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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Norfolk State University’s Basketball Team Strikes a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Deal With a Moving Company

Welcome back to the “Spotlight!” What a difference a week makes. Last week, I was gripped by the New York Yankees in the playoffs (a convenient excuse for writer’s block), and this week I am gripped with disappointment in yet another postseason loss to the Houston Astros. I guess it is only fitting that the Yankees’ play would be as ghastly with Halloween right around the corner. On the “bright side,” my weeknights have been freed up for the foreseeable future (Knicks and Rangers, you’re cordially invited to fill the void). Speaking of filling a void, Corporate America has finally acted to replace its deafening silence towards recent antisemitic hate speech of Kanye West, with a long overdue rebuke of the artist. Indeed, companies such as Gap, Balenciaga, Adidas, Foot Locker and TJ Maxx (the lattermost being the most severe penalty one can receive in the eyes of my mother-in-law) have all severed ties with West – likely out of some mix of principle and concern for their own bottom line. Suffice it to say, West, who ironically rebranded himself ‘Ye.’ will have to get used to hearing the word, “nay.” Which, if I may, is enough to make me say, “yay!” But credit where credit is due, how prescient of West was it to seemingly implore listeners in a 2010 track to “runaway as fast as you can?” While that advice should have been heeded then, it seems West is now losing his spotlight.

    • Norfolk State University’s basketball team strikes a name, image and likeness deal with a moving company. Word to the wise, don’t have them help out if you have to travel with a fish tank – they’ve been known to dribble.
    • A group of former NCAA athletes seek to certify a class action lawsuit against the NCAA for having deprived them of the right to profit off of their names, images and likenesses while still in college. Their victory would likely feel as good as finding cash in an old jean jacket pocket – thousands of times over.
    • Social media image-sharing platform Pinterest strikes licensing deals with major record labels for the inclusion of music on the platform. Undoubtedly, Queen’s “I Want It All” will be a frequent play.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments  
'Deepfakes' of Celebrities Have Begun Appearing in Ads, With or Without Their Permission
October 25, 2022 via Slash Dot
Digital simulations of Elon Musk, Tom Cruise, Leo DiCaprio and others have shown up in ads, as the image-melding technology grows more popular and presents the marketing industry with new legal and ethical questions.

Kanye-Adidas Split Raises Value of Authentic, Self-Made Creators
October 25, 2022 via Pymnts
As Adidas officially joins Gap and other businesses and brands in severing ties with the controversial musician turned fashion entrepreneur Kanye West, one unexpected winner is emerging from the ashes of the latest celebrity endorsement deal gone bad: small time, self-made creators.

College HUNKS Hauling Junk and Moving® Inks NIL Deal with Norfolk State Men's Basketball
October 25, 2022 via 24-7 Press Release
College HUNKS Hauling Junk and Moving®, an award-winning company and industry leader in stress-free solutions for moving and junk-hauling needs, recently signed an NIL sponsorship of the Norfolk State Men's Basketball team.

Jana Kramer Collaborates on Antiwrinkle Serum With Volition in New Product Development Deal Featuring A+E Networks Talent
October 20, 2022 via News Break
Volition, known for clean, vegan and cruelty-free skin care products, has entered a multiyear beauty product development deal with A+E Networks.

MLB Sponsor Revenue Hits $1.2 Billion Ahead of Jersey Patch Boom
October 26, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Major League Baseball and its 30 teams generated an estimated $1.19 billion in sponsorship revenue during the 2022 season, according to consultancy IEG and its Sponsorship Intelligence Database.

NCAA Athletes Seek Class Status for Lost NIL Pay in Lawsuit
October 24, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
The case poised to follow Ed O’Bannon’s and Shawne Alston’s lawsuits in rocking NCAA restraints on athlete compensation escalated on Friday.

‘Who Fills the Void?’: Why Player Power in Sponsorships is Dangerous for Sport
October 23, 2022 via The Age
A time-honored principle of Australian sport is that no individual is bigger than their sport. It’s a reflection of our national love of sport and our spirit of egalitarianism.

Music Biz  
Kanye West's Donda Academy Removed From HSBB Tournament Over Rapper's Antisemitism
October 26, 2022 via Bleacher Report
Scholastic Play-By-Play Classics announced it has removed Donda Academy, the California-based private school backed by Kanye West, from its schedule following West's antisemitic comments.

Kanye West's Longtime Engineer Andrew Dawson Donating Royalties to Jewish Organizations
October 25, 2022 via Billboard
Kanye West longtime engineer is promising to donate his royalties for good, following West's recent espousal of hate speech.

Spotify Is Considering Raising U.S. Subscription Prices, CEO Daniel Ek Says, Following Apple and YouTube
October 25, 2022 via Variety
For years, there has been one quick solution to at least partially remedy the low royalty payments most musicians receive from streaming services: Raise subscription prices.

Pinterest Partners With WMG, Warner Chappell, Merlin and BMG on Licensed Music
October 20, 2022 via Music Week
Pinterest has secured new partnerships with Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell, Merlin and BMG to feature top artists and music on the platform.

Film & TV  
LIV Golf Could Produce its Own 'Drive to Survive' Docuseries After Struggling to Find Media Buyer
October 24, 2022 via The Daily Mail
After struggling to sell its media rights to top U.S. broadcasters, it appears the upstart, Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf tour will instead try to attract new fans buy making a TV show on its players.

Eurovision Sport Agrees Media Rights for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in 28 Territories
October 24, 2022 via TVBEurope
Eurovision Sport has reached an agreement with FIFA to acquire comprehensive media rights to broadcast next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, covering 28 territories on behalf of 32 EBU members.

SporTV Set to Replace NBA Rights Deal in Brazil
October 24, 2022 via Sport Business
Globo's pay-television broadcaster SporTV will once again broadcast the NBA in Brazil after securing a sublicensing agreement with beer brand Budweiser, which holds a package of NBA media rights in the country.

Formula 1 Renews Deal With ESPN Through 2025
October 23, 2022 via New York Post
Formula 1 races has renewed its deal with ESPN Networks in the United States through the 2025 season.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)  
NFTs Need a ‘Custom Regime,’ Says EU Parliament’s Draftsperson on Upcoming Report
October 26, 2022 via The Block Crypto
As the EU’s comprehensive Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation toes the legislative finish line, the EU is turning its gaze to other parts of the blockchain industry — specifically, nonfungible tokens.

Loss in NFT Value Might Just Be Short-Term
October 26, 2022 via FaithMightFX
Non-Fungible Token, NFT for shorts, is a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied, substituted, or subdivided, recorded in a blockchain, and used to certify authenticity and ownership.

NFT Fever High Among Indian Celebrities, Consumers Still Catching Up
October 26, 2022 via Business Standard
The overall value of the NFT market is expected to rise to $231 billion by 2030, says report.

Meta, L’Oréal Launch Web3, Metaverse Accelerator
October 26, 2022 via Ledger Insights
Yesterday, HEC Paris business school announced a startup accelerator program with Meta and L’Oréal Group which aims to support creativity and inclusivity in the metaverse and blockchain ecosystem.

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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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