Our daily newsletter is the industry's leading resource for media & marketing professionals seeking news and trends to assist in reaching and engaging the next generation of sports fans.

Nike Launches Basketball Shoes You Can Lace From Your Phone | Hashtag Sports Daily

January 15, 2019

Fan Fact:
In 2015, there were 205.4 million traditional pay television subscribers in the U.S., but by 2022, the number will have fallen to just 169.7 million, according to eMarketer estimates.


Top Story

Nike launches self-lacing basketball shoes you can control from your phone

"The future of the game" of basketball was revealed this morning. Nike has officially introduced its first self-lacing basketball shoes, the Adapt BB.

The details:

Nike released the news on Twitch this morning after previously releasing a video of NBA and WNBA players' reactions to trying the innovative new shoes on. The new sneakers are designed to provide a "truly customized fit for every basketball player," thanks to a power-lacing system called FitAdapt that can be adjusted manually or with a smartphone app.

With the companion Adapt mobile application, players are able to input different fit settings over the course of a game, as well as change the LED colors on the sneakers.

The bottom line:

Nike says Adapt for basketball is just the start, as it plans to bring the technology to more sports in the near future.

Read: Engadget, Sportsnet


Partnerships

Endeavor video streaming group signs WWE, which ended deal with Disney’s BAMTech

The wrestling entertainment mainstay had relied on BAMTech, now called Disney Streaming Services, to deliver its over-the-top WWE Network subscription service since its launch in early 2014.

WWE also announced a partnership with Massive Interactive, a user-interface design firm recently acquired by Deltatre, which together with the Endeavor Streaming pact will be part of WWE's evolving strategy to own more of the WWE Network technology stack.

Read: Variety


Social

‘Pitching Ninja’ is turning Twitter into a digital scouting showcase. MLB teams have noticed.

The man who runs the “Pitching Ninja” social media accounts had been locked in a battle with Major League Baseball and Twitter last spring over the suspension of his popular account, which features captivating videos of baseball’s nastiest pitches.

Now with his account back, Rob Friedman's online following has nearly doubled between his April 2018 suspension and the new year, pushing him over 100,000 followers, and he signed a modest deal with MLB.

Read: Washington Post


Spotlight

Meet Deontre Gray, this week's community spotlight

Name: Deontre “Tre” Gray

Job: Brand Coordinator, ESPN

In 140 characters or less, tell us who you are and how you got to where you are today.

Tre: Who: Marketer, Strategist, Innovator, Creative

br>How: Faith, Family, Support, Passion, Hard work, Networking, Humility/Hunger

What’s one trend in media or marketing that you’re buying or selling?

Tre: One trend in media I would say I am buying is influencer marketing. The scale may not always be there, but the long-term influence and partnerships are the biggest buying points. Most influencers have already established themselves on platforms with younger audiences such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Their influence from a major and micro standpoint allows you to engage with fans most companies may not otherwise reach.

What’s one element of the sports industry that you’d like to see change?

Tre: I’d like to see more diversity within the sports industry, specifically within race and age. This industry has one of the most diverse audiences in the world, and therefore companies should reflect that internally from entry level positions to executives. We have to make our companies more appealing to what younger and more diverse candidates want out of a place of employment, starting with visual representation.

More With Tre

Tech

Can Alibaba and Intel take Olympic analysis to new heights?”

That’s the hope of the two companies, which announced a new initiative that provides a key pillar to Alibaba’s Sports Brain project for the Olympics. Picture a 100-yard dash where viewers can see how fast each athlete runs and accelerates or the speed of rotation as a shot is launched in the shot put.

The new project will leverage technology and engineering professionals from both companies to transform track and field coverage for the 2020 Games.

Read: MediaPost


OTT

ESPN beefs up ESPN+ product

ESPN is rolling out its biggest product update yet since launching ESPN+ nearly a year ago.

They will be bringing one of the most important elements of any streaming service to ESPN+: personalized content recommendations. Long a staple of services like Netflix and Hulu, ESPN will initially be rolling it out for its on-demand programming, such as studio shows, docs, and originals. It will also be launching for ESPN podcasts.

Read: MediaPost


What Else Is Trending?
  • FAN EXPERIENCE: Purdue University is looking to fans for advice and influence on stadium renovations.
  • SPONSORSHIP: The Brazilian MMA sponsor ecosytem is struggling due to Reebok's apparel deal with UFC.
  • BETTING: Madison Square Garden applied for a trademark in the sports betting space, creating buzz about future betting plans.
  • BRANDS: TFlywheel and SoulCycle face an uphill climb to maintain their stake in the fitness industry as competitors gain momentum.
  • SUPER BOWL: Celebrity appearances in Super Bowl ads have been low so far this year, and the trend is worrying advertisers.

Rad Ads

  • Brand: @Nike & @NASA
  • Athlete: Paul George
  • Campaign: Introducing the PG 3 X NASA

DEAL OF THE DAY

U.S. Soccer Announces New Long-Term Partnership With Volkswagen

The Details
The U.S. Soccer Federation just announced a landmark partnership with Volkswagen to be its presenting automotive partner through 2022. The agreement is designed to support U.S. Soccer's mission of becoming the preeminent sport in America by increasing participation, developing world class players, coaches and referees, increasing fan engagement, and supporting programs that develop female coaches.


Careers

Graphic Designer, Digital Media
Miami Marlins – Miami, FL

Account Executive, North America
DAZN – New York, NY

VP, Consumer Marketing
NFL – New York, NY

Customer Success Manager, Sports
EVERFI – Washington D.C.

Communications Manager, Action Sports
Red Bull Media – Salzburg, Austria

Director, Digital & Social Video
WWE – Stamford, CT

Get a Referral Code today

The Hashtag Sports Ambassador program rewards our most loyal readers and followers and connects our community like never before. Share your code to earn swag and free event tickets for life.

Get Code

Hashtag Sports® reaches a community of 50,000+ innovators. Get in touch to see how we can showcase your thought leadership and content marketing initiatives.

Something missing that we should consider? Email daily@hashtagsports.com.