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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: An NIL Deal for Mizzou Wide Receiver Luther Burden III, Tree Trimming Along SAG-AFTRA and WGA Picket Lines, and Tennis Icons Take to the Pickleball Court

Welcome back to the Spotlight! If you’re like me, you were probably hoping that the twin strikes in Hollywood (WGA and SAG-AFTRA) may have been at least incrementally closer to coming to an end.  But to no avail, neither the motion picture and television studios nor the actors or writers seem to be blinking.  As such, the lights remain out on film and TV sets across the country.  Heralding a potentially perilous time for the entertainment industry—particularly if the strikes drag on for several more months.  After all, though that streaming queue of yours may seem daunting now, you are just a few break-ups, sick days and lazy Sundays away from being forced to read a book, or worse, having to get off your couch and actually interact with other people. For now, we can take comfort in the fact that the sports world is largely unaffected by the work stoppage (except for Yankees fans like myself who would rather watch paint dry than tune in to a game), making for a pretty nice hedge for actors and Wrexham A.F.C. owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as the team embarks on a stateside tour. And more significantly, the upcoming Women’s World Cup is right around the corner ready to provide the drama and theatrics to fill the void for a few weeks. Regardless, as in baseball, two strikes against you does not bode well for studios and networks, so it seems like it is just a matter of time before they re-illuminate their spotlight.

    • University of Missouri Wide Receiver Luther Burden III catches a name, image and likeness deal from Commerce Bank, thus improving its burden ratio. 
    • Rumors swirling social media cast Universal Studios as resorting to petty, retaliatory act of trimming tree branches along SAG-AFTRA and WGA picket lines to make the 90 degree Southern California heat that much more difficult to deal with. Another plausible explanation was that Universal Studios had an unrequited desire to yell “cut!”
    • Tennis icons Steffi Graf and Maria Sharapova are headed back to the court to compete alongside John McEnroe and Andre Agassi in a second installment of the first Pickleball Slam event that featured McEnroe, Agassi, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick. To the naysayers expecting a downfall in Pickleball, McEnroe says, “you *cannot* be serious!”

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Read the 17-page pitch deck that helped a former WME agent raise $25 million in VC to capitalize on celebrity-backed brands like Gal Gadot's mac and cheese
July 18, 2023 via Business Insider

Why some celebrities are embracing Artificial Intelligence deepfakes
July 18, 2023 via BBC News

Major tech and media layoffs create recession vibes, dampening sponsorship, marketing across the industry
July 17, 2023 via Sports Business Journal

Ryan Reynolds And Rob McElhenney Used Only Their Fame And Star Power For The $218 Million Alpine F1 Racing Deal – None Of Their Own Money Invested
July 17, 2023 via Yahoo Finance

Mizzou football star Luther Burden III lands endorsement deal with Commerce Bank
July 14, 2023 via Biz Journal

Dwyane Wade Invests in WNBA’s Chicago Sky
July 14, 2023 via Sportico


Wrexham Enlists Men In Blazers for ‘USA Invasion’
July 18, 2023 via Sportico - Business
ESPN’s Pickleball Slam 2 Adds Twist to McEnroe v. Agassi
July 18, 2023 via Sportico

Report: Women’s World Cup to net $308m in sponsorship
July 17, 2023 via Advanced

NBA hints that live basketball could come to Apple Vision Pro in 2024
July 14, 2023 via BGR

Music Biz

Laffitte Management Group and Sony Music join $12m Series A funding round for creator commerce platform KOMI
July 19, 2023 via Music Business Worldwide

Warner Music Group Inks Music Licensing Deal With TikTok
July 18, 2023 via

Film & TV

City Investigating Universal Studios for Trimming Trees Near SAG-AFTRA/WGA Picket Lines
July 19, 2023 via Rolling Stone Magazine

Apple TV is accused of botching Lionel Messi's unveiling in what marks a bumpy start to their historic revenue-sharing deal
July 17, 2023 via Yahoo Finance
Entertainment mogul warns Hollywood strikes will cause the 'absolute collapse of the entire industry'
July 17, 2023 via Fortune Magazine

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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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