Welcome back to another installment of the “Sports & Entertainment Spotlight”! Where better to start this week than with last Sunday’s Super Bowl that lived up to its name on all fronts? Sure, the commercials were witty, innovative and at times downright strange as usual, but the football game and halftime show (and let’s not forget my homemade guacamole) were outstanding. The TV ratings are a testament to that as myself and 112 million of my closest friends (for context, roughly the readership of the Spotlight, give or take 112 million) watched the hometown Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald make big plays when they mattered the most to claim the Lombardi Trophy. Equally enjoyable for me was seeing/hearing – due to in no small part to Jay-Z/Roc Nation’s entertainment partnership with the NFL –hip-hop, rap and R&B take centerstage musical performances from the all-star collection of talent that included Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige for what was as much an homage to Southern California as it was to the respective genres. To me, the only thing missing was an appearance by the late Tupac Shakur. Fittingly, the performance just so happened to take place on the same weekend on which Snoop Dogg released his new album B.O.D.R. (Back on Death Row) on his newly-acquired record label, Death Row Records – the very same label that launched his, Dr. Dre’s and Tupac’s careers. Although things may have appeared to come full circle for Snoop, having full-heartedly embraced NFTs, he’s also taking a big leap forward with his stated intention to make Death Row a record label for the metaverse. In short, Sunday was a “Sports & Entertainment Spotlight” unto itself – but lest you worry, I have more to last you through next week:
- Not to be outdone by Snoop, DJ Steve Aoki proclaims that he’s made more money from music NFTs than he has in his entire recording career. Financially, you could say he’s doing, “A-ok.”
- 15-year-old Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva is becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons, somehow finding herself back on Olympic ice despite having tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substances. For her part, Valieva says that the positive test arose from accidental contamination with her grandfather’s medication. Programming note to tune in to watch Valieva’s grandfather compete in this year’s Senior Olympics – think: curling, but instead of sending away curling stones, they grumpily use bowls of soup that are always too cold.
- Actor Stanley Tucci inks a multiyear endorsement deal with Italian sparkling mineral water company, San Pellegrino, in which bottles will be branded “Stan Pellegrino.” An infinitely better proposition than a diaper rash ointment deal pitched to him for “Tucci Cream.”
Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments
Kendall Jenner Tequila Company Sued For Allegedly Ripping Off Other Brand
February 17, 2022 via Newsweek
Kendall Jenner's tequila brand is facing a lawsuit from a Texas-based tequila business, claiming that her company ripped off its branding.
The Five Most Effective Super Bowl Ads Of 2022 - Forbes
February 15, 2022 via Charles Taylor - Google Alert
In a Super Bowl advertising year marked by an unprecedented number of A-List celebrities, humorous and light tones, and high-tech products (including four ads for cryptocurrency and references to NFTs and the metaverse) many brands put their best foot forward.
The Super Bowl Ads Showed Celebrities Rule the World. We’re Just Buying Stuff in It
February 14, 2022 via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Super Bowl Sunday is the one day of the year that television viewers look forward to commercials. Those 30-second spots that interrupted the suspense of “Mission: Impossible” and the comedic flow of “Seinfeld” way back in the 20th century are embraced as a time-honored tradition during the NFL’s annual championship.
Here's the 411 on Mary J. Blige and Hologic's Super Bowl Ad
February 10, 2022 via Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry
Hologic is dropping a hefty chunk of its COVID cash on a Super Bowl commercial featuring Mary J. Blige.
Stanley Tucci’s Puntastic San Pellegrino Deal Heralds a Fizzy Future for Celebrity Endorsements
February 9, 2022 via Exec Review
Kevin Bacon may not care much about mobile coverage and George Clooney might not always drink coffee from plastic pods.
Celebrity Net Worth: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Lead Olipop's $30 Million Funding Round
February 13, 2022 via The National (UAE)
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas New parents Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas managed to take time off to invest in prebiotic drinks brand Olipop.
Mind Blown Plant Based Seafood Co. Nets Celebrity Chef Investor
February 10, 2022 via Manassas Journal Messenger News
The Plant Based Seafood Co., makers of award-winning Mind Blown plant-based seafood products, announced today an investment from Celebrity Chef Spike Mendelsohn.
'Serious Questions’ Raised About Kamila Valieva's ‘Grandfather’ Excuse
February 16, 2022 via Yahoo Sports
A document submitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency at Kamila Valieva’s hearing revealed that the Russian figure skater acknowledged taking two other substances similar to the one for which she tested positive, trimetazidine.
At Tyler Skaggs Trial, MLB Players And Widow Give Dramatic Testimony: "My Husband Couldn't Respond ... Because He Was Dead"
February 16, 2022 via CBS News
Four major league players testified Tuesday that they received oxycodone pills from a former Los Angeles Angels employee accused of providing Tyler Skaggs the drugs that led to the pitcher's overdose death.
Super Bowl’s Hollywood Moment Outshines N.F.L.’s Problems
February 14, 2022 via New York Times - Global View (subscription may be required)
Blue and yellow confetti rained down on the field after the final whistle blew in the Super Bowl on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Rams finished off the upstart Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20.
The N.F.L. Widens Its Footprint in the Los Angeles Media World
February 10, 2022 via New York Times - Global View (subscription may be required)
The former West Coast headquarters for the N.F.L., the most popular North American professional sports league, was tucked away in Culver City, CA, a residential Los Angeles suburb, and its neighbors included a mosque, an assisted-living facility and an elementary school.
Super Bowl Halftime: Football’s Pepsi-Fueled 12 Minute Economy
February 9, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
30 years ago last month, the Super Bowl halftime show changed forever. In Minneapolis’ Metrodome, a pair of Olympic ice skaters in multicolored outerwear welcomed 80 million viewers to what was billed as “The 1992 Super Bowl XXVI Halftime Spectacular, Winter Magic!”
Halftime Tops a Super Bowl Filled With Musical Headliners
February 13, 2022 via New York Times - Most Recent (subscription may be required)
The final showdown of the N.F.L. season arrives Sunday with what fans hope will be a fitting climax to a wild playoffs, with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams facing off in the Super Bowl.
Layne Staley, Mike Starr Estates Sell Alice in Chains Music Right to Primary Wave
February 13, 2022 via RTT News - Top Stories, All Sections
Primary Wave Music has announced the acquisition of the music rights from the estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr of the legendary grunge group and Grammy-nominated band Alice In Chains.
Heirs of Jimi Hendrix' Bandmates File Lawsuit Against Sony Music
February 12, 2022 via RTT News - Top Stories, All Sections
Heirs of Jimi Hendrix 'bandmates have filed a lawsuit in British court against Sony Music Entertainment. Last month, Sony and Hendrix' estate had filed a lawsuit in New York federal court.
Wife of Late Wu-Tang Clan Rapper ODB Accuses the Iconic Group of Taking Advantage of Him in Explosive Lawsuit
February 12, 2022 via Yahoo Finance - Top Stories
Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard had an important request for his wife before he died in 2004. The late Russell Jones, also referred to as ODB, believed that he wasn't getting his fair share of royalties from his work with Wu-Tang Clan.
Sting Sells His Songwriting Catalog for Estimated $300 Million
February 11, 2022 via Honolulu Star Advisor
Sting has sold his songwriting catalog, including hits with the Police such as “Every Breath You Take” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” and solo work such as “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,” to the Universal Music Group, in music’s latest blockbuster catalog deal.
Film & TV
Big Payday Coming for Big Ten
February 16, 2022 via Sports Business Journal
The Big Ten will become the first college conference to eclipse $1 billion per year when it negotiates its next media-rights deal later this year.
NBC Draws Second-Largest Super Bowl Audience to Cap NFL Bonanza
February 15, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
On the heels of the NFL’s most-watched regular-season campaign in six years and a playoff run delirious enough to be classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, the TV turnout for Super Bowl LVI was predictably massive.
Esports Insiders Generally Optimistic About Microsoft-Activision Deal
February 14, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
Back in mid-January, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced it would be buying Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) in a $68.7 billion all-cash transaction (pending an FTC anti-trust review).
Beijing Winter Olympics Ratings Are Down – Just as NBC Guaranteed
February 11, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
NBCUniversal’s Olympics ratings are in sync with what the media giant said it would serve up to its advertisers.
ESPN Expands ‘ManningCast’ Deal With Peyton’s Omaha Productions
February 9, 2022 via Sportico – Business
Peyton and Eli Manning have more yards to gain for Walt Disney Co. and ESPN, Variety reports. The two football brothers, whose “ManningCast” alongside ESPN’s Monday Night Football has gained significant notice this season, have extended their relationship with the sports-media giant.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek Confirms NFL Sunday Ticket Bid
February 9, 2022 via TheWrap
Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the company is in the running to get the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, the league’s subscription package that allows fans to watch out-of-market games.
Champions League: New €15 Billion TV Deal Set to Deliver Final Blow to Rebel European Super League Clubs
February 9, 2022 via The Times UK - Today's Home Page
A €15 billion TV and marketing deal for the Champions League will be a “new dawn” according to Europe’s clubs’ chief — and one which should kill off the threat of a European Super League.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
DJ Steve Aoki Said He Made More Money From His NFT Drop Last Year Than in a Decade of Making Music
February 15, 2022 via Business Insider
Steve Aoki said he made more money from NFTs last year than in a decade of music royalties and advances.
U.K. Tax Authority Makes First NFT Seizure, BBC Reports
February 14, 2022 via Bloomberg – News
The U.K.’s tax watchdog seized three NFTs as part of a suspected case of value-added tax fraud worth £1.4 million ($1.9 million), the BBC reported.
Avenged Sevenfold Are Looking to Pioneer The Music Industry's Future With NFTs
February 10, 2022 via Forbes – Business (subscription may be required)
NFTs, Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency are all among the more controversial buzzwords in today’s media. Alongside the frequent scams and fraudulent activity that’s reported within cryptocurrency and NFTs, it’s no doubt that much of the recent polarization surrounding these topics also comes from their novelty.
Snoop Dogg Sells Over $44 Million Worth of ‘Stash Box’ NFTs in Just Five Days
February 15, 2022 via Music Business WorldWide
Along with the album release on Friday, February 11, to all streaming services (distributed by Create Music Group), Snoop Dogg also announced that he would be releasing the album on the blockchain through a partnership with blockchain gaming platform Gala Games, via his “Stash Box” NFTs, sold on Gala’s new Gala Music store.
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