Welcome back to the “Spotlight!” One of the many peculiarities of the English language is the phrase, “family business.” The phrase can refer to a business that is owned and/or operated by several family members. It can also refer to private matters generally dealt with amongst family members. More recently, in the sports world, “family” and “business” seem to have been colliding. A few weeks ago, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s brand management firm, Authentic Brands Group, opposed a trademark application by his son, Shaqir O’Neal’s representatives on the grounds that a trademark for Shaqir O’Neal would cause a likelihood of confusion with the elder O’Neal’s trademark for “Shaquille O’Neal.” This of course fits with Shaquille’s championing a work ethic to his children—“we ain’t rich, I’m rich.” For the famous parents out there, if it was not hard enough to agree with one’s partner on a baby son or daughter’s name, it seems you might also be wise to involve a trademark attorney in those discussions. Not to be outdone, after encountering difficulty obtaining a trademark registration for his name, NBA star Luka Doncic is embroiled in a dispute with his mother over her continued ownership of the registration for the trademark LUKA DONCIC7 (which was cited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as grounds for its registration refusal). The rub is that the trademark, LUKA DONCIC7 was previously obtained with Doncic’s consent. Doncic is seeking to revoke that consent and to argue that the registration should be cancelled both on those grounds and due to non-use. Peering into my crystal ball, the most likely winners in these sagas will be lawyers…and therapists. I guess such is life when your family business gets aired in the “Spotlight.”

  • Jack Daniel’s and McLaren Racing toast to an F1 sponsorship deal, because nothing goes together better than Tennessee whiskey and driving at 200 miles per hour.
  • Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake City inks a stadium naming rights deal with America First Credit Union, rebranding the Utah stadium, “America First Field” to the tune of about $100 million. With that money, the Club will be able to erect a wall around the borders of the field.
  • With a trademark filing for NFT-backed music, Sony Music Entertainment looks poised to separate itself from the pack and find new ways to separate consumers from their money with a pivot towards Web3 and the Metaverse.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

Open for Business: Betts Finds Niche in NIL Landscape

September 13, 2022 via The Park Cities People

Former Episcopal School of Dallas receiver adeptly balances college football with endorsements.

Jack Daniels Makes F1 Market Entry With McLaren

September 13, 2022 via Sport Business (subscription may be required)

McLaren has signed up whiskey brand Jack Daniel’s as a sponsor of its Formula 1 team. The multi-year deal will commence from the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

LIFEAID Beverage Co.® and FITAID Energy™ Beverage Line Secures Major Investment From Professional Football Talent

September 8, 2022 via PR Newswire

Acclaimed professional football player Budda Baker, a 2x All-Pro safety for the Arizona Cardinals, has become a shareholder in LIFEAID Beverage Co., investing a significant but undisclosed amount related to the FITAID Energy launch.

Musicians Joan Jett, Sia Invest $17.5 Million in Boulder Pet Food Company

September 8, 2022 via Yahoo! News

Bond Pet Foods Inc., a Boulder-based pet food startup that contains proteins made through a process of fermentation rather than meat, has closed on a $17.5 million Series A fundraising round, which included investment from musicians Joan Jett and Sia Isabelle Furler.

Shaquille O’Neal’s Brand Mgmt Impedes Son Shaqir From Applying for Trademark

July 30, 2022 via Black Enterprise

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s Authentic Brands Group has halted his youngest son Shaqir from trademarking his own name and likeness.


Luka Doncic Embroiled in Unusual Trademark Dispute With His Mother

September 13, 2022 via Yahoo! News

Luka Dončić wants control of his name under trademark law but someone he knows well is standing in his way is: his mom.

Real Salt Lake Inks Near $100 Million Naming Rights Deal, Among Tops in MLS

September 10, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)

MLS club Real Salt Lake signed a 15-year stadium naming rights deal with one of its original corporate partners, America First Credit Union.

NFL, Snapchat Unveil Augmented Reality Features for This Season

September 8, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)

The NFL app will add an augmented reality camera powered by Snap this season, as AR tech becomes a larger part of sports fan experiences.

Music Biz

BMI Announces Record-Breaking Revenue and Royalty Distributions

September 13, 2022 via PR Newswire

BMI reported record-setting revenue and royalty distributions for its fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022.

Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group Face Patent Infringement Suits Over High-Resolution Audio Agreements

September 9, 2022 via Digital Music News

Universal Music Group (UMG) and Warner Music Group (WMG) are officially facing patent infringement lawsuits from an entity called Blue Spike, which claims that the defendants violated its IP “when performing the MQA [Master Quality Authenticated] encoding process” to bring high-resolution audio to fans.

Sony, Chris Brown Escape Songwriter’s ‘No Guidance’ IP Suit

September 9, 2022 via Law360 (subscription may be required)

Sony Music and artist Chris Brown have been dropped from a songwriter’s copyright suit in Florida federal court over lyrics in chart-topper “No Guidance” after reaching an undisclosed stipulation, bringing an end to the case.

Film & TV

Report: LIV Golf Turned Down by Tech Giant for Being ‘Too Toxic’

September 14, 2022 via Larry Brown Sports

LIV Golf is looking for a broadcast partner in the United States, and at least one tech giant has reportedly turned down the opportunity to work with the Saudi-backed golf league.

Lions Gate, Bell Media Team on TV Development Deal

September 13, 2022 via Seeking Alpha (subscription may be required)

Lionsgate and Bell Media have teamed up for a co-development deal to produce comedy and drama television series for the global market, the two companies announced on the opening day of Content Canada.

LeBron Accused of Unsportsmanlike Conduct in Hockey Movie Lawsuit

September 12, 2022 via Sportico (subscription may be required)

Did LeBron James illegally interfere with a contract to adapt a book about hockey players into a movie? That depends in part on whether a “documentary” counts as a “motion picture” or “other audiovisual adaptation.”

Amazon Breaches TV’s Last Stronghold With $13 Billion Bet on NFL

September 9, 2022 via Bloomberg (subscription may be required)

When the National Football League’s regular season kicks off, millions of fans will settle into their easy chairs to watch America’s biggest, richest sport. But a different, multibillion dollar match will unfold a week later.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

How NFTs Drive the Future of the Music Industry

September 9, 2022 via Crypto Reporter

Without a doubt, NFTs have the potential to cause a great deal of upheaval across a variety of sectors.

Tom Brady NFT Experience Will Be an ‘Unprecedented Fan Journey’: Autograph C.E.O.

September 9, 2022 via Yahoo! News

Autograph Co-Founder and C.E.O. Dillon Rosenblatt explains the uniqueness of Tom Brady’s celebrity NFT for sports fans, NFT activity amid crypto winters, and the marketing of NFT engagement.

Sony Music Has Filed a Trademark to Release NFT-Backed Music

September 8, 2022 via The Cryptonomist

Sony Music, a U.S. company that represents one of the three largest record labels in the music industry, has filed an application for a trademark with the aim of releasing NFT-backed music, lyrics and videos.

Celebrities Are Facing Legal Ramifications From NFT Endorsements

September 6, 2022 via Dot LA

Celebs, like everyone else, just want to be in on what’s cool and new. In the last five to six years, that’s been cryptocurrency and NFTs.