Tag Archives: Carmelo Anthony

Celebrity Cyber Report – Andre Iguodala, JayZ vs. The Prince Estate

iguodala-suit

Andre Iguodala

NBA players, like most pro athletes, make a nice income. Well lets be real; they make a helluva lot of money. Now one of their own, Andre Iguodala, is introducing them to a new game, tech investing.

Iguolada, the Golden State Warriors All-Star and NBA Finals MVP, is an investor in several companies with his business partner, Rudy Cline Thomas. Recently Inguodala and Thomas participated in a question-and-answer session with startup owners at LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco.

Iguodala made a savvy business move by joining the Golden States Warriors. He became part of one of the greatest teams in NBA history but also moved closer to the Silicon Valley. Iguodala came to the Bay Area with his eye on a championship and the tech start up investment opportunities.

The NBA star is doing his best to get other players interested in the start up game as well.

“I’m just trying to get my colleagues to understand that there is a space for us outside of our normal investing,” said Iguodala. “You normally see players investing in the barbershop. You see the music companies. You see a lot of real estate. You don’t see many go outside of their comfort zones. We want to change that.”

Since joining the Warriors Iguodala has jumped on the Silicon Valley tech scene like an errant pass.  He joins other NBA stars that include his teammate Steph Curry who invested in a online coaching service app, and a  social media platform. L.A. Clippers star Chris Paul co-created Game Vision, an app that uses games it claims will increase court vision awareness. Laker great Kobe Bryant has launched a $100 million dollar venture capital firm and Carmelo Anthony has created his own firm, Melo7 Tech Partners.

Many NBA players and other professional athletes have made millions outside of playing sports. But Iguodala points out that there is more to be made than just standing in front of a camera and endorsing a product.

“That’s the biggest thing, because the way we dealt with businesses in the past is a direct transaction: You pay me this amount and I’ll take a picture or endorse your product. I think the landscape has changed as far as endorsements are concerned because consumers are smarter. They know what’s authentic, what’s organic and what’s genuine.”

Because of this belief  Iguodala and Cline Thomas launched the National Basketball Players Association’s inaugural tech summit. This gathering took place last July and hooked up current and former NBA with key tech execs in San Francisco. Using his influence as the vice president for the player’s union Iguodala made it happen.

More than 30 NBA players participated in the three-day event.  “The response was amazing,” said Iguodala. “A lot of them, said, ‘Wow, we didn’t know what you meant?'” Cline Thomas added, “Some players are already investing. All it took was some exposure.”

JayZ vs. The Prince Estate

Prince’s record label NPG has gone to war with JayZ’s Roc Nation and it’s parent company Tidal.

Prince’s record label, NPG Records, filed the lawsuit in Minnesota accusing Roc Nation and Tidal of copyright infringement. NPG claims Tidal streamed Prince’s music without permission after his death. NPG Records gave Tidal exclusive streaming rights to the album, Hit ‘n Run Phase One, but for only 90 days. But NPG claims that after Prince’s death, Tidal began streaming as many as 15 of Prince’s other albums. NPG never agreed to that and characterized the move as exploitation.

Roc Nation disputes the claim. JayZ’s label says they have paperwork proving “various agreements between the relevant parties”  giving them rights to the music. NPG says it hasn’t seen any of these “agreements.” Roc Nation/Tidal and NPG have been at odds for some time, but Tuesday’s lawsuit has opened a new front in the battle.

Like all wars the sides and the issues are often complicated. This legal battle is complicated by a recent deal between Prince’s estate and Universal Music Publishing Group. According to Minneapolis Star Tribune Universal was named “the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator” for all of Prince’s music. Tidal took issue with the agreement and filed its own paperwork claiming that a previous contract gave it exclusive streaming rights. 

After the death of many celebrities and artists their estates become worth far more than they ever were in life. And Prince is no different. So the war has begun.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kobe Bryant, Leslie Jones, Questlove

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, has jumped from the basketball court to the venture capital game. According to the Wall Street Journal Bryant has teamed up with investor Jeff Stibel to launch a $100 million fund for tech companies. Bryant and Stibel share a history having invested together informally. This history includes deals with 15 companies since 2013. Bryant and Stibel have decided to make the relationship official naming the Los Angeles based VC fund ‘Bryant Stibel’.

The WSJ reported that the $100 million fund is focused on tech, media and data companies and it is expected to last “the next few years.”  Bryant and Stibel are funding  ventures themselves, and “aren’t seeking outside investors yet,” according to the report.

Bryant became skilled using social media to connect with fans directly and told the WSJ that he believes he has a flair for identifying promising entrepreneurs.

“It’s the inner belief that a person has that will to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” he said.

Bryant is following in the footsteps of other black athletes who have taken up the tech investment game. Others include Shaquille O’Neal, and current players Carmelo Anthony and Steph Curry.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony lauched Melo7 Tech Partners while Curry is involved with content management startup Slyce, among other projects.

See also: Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake & Carmelo Anthony

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones

Racist hackers are continuing their attacks on actress/comedienne Leslie Jones prompting an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Jones, who is currently starring in the remake of the 80’s blockbuster ‘Ghostbusters’ has been subject to continued attacks online since July The attacks were sparked by Breitbart tech blogger Milo Yiannopoulos who incited his Twitter followers to harass Jones on Twitter. The activity resulted in Yiannopoulos getting banned from the social network.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the DHS, is investigating the harrasment. It is unknown why ICE  is taking on the case when last year’s “Fappening” hack was investigated by the FBI.

ICE Spokeswoman Rachel Yong You told Reuters the investigation is ongoing. “In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time.”

Hackers attacked Jones’ website and inserted a picture of the gorilla Harambe on the site and what appeared to be explicit photos of the actress, along with pictures of her driver’s license and a passport. There were also images of Jones with stars like Rihanna, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.

Jones has stayed off social media since the attack, but many of her famous allies including Monica Lewinsky, Katy Perry and, most notably, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, have shown support for her on Twitter.

See also: Leslie Jones Target of Racist Trolls

QuestloveQuestlove, band leader for theThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is launching a new show on Pandora online radio.

The show titled ‘Questlove Supreme’ will stream weekly for three hours and be produced by the late night band leader.  The show will feature select songs, candid interviews and music history lessons that mimic his class at NYU.

Questlove was also named by Pandora as the company’s first Artist Ambassador and Strategic Advisor.

The first episode of “Questlove Supreme” is scheduled to air on September 7 at 1 p.m. ET and will feature in-depth conversations with actress Maya Rudolph and Grammy Award singer Kimbra.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake, Carmelo Anthony

drake-cut-his-beard

Drake

According to Billboard, rap artist Drake has broke out with his his first solo hit “One Dance.’ The cut is one of two singles from his new album Views. The second cut  ‘Pop Style’ reached the top spot on the newest edition of the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Views’ skyrocketed to the top with first week sales of over 1 million units. Drake shattered the record for first-week streaming totals even though it was available exclusively on Apple Music.

Drake is an accomplished artist but has never had a number one hit he could call his own. Nine other Drake songs have made it to the top ten and come temptingly close but fell short only reaching the number two spot.  These include 2009’s  ‘Best I Ever Had’ and 2015’s monster hit ‘Hotline Bling.’ Drakes exclusive deal with Apple iTunes contributed to the album missing out on the top spot . Drake’s only other number one hit was laid on Rihanna’s 2010 “What’s My Name?” and this year’s “Work,” both rose to the top spot.

The most amazing fact of Drake’s recent success is that he sold a million units of ‘View” in less than five days on Apple iTunes and its subscription streaming service.

‘Views’ was released on April 29 and had 191 million plays by the following Tuesday blowing Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ out of the water. The biggest difference between the two releases? The services they each chose to exclusively stream through.

Let’s look at the numbers. Beyonce released “Lemonade’ through her husband Jay-Z’s Tidal music service. Drake through Apple. So its not hard to understand why Drake’s new album became so popular so quickly. He got a helluva of a lot more from Apple Music’s three times larger subscriber base than Jay-Z’s Tidal.  Apple simply had more ears to pump Drakes music into. Drake is riding high on Apple iTunes and launching a summer tour.

‘Melo’

carmelo-anthony-photo

Carmelo Anthony

Preparing himself for life after basketball Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is setting his sites on the tech industry. Anthony has partnered with Stuart Goldfarb to promote technology entrepreneurship forming Melo7 Tech Partners a venture capital fund.

Anthony and Goldfarb hooked up socially and soon began discussing a business venture. Anthony has had a long time interest in technology and said, “The money is enticing but it’s also the thrill of being involved with businesses and companies changing the world today. Tech is changing the world in everything we do, whether it’s sports, fashion, music…. regardless of what it is tech is changing the world.”

The NBA New York Knicks are using Catapult , a wearble device to collect data and analytics on the team’s performance. “In the NBA everything is data. Everything is data driven,” said Anthony.

But ‘Melo‘ as he is known, maybe looking at some cutting edge technology investments. According to Goldfarb virtual reality and augmented reality devices are technologies that spark investment interest from the fund.

“For me the most interesting thing is fan engagement,” Anthony said. Virtual reality could give fans at home an opportunity to experience a game as if they were courtside,” he said. “And who wouldn’t want that?”