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Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Rihanna's Bountiful Halftime Performance

Welcome back to the Spotlight! First, a hearty congratulations to the world champion Kansas City Chiefs (an empty gesture if there ever was one—as I am fairly confident none of the Chiefs read this, but if not, hit me up!). As in years past, the Super Bowl prove itself to be a pop culture spectacle par excellence (I don’t know what that means, but it sure sounds fancy), with commercials of varying levels of poignancy, absurdity and cleverness, rife with athletes and entertainers and homages. Among the stand-outs, was the solo(-ish) halftime performance by Rihanna.   

Indeed, nestled cozily inside what was a rather entertaining game, Rihanna, who’s so famous that she’s known only by one name, revealed that she had a baby nestled cozily inside what was a rather entertaining Rihanna. Tough act to follow for future baby announcements but perhaps Rihanna will opt for a more low-key setting for the eventual gender reveal, like the Olympic torch lighting ceremony. 

Say what you will, but Rihanna made the most of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show--for which she was not even directly compensated. Since Sunday’s performance (the second most watched Super Bowl halftime show), Rihanna’s seeing an over 640% increase in streaming and a 390% increase in record sales. Neither this fact nor the towering heights the artist reached during her performance were likely on the artist’s mind when she recorded the Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up,” but it makes for an easy dad joke. Although Rihanna (herself worth upwards of $1.4 billion when factoring in her music career and various business ventures) did not need the resulting windfall, with another mouth to feed, she embraced the extra spotlight.  

    • Celebrity chef (and fabled enunciator of the word, “spaghetti”) Giada De Laurentiis inks a first look television development deal with Amazon Studios. No squid were harmed in the process.
    • The valuation of connected fitness company Tonal appears to have taken a big hit since the pandemic-related boom. Paired with the news above, it sounds like couch sales may go through the roof.
    • Sixteen-year-old, top-ranked pickleball champion Anna Leigh Waters signs an endorsement deal with a wealth management company, as she is poised to receive wealth to be managed.    

Endorsement Sponsorship and Investments

Ridley’s Pending Return Spotlights NFL’s Delicate Betting Dance

February 15, 2023 via Sportico

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley became eligible today to apply for reinstatement after serving a season-long suspension for gambling. Ridley was suspended indefinitely last March after he was popped for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season while he was with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons traded Ridley ...

The Five Most Effective Super Bowl Ads Of 2023

February 13, 2023 via Forbes - Most Popular

In a year where a majority of advertisers used a formula involving the use of a A-List celebrities, it was a tall challenge for advertisers to stand out. That said, this year produced a good number of strong ads that were well received by consumers and industry experts alike.

Chiefs and Eagles Score Big with New Sponsorship Deals

February 10, 2023 via TVTechnology

New data from SponsorshipUnited shows that the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs head into Super Bowl LVII with impressive gains off the field in their sponsorship efforts during their championship-caliber seasons.


Derek Carr released by Raiders: Best fits for QB in 2023 include multiple teams in NFC South

February 15, 2023 via

USATSI Derek Carr's days as Raiders quarterback are over. After the veteran's abrupt demotion at the end of the 2022 NFL season, he informed the Raiders that he would not accept a trade. As a result, the Raiders informed Carr on Tuesday that he has been released.

What exactly does Eric Bieniemy need to do to get a head coaching job?

February 15, 2023 via Washington Post

Twice during the classic sports comedy “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings,” about a fictional barnstorming Negro Leagues baseball team when the major leagues still refused Black men, Richard Pryor’s character tries to pass as another melanated ethnicity or race the majors might find more tolerable.

How the Manchester City probe could reshape football’s finances

February 11, 2023 via Financial Times - All Sections

Good morning from the midst of the biggest and busiest few days in US sport; it’s Super Bowl weekend. It’s where Americans gear up to gorge on wings and nachos and bet an estimated $16bn on the big game, which would be a new national record.

Music Biz

Pharrell Williams succeeds Virgil Abloh as the head of men's designs at Louis Vuitton

February 15, 2023 via NPR - News

The singer, producer and designer has a long history of working with fashion brands — as well as big shoes to fill. Williams' first Louis Vuitton collection will debut at Men's Fashion Week in June.

Lego teases new BTS set featuring members of K-pop band as Suga announces first solo tour

February 14, 2023 via The Star

Lego's tweet teasing a special upcoming set featuring members of one of the world's biggest bands has more than 11 million views on Twitter. IM BTS fans are going to pieces over a new Lego announcement.

Snoop Dogg is bringing Death Row Records catalog back to streaming services… and TikTok has got it exclusively for the first week

February 14, 2023 via Music Business Worldwide

Release marks first-ever catalog reissue to release exclusively through SoundOn Source

At the Super Bowl, Rihanna Returns to Music, Briefly

February 13, 2023 via New York Times - Global View

After seven years largely away from the stage, the singer and mogul used the halftime show to perform a dozen hits, nod to her nonmusical business and announce that she’s pregnant. Moments after Rihanna stepped off the Super Bowl LVII halftime stage Sunday night at State Farm Stadium in Glendale

Film & TV

BBC documentary about Kanye West’s ‘complex journey’ into antisemitism in the works

February 15, 2023 via Jewish News

From fame to shame: 'We Need To Talk About Kanye'to be accompanied by eight-part podcast series The BBC has announced a one-off documentary and accompanying podcast series charting how rapper Kanye West went from international fame and critical acclaim to “condemnation and notoriety” over his racist anti-Jewish views.

Columbus Crew unveil their new black jersey for the 2023 MLS season

February 15, 2023 via Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

The Crew have a new black jersey for the 2023 MLS season, which is just 10 days away from beginning. After getting a new gold jersey last year, known as the "Gold Standard" kit, which replaced their previous black kit, the Crew have added a black top back into the ...

Box Office Preview: ‘Ant-Man 3' to Rule Presidents Day Weekend With $100M-Plus

February 15, 2023 via Hollywood Reporter

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily star in he first event movie of 2023. Marvel Studios is feeling presidential. is hoping to open to at least $110 million domestically over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, including $95 million for the three days.

Raquel Welch, actress and Hollywood sex symbol, dead at 82

February 15, 2023 via NPR

Raquel Welch, who rose to fame as a sex symbol in the 1960s, has died. She was 82. Welch's manager told NPR she died Wednesday after a brief illness. Welch's career started in the 1960s with appearances on TV shows such as The Virginian, McHale's Navy and Bewitched.

Giada De Laurentiis Inks Overall Unscripted Production Deal With Amazon Studios

February 9, 2023 via Deadline - Hollywood Breaking News

EXCLUSIVE: Celebrity chef, bestselling author and Emmy-winning TV host Giada De Laurentiss (Everyday Italian, Giada at Home) is getting into business with Amazon Studios, signing a multi-year overall unscripted series production deal.

Emerging Sports

Dynasty Financial Partners Announces Sponsorship of Top-Ranked Pickleball Pro Anna Leigh Waters

February 15, 2023 via Business Wire

PETERSBURG, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dynasty Connect — a service of Dynasty Financial Partners through its affiliate, Dynasty Wealth Partners, LLC — is proud to announce its support of Anna Leigh Waters, the world’s top-ranked professional women’s pickleball player.

Tonal’s Valuation Dips to $500M As Post-Pandemic Reality Sets In

February 15, 2023 via Front Office Sports

Tonal’s valuation peaked at $1.9 billion in September behind a $100 million funding round.

Why emerging sports sponsorship is on the fast lane in India

February 14, 2023 via BrandEquity (Economic Times) - Recent Stories

As ABB FIA Formula-E World Championship wraps up its debut race in India, ETBrandEquity got into a conversation with Michelle Taylor of TCS and James Barclay of Jaguar to understand the rationale behind sponsoring emerging sports like racing in India.

Davenport STUNT recognized as NCAA emerging sport

January 29, 2023 via FOX 17 West Michigan News (WXMI)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — STUNT is now officially an NCAA DII emerging sport. “It was an incredible feeling to start with. It’s been a long time goal of Davenport’s just to get this finally passed and be recognized for all of our hard work and dedication,” said Hanah Yaggie.

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