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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Can Celebrity Endorsements Influence Perceptions Around the COVID-19 Vaccine?
    • As the pandemic continues, the question arises: Could celebrities be the key to getting the country vaccinated?
    • Seemingly everyone is coming up a winner in the music business with the top three major companies bringing in record amounts and streaming services are booming.
    • The NFT craze continues to grow with everyone from star athletes and sports leagues to fashion brands and now IBM jumping on the bandwagon.

Endorsements, Sponsorships & Investments

Female and POC Documentary Filmmakers Given Funding and Wider Distribution Thanks to a Visionary Studio
August 11, 2021 via Forbes Business (subscription may be required)
Some industries thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic. But ensuring that everyone has an equal chance in those industries takes commitment. But just because there is opportunity doesn't mean all talent has equal access. Everett, a cofounder of XTR, explains her documentary film studio's approach to ensuring that the world views the fresh ideas and diverse perspectives of women and people of color.

Indiana Pacers Maintain Salary Cap Flexibility With a Pair of Strategic Moves
August 11, 2021 via Forbes Business (subscription may be required)
The Indiana Pacers signed TJ McConnell and Torrey Craig early in free agency, and the team has been quiet since. Those two players put the team’s roster at 15 players, albeit with some non-guaranteed contracts, so the team doesn’t have a lot of space to make additional moves. Despite the roster being mostly complete, Indiana had a few avenues they could pursue to increase the team’s flexibility going forward. And over the weekend, the front office pursued two of those avenues.

Detroit Shock Rocker Alice Cooper Gets His Own Coloring Book
August 11, 2021 via Detroit Free Press
Put up the horns and raise your lighters, because coloring is about to get a little more hardcore. A new, officially endorsed coloring book featuring Detroit shock rocker Alice Cooper is set to release at the end of August. Rock N' Roll Colouring.

Behind the Scenes With NBC at the Olympics
August 10, 2021 via New York Business Journal (subscription may be required)
Inside NBC’s operations area at the International Broadcasting Center, on Tokyo Bay, posters lined the walls from the 16 previous Olympics the network has aired, starting with Tokyo in 1964. The signatures of more than a dozen athletes were displayed on a glass panel inside the main studio.

Women Entertainers Are Building Their Own Business Empires — and It's Paying Off
August 10, 2021 via NBC News
From pop singer Rihanna's billion-dollar clothing and cosmetic lines to actress Reese Witherspoon's media company, which just sold for $900 million, female celebrities who branch out and reinvent their brand are boosting their public image — and their fortune.

The White House Is Enlisting Pop Stars, Heavily-Followed Influences to Endorse COVID-10 Vaccines
August 9, 2021 via Fashion Law (subscription may be required)
Move over Revolve. The biggest influencer campaign of the moment is not pushing attire for previously-postponed weddings or for long-awaited Côte d’Azur holiday wardrobes. It is one that aims to persuade young Americans to get vaccinated. The New York Times revealed last week that the White House has enlisted more than fifty influencers – from heavily followed figures on gaming platform Twitch to those on TikTok, such as 17-year old creator Ellie Zeiler, who boasts upwards of 10 million followers – to help promote COVID-19 vaccinations.

Is Hiring Teenage Influencers to Promote Vaccines a Good Idea?
August 6, 2021 via Techonomy
The New York Times recently wrote about the White House’s tactic to promote Covid-19 vaccinations using an “army of influencers”.

For Some Olympic Athletes, Gold Is Not All That Glitters
August 6, 2021 via The Street
For most athletes, winning a gold medal is the greatest reward, but some elite athletes competing in the 2021 Tokyo Games have set their sights on a much larger prize. In 1986, a decision by the International Federation allowed professional athletes to compete at the games alongside their amateur counterparts.

Olympians Can Finally Earn Their Own Money on Social Media
August 6, 2021 via Bloomberg (subscription may be required)
Olympians are taking advantage of a sponsorship rule change which lets them to capitalize on their social-media followings to promote items such as sportswear and washing detergent during the Tokyo Olympics, but agents say that the complexity of the new guidelines and the International Olympic Committee’s continuing control still prevents athletes from fully realizing their earning potential.

Rihanna Enters Billionaires Club — But It's Not Her Music That Got Her There
August 5, 2021 via Yahoo Finance
Rihanna has entered the billionaires club. According to Forbes , the 33-year-old is now worth a whopping $1.7 billion — making her the wealthiest female musician, and second only to Oprah Winfrey, as the richest female entertainer.

Obama's Meatless Birthday Menu to Feature Impossible, Eat Just
August 5, 2021 via Bloomberg (subscription may be required)
President Barack Obama's upcoming birthday celebration will offer a meat-free menu, according to people familiar with the matter, giving buzzy plant-based brands like Impossible Foods Inc. and Eat Just Inc. a high-profile endorsement.

Can High School Athletes Profit off of Their Name, Image, and Likeness?
August 4, 2021 via St. Louis Fox 2
College athletes are a full month into being able to make money in a variety of ways, through product endorsements, private coaching opportunities and other methods which now fall under what is known as name, image and likeness (NIL) reform. While some of the doomsday predictions from those who are concerned about the prospect of student-athletes getting paid haven’t materialized yet, an interesting debate has emerged: what about high school athletes?

Taiwan Celebrity Host Dee Hsu Loses RM4.9m in Endorsements for Referring to Taiwanese Olympians as ‘National Competitors'
August 4, 2021 via Asia Newsday
Taiwanese celebrity host Dee Hsu has lost millions of endorsements after referring to Taiwan's Olympians as ‘national competitors. Bloomberg reported that Hsu's have distanced themselves from her, saying they would not extend contracts with her.

Film & TV

Redbox Continues Rapid Expansion of Its Free Streaming Service via Content Deal With DMR
August 11, 2021 via Kane Republican Online
Redbox, a leading entertainment company, today (August 11) announced it has signed an agreement with DMR (, one of the world's largest aggregators and distributors of content. Fueling Redbox's rapid growth in the streaming space, this latest content agreement includes launching a new free streaming channel – “RetroCrush”.

Does Scarlett Johansson Have a Case Against Disney?
August 11, 2021 via Japan Times
In the court of public opinion, Disney may well lose its battle with Scarlett Johansson. But the legal question is important, carrying implications for business well beyond the borders of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the actor who has for more than a decade portrayed the character known as Black Widow..

Genius Sports, DraftKings Ink Supplier Deal That Includes NFL Data
August 5, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
Genius Sports and DraftKings have signed a new multi-year supplier agreement that will give the sportsbook the full range of data and live video content from Genius, including products it has built around its new pricey NFL rights.

Music Biz  

The Major Music Companies Now Turn Over $2.5 Million Every Hour - and Will Generate More Than $20 Billion Between Them This Year
August 10, 2021 via Music Business Worldwide
The record industry is headed for a gangbusters year – and we’ve got the receipts to prove it. MBW has crunched the reported calendar Q2 financials of each of the three major music companies for our analysis below.

Music Streaming Subscription Service Market Is Booming Worldwide | Amazon Prime, Apple Music, YouTube Music
August 9, 2021 via iCrowd Newswire
Music Streaming Subscription Service Market and factors such as driver, restraint, past and current trends, regulatory scenarios and technology development. A thorough analysis of these factors including economic slowdown, local & global reforms and COVID-19 Impact has been conducted to determine future growth prospects in the global market.

Fleetwood Mac Keyboardist Christine McVie Sells 115-Song Catalog to Hipgnosis
August 9, 2021via Digital Music News
Hipgnosis just recently unveiled the high-profile deal, which represents the latest in a decidedly long line of multimillion-dollar plays for the entity. To be sure, the Merck Mercuriadis-founded business dropped north of $1 billion on music IP in the 2021 fiscal year (covering the 12 months ending on March 31st), including all or part of catalogs from Beats by Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Shakira, L.A. Reid, and Chrissie Hynde, to name just some.

Aaliyah's Estate Calls Out "Unscrupulous Endeavor" to Release Late Star's Music
August 6, 2021 via BruDirect
It's been nearly two decades since Aaliyah tragically died in a plane crash at the age of 22. While her legacy lives on, much of her music has been kept off digital music services and out of print.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

DraftKings Launches NFT Marketplace With First Drop Featuring Tom Brady
August 10, 2021 via The Block Crypto
The daily fantasy and sports-betting company has launched its new non-fungible token marketplace and will host its first drop tomorrow (August 11). The post DraftKings launches NFT marketplace with first drop featuring Tom Brady appeared first on The Block.

Bayern Munich Star Alphonso Davies on NFT Collection, Playing Without Pressure and Messaging Messi
August 10, 2021 via Forbes Business (subscription may be required)
Alphonso Davies knows how it feels to be a fan. Not long ago the Bayern Munich and Canada left-back was watching his heroes on TV and had Lionel Messi posters on his bedroom wall. Now one of the world's most exciting young players, the 20-year-old can still get starstruck.

Russell Simmons Launches NFT Collection to Help Pioneers of Hip-hop
August 10, 2021 via New York Post
Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons wants to give back to the pioneers of hip-hop with a new NFT. On Friday (August 6), Simmons will launch hip-hop’s first collection of NFTs — digital files known as NFTs that use blockchain, the technology that secures cryptocurrencies — titled “Masterminds of Hip-hop."

Audi NFT Set for Release on xNFT Protocol
August 9, 2021 via Crypto News
Chinese media reports that Audi plans to release limited-edition NFTs in conjunction with xNFT. Audi is set to release limited-edition NFTs in collaboration with xNFT. The German car manufacturer recently announced it could start minting the non-fungible tokens on the xNFT platform from August 10th.

Luxury Fashion Houses Louis Vuitton and Burberry Dive Into the World of NFTs and Online Gaming
August 9, 2021 via Business Insider
Luxury fashion houses Burberry and Louis Vuitton are turning to NFTs and gaming to promote their brands. Burberry is releasing a NFT game character called "Sharky B, while a Louis Vuitton game offers 30 NFTs, including 10 by Beeple.

Luxury Fashion Brand Philipp Plein Will Now Accept Cryptocurrency Payments
August 6, 2021 via Crypto Daily
As Blockchain technology takes the world by storm, it isn’t only the finance sector that is benefitting from the latest innovation. Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry are also getting involved with the blockchain, turning to NFTs to market their brands. Now, fashion brand Philipp Plein has announced it will accept various cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum - the first major fashion brand to do so.

Lionel Messi’s Enters the NFT Category With Messiverse
August 6, 2021 via Crypto Newsz
NFTs are slowly but surely climbing up the popularity ladder. These digital art pieces are stored on the blockchain, and thanks to the immutability characteristic of the open ledger, they cannot be tampered with. Adding momentum to the popularity of NFTs, star soccer player Lionel Messi has now come up with his NFT collection. 

What Goes Around Comes Around: Storied IBM PC Will Be NFT
August 5, 2021 via Atlanta New Online
NFTs spawned by the digital revolution are allowing the resurrection of an all-time great personal computer, the IBM PC, which this year celebrates its 40th birthday. On August 12, 1981, IBM unveiled the 5150 personal computer, which enabled users to experience enhanced computing power at home.

‘A Lazy Way to Showcase NFTs’ — Mark Cuban’s NFT Platform Integrates With Polygon
August 5, 2021 via Bitcoin
On Thursday (August 4), the NFT platform and digital art gallery backed by Mark Cuban announced the project has integrated with Polygon. The platform allows anyone to showcase NFTs by leveraging a unique lazy URL to social media profiles, and the integration announcement highlights the protocol is now live.

UFC to Sell First NFTs as Fighters Gain Share of Licensing
August 5, 2021 via Sportico Business (subscription may be required)
UFC will sell its first-ever NFTs through Panini America in a licensing deal that will see fighters share in more of the royalties from digital collectibles than they do from clothing and apparel.

Vinco Ventures' Subsidiary Emmersive Entertainment Announces Music Streaming NFT Platform
August 4, 2021 via Pottsmerc
Vinco Ventures, Inc. a leader in selective acquisitions leveraging new market opportunities by utilizing the B.I.G. Strategy: Buy. Innovate. Grow., is pleased to announce the launch of its subsidiary Emmersive Entertainment's first ever music streaming platform.

Right of Publicity  

IP Rights Again Brandished to Silence Critics
August 11, 2021 via Likelihood of Confusion Trademark & Copyright Blog
The Associated Press reports: The distinctive chocolate bar on the dust jacket of a new book about the founder of The Hershey Co. violates its trademark, the candy maker said in a federal lawsuit.

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