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The Apple Factor

Advertisers have flocked to the NBA’s return to TV screens nationwide, with Turner Sports selling out of ad time for regular season games before any action began. However, as concern lingers about the viability of football season, the potential financial impacts of a lost year come into focus. For ESPN, the loss of CFB could cost them nearly $800 million in advertising revenue. CBS landed UEFA Champions League rights in what we know now to have been a steal compared to Turner’s original contract. Plus, with several leagues looking for new rights deals in the coming months and years, all eyes are on Apple to see if they’ll finally make a splash—especially after making a big hire in Amazon Video’s former head of sports, Jim DeLorenzo.

Primetime Partnerships

After seeing significant growth in engagement numbers since the partnership began, Arsenal FC has extended its agreement with Intel that provides 360-degree highlights from all matches. The NBA will continue its partnership with Verizon in a deal that will distribute virtual reality games and give Yahoo Sports rights to create NBA-driven sports betting content. Meanwhile, one of the league’s biggest sneakerheads, PJ Tucker, signed a deal with EBay to help boost sneaker sales, and the NFL became a partner of Invisalign, a brand that continues to invest more in the sports space.

Ballers Part 2?

After the pandemic shut down the XFL and Vince McMahon bowed out, a group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson swooped in to purchase the league this week. Johnson’s star power and relationships in the media industry make him a strong face to push the league forward. As MLB and the NFL build hope of hosting some fans for games this fall, all eyes are on the next government COVID relief bill, which could include liability protection that would cover stadiums. The NBA is at least several months from playing in home arenas, but league revenues remained strong, even with no action on the floor thanks to booms in e-commerce sales and engagement on its 2K video game.


New On Engage

With Gen Z craving engaging short-form content, TikTok is becoming the new home for sports

According to Whistle Wise, the insights arm of Team Whistle, over half of Gen Z would rather look at sports memes and social media accounts than watch a full sports game live. With TikTok use and adoption on the rise by Gen Z, sports marketers have unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on these trends, and engage and win with these young viewers.

Traditionally, using social media for sports content was an informational transaction for the creator and consumer. For Gen Z, TikTok is a source of pure entertainment, not information. 58% of Gen Z primarily use TikTok for humor, the highest of any social media platform. Teams and leagues have the challenge of changing their thinking online from “how can I best inform my fans,” to “how can I best entertain my fans.”

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Following

Study: Esports Global Ad Spend to Hit $844 Million in 2020

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NHL Inks Deal With Twitter to Provide Live ‘Look-Ins’ of Games

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BetMGM, PGA Tour Agree to Betting Partnership

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Cool Content

Deal of the Week

Pandora Launches UNINTERRUPTED Radio to Bring Fans Closer to Athletes Through Shared Music

The Details
Pandora is launching UNINTERRUPTED Radio, a brand new and exclusive station that features music selected by top NBA and WNBA players. With UNINTERRUPTED, listeners get access to the very soundtracks that top athletes listen to on and off the court, including those curated and used by LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Trae Young, A'ja Wilson, Draymond Green, Lonzo Ball, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Tobias Harris, Angel McCoughtry and others.


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