Welcome back to the Spotlight! As we approach Labor Day Weekend here in the US, I became curious as to the origins of the federal holiday. Gather round, class – Mr. Bloomgarden has a history lesson to share. (Clears throat…) In 1894, President Grover Cleveland (my second favorite Grover to the blue Muppet and second favorite Cleveland to the city) signed into law a bill to make Labor Day a federal holiday to celebrate (traditionally via barbecues and parades) the contributions of American workers to the economy and society. Fast-forward some 129 years and—far from a celebration–we continue to have labor strikes by actors and writers that have ground new film and television production to a screeching halt. So, it is with rather conspicuous timing that five of the most prominent late night television hosts (Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver) have banded together to create a podcast “Strike Force Five” in solidarity with their respective writers’ rooms to comedically discuss (amongst other things) the strikes plaguing their industry. Commendably, the proceeds from the podcast will be distributed amongst each of the five talk shows’ writing staff to provide relief while the impasse continues. Hopefully, one of the most courageous acts we see post-Labor Day (close runner-up to wearing white) is that the writers, actors, networks and studios return to their sides of the negotiating table to iron out deals once and for all. Regardless, it is refreshing to see the Strike Force Five using their outsized platforms to support their workers.
- Brad Pitt’s Production Company Plan B Entertainment named a new President of Television – presumably because its first choice did not pan out.
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) continues to make substantial investments in sports – most recently investing $100 million in the mixed martial arts league, Professional Fighters League – in its push to become a sports mecca. I guess it is not enough to have the Mecca of meccas.
- Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls are in talks to sell naming rights to its stadium from Red Bull Arena. If anyone in the marketing department at The Toro Company or at Matador Travel Equipment is reading this, you’re welcome.
- Rapper Eminem puts the kibosh on Republican Primary candidate Vivek Ramaswany’s performance of his musical compositions at campaign events. Will be interesting to see if it is enough of a deterrent to one of his debate competitors saying, “nowadays Ramaswany wanna talk like he got somethin’ to say, but nothin’ comes out, when he moves his lips, just a bunch of gibberish…”
Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments
Area colleges making it easier for athletes to connect with NIL partners
August 31, 2023 via St. Cloud Times
Warning issued over TikTok ‘deepfake’ scams as people lose billions online
August 30, 2023 via Stoke Sentinel
Greenpeace releases animated video in campaign against fossil fuel sponsorship of Rugby World Cup
August 30, 2023 via The Independent
Oklahoma casino taps Dallas-area legends in new betting campaign
August 28, 2023 via Sports Business Journal
Tennis’ Big 3 And Serena Won 88 Majors And Made $2.5 Billion. A New Generation Is Ready For Their Shot.
August 27, 2023 via Forbes
Report: PFL Sells $100M+ Minority Stake to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund
September 1, 2023 via Bleacher Report
Pickleball went pro. Can it profit?
August 27, 2023 via Seattle Times
MLS’ Red Bulls in Talks to Sell Naming Rights to NJ Stadium
August 24, 2023 via Sportico
Universal Music Group Acquires Chabaka Music, UAE-Based Digitally-Focused Music Marketing and Distribution Agency
August 30, 2023 via Markets Insider
Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute Band Hits Back At Trademark Lawsuit: You Abandoned Your Name
August 30, 2023 via Billboard
Eminem sends Vivek Ramaswamy a warning: Don’t use ‘Lose Yourself’ on the campaign trail
August 29, 2023 via Los Angeles Times
Songwriter Groups Are ‘Extremely Disappointed,’ Still Want Answers About BMI’s Plans to Sell
August 29, 2023 via Billboard
Film & TV
Late-night hosts team up for ‘Strike Force Five’ podcast to benefit their out-of-work staff
August 31, 2023 via AP News
Indie Filmmakers Urge Senate IP Subcommittee to Take Caution in Considering Federal Right of Publicity
August 30, 2023 via IP Watchdog.com
Plan B Entertainment Taps Nina Wolarsky As President Of Television
August 28, 2023 via News Break