Live from New York it's...wait, that's not right. Two weeks off, and I've forgotten how I open these...ah, yes...

Welcome back (both to me and to you) to the "Spotlight." I would love to be able to say that my batteries are fully charged having been on family "vacation" on a beach, but I did not get as much rest and relaxation as I was hoping for. I will have to chalk it up as a learning experience, but traveling (let alone parenting) with two young children — in the midst of a pandemic, no less — is really hard. That this vacation was actually a trip is something I should have seen coming.

Something we regrettably all should have seen coming following "The Slap" at this year's Academy Awards, was more on-stage violence directed at a stand-up comedian. This time, it was Dave Chappelle on the receiving end of an audience member's attempted tackle in the middle of Chappelle's set at The Hollywood Bowl during the "Netflix is a Joke" comedy festival. The motives of the assailant are unknown at this time, but it would not be farfetched to wonder whether the attacker was someone offended by Chappelle's jokes. Call me old fashioned, but I remember a time when people would respond with words — not violence —when someone did not like a comedian's jokes. Indeed, there is even a special title reserved for such a person in stand-up comedy: "a heckler." Here's hoping that for comedy's (and safety's) sake, these are mere blips.

Another thing we all could have seen coming?

In the vacuum created by the glacial, molasses slow (with apologies to glaciers and molasses) National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), college athletes would start using name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities as leverage to create a bidding war for their athletic talents, while deep-pocketed alums would seek to create such opportunities as an incentive to come play at their alma mater. What has arisen bears close resemblance to free agency in professional sports, and has led some to conclude these are disguised pay-for-play schemes in violation of NCAA amateurism rules. This came into sharp focus when a collegiate athlete's agent made the proclamation that his client would transfer to another school unless he gets more NIL dollars. Less clear is how, if at all, the NCAA will act to curb this phenomenon.

That all being said, you would be kidding yourself if you did not see this week's Spotlight  coming down the pipe:

Power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé make waves in the food and beverage industry as Mr. Carter-backed catering platform wades into healthy snacks ,and Mrs. Carter turns her "Lemonade" into a sizable investment in lemon water beverage company Lemon Perfect.

  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the music industry continue to be a burgeoning area as John Legend's music NFT platform OurSong is well on its way to having its valuation "Get Lifted" with a $7.5million seed round.
  • Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter may open the door to new marketing opportunities — with the sports industry standing to benefit handsomely. That is, unless unfiltered misinformation propagated throughout the platform leads to the unraveling of civilization as we know it.

...on that happy note, see you next week! 😊 

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