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Our Best of 2018 | Hashtag Sports Daily

Editor's Note: Happy New Year! Today's Special Edition reviews the most read articles from Hashtag Sports Daily in 2018 and looks back at a few of the year's most engaging moments.


Year in Review

18 Moments That Broke the Social Media Mold in 2018

In today’s oversaturated social world, engagement has a new definition. Engagement is no longer just likes, retweets, or comments. It is about strengthening the brand-to-fan relationship. Content that successfully achieves this objective is difficult to create and, more importantly, sustain.

Here are just a few of the moments from the past 12 months that stopped scrolls and left an impression long beyond when the creator hit send.

Read: Innovate


CREATORS

Why Katie Nolan joined ESPN and how she's growing the digital audience

She isn't a typical sports analyst who shares breaking news and meticulously scrutinizes replays. Her dialogue is chipper, but not fake. She swears, uses the word "like" — like, too often — and goes on tangents.

For Nolan, being on SportsCenter for Snapchat has been rather surreal, and for ESPN the daily viewership has doubled.

Read: Mashable


Athletes

Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra are launching a new sports media startup

The Religion of Sports is neither The Players’ Tribune, Derek Jeter’s media platform for athletes to tell their own stories, nor TraceMe, Russell Wilson’s access-focused app for athletes and celebrities.

Their goal is to create a multi-platform storytelling business that functions like an old-school studio—but dedicated to sports.

Read: TechCrunch


CONTROVERSY

John Skipper details his ESPN exit and a cocaine extortion plot

No one saw John Skipper’s departure coming, including those closest to him at the network; few, if any, knew he had a substance addiction issue; and most, once they learned of it, asked incredulously why he didn’t take a leave of absence to seek treatment, then return, conceivably stronger than ever.

In this interview, the former network chief goes public in an interview with James Andrew Miller about the real reason behind his abrupt departure from Disney after 27 years.

Read: The Hollywood Reporter


Rights

Fox RSN auction hits 1st-round snag as MLB presses bankers on digital rights pitch

The first round of the bidding process for the RSNs—networks that Disney must unload after its $71B deal to purchase 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets—ended in November and it was met with a significant degree of confusion as to what potential acquirers would be getting.

The auction got off to a rocky start, as the bids came into Disney’s bankers, several interested parties were under the impression that with the purchase of the RSN came full ownership of digital rights to MLB games.

Read: FOX Business


Platforms

How Instagram conquered the NBA

Deep inside Facebook’s sprawling Menlo Park campus, in a glittering office building flanked by multiple valet stations, resides Instagram’s headquarters.

And deep inside Instagram HQ, past the stages where visitors pose to mimic one of Beyoncé’s iconic posts, up the stairway lined with artistic tributes to the company’s rainbow logo, past the vending machines stocked with USB cables, and near the library decorated with archaic cameras and origami, sits the Instagram Sports Partnerships team. All two of them.

Read: Sports Illustrated


OTT

Discovery and PGA Tour tee up ‘GOLFTV’ streaming brand for 2019 launch

Discovery’s $2 billion swing at the international golf market is taking shape, with its upcoming streaming service to be branded “GOLFTV.” The OTT service will tee off around the world at the beginning of 2019 and have live PGA Tour coverage in a raft of territories at launch.

The ambitious plans for golf follows Discovery’s big move into the Olympics in 2015, when it snagged European rights to the Games between 2018 and 2024 for about $1.4 billion.

Read: Variety


Social

A night in the life of the Chicago Bulls digital media team

The Bulls digital media team turns basketball games into content bonanzas, using the second-screen to make money, collect data and humanize players.

Three years ago, most information about a sports franchise or its players would trickle out through journalists, bloggers or TV and radio hosts, with franchise PR teams chiming in to clean up messes. Now, sports franchises have control over their brand, voice and the public’s perception of players.

Read: AMA


Betting

Congratulations, sports media: You just got a big business-model subsidy from the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling outside of Nevada.

So why should the news industry care? Because an awful lot of sports reporting is about to move from entertainment information—stuff you read because you enjoy it—to production information—stuff you read because you think it’ll help you make money.

Read: Nieman Lab


ENGAGEMENT

How a sports and entertainment agency says it will unlock the power of social media

In today's evolving media industry, it's critical that agencies and brands stay ahead of the curve and look for innovative ways to stand out among the competition. Wasserman recently launched a proprietary social audience platform to do just that.

The platform, called Unlock, utilizes real-time data to track over 200 variables across more than 330 million social profiles worldwide and provide actionable insights into today's consumer behavior, by matching audiences with the best partnership opportunities for talent, brands and properties.

Read: Inc.


Streaming

Live streams of karate and niche sports are terrifying major sports leagues

Leading broadcasters don’t want to let people watch major sporting events online instead (at least not easily or cheaply) because doing so would pull the rug out from under their traditional revenue stream and OTT revenue won’t make up for it quickly enough.

Major league's preference for linear TV has expanded the market opening for new sports to fill the open space with young people who consume content online. In fact, a growing marketplace of different sports developing their own fanbases is an inevitability of the shift to OTT video.

Read: TechCrunch


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