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February 1, 2024

Usher, NFL Collaborate on Exclusive Merchandise Collection for Super Bowl LVIII

On Wednesday, the NFL unveiled an exclusive capsule collection of Super Bowl LVIII merchandise co-designed with Usher, this year’s Apple Music halftime show performer. The “one-of-a-kind” line includes jerseys, hoodies, jackets, and t-shirts designed by Mitchell & Ness and New Era headwear in collaboration with clothing brand Just Don. Interested fans can also snag Riddell helmets or a limited-edition Wilson football. Products feature the purple and pink colorway seen across Super Bowl LVIII imagery alongside the iconic emblem that draws inspiration from Usher‘s diamond-studded “U” necklace. Items drop Feb. 7 and will be available for purchase on-site at the Usher Super Bowl LVIII Collection in Las Vegas at Super Bowl Experience, as well as online at nflshop.com/usher, newera.com, mitchellandness.com, and wilson.com.


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UMG Removes Popular Music Artists from TikTok in Ongoing Feud

Music from popular artists like DrakeBeyoncéJustin Bieber, and SZA is set to vanish from TikTok by the end of Wednesday after the short-form video app failed to agree to a new deal with Universal Music Group. The previous agreement between the parties expired at the end of January. In a statement shared early Wednesday, UMG said it would pull its tracks due to a lack of compensation for musicians and songwriters. “TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay,” UMG said in its statement. TikTok responded by accusing UMG of putting “their own greed above the interests of artists and songwriters.” Considered one of the three giants of global music companies, some of UMG’s licensed artists include The Beatles, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Adele, and many more.

Boardroom’s Michelai Graham has more on TikTok and Universal Music Group’s ongoing feud.

LeBron James Joins DraftKings as Talent Ambassador

In what they’re calling a “legendary team-up,” DraftKings announced Wednesday that LeBron James has joined the company as a talent ambassador in a multi-year deal that will see the NBA legend contribute around football and select key tentpole events. “We look forward to working with a passionate sports fan who shares the same competitive mindset that echoes throughout the walls at DraftKings while delivering exciting engagement opportunities to our customers and his loyal fanbase for years to come,” the company said in a statement. LeBron isn’t the first active athlete to link up with a sportsbook — Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has a deal with MaximBet, while Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid has a deal with BetMGM.

PGA Tour, Strategic Sports Group Agree to $3B Deal

The PGA Tour and Strategic Sports Group have reached an agreement in which SSG will invest up to $3 billion into the Tour’s new for-profit organization, PGA Tour Enterprises, it was announced Wednesday. The deal’s conditions mean that Strategic Sports Group, led by a Fenway Sports Group that includes multiple current US sports team owners, would invest $1.5 billion upfront with the possibility of another $1.5 billion coming later. The PGA Tour added that nearly 200 of its members would have access to a “first-of-its-kind” program that would permit them to become equity holders in PGA Tour Enterprises. Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, will also serve as a commercial adviser to this entity.

Byron Allen Submits $30B Offer to Take Over Paramount, Assume Debt

Comedian-turned-media mogul Byron Allen has made a $14.3 billion offer to buy all outstanding shares of Paramount Global, he confirmed through his media company on Wednesday. This deal would also mean that Allen Media Group assumes Paramount’s roughly $15 billion debt load, valuing the shares at about a 50% premium to their recent trading prices. “We have more than enough capital available to us. The real challenge is certainty of close,” Allen said to CNBC. “This deal lives or dies at the [Federal Communications Commission],” he continued. Allen, who has been in the mix for many deals over the years, including for BET, ABC, the Denver Broncos, and the Washington Commanders, said he has not yet received a response from Paramount concerning this most recent offer.

Leagues Cup 2024 Groups Set; Introduces Tiered Ranking System

Although we’re still many months away from the Leagues Cup, MLS recently revealed more details about the summertime soccer tournament. Once again featuring 47 clubs — 18 from Liga MX and 29 from MLS — the tournament will introduce a new tiered ranking system, as well as hubs for the highest-ranked Liga MX clubs to reduce travel. MLS teams will be ranked based on the 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield standings, while Liga MX clubs will be ranked based on the cumulative 34 matches in the 2023 Clausura and Apertura. As for scheduling,  reigning champions Inter Miami begin its title defense against Mexican powerhouse Tigres. The Leagues Cup kicks off on July 26 and concludes with a final on Aug. 25.

Utah Jazz Get In on Stanley Cup Craze with Merch Deal

The Utah Jazz captured one of the hottest partnerships in the game — the NBA franchise and highly-coveted reusable cup brand Stanley announced a multi-year deal. The partnership will bring Jazz-branded Stanley merchandise to the masses and support future joint activations, focusing on sustainability. The viral success of Stanley’s Quencher cups led the company to increase its annual revenue tenfold in just four years, from $70 million to $750 million in 2023.