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Risky Plays and Rising Stars: Navigating High Stakes This Week in Sports and Entertainment

With so many recent headlines of high profile individuals finding themselves in high risk, low reward situations, this week I’d like to take a step back in hopes of recalibrating everyone’s cost-benefit meters. At the risk of sounding too fatherly (appropriately so--I do have two scamps of my own and have been known to crack a dad joke from time to time) what were these guys thinking?

Just a few months removed from an impressive rookie season capped by a Super Bowl victory, Kansas City Chiefs Wide Receiver Rashee Rice caught a case, putting himself in legal jeopardy for his role in a hit and run on a Dallas highway after the Lamborghini he was racing caused a massive pile-up.  Having nothing to gain and everything to lose (his football career, endorsements and even his life) was not enough to overcome the untouchable mindset.

Then there’s the case of Toronto Raptors two-way player Jontay Porter, who this past week found himself receiving a lifetime ban from the NBA after he was found to be involved in gambling on NBA games. Most egregiously, Porter checked himself out of a game due to “illness” so as to allow gamblers to cash-in on so-called “prop bets” that he would underperform his projected stats. Porter was also found to have placed numerous bets on his online Sportsbook account, including wagering against the Raptors—generating a $20K profit. For an average Joe, $20K seems like a nice take, but when you’re a professional athlete on the precipice of a multimillion dollar contract—that risk sounds like a head-scratcher. Porter now finds himself disgraced and on the unemployment line (though if he learns Japanese, I hear the Los Angeles Dodgers have an opening for an interpreter…).

Lucky enough, you’ve bucked the trend and made a low-risk, high reward choice in reading the Spotlight. 

    • Taylor Swift’s new album “The Tortured Poets Department” comes out today. If you’re looking for the Dead Poets Society, it’s the down the hall, first door on your left.

    • Major League Rugby continues to show signs of growth in popularity with increasing sponsorship coming in for teams such as the Western Conference League Table leader Seattle Seawolves (who happen to be sponsored by a law firm by the name of “Foster Garvey”) and Washington D.C.’s Old Glory. Both seem appropriate because the US is hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2031, but the latter is that much more so since our Nation’s Capital is increasingly filled with scrums amongst oddballs.

    • The rags to riches story for Wrexham A.F.C. rolls on, with securing a second consecutive promotion, positioning the squad just one rung below the English Premier League. Raising ample capital to make the jump poses a challenge that may require owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to sell minority holdings of the club, but for now, sponsorship deals such as the recent one from Gatorade should be enough to quench their thirst.  

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Wrexham are still targeting the Premier League – but how can they afford it?
April 19, 2024 via The Athletic

Caitlin Clark nearing lucrative 8-figure endorsement deal with Nike which includes signature shoe: report
April 18, 2024 via Fox Business

D.C. pro rugby club grows sponsorship revenue in fourth season
April 17, 2024 via Biz Journal

BodyArmor replacing BioSteel as NHL's sports drink partner
April 16, 2024 via Sports Business Journal
US Olympic committee strikes sponsorship deal to help athletes get degrees after they retire
April 16, 2024 via KCRA
Applebee’s has signed a multi-year partnership with the NFL
April 16, 2024 via Nation's Restaurant News
Bryce Harper Bats Away Subpoena in Under Armour Patent Case
April 15, 2024 via Sportico

Harris, Blitzer Youth Sports Firm Acquires Diamond Nation Facility
April 15, 2024 via Sportico

Cannabis Brand Breaks Ground With Sponsorship of Boston Concert Halls
April 11, 2024 via AdWeek


Jontay Porter Banned From NBA After Gambling Investigation
April 17, 2024 via Sportico
Is Caitlin Clark’s star power strong enough to spike WNBA fandom?
April 15, 2024 via Athletice

LeBron James’ tattoo artist should be paid for inks used in ‘NBA2K’ video games, attorneys argue
April 15, 2024 via
Caitlin Clark Crashes ‘SNL’s Weekend Update
April 14, 2024 via Sportico

Fanatics Fest to Debut in August at NYC’s Javits Center
April 11, 2024 via Sportico

Music Biz

SAG-AFTRA reaches new deal with major labels covering 'ethical and responsible' use of AI
April 15, 2024 via Music Week

The US might ban TikTok. Record labels are cutting ties. What’s music’s Plan B?
April 14, 2024 via The Columbian

Film & TV

Engelbert excited for 'dawn of a new day' in WNBA
April 17, 2024 via Sports Business Journal

ESPN Films Greenlights 30 for 30 Documentary on Stuart Scott
April 13, 2024 via Sportico
Peacock's Friday Night Football: Exclusive Eagles-Packers Streaming NFL Game Could Be A Touchdown For Comcast
April 11, 2024 via Benzinga

Formula E strikes new media rights deal in India
April 10, 2024 via Economic Times

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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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