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January 18, 2022

Microsoft to Purchase Activision Blizzard in $68.7B Deal

Microsoft is positioned to be the third-largest video game company with the announcement of its plans to purchase Activision Blizzard, which is behind hit games including the Call of Duty franchise. Activision Blizzard was founded in 2008 with the merger of Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games, but has had a tumultuous year after multiple accusations of workplace harassment surfaced. Early reports indicate that Microsoft will purchase the company at $95 a share, making the deal worth $68.7 billion.

Crypto.com Temporarily Stalls Transactions After Threat

A costly rumor led Crypto.com to freeze wallets on Monday for 14 hours. Officials initially thought that over $16 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from wallets after users flagged unauthorized usage. However, further investigation disputed this rumor, according to the company’s CEO Kris Marszalek. In order to further protect users’ wallets, the company has enabled two-factor identification as an enhanced security measure.

Airbnb Co-founder Joe Gebbia Joins Spurs as Strategic Partner

The Airbnb co-founder has always loved the game of basketball. Joe Gebbia told Boardroom‘s Rich Kleiman last month that he founded the basketball team at his alma mater, the RISD Balls. Now he’s looking to level up his game, announcing on Tuesday that he has purchased a minority stake in the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have experienced a number of ownership moves in the last several months following Peter J. Holt‘s takeover as managing partner in June of last year.  

Listen to the full OOO episode here.

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Patrick Mahomes, Issa Rae Featured in Star Studded Twitter Campaign

Turns out that Twitter can help you manifest your dreams. The social media platform is launching a new ad campaign featuring athletes and celebrities — including Patrick Mahomes, Bubba Wallace, Megan Thee Stallion, Issa Rae, and Demi Lovato — on billboards with past tweets of theirs predicting their future greatness. For Mahomes, it was a 2013 tweet wondering what it felt like to be the quarterback who just won the Super Bowl. Seven years later, he and the Kansas City Chiefs found out after beating the San Francisco 49ers to win it all.

PUMA Makes Metaverse Moves

PUMA is entering the metaverse. The company filed three trademark applications indicating virtual goods – including clothing and footwear – and a PUMA-branded online environment with streaming/live streaming of content and events. The filings are for the PUMA brand & logos. The sportswear brand has a deep bench of young ambassadors that includes LaMelo Ball, Deandre Ayton, and Mikey Williams each of whom is well-positioned to bring its youth consumer base with them to the metaverse.

GMoney and his Signature Cryptopunk Rock the Prada Catwalk in Milan

NFT collector GMoney made his high fashion debut on Monday, walking the catwalk for Prada at Milan Fashion Week. The luxury fashion house flew in a number of Tik Tok influencers and leaned into alternative technologies as it presented its Spring/Summer line. Assets from the show superimposed GMoney’s Cryptopunk over his face, as he does on his social media accounts. GMoney made headlines last year when he paired with Adidas for its metaverse launch. 

Teqball Inks ESPN Deal

What’s Teqball? The sport blends soccer and ping pong and has become a favorite training mechanism for international footballers, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. ESPN announced on Monday that it has purchased broadcast rights for the upcoming the 2022 US Teqball Tour, and will feature six highlight shows spotlighting the action. 

Super Bowl Tackles NFTs with Tickets

Heading to LA for the Super Bowl? If so, you’ll receive a digital collectible to commemorate the big game. The NFL will offer each attendee at this year’s big game a personalized non-fungible token ticket customized with their seat number. This isn’t the league’s first foray into ticket NFTs, but it will definitely be the most high profile. The NFL began offering such tokens to fans who purchased their tickets for select games through SeatGeek, StubHub, or Ticketmaster. The league has distributed a total of 250,000 overall to date and anticipates continuing to evolve the functionality of NFT tickets in the future.

Women’s Hockey Gets Historic $25M Investment

The Premier Hockey Federation announced on Tuesday that it had received a game-changing $25 million investment funded by its Board of Governors. The women’s hockey league released a statement revealing the investment, which will support league expansion, facility updates, and expanded compensation and benefits for its players. The league rebranded from the National Women’s Hockey League last year. 

Genius Sports Expands Bet365 Partnership

Genius Sports had a huge 2021, negotiating data deals with a wide range of partners including the NFL and MLB. The data company revealed on Tuesday that it has extended its partnership with the sportsbook bet365. The deal includes live streaming, official data, and fan engagement opportunities.  

Giannis Antetokounmpo Files Suit Over “Greek Freak” Infringement

The 27-year-old two-time NBA MVP filed a suit against Leaf Trading Cards LLC in federal court on Monday in the Southern District of New York for trademark infringement via unauthorized use of his world-famous “Greek Freak” nickname. Giannis has reportedly filed nearly 50 lawsuits over the last two years against individuals or companies who have improperly used his trademark nickname. Just last month, Antetokounmpo won a similar trademark infringement lawsuit against a pair who sold “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34k” items on Etsy.

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