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September 21, 2022

Aaron Judge Marches Towards History with 60th Home Run

Aaron Judge is running towards history. In a contract year, the Yankees slugger has done everything to ensure that he will secure the bag. He took yet another step in that journey last night as he blasted his 60th home run of the season, coming within one of the American League single-season record set by Roger Maris in 1961. 

Boardroom’s Shlomo Sprung dove deep into Judge’s quest for the Triple Crown. 

Future Sells Substantial Portion of His Catalogue in Eight-figure Deal

Future is riding high on the success of his most recent album, I Never Liked You. The Atlanta rapper has sold the publishing rights to the first 16 years of his career. The purchase spans the music he made between 2004 and 2020, to Influence Media in a reported eight-figure deal estimated to be worth $65-75 million. While the specifics are unknown, Influence Media confirmed the purchase via statement. The collection includes 612 songs, featuring hits like “Selfish,” “Jumpman,” and “Mask Off.”

Boardroom’s Nate Louis has all the details.

Nathan MacKinnon Tops NHL’s Highest Paid Players

The Colorado Avalanche just made Nathan MacKinnon the highest-paid player in NHL history. The team’s 27-year-old alternate captain signed an eight-year, $100.8M extension, topping the league at a $12.6 million AAV. MacKinnon’s previous deal saw him earn $6.3 million annually. His hefty raise is set to kick in at the start of the 2023-24 season.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo Returns to His Roots with WhatsApp Short Film

Giannis and WhatsApp are taking a journey to Nigeria. The popular messaging app announced its first-ever original short film, “Naija Odyssey. The film highlights the origin stories of NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Global head of marketing Vivian Odior stated,“‘Naija Odyssey’ is a story that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multifaceted lives. In navigating relationships, identity, and even adversity, WhatsApp is there — enabling you to embrace all sides of you by connecting you to those who matter most.” The film premiered last night with a special event in New York City.

NFL and HBCU Foundation Partner for Scholarships

The NFL and the HBCU Week Foundation have partnered to offer scholarships to incoming students at historically Black colleges and universities. The collective announced a fund that would provide high school students with scholarships to an HBCU of their choice. The NFL and HBCU initiatives kicked off in 2016, when the league began to construct genuine relationships and professional bridges with HBCU students with events such as the HBCU Open House and Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. 

Boardroom’s Randall Williams has the exclusive details on the initiative here.

NFT Collection Okay Bear Inks Licensing Deal with IMG

IMG has been appointed to exclusively license Okay Bear NFTs. Teaming up, the union will launch consumer products and experiences for holders. The Okay Bears project made $18 million in sales within 24 hours of its April 2022 launch and is available on OpenSea

YouTube to Pay Creators in Effort to Compete with TikTok

The battle of the short-form video platforms is underway. In an effort to keep up with TikTok, YouTube announced that it will share ad revenue with shorts creators. The precise amount will be determined by the number of video views, and will enhance the creative opportunities users have. Youtube chief product officer Neal Mohan shared that Shorts has 1.5 billion monthly users and averages 30 billion daily views.

Tina Thompson Leaps into the NBA as Trail Blazers Scout

The Portland Trail Blazers have hired a hoops legend to join their coaching team. The franchise revealed that WNBA legend Tina Thompson will join the team this season as a scout. During her 17-year WNBA career, Thompson notched four WNBA championship titles and nine All-Star appearances. After playing, Thompson served as the head coach of the University of Virginia women’s basketball team from 2018-2022 and was inducted into both the Women’s and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fames.

Kawhi Leonard Files Trademark For “Fun Guy”

Clippers’ five-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard is turning a viral moment into an opportunity. Many remember his famous laugh during his introductory press conference with the Raptors back in 2018 when he called himself a “fun guy.” According to attorney Josh Gerben, Leonard and his reps filed a trademark application for “Fun Guy” — identified to be used on sweatshirts and t-shirts. The 31-year-old New Balance hooper, used the slogan on t-shirts and billboards in 2019 and has several other trademarks pending.

Boardroom’s Anthony Puccio has more details on the filing.

HBO Announces ‘Linsanity’ Documentary

Jeremy Lin’s run with the Knicks during the 2012 season not only carved out a career for the NBA longshot. To this day, it remains one of the most improbable moments in basketball history. On Tuesday, HBO revealed the official trailer for the original documentary on the ascendance of the point guard, “38 At The Garden” — a nod to his 38-point performance in a win over Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. The documentary premieres on Oct. 11.

Motorola Becomes New Sponsor For The Bulls

The Chicago Bulls announced a multiyear deal with Motorola making them the official jersey patch partner. The new partnership will include several marketing initiatives, community service, digital assets, in-arena signage, and more. Motorola’s headquarters are located in downtown Chicago, which played a huge role in the deal, according to Bulls’ President Michael Reinsdorf. Motorola has somewhat owned the NBA jersey space for years — the Bulls are now the fourth team they’ve partnered with since the league incorporated sponsor-based logos on uniforms (Bucks, Pacers, Nets). 

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