According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the English language consists of about one million words (Source). As you can imagine, new words are added all the time. The addition that went kind of viral: Cheugy.
For all those who don’t spend (too much) time, here is an explanation by the New York Times:
It’s not quite “basic,” which can describe someone who is a conformist or perhaps generic in their tastes, and it’s not quite “uncool.” It’s not embarrassing or even always negative. Cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) can be used, broadly, to describe someone who is out of date or trying too hard. And while a lot of cheugy things are associated with millennial women, the term can be applied to any one of any gender and any age.
NBA Teams Up With Marvel for Superhero Broadcast
Ever wondered what your superhero name would be? Well, this website generates a superhero name for you. Mine is ‘The Thunder Grasshopper’.
The NBA probably had the same thought recently. Last week, ESPN and Marvel teamed up for the first hero-themed NBA broadcast. It began with the NBA branding the players as heroes on social media. But the real magic followed in the game.
During the game, ESPN played around with 3D virtual characters, custom graphics, and animation packages. If you are wondering how this looks in reality, check out this video. Every team appointed a ‘Marvel Trio’ that was animated and featured in the new style.
The reactions were mixed. Some people liked it, while others thought it disturbs the on-court action (Source). Yet, the NBA certainly knows about the potential. The league has previously experimented with a tailored betting stream and looks to provide different viewing experiences in the future. And they are not alone. The NFL is also experimenting with Star Wars-themed NFL games and even kid-friendly broadcasts (Source).
The implications for sponsors are twofold. First, it will make the reach of the star players even bigger. Under Armour, the sponsor of Steph Curry, and Jordan Brand (Zion Williamson) are happy to reach an estimated 80.5 million Marvel fans in America. It’s a win-win situation for both the leagues and the sponsors. Combining NBA and Marvel interests, around 50% of the world’s population are interested in either one of those two things.
Secondly, it gives other existing sponsors a chance to jump on the bandwagon. If the concepts prove successful, expect other sponsors to activate the themed broadcast even further. Yet, this comes at a price. If the NBA recognizes that tailored broadcasts reach new target groups, it could increase the price for being featured in the special broadcasts. It is not far-fetched to envision a ‘Marvel Clause’ in future sponsorship contracts.
Sustainable Gaming — The Next Trend To Come
Last week, news broke that Intel signs yet another deal worth US$100m with the esports organizer and production company ESL (Source). That marks the longest existing partnership in esports, and with an estimated 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, the industry continues to grow. But the question that arises is: What gaming companies are getting all that money?
Well, the gamers are increasingly interested in the environmental footprint of their favorite video game companies. 66% of gamers want to play games that are developed by socially responsible companies. With many countries still in lockdown, video games offer an opportunity to connect with others. 80% indicate that gaming helps them to meet new people(Source).
So far, gaming did not invest heavily in social sustainability as of now. Gaming’s biggest issue currently is certainly moderation. Live interaction occurs frequently, and most of the community interacts online. Discord and Twitch are two streaming platforms that have already installed tools that are used to control life events.
Other gaming companies have taken another step forward. Riot Games have established a social impact fund (Source). As we have discussed in previous snacks, the general interest in sustainability is rising worldwide. Gaming companies and their sponsors will continue to emphasize social responsibility. Expect the sponsors to be more involved in upcoming social responsibility programs as it offers yet another opportunity to connect with the next generation.
Google Becomes WNBA Top-Sponsor
Women’s sports are picking up speed fast. From 2019 to 2020, the viewership of the WNBA increased by 15%. Last year, commissioner Cathy Engelbert launched the ‘WNBA Changemaker platform’ to speed up the commercialization of women’s sports and invited brands to join the movement.
If you look at the current list of partners (Nike, Deloitte, AT&T, and now Google), you can assume that the program is a success. We are currently entering the era of transformational partnerships, a time where sponsoring is not just a transaction. Google has the power to transform the WNBA. Expect them to become a first-mover when it comes to incorporate technology into the fan experience.
Google is by far the world’s biggest technology company, and it is now ‘the official trends and insights partner’ of the WNBA (Source), potentially the most underrated component of the deal. Google are experts at discovering new trends, and if they invest, there is almost certainly a business opportunity. For example, the 2019 Women’s World Cup broke the record with 1.12 billion viewers (Source).
The Google/WNBA deal is a perfect representation of the current trends of the global sport sponsorship market. Insights from data are getting increasingly important, and brands are looking for synergistic partnerships that benefit both parties. The WNBA will profit from Google’s money and expertise, while the deal allows the tech giant to take a social stand and boost its brand.
No Social Media — Premier League Blacks Out Feed
When was the last time you didn’t go on Social Media for three days? While I would certainly struggle with the answer, English football will know exactly.
Sparked by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, English soccer’s largest governing bodies (including the Football Association (FA), Premier League) were away from social media for five days to show solidarity against racist and sexist attacks on social media. (Source).
It got interesting once it became clear that brands are doing the same. Barclay’s was one of the biggest sponsors who choose not to talk about their sponsorship in any of their social media accounts.
The move is part of the ever-growing movement of social justice that has taken over the world. While the real-world impact of such as boycott is always debatable, the involvement of sponsors could lead to a real and long-lasting change.
Social equality has become a top priority for brands as 86% of consumers expect brands to speak about societal challenges (Source). Sponsors are aware and become increasingly more courageous in their actions. Ultimately, they will be measured on the real-world impact of their practices, and it’s clear that it is not enough to black out your social handles for a couple of days.
If brands leave it at one-time activities like this, their actions could potentially backfire, as consumers see it as just another marketing play. However, if sponsors have a plan how to create a long-lasting impact, they have the chance to earn the trust of their consumers.
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