Super Bowl cleats were designed with luxury & opulence coupled with performance. Yellow gold was chosen as it is symbolic of the Rams colors alongside 1,494 individual round brilliant white brilliant diamonds with a total weight of 25 carats! Over 100 man hours went into creating the diamond hardware for these cleats.

Inspiration Behind the Design

“Big cultural moments like the Super Bowl fuels my creativity and inspires me to push my creative boundaries. Through the years, I’ve built a close relationship with athletes around our shared interests in expressing individuality through fashion,” said Dominic Ciambrone. “It’s an honor to bring their ideas together to help them celebrate these key moments in their careers.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of players lives on and off the field, which is why they request Jason of Beverly Hills to commemorate their big wins. The walk to the locker room has become the runway and it was only a matter of time before that bled onto the field. I had a great time collaborating on this piece with Odell and Dominic. Excited to see how they do on the field,” states Jason of Beverly Hills, well known bespoke jeweler trusted by top A-listers.

Design Details

  • 1,494 brilliant white diamonds
  • Total carat weight of 25 carats 
  • D color flawless clarity 
  • 150 grams of 14 karat yellow gold
  • Royal blue and yellow python
  • Valued at $200K
Football illustration for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show

By: Skyler Johnson

The Super Bowl Halftime Show is always a performance to remember and is oftentimes defining for an artist. Audiences are consistently provided with top-of-the-line choreography, special effects, and artistic direction. This year was no different, with performances by five legendary hip hop artists, including Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg.

Unlike other past performances, Super Bowl LVI’s didn’t include a ton of huge, fancy getups and expensive sets. And, this is one of the few performances where there weren’t dramatic changes to the set and outfits throughout. No one performed on a chariot like Madonna, or on a metallic lion, like Katy Perry. Instead, the entire set was five white stages that looked like buildings, placed in a row, on top of a large, overhead shot of Compton that carpeted the field.

This Half Time performance made history as it was the first time there were five headliners and the first time the artists were predominantly hip hop/rap artists. Rappers have performed during the event beforehand (including Puff Daddy and Nelly) but never have there been that many at a time.

Another unique aspect of this Super Bowl was the color scheme. Most of the performers wore dark or earthy tones, save for Mary J Blige and Snoop Dogg. The former wore a striking, silvery-white outfit and the latter wore a regal blue suit.

 There were sequences of intense choreography but not from the performing artists. The result is that the music shined through. And the track list was legendary. “The Next Episode” and “Lose Yourself” are just examples of some of the great, classic music that was played during this show. Unforgettable moments included a sequence where 50 Cent rapped “In Da Club” upside down, reminiscent of the iconic original music video. Eminem performed “Lose Yourself” with Anderson Paak on drums.

Kendrick Lamar delivered an intoxicating and beautifully choreographed performance of his hit songs “M.A.A.D. City” and “Alright.” For many, they saw their childhood compiled into one performance given how many artists and songs were represented.

At the center of it all is Dr. Dre, who produced many of the songs, and discovered many of the artists that were represented here. The artist who founded Dre Beats and other iconic brands was celebrated during this performance.

This performance came at a very interesting time for rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg. The rapper is known as both a Billboard no. 1 artist and an actor (Beach Bum, Soul Plane), who also hosts a cooking show with Martha Stewart. He has now purchased Death Row Records, a record label founded by Dr. Dre. 

Overall, this Half Time Show, while not flashy or extravagant, was certainly one for the books.