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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Britney Spears' Incident, Sarah Silverman’s AI Copyright Lawsuit, and Kyrie Irving's Unexpected Shoe Deal

Welcome back to the Spotlight! Hope you didn’t miss me too much. I have to say, despite my break for Independence Day, I nearly hopped back into my writer’s chair when I saw the news out of Las Vegas of an alleged slap suffered by Britney Spears at the hands of top NBA Draft pick Victor Wembanyama’s security detail. Stories that incredible make it hard to believe this is real life.  But I was quickly diverted away to a different part of Las Vegas in awe of the bright shiny object that is the $2.2 billion MSG Sphere and its “exosphere” video system that spans the entire surface of the live events venue. Not to be outdone (speaking of bright shiny objects), my sons, resting comfortably in their respective beds were awoken by the cacophony of bright fireworks outside their bedroom window. Not ideal conditions for writing, let alone sleeping. Fortunately for Wembanyama, his security was cleared of wrongdoing, fortunately for my kids and the fireworks eventually stopped.  Unfortunately for me, I had to stop watching the wondrous Sphere, which brings me here to bring you what’s new.   
In a case that could have far-reaching impact on the interplay between intellectual property rights and artificial intelligence (AI), Comedian Sarah Silverman was among a group of authors suing Meta and ChatGPT creator OpenAI alleging that their artificial intelligence training program infringed their copyrights by lifting passages from books including Silverman’s “Bedwetter” (also an apt descriptor for those thinking about an AI uprising).

    • Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving’s basketball shoe endorsement deal is with a four letter brand—just not the one that likely comes to mind. Instead of Oregon, his deal takes him around the globe (or disc, depending on your viewpoint) to Chinese apparel brand ANTA. Based on recent history it’s fair to wonder whether his shoe will be called “GONIST.”
    • The New York Yankees ink a jersey patch sponsorship deal (worth approximately $25 million per year) with a less-than-household-name, Starr Insurance.  Perhaps the $25 million per year will provide star insurance to offset the $40 million owed to an injured Aaron Judge (toe) this year.
    • Already knowing a thing or two about “pop” music in advertising, Coca-Cola is taking music recording in-house, launching “Coke Studio.” When reached for comment, Studio 54 said “stay in your lane!”   

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving reportedly inks 5-year shoe deal with Chinese brand ANTA
July 12, 2023 via Dallas Morning News - All Content
Diamond Sports reportedly “close” to five-year discounted deal with Diamondbacks, but Rob Manfred might block it
July 11, 2023 via Awful Announcing
Ousting Norman, giving Woods and McIlroy LIV teams were discussed with PGA Tour, documents show
July 11, 2023 via ABC News
Greenfly Acquires AI Startup to Improve Shortform Sports Curation
July 11, 2023 via Sportico
Ebay Meets Mickey Mantle as New Card Vault Catches Collectibles Surge
July 10, 2023 via Sportico

A.I. agency creates deepfake doubles of celebrity clients
July 8, 2023 via CNBC
Endeavor Invests In Jennifer O’Connell & Rebecca Quinn’s Velvet Hammer Media
July 7, 2023 via Deadline
Hilton scores sponsorship deal with English Premier League's Chelsea FC
July 6, 2023 via Biz Journal


Adam Silver: NBA to weigh expansion in coming years, consider Las Vegas, Seattle, others
July 11, 2023 via Athletic
Marketing and Sponsorship: Re-‘Doing the Heisman,' but keeping the history, was the real challenge, as famous logo got a refresh
July 10, 2023 via Sports Business Journal
Victor Wembanyama Gets Introduction to N.B.A. Fame and Game in Las Vegas
July 8, 2023 via New York Times

Dolan’s Sphere of Influence Extends to Las Vegas Strip
July 7, 2023 via Sportico

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports Inks Deal With Italy’s Serie A
July 11, 2023 via Sportico

Music Biz

100 million AI-generated tracks have been created by music platform Mubert
July 12, 2023 via Music Business Worldwide
AI Isn’t the Music Industry’s Biggest Problem: Here’s How to Stop Streaming Fraud Right Now
July 11, 2023 via Variety
Father of Selena Sues Cruise Company for Trademark Infringement
July 11, 2023 via Bloomberg Law
HarbourView Equity Partners Acquires Select Recorded Music Assets of Iconic, Grammy Award-Winning Superstar Rapper, Nelly
July 6, 2023 via
Coca-Cola believes in music in ads so much it is growing its own studio to record original songs
July 3, 2023 via Digiday

Film & TV

Blue Fox Entertainment Acquires Stop-Motion Comedy ‘The Inventor’ On Life Of Leonardo Da Vinci; Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley & Marion Cotillard Among Stars
July 10, 2023 via Deadline
Sarah Silverman Sues OpenAI and Meta Over Copyright Infringement
July 10, 2023 via New York 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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