Tag Archives: sports

Keira McCarrell, D-1 Student Athlete, Olympics, Pottery and Watercolor Artist



Keira McCarrell is one busy girl. A redshirt senior at Auburn University, is staying occupied in 2021 with school, track and field and her love of creating works of art.

Rick talks to Keira about combining being in school, running track and selling her beautiful artwork, which this holiday season included Christmas cards.

“I was born in British Columbia, Canada, and compete on their national team when presented the opportunity. I was raised in Oregon and transferred from University of Oregon to now Auburn. As a multi athlete, I have always found myself trying new things and doing everything I can to keep myself busy.”

Her artist journey started in high school when she started being very passionate about pottery.

“As I lost my access to a studio I picked up watercolor. My mom suggested I started selling them online and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s what keeps my mind at ease when I’m constantly thinking about sports and school during the week!

See how Keira does it all and has a shot at the Olympics. Have a listen.

Keira’s links to check out:

Instagram

@handpainted.by.keira
@keira_mcc

Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/therunningbrush


Mike and Rob Barnes, Selkirk Sport, What is New in Pickleball



It’s pickleball this week with Mike and Rob from SelkirkSport.

As the popularity of Pickleball continues to surge during the COVID-19 era, Selkirk Sport has been recognized as the Pickleball Manufacturer of the year by Racquet Sports Industry (RSi) in conjunction with their inaugural Champions of Pickleball Awards. The family-owned Company based in Hayden, ID is at the forefront of driving growth of the sport, offering a full line-up of Made in-the USA Pickleball Paddles for all levels and an assortment of accessories.

As outdoor activities continue to adapt to adhere to CDC and local/national health guidelines, the sport of Pickleball serves as the perfect “social distancing” physical activity. Today, Pickleball boasts more than 3.46 million players across the U.S., according to the most recent data by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and RSi recognized Selkirk Sport alongside individuals and organizations that continue to make a positive impact, while helping to accelerate the game’s growing popularity and success.

The RSI excerpt from the November/December issue: MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR – Selkirk Sport

Founded in 2014 by brothers Mike and Rob Barnes and their father, Jim Barnes, this family-owned company in Hayden, Idaho, is a leader in pickleball paddle design and technology, building high-performance pickle-ball equipment. Selkirk’s current product line includes paddles, balls, bags, apparel and accessories. Selkirk’s mantra—“We Are Pickleball”—applies as much to the creation of innovative equipment as to the effort to improve and promote the pickleball community as a whole. The brand partners with, among other groups, the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, but also with Third Shot Sports, an organization to help bring pickleball awareness and clinics to all ages. Selkirk recently introduced its Vanguard Paddle series, pushing the envelope in technology and its $200 price—which has not deterred consumers, as the paddles quickly sold out on the brand’s website.

“We are committed to supporting the growth of Pickleball at the recreation and professional level, and it’s humbling to be recognized by such a well-respected organization, as a Champion of Pickleball,” said Rob Barnes, Managing Partner, Selkirk Sport. “While 2020 has been a challenging year battling a pandemic, it’s refreshing to see so many individuals of all ages and backgrounds embrace Pickleball as an activity that can be enjoyed in a safe and responsible way.”

Selkirk Sport is one of the industry’s fastest growing companies, and their paddles are used by many of the game’s premier players, many who are national/regional champions. Team Selkirk Ambassadors include: Tyson McGuffin, 4-Time National Champion and one of the top ranked players in the world; Cammy MacGregor, Top ranked senior player and former top 75 women’s professional tennis player; Morgan Evans, Coach to the world’s elite Pickleball players; Enrique Ruiz: Hall of Famer & 6-Time National Champion; Kaitlyn Christian, 28-year old Professional Tennis Player – Top 50 in Doubles on WTA Tour; Joanne Russell, 1977 Wimbledon Doubles Champion; Lindsey & Riley Newman, Top five ranked players and college basketball officials and Sherri Steinhauer: former LPGA star, 3-Time Women’s British Open Champion & 4-Time United States Solheim Cup Winner, among many others.


Alain Cohen, CEO of NeuroTennis



Rick is joined by Alain Cohen, CEO of NeuroTennis to talk about their new tennis tech product.

Features and benefits of NeuroTennis include:

Two player or solo mode – NeuroTennis is most typically used in a two-player mode, meaning that the sensors in each device communicate with each other, across the court.

NeuroTennnis App – The feature-rich app allows you to select lessons and drills from an extensive library designed by world-class coaches, including Mats Wilander. Taking it to the next level, you or your coach can easily customize content to specifically address your goals. Available for iPhone and Android.

Game Modifying Technology – While other wearable tennis products just measure physical results, like speed and spin, NeuroTennis is about ingraining better habits and accessing your tennis skills consistently so you can raise your game while you practice. Training at higher levels leads to playing at higher levels.

NeuroTennis is available now at NeuroTennis.com and sells as a pair for $269. For more information on how to train your brain and raise your game, visit NeuroTennis.com.

Great talking with Alain and great information.


Claudia Di Gino, Novotel Miami Brickell Hotel, Miami Sports Travel



Rick is joined on “Tech of Sports” this week by the GM of the Novotel Miami Brickell Hotel, Claudia Di Gino.

Claudia is leading the charge as the Novotel Miami Brickell has reopened its doors—and heart—to guests and visitors with rooms starting at great rates. A Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice 2020 winner, the hotel is nestled in the heart of Miami’s bustling Brickell neighborhood, within walking distance of many of the city’s top dining and shopping attractions.

As Claudia tells Rick, the Novotel Miami Brickell’s location is perfect for not only business and leisure travelers, but also those in Miami for watching and playing sports. Venues for the Heat, Marlins and many of the other great sporting events in Miami are nearby.

But in this day, safety is priority and the Novotel leads the way.

“The hotel’s top priority remains the safety, care and wellbeing of our Novotel Miami Brickell family. Welcoming, safeguarding and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do and who we are,” said Di Gino, Novotel Miami Brickell. “Today, this means keeping our guests and employees safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19 – partnering with top experts to implement new standards of safety and enhanced operational protocols and procedures which are among the most stringent in the hospitality industry.”

The new operational standards being implemented at Novotel Miami Brickell and at Accor properties across North & Central America were developed and vetted by a team of expert advisors to ensure maximum efficacy in preventing the spread of all viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19, with oversight by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections and certification; Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security & fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America; and Ruth Petran, Ph.D., CFS, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety and Public Health, for Ecolab, global leaders in cleaning and hygiene, and trusted advisors to the CDC. At each touchpoint along the guest journey through Novotel Miami Brickell, extensive measures are being taken to protect guests and employees, including physical distancing; mandatory screening for all guests and employees, which may include a temperature check; face coverings mandated for all employees and guests in all indoor public spaces; 48 hour “resting period” for soft goods (i.e. pillows & duvets) between guest stays; increased frequency of cleaning & disinfecting, with a focus on high-touch points; and continued use of EPA registered disinfecting chemicals, proven effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Hands-on training for all employees, a dedicated on-property rollout committee and a formal audit program, validated under the global ALLSAFE Cleanliness label, ensure initial and continued compliance.

“As we welcome our friends, family and community back to Novotel Miami Brickell, please be assured that we are looking ahead, through and past the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that our valued guests and employees will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care and comfort.”

Safety, a great property and sports travel. In a great Miami neighborhood. Fun talking with Claudia.

 


Marc Becker, Sales and Marketing Director at Higgins Hotel, New Orleans



Sports travel is an important part of the economy in the great city of New Orleans. Rick talks about that and more with Marc Becker, Sales and Marketing Director at the Higgins Hotel and Conference Center in Downtown New Orleans.

The highly acclaimed Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton, rated #1 on TripAdvisor of 177 hotels in New Orleans, has announced its “Park and Stay” package for the fall travel season.

Ideally located in the heart of the city’s vibrant Arts & Warehouse District featuring more than 25 art galleries, a variety of museums, and visionary chefs, the hotel is conveniently situated across the street from The National WWII Museum, TripAdvisor’s top-rated tourist destination in New Orleans and #2 in the U.S. Recognized as the “Official Hotel of The National WWII Museum,” The Higgins opened in early 2020 with a conference center, exceptional dining options and a distinct 1940s theme.

The Higgins is a Curio branded hotel by Hilton that provides experiences for the curious traveler. Some are well known. Some are local legends. But each hotel in the Curio Collection is a masterpiece that reflects the best of its surroundings. Best of all, Hilton Honors points are awarded for each eligible stay.
With New Orleans moving into Phase III of its “open for business” protocol, travelers are again able to enjoy all that makes vacationing in this historic destination so appealing. Plus, the Higgins’ fall season “Park & Stay” travel offer provides guests with an easy to book room rate inclusive of parking at the hotel’s adjacent garage. The attractive rate makes a simple combo buy for those arriving by car and saves guests upwards of $39 in parking fees common to downtown hotels in the city.

To book the offer, visit higginshotelnola.com, and in the reservation window use the booking code RPPSG1 or click on “Park & Stay” when making the reservation. Rates as low as $119 can be found through September.

The Higgins Hotel has remained open throughout the COVID pandemic, proudly welcoming guests and first responders alike with specific safety protocols for more intense sanitizing actions and the personalized services a Curio branded hotel is known for. From a nostalgic hotel experience sure to intrigue and delight, to dining and entertainment options at your fingertips, the Higgins Hotel represents home away from home, including guest rooms that offer striking 1940’s style décor.

The most popular dining option is the hotel’s Rosie’s on the Roof Restaurant, offering outside deck seating, with penthouse-style views out over the city skyline and of the new Canopy of Peace at the adjacent National WWII Museum. Service is also Covid centric, with no-touch ordering and socially spaced dining.
The Higgins recently instituted the Hilton “CleanStay” program, where guests are offered no-touch check in, no-visit hotel room stays, and a rigorous daily cleaning of all public areas and touchpoints within each guestroom. The Hilton CleanStay program provides a standard list of new cleaning protocols and products, anchored by brand leader Lysol.

Also for foodies, the Higgins is introducing a special dining opportunity with French Chef Virgile Brandel of Higgins Hotels Café Normandie and Rosie’s on the Roof. The Suite Dining with a French Chef experience will allow guests to enjoy a carefully curated gourmet meal in a Presidential Suite on the penthouse level of the Higgins Hotel featuring views of downtown New Orleans. Imagine taking in the amazing views of this historic destination while enjoying some of the finest cuisine found in the Big Easy.

Guests can also choose to enjoy the Higgins Hotel Fish & Dine option, where you can bring the fresh catch from your charter fishing excursions, and Chef Virgile Brandel will prepare it for your dining delight – broiled, sautéed, or fried, with added sides, salad and desert for up to 10 guests. Didn’t catch enough fish? No worries. Chef Brandel will supplement your catch while you savor cocktails at Rosie’s on the Roof, Higgins Hotel’s view bar. Then, enjoy your dinner with friends casually served in a semi-private socially distanced environment of Café Normandie.

With New Orleans moving into Phase III of its “open for business” protocol, travelers are again able to enjoy all that makes vacationing in this historic destination so appealing. To find out more about the Suite Dining or Fish & Dine options, visit www.higginshotelnola.com/new-orleans-restaurants.


Chris Madden, Co-Founder of Matchnode



Rick talks with Chris Madden of Matchnode this week on “Tech of Sports.”

Sports and paid social media go together like peanut butter and jelly.

But it’s a tricky mix.

Matchnode is a digital marketing agency that specializes in paid social advertising. Through his agency Chris has worked on digital ad campaigns for Chicago sports franchises like the Bulls and Blackhawks, helping drive their digital strategy and increase ticket and merchandise sales.

Chris is always a wealth of insight on all things social media marketing, but throughout his recent marketing work for the Bulls he’s become a true force of knowledge on the future of digital strategy in sports (and he’s set on paving the new digital way forward for pro sports franchises.)

Chris has appeared on shows like Business Innovators Radio and Hollywood Branded where he voiced his expertise on social media ad campaigns and improving digital strategy. He’s a personable guy a big sports fan and gives his take on the current situation in sports during a pandemic.

Madden is Co-Founder of Matchnode, which specializes in paid social to drive revenue for brands via strategy, traffic, and optimization. Clients include the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Indiana University, and LendingTree. A seasoned entrepreneur and sales executive with a deep knowledge of digital marketing as it relates to sports.

Great to talk with Chris and hope to catch up with him soon.