August 19, 2020


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Tech Bubble

The NBA’s bubble has had tons of success keeping the coronavirus out and has continued to find new ways to bring fans closer to the action. A complex system that generates virtual crowd noise attempts to replicate what players would hear during normal times. During the playoffs, LiveLike will power virtual watch parties through the NBA app after a July study showed 76% of fans were interested in watch party experiences. The MLS bubble in Orlando has concluded, but many hope the real-time instant replay system used there will continue as a fan experience mechanism.

Content Kings

FanDuel continues to invest in creators and influencers, adding popular NBA social personality WorldWideWob to its team in time for the start of the playoffs as the gambling company looks to grow its original content arm. MLS & US Soccer meanwhile have signed a seven-figure content deal with Bleacher Report, whose soccer arm averages 120 million monthly engagements. As the NFL continues to grow its audience abroad, it launched a dedicated linear network with Sky Sports in the UK. Plus, TikTok is teaming up with the Yankees as the legendary franchise looks to connect with the platform’s fast-growing young audience.

NFL Saturdays?

With college football on the brink, rumors have swirled that the NFL is ready to pounce on the open Saturday TV inventory. However, a long-standing US code would have to be changed or the league granted an exemption to do so, making some industry professionals believe that the only way the league will stage Saturday games is if no colleges play football this fall. And even with all the changes that a season with limited fans in stands will bring, AT&T says it won't make changes to the Sunday Ticket’s strict out-of-market streaming policies.


NEw on Engage

How Content Strategy is Changing as the Pandemic Impacts College Athletics

The impact of COVID-19 on the college sports landscape has so far been devastating. Revenue losses and budget cuts are leaving athletic departments without critical teammates, time and technology for a level of content creation that fans have come to expect. So what now? In advance of the fall semester, Hashtag Sports LIVE brought together leaders in the space in Monique Bowman (Associate Director of Digital Media at Ohio State), Kylie Murphy (Director of Ideation at Oregon State) and Will Yoder (Sports Partnerships at Instagram) to break down key trends in college sports content. The panel was moderated by content strategist Rael Enteen.

Key Insights

  • Raw, gritty content is more authentic — and often performs better
  • Student-athletes need to be part of the content creation and distribution process
  • Program branding has major influence on recruiting (especially virtually)
Read More

Following

With Stadiums Empty, What Happens to Naming Rights Deals?

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png Adweek // Robert Klara

NBA Teams See 22% More Engagement From Instagram Reels

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png SportsPro // Sam Carp

BodyArmor Takes Aim at Gatorade's Sports Drink Dominance

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png Axios // Jeff Tracy

Rob Gronkowski and Brothers Launch YouTube Channel

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png Sportico // Mike Freeman

Sports Clubs are Building Subscription Businesses on Facebook

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png Digiday // Seb Joseph

NFL’s Washington Football Team Launches Rebrand Engagement Platform

734f86a4-3f7d-4495-a497-2c396f7119d9.png SportsPro // Tom Bassam


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Deal of the Week

Fastenal Named the Official Maintenance, Repair, and Operations Partner of the NHL

The Details
Fastenal Company and the National Hockey League announced a multiyear global partnership, naming Fastenal the official Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) partner of the NHL through the 2023-24 season. The partnership is focused on creating an efficient and reliable MRO supply chain for ice rinks across North America.


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