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November Newsletter

Philadelphia Union Academy Star Joins IPZ

WARREN, NJ (November 12, 2020) — Quinn Sullivan, a versatile midfielder and top prospect within the Philadelphia Union (MLS) and USA Soccer, has signed with IPZ, the company announced today.

The 16-year-old Philadelphia native has been a mainstay within the Philadelphia Union Academy, representing the club at every age group. Most recently, Quinn played as an amateur for the professional side Philadelphia Union II, which in 2020, competed in the United Soccer League Championship (USLC), the second division of United States professional soccer.

Quinn will officially embark on his professional soccer career, starting January 1, 2021, when he joins the First Team of the Philadelphia Union. The Philadelphia Union have a history of developing young talent and were recipients of the 2020 MLS Supporters’ Shield, an achievement given to the club with the best regular season record in MLS.

“I didn’t choose IPZ. IPZ, and in particular Jeff Curtin, chose me,” said Sullivan. “Jeff has watched me play for a number of years and when the early bloomers were attracting the attention of agents and managers, Jeff saw something in me, and would come watch my games whenever he had the chance. My family and I appreciated that. It is obvious that the boutique nature of IPZ allows them to really focus on representing their clients holistically, and the proof is in the results- in a matter of months Jeff was able to secure me both a trial at Borussia Dortmund, a top German club, and a Homegrown Major League Soccer (MLS) contract with my hometown Philadelphia Union. I look forward to a long partnership with IPZ.”

“Quinn is an exceptional young talent,” said Curtin, Managing Director of IPZ. “At just sixteen years old, Quinn is ready to take the next step in his soccer career as a professional. Quinn has the talent, mindset and approach to be a great pro and we are delighted to have him officially join the IPZ family.”

See the Union’s Official Release here.

Luca Bernardi Wins the 2020 Campionato Italiano Velocità SuperSport600

Luca Bernardi, the San Marino rider of the Gomma Racing team, added two more podiums (seven out of eight races) in the historical circuit of Vallelunga in Rome, to clinch the Campionato Italiano Velocità SuperSport600 Championship.

After a tough year, Bernardi clinched the title with 152 points in only his second year participating at this event.

Along with this title, Bernardi has won the 2017 CIV Championship SuperSport 300 and the 2017 Yamaha R3 Cup.

Andrei Arlovski Adds to His Record

UFC Heavyweight and IPZ client, Andrei Arlovski, defeated Tanner Boser in the co-main event inside the Apex Las Vegas this past weekend.

Arlovski won via unanimous decision after surprising Boser with a spinning backfist in the final seconds of the second round.

“I looked at Boser and saw myself 21 years ago…He’s young, powerful, strong and hungry. I wish him good luck,” said Arlovski in an interview with ESPN after the fight.

This win marks his 19th win in the UFC’s heavyweight division, which is the most of all time. Even with this, Arlovski, now back in the top 15 rankings, has stated that his best is yet to come.

 

Andree Signs…Oleynik and Prudius Wait…FDNY Serves…and Clayton Joins – IPZ’s Latest Newsletter

Pat Andree to be Represented by IPZ

Pat Andree, an All-ACC Academic Team selection at North Carolina State University and one the NCAA’s Elite 3-Point shooters, has signed with IPZ, Andree and IPZ announced today.

The six-foot-eight stretch 4 power forward comes from Colts Neck, N.J., and Christian Brothers Academy, one of New Jersey’s perennial high school powerhouse programs, where he became the school’s leading scorer, breaking the 40-year-old record set by Bob Roma.

From CBA, Andree went to Lehigh University, starting in multiple games as a freshman on a senior-laden team that went to the Patriot League championship game. During his freshman season with the Mountain Hawks, Andree broke onto the national scene with an ESPN Top Ten performance, scoring a career-high 30 points against Saint Francis (Pa.). In that game, Andree made 10 threes (on 12 attempts) to set a school record.

During his sophomore season, Andree started in 29 of 30 games, averaging 12.6 points and shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range (79-184), helping the Mountain Hawks to the Patriot League Semi-Finals. Andree tormented league opponents as a match-up nightmare, stretching the floor as the league’s top Frontcourt 3-Point shooter, shooting 48.7% (55-113) from behind the arc in league play. He was 4th overall in the league in 3-point shooting, and 23rd in the nation, reaching double figures in 21 games and adding 5.8 rebounds per game. He was named First team All-Academic Patriot League.

During his junior season at Lehigh, Andree led the team in rebounds, was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team for the second straight season and had double-figure points in 22 of 29 games. He averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds and shot better than 42 percent from behind the arc in his final two seasons with the Mountain Hawks.

He was named to the Patriot League Honor Roll each year as a student-athlete during his tenure at Lehigh, graduating in three-years, and earning a degree in Psychology in May 2019.

At NC State, as a graduate transfer, Andree was named to the All-ACC Academic team, despite suffering an ankle injury versus Clemson in the 16th game of the season. Until that point in the season, he was averaging 9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 22 minutes per game, starting in four of those games. He had shot 48% (23 of 48) from behind the three-point line up to that point in the season and was ranked among the top 5 in the ACC.

In the opening game of the season against Georgia Tech, Andree started for the Wolfpack scoring 12 points and pulling down 8 rebounds in his ACC debut. Against Florida Int’l, with the Wolfpack down 12 points in the first half, he came off the bench to score 14 consecutive points in under three minutes, including a 4-for-4 stretch from 3-point land to spark North Carolina State a runaway victory. On the road against UNC Wilmington, Andree knocked down 5-of-7 three-point attempts to lift the Wolfpack to a one-point Quad 1 win while surpassing 1,000 career points in NCAA-Division 1 play.

After knocking down a crucial 3-point shot versus Syracuse on the road, Andree suffered an injury to his ankle and his play was limited during the remainder of the season.

“Pat is a terrific young man and he was a great addition to our program,” said North Carolina State head basketball coach Kevin Keatts. “He is an elite-level shooter who has an incredible knowledge of the game. He also has a strong work ethic and is a fantastic teammate. Pat’s presence will make any locker room better and I believe he has a long professional career in front of him.”

“Patrick is not just an outstanding athlete, he is an amazing young man who has a tremendous basketball IQ and will only excel in the future,” said IPZ Managing Partner Robert Zito. “He has fully recovered from the ankle injury that impacted his season at NC State, and will be an asset to a professional team moving forward.”

“I had a great experience at North Carolina State, following my three-years at Lehigh,” said Andree. “I was so excited to play in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments, but the COVID-19 pandemic robbed everyone of that dream this year. I was pleased to have garnered the interest of several agents as my desire to continue to play basketball as a professional is strong and I am seriously committed to further developing my game. I feel very fortunate to have joined the IPZ family and proud to have their team of professionals helping me.”

Alexey Oleynik Set To Take On Next Opponent In UFC 250…

Alexey Oleynik signs his fight contract with Sam Masucci, CEO of ETF Managers Group, his sponsor. Photo by Jim Salzano.

While he has continued to train for his May 9 fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, IPZ’s Alexey Oleynik is still awaiting confirmation about the site for what will be one of UFC’s biggest ever events.

“It has been frustrating, but I understand everyone’s safety is the most important concern,” Oleynik said. “Keeping my family safe and the safety of our UFC fans has to be the key.”

The star-studded card was announced this week.

“I welcome the fight against Werdum,” said Oleynik. “When the fight can eventually happen, we will put on a good show. And don’t bet against me.”

Known as the “Boa Constrictor,” Oleynik has a record of 58-13-1 and won his last fight, against Maurice Greene with a second round submission.

Oleg Prudius Puts “Miami Heat” on Hold Amidst COVID-19

Photo by Slav Gordeyev

Photo by Slav Gordeyev

Oleg Prudius was two weeks away from completing shooting on the new movie, Miami Heat, when the coronavirus shut down filming in Miami.

“It was unfortunate, but we all understand the need to save lives,” said Prudius.

Miami Heat stars Prudius as a dad who searches for his daughter after she is abducted by a ruthless sex trafficking ring.

“I have to kill the bad guys,” Oleg said with a laugh. “Easy for me to do.”

Supporting the FDNY and First Responders

Our IPZ family knows I serve as the vice-chair of the FDNY Foundation. These past five weeks have been especially hard on our first responders, including those in the FDNY, both firefighters and EMS personnel.

Thanks to Bill Schwartz, CEO and founding partner of Vector Media, and a fellow FDNY Foundation Board member, New Yorkers are being reminded that our first responders need our support now.

Thanks Bill. And thanks to the members of the FDNY who are working around the clock to help New York…and first responders around the country who are on the front lines in fighting this pandemic.

For more information or to contribute, please visit www.fdnyfoundation.org

Emily Clayton Joins IPZ as Client Sponsorships Manager

Emily Clayton has joined IPZ as Client Sponsorships Manager, effective April 1.

A 2018 graduate of The University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and Specialization in Sport and Entertainment Management, Emily worked in the Corporate Partnerships department for the Miami Heat during Dwyane Wade’s final season. After the 2018-19 basketball season, she transitioned to the agency side of sports and entertainment management as an event coordinator at Octagon.

A North Carolina native and resident, Emily is a certified personal trainer, as well as a certified nutrition coach.

“I look forward to working with IPZ’s clients in their endeavors outside of their chosen sport or media,” Clayton said. “With new technological advances and social media platforms, I know each of our clients will find a niche tailored to their own interests. It’s my job to help them find those opportunities.”

“In her first few weeks, Emily has brought enthusiasm, out-of-the-box thinking and a disciplined approach to her role that we hope pays dividends for our clients,” said IPZ Managing Partner, Robert Zito. “Best of all, she doesn’t hesitate to pick up the phone call and call people – sometimes a missing talent with today’s young professionals.”

ETFMG: Meet Our Heavyweight Champ Aleksei Oleinik

As Aleksei “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik prepares for his fight tomorrow, the UFC’s first event of 2020, his official training & exclusive global financial partner ETFMG created the below video for their heavyweight champ. ETFMG also made this statement:

“Everyone at ETFMG is thrilled that our ETF heavyweight champ, Aleksei Oleinik, will be a Main Card event at UFC 246 tomorrow night in Las Vegas. From one industry heavyweight to another, Aleksei is a force to be reckoned with and we are proud to be his sponsor.”

An NBA Contract…Christmas Surprise…and Rumble in Vegas

Miami Heat Signs Chris Silva To Three-Year Contract

Chris Silva signed a three-year contract with the Miami Heat. The forward began the 2019-2020 NBA season on a two-way deal with the Heat and has proven himself to two-time NBA Champion Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, his teammates, and, of course, the Miami fan base. With his #SilvaSlams, rim protection, and hustle, Chris earned the opportunity.

Chris and the Heat take on the San Antonio Spurs in Miami at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 15th for their next matchup.

Alexey Oleynik Set To Take On Next Opponent In UFC 246

On Saturday, January 18th, UFC heavyweight fighter Aleksei “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik (Alexey Oleynik) will be stepping into the octagon to go up against Maurice Green in UFC Fight Night 246.

The showdown will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas around 10 p.m. ET and can be viewed on ESPN+.

Bumble Taps Lexie Brown As Brand Ambassador

Social network Bumble, best known for its usage as a dating application, launched the “Queen Bee Program” in late 2019 and tapped WNBA player Lexie Brown as a brand ambassador for the rollout. Queen Bee’s focus is building a community founded on women’s empowerment through Bumble events, marketing initiatives and everyday conversations.

As a #BumblePartner, Lexie utilized her Instagram (@lexiebrown4) to reach her 128k followers. Her participation included one static post (pictured above) and two Instagram stories.

Chris Silva Reunites With His Mom After Three Years Apart

It was a Christmas miracle for Miami Heat forward Chris Silva…because he thought he was seeing a ghost.

On December 27, 2019, Chris’ mother, Carine Minkoue Obame, walked into the AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat.

“We have a great surprise for you,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told Chris following a practice. “Merry Christmas, brother.”

“That’s my mum,” Silva said, sobbing after seeing his mother.

It had been three years since Chris last saw her.

He told reporters that he had talked to his mother over the phone on Christmas Day and never imagined that he would see her soon.

“I thought I was seeing a ghost,” Silva said of the reunion.

Watch the heartwarming reunion here.

Oleg Prudius “Smiles” For A Great Photographer

Oleg Prudius, who is currently filming the movie, “Miami Heat,” was the subject of a photo shoot done by renowned photographer James Salzano.

451 Media Group continues to develop Rogan, a mythical God of Gods, a character based on Prudius.

Check out the photos here.

View the full newsletter here.

Alexey Oleynik & Andrei Arlovski Top UFC List

Alexey “The Boa Constrictor” Oleynik is #1 overall in the category of current UFC fighters with the most fights in his career with 71. His overall record is 57-13-1.

Andrei Arlovski is tied for #5 on this list with 49 total fights. His overall record is 28-19-0 (2 NC).

Alexey Oleynik + ETFMG Sponsorship Highlighted in Bloomberg

In Zero-Fee Era, Wrestlers and Astronauts Help Funds Fight Back

By Claire Ballentine

  • ETF issuers need to stand out in market ruled by three firms
  • Tactics include advertising gimmicks, and taking to Twitter

Smaller asset managers are getting creative as they look to take the fight to the likes of BlackRock. Meet the Boa Constrictor.

The UFC heavyweight best known for winning bouts with a rare judo chokehold burst onto the exchange-traded-fund scene earlier this year as an unlikely advocate for a cannabis fund run by ETF Managers Group. At a dinner arranged by the issuer in midtown Manhattan last month, Boa — real name Alexey Oleynik — taught impromptu lessons on how to throw a punch, and flexed for tough-guy photos in a shirt branded with the company’s logo.

It may seem like a gimmick, but the intent is serious: Oleynik is bringing ETFMG to the masses, bearing the firm’s name during fights and spreading its brand on social media.

Read the full story on Bloomberg.

Alexey Oleynik + ETFMG Partnership Featured in Bloomberg

Cage-Fighter Sponsored by Pot ETF Issuer in Rare Marketing Move

By Kristine Owram

The issuer of the world’s largest pot ETF is embracing celebrities’ growing interest in cannabis, sponsoring a UFC fighter nicknamed the Boa Constrictor.

In a highly unusual move for a provider of exchange-traded funds, ETF Managers Group LLC has signed on as the official training sponsor of Alexey Oleynik, the ninth-ranked heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed-martial arts organization. The issuer is best known for the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which has about $1.1 billion invested in cannabis-related companies.

Several recent tweets from Oleynik’s Twitter account show him training — and even mowing the lawn — in T-shirts emblazoned with MJ, the pot ETF’s ticker, and the logo of ETF Managers Group. While most tweets don’t reference ETFs beyond tagging that fund and including ETFMG’s Twitter handle, one post in March described the company as an “ETF heavyweight.”

“It’s definitely not something you see as a common practice,” Tricia Vanderslice, ETFMG’s chief marketing officer, said in a phone interview. “We like to look at unique marketing that does justice to both the sector our product represents and the audience that we’re trying to hit and speak to and educate.”

MJ is one of the best-performing unleveraged U.S. ETFs of the year. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that less than 12% of its shares are owned by institutional investors such as mutual funds. The UFC sponsorship is targeted at individual shareholders who don’t necessarily follow the financial media but may be big UFC fans, Vanderslice said.

“You hit that group of Average Joe investors that might be using E*Trade, they might be using Robinhood, and a big piece of that is brand awareness,” she said.

Read the full story on Bloomberg.

 

Savitsky: Fighting Alexey Oleynik Is The Best Decision For Cain Velasquez

If Velasquez is looking for redemption, he needs to fight Oleynik, writes Oleg ‘Alec’ Savitsky

By Oleg ‘Alec’ Savitsky

In the recent ESPN analysis of Cain Velasquez’ loss to Francis Ngannou, while discussing what the future holds for the former champion once considered the best heavyweight ever, Brett Okamoto suggested Alexey Oleynik would be the best option. The truth is — this matchup is a necessary fight for everyone – the UFC, MMA fans, and Velasquez himself.

Okamoto suggested that Velasquez should fight Oleynik because he will be a “manageable” opponent. I hold the opinion that if Velasquez wants to redeem himself, he must fight Oleynik. But not because Oleynik is “manageable” or easier, but precisely because Oleynik is dangerous. Alexey is well-rounded and the most experienced in the division. It’s a live or die situation for Velasquez and the fight against Alexey will reveal to Velasquez and the MMA world if he still has the skills and determination to become the dominant heavyweight he once was.

Perhaps, Cain was out of competition for too long, and shouldn’t have taken the fight against Ngannou, the most dangerous striker in the division. Perhaps, it was a combination of nagging injuries, lost confidence, poor fight strategy or the famous “cage rust” caused by prolonged inactivity that caused Velasquez, once known for his heavy hands, superior wrestling, and conditioning, to lose the fight in under 30 seconds. But they are not the reasons why now Velasquez should “step back” and take a fight with someone like Alexey Oleynik.

Fighting anyone in the top 10 of the division is risky business. A fight against Oleynik is the fight Velasquez must have, but for totally different reasons.

Previously, Velasquez lost to Fabricio Werdum and showed his vulnerability in the grappling game. He needs a fight that will display to his fans the “old” dominant Velasquez who was able to dismantle any type of fighter. To do that, the UFC needs to provide him with a well-rounded and credible opponent. Since Werdum is suspended and a rematch is out of the question, it would be a great opportunity for the No. 7 ranked Velasquez to fight Oleynik, currently ranked No. 9, to prove his relevance and ability to compete against an exceptional grappler. It’s no secret that all top fighters in the heavyweight division are avoiding Oleynik and don’t want to risk their chart position by losing to the superior submission artist. Oleynik, next to Werdum, Frank Mir, and Antonio Nogueira, belongs to the grappling elite of MMA heavyweights.

Alexey has 69 professional fights, with a record of 57 wins, 11 losses, and one tie, and is 6-2-0 in the UFC. He has more wins than majority of fighters, including Velasquez (14-3-0), have fights in their entire MMA careers. Oleynik fought around the world for every top promotion and won against the most notable names in the business. Facing another heavy-handed striker like Velasquez will be nothing new for Oleynik. He fought and submitted some of the best and most feared strikers like Mirko Cro Cop and Mark Hunt. Alexey demonstrated his durability and multi-dimensional skills by out-striking former contender and heavy puncher Travis Browne and by knocking out the brawler Jared Rosholt.

Both Velasquez and Oleynik are well-rounded fighters and pinning them against each other would give MMA fans an exciting fight they deserve to see. It will also test Velasquez and reveal if he still has what it takes or if it’s time for him to stop fighting. For Oleynik, it’s either an opportunity to move closer to his long overdue title shot, continue to fight as a “gatekeeper” for younger talent, or perhaps contemplate a well-deserved retirement.

View the story on MMA Crossfire.

Alexey Oleynik Defeats Mark Hunt in UFC Russia Debut

Alexey Oleynik Taps Mark Hunt in First Round at UFC Fight Night 136

By Mike Sloan

Russian submission savant Alexey Oleynik survived several hairy moments early on but he was able to prevail in front of nearly 20,000 fans in Moscow at UFC Fight Night 136.

Oleynik absorbed several nasty leg kicks from former K-1 Grand Prix world champion Mark Hunt (13-13-1) and was badly wobbled by a laser-like right hand to the head. But “The Boa Constrictor” hung tough and lived up to his nickname by choking out Hunt a few minutes later.

Oleynik (57-11-1) eventually took “The Super Samoan” down, seized his back and locked in the rear-naked choke, forcing Hunt to tap out. The New Zealand native bowed out 4:26 of the first, capping off the card Saturday inside Olimpiysky Arena.

Read the story on Sherdog.

 

Sherdog: 5 Questions for Alexey Oleynik

Roughly a month remains before the Ultimate Fighting Championship touches down in Russia for UFC Fight Night 136. A heavyweight battle between 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt and 41-year-old submission savant Alexey Oleynik will headline the historic event in Moscow.

Oleynik has rattled off 14 wins across his past 16 appearances. He last fought at UFC 224 in May, when he submitted Junior Albini with his patented Ezekiel choke in Rio de Janeiro and improved his record inside the Octagon to 5-2.

In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Oleynik shares his emotions ahead of his next assignment, his thoughts on Hunt and his opinion on hyping fights.

Sherdog: What has the process been like leading up to this event?

Oleynik: I didn’t wait long for an answer about my fight and opponent. After my victory in Brazil, I was asked who I wanted to fight. I said I wanted to fight Fabricio Werdum. He’s the most famous grappler in the world and one of the best. It would have been a tough fight, and I think many fans were looking forward to it. We signed to fight Werdum in Moscow, but the bout was canceled because of his anti-doping violation. Hunt was the only other option with a legendary name, and I agreed to the fight immediately.

Sherdog: What does it mean to you to headline this historic show?

Oleynik: I’m very excited to be in the main event. This is MMA history — it’s the first UFC event in Russia — and I’ll do my best to win. Of course, it means a lot to me but my focus is on the fight so I can perform as well as possible. My wings are no longer growing as strong in my 40s, and this fight is not the first, fifth or 40th of my career (laughs). I’m quite experienced, and I know what to do. You just don’t push past your limits.

Sherdog: Do you think they can fill the card with big names?

Oleynik: I believe Andrei Arlovski is a pretty big name as a three-time UFC champion; he’s on the card. There’s also [Adam] Yandiev. He may not be widely known abroad, but in the (Commonwealth of Independent States), he’s a very popular guy.

Sherdog: Do you think the UFC’s presence will eclipse Russian promotions or increase attention in their favor?

Oleynik: I don’t think the UFC will overshadow all the Russian promotions. You never know how an event will go or how the fighters will perform. Sometimes average promotions may have entertaining fights; they can use those fights for highlights and broadcast them on the Internet and TV. Plus, there are dozens of different organizations, really competitive MMA companies with high-level fighters and fights that serve as steppingstones for younger fighters.

Sherdog: Khabib NurmagomedovConor McGregor is always hot news. McGregor came to the FIFA World Cup final and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How do you feel about the hype?

Oleynik: Hype is the correct word, but on the other hand, it’s part of martial arts and any other sport for that matter. You need those types of things to evaluate public interest in a particular event. They try to figure out whether or not they need to give it a go. They make fame and fortune out of it. For example, Conor and [Floyd] Mayweather made a lot of money, so other fighters want to get as close as they can to Conor in order to make a lot of money. [Nate] Diaz fought dozens of times in the UFC, and his purses never exceeded $40,000 to $50,000. After two fights with Conor, he asked for six figures. You can have 20 fights in the UFC and earn $500,000 or you can get a million for just one fight. Of course, that’s what everyone wants, so they try to make money with hype and trash talk. You can name people who are successful at that and those who aren’t successful at it. Let’s see what happens next.

Read story on Sherdog.com.