Category Archives: Sports


(LOS ANGELES, CA) – USC Games, a collaboration between the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, has established the USC Esports Union (ESU), a cross-campus, multi-school collegiate Esports program, it was announced by the Dean of USC Cinematic Arts, Elizabeth Daley and Chair of its Interactive Media & Games Division, Danny Bilson.

Led by USC Games, the #1 game design program in North America, USC’s ESU unites students from the School of Cinematic Arts, the Viterbi School of Engineering, the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Annenberg School of Communications, the Keck School of Medicine, as well as many other schools and departments, to build and support on-campus Esports groups with the resources and support necessary to successfully build clubs and teams around their favorite games.

“Esports is an exciting, growing industry both at the professional and collegiate level,” said Dean Elizabeth Daley. “The School of Cinema is proud and honored to lead USC’s Esports initiative and we’re focused on working together with passionate Trojans—students and alumni, from across and outside of campus—to build it into a world-class organization.”

USC Games’ overarching vision is to make playing games a central part of student life by supporting both the social and competitive aspects of gaming. As individual titles secure a large enough following, the USC Games’ ESU will develop clubs and teams that focus on them, with support from and sanctioned by the university and publishers. The ESU then coordinates those organizations, sharing staff, resources, space, and equipment between games and their Social Club and Competitive Varsity components.

The comprehensive Esports initiative will include curriculum featuring industry-sponsored courses teaching the design, development, promotion, management, marketing, and measurement of Esports; collegiate conferences and summits to encourage diversity and engaging with future leaders in the gaming space; scholarships and financial support for competitive players as they explore professional opportunities in the gaming industry; and an inviting physical gaming space where fans and players can interact, compete, and socialize.

“We’ve been deliberate and thoughtful in our approach to Esports”, said Danny Bilson, Chair of IMGD and Director of USC Games. “It is important for us to not simply launch a group of teams, but to ensure that we are building a dynamic support program around them. Esports is yet another access point to engage our students in the constantly evolving game industry.”

As part of that focus, USC’s ESU is supporting a handful of games over the next few years, with League of Legends as their inaugural title. League was created and published by Riot Games, founded by USC alumni Brendon Beck and Marc Merrill, and is a powerhouse in professional and collegiate Esports.

“We aspire for League of Legends to be a global sport that lasts for generations, and we’re thrilled to see our Alma Mater, a school right in our backyard, join us in making that mission a reality.” Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck, co-founders at Riot Games

USC Games’ ESU will be unveiled publicly on campus for the first time on Thursday, November 15th, at the annual USC Conquest Event. Conquest is a multi-day school spirit event that USC holds to promote and celebrate its cross-town rivalry with UCLA prior to the USC Trojans vs UCLA Bruins’ football game on USC’s campus that Saturday, November 17th.

“USC Conquest is such a massive on-campus school spirit event that it made sense to be the venue for USC ESU announcement,” said USC Esports Union Founder and Student Director, Keanu Concepcion, a graduating senior. “It’s been an amazing experience working with the faculty and students from across campus to launch it and lay out our slate of Esport games through 2021.”

As part of Conquest’s Esports specific programming on November 15, USC will announce the school’s first official League of Legends Trojans team roster, who will then face off in a live League Exhibition Match against UCLA’s Bruins at the rally and who will compete in Riot’s official Spring 2019 competitive College League. Conquest will also feature an Esports pavilion, featuring several League as well as several other games, tournaments with prizes, cosplayers, giveaways, pro-Esports team support, and themed gaming step-and-repeats.

Recognized as the #1 game design program in North America by the Princeton Review, USC Games represents an exciting collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. Incorporating elements of design, artistry, production and engineering, USC Games offers an utterly unique educational experience for students and serves as the launching pad for them to play significant roles in the game design field. With rigorous, hands-on instruction from master designers, producers, engineers and working professionals in the industry, students have an unprecedented level of opportunity to delve into every aspect of creating games for a global audience.

The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading media schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 85 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The School offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, cinema and media studies, animation and digital arts, production, interactive media and games, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 13,000 alumni are among the world’s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts, video game designers and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award or an Emmy.

Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm that is now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. One of the school’s guiding principles is engineering +, a term coined by current Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, to use the power of engineering to address the world’s greatest challenges. USC Viterbi is ranked among the top graduate programs in the world and enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students taught by 185 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 73 endowed chairs and professorships.

Press contact:
Kristin Borella, USC SCA
Cari Sanders, The Angellotti Company

Murad Islamov: The 19-year-old with the world at his feet

Aside Christian Pulisic, U.S. soccer now has a new young prospect to pin its hopes on. His name is Murad Islamov. He is a 19 years old from New Hampshire who plays as a center forward or winger. Murad Islamov comes from a Turkish background and began playing soccer since he was six years old. He was named MVP during his show case in Nike Academy in 2015 and has teamed up with major development teams such as New England Revolution academy, Seacoast United Elite, Nike Academy and the Seacoast Phantoms. He has a strong determination to succed in his chosen football career.

Murad graduated from Central High School in 2017 and first gained media attention when he scored 7 goals against a rival team Soca Elite. Currently standing at 5’10 and weighing 155 lbs, Murad is truly a goal scoring machine. He can score and be a team leader. Murad Islamov has over 20,000 followers on Instagram and his talents are beginning to get noticed by Professional coaches all over the world.

Due to his skill videos and persona, Murad has gained over 21,000 followers on his official instagram account and is a notable professional athlete on his way to major success. Murad Islamov is definitely a 2018 talented prospect to look out for.

You can follow Murad Islamov on Instagram: Muradislamov10

Katrina McCaffery


Bountifu, Utah United States – Just Bat Reviews today announced the success of their new partnership with Rapsodo, a business that provides players with powerful data on bat performance to improve their game with instant statistics for smart analytics and measurable progress.

The partnership, which began in November of 2017, has enabled the baseball bat review site to deliver even more in-depth reviews by including quantitative ball flight information to readers seeking to find out more about specific models of baseball bats prior to purchase.

“This is the first time in the history of baseball that third-party quantitative data on bat performance has been available to the public, said Brian Duryea, owner of Just Bat Reviews. “We feel that this is a giant leap forward in consumer information, and it is our intention to put this data at the fingertips of every parent and player being asked to spend hundreds of dollars on performance equipment.”

Just Bat Reviews uses Rapsodo to measure a variety of metrics with advanced analytical tools, including the exit velocity, exit launch angle, exit direction, spin rate, spin axis, and even 3D ball flight with tested bats to deliver a comprehensive, honest review of a bat’s true performance with scientific data.

The powerful equipment is either mounted on a tripod, 7 feet behind the home plate, or placed inside a “tank” 14 feet in front of the hitter. It also provides video playback for extra insight into the physical mechanics behind hitting a ball. This enables players and their coaches to make on-the-spot adjustments to play to improve their overall game.

For Just Bat Review, this marks a huge step forward as the internet’s leading place for in-depth, unbiased baseball bat reviews. Just Bat Reviews was already the leading voice in independent bat reviews and the addition of Rapsodo data makes it only that much more useful to players, coaches and parents.

Thanks to the new collaboration with Just Bat Reviews, anyone can gain access to the powerful, quantitative data on bat performance that Rapsodo delivers simply by visiting the site and selecting the bat model that they wish to learn more about. The website reviews a variety of bats, including slow pitch, fast pitch, wood, big barrel, youth, and BBCOR bats, all categorized for ease of browsing.

Due to the recent nature of this partnership, not all bats have been reviewed using Rapsodo, but this will change in the future as more reviews are added as well as altered to reflect this new data.

Rapsodo released its baseball solution in 2016, giving baseball players of all skill levels a powerful tool to measure their performance and the best bat for their style of play. It has received widespread acclaim from professional players.

“Raspodo pitching has been instrumental in the development of our elite pitchers,” said Randy Sullivan, a baseball coach at the Florida Baseball Ranch. “We’re taking science to the other side of the ball. The information our hitters gain about exit velocity, launch angle, and spin creates a fertile environment for self-organized swings that do damage!”

For more information about Just Bat Reviews and to find full reviews on the latest baseball bats, please visit For media inquiries, please contact Brian Duryea at 801-628-4491 or email at

About Just Bat Reviews
Just Bat Reviews provides independent and expert reviews of every baseball bat available on the marketplace today – without the hype. The in-depth reviews are written by parents and players and focus on performance as well as for which playing style a bat is best designed. For more information, please visit Just Bat Review’s website.

About Rapsodo
Rapsodo Baseball provides powerful sports analytics through computer software and advanced hardware including radar to help baseball players to maximize their performance. As well as helping MLB players to optimize their performance, the company also produces applications for PGA Tour golfers. To find out more, please visit Rapsodo’s website.


Contact: Brian Duryea
Tel: 801 628 4491

Zora Escapes Launches 2018 Ski Season in New York

(New York, NY) – Zora Escapes, LLC (“Zora”), a premier provider of easy and affordable weekend day ski trips for all levels to Hunter Mountain and Mountain Creek in New York, will be launching its 2018 season on January 13, 2018.

Founded in 2017 by Markos Kyriakopoulos and Vasilis Varsakopoulos, Zora quickly became a trusted favorite for New Yorkers looking to escape the city and explore New York’s beautiful skiing scene. Zora is known for its luxury busses and affordable packages, which include discounts on lift passes and equipment.

“We are excited to share the 2018 Zora experience with our customers, both new and returning,” said Vasilis Varsakopoulos, co-founder. “With a refreshed website, some key additions to the team, and a year of experiences and lessons learned, Zora Escapes is primed to deliver an even better skiing and snowboarding experience to New Yorkers this year.”

“During the upcoming season, we have a solid schedule of trips planned to two great Mountains,” added co-founder Markos Kyriakopoulos. “When we founded Zora, the goal was to create a cost-effective trip planning service that would bring outdoor enthusiasts together. Zora Escapes is the ‘easy button’ for skiing and snowboarding in New York City; we take care of everything and make sure everyone has an excellent time.”

Zora added P.J. Beidel to its management team following the 2017 season. Beidel, a former Zora customer, comes with a background in strategy and execution. “I’m thrilled to be part of the Zora team. We are all passionate about everything the company stands for and excited to share it with our customers again in 2018,” he said.

About Zora Escapes, LLC
Zora Escapes is a premier provider of easy and affordable weekend day ski trips for all levels to Hunter Mountain and Mountain Creek. Zora Escapes is a thrill-seeking group of guys and girls on a mission: to help New Yorkers escape from their day-to-day routine by exploring the outdoors. Whether it is on snow or on water, Zora aims to take the headache out of planning and provide our guests with fully seamless trips to the best ski resorts and sailing spots throughout the Northeast. Zora also offers corporate packages and their clientele includes some of the largest organizations in the United States.

To learn more, visit the company’s website at or contact Zora at Follow Zora Escapes on Facebook or Instagram (@zoraescapes) for updates.

Top 3 Reasons January is Best Time for Mid-Southerners to Shop Boats

MEMPHIS, TN — (January 2, 2018) – It’s cold in January! So why are we seeing advertisements for boat expos? The NEW Memphis Boat Expo will dock inside the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Downtown Memphis, January 12 through January 14, 2018. Produced by TURNBOW, INC. The first annual downtown Memphis event will cover the entire main hall and pre-function areas of Cook Convention Center. This kicks off the boat show season for the Mid-South. Here are the top 3 reasons why January is the best time for mid-southerners to shop boats.

Boat trade shows or expos bring together most of the major boat builders and dealers into one space. Exhibitors usually show off the new models and display the most popular boats in their lineups. Visitors can see and experience the actual, life-size boats within one place. Boat shows are also social events where thousands of boaters from far and wide gather each year to talk boats and dream of their next purchase.

With most of the major boating industry players and providers of goods and services are at the boat expos, consumers can get all the information they need to plan for the next boating season within one location. You can find out about insurance, financing, watercraft registration, licenses, marinas, and other matters of interest.

Better Prices and Terms
Unlike an Auto Show, you can purchase a boat at a boat show or expo. As a rule, prices, financing and terms of sale are better during boat show season. The healthy competition between dealers prompts them to offer the best discounts on the previous year’s models and attractive specials to spur sales of their new models.

January 12-14, Boat dealers from three states will fill over 130,000 square feet at Cook Convention Center in Memphis. Additional outdoor lifestyle brands such as Airstream, Polaris, and Yamaha will be there! Garage parking is free. Corky’s Bar-B-Que will be serving up their Memphis best, and the newly renovated Sheraton has a limited number of discounted rooms for those mentioning the Expo. Country mega star Josh Turner will headline the VIP Preview party on Friday. Journey, former lead singer, Steve Augeri performs Saturday. Chad Williams will offer a presentation on Sunday’s Faith, Family, and Freedom theme.

For more details about classes, concerts, and to sign up for the weekly Memphis Boat Expo announcements, visit or follow MemphisBoatEXPO on facebook.

Phone 501-505-6278