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May 17, 2023

Kylian Mbappé Tops Forbes’ Top-paid Athletes Under 25

Few eclipse rare levels of success before they turn 25, but Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé’s accomplishments keep on growing. Forbes released its 2023 list of world’s highest-paid athletes aged 25 and under, and to no one’s shock, Mbappé tops the list. Over the last 12 months, the 24-year-old took home $100 million on the pitch and $20 million away from the pitch for a grand total of $120 million. Rounding out the top five is Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray with $70.5 million, Formula 1 racer Max Verstappen with $64 million, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland with $52 million and Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić with $47.2 million.


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San Antonio Spurs Secure First Pick as Wembanyama Sweepstakes Heat Up

The San Antonio Spurs secured the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Upon winning the lottery, it becomes an all but certain conclusion that the team will utilize the pick to lock up 19-year-old French sensation Victor Wembanyama. Spurs owner Peter J. Holt joyfully remarked, “It’s going to be unbelievable. Our future was already bright. Now it’s going to be through the moon.”

TikTok Unrolls Mental Health Awareness Hub

TikTok is unveiling a new mental health awareness hub to allow users to learn about topics on well-being, communicate with professionals, and back organizations that provide helpful resources. Account holders can access the platform by visiting the #MentalHealthAwareness hashtag page. As May rolls on, TikTok plans on highlighting 10 creators focused on making the app a safer space for members of all ages and has pledged $2 million in ad credits to groups aligned with similar initiatives.

Pat McAfee Utilizes Disney Upfronts to Confirm ESPN Move

After weeks of rumors, Pat McAfee is on the move. The former NFL kicker brokered a monstrous deal with FanDuel TV following the viral success of his show. Now, he’s breaking that agreement and will head to ESPN in what the New York Post is calling a “multimillion dollar blockbuster.” McAfee confirmed the news with an appearance at the Disney upfronts, where he told the crowd that he met with Bob Iger a few weeks ago to finalize the deal. “I will be joining the ESPN universe. We are so incredibly pumped, honored and thankful to be doing that,” he said. “They all very much understood that we need to embrace both what tomorrow is and what today is and I have the exact same vision.” The news comes as ESPN is in the midst of a major layoff as part of broader cost-saving efforts at Disney.

Francis Ngannou Steps Into the Ring With Professional Fighters League

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that boxer Francis Ngannou is set to join the Professional Fighters League in a dual role. The French-Cameroonian fighter will be the star of its “PPV Super Fight” division and will function as a strategic partner with equity cachet. Key highlights of the deal includes a brand ambassador role and an MMA contract valid for either two or three fights, a revenue share of not just revenue from premium live entertainment function, but other event-related profits like gate receipts, the right to pursue opportunities in boxing without the PFL’s direct involvement and more.


Boardroom’s Sam Dunn has more details on Ngannou’s new deal.

ESPN Serves Up Doc Series on Tennis Legend Serena Williams

In the wake of 10-part 2021 streaming documentary series Man in the Arena, an upcoming sequel is in the works. On Tuesday, ESPN and Religion of Sports announced that Serena Williams will be the focus of its next iteration. Serena’s journey from teenage phenom to an icon with 23 Grand Slam singles titles will play out in a multi-part series co-produced by ESPN, Religion of Sports, Brady’s 199 Productions, and Williams’ and Caroline Currier’s Nine Two Six Productions. RoS co-founder Gotham Chopra will direct the series just as he did for the Brady doc.


Boardroom’s Shlomo Spring has more details on Williams’ revealing docuseries.

Las Vegas Aces Face Sanctions

The Las Vegas Aces are losing their 2025 first-round draft pick and head coach Becky Hammon will be suspended for two games at the start of the 2023 season. The discipline comes after an investigation by the league determined that the defending champions violated league rules regarding “impermissible player benefits” and workplace protocols. In February, an initial report detailed that the organization offered under-the-table payments to current players and free agents they were trying to sign. WNBA player Dearica Hamby shared via social media back in January that she was “traumatized” by the “unprofessional and unethical way” that she was treated after sharing she was expecting a child and her subsequent trade to the Los Angeles Sparks. Hamby added the Aces falsely accused her of signing an extension while knowingly pregnant.

Comcast CEO Teases Upcoming Hulu Sale

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Tuesday the telecom company will probably sell its 33% stake in Hulu to Disney at the beginning of next year. When the two reached an agreement in 2019 that allowed Disney the option to buy out Comcast’s minority stake in 2024, it set Hulu’s bottom valuation at $27.5 billion. Per Roberts, the final price will likely be higher. Hulu recorded 48.2 million subscribers at the conclusion of Disney’s fiscal second quarter. While Comcast owns a minority stake in Hulu, it has no operational control over the brand.