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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Roller Derby Team Sues Cleveland Guardians for Alleged Trademark Infringement Over Use of Team Name

Back to our regularly scheduled programming: Fresh off of my paternity leave in which feeding and putting to sleep my baby was my charge, I have the distinct privilege of resuming my commentary portion of the Spotlight. With any luck, there will be even more feeding (knowledge) and minimal sleep induction. Given the sugar rush that awaits many of us this weekend – whether it be from “quality assurance” testing a few pieces of candy from our own trick or treat bowls or being the lucky recipient of confectionary cast-offs from our children’s Halloween haul (come to me, candy corn) – that should not be a tall task. More likely to be a tall task is Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team, newly named (at least for the time being) the Cleveland Guardians defending itself from a trademark infringement claim from an earlier established roller derby team named the Cleveland Guardians. But we will be watching closely as this David v. Goliath story unfolds. And as this installment of the Spotlight continues to unfold, here’s a look at a number of the other stories going bump in the night this Halloween week:

    •  Billie Eilish is the latest celebrity to sniff out an opportunity to leverage her personal brand to make a foray into beauty products, partnering with Parlux on a new vegan and cruelty (bad guy?)-free fragrance.
    • Molten, a Boston-based media rights management startup completes a wicked awesome seed financing round with the backing of several prominent names in entertainment and media.
    • Parents: Hide your credit cards. Hasbro becomes the latest entry into the metaverse, debuting Power Rangers NFTs. 

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

How Synesthesia Informed Billie Eilish’s First Fragrance
October 20, 2021 via Women's Wear Daily
The world of celebrity fragrances has gained a new player: Billie Eilish. In partnership with Parlux, the Grammy Award-winning artist has developed her first bid for the beauty consumer.

New Balance Establishes Athlete Advisory Board
October 20, 2021 via SGB Online - Outdoor Business News Headlines
New Balance announced the establishment of the New Balance Athlete Advisory Board, a specialized collective of professional athletes, company executives and brand associates. The new structure reflects a shift in its athlete endorsement deals toward a partnership model.

David Beckham Slammed for Signing $200 Million Qatari Tourism Ambassador Deal
October 25, 2021 via Celebrity Net Worth
In a deal that was just revealed by The Daily Mail, David Beckham will reportedly earn approximately $20 million per year over the next 10 years to "act as an ambassador for the country [Qatar] and promote tourism and culture."

How Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson Are Investing in a Meat-Free Future
October 25, 2021 via VegNews
Woody and Laura Harrelson and Owen Wilson are supporting the plant-based shift with an investment in Abbot’s Butcher, a vegan meat brand.

Kim Kardashian’s Skims x Fendi Apparel Collab Might Break the Internet
October 25, 2021 via Input
Fendi and Skims are officially collaborating, Kim Kardashian announced on Instagram. According to the influencer, the “first-of-its -kind” partnership combines the luxury of Fendi with the innovation of Skims, producing a collection of co-branded shapewear, tights, and apparel.

Film & TV

National Lacrosse League Heads to ESPN Under New Broadcast Deal
October 26, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
ESPN will air every National Lacrosse League game this season, on ESPN+ or one of its linear networks, after signing a multi-year broadcast deal with the expanding league.

Colorado Mammoth Games to Stream on ESPN Under New Media Deal
October 26, 2021 via KUSA 9 News - Business
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and ESPN have reached a new, multi-year media rights agreement, the companies announced.

Molten, an Enterprise Software Startup, Raises $7 Million in Seed Funding From Ashton Kutcher, Michael Ovitz, Jack Dorsey & Other Backers
October 21, 2021 via Deadline - Hollywood Breaking News
Molten, an enterprise cloud startup aiming to deliver a comprehensive set of insights for clients across several parts of the evolving streaming marketplace, has raised $7 million in seed funding. Initial backers of the company include actor, producer and entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz.

Abacus Media Snags Sales Rights to Media Musketeers’ African Drama ‘Pulse’
October 21, 2021 via Television Business International
Abacus Media Rights (AMR) has partnered with European producer group Media Musketeers to pick up sales rights to Pulse, the upcoming survival horror drama being produced with South African streamer Showmax and Spain’s The Mediapro Studio.

Music Biz

White Hill Music Signs Global Agreement With Sony Music Publishing
October 26, 2021 via Yahoo Finance - Top Stories
Today, October 26, Sony Music Publishing announced its partnership with one of the leading music and film production studios in India, White Hill Music Pvt Ltd., to provide global publishing services for White Hill Music, including administration, synchronization, and catalogue promotion.

Executive Turntable: T-Pain Links Up With, Recording Academy Hires New CIO
October 22, 2021 via Billboard
T-Pain, the longtime Tallahassee R&B and hip-hop singer, has joined the advisory board of , the music platform that provides more than 50,000 royalty-free music tracks for content creators on the Internet.

Music Publishers Propose Higher Streaming Payments
October 22, 2021 via Wall Street Journal Technology - What's News (subscription may be required)
The National Music Publishers Association and five major streamers are duking it out this week in front of the Copyright Royalty Board, which determines royalty rates for songwriters and publishers.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Adobe Partners With NFT Firm Rarible to Protect NFT Creators
October 26, 2021 via Benzinga
Adobe Inc — the market leader providing software tools for creatives — partnered with NFT market Rarible to protect the digital artists behind the tokens.

Introducing S!NG Market: a Barrier-Free Music NFT Marketplace Featuring Aloe Blacc and ZEAL-Certified Artists Including Puscifer, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Our Lady Peace, Nothing More, StrangeLoop Studios, and Danny Wimmer Presents
October 26, 2021 via Financial Buzz - Top Stories
S!NG, a developer of tools that empower creators to instantly protect and sell their work using blockchain technology, today (October 26) announced the launch of S!NG Market, a curated, music-centric digital marketplace where users can buy, sell, view and listen to NFTs from their favorite artists all in one place.

LINE Corporation LINE and Ditto Music Agree to Develop NFT Products on Opulous
October 26, 2021 via Public Now - Public Announcements - Top Stories
LINE Corporation announced today that LINE TECH PLUS ("LTP"), operator of LINE's cryptocurrency and blockchain-related businesses, has signed a strategic partnership with Ditto Music to develop NFT products on Opulous.

Hasbro Launches Power Rangers NFT Collection on Wax Blockchain
October 25, 2021 via Venturebeat
Hasbro is wading into the NFT collectible market with the upcoming Power Rangers on the WAX blockchain. The big toy and entertainment company has partnered with the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) to release its very first NFT collection on the WAX blockchain.

Sports Execs Bet on Classic Poster Artist’s Move Into Digital Art
October 20, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
If you grew up a sports fan in the late 1980s or early 1990s, there is a strong likelihood John Costacos’ work hung in your bedroom. Now, a quarter century later, the iconic artist is back, armed with $4.5 million of private investment capital and a treasure trove of I.P. Launching a blockchain-based digital collectibles company, he plans to reimagine his legendary poster series and create new digital artwork as NFTs.

Right of Publicity

Duke Taps Nielsen Data to Bolster Recruiting Pitches in NIL Era
October 26, 2021 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Nielsen Sports believes the data used to evaluate and sell sponsorships could be useful to those making a different kind of sales pitch: college coaches on the recruiting trail. The first client for the new Nielsen Impact Score (NIS) offering already sits atop the recruitment game.

NIL Industry Leader Highlights New Ownership and New Women Athletics Department
October 21, 2021 via Financial Buzz - Top Stories
MatchPoint Connection (MatchPoint), the leading influencer marketing app that connects brands with talent, is perfectly positioned to continue its growth with the recent NCAA ruling that allows collegiate athletes to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Handbag Brand Edie Parker Prevails in Right of Publicity Case Waged by the Estate of Edith Kerouac Parker
October 19, 2021 via Fashion Law (subscription may be required)
Edie Parker – the brand whose colorful and often customized acrylic box bags have garnered a very long list of famous fans and graced red carpets from the Oscars to the Met Gala – has prevailed in a legal battle that it has been fighting over its name.

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