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Motez Bishara

Motez Bishara

A lifelong enthusiast of both professional sports and popular music, Motez Bishara is a London-based author and award-winning journalist featured on CNN, ESPN, Al-Jazeera and NPR.

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Success! Athletes Who Rock! sold 10 pre-orders by March 31, 2018, was pitched to 29 publishers, and is in discussions with publishers.

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Sit front row with Motez Bishara at an Arsenal home game as his personal guest! Motez has enjoyed these spectacular seats for ten season at Emirates Stadium located in North London. He has hugged Mesut Ozil from his row after a game winning goal against Leicester City!

You will have an opportunity to meet with the award-winning CNN World Sports feature writer at an Arsenal supporters' pub before the match, and quiz him on all things sports and journalism related during the game.

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Athletes Who Rock!

Achieving Stardom in Music and Sports Over Just One Lifetime

Most kids’ visions of becoming professional athletes or rock stars fade into adulthood. But one elite set of overachievers defied nearly impossible odds to turn both dreams into reality.

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Sports Inspirational
England, United Kingdom
50,000 words
0% complete
8 publishers interested

Synopsis

Reviews of previous book, Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan:

From Kirkus Reviews, June 2013:

Bishara, in a must-read for professional-basketball junkies, chronicles his journey as he sees 25 National Basketball Association games without paying face value for the tickets.

The author, a diehard NBA fan, understands the frustration that so many people feel when they see the exorbitant prices that teams charge for tickets. His debut serves as a guide for fans who want to find the best deals on tickets but don’t have experience dealing with scalpers or scouring the Internet. Bishara takes readers game by game as he explains how he acquires his ticket for each of 25 games, lists how much he paid, and compares that price to the ticket’s face value. However, these stories not only provide practical advice for getting the best bargains, but also offer plenty of entertainment. Whether he’s scoring free tickets from a local bartender or getting ripped off by a scam artist in Chicago, the author’s love for the game of basketball and for bargain hunting is always apparent. The stories don’t always end with a ticket purchase, either; Bishara scopes out each city’s nightlife and each arena’s beer selection and provides smart commentary on the state of each franchise. He writes in a conversational style, reporting on every aspect of his experience as a helpful friend might, and breaks up the stories with interviews with a veteran scalper and the head of a dynamic-pricing software company. Both interviews are incredibly interesting, and offer readers insiders’ perspectives on two very different sides of the ticket market. Although Bishara writes from the point of view of an average fan, he also displays a thorough understanding of how ticket pricing works and how that market is evolving. He also provides a valuable “Reflections” chapter, in which he hands out awards for the best arena food, the most thriving scalper trade, the most attractive cheerleaders and more.

A thoroughly enjoyable read and a useful tool for any serious NBA fan.  

From Amazon.com:

I have never been to an NBA game and have only fleeting knowledge of some of the major stars, but this did not stop me from really enjoying this book. I would recommend it to any casual sports fan. Part road trip, it's of interest to anyone who's ever had any interest in acquiring seemingly hard-to-get tickets. The author has a whimsical style - think of a younger, cooler version of Bill Bryson - and also a great sense of humour. However, he also has some serious points to make about the finances of basketball, which have implications for other professional sports.

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This book is a fun and educational read. It provides not only a often hilarious look into a journey across the NBA from the perspective of fan, but also a very valuable guide to the ticket buyer in terms of procuring tickets based upon ticket economics and various other factors. Motez does an excellent job providing insight into each basketball town he visits and individual games. I learned a great deal about how NBA ticket pricing works. Where I found it to be most useful thou was as an instructional guide to ticket procurement - a how to on judging demand and dealing in the ticket aftermarket. I would recommend it for both fans of the NBA as well as to anyone who attends live events in general.

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Once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. The book explains the many means of purchasing tickets for NBA games without spending ridiculous amounts of money. Motez adds in many captivating short stories and experiences while obtaining these tickets, all of which make for a wonderful read. This book is highly recommended for any sports fan.

Synopsis of Athletes Who Rock! 

Most kids grow up wanting to become professional athletes or rock stars. These dreams eventually fade away during the onset of adulthood.

But one exclusive set of people has captured both -- achieving pop superstardom and athletic glory in one short lifetime.  

How these hybrid athletes-turned-musicians (and in at least one case, musician turned athlete) have succeeded at the highest level in both fields -- despite nearly impossible odds -- deserves an in-depth examination.

For example, how did former New York Yankees great Bernie Williams lead his team to four World Series titles over a stellar 16-year baseball career, before releasing two jazz guitar albums and accompanying Bruce Springsteen on stage?

Or how did former Miami Heat All-Star center Roni Siekaly transform himself into globally-recognized techno music DJ 'Rony Style', releasing dozens of hit records?

Yes, athletic fame can open doors in the music business -- but it can also be a curse, with scores of athletes ridiculed for testing their vocal chops publicly. Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is the just latest example.

What links the two skill sets? Does the passion for each world run equally? Do the stories of their upbringings draw a link?

Examples of these rare individuals exist in both sexes from different races, nationalities and athletic endeavors around the world.

I plan to interview 10 to 12 of these overachievers in-depth in their studios before watching them perform. A conclusion can then be drawn as to what makes them uniquely gifted to succeed in both spheres.

Unearthing the magic they share may well inspire future generations of athlete-musicians from unlikely backgrounds. 

Outline

According to statistics, the odds that a young high school athlete who also happens to be plugging away in a garage band will be able to make it as a professional in either industry is low. It is, in fact, about one out of every 500 hopeful musicians, and one out of every 1,000 high school athletes who turn pro.

But the odds that she or he will make it professionally in both spheres are far lower, at about one in every 22,000 hopefuls.

In other words, very few people have the ability to sign a contract with both a professional sports league and a record company. Not to mention, the odds that any of them will actually be able to leave a mark in the worlds of either sports or music are far lower.

Yet, star athletes like Bernie Williams, Shaquille O’Neal and Yannick Noah have earned championships on the playing field while delivering popular music to the masses.

Athletes Who Rock will begin with an introduction to this concept, giving away a few examples of how these exemplary performers came about their talents.

It will then be split into a further 12 chapters, each beginning with an introduction to one of the subjects written as a 500 to 1,000 word feature, followed by a lengthy Q & A interview.

In addition, an interview with a leading sports psychologist analyzing the link between the two worlds will encompass the 14th chapter.

Lastly, the final chapter will draw a conclusion as to what bonds these gifted specimens, taking into account their upbringings, drive, practice regimens, and parental guidance, among other factors. 

Audience

Those interested in sports or music, and the link between the skills necessary to succeed in either field. 

Because of the average age of the subjects covered, the likely readership age range is between 30 and 50-years-old. They would encompass viewers of ESPN Discovery, E! or MTV, and avid readers of Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, GQ and Esquire magazine.

The average age of Sports Illustrated readers is 37, with an average income of $61,000 and is 77% male. The magazine has a weekly distribution of 3.2 million copies. 

The average age of Rolling Stone Magazine readers is 35, with an average income of $66,000 and is 62% male. Rolling Stone has a bi-monthly distribution of 1.5 million copies.

If we assume my readership demographic lies somewhere in between the most popular music and sports magazines, my average readership age is likely to be 36, with an average income of $63,500 and is likely to be 70% comprised by males.

Crucially, having a personality-driven book like Athletes Who Rock! is key for readership. Former pro-wrestler turned heavy metal singer Chris Jericho, for instance, has 2.5 million Instagram followers. Many of them will be interested to read about his story in this book. 



Author

Motez spent his formative years in New York City obsessing about the Yankees and Giants. He subsequently lived in Kuwait, Boston and New Orleans before settling in London during the heyday of Cool Britannia.

Motez was a professional stock investor before turning his focus to journalism, where he is a feature writer for CNN International. His works have also appeared on the pages of
Al-Jazeera English, The Blizzard and Reuters.

Motez earned an MBA from Tulane University, and holds a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Boston University as well as an MA in International Journalism from City University in London.

In 2017 Motez was awarded the Drum Online Media Award for Best Freelance Writer; it was his second consecutive nomination in that category. In 2015 Motez was nominated for a Sports Media Pearl Award for his article "Wimbledon: Below the top 10, a life of budget dwellings and last-minute deals"

A front-row Arsenal season ticket holder, Motez can sometimes be spotted chatting with Mesut Ozil during corners. 

Promotion

Working at CNN Digital, I have experience creating video stories on their platform using Adobe Premier Pro. I plan to create 90 second videos of the same nature designed for social media shares to spread the word on Athletes Who Rock. 

They will feature alternating video clips of athletes dunking, hitting home runs and snowboarding, with them performing musically -- all to the sounds of their music. 

In addition, I plan to offer excerpts of the book to outlets such as CNN.com to spread the word, while making radio appearances on the topic. 

For my previous book, Beating The NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan, I was able to appear on 30 to 40 radio shows which created a buzz around the book.  An excerpt was also published on Slam.com, the website of the NBA-dedicated magazine. 

Most importantly, I will request that each athlete on the list spread the word through their own social media accounts -- something that could have huge impact. 

Shaq, for instance, has over 21 million Twitter and Instagram followers combined. 

My personal reach extends to 1,000 friends on Facebook -- as well as their friends -- and over 1,000 email contacts who I will reach out to for pre-orders. 

I will request that my contacts at CNN also blast out my campaign on social media, where many of them have a reach in the thousands. 

Competition

The only relevant piece of research on this topic in either film or print is a book by notable baseball player and jazz guitarist Bernie Williams, who co-wrote Rhythms of The Game, The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance (2011, Hal Leonard Books).

The book is written in conjunction with a music professor and professional writer. It is a fairly dry read, despite the contributions of many 'guest voices', consisting of musicians who are baseball fans (like Paul Simon, who writes the forward).

The immediate weakness of this book is that it focuses nearly entirely on the connection between baseball and music, while leaving out all other sports. Furthermore, Bernie Williams is the only athlete/musician crossover examined in-depth.

The concept is there, but the execution is very limited. I would hope that Bernie Williams would be excited in participating in this project, to further examine the topic.

Other books in the same genre / format:

The Rolling Stone Interviews (2007, Back Bay Books / Wenner Media LLC): A collection of approximately 30 in-depth interviews taken from the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine. 

The interviews are presented in a straight Q&A format with notables like Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Tom Petty describing their first forays into music and the craft of songwriting, as well as other seminal moments in their lives. 

Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo (2003, Da Capo Press): A collection of approximately 70 engrossing interviews with songwriters on their craft. Each chapter begins with a short to medium length feature on the songwriters, who include Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Madonna among many others. 

Sample

'Best Written Chapter' / Yannick Noah's second act eclipsing his tennis career

Which thrill would be greater, winning the French Open on home soil, or rocking to a crowd of 80,000 adoring fans?  

For nearly everyone in the world, it’s a hypothetical question that makes for good dinner conversation. But Yannick Noah is in rarefied air: He can give you a real answer.

Since hanging up his tennis racket in 1990, the former world No. 3 has blossomed into a legitimate pop star. His albums, which blend soul music with reggae, have sold millions of copies and are backed by 18-month world tours of up to 200 shows.

It's a stellar second act that the 1983 French Open champion could never have predicted, but one that came naturally following life on the tennis circuit.

"Tennis really prepared me for (music)," Noah told CNN in a 2014 interview. "The pressure before a game is so much stronger and intense before a tennis match than before you go on stage."

Noah's interest in singing percolated on tour, as he provided vocals during off-hour jams with guitar-wielding pros John McEnroe, Pat Cash and the late Vitas Gerulaitis. After trying his hand at song writing, Noah's musical career unexpectedly took off.

"Once I wrote on a piece of paper some lyrics, and then put (down) some drums, and then this thing became No. 1," he recalled. "That was an accident. I was not prepared for that. The next thing I know I'm doing clubs with my own band, and that was fun."

In contrast with the grueling physical conditioning it took to become a world-class athlete, playing music didn't seem like work to Noah.  "Spending hours in the studio rehearsing was never a problem for me. I always loved every minute of it, so I improved."

He started off small, playing tiny venues "with nobody in them," along with some tennis events before achieving commercial success with the 1991 album "Black & What."

"All of a sudden, after a few years of preparing playing small clubs, we started to play big venues," he recalled, "and that was exciting. I was just enjoying the whole ride."

Noah could say the same about his improbable triumph at Roland Garros. The then-unheralded 23-year-old went on the run of his life, losing just one set on the way to beating defending champion Mats Wilander in the French Open final.

He is still the only Frenchman to win the singles title over the past 70 years.

Though Noah would finish his Hall of Fame tennis career with 23 singles and 16 doubles titles, one could argue that a collection of six No. 1 albums and a No. 1 hit single in France (the 2007 dance track "Aux arbres citoyens") qualifies him as an even more successful musician.

Noah says his musical achievements -- which were capped by a 2010 performance to a capacity crowd at Paris' Stade de France -- could not have been achieved without undergoing the mental grind of a top tennis pro.

"As a professional athlete, I think you're really prepared for intense pressure," he says, "because you're under pressure every game, and if you lose it hurts. Physically, mentally, it hurts."

"Competition is not that healthy," he adds, recalling the iciness of not speaking to opponents -- even those he considered friends -- in the locker room before a match, not to mention enduring hostile fans.

"I'll be in the same locker room -- which is now the place where I'm going to do the concert -- and there are like 15,000 people," he says. "Nothing to do with ego, but I know that they pay me because they like me. So I'm going to do my best to make them happy."

"It's not like some other guys who just criticize me, or write something in the paper because I missed a backhand down the line," he adds. "You don't have that in music. Music is supposed to be just fun, and that's it."

In a sense, Noah's athletic anonymity among France's millennials -- born well after his triumph at Roland Garros -- is a complement to his music.

"Most of them have no idea that I was a tennis player," admits the 56-year-old, who is also well known in France as the father of New York Knicks center Joakim Noah. 

The mistake is understandable. There aren't that many former athletes who rock the way Noah does.

"I had this crazy dream about music," he says. "I loved it so much I just kept doing it. I really feel so privileged.

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eBooks2go, Inc., was founded in 2011 to provide the missing link for all your publishing needs. Our end-to-end solutions provide the guidance and support that enable publishers and independent authors to pursue their passions. To date, we have helped more than 750 authors and 100 publishers worldwide. Our Mission eBooks2go is where dreams get published! We are devoted to grooming ...

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We are a full service book publishing company that works closely with independent authors in every phase of writing/editorial, book production, book marketing, and book distribution. Our roster includes bestselling authors who have previously traditionally published, first time authors, and authors at various levels in between. What separates Mascot is our hands-on approach to publishing. We work closely with each ...

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Atmosphere Press is an independent full-service publisher for books in genres ranging from non-fiction to fiction to poetry to children's picturebooks, with a special emphasis on being an author-friendly approach to getting a book into the world. We're professional, honest, and kind. Learn more about what we do at Atmosphere’s website, atmospherepress.com.

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The author hasn't added any updates, yet.

  • Lee Constantine on Dec. 4, 2017, 11:47 p.m.

    Love this book idea. Can't wait to read it when it's ready! Good luck!

  • Diana Magnay on Dec. 5, 2017, 12:53 p.m.

    You’ll rock it; can’t wait to read it :)

  • Kamal Faour on Dec. 6, 2017, 4:07 p.m.

    Love ya man! Continued success!

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