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Welcome back to the "Spotlight" – this being the very first and certainly not the last of Summer 2022.  That’s right, folks. Although I expect my readership numbers to swoon to “spouse-and-blood-relative” levels, I will still be the proverbial tree falling in the forest as I churn out the content on the off chance that there will be eyeballs to read it. Although the weather has been unseasonably cool here on the East Coast, temperatures seem to be reaching a metaphorical boiling point for the Washington Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder, as he appears poised to be subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee investigating allegations of rampant workplace misconduct within the Commanders’ organization and a subsequent sham investigation seemingly accepted by the NFL. Should Snyder comply with the subpoena, he will do so on the heels of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell having been grilled yesterday. And if Goodell’s experience is any indication of how intense it could get for Snyder, he better lather up in SPF 100 to withstand the Congressional spotlight. For you all, a kinder, more jovial "Spotlight" follows:    

    • No amount of glowing skin could shield Hailey Bieber’s skincare company Rhode (also Bieber’s middle name) from being haled into court to answer trademark infringement claims by an established fashion brand of the same name (Rhode). Of course, who could forget trademark specialist William Shakespeare’s time-honored words, “a Rhode by any other name would sound as sweet”?

    • Perhaps clearing the way for greater acceptance of cannabis-derived products, Major League Baseball became the first major sports league to allow teams to enter into sponsorship deals with cannabidiol (CBD) companies, provided that the companies’ products are certified by the NSF International as not containing detectable levels of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Translation: OMG the MLB said OK to CBD.

    • South Korean entertainment company and creators of “Baby Shark,” Pinkfong, launches a new NFT project based on (what else?) "Baby Shark." Apologies to those of you whose memories of listening to that song on repeat were just dredged up.   

Welcome back, and in case you’ve been living under a rock (unless it’s a "30 Rock"), two of the biggest sporting events will command millions upon millions of eyeballs for NBC this weekend with the Winter Olympics (already in full swing in Beijing) and the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl LVI due to kick-off on Sunday between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams (and Madison Avenue Agencies). However, at least for the time being, both Olympic and NFL news have largely been focused on matters taking place “outside the lines.” At the Olympics, a medal ceremony in figure skating was postponed for legal reasons – namely a member of the purported gold-medal winning Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team having a suspected positive doping test. Already on thin ice for widespread doping violations, one wonders whether ROC is once again up to its old tricks or whether this is an isolated incident by one triple (k)lutz. Or perhaps, whether the figure skating team will be heralded as mettlesome or admonished as medal-less. In the NFL, former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit alleging discriminatory hiring practices remains a hot button topic. Just this past week, we learned of Commissioner Roger Goodell voicing displeasure with the NFL’s lack of diversity in coaching and front office positions, while two of the NFL’s co-defendant teams, the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans hired minority coaches Mike McDaniel and Lovie Smith, respectively. Meanwhile, media mogul Byron Allen is rumored to be preparing a bid to buy the Denver Broncos (another co-defendant), and in so doing, make the Broncos the first Black-owned NFL team. While those moves – calculated or not – may undermine Flores’ case, in just two weeks, Flores’ taking a stand has seemingly sparked soul-searching, for which Flores should be commended. From Olympic torches and stadium lights, let’s jump into the "Spotlight."

    • How many comedians does it take to have streaming services pay joke-writing royalties just as they do songwriting royalties? With the Estates of George Carlin and Robin Williams, together with a handful of living court jesters suing Pandora, we may yet find out.
    • Mega singer-songwriter, Sia joins forces with a plant-based pet food company on a mission to tell traditional meat-based pet foods, “see ya.”
    • Although Amazon is far from an incumbent in the sports broadcasting space, in Al Michaels, they may be bringing aboard an industry veteran to handle its Thursday Night Football broadcasts. Waiting in the wings if Michaels doesn’t get the gig? Al-exa.
    • A digital plot of land in the metaverse neighboring Snoop Dogg’s sold for the low price of $450,000. Fitting that with respect to the metaverse, what some view as an investment, others see as money going “up in smoke.”

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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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