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Reflecting on a National Crisis Amidst Super Bowl Celebrations – Sports & Entertainment Spotlight

Welcome back to the Spotlight! I really wanted to open this week talking about the football game. I wanted to talk about Usher’s performance at the halftime show. I wanted to talk about the commercials. I even wanted to be the lone voice among us to talk about Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce (did you hear that they're dating?!). Instead of reflecting on the uniquely American sports and entertainment spectacle that is the Super Bowl, I find myself obliged to address the uniquely American experience of living in a country in which gun violence continues to be commonplace. A day that was supposed to be a celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2nd Super Bowl victory in as many years has instead been marred by a mass shooting that killed a local radio DJ and left at least 20 others—many of whom being children—injured. In the wake of these tragedies there is always a curiosity about the motive, as if understanding why it happened brings comfort. While undoubtedly important for law enforcement and criminal justice, the reason for why a gunman acted is less important than the fact that it did happen and preventing it from happening again—just ask victims or their family members. As of Wednesday, there have been more mass shootings in the US in 2024 (49) than there have been days in 2024 (45). We can do (and should demand) better. 

    • This year’s Super Bowl was the most watched US broadcast since the 1969 moon landing. Great—more fodder for the tinfoil hatters. 

    • Speaking of moonwalks, the rights to Michael Jackson’s music catalog were purchased by Sony at a $1.2 valuation. 

    • NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo launches his endorsement relationship with Starry, the lemon-lime flavored official soft drink of the NBA, WNBA and G-League. A fitting partnership because I get parched every time I say “Giannis Antetokounmpo.”

    • Tiger Woods officially announces his apparel brand in conjunction with TaylorMade Golf. Its name is a homage to Woods’ decades-long tradition of wearing red for the final round of golf tournaments: “SUN DAY RED.” Of course, that’s not to be confused with my lifestyle brand for working parents with young children: “AL WAYS TI RED.”

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments
Penn, ESPN Bet Secure New York Licenses in $25 Million Deal
February 13, 2024 via Sportico

Tiger Woods unveils Sun Day Red, a new apparel brand with TaylorMade. Here’s what it means
February 13, 2024 via AP News
Barstool, DraftKings Deal Launches Minutes After Super Bowl Ends
February 12, 2024 via Sportico
A brand ‘Travis’ty in the making: what marketers get wrong about celeb endorsement
February 12, 2024 via The Drum
With NIL, Caitlin Clark could be ushering in new era of WNBA player endorsements
February 12, 2024 via Chicago Tribune


Ishbia Creates Suns, Mercury Parent Company to Set Stage for Expansion
February 14, 2024 via Sportico
The $20 Billion Sports Media Problem No One Can Answer
February 13, 2024 via Bloomberg
Exposure associated with Super Bowl only enhances Las Vegas’ image
February 11, 2024 via Vegas Inc

Music Biz

H.E.R. Inks Management Deal with Lighthouse Management + Media
February 14, 2024 via Billboard
Helen Mirren, Boy George and Scooter Braun among celebrities endorsing Israel’s inclusion in Eurovision 2024
February 14, 2024 via The Independent
Michael Jackson Catalog Stake Sold to Sony, Valued at Whopping $1.2 Billion
February 10, 2024 via Rolling Stone Magazine
Downtown expands partnership with Verifi Rights Data Alliance
February 9, 2024 via Music Week

Film & TV  

Adam Pally & Steph Curry Comedy ‘Mr. Throwback’ Moves From NBC To Peacock With Series Order
February 14, 2024 via Deadline
CBS Hits Super Bowl Record 123.4 Million Viewers on OT Heroics
February 13, 2024 via Sportico
Judge dismisses most of Sarah Silverman’s copyright infringement lawsuit against OpenAI
February 13, 2024 via Venturebeat

Super Bowl commercials 2024: Christopher Walken, Dunkin' and Jesus take the wheel
February 12, 2024 via Coastline Pilot News
Super Bowl Overtime Nets CBS Nearly $60 Million in Extra Ad Money
February 12, 2024 via Sportico
Christopher Nolan prevails at the DGAs, claiming precursor award for 'Oppenheimer'
February 11, 2024 via Los Angeles Times
Sony Pictures Acquires ‘YOLO,’ Chinese Comedy Film From ‘Hi, Mom’ Director Jia Ling, for Global Release
February 10, 2024 via Variety

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