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Swift Success and Spotlight Recollections: From Billion-Dollar Beats to Bottled Banters

While many of you come down from your Halloween sugar high, Taylor Swift remains in another stratosphere. Not because of sweets (although I hear Donna Kelce’s pre-game chocolate chip cookies are not to be missed), but rather because of domination of the music industry en route to recently having her net worth eclipse $1 billion.  In that regard, Swift is something of a unicorn (incidentally, her fanbase’s second most beloved animal behind Swift’s cat, Olivia Benson), because while other recording artists have spun off CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands – whether in fashion, apparel, beauty or liquor – the lion’s (not Olivia Benson’s) share of Swift’s fortune has been built almost exclusively on her music. Swift’s decision to re-record her back catalog of albums and monetize them on her own terms, through record sales, touring and her film chronicling her touring has been nothing short of genius. This gives me hope that perhaps someday, I’ll be able to recycle some of my best hits from prior Spotlights, such as this one from February 17, 2022

Actor Stanley Tucci inks a multiyear endorsement deal with Italian sparkling mineral water company, San Pellegrino, in which bottles will be branded “Stan Pellegrino.” An infinitely better proposition than a diaper rash ointment deal pitched to him for “Tucci Cream.”

I mean…that’s a billion dollar joke right there. For now, I’ll continue to build my own catalog through this week’s installment of the Spotlight: 

    • Kim Kardashian’s Skims brand flexes its sports marketing chops in becoming the official underwear partner of the WNBA, NBA and USA Basketball.  Here’s hoping they don’t take that too far and create a “nothing but net” product.
    • The University of Houston Cougars Football program received a cease and desist letter from the NFL for the Cougars’ wearing confusingly similar uniforms to those of the NFL’s legacy franchise the Houston Oilers (the rights to which are owned by Oilers’ successor franchise, the Tennessee Titans). In its letter, NFL asserted that the colorway and trade dress of Cougars’ “H-Town Pride” tribute uniforms were confusingly similar to those of the Oilers’ “Luv Ya Blue” uniforms. Were the Cougars to wear the uniforms again, they might need to call them the “We have a problem” uniforms.  
    • Flag Football is enjoying something of a Pickleball moment, seeing an influx of tens of millions of dollars as the sport rises in popularity (and will soon be an event at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles), though it is unlikely to be a hip replacement for those who have hip replacements.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

20 female celebrities with lucrative businesses beyond Hollywood
November 2, 2023 via Los Angeles Times

ESPN Could Be Worth $24 Billion And Attract Investments From Tech Giants, Report Says
November 2, 2023 via Forbes
Skims named official underwear partner of the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball
November 1, 2023 via Retail Dive

Celebrity Net Worth: Travis Kelce joins Ryan Reynolds with investment in F1’s Alpine
October 30, 2023 via The National (UAE)

Celebrities set their sights on gin
October 30, 2023 via Spirits Business

Kings Star De’Aaron Fox Signs With Curry Brand for Signature Shoe
October 26, 2023 via Sportico


“The Worst Band of the 1990s” Is Having a Comeback in the Most Baffling Place
November 1, 2023 via Slate Magazine
Big Ten defies tradition to embrace late-season night football games
November 1, 2023 via Chicago Sun Times
NHL’s Canadiens LP Stake Sold at Record $2.5 Billion Valuation
November 1, 2023 via Sportico
Saudi Arabia Will Likely Host 2034 FIFA World Cup
October 31, 2023 via Forbes
How the NBA In-Season Tournament went from the drawing board to the court for its debut next month
October 31, 2023 via Oregon Live

NFL told Houston to stop using Oilers-inspired uniform
October 30, 2023 via
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan Sign-Stealing Saga Presents Problem for NFL
October 30, 2023 via Sportico
Will flag football be the next pickleball? Tens of millions of dollars are betting on it.
October 28, 2023 via MarketWatch

Music Biz

The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2023
October 31, 2023 via Forbes
AI is on a collision course with music — Reservoir’s Golnar Khosrowshahi thinks there’s a way through
October 31, 2023 via Verge
Taylor Swift sets single-day streaming record on Spotify thanks to re-recorded '1989'
October 29, 2023 via Los Angeles Times

Taylor Swift Explodes UMG’s Revenue
October 26, 2023 via SmallBizTechnology

Film & TV  

NBC Developing U.S. Version Of ‘Truman Show’-Style Guessing Game Format ‘The Underdog’
November 1, 2023 via Deadline
YouTube’s NFL Sunday Ticket Facing $1.27 Billion in Annual Losses
October 27, 2023 via Sportico

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