Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Hollywood Studio Miramax Sues Quentin Tarantino for Sale of “Pulp Fiction” NFTs

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Welcome back to the “Spotlight”! With Thanksgiving just around the corner (brace yourself, midsection), I wanted to pause to take a moment to reflect on all that for which I have to be thankful. Certainly my family, health and employment to name a few. But, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank my outstanding colleagues for their support in getting the “Spotlight” off the ground in its inaugural year. I literally could not have done it without you. In observance of Thanksgiving, I will be skipping next week’s edition but back at it (and presumably a little huskier) for the first week of December. In the meantime, grab a plate and allow me to serve you up a heaping portion of knowledge in this week’s “Spotlight.”

  • In a follow-up to the “Spotlight” blog post from just two weeks ago (don’t you love when that happens?) regarding director Quentin Tarantino’s sale of “Pulp Fiction” related NFTs, Hollywood film studio Miramax has sued Tarantino alleging that its rights are being infringed, notwithstanding Tarantino’s reserved rights in the film property. In other news, Quentin Tarantino probably will not soon be making films with a certain Hollywood film studio: Miramax.
  • In a follow-up to the “Spotlight” blog post from just three weeks ago (I’ve now likely lost my entire audience other than my wife and my parents), the Cleveland Guardians Roller Derby team have settled their lawsuit against the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball team. Financial details of the settlement are undisclosed, but both organizations will continue using the Cleveland Guardians name while not winning World Series championships. I’d say “there goes the Cleveland audience,” but neither my wife nor my parents are from Cleveland.
  • For the low price of $300 (roughly the cost of a beer and hot dog at a New York professional sports stadium/arena), you can own a piece of the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers. But before you jump at the thought of making money off the cheeseheads, you ought to read the fine print.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Top College Athletes Strategize How to Turn Their 'Brand' Into Financial Gains With New Sponsorship Deals
November 16, 2021 via CNBC - Business News
Aliyah Boston, a 20-year-old star who's top-ranked of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team, signed a deal with fast-food chain Bojangles — and got paid.

Astroworld Fallout: Nike Postpones Travis Scott Sneaker Launch
November 16, 2021 via RIA Novosti
Nike has postponed the release of sneakers created through a collaboration with rapper Travis Scott, marking the latest development in the aftermath of the deadly Astroworld music festival that the artist headlines.

Universities Want to Oversee How KY Student Athletes Profit Off Their Fame
November 15, 2021 via News Break - Top Stories
A proposal to allow Kentucky college athletes to make money from endorsements, autographs, advertisements and more will also give universities broad oversight of those ventures.

Darius Rucker’s NFL Fanatics Deal Spins Hootie Into Hoodies
November 15, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
Three-time Grammy winner Darius Rucker is teaming up with the National Football League and Fanatics to launch a new line of licensed NFL apparel.

Starbucks Customers Can Now Order Taylor Swift’s Favorite Coffee Drink
November 12, 2021 via Nation's Restaurant News
“We are never, ever, ever getting a regular caramel latte again.” Starbucks announced a partnership Friday with Taylor Swift in coordination with both Starbucks Red Cup season and the pop superstar’s release of her own version of her 2012 album, “Red.”

Blackpink's Lisa Launches Makeup Collection With MAC Cosmetics
November 12, 2021 via Asia Newsday
Lisa from Blackpink is on a roll. Not content with a hit solo album, endorsements for various brands in several countries and 66 million Instagram followers, the fashionista now has a makeup collection to call her own.

Dogecoin Is Getting a Credibility Boost From Celebrity Endorsements
November 11, 2021 via InvestorPlace - Stock Market News
DOGE crypto is having a "halo" effect from key business celebrities who propose using it as a means of payment in their business.

Tim Hortons Enlists Justin Bieber to Attract Younger Consumers
November 11, 2021 via MENAFN - Top Stories
To attract younger consumers and boost waning sales, Tim Hortons, under the umbrella of Restaurant Brands International (TSX:QSR.B), has teamed with popstar Justin Bieber to launch three new Timbit flavours — called "Timbiebs."

Dior's Entire Next Men's Collection Is a Travis Scott Collab – Now It's a Business Nightmare
November 11, 2021 via News Break - Top Stories
Fashion giant Dior decided to make its entire upcoming spring/summer menswear collection a collaboration with Travis Scott, co-branded with his Cactus Jack label, the company thought it was entering into an invaluable partnership with a youth-culture titan.

After Overturning the Recent NCAA Ruling, Rutgers Basketball Star Geo Baker Has Signed a Deal With Alva Fitness
November 11, 2021 via Atlanta New Online
Fifth year basketball star, Geo Baker isn't just the senior guard of the Scarlet Knights today. Rather, he is being coined as a Collegiate Culture Changer who played a key role in this year's historic decision by the NCAA and NIL to reverse to reverse their rules, which prohibited collegiate athletes to earn income through sponsorships and endorsements.

McDonald’s Gets Mariah Carey to Promote Holiday Meal Giveaway
November 10, 2021 via Crain's Chicago Business – News
Pop siren Mariah Carey is loaning her voice to McDonald’s roster of celebrity endorsers.

Canopy Growth's BioSteel Taps Woman's Basketball Prodigy Azzi Fudd as New Ambassador
November 10, 2021 via Benzinga
BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. announced Wednesday its latest collegiate athlete deal with women's basketball freshman phenom Azzi Fudd. Under the partnership, BioSteel takes the collegiate name, image and likeness (NIL) deals to the next level of endorsement, as Fudd agreed to become both a brand ambassador and partner of BioSteel.

U.S. Soccer’s New Nike Deal Is Its Biggest Ever Partnership
November 10, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
U.S. Soccer has extended its apparel partnership with Nike, a 10-year deal that is the largest — and longest — commercial partnership in the governing body’s history.

Made in Chelsea Star and YouTube Personality Secure £1.4 Million Seed Round to Expand Plant-Based Food Brand
November 16, 2021 via Business Leader
Made in Chelsea’s Verity Bowditch and former YouTube personality Mikey Pearce have raised £1.4 million in a seed round, to expand their new disruptive plant-based food brand, Clean Kitchen Club.


Sports

Fenway Sports Group Nearing Deal to Buy NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins
November 16, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
Fenway Sports Group is nearing an agreement to purchase a controlling stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cleveland Guardians Settle Lawsuit With Local Roller Derby Team Over Rights to Name
November 16, 2021 via ESPN
Cleveland will have two teams called the Guardians. The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller derby club have reached a resolution in a lawsuit filed over the use of the name Guardians, allowing both to continue using it.

Buying Packers ‘Stock’ is the Best Scam in Sports
November 16, 2021 via SB Nation
On Tuesday, the Packers opened up shares of their “common stock” for the first time in 10 years. It gives anyone the chance to say they’re part owner of an NFL team for the low, low price of $300.

Learfield Pivots to Pair Brands With School Logos and Athletes
November 16, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
For the first four months of the college NIL era, Learfield has stayed largely on the sidelines. Now the college multimedia rights giant is wading deeper into the budding industry.

First Command Is Proud to Partner With the Naval Academy Athletic Association
November 16, 2021 via Financial Buzz - Top Stories
First Command Financial Services, Inc., is proud to team up with the Naval Academy Athletic Association again this football season as part of a long-term sports sponsorship agreement benefiting the midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Rams? Bucs? Cowboys? Which NFL Team Has the Most Star Power? Here's Our Rankings
November 12, 2021 via Los Angeles Times- Sports News
The Rams are finally a celebrity team. As with the Lakers and Dodgers, and to some extent the Clippers, the Rams now have a roster that features guys whose fame extends beyond their on-field accomplishments.

UFC: the Story of a Passion Turned Into a Successful Business
November 12, 2021 via Entrepreneur Latest Articles
Today, November 12, is the 28th anniversary of the most famous league in mixed martial arts: the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Staples Center in Los Angeles Will be Renamed Crypto.com Arena
November 11, 2021 via NY Times
Cypto.com has bought the naming rights to the iconic Staples Center, soon to be called the Crypto.com Arena after Christmas.


Film & TV

MLS Takes on NFL Thanksgiving in Quest for TV Deal as EPL Looms
November 16, 2021 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
As preparations get underway for this weekend’s launch of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, the stateside soccer league looks to keep its regular-season ratings momentum going throughout the 13-match tournament. The postseason numbers are of particular interest this fall, as MLS prepares to lock in the most lucrative media rights contract in its 26-year history.

MGM International Television, Nordic Streamer Viaplay to Co-Develop, Produce English Original Series
November 10, 2021 via Hollywood Reporter
The partnership will kick off with Matthew Fox-starrer 'Last Light' and 'Billy the Kid' featuring Tom Blyth. MGM International Television Productions has signed a multi-year production and development deal with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) that will see the two companies develop and co-produce six English-language original international series for NENT.

Blackstone Says More Sports and Media Deals Are Coming
November 10, 2021 via Bloomberg Quint – Stories
Blackstone Group Inc. says the recent surge of investor interest in sports and media businesses is only the beginning.


Music Biz

Universal Music Sues Over Launch of 'Republic' Music Investment Platform
November 16, 2021 via Billboard
Universal Music Group, the owner of Republic Records, is suing an investment platform called Republic for trademark infringement over a recent expansion into music royalty streams.

Britney Spears Freed From Conservatorship Following Judge's Ruling
November 12, 2021 via CBC Canada - Top Stories
A California judge has terminated the conservatorship that has controlled pop superstar Britney Spears's life and money since 2008.

Spotify's Next Chapter Will Bring Audiobooks to the Streaming Service
November 12, 2021 via TechRadar News
Spotify's catalogue is set to expand, as the company has announced that it plans to acquire audiobook platform Findaway.

Blockchain-Crypto Start-Up UREEQA and Music Industry Innovator Kobalt Music Enter Agreement to Power UREEQAs New Music Publishing Administration Services
November 12, 2021 via Financial Buzz - Top Stories
UREEQA, a blockchain-crypto company that protects, manages and monetizes creative work, today announced that it has reached an agreement with recognized music innovator, Kobalt Music, to utilize Kobalt's one-of-a-kind intellectual property rights and content management platform to power UREEQA's new music publishing administration(MPA) services.

Jay-Z and Fragrance Firm's Lawsuits Thrown Out by Supreme Court
November 11, 2021 via Griffin Daily News
Jay-Z and fragrance firm Parlux's respective lawsuits against each other have been thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Sound Royalties CEO Alex Heiche Joins Music Copyrights Panel at North American Law Summit as Key Panelist
November 10, 2021 via PRWeb
Now in its 33rd year, The North American Law Summit delivers a four-day continuing legal education conference, focused on constantly evolving topics within entertainment, sports, media, and IP.

Anderson Paak Signs With PPL for International Neighbouring Rights Collections
November 10, 2021 via Music Week
Anderson Paak, the four times Grammy-winning US rapper, singer, producer and drummer, has signed with music licensing company PPL for the administration of his international neighbouring rights collections.


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Miramax Sues Quentin Tarantino Over ‘Pulp Fiction' NFT Project
November 16, 2021 via Hollywood Reporter
The director announced the project, which will include scenes from a script that were cut from the final movie, earlier this month. The film studio Miramax is suing director Quentin Tarantino over plans to release NFTs based on his 1994 film Pulp Fiction.

Crypto Blockchain Industries (CBI): First sale of NFTs for United at Home, the Charitable Initiative Cofounded by David Guetta
November 16, 2021 via GlobeNewswire – Financials
CRYPTO BLOCKCHAIN INDUSTRIES is announcing an exclusive NFT drop to support the charitable initiative, United at Home, cofounded by David Guetta, the world-renowned French music producer and DJ, as well as the creation of Beat Alphaverse, a virtual music world linked to Alphaverse, and a new investment in a talent representation agency, Blockchain Artists Agency, operating in the blockchain sector.

Are Sports Digital Collectibles a Winning Investment?
November 12, 2021 via Moneywatch CBS
Gone are the days when a sports buff walks into a store, buys a pack of Topps trading cards and stumbles upon a one-of-a-kind baseball collectible. Today's card collectors have shifted their attention — and dollars — to sports NFTs.

A First of its Kind Music Rights NFT SaaS Platform - Metaverse on The Blockchain
November 12, 2021 via Business - EIN Presswire (via Saint Marys Daily Press)
A United States-based music Blockchain tech company is trying to change how the music industry transacts and provides transparency by introducing a new music Blockchain SaaS (Software as a Service) ecosystem--powered by Blockchain Smart Contracts/NFTs, AI/Machine Learning, and a Metaverse.

For Universal's NFT Band, Music Is Second to Brand Identity
November 11, 2021 via CoinDesk – News
Kingship is a little like Gorillaz, but without the musicians. On Thursday, November 11, Universal Music Group (UMG) announced it had signed Kingship – not a musician, but a collection of four anthropomorphic NFTs.

Country Music Association to Release NFT Collection for its Latest Award Show
November 10, 2021 via The Block
The Country Music Association (CMA) has partnered with the NFT platform Solo Music to drop an NFT collection that celebrates the 55th annual CMA Awards Show.

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