President Joe Biden has accelerated the efforts to bring home Brittney Griner. CNN reports that President Biden’s administration has offered convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. Biden’s support for the trade-off overrides resistance from the Department of Justice, which is traditionally against prisoner trades. Today marks 161 days since Griner was detained in Russia for alleged hashish oil found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.
NFL’s Week 17 Boosts Ad Revenue to $4.4B
It pays to play. The NFL tallied $4.4 billion in ad revenue last season, fueled by the additional week of football added to its regular season. The number marks the highest in league history, making the league the most valuable media property in American sports. Ad prices reached around $600,000 to $800,000 for Sunday Night Football on NBC, with 75 of the league’s 100 games listed as the most-watched broadcasts in 2021.
Jessica Holtz Nets First WNBA Client with Elena Delle Donne
Jessica Holtz is having a summer to remember. First, she negotiated two of the top deals of NBA signing season, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker. Now Ramona Shelburne reports that Elena Delle Donne has signed with the mega agent. Delle Donne will become the first WNBA player signed to Holtz’s decorated list of clients at Creative Arts Agency which also includes Chris Paul, D’Angelo Russell, Paul George, and Mike Conley.
Gucci Dethrones Balenciaga as “Hottest Brand”
According to the Lyst Index‘s Q2 2022 report, Balenciaga has been overthrown by Gucci as the hottest fashion brand on the planet. Balenciaga, Prada, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton follow the Italian fashion house to round out the top five. The catalysts that propelled Gucci to the top spot were Harry Styles’ “Ha ha ha” collection and its successful collaboration with Adidas.
MTV VMAs Add ‘Best Metaverse Performance’ Category
MTV is breaking into the world of Web3. The company’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) announced a new category for the “Best Metaverse Performance” of the year. Like all honorees, the winning artist will receive MTV’s coveted Moon Man award for their metaverse performance. Nominees for the award are BLACKPINK, BTS, Charli XCX, Justin Bieber, Rift Tour (featuring Ariana Grande), and Twenty One Pilots.
Future Honored by RIAA for 95M Marker with Custom Plaque
Life is good for Future. The RIAA confirmed that the Atlanta rapper has sold 95 million units certified throughout his career thus far, achieving either Gold or Platinum status. RIAA noted that the figure combines US sales plus digital service streams. The achievement places him as a top producer of all time, and to commemorate the accomplishment RIAA gifted Future a signature plaque.
Grand Theft Auto 6 Highlights Female Playable Character
Grant Theft Auto and GTA Online games featured a female character, but not like they have traditionally been represented in the franchise. The upcoming Rockstar Games title will feature a female playable character in its campaign for the first time. The game will have two playable leading characters influenced by Bonnie & Clyde, which will take place in Vice City, a popular location in previous games.
Usher Toasts to Remy Martin Partnership Including NFTs
Usher is moving mountains for his fans in the world of spirits. The “Confessions” megastar recently announced a new partnership with cognac company Remy Martin. The collaboration, entitled “Usher x 1738 A.I. Powered,” will feature limited edition bottles designed by artificial intelligence that double as NFTs. Bottles will be available for purchase on July 29 and will be sold exclusively on BlockBar.
LIV Golf Incentivizes Players with Equity Offer
LIV Golf is providing additional financial lures away from the PGA Tour. The Saudi-backed organization already provides multimillion-dollar contracts and all-expenses-paid luxury travel, but now the organization is providing ownership. Reports emerged that suggest LIV will offer equity in their teams. As a result, LIV’s 48 players would receive enhanced earnings and profits from corporate sponsorships and licensing deals. The tour is also reportedly looking at a change in format, which would shift to a league style. The news comes as rumors swirl that Bubba Watson may be the next big name to make the leap.
Jackson Holliday Catches $8.19M Bonus as Orioles #1 Pick
Jackson Holliday is $8.19 million richer, thanks to the Baltimore Orioles and agent Scott Boras. As the top pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and the son of former 7-time All-Star Matt Holliday, the Orioles provided Jackson with the bonus as he treks through the minor leagues. Jackson becomes the third top overall pick in Orioles history.