(CNN)Lewis Hamilton has conquered the world of Formula One but becoming a global superstar is a far bumpier ride.
Sporting ability has been transformed into lasting celebrity by footballers like Pele and David Beckham and NBA star Michael Jordan.
At the age of 30 — and with the fastest car in the world at his fingertips — Hamilton is at the peak of his powers.
During Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, millions of hardcore Hamilton fans will bite their fingernails and hold their breath when their hero returns to the track in his Mercedes racing car.
But will the Briton’s quest for a third world title in 2015 even register with the average Joe?
Read: Rosberg leaves rival trailing in testing
Half a billion TV viewers watch F1 across the year, a figure which pales in comparison with the 4.7 billion football fans who watch the English Premier League over the course of a season.
Jon Stainer, managing director of leading sport and entertainment market research company Repucom, argues that Hamilton, however, is already gaining wider recognition.
“On a global scale Lewis already sits in the top half of all celebrities across sport, arts and music,” he told CNN.
Repucom monitors celebrity trends by a monthly survey of the general public where 5,000 famous faces are rated according to certain parameters.
Those who rank in their study of the world’s top-20 faces includes actors Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, singers Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, footballer Beckham and Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.
“We look at celebrity awareness and other metrics like likeability, whether they are seen as trendsetters, the level of trust people place in them and whether people aspire to have a life like that celebrity.
“We are starting to see Lewis go beyond the traditional Formula One audience into the mainstream audience.
“Some of that is spurred on by his on-off relationship with [former girlfriend] Nicole Scherzinger. Those stories put him in the headlines beyond the back pages.”
Hamilton split from popstar and TV personality Scherzinger for the fourth time in February after a seesawing seven-year relationship.
He may no longer be one half of motorsport’s “Posh And Becks” but he’s not been shy of socializing with stars from other spheres.
Just 10 days before the Australian GP, Hamilton was partying at Paris Fashion Week with musician and producer Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian.
Mixing with celebrity friends has raised Hamilton’s profile, and for some of his fans that is part of his appeal, but there is also a danger of alienating his petrolhead devotees.
The famous friends, bright red private jet — complete with traveling pampered pooches Roscoe and Coco — and forays into song writing might be at odds with the perceived image of a feisty F1 world champion.
Marketing expert Steve Martin, who worked with Hamilton in his role as CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, warned the driver’s lifestyle could be “a bit showy.”
“I’m not sure if in any walk of life people like showy people,” he told CNN. “And so why should that be different on the international stage in a sporting context?”
Christopher Thomas, a Hamilton super-fan from New York, says: “Hanging out with top celebrities isn’t a problem as long as it doesn’t interfere with his ability to race.
“As long as he shows up to the race and does what he’s supposed to, everything is fine.”
Hamilton has often split opinion with his emotional approach to racing. Unlike his seemingly unflappable Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, the Briton races with his heart on his sleeve.
For some, that passionate impulse is exactly what draws them to him.
“Lewis is cautious and aggressive all at the same time,” says Brazilian fan Melissa, who shows her support for the Mercedes driver by referring to herself as Mel “Hamilton.” “Sometimes I think I will have a heart attack watching him!
“He does not live by certain standards. He is not hiding. He is authentic.”
Thomas agrees: “He’s so popular because you see him show his emotions. He stays true to himself.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 10, 2015
Hamilton’s fiery responses have helped make him a fearless, instinctive driver who gives no ground on track.
Consider the mental resolve required to win both his world titles at the final race of the season — or, in the case of his 2008 triumph with McLaren in Brazil, at the very last corner.
But then there have been the meltdowns, which reached their nadir in a tumultuous 2011 season when Hamilton had an ongoing spat with Ferrari driver Felipe Massa — at one point calling his driving skills “frickin’ ridiculous” — and controversially criticized the race stewards in Monaco.
“A lot of commentators diss Lewis for being open about his emotional life,” says Tom Roope, whose company The Rumpus Room creates Hamilton’s digital media. “There is that Marmite-ness — you either love him or hate him.
“But I think people like the fact that he’s not running around trying to be perfect.”
Read: The new Lewis Hamilton: Faster, stronger, more zen
His hot-blooded impulses do allow a fleeting glimpse into the real Hamilton.
Following Hamilton at grands prix over the last six years, he’s not a very visible driver compared to others who can be seen chatting with team members and guests inside the motorhomes.
He is courteous and friendly in media briefings, where he will often chew on a handful of sweets, but it is hard to get beyond the façade of the PR-trained F1 driver and understand what he is really like.
Marketing and PR expert Martin believes Hamilton could improve his global popularity by opening up a little more.
“If I were to do one or two things, I’d like to make him more natural, to make him relax and be more comfortable in his own skin,” advised Martin, whose clients include footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, another athlete who has successfully transcended his sport.
“When he talks to use a language that isn’t so robotic. Humility and having a common touch is a very big skill that people forget.
“Beckham is the best example, he can show humility, he’s down to earth, he’s a smiler and he takes the highs and lows in his career very well.
“He has that continuous appeal that is so enduring, and you can take a lot of lessons from that.”
If Hamilton is to extend his celebrity beyond the sporting sphere, he could do well to follow Beckham’s example in another area too — philanthropy.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star retired two years ago but he has been an ambassador for children’s charity Unicef for the last decade.
He and his popstar-turned-fashion-designer wife Victoria have their own charitable trust.
When Beckham signed for French club Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 he also donated his multi-million dollar wages to charity.
Hamilton has also contributed to Unicef’s campaigns and during a break last season he traveled to Haiti to see first hand the charity’s work there with malnourished children.
Last May I visited kids displaced in Haiti’s earthquake. 5 years on & still supporting, @Unicef_UK protects globally. pic.twitter.com/UO4VZTbstT
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) January 11, 2015
“Being involved in charity and community work is a way Lewis can develop his appeal beyond F1 and the sport audience,” suggests Stainer.
“That’s how Beckham managed to mold and transform his character and marketability towards the end of his playing career.
“Lewis can also touch the lives of more people but that is a difficult thing to do when you’re at the peak of your career.”
Martin agrees that having a strategy for his career beyond sport is absolutely essential to maintaining a high profile.
“We’ve worked with Lewis for a number of years and he’s been brilliant but it’s not about living in the moment, it’s about having a plan that evolves,” he added.
“How does he make sure his appeal is so enduring that it lasts beyond his Formula One career?”
Hamilton still has plenty of racing left in the tank. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen is the oldest driver on the 2015 grid and the Finn will turn 36 in October.
For now, at least, there is one relatively easy way for Hamilton, allied with Mercedes’ powerful car, to crank up his kudos.
“Win more championships,” says Thomas. “And win more races in the U.S. and Canada.
“F1 is still growing in the U.S. and when it comes to celebrity status the U.S. has a big deal to do with what happens globally.
“If you’re a celebrity in the U.S. then it transcends outwards into other countries.”
Hamilton wins Formula One world title
Hamilton wins Formula One world title 02:30
Could winning a third world title with Mercedes push Hamilton into the ranks of F1’s greatest drivers and deeper into the public consciousness?
“He’s the favorite in 2015 because the Mercedes gap to the others is so big that even if it’s reduced, it’s probably still going to be there,” Hamilton’s biographer Mark Hughes told CNN over the winter.
“Lewis is in a position to make it a great career and if he keeps winning titles he will be recognized as one of the giants.”
Hamilton has already raced his way to riches from rags, becoming F1’s first black star, a winner of 33 grands prix and two world titles, against a backdrop of racing rivalry and a rocky celebrity romance.
On Sunday, another chapter will be written in the double world champion’s rollercoaster story when the 2015 season fires up around Melbourne’s Albert Park. So, what next?
“Lewis is a bit like a soap opera,” says Roope. “It’s amazing how much drama there is around him.”
“You need to create a story around somebody to have ongoing appeal,” says Martin. “What makes great sports people, the ones that fans like over time, are those who come back from tremendous highs and lows — that’s a great story.”
Stephen Curry reacts to Lakers swiping away championship member of Warriors
Toscano-Anderson just won an NBA championship as a member of the Golden State Warriors, and Stephen Curry gave him some love on Twitter.
Always a champ and always doing it for Oakland…good luck my guy Juan T pic.twitter.com/thUW4OGyDi
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 1, 2022
The 6-foot-6 forward grew up in Northern California and played four seasons of college ball at Marquette University. After going undrafted in 2015, he spent some time playing internationally and in the G League before the Warriors added him to their roster for the 2019-20 season.
Toscano-Anderson contributed to them as a bench player who could make things happen at both ends of the floor, and he managed to shoot 40.2 percent from 3-point range during the 2020-21 season.
One of the reasons the Warriors were able to go all the way this year was their immense depth at the wing spot. Players such as Toscano-Anderson, Jonathan Kuminga, Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala and Damion Lee came in off the bench to give them 3-point shooting and defense to help their cause.
Toscano-Anderson may not be a game-changer for L.A., but he can help it hold down the fort, and at age 29, he is far younger than Ariza and Anthony, which by itself will help the team moving forward.
Why Stephen Curry will host ESPN’s ESPYS Awards
NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry is hosting the ESPN ESPYS Awards next month, and “never imagined he would “have the privilege of hosting this special event.”
Warriors star Stephen Curry will continue to be in the spotlight as he hosts ESPN’s annual ESPYS awards on July 20 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The 34-year-old is not only a contender for Best NBA Player, but he’s also a finalist for Best Male Athlete alongside Aaron Rodgers, Shohei Ohtani and Connor McDavid. Curry was also nominated for Best Record-Breaking Performance for overcoming Ray Allen for the most made three-pointers in the history of the NBA.
The ceremony comes a month after Golden State’s seventh NBA championship title, which is also their fourth in eight years.
What are the ESPYS Awards?
The ESPYS Awards, which stand for ‘Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly’, is an accolade to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and sports-related performance during the calendar year before a given annual ceremony.
The awards help raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by basketball coach Jim Valvano and ESPN back in 1993. Over the past 29 years, ESPN has helped raise more than $165 million for the foundation.
Who will be honored at the ESPYS Awards 2022?
The nominees for the event have already been announced with the best NBA player including Curry, Nikola Jokić, the Denver Nuggets center, Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers center and the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Dončić.
ESPN Executive Editor-At-Large Rob King explained in a statement why Curry is the chosen presenter this year. “Steph has long been one of the brightest stars in the sports constellation, and we’re thrilled to have him share his passion for sports, his wit and his boundless talent with The ESPYS. Whether shining on the court, engaging with fans on social platforms or demonstrating a commitment to communities through varied philanthropic acts, he’s a singular performer who’ll undoubtedly add luster to our celebration of some of this year’s most compelling moments.”
In addition to the NBA awards, former heavyweight boxing champion and mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko will also be honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Retired Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans, who is also an author and athlete, will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service presented by MassMutual. And last but not least, the college basketball legend, broadcaster and hall-of-famer Dick Vitale will be honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
Draymond Green Explains Why Stephen Curry Is Now Unstoppable In Isolation: “He’s The Strongest Guy On The Team… That Allowed Him To Score Whenever He Wanted…”
Stephen Curry is the best point guard in the league, and there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best scorers as well. Curry won the scoring title during the 2020-21 season, and it’s possible that he will win another one in the future.
It is quite clear that Stephen Curry is one of the toughest covers in the league, and some people would call him unstoppable. Draymond Green is someone that believes that, and he has recently claimed that the reason Stephen Curry is unstoppable is due to his increased strength, even claiming that he’s the “strongest guy” on the Warriors. (21:15):
“The reality is is we got to a point where we needed to be able to give someone the ball that can just go get a bucket, and Kevin was already there. I don’t think Steph was there yet. So it gets us through those two years, we get those two championships, but while we’re doing that Steph is continuing to work and evolve, and most importantly, becoming the strongest dude on our team. And to this day, he’s the strongest guy on the team. And that allowed him to score whenever he wanted because you can no longer bump his off his path…That’s where Steph turned a corner and he became unstoppable, and now we’re able to continue wining championships because he’s unstoppable.”
There is no question that Stephen Curry is hard to guard when he’s on fire, and now he’s definitely much better at creating his own shot, which makes him an even more unstoppable player. That was on display during these playoffs, and Curry hit many big baskets as the leader of the Golden State Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors just won the 2022 NBA championship behind Stephen Curry as the lone superstar on the roster. They might repeat next season, and forward Draymond Green has already claimed that they would win 3 of the next 4 championships. It is too early to say that they will win three more championships, but as long as Stephen Curry is still playing at a high level, they’ll have a good chance of getting to the Finals every year.
Boston bar continues incredibly lame war of words with Warriors’ Steph and Ayesha Curry
The battle between a Boston bar and the Curry family continued this week heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
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How Stephen Curry’s father Dell helped him polish his shooting ability
The Warriors star recently won the 2022 NBA Finals MVP award
It takes lots of effort and work ethic to became a four-time NBA champion and receive a Finals MVP award, but Stephen Curry has managed to achieve both, having his father Dell as his role model.
The Golden State Warriors guard comes from a basketball family, with his father having played and with his younger brother Seth currently plying his trade at the Brooklyn Nets.
“He’s definitely better than I was,” his father Dell told GQ in 2016.
“I had a two-dribble limit. He’s probably best off the dribble. His range is definitely farther than mine was.
“But it’s a different NBA. I would never take 35-foot 3-pointers with 17 seconds on the shot clock.”
Dell spent 16 years in the NBA, featuring for teams such as the Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets, winning the Sixth Man of The Year prize back in 1994.
“I saw my dad and how he carried himself as a professional and it helped me transition into the NBA,” Curry said in 2018.
Steph Curry’s summer workout with his father
When Steph struggled in his bid to polish his shooting ability, his father spent a summer with him before his sophomore year reworking his jumper and release from the inside out.
“[It was] the most frustrating summer for me,” Stephen told Sports Illustrated in 2013.
“I really couldn’t shoot outside the paint for like the first three weeks. All summer when I was at camps people were like, ‘Who are you, why are you playing basketball?’
“I was really that bad for a month and a half [before] I finally figured it out.”
His brother Seth said that Curry even thought about giving up and he would end up crying in practices.
It was at Davidson college when Curry finally stood out, registering 40.8 percent in three-pointers as a freshman and 43.9 percent as a sophomore. He also set an NCAA record for most three-pointers made in a single season with 162.
“He was a good shooter,” his father said.
“But when he started shooting against the best in the world, that’s when I knew, ‘Oh, okay’.”
Curry was selected by the Warriors in the 2009 draft and, along with Klay Thompson,Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr, established one of the most successful teams in the NBA history
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