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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Boosters in NIL Collectives Are Taking Full Advantage of Using NIL as a Recruiting Tool, and LimeWire Enters a Content Licensing Deal With Universal Music Group for its NFT-Licensing Platform

Welcome back to the "Spotlight," welcome back to allergy season and welcome back, Kotter (I swear I’m younger than that reference would indicate). At any rate, this weekend, I am looking forward to welcoming Broadway back to my life, as my wife and I are slated to see the revival of “The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. Normally, I would be less than thrilled for my wife to be in the same room as Hugh Jackman, but this particular musical holds a special place in my heart and in Bloomgarden family lore. Indeed, it was my grandfather Kermit Bloomgarden who produced the original Tony Award winning production of back in 1957 (by the way, he also produced and won Tony Awards for the original Broadway productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and Equus). Unfortunately, I had met Kermit only through my dad’s stories of childhood around show business – one of the most noted in my mind being Kermit in the living room of his apartment discussing business with Arthur Miller, while Miller’s wife at the time, Marilyn Monroe (yes, that Marilyn Monroe) and my dad played. Pretty amazing stuff, and a large part of why I chose to break into the entertainment industry, that and because I never had the stomach to get into my dad’s chosen field of medicine. What can I say? I guess I’m drawn to the spotlight as I hope you are to this week’s "Spotlight…"

    • While the NCAA plods along through the NIL era, boosters in NIL collectives are taking full advantage of using NIL as a recruiting tool, while tiptoeing around “pay-for-play.” But if the NCAA thinks its name is its favorite four-letter word, just wait. California is moving ever closer toward passing legislation requiring its universities’ football and basketball programs to share 50 percent of their revenues with their collegiate athletes.  
    • No sooner do we bid adieu to the Apple iPod, but LimeWire, one of the 2000s peer-to-peer filesharing services that enabled iPods to be loaded with “free” music (much to the dismay of the record industry) appears to be older, wiser and aiming to break back into the mainstream, entering into a content licensing deal with Universal Music Group for LimeWire’s NFT-licensing platform.  If a major record company can mend fences with a filesharing service after over twenty years, it gives me hope that my Tamagotchi might forgive me for the years of neglect through that same period.  
    • In the wake of several high-profile arrests and indictments of hip-hop artists in which song lyrics were used as evidence against them, New York passed the first-of-its-kind legislation, prohibiting that practice.  Shaggy need no longer hide behind the denials of “It Wasn’t Me.” With any luck, the use of law blogs as evidence will similarly be prohibited so that I can feel free to reveal my darkest secrets. Just kidding….or am I…? I am.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Bargaining agreement gives U.S. women's soccer economic equality with men's team
May 18, 2022 via Biz Journal
The United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. women’s and men’s players' associations have adopted collective bargaining agreements that achieve equal pay and equal treatment for the men’s and women’s national teams.

Worldwide Express Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Primary Sponsorship Debut in NASCAR Cup Series
May 18, 2022 via We Are Greenbay
Founded in 1992, Worldwide Express began as a franchisor with the goal of providing unmatched shipping logistics services to the small and medium-sized business (SMB) community.

Johnson Controls wants out of Hall of Fame Resort sponsorship, demands $4.75 million payment
May 17, 2022 via Biz Journal
Johnson Controls International is seeking to terminate its significant involvement with the emerging football-themed destination affiliated with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, including a sponsorship, naming rights deal and technology-supply agreement.

Tim Hortons reprises marketing collaboration with Justin Bieber, launches Biebs Brew
May 17, 2022 via BNN Bloomberg Canada 
A match made in marketing heaven between Tim Hortons and Justin Bieber is back with a new French vanilla-flavoured chilled coffee.

College athletes confront tax consequences from NIL revenue
May 16, 2022 via Accounting Today
Student athletes who are now allowed to score lucrative endorsement deals for their name, image and likeness may well encounter surprise tax bills.

Think NIL blew up college sports? California is going for the knockout with new bill
May 16, 2022 via Los Angeles Times
Three years after California took the lead in the battle for college athlete rights as the first state to legalize name, image and likeness payments to players, another potentially game-changing bill is on the move through the state legislature in Sacramento.

Grizzlies' Ja Morant starring in new Beats spot
May 13, 2022 via Sports Business Journal
Grizzles G recently became a Beats by Dre ambassador and now will be "front and center in a new campaign" for the company, according to T.L. Stanley of Adweek.


StubHub Denied Dismissal of Lawsuit Over COVID Refund Claims
May 17, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam declined to dismiss and compel to arbitration claims brought by StubHub mobile app customers, who demand refunds for games canceled or rescheduled because of COVID-19.

SeatGeek expands into NHL primary ticketing with Panthers
May 17, 2022 via Sport Business (subscription may be required)
SeatGeek expands into the NHL primary ticketing with Panthers.

How Are the New NCAA Rules on Paying College Athletes Working Out?
May 13, 2022 via Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required)
It is known as NIL, and it is reshaping the NCAA. As of last July, college athletes can profit from their name, image or likeness (hence: NIL) under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.

NBA introduces redesigned slate of postseason trophies
May 13, 2022 via Sport Business (subscription may be required)
NBA introduces a redesigned slate of postseason trophies.

The NCAA Doesn’t Know How To Stop Boosters From Playing The NIL Game
May 16, 2022 via FiveThirtyEight
Boosters are the lifeblood of athletic departments around the country. The money poured into programs by supporters — from Phil Knight at Oregon to Jimmy Rane at Auburn — can then be used to do things like continually update locker rooms and install high-tech LED stadium light systems.

Music Biz

Pink Floyd Has Received Another Catalog Offer — This Time From One Media iP
May 16, 2022 via Digital Music News
Reports suggested that BMG and Warner Music Group were vying to purchase the catalog of Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd: just another brick in the wall of the lucrative music rights industry
May 13, 2022 via Financial Times
Interest rates are rising but the music industry isn’t missing a beat. Ageing rockers Pink Floyd are hawking their back catalogue for about $500 million; Warner Music and KKR-backed BMG are among those circling a trove of anthems from "The Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall."

Funk legend George Clinton at center of music battle in Detroit court
May 11, 2022 via The Olympian
Funk legend George Clinton deceived keyboardist/songwriter Bernie Worrell and failed to share millions of dollars generated by dozens of their songs and seminal hits, according to a federal court lawsuit.

New York State Senate Passes ‘Rap Music on Trial’ Bill Limiting Use of Song Lyrics as Evidence in Court
May 18, 2022 via Complex
New York’s state Senate passed a bill that would limit how song lyrics can be used as evidence court, Pitchfork reports.

Film & TV

IPL media rights: Appeal stays despite drop in viewership numbers
May 18, 2022 via Business Standard
The stage is getting set for the media rights auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is scheduled to happen next month.

Amcomri Entertainment, Studio Atlantic Strike Multi-Picture Deal (Exclusive)
May 18, 2022 via Greenwich Time
Manori Ravindran provided by Film financier Amcomri Entertainment and Ireland's Studio Atlantic have struck a multi-picture production deal.

‘The Notebook’ Author Nicholas Sparks Inks First-Look Deal With Universal, Will Produce Three Features For Studio Alongside Anonymous Content; Adaptation Of His Novel ‘The Wish’ First Up
May 17, 2022 via Deadline
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks (author of "The Notebook") has entered into a first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures, which will see him produce three features for the studio alongside Anonymous Content.

Indy hosts summer-long NBA 2K League esports season – Indianapolis Business Journal
May 13, 2022 via Indianapolis Business Journal
Inside The Pavilion at Pan Am — just blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium, Victory Field and Gainbridge Fieldhouse — a new pro-sports season is underway, one that is growing rapidly in popularity and economic impact, even though most people have probably never seen it.

Google joins Amazon in mulling a bid for coveted IPL
May 12, 2022 via Money Control
The American tech company, which also has the video-streaming website YouTube, purchased the bid-related documents from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

The NFT Platform That Is Set To Revolutionize The Music Industry
May 17, 2022 via MENAFN is bringing disruption to the music industry by helping musicians finance their music through their fans. Music ownership has always been a bone of contention in the music industry.

LimeWire Strikes Deal With Universal Music Group for its Music NFT Licensing Platform
May 17, 2022 via WILX-TV
LimeWire has inked a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) for content licensing on a global scale, opening up the LimeWire collectibles marketplace to all artists under the Universal Music Group umbrella.

Web3 Giants Buying Big3 NFTs Indicates Utility Is ‘Next Frontier’
May 16, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Last month, a JWS column explained why Big3’s plan to decentralize sports team ownership was different — and frankly, more exciting — than any previous endeavor hatched.

Chainsmokers Share New Album Royalties With Fans via NFT Drop in Music Industry First
May 12, 2022 via Crypto News Australia
The Chainsmokers are the first to share royalties of an entire album with their fans 5000 fans will receive an NFT that entitles them to a share.

MLB Adds Sorare as NFT Gaming Partner
May 12, 2022 via Sportico - Business (subscription may be required)
In its biggest American venture to date, Sorare has partnered with MLB and MLB Players Inc. to launch an NFT-based fantasy baseball game later this season.

Band Royalty Makes History With the Release of the World's First Multi-Track Music NFT
May 11, 2022 via Yahoo Finance
Band Royalty The Limited Edition Series of 777 multi-track NFTs by the winner of Usher's “Megastar” competition and social media sensation, Andie Case, marks a new era for the global music rights industry.

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