Strange as it may be, with vast majority of the world still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are on the eve of the opening ceremony for the "2020" Tokyo Summer Olympics. Olympic games in "normal" times are logistical feats involving tons of preparation and organization. Pair that with the challenge of trying to prevent a full-blown outbreak of COVID-19 (and potential losses in the tens-of-billion-dollars range) in a densely populated country seeing a new surge of cases, and you have Olympic officials in dire need of Japanese whisky. While these Olympics will be held without the usual crowds in attendance, making for another eerie sight (unless you're used to watching Mets games), the risks of holding the Games still remain high. Hopefully, the Games go on without a hitch and will highlight their virtues of human resiliency and cooperation on the global stage, but I, like many others, cannot help but wonder about the further propagation of this virus, and whether we would be better served to stay on the sidelines just a little longer. Besides, I generally favor spotlights over torches.

 ...Which reminds me, it's time to dive in to the Spotlight for this week:

  • Although PGA Tour golfer  Bryson DeChambeau missed the cut in The Open Championship last weekend, in declaring "my driver sucks," he did an excellent job reminding brands of the importance of including non-disparagement clauses in endorsement agreements and public relations teams of the importance of...well, not having your client say a product that he/she endorses sucks.
  • New York Giants star running back (and rightful owner of massive quadriceps) Saquon Barkley is the latest sports figure to embrace cryptocurrency, announcing that all of his endorsement deals will be paid in Bitcoin. Perhaps an omen that Bitcoin will quadruple in value.
  • Perhaps in a shameless attempt to lure college football recruits with the specter of name, image and likeness marketing potential, University of Alabama Coach Nick Saban announced that the team's quarterback, Bryce Young, had already scored about one million dollars in endorsement deals. Not bad for a kid who has not played a single down for his team.
  • From virtual runners to virtual runways, athletic apparel brand ASICS and luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana, each announced their own NFT collections.

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