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Spotlight: Wrexham A.F.C. Takes the Stage with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's Purchase, Ottawa Senators on the Market, and More Sports & Entertainment Updates

Welcome back to the Spotlight! If there ever was a story that blends the magic and romanticism of Hollywood with the unbridled enthusiasm and competition of sports, it’s that of Welsh football club, Wrexham A.F.C. Acquired by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney for the relatively low price of $2.5 million in 2021, the duo quickly won over Wrexham supporters (indeed it was a prerequisite to the bidding process) and an American audience that until recently thought “football in Wales” was something better dealt with by a marine biologist. That Reynolds and McElhenney have had success is an understatement. Using their celebrity profile, they launched the docuseries “Welcome to Wrexham,” which has been picked up for multiple seasons. Nothing short of marketing genius and we should expect no less than that from Reynolds, as pretty much everything he touches-from gin to mobile phone service—turns to gold (“Green Lantern” is the outlier). This is of course to say nothing of the fact that the club has backed up their newfound attention with victories on the pitch, ascending to League Two (one rung up from where the team had been when acquired in 2021, and three promotions removed from the English Premier League. Reaching those heights will be a daunting process, but, with the marketing opportunities the club could provide, by no means a white W(h)ale.

Without further ado, here’s what else is making waves:

    • The Ottawa Senators are on the market for a price tag that could reach an NHL record setting $1 billion, with bidders including a group backed by Ryan Reynolds. An overpayment if you ask me—there are plenty of Senators that have been bought for less. 

    • University of Texas’ five star recruit Quarterback Arch Manning has made it known (through his coach Steve Sarkisian) that he intends to keep his name, image and likeness (NIL) earnings at nil until he earns the starting Quarterback position, despite having one of the highest projected values for college athletes. Whether influenced by the fact he’s not hurting for money (you may have heard of his grandfather and uncles), being a good teammate or enjoying wordplay as much as I do, it’s a notable stance. 
    • Pop recording artist Ed Sheeran is in the midst of a trial facing allegations that his ballad “Thinking Out Loud” infringes the copyrights to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Jurors’ deliberation room will undoubtedly be equipped with an assortment scented candles.

    • A week after Fake Drake and The Weeknd popped up on streaming services through the help of A.I., recording artist Grimes has voiced (at least I think it’s her voice) her intent to embrace the disruptive technology for her own songs.  On the one hand, this is shocking given the potential threat of A.I. to the music industry. On the other hand, it is not all that surprising for someone who named her and Elon Musk’s firstborn, “X Æ A-Xii.”

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Jaeger-LeCoultre announces its newest global ambassador: Lenny Kravitz\
April 27, 2023 via WILX-TV

Sports Step into the Metaverse—and Take Investors Along for the Ride
April 26, 2023 via Middle Market Growth

The Endorsement Era Is Over. Today’s Elite Athletes Are Enterprises.
April 25, 2023 via Sportico - Business

Twitter claims dead celebs are subscribing to Blue from beyond the grave
April 24, 2023 via The Verge

Ravens extend naming rights agreement with M&T Bank through ‘at least’ 2037
April 24, 2023 via Mercury News


Is NFL hypocritical or hypervigilant in betting punishment?
April 25, 2023 via Lancaster Online

Moving A’s To Las Vegas Would Be A Business Win For Ownership And A Bust For Baseball
April 21, 2023 via Forbes

Music Biz

Stolen or Original? Hear Songs From 7 Landmark Copyright Cases.
April 27, 2023 via New York Times

Steve Aoki & 3LAU Team For New Single as PUNX, Will Sell 50% Ownership Via NFTs
April 26, 2023 via Billboard

Bad Bunny and Rihanna AI Duet Drops – and the Fake Drake/The Weeknd Creator Seems to Be Behind It
April 26, 2023 via Billboard

Grimes gives permission for voice to be used on AI songs despite music industry crackdown
April 24, 2023 via Metro

Film & TV

‘The Yards Between Us’ Comedy From R.K. Russell, Saeed Crumpler & Gabrielle Union In Works At Sony Pictures TV
April 26, 2023 via Deadline

The Audience for Women’s Sports Is Surging. Richer Media Deals Could Follow.
April 24, 2023 via Wall Street Journal

Scripps CEO: We’re ‘ready to do a deal’ with MLB teams
April 23, 2023 via Awful Announcing

Wrexham’s Hollywood promotion: How Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney helped end 15 years of hurt
April 22, 2023 via The Athletic

Emerging Sports

Lasrys pioneer pro pickleball with Milwaukee Mashers, work to bring major league play to city
April 26, 2023 via Milwaukee Business Journal

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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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