Welcome back to the "Spotlight!' In this crazy world, if there’s one thing that makes sense, it’s that nothing makes sense. LeBron James seems to have joined the same bandwagon as my parents and taken an interest in pickleball. For those uninitiated to the sport, picture a tennis court—then shrink it, and with paddles larger than for ping pong, but smaller than for tennis. Oh, and a brightly colored wiffleball in lieu of furry neon ball. Unlike my parents, however, LeBron, through his venture fund, has purchased a stake in a professional pickleball team. Given that LeBron’s bread and butter is basketball, it might seem as if he’s gherkin us around with a half-sour investment, but in point of fact, pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and has taken the interest of many other high-profile investors. Speaking of pickles, former NFL quarterback Brett Favre finds himself in one as allegations of his misappropriating Mississippi (there, I spelled it) state welfare funds continue to mount against him. So far, no criminal charges have been brought against Favre, but the court of public opinion is decidedly against him. Turns out that a reverse Robin Hood multimillionaire taking money away from poor people is not exactly the type of story one would want to cast them in a favorable (Favre-ble?) spotlight.
- Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund-backed LIV Golf is forced to buy airtime from Fox Sports. Usually, it’s the league from which the network buys airtime – not the other way around. Then again, golf is a sport in which the lowest score wins, so perhaps we should view this move in that light.
- As cryptocurrency exchange company Crypto.com can attest, here’s no denying the marketing power of sports sponsorship. In that regard, it makes sense that a new investment app called Scout, would be seeking name, image and likeness (NIL) deals on college campuses in an effort to fuel college student sign-ups. Then again, free pizza also goes a long way.
- Maybe it is the headwinds from the world economy, but the market for NFTs has drastically cooled off. In a related story, Melania Trump is selling Christmas NFTs.