Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #236

Oct. 23 – Oct. 29, 2016

Welcome to week two hundred and thirty-six of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:

  1. This Female-Driven Business Model Is in a League of Their Own
  2. Crystal Dunn’s USWNT Success Built on Versatility
  3. Ernie Banks’ Spirit Welcomes World Series Visitors Just Blocks from Wrigley
  4. A Back Door Into the Marathon Connects Runners With a Cause
  5. Adam Silver: Kings’ Golden 1 Center ‘everything a league could hope for’
  6. Inside Steve Nash’s Fútbol Fascination
  7. Skateboarding Is Helping Kids Stay Kids A Little Longer In Afghanistan
  8. One win away from history, Cleveland deserves love, too
  9. Intel invests $38M in a dozen high-tech sports startups
  10. Shaquem, Shaquill Griffin shine for UCF, don’t let disability hold them back

10+
Moments of Greatness (by Isaiah Thomas) (The Players’ Tribune)
http://www.theplayerstribune.com/2016-6-2-isaiah-thomas-celtics-allen-iverson/
Nike Mag Supports Parkinson’s Research (Beyond Sport)
www.beyondsport.org/articles/nike-mag-supports-parkinsons-research
Andy Murray Raises Over £305K For Two Children’s Charities (Beyond Sport)
www.beyondsport.org/articles/andy-murray-raises-over-305k-for-charities
Pacers Going Green with New Fieldhouse Recycling Strategy (Green Sports Alliance)
http://greensportsalliance.org/pacers-going-green-with-new-fieldhouse-recycling-strategy/
European Commission study on the contribution of sport (Sport and Dev)
https://www.sportanddev.org/en/article/news/european-commission-study-contribution-sport

Introduction
For those sports fans who like rooting for the underdog and/or the team that has not been a champion in a long time, this year’s World Series provides a conundrum: Whom to root for? The “lovable losers,” the goat-cursed Chicago Cubs – more than 100 years without a title – or the winning-challenged team from Cleveland – it hasn’t tasted a World Series championship in almost 70 years. For the fans of each of these teams and the millions more just enjoying this competitive battle, this World Series is special. There will be great joy for the winner and the “wait til next year” reality for the other. In honor of that, we have two stories related to the teams’ journey to this year’s championship. The stories will make you root harder for both teams.

The other stories we are happy to feature this week include: the inspirational and impactful work being done by espnW; the versatility of USWNT star Crystal Dunn; the trend of runners combining their personal goal of finishing a marathon with a desire to help social causes; the brand new, state-of-the-art arena for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings; former NBA MVP and soccer player/fan/investor Steve Nash; the wonderful non-profit Skateistan and its work in Afghanistan; potential breakthrough technology and sport companies being supported by innovation champion Intel; and the success of twin brothers Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin, student-athletes at the University of Central Florida.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

This Female-Driven Business Model Is in a League of Their Own
37.1M women and girls ages 13-65 watch, listen, read or log-on to ESPN media each week, (according to an ESPN All Day study), a record 61 medals for the U.S. at the Rio Olympic Games were won by women, and Yahoo’s annual report of the most searched athletes last year was, too, dominated by women. Demonstrative of market response, brands (and summit sponsors) such as Toyota, Adidas, Google, Always and Wells Fargo are now speaking about this openly in their communications. Campaigns such as “Find Focus” and “Like A Girl”, painted a perfect backdrop of allegiance. espnW began as a startup. And according to Gentile, functioned “scrappy” with five people, eventually growing to what it is today. Now, with approximately 60 people and global reach, its vision from day one still remains intact: “Talk sports, herald female athletes, empower one another, give back and be global.” Succinctly summarized in one of the many provocative quotes shared over the two-day event…“Women alone have power. But women together have impact.”
http://www.inc.com/mandy-antoniacci/espn-women-business-model.html

ESPNWCREDIT: Robby Klein/ESPN Images

Crystal Dunn’s USWNT Success Built on Versatility
Dunn admitted the constant positional switching has caused frustration at times, but has also made her a more complete player. “The thing about me—I’ve been all over the field,” said Dunn. “Yes, I’d love to work on my shooting, work on my passing. But for a player like me, I couldn’t tell you where I’m going to play on the field. On the national team, I started off as a right and left back, now playing a little bit of center mid, a little bit of outside mid, a little bit up top. For me, the day that I’m ready to hang up the boots, I’m looking back and saying, ‘I was the most complete player I could possibly be.’ “For me, my next stage is just getting better in every single area and being ready for any position that is needed of me because it’s not easy,” she added. “People have played forward their whole life and they’ve been a goal scorer their whole life. As much as I’d love that to be me, I haven’t been a forward my whole life. I’m competing with people who live, breathe, and die scoring goals. I can be a top goal-scorer, obviously, but there are other things that I need to work on as well. It’s about being an overall soccer player.”
http://americansoccernow.com/articles/crystal-dunn-s-uswnt-success-built-on-versatility#/.WA9uoZwMk_U.facebook

Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, USWNTBrad Smith/isiphotos.com

Ernie Banks’ Spirit Welcomes World Series Visitors Just Blocks from Wrigley
Founded in 1860, Graceland Cemetery is a mere Kris Bryant pop fly away from Wrigley Field. Half-a-mile, to be precise. How appropriate that Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, rests for all eternity so close to his beloved cathedral. How touching that, because of this location, the Chicago Cubs, in all their 2016 splendor, roll on by each road trip—their bus rumbling up North Clark Street to West Irving Park Road, hugging a corner of this cemetery, where it turns and heads for the highway and another charter flight. “There’s no distinguishing between Ernie and the Cubs,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says. “He was a special guy.” That pilgrims—festooned in Cubs gear from head to toe—persist in flocking here with reverence nearly two years after his death, continues to reaffirm the bond. “We were planning to go for a walk, and I brought it up last week that I wanted to come here and give Ernie a hello,” says Nick Boyd, 33, who, with his wife Katie, lives just on the other side of one of the cemetery walls. “If they win tonight, I may have to come back tomorrow, too.”
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2671562-ernie-banks-spirit-welcomes-world-series-visitors-just-blocks-from-wrigley?

Ernie BanksBanks’ headstone is simple, though a grander monument is in the works. Photo by Scott Miller

A Back Door Into the Marathon Connects Runners With a Cause
Founded in 1860, Graceland Cemetery is a mere Kris Bryant pop fly away from Wrigley Field. Half-a-mile, to be precise. How appropriate that Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, rests for all eternity so close to his beloved cathedral. How touching that, because of this location, the Chicago Cubs, in all their 2016 splendor, roll on by each road trip—their bus rumbling up North Clark Street to West Irving Park Road, hugging a corner of this cemetery, where it turns and heads for the highway and another charter flight. “There’s no distinguishing between Ernie and the Cubs,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says. “He was a special guy.” That pilgrims—festooned in Cubs gear from head to toe—persist in flocking here with reverence nearly two years after his death, continues to reaffirm the bond. “We were planning to go for a walk, and I brought it up last week that I wanted to come here and give Ernie a hello,” says Nick Boyd, 33, who, with his wife Katie, lives just on the other side of one of the cemetery walls. “If they win tonight, I may have to come back tomorrow, too.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/sports/a-back-door-into-the-marathon-connects-runners-with-a-cause.html

NYC MarathonRunners in the 2011 New York City Marathon. About 17 percent of last year’s 49,617 finishers were charity runners, competing for one of 340 charities. Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

Adam Silver: Kings’ Golden 1 Center ‘everything a league could hope for’
But tech mogul Vivek Ranadive stepped up to buy the team for $534 million and keep it in California’s capital city with a new arena that Silver calls the new standard in the NBA. The 17,500-seat arena is the first professional sports venue powered completely by solar energy, will save about a million gallons of water a year compared to a typical venue of its size, was built with recycled material from the mall that stood at the site before construction began and will get 90 percent of its food and beverages from within 150 miles. It became the first indoor venue to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of recognition for environmentally conscious buildings. There are other features such as the NBA’s first 4K ultra HD video board, providing a picture four times clearer than HD, and an in-arena app that allows fans to control the temperature at their own seat. The arena is part of a $1 billion development project that includes 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use property that will have a hotel, restaurants, retail shops, offices and condos. About $500 million in outside investment is also expected in the area.
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/17906712/adam-silver-says-opening-sacramento-kings-golden-1-center-borderline-miracle

Golden 1 CenterThe new, 17,500-seat Golden 1 Center is the first professional sports venue powered completely by solar energy. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Inside Steve Nash’s Fútbol Fascination
Steve Nash won two NBA MVP awards in his sterling 19–year pro basketball career, which ended in 2015. But be honest, Steve: How much soccer do you play and consume these days compared to basketball? “Much more soccer,” says Nash, 42, in a wide-ranging interview about his ongoing fútbol fascination. “I haven’t played basketball since I retired. I love the game and still am working with the Warriors [as a consultant] and find a great deal of reward and enjoyment out of that. But I’m playing no basketball and playing soccer semi-regularly. If you add up my love of Spurs and Mallorca and the Whitecaps, I probably watch more soccer than I do basketball these days as well.”… Nash is convinced that he would not have become an NBA player had he not also been a soccer player while growing up. “Obviously, they’re completely different sports—one’s with your feet, one’s with your hands—but as far as spacing, connectivity with your teammates, movement, passing, defending, there are similarities,” Nash says. “I probably wouldn’t have been an NBA player if I didn’t bring a unique perspective born in soccer to the game of basketball.
http://www.si.com/nba/2016/10/28/steve-nash-soccer-tottenham-whitecaps-mallorca-warriors

Steve Nash obsessionD Dipasupil/Getty Images

Skateboarding Is Helping Kids Stay Kids A Little Longer In Afghanistan
Skateistan offers a much-needed break from the hardships faced by street-working children. There, Najib and his friends are allowed to be kids. For two hours every week, they can forget about their worries and enjoy the thrill of skateboarding. Najib hasn’t learned how to do flips or other skateboarding tricks yet, but he has seen older children do them and aspires to master the moves himself. “Skateistan provides a safe space for youth to play and learn. Through skateboarding they develop empathy for one another and become part of a supportive community,” Bailey says. “In the skate park, youth from different backgrounds are able to form strong friendships and the novelty of skateboarding, compared to more mainstream sports, has been especially enticing for at­-risk youth.” Skateistan organizes outreach sessions in different parts of the city where local children are shown how to skate. The group’s educators and youth leaders take part in these sessions. This usually piques the children’s interest, and they are given enrollment forms to take to their parents. Najib heard about Skateistan from a girl named Fatima who organized an outreach session in Najib’s neighborhood. He was hooked from that moment on.
https://sports.good.is/features/skateistan-kabul-children-street-workers-taliban-skateboarding

Skateistan-boysOne win away from history, Cleveland deserves love, too
The beauty of this World Series was that — regardless of outcome — one team was going to win it. That statement might come off as redundant, but when the longest suffering American League team — the Indians — takes on the longest suffering National League team — the Cubs — that’s a special moment. Alas, for most, 108 years trumps even the pain of 68 years, and so the focus in the World Series has been on the Cubs. That’s fine — the Indians are one win away from taking the only prize that matters. Cleveland established a 3-1 lead in the World Series with an emphatic and comprehensive 7-2 win over the Cubs Saturday at Wrigley Field, capped by Chicago-area native Jason Kipnis’ three-run homer in the seventh inning. The Cubs might have taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but the Indians evened the contest in the top of the second and never looked back. The Indians sit on the precipice of breaking American League history — and the second-longest World Series drought in baseball — and frankly, no one seems to care. The entire World Series has been a Cubs love fest, but regardless of what LeBron did this past summer, the Indians’ accomplishment deserves celebration. The Indians might not have been cursed, but breaking 68 years of futility — as they are on the precipice of doing — deserves accolades.
http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-cleveland-indians-world-series-game-5-time-schedule-roster-lineups-103016

Cleveland Indians

Intel invests $38M in a dozen high-tech sports startups
Intel Corp. is hoping to bring next-generation technologies such as data analytics, tracking and image capture to the world of pro sports with the creation of a new Intel Sports Group. The new group was announced by Intel Capital president Wendell Brooks at its Global Summit in San Diego Monday, together with investments totaling $38 million in 12 startups. Many of those startups are working on the “digitization” of sports, which Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich reckons will become the “biggest change in sports in decades.” “Innovation is exploding as the world transforms into an increasingly smart and connected place, where billions of devices will be made even smarter by intelligence in the cloud,” Brooks said in a statement. “We’re excited to team with these visionary entrepreneurs developing breakthrough technologies to transform lives and industries.” Intel reckons one of the fundamental technologies in that shift will be virtual reality, and a number of the companies it invested in are working on it and related technologies such as 3D audio, image capture, super-fast video and wireless sensing. One of the most interesting is Dysonics, a startup that’s pioneering 3D audio. The company has built a multi-direction microphone with eight mics in a 360-degree container. It’s also built software that it says allows sound to move around as you move your head, creating audio that’s more realistic at live virtual reality events, as the sound will become more focused when viewing from a particular angle.
http://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10/25/intel-invests-38m-in-hi-tech-sports-bid

Pats Steelers

Shaquem, Shaquill Griffin shine for UCF, don’t let disability hold them back
Playing with one hand isn’t the problem for Shaquem. Convincing other people he can do it has been the bigger hurdle on his journey. He and his brother have seen their share of doubters throughout the years. As a high school athlete, Shaquill turned down offers from bigger schools that wouldn’t give his brother a spot on the team. And after playing on the scout team for most of his three seasons at UCF, Shaquem thought about transferring. Shaquill says he would have left with his brother if it came to that, but Travis Fisher, who coached cornerbacks last season before taking over the entire secondary, gave Shaquem his first break on defense against USF last year. “Just being here the last couple of years, it was kind of hard getting everybody on that page where I can tell them, ‘I can do this, just give me a chance,’” Shaquem said. “…Coach Fisher gave me that chance. I told him I promise you next year I’m gonna show the world I can really do this.” With a new coaching staff, the brothers felt like they both got a new opportunity to return to playing with the fun and freedom they’d always brought to the field. Much like they do in everyday life, whether it’s unknowingly ordering the same food, wearing the same tennis shoes or finishing each other’s sentences – the two even have moments of twin telepathy in football. They almost always play on the same side of the field.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/ucf-knights/os-ucf-football-0909-20160908-story.html

Griffin twinsUCF football players Shaquem, left, and Shaquill Griffin are eager to help lead the Knights’ defense.  (Jacob Langston / Orlando Sentinel)

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