Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: Cashback Rebate Company Ibotta Re-Ups its Jersey Sponsorship Deal With the New Orleans Pelicans

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Welcome back to the “Spotlight” and to the best season, Autumn (nine out of 10 dentists agree). The Sun is setting earlier and the mercury in our thermometers is falling. Ironically, majority owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury franchises, Robert Sarver appears to be in the midst of a sunset and falling of his own. Indeed, one week after being smacked down with a $10 million dollar fine and one year ban on NBA and WNBA activities after an independent investigation revealed a systemic pattern of sexual harassment and racially-charged language in the Suns and Mercury front office, Sarver appears to be succumbing to public pressure to do what many believe should have been forced upon him by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: sell the franchises. Whether the impetus for this action was some sort of intervention by fellow owners, Sarver’s coming to grips with his conscience, or maybe even the realization that sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace is…not great for business, the decision to sell the teams is shocking, but not surprising. Most perplexing, however, is how and why this history—not unique to the world of sports—keeps repeating itself. As it is said, pride comes before the fall, just as wordplay comes before (and during) the “Spotlight:”

  • Cashback rebate company Ibotta re-ups its jersey sponsorship deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. Too bad Abbott and Costello aren’t around to do an “Ibotta jersey” routine.
  • Kanye “Ye” West terminates his YEEZY Gap partnership deal with Gap, Inc. that was supposed to have been a long-term fruitful partnership for the pair. Sounds like the perfect opening for a Gap x Pete Davidson deal.
  • Originally a star of the 2000s, Christina Aguilera is keeping up with the times by filing for NFT and metaverse-oriented trademarks. The applications are likely to withstand U.S. Patent and Trademark Office scrutiny, on account of they are beautiful in every single way, and words cannot bring them down.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Complete SET Agency Delivers NIL Representation of NCAA Student Athletes
September 20, 2022 via Yahoo Finance
Complete SET Agency is pleased to announce its latest initiative: name, image, and likeness (NIL) representation of NCAA student athletes.

Pelicans, Ibotta Renew Jersey Sponsorship Deal
September 16, 2022 via Sport Business
The National Basketball Association's New Orleans Pelicans and mobile rewards platform Ibotta have renewed their jersey sponsorship agreement for a further three seasons.

Kanye West's Yeezy Terminates Deal With Gap: 'A King Can't Live in Someone Else's Castle'
September 15, 2022
Kanye West, who goes by Ye, said Thursday he's terminated the contract between his company Yeezy and Gap Inc.

Barstool Joins NIL Marketplace Race With Massive Athlete Network
September 14, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Barstool Sports is launching an endorsement deals marketplace, called TwoYay, for college athletes.

NBA Superstar Stephen Curry Reportedly Close to Signing $1 Billion Lifetime Deal With Baltimore-Based Under Armour
September 14, 2022 via Mercury News
Under Armour athlete and NBA superstar Stephen Curry is reportedly close to reaching a potentially $1 billion lifetime extension of his contract with the Baltimore-based athletic apparel brand.


Sports

Sarver Announces Plans to Sell Suns, Mercury
September 21, 2022 via ESPN
Owner Robert Sarver, citing an "unforgiving climate" following his suspension and fine for racist and misogynistic remarks, announced his plans to sell the NBA's Suns and WNBA's Mercury.

Motorola Adds Chicago Bulls to NBA Jersey Patch Portfolio
September 20, 2022 via Sport Business
The National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls have named Illinois-based consumer electronics and telecommunications company Motorola as the team's new jersey patch sponsor in a multi-year agreement from the 2022-23 season.

NFL Player Stock Market Launches in New Jersey
September 19, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Mixing sports gambling, fantasy competition and stock market mechanics, Mojo launches in New Jersey Monday with $100 million raised to date.

MLB Has Awarded Teams International Marketing Rights, Similar to NFL
September 16, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Major League Baseball is dividing up international markets among its franchises, giving teams new commercial rights in specific areas around the globe, according to multiple people familiar with the plan.

Nike’s New World Cup Kits Aren’t Leaving Fans Impressed
September 16, 2022 via Guardian Liberty Voice
Some USMNT players had a sneak peek at and even got to model the clothes they’ll wear in November before Nike released the 2022 World Cup kits on Thursday, even before the jerseys leaked last month.


Music Biz

Kanye West Insists His Music Is Being Sold Without His Knowledge: I'm ‘Just Like Taylor Swift'
September 21, 2022 via News Break
Kanye West, 45, alleged that his music catalog, worth an estimated $13.25 million in annual publishing royalties, is being sold without his permission.

Future Sells Song Publishing Catalog to Influence Media Partners: ‘An Artist of the Ages'
September 20, 2022 via Billboard
The catalog includes such titles as Future's Hot 100 Top 10 hit “Mask Off” and his collaborations with Drake on songs like “Jumpman” and “Life Is Good,” the latter peaking at number two on the January 25, 2020 Hot 100 chart.

Bang Drink Maker Sanctioned in IP Suit Over Deleted Videos
September 14, 2022 via Law360 (subscription may be required)
A Miami federal magistrate judge penalized Bang Energy Drink maker Vital Pharmaceuticals for failing to preserve internet videos that Sony Music Entertainment says contains its songs, awarding it yet-to-be-determined attorney fees in a copyright infringement suit.


Film & TV

Greg Norman Says LIV Golf is Receiving 'Enormous' Interest in Media Rights Contract
September 16, 2022 via Bleacher Report
LIV Golf is only available to watch through YouTube streaming, but that could change as the organization negotiates television rights for future events.

Genius Sports Inks Amazon Football Broadcast Deal
September 16, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
Genius Sports’ Second Spectrum has signed a deal with Amazon to provide augmented video technology and data-related services in connection with an alternate feed of Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football NFL broadcast in the U.S.

Report: Apple, Amazon Both Passed on Contract For LIV Golf Media Rights
September 15, 2022 via Bleacher Report
Two major streaming platforms reportedly turned down the chance to acquire the media rights to LIV Golf.


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Golden State Warriors Co-Owner Launching NFT-Powered Sports Prediction Game
September 21, 2022 via Yahoo Finance
Hellebore Founder and C.E.O. Nick Swinmurn introduces his NFT game Play Hellebore, a fantasy sports-style platform that lets users predict the outcome of professional sports games for blockchain-based prizes. Plus, how to make the game more accessible for users who are not as familiar with NFTs.

Christina Aguilera Applies for NFT and Metaverse Trademarks
September 21, 2022 via Crypto News Australia
Pop singer Christina Aguilera has filed trademarks related to NFTs and the Metaverse with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

PGA Tour Announces NFT Partnership, With Revenue Going to the Players
September 19, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)
The PGA Tour officially announced a partnership with NFT company Autograph on Monday, with plans to launch a digital collectible platform early next year and distribute all of its revenue from the program directly to its member players.

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