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Jewish News Syndicate Commentary: Anti-Defamation League ‘Smeared’ NLPC

NLPC

Elle Krasne-Cohen has come to the defense of National Legal and Policy Center in an opinion piece distributed by the Jewish News Service titled, “When Will the ADL Start Fighting Antisemitism on the Left?” She points to the Anti-Defamation League’s embrace of causes like Black Lives Matter and juxtaposes it with an incident closer to home for NLPC: More recently, the ADL smeared two mainstream policy organizations—the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) and the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)—accusing them without evidence of antisemitism. The ADL claimed that mere criticism of “globalism” or “globalist organizations,” including the antisemitic United Nations, is an “antisemitic dog whistle.” Krasne-Cohen continues: The NCPPR and NLPC are mainstream organizations, neither of which, to my knowledge, has displayed antipathy towards Jews or any other racial or religious minority. The smear was in the form of a posting on the ADL website on November 21 titled “Conspiracy Theories, Some With Antisemitic Roots, Crop Up in 2023 Shareholder Proposals.” The post appeared only six weeks after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, while antisemitic incidents and demonstrations were exploding worldwide. Why the ADL would devote time and resources to attacking NLPC, which has a long history of fighting antisemitism, was completely baffling to us. Equally baffling, the hit piece was dropped as the Thanksgiving holiday was getting underway. It was almost as if the ADL wanted the story out but didn’t want anyone to report it. The strategy, if it existed, worked because no one else covered it. Even more weirdly, the post itself carried this all-purpose disclaimer that tended to negate the impression that every other word of the post was calculated to create: At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that either organization’s agents espouse overt antisemitism, or that these proposals were filed with antisemitic intentions. So what is going on here? What was behind the attempted smear of NLPC and our ally, the National Center for Public Policy Research? Could it be that the ADL just doesn’t like us filing shareholder proposals, a form of activism dominated for many years by the Left? Krasne-Cohen and a number of other Jewish commentators and activists are making this case that the ADL, under the “leadership” of former Obama White House staffer Jonathan Greenblatt, has devolved into an ideological and partisan tool. ADL’s hit and run on NLPC was actually quite clever. Even if no one paid any attention to it when it was published, whoever wrote it (the piece is unsigned) sought to plant it on the internet for anyone to find for years to come. Any journalist seeking to discredit us can now simply describe NLPC as a “group that, according to the ADL, promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories.” It was a nice try but it is not going to work. NLPC’s track record of fighting antisemitism over many years is just too strong. Indeed, while the ADL has been sanitizing antisemitism by partnering with the likes of Al Sharpton, NLPC has been consistent, resolute and effective. To wit: Ben & Jerry’s - When the Unilever subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end ice cream sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” NLPC swung into action, launching the StopBenandJerrys.org website. In September 2021, NLPC filed a Complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against Anuradha Mittal, the anti-Israel chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board of directors. A few weeks later, she was named 2021 “Antisemite of the Year” by the website StopAntisemitism.org. Mittal appeared to have violated laws governing self-dealing by acting as a trustee of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation while approving donations to her personal nonprofit where she is executive director taking a full-time salary. Also, the president of Ben & Jerry’s charitable foundation, Jeff Furman, steered more than $100,000 of its funds to his own nonprofit organization. In the wake of October 7 Hamas attack, Flaherty wrote an op-ed titled, “Unilever, Ice Cream and Antisemitism.” Unilever Divestment - NLPC was a proponent of Unilever divestment efforts in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia. From the September 16, 2021, New York Times: “We are doing this because somebody has to hold the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for their anti-Semitic use of their platform and company resources,” said Tom Anderson, a director of the National Legal and Policy Center. NLPC collaborated with activist investor Michael Asher in support of Unilever divestment by New York State and New York City. In Virginia, Flaherty met with State Attorney General Jason Miyares and urged him to seek divestment of state funds from Unilever. In North Carolina, NLPC asked Treasurer Dale Folwell requesting divestiture of Unilever holdings in public pension funds. Black Lives Matter & Patrisse Cullors - As a result of original NLPC research, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founder Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign from the group in 2021. NLPC’s allegations, detailed in a Complaint to the IRS, related to her purchase of four pieces of real estate, and apparent self-dealing and inurnment. NLPC has also emphasized Cullors’ 2015 call at Harvard Law School for individuals to “step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel.” NLPC was early in reporting about Black Lives Matter’s (BLM) links to anti-Israel groups. In 2016, Carl Horowitz, then a member of the NLPC staff, wrote a website post titled “Black Lives Matter Activists Join Anti-Israel Boycott.” Following October 7, NLPC asked Visa, Inc. to remove its BLM endorsement from its website and condemn Hamas and antisemitism. We had raised the BLM issue earlier in the year at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. NLPC had also raised the issue of Coca-Cola’s support for BLM at the company’s annual meeting. ADL’s Omar Resolution - NLPC has been a persistent critic of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Talib. While we have cited financial irregularities in a Federal Election Commission complaint against Ocasio-Cortez and a House Ethics Committee complaint against Omar, NLPC has also criticized hostility to Jews by these members. In 2019, NLPC endorsed and publicized the ADL-initiated House resolution condemning Omar. See this op-ed titled “Antisemitism and Islamophobia: No Moral Equivalence” by Horowitz. Foreign Funding of U.S. Higher Education - The recent spate of on-campus antisemitic incidents has shed light an issue on foreign financial support for American colleges and universities, an issue that NLPC has investigated and publicized for several years. See this column by Charles Gasparino that extensively quotes NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar. Al Sharpton - Whereas the present leadership of the ADL has sought to erase Sharpton’s past, NLPC will not forget his incitements in the 1991 Crown Heights riots, in which a Jew was murdered, nor will we forgive his dangerous statements, such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Sharpton was fined $285,000 in 2005 by the Federal Election Commission as a result of an NLPC Complaint for running an “off the books” presidential campaign. For several years, NLPC raised the issue of support for Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) at the shareholders’ meetings of American corporations, including PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive. Unlike the ADL, NLPC has never used the fight against antisemitism as a partisan weapon. In 2010, NLPC objected to the sponsorship of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual meeting by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the participation of then-RNC Chairman Michael Steele. In 2009, NLPC asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to end his partnership with Sharpton in a campaign for “education reform.” That same year, NLPC criticized then-President George W. Bush for praising Sharpton. Jesse Jackson - In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange ended its financial support for Jackson’s Citizenship Education Fund, in response to a demand by NLPC that cited Jackson’s 1984 “hymie” and “Hymietown” comments, as well as financial improprieties involving the Fund. And if none of this is good enough for the ADL, it should be noted that NLPC has many Jewish supporters, including prominent individuals and former government officials, several of whom serve on the boards of local and national Jewish organizations. From 2001 to the time of his death in 2019, Edward M. Ackerman of Dallas was a key advisor and major donor to NLPC. His legacy is carried on today by NLPC and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. The ADL itself has partnered with the Ackerman Center. Founded in 1991, the National Legal and Policy Center promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. Contact Details National Legal and Policy Center Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 drene@nlpc.org Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

March 01, 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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CSD Social Venture Fund and Gallaudet University Present "Holographic Horizons: Bridging the Educational Divide" at SXSW

Communication Service for the Deaf

CSD Social Venture Fund and Gallaudet University have partnered with Proto Inc., to utilize Proto’s “Epic” holoportation technology as a groundbreaking tool in delivering lifelike, interactive American Sign Language (ASL) education for students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. "Deaf education is on the brink of a transformative leap, where geographical, socioeconomic, and communication disparities will no longer be barriers to quality learning," said Rosa Lee Timm, Division President of CSD Social Venture Fund. “Epic allows students to see and interact with remote instructors as if they are present in the same space, making it an inclusive environment that celebrates and nurtures diversity.” The demo and event, “Holographic Horizons: Bridging the Educational Divide” is set to debut at the Southwest (SXSW) festival on March 4th, 2024, led by panelists Rosavetta Jackson, CSD Social Venture Fund Program Manager; Topher Myers, an educational technology expert; and Dr. Laurene E. Simms, a leading voice for inclusive learning. The panelists will discuss how the Epic holoportation device from Proto Inc can serve as a medium for improving educational accessibility, including how it allows for greater clarity of information exchanged in ASL due to its usage of 3D space over more traditional 2D spaces found in video conferencing platforms. Epic’s lack of physical proximity will be highlighted to show how it opens doors to unimaginable use within the realm of universal design in classroom environments, creating far more learning opportunities and accessibility for students affected by inequity and geopolitics. For more information and to register for the event, please visit: https://sxswedu.com About CSD Social Venture Fund Founded in 2017, the CSD Social Venture Fund aims to support Deaf entrepreneurs in creating jobs, breaking down barriers, and serving as positive representations within the Deaf community. By investing in Deaf-owned businesses and providing resources for entrepreneurs, they seek to strengthen the community of Deaf entrepreneurs and, in turn, the Deaf community at large. About Gallaudet University Gallaudet University has been a cornerstone of the deaf and signing community for over 150 years, promoting the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. It upholds a proud tradition of research, scholarly activity, and prepares its graduates for careers in a dynamic, technological world. Gallaudet's vision is to be the university of first choice for the most qualified deaf and hard of hearing students globally. Contact Details Communication Service for the Deaf Rosa Lee Timm +1 518-569-1841 svf@csdsvf.com Company Website https://www.csd.org/

February 27, 2024 11:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

Video
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Photography and Videography Jobs Soar in 2023, Finds Freelancer.com

FREELANCER.COM

Freelancer.com (ASX: FLN), the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, today published the fastest growing online jobs for 2023 based on data from more than 1 million projects posted to the platform. The data reveals that jobs related to video content creation are in high demand. Videography ranked as the second fastest growing skill of 2023, with Video Production and Video Editing jobs also growing significantly and placing in the top growing jobs. Other video-related jobs, such as YouTube Video Editing and TikTok, were also amongst the top 25 fastest growing jobs on Freelancer.com for 2023. Fueling this demand is an increase of brands incorporating video in their marketing strategies. According to Wyzowl, video content marketing is an essential part of a majority (88%) of marketers strategies with most (85%) planning to increase spending on video in 2024. Demand for skills in photography and photo editing was also a driver for new jobs. Adobe Lightroom projects saw the highest percentage growth across the year, while Photography as a skill grew by 3,625 total jobs. In terms of earning potential, freelancers in the United States are charging up to $300/hour for Photography skills, $200/hour for Videography and Video Editing, and $160/hour to create TikTok content. “Advances in generative AI are changing the way businesses are communicating and marketing themselves. A boom in video and photography services is a clear indication that there’s a shift towards visual, highly-produced content as opposed to reliance on legacy forms of internet marketing, such as a reliance on blog posts and articles to generate traffic. We expect this trend to continue and are already seeing signs of video and marketing categories continuing to increase in 2024,” said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Freelancer.com. One example of how businesses are shifting towards video and moving away from written content is evident when looking at the decreasing skills of 2023. Blog writing ranked as 13th in the top falling jobs on Freelancer.com, decreasing by 66% from 4,872 to 1,648 jobs posted in 2023. While some may speculate that the introduction of generative AI tools is impacting writing, blog writing was the only writing skill present in the falling jobs. In fact, other forms of writing such as Fiction Writing (up 36.1%), Creative Writing (up 18.8%) and Microsoft Word (up 16.8%) were both amongst the fastest growing jobs of the year. “AI can’t replace creativity, yet. Although this may emerge with model scale. We said this in the middle of the year when we saw creative writing jobs increase in Q2 2023 and the sentiment remains the same in 2024. What we are seeing is that our freelancers are moving up the stack. They’re evolving from just blog writers to editors. Moving from just illustrators to directors. Ultimately, AI is elevating our talent and improving efficiency and productivity in the process,” added Barrie. Top Freelance Jobs The most popular job in 2023 was graphic design, with more than a quarter million projects requiring the skill. Graphic design has always historically been the number one job type on Freelancer.com for over a decade. Jobs related to graphic design are also the best way for new freelancers to break into freelancing, as there is an abundance of projects offering Website Design, Logo Design, Icon Design, and other forms of graphic design available. Best Paid Skills Per Hour on Freelancer.com in 2023 Marketing, photography and video related jobs took out the top spots for the best paid skills per hour on the platform for 2023. These skills being paid the most is consistent with these categories also being the most in-demand for the year Best Paid Jobs per Project on Freelancer.com in 2023 As for jobs paid per project, internet marketing takes out the top spot, followed by website design, graphic design, data entry and video services. ###### Freelancer Fast 50 Freelancer Fast 50 The Freelancer Fast 50 index is the world’s largest forward indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. The data is based on 1,122,000 jobs posted to the Freelancer platform between 1 January to 31 December 2023. 2023 Growing Skills 2023 Falling Skills About Freelancer Twelve-time Webby award-winning Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. More than 71 million registered users have posted over 23 million projects and contests to date in over 2,000 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer also owns Escrow.com, the leading provider of secure online payments and online transaction management, and Loadshift, an Australian enterprise freight marketplace. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN and is quoted on OTCQX Best Market under the ticker FLNCF. Contact Details Freelancer.com Marko Zitko +61 404 574 830 mzitko@freelancer.com

February 27, 2024 08:23 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Fastest Growing North American-Based Sports Media Company, Basketball Forever, Signs First North American Gaming Partnership with Dabble

Basketball Forever

Basketball Forever, one of the fastest growing and most engaged independent sports content brands in the world, announced its first North American gaming partnership with fantasy operator Dabble to offer free-to-play games to North American audiences. Though more than 50% of its website traffic and user base comes from the United States, this will mark Basketball Forever’s debut into the North American market. Since launching in the U.S. at the start of 2024, Dabble has garnered over 500,000 unique downloads and amassed more than 10,000 players, proving to be one of the most appealing fantasy operators in the industry. The partnership kicked off during NBA All-Star weekend when Dabble offered Basketball Forever’s Hot Hands game during the 2024 All-Star Game. The opening day saw nearly 10,000 players participating, culminating in more than 70,000 total sessions over All-Star weekend. “Our launch with Dabble during All-Star weekend proved that we are definitely in the right place at the right time by expanding our business operation into North America,” said Alex Sumsky, CEO and co-founder of Basketball Forever. “Our success with Dabble will be an incredible case study of what we can offer to North American fantasy and real money operators—something we have a proven track record of in Australia. For instance, through our content portfolio in Australia, we were able to drive A$15 million of LTV to TAB whilst only spending A$500,000 on player acquisition. With a highly engaged audience and an extremely low cost per acquisition, we can offer American operators the same type of impact, as well as the eventual launch of our own owned and operated products and game suites” Basketball Forever will offer Hot Hands again on March 26 during a matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. To play the game, users are given randomly generated, personalized bingo cards filled with player prediction tiles. Tracking the progress of selected player performances in real-time, users chase winning combinations, creating an immersive and interactive experience that blends the thrill of live sports with the anticipation of winning. All a user needs to do is complete a line to win a prize and fill the board to claim the jackpot. Two additional games, V.O.A.T. and Streaker, are currently in development and will go live before the end of the 2024 NBA season. In V.O.A.T., players will answer a series of live questions across various in-game events, testing knowledge and strategic decision making. Incorrect guesses eliminate users until one is left standing. The winner scoops the prize offered for that game. In Streaker, users will participate in a pick-em style game built around digital trading cards with trading mechanics. Both games will be offered as free-to-play versions for now, with real-money versions offered in the immediate future. In open beta, the V.O.A.T. product boasted a 91% organic retention rate with the 30,000 strong user base averaging 35 unique sessions per week on the game. “With our V.O.A.T. game, we were able to acquire our entire beta population and watch it grow four times over without spending a dollar on marketing or user acquisition tactics,” said Basketball Forever Chief Strategy Officer Nick Kelland. “ Because we own and operate our games, the majority of Basketball Forever’s content can have V.O.A.T.-related calls to action integrated, which is a pure opportunity for free daily user acquisition. We are expecting V.O.A.T. to grow to 300,000 users by the end of 2024 with a CPA of essentially $0.00. This is a massive opportunity for brands and sponsors in the North American market to reach a large and motivated audience for an extremely low cost.” Founded in 2015, Basketball Forever is a digital media platform creating news and content on the global basketball market. For more than a decade, the company has built its brand organically from Australia, amassing a monthly global audience of more than 110 million unique visitors. Previously, all of its partners, sponsors and development efforts focused on the Australian market, even though the platform reaches 45 million unique visitors per month from the United States alone. With its first major push into the North American market, Basketball Forever will be making several strategic business announcements in the upcoming months. ABOUT BASKETBALL FOREVER Basketball Forever was founded in 2015 with a mission to celebrate the game and embrace its ability to unite people from all over the world. The brand reaches millions globally as the best source of breaking news, commentary, rumors, and culture through a uniquely social-first approach, bringing the best content to the consumer and removing the barriers between the creative and the consumer. The company is currently the top ranked global sports company amongst millennials by engagement, garnering 3.9 billion impressions yearly, with a monthly global reach of 105 million unique visitors. For more information and to subscribe, please visit: BasketballForever.com Contact Details Hot Paper Lantern Sterling A. Randle +1 801-319-6153 srandle@hotpaperlantern.com Company Website https://basketballforever.com/

February 27, 2024 07:58 AM Eastern Standard Time

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HTX DAO Announces Strategic Partnership with SUN.io to Drive Ecosystem Development

HTX DAO

HTX DAO announced a strategic partnership with SUN.io on February 25. Through this collaboration, both parties aim to bolster HTX token liquidity and offer rewards to platform users. Building on mutual benefits, they will collectively foster the healthy and orderly development of the HTX DAO ecosystem. HTX DAO, a pioneering Decentralized Autonomous Organization within the blockchain ecosystem, is driven by a vision of open finance and a decentralized tokenized economy, prioritizing the restoration of governance to HTX token holders. The governance control of HTX DAO is in the hands of HTX token holders. Individuals who hold HTX tokens have the power and responsibility to make decisions and determine the direction and allocation of resources within the HTX DAO. SUN.io, the first platform integrating on-chain token swaps, liquidity mining, stablecoin swaps, and DAO on the TRON public chain, offers users a diverse range of one-stop services. It aims to establish an integrated DEX ecosystem with a high level of functionality, profitability, and security by leveraging multiple transaction protocols. SUN.io offers various incentives for participants, including rewards of transaction fees offered to liquidity market makers, liquidity mining of LP Tokens, and staking rewards for the SUN token. Through this strategic partnership, it is projected that HTX DAO will supply HTX-TRX liquidity equivalent to 50% of its quarterly revenue to LPs. At least 80% of this liquidity will be directed to SUN.io, and the LP tokens will be deposited into a zero-address. Based on the revenue of HTX Exchange in 2022 and 2023, the partnership is anticipated to increase the total liquidity of SUN.io 's TVL by at least $100 million, representing more than 20% of its total TVL. In appreciation, SUN.io will utilize community governance to vote on granting a minimum of $10 million worth of SUN tokens (with the upper limit adjusted based on the actual LP-Forecasting contribution values) to HTX DAO users. Furthermore, HTX DAO users are allowed to exchange the donated SUN tokens in a dynamically adjustable manner, with the aim of attracting more community members and encouraging active participation in community governance for the development of SUN.io. The final interpretation of the event shall rest with HTX DAO and SUN.io, and its validity shall endure indefinitely. Click the link to read the announcement: https://htxdao-1.gitbook.io/announcement-en/ About HTX DAO As a multi-chain deployed decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), HTX DAO demonstrates an innovative governance approach. Unlike traditional corporate structures, it adopts a decentralized governance structure composed of a diversified group, jointly committed to the success of this organization. This unique ecosystem advocates open values and encourages all DAO participants to propose collaborations and protocol enhancements that can promote the development of HTX DAO. Contact Details HTX DAO media@htxdao.com

February 25, 2024 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) Reinforces Its Stance in the Ever-Evolving Digital Economy

Select Sector SPDR

The Communication Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC), an ETF singularly dedicated to the communication services sector, is reinforcing its position amidst the ever-evolving landscape of the digital economy. XLC, with its unique focus on this sector, offers investors an opportunity to participate in the expansion of the digital world. At the heart of our digital world lies modern communication and information delivery mechanisms. XLC provides investors with exposure to companies that are at the forefront of these mechanisms. These industry leaders form the telecommunication, media, and entertainment components of the S&P 500 index, making them pivotal players in the digital transformation. Top Holdings* The portfolio of XLC is diversified and includes top industry players such as Meta Platforms (Facebook) (24.97%), Alphabet (Google) Class A (11.94%) and Class C (10.17%), Netflix (5.18%), and Verizon Communications Inc (4.61%). Other companies in this sector include Comcast, AT&T Inc., Walt Disney Co., T-Mobile US Inc., and Charter Communications Inc. With a mix of tech giants, telecommunication leaders, and media moguls, XLC’s portfolio offers investors a viable opportunity within the communication services sector. Vision for the Digital Future The utilization of digital services by businesses and consumers is on a consistent rise. The proliferation of internet usage, streaming services, mobile phones, and the advent of innovative communication products underscore the continuous trend of innovation. In line with the increasing demand for digital communication services and the growth of the digital economy, XLC is a well-positioned ETF. The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund ( XLC ) has a clear focus: provide investment opportunities within the communication services sector of the S&P 500. DISCLAIMER: This is a work of research and should not be taken as investment or financial advice. Therefore, Select Sector SPDRs or the publisher is not liable for any decision made based on the publication. About the Company: Select Sector SPDR ETFs offer flexibility and customization opportunities. Many investors have similar outlooks, but no two are exactly alike. Select Sector SPDR ETFs let investors select the sectors that best meet their investment goals. *Holdings, Weightings & Assets as of 1/31/24 subject to change DISCLOSURES The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index of 500 common stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The index is heavily weighted toward stocks with large market capitalizations and represents approximately two-thirds of the total market value of all domestic common stocks. The S&P 500 Index figures do not reflect any fees, expenses or taxes. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses before investing. One may not invest directly in an index. Transparent ETFs provide daily disclosure of portfolio holdings and weightings All ETFs are subject to risk, including loss of principal. Sector ETF products are also subject to sector risk and nondiversification risk, which generally will result in greater price fluctuations than the overall market. Diversification does not eliminate risk. An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus, which contains this and other information, call 1-866-SECTOR-ETF (732-8673) or visit www.sectorspdrs.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing. ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, is distributor for the Select Sector SPDR Trust. Media Contact: Company: Select Sector SPDRs Contact: Dan Dolan* Address: 1290 Broadway, Suite 1000, Denver, CO 80203 Country: United States Email: dan.dolan@sectorspdrs.com Website: https://www.sectorspdrs.com/ *Dan Dolan is a Registered Representative of ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, is the distributor for the Select Sector SPDR Trust. SEL007305 EXP 4/30/24 Contact Details Dan Dolan +1 203-935-8103 dan.dolan@sectorspdrs.com Company Website https://www.sectorspdrs.com/

February 24, 2024 08:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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College Sports to Be One of the Best Media Investments in 2024, per Big Chalk

Big Chalk

Many industry watchers believe issues like conference realignment, the Transfer Portal, and NIL will damage the long-term value of college sports as a media asset. New consumer research from Big Chalk, a marketing analytics company, shows these fears to be unfounded. On the contrary, growth in consumer engagement with college sports may never be higher than in 2024. “College sports are undergoing drastic and rapid changes,” said Rick Miller, Big Chalk’s Marketing Effectiveness Practice Lead. “We wondered if consumers would react poorly to these changes and begin to tune college sports out. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Big Chalk surveyed nearly 2,000 U.S. consumers regarding their viewership levels across college sports in general, with specific questions about college football. The data indicate fans will increase viewership from an average of about 11 games per viewer in 2023 to 13 games in 2024 – an uptick of almost 17%. To see if storm clouds are gathering on the horizon, Big Chalk also gathered net sentiment scores for NIL, the Transfer Portal, and conference realignment – but despite rumblings from some pundits, these issues are not driving fans away from the product. Perhaps one of the more eye-opening findings from the research is the level of influence college sports provides its sponsor brands. “More than 13% of respondents say they prioritize college sports sponsor brands during their purchase process,” said Miller, “and another 30% say brand sponsorship positively influences their purchase decision, even if it doesn’t automatically make the brand a shopper’s number-one priority.” Some college football sponsors continued to see double-digit unaided brand awareness weeks after the football season ended. “Perceptions of College Sports 2024: What CMOs and Media Strategists Need to Know” is the first of a two-part release of Big Chalk’s research. It is available for free download at: https://dust.bigchalk.co/perceptionsofcollegesports About Big Chalk Big Chalk is a marketing analytics and outsourcing company that specializes in CPG companies and similar consumer-facing brands. Big Chalk’s blend of consumer marketing experts and data scientists provide the tools and consulting services that brands of all sizes need to grow sales and build connections with their customers. Contact Details Big Chalk Cristina Itze +1 847-957-1861 cristina.itze@bigchalk.co Company Website https://www.bigchalk.co

February 22, 2024 12:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Communication Service for the Deaf Names Amanda Whyrick Division President of California Connect

Communication Service for the Deaf

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) today announced that Amanda Whyrick has been named the new Division President of California Connect. Whyrick previously served as CSD’s Vice President of Information Technology. In this new role, she will provide leadership support for all California Public Utilities Commission contracts held by Communication Service for the Deaf. California Connect, also called the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), provides telecommunication access for Californians with hearing, vision, cognitive, mobility, and speech-related disabilities. The program of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) includes accessible telecommunication equipment and devices, relay service, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. The California Connect Division President will provide strategic and operational support for the State’s marketing services, equipment distribution, and field operations contracts. Equitable and accessible communication solutions have been at the core of CSD’s work for the past fifty years. Bolstering our partnership with California Connect is a logical extension of our efforts to remove communication barriers for people with disabilities. “With the rapid advancement of communications technology, the person who fills this role must have extensive experience in accessible technology,” stated Chris Soukup, CEO of CSD. “Amanda is perfectly suited to lead the advancement of our California Connect division as they work towards their goal of providing communication equity for communities with disabilities.” Whyrick joined CSD in 2016 as a Systems Administrator and held various leadership roles until her promotion to Vice President of Information Technology in 2022. During this period, she successfully implemented accessible organizational-wide technology policies, including a transition to work-from-home call centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining CSD, Whyrick provided technology support to organizations including Southeast Community College and Dell Technologies. Now, as Division President for California Connect, Whyrick looks towards modernizing the program in a way that centers on the needs of various communities with disabilities and integrating the most up-to-date technological offerings. “As someone who personally benefits from accessible technologies, I know that access to them is crucial to the health and well-being of the user in all aspects of life. I look forward to extending this same privilege to Californians with different accessibility needs." shared Whyrick. Whyrick will assume the position of California Connect Division President on February 26, 2024. About Communication Service for the Deaf Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) is the largest Deaf-led social impact organization in the world. For more than four decades, CSD has been a leader in creating and providing accessible and innovative solutions for the Deaf community. Today, CSD continues its work to create opportunities for personal and economic growth within the Deaf community, specifically addressing leadership and employment. For more information, please visit CSD and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Contact Details Communication Service for the Deaf Molly Miller +1 315-679-8948 leltouny@csd.org Company Website https://www.csd.org/

February 20, 2024 09:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

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FuelRod Installs Swappable Charger Kiosks at Union Station in DC

Fuel Rod

FuelRod, a leading provider of portable power solutions, today announced the installation of their innovative swappable charger kiosks at Union Station in Washington, DC. FuelRod’s patented two-way exchange mobile charging program will help to keep travelers connected as they pass through the station, and act as the latest addition to their growing network of kiosks both within DC and Nationwide. FuelRod’s installation at Washington Union Station—their second within an Amtrak-serving hub, following a 2023 installation at Los Angeles Union Station—will provide city residents and long-distance travelers alike with portable, environmentally friendly power within the railway station. Visitors will now be able to purchase a FuelRod charging kit or swap an empty charger for a fresh, fully charged replacement at the kiosks to be installed. Washington Union Station is the latest FuelRod location to join an already established network throughout the nation’s capital city. Examples of existing stations in DC include the Walter E Washington Convention Center, Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington Dulles International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), and Six Flags America. “We are extremely proud of the expansion of our FuelRod mobile charging program into Union Station, Washington DC. We have a strong commitment to the traveling public and are focused on continued growth in transportation hubs across the United States,” said COO Joe Yeagley regarding this newest deployment in the nation’s capital. “Staying connected in today’s fast-paced world is more essential than ever, and people on the go should have convenient access to mobile charging regardless of where they happen to be.” The company’s presence in Washington, in turn, is part of a nationwide effort by FuelRod toward a network that people can rely on to stay powered and connected wherever they go. About FuelRod FuelRod is a California-based portable power solutions company and developer of the FuelRod kit—the first reusable, portable charging system that allows you to charge your mobile device on the go, and then recharge or swap for a fresh one. With a growing network of kiosks nationwide, FuelRod can keep your devices powered virtually anywhere you go. Learn more at www.fuel-rod.com. Contact Details Claudio Frescas +1 423-914-9647 claudio@fuel-rod.com Company Website https://www.fuel-rod.com/

February 20, 2024 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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