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Posts from April 2021.

“Happy” Tax Day to those of you here in the United States celebrating/commiserating (noting of course that certain taxpayers have until May 17 to file their returns this year). Like taxes, this installment of the Spotlight ought not be evaded. I know that some of my readers are accountants, so let’s waste no time diving right into this week’s featured topics/stories:

    • Jaleel WhiteWith increased public acceptance for, and state legalization of, adult-use cannabis, new endorsement and branding opportunities have emerged for celebrities on which to cash in. Jaleel White of Family Matters’ Steve Urkel-fame is launching his own cannabis brand called “Purple Urkle.”…High-dee ho, Winslows!
    • Fresh off his historic 2021 Masters Tournament victory, Hideki Matsuyama looks poised to profit off of massive endorsement deals that will make his $2.1 million tournament winnings pale in comparison.
    • Art collective MSCHF and Nike found their better angels and settled their dispute over the so-called “Satan Shoes” created in collaboration with country singer/rapper, Lil Nas X. The reported settlement appeared to be more driven by PR considerations than financial ones.
    • A venture-capital backed platform aims to create a crypto-token-based market to trade on the reputation and popularity of prominent influencers, celebrities, athletes and entertainers – many of whom have not granted permission to use their name, images and likenesses. This could get interesting.
    • Khloé Kardashian uses her right of publicity as a sword to demand takedowns of off-brand photographs.

Thanks for your readership! Hope to see you back next week.

Happy Thursday and a big congratulations to the Stanford Cardinal and the Baylor Bears on their respective NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament wins (the latter of which helped yours truly place second in our Firm’s Bracket pool). Perhaps it also counts for something that my alma mater Wisconsin Badgers were defeated by the eventual champions, but I digress…

At any rate, here are the highlights from this week’s Spotlight:

    • The latest chapter in the unfolding saga surrounding sexual misconduct allegations against all-pro Houston Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson, has Nike among several brands putting the brand partnership on hold pending further investigation and legal process.
    • Clorox cleans up with several NBA team partnerships aimed at building fan trust and security in the midst of the still-raging pandemic as spectators gradually return to arenas (and other venues) in parts of the country.
    • Oldies rock stars continue to follow the trend of selling off their song catalogues for more than just a few dollars “Blowing in the Wind.”
    • Retail financial trading platform, Robinhood, gets told to “check itself” over the use of rapper and actor, Ice Cube’s image on its website.
    • Brothers and former NFL quarterback, Eli and Peyton Manning, are the latest athletes looking to cash in on the NFT craze, though after a wild March for NFTs, there appear to be signs of the air being let out of the NFT market.  

Thanks for reading – see you back here next week.

March is over, a new month begins.
Congrats on the Final Four to the Zags, Cougars, Bears and Bruins.

Opening Day is upon us, it’s time to play ball,
And battle for the World Series title deep into the fall.

Enough setting the stage, let’s get on with the show,
Here’s what’s going on this week to put you in the know:

A devilish sneaker collaboration leads to a lawsuit by Nike,
with allegations that its brand was tarnished and that consumer confusion is likely.

NFTs as collectibles remain one of the hottest items in town,
as the creators of NBA Top Shot close a huge financing round.

Apple throws it support behind a DIY music distribution up-start
That enables creators to shun labels and retain ownership of their art.

Against the NCAA, student-athletes took their case to the Supreme Court,
And Justices tipped their hands to show the NCAA skepticism and the athletes support.

Will be back next week with my usual pithy prose,
If you guessed this was April Fools’ hijinks, you hit it right on the nose.

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The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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