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August 22, 2023

Luka Dončić Giving Slovenia the Docuseries Treatment

As Slovenia prepares to compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this week, Luka Dončić is chronicling the team’s journey with a short-form docuseries that will be released in real-time. Designed to be consumed on your mobile device, Everything It Takes acts as the first project to come from the Dallas Maverick star’s newly launched production company, 77X. “I am proud to share the story of my national team, especially my teammates, and to shine a light on Slovenian basketball and what it means to me,” Dončić said, via Variety. “It’s more than just what we do on the court. It’s about the brotherhood, the heart of our team, the passion of our fans and the love for our country.” Slovenia faces off against Venezuela in its first group-stage game on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 a.m. ET.


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NFL Nixes Panini Contract, Accelerates Fanatics Relationship

In a surprising move, the NFLPA has rendered its relationship with Panini null and void. The news came late Monday via an official email from the players association to contract advisors. The message went on to state, “Effective immediately, Fanatics has the exclusive rights to make NFLPA-branded trading cards.” This move comes three years ahead of the scheduled transition, which was first announced in August 2021 and was supposed to take root ahead of the 2026 NFL season.

Scottie Scheffler Becomes First PGA Golfer to Top $20M in a Season

A year after setting the PGA Tour’s single-season earnings record at $14 million, Scottie Scheffler has broken his own achievement. The Texas-raised golfer has officially crossed the $20-million earnings threshold, having received over $21 million in prize money this season. Seven years ago, fellow decorated golfer Jordan Spieth became the first Tour athlete to collect $12 million in earnings. Scheffler isn’t the only athlete to cash in on lucrative rewards this season — Jon Rahm cleared $16.5 million, Viktor Hovland came in third with $14.1 million, and Rory McIlroy sits in fourth with $13.9 million in earnings. Scheffler also took home the biggest single payday on the PGA Tour this year — $4.5 million for winning the Players Championship in March.

Women’s World Cup Sets New Record, Sells 1.98M Tickets

It was an incredible month of football down under. While Spain hoisted the championship trophy for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the wins were felt worldwide. The Athletic reports that this year’s event sold 1.98 million tickets over the month, outkicking projections by more than 500,000. The final game brought in 75,784 fans alone. These figures do not include the 750,000 individuals who attended the surrounding fan-fare events as well. FIFA also reports that social media performance increased more than 1500% over the 2019 tournament.

YouTube Partnering with Music Industry, UMG to Tackle AI Challenges

In an effort to determine monetization opportunities for both companies and creators, YouTube is partnering with record labels like Universal Music Group to establish rules for how AI-generated music functions on its platform. Per a blog post from CEO Neal Mohan, YouTube said it will invest in building its rights management system Content ID, update its policies on uploading manipulated content, and use generative AI tools to help identify videos that violate its guidelines. “Our goal is to partner with the music industry to empower creativity in a way that enhances our joint pursuit of responsible innovation,” Mohan added. Per the exec, there have been more than 1.7 billion views of videos related to AI tools on YouTube this year alone.

National Cinema Day to Offer $4 Tickets for Movie Buffs

Want to see what the Barbie hype is about? Or maybe you’re interested in a history lesson through the cinematic lens of Christopher Nolan on a budget? Well, mark your calendars for the second annual National Cinema Day. The celebration is scheduled to return on Aug. 27 with movie tickets retailing for just $4. This goes for all films, in all formats, at any time. Per the Associated Press, more than 3,000 theaters nationwide are participating, including the popular chains AMC and Regal. Midnight showings, late Saturday into Sunday morning, will also be available at select theaters. For more information, visit NationalCinemaDay.org.