THIS WEEK: LEAP FOR JOY this leap year

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WHAT’S OUTSIDE THE SLOTS BOX? THIS WEEK: LEAP FOR JOY this leap year

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We’re hand-picking the week’s top entertainment trends, fun news, and the hottest happenings from wherever the action is, and you can find them right here. And who knows, once you reach inside Outside the Slots Box, you might just find yourself with a brand-new inspiration every week… and before long, that’s an awful lot of excitement.

Let’s reach in and see what’s set the week abuzz.


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This Week: Leap For Joy This Leap Year

February 28, 2024.

Every four years a very unusual date appears on our calendars – February 29.

But why? Well, a normal year is 365 days, but actually, the Earth takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to fully go around the sun. To keep the calendar year correctly coordinated, an extra day was added every four years on February 29 to account for that extra time… which means 2024 is a leap year!

A female animated character is smiling and holding a calendar, on a vibrant yellow background.

Over the years, many leap year traditions and celebrations have emerged, though none more well-known than the leap year proposal.

It all started in 5th century Ireland when St. Brigid, upon hearing that single women were waiting far too long for proposals, came up with the leap day marriage switch. Females were given the chance to ask men to marry them, inverting the common customs for the period.

In early 19th-century America, girls were allowed to ask boys to dance at parties held on February 29 – another big swap of tradition.

Of course, you might also be wondering: what’s it like to be born on that day? Well, in Scottish culture, ‘leaplings’ as they are known, are predicted to have a year of “untold suffering”.

However, in a town called Anthony, on the border of Texas and New Mexico, a unique festival has been created for those special leap day babies since 1988. Each state declared Anthony the “Leap Year Capital of the World”.

In fact, there’s even a club for February 29-born people called the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, which has more than 11,000 members worldwide.

We’re sure they’ll all be leaping for joy come Thursday!


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This Week: Taylor Swift’s Value for the NFL

February 14, 2024.

In one of the most exciting Super Bowl finishes in years, the Kansas City Chiefs came out winners with a 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.

It was also the most watched program in US TV history, averaging 123.7 million viewers across all television and streaming platforms – up 7% on Kansas City’s last-play victory over Philadelphia from last year.

With those sorts of viewing figures, we reported last week that the cost for a 30-second ad was a whopping $7 million. But let’s take a look at someone else who’s made a big difference to the NFL’s finances: Taylor Swift, that’s who.

A graphic depicting Taylor Swift is printed onto an American football on a vibrant yellow background.

As one of the most famous performers and superstars in the world, just how valuable has she been to the NFL this year?

By dating her NFL boyfriend, Travis Kelce, and attending just 12 games this season, Taylor generated an incredible $330 million for the league. That value comes from a combination of print, digital, radio, social, and TV action.

So, when Taylor goes to a game the TV advertising goes through the roof, as well as NFL product sales like jerseys, and other paraphernalia.

And it’s not just that. She’s actually drawn so many new female fans to the sport that brands like ELF cosmetics, NYX makeup, and Dove bought ads for the first time ever this year.

It was, therefore, very apt that she flew back from Japan and attended her boyfriend’s team’s last gasp win on Sunday, celebrating with friends afterwards.

Taylor, the game salutes you.


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This Week: The Crazy Cost of Super Bowl Commercials

February 7, 2024.

The clash between the Kansas City Chiefs, in their fourth Super Bowl in 5 years, and the San Francisco 49ers will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada this Sunday, February 11, 2024 – the first time that Las Vegas has ever hosted.

Super Bowl LVIII will be packed with more than just action on the field, though. Viewers can enjoy each and every moment of the event, from the National Anthem sung by Reba McEntire, to the half-time performance by Usher, to the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach’s head at the end. It’s predicted that Super Bowl 58 could exceed 200 million viewers in the US.

But one question that often comes up is how much does it cost to air a commercial during the Super Bowl, the most watched show of the year?

An American football player coming out of a television screen is centered on a vibrant yellow background.

Well, 2023 was the second year that the cost of a Super Bowl commercial went up by 20% or more, costing companies $6.5 million for a 30-second ad during NBC’s broadcast, according to NBC Los Angeles. And even that was a drastic jump up from the cost of $5.5 million in 2021.

Another 20% rise this year would take a 30-second ad to $7.8 million or a whopping $260,000 a second.

Data experts, Statista, reports an average of 50 minutes of advertisements. For CBS this year, that would mean $700 million worth of 30-second ads.

As a sneak preview, some brands are already releasing their ads in advance in an attempt to go viral, like Uber Eats who reunited Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer, or Budweiser who brought back their Clydesdales.

As viewers tune in for the commercials, the entertainment, and the game itself, there will also be millions of eyes on Taylor Swift and her arrival time. She faces a mad 5,537-mile dash from her concert in Tokyo to Las Vegas to watch her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, battle for football’s ultimate prize. We’re cheering for you, Taylor!


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This Week: Spotlight on the Grammy Awards

February 1, 2024.

The 2024 Grammys, set for February 4th at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, promises to be a spectacular night. It’s set to dazzle as Joni Mitchell is slated for her first-ever Grammy performance, joining an illustrious roster of other artists including Billy Joel, Billie Eilish, Luke Combs, Olivia Rodrigo, Burna Boy, Dua Lipa, and Travis Scott. This eclectic mix of performers, ranging from legendary to contemporary, indicates that it’ll be a night brimming with musical diversity and unforgettable moments.

U2 is also set to perform – and make history at the same time. They will be the first ever band to perform live from the Sphere in Las Vegs, where they currently are in residency.

A traditional, golden record player is centered surrounded by reflecting light. On a vibrant blue background.

This year’s nominees underscore the Grammys’ commitment to celebrating music’s rich heritage and its contemporary evolution. SZA leads the pack with nine nominations, including Album of the Year. Trailing next are Phoebe Bridgers and Victoria Monét with seven nominations each. Taylor Swift, Jon Batiste, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo each earned six.

Swift – who will be attending without boyfriend, Travis Kelce, as he’s busy preparing with the Kanas City Chiefs for Super Bowl 58 – is also up for Album of the Year, and could make history if she won, becoming the first person to win the category four times.

Catch the live broadcast of the Grammy Awards 2024, hosted once again by Trevor Noah, starting at 8:00 PM ET on CBS or stream on Paramount+. This year introduces three new award categories, making the awards even more exciting and extravagant than ever. Don’t miss this iconic event!


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