Welcome back to the "Spotlight!" If you are just wakening up from last week’s snooze-fest of a Thursday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts, you have come to the right place. Allow me to bring you up to speed on some world developments over the past seven days. Kanye “Ye” West went on an antisemitic tirade for an audience of tens of millions, but not to worry, folks – Elon Musk (who is, by the way, back on course to acquire Twitter) spoke to Ye to express his concerns. Musk then went on to chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin about ending the war in Ukraine.
On a brighter note, I had the pleasure of attending the Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports (Editor’s note: this marks just the first time in recent history that “pleasure” and “Congress” have been used in the same sentence), at which sports executives, league commissioners and other key figures discussed topics ranging from pickleball, to NIL, to eSports, to the ascendance of women’s sports, to sports betting, to collectibles, to streaming and everything in between. And although the “r” word (recession) loomed as something of a headwind, the consensus (another word not often associated with “Congress”) was that the sports industry is uniquely suited to weather the economic storm. Later, I “attended” an excellent virtual discussion between Prof. Michael McCann and ESPN College Game Day’s Rece Davis regarding NIL in college sports just a year in and where things figure to go from here.
For a nightcap, I finished it all off with a New York Yankees home playoff victory. Suffice it to say, over the next few weeks, I hope not to be getting nearly as much sleep as the well-rested Mets fans, and continue watching my Yankees deep into the October spotlight.
- Major League Baseball makes history, becoming the first major professional sports league to enter a sponsorship deal with a CBD brand, radiantly naming Charlotte’s Web as its official CBD sponsor. One can only wonder whether this move Wilbur-ing other leagues to the table.
- Private Equity stays bullish on music copyrights, with Brookfield chipping in a mere $2 billion to give Primary Wave a war chest from which to continue its acquisition of various artists’ song catalogs. $2 billion has a lot of zeroes, but that pales in comparison to the number of Spotify streams that it will take to recoup that investment.
- An early embracer of NFTs, DJ Steve Aoki’s revenue from NFTs has outpaced his earnings from music royalties – this presumably coming before the bottom fell out of the NFT market. Just goes to show you that the early bird catches the worm, but the early worm gets eaten.