Ballmer Drives LA Clippers Into Future with ClipperVision Launch

Fan Fact
According to research from LEARFIELD, 48% of social media followers for college sports teams are female, with MLB coming in second at 41%.


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Steve Ballmer drives Los Angeles Clippers into direct-to-consumer future with ClipperVision streaming launch

Nearly a decade after acquiring the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer is finally realizing his dream to build a bigger and better TV platform for his beloved basketball franchise.

What's the deal?

The Clippers this week launched ClipperVision, a regional subscription streaming service that offers six channel options for watching the vast majority of the team’s home and away games – more than 70 out of 84 regular season games. The service will cost $199 per season and is available largely in Southern California.

One of the six channel feeds will be dedicated to the team’s traditional linear cable TV coverage via Bally Sports’ Bally Sports+ service. Another feed is an alternative view of the game—akin to ESPN’s new spin on “Monday Night Football” with Peyton and Eli Manning—dubbed “Ballervision,” that will feature NBA alums Jamal Crawford, Baron Davis, and others chopping it up live as the game unfolds. Ballmer, well known for his over-the-top courtside displays of his love for the Clippers and basketball in general, will also join them periodically to weigh in.

The bottom line:

Ballmer emphasized that he has wanted to craft a multi-platform presentation for NBA games since he was still in his days serving as the No. 2 to Bill Gates at Microsoft in the 1990s and 2000s. He sees the slicing and dicing of Clippers content as a form of “gamifying” the viewing experience. He also sees it as crucial to making Clippers games available to a younger generation of fans who don’t subscribe to cable.

Read: Variety


social

ESPN bets big on TikTok to become ‘home of hockey’ for Gen Z fans

As part of ESPN’s strategy to establish ESPN and ESPN+ as the “home of hockey,” the company is tapping TikTok to target Gen Z viewers and hockey fans. To do so, ESPN is working with creative agency Fallon for the 2022-2023 National Hockey League season to engage with fans through TikTok, with a new ad spot and efforts to grow the sport as a whole.

“We hope to use TikTok to showcase the personalities and identities of the NHL stars in a way fans don’t normally see on the ice in order to increase player profiles in a relatable and engaging way,” said Lucas Ferraro, senior director of NHL marketing at ESPN. This is the second season ESPN will air NHL games (before 2021, the NHL had not been on ESPN since 2004). Less than one year after launching the TikTok account, the NHL on ESPN TikTok has grown to over 215,000 followers. ESPN’s NHL social media strategy targets younger viewers in a similar manner to what the NFL is doing with its content creator network.

Read: Digiday


media

Buzzer renews NBA, WNBA deals for viewing out-of-market games on mobile phones

Buzzer, a mobile platform for live sports aimed at young people, has renewed its deals with the NBA and WNBA to allow fans to watch out-of-market games via their League Pass streaming services.

“Buzzer has proven to be successful at reaching next-generation fans, and the partnership renewals with both the NBA and WNBA are a testament to Buzzer’s unique approach to driving an incremental audience who aren’t otherwise tuning into traditional television,” Steve Pagliuca, a Boston Celtics co-owner and investor in Buzzer, said in a statement. “For a two-year-old startup, it’s incredible affirmation, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Buzzer will continue to innovate and roll out features that bring mobile-first basketball fans back to the live window.”

Read: Forbes


WEBINAR

All Eyes On Us: Growing Your Influence While Growing as a Professional

Learn firsthand from two Hashtag Sports’ Creators of Color honorees—Chanel Smith, Baltimore Ravens’ Digital Strategy and Innovation Coordinator, and Travis Ellison, Professional Sports Photographer, and owner of his own media agency. Not only are they both creating epic visual storytelling content for the best of the best sports brands, but they’re shaping the overall professional sports industry through their unique lenses.

In this webinar on October 25 at 12 PM ET, learn how Travis and Chanel forged their career paths in the sports media and entertainment industry despite being traditionally underrepresented in front office teams, go behind the scenes of their game day content workflows, and hear about their experience with the Creators of Color program.


tech

Meta Avatars Store adds Liverpool merch

Liverpool F.C.’s Facebook page has 39 million likes, and the legendary English club surely has tens of millions of fans around the world. So it makes sense that LFC would join forces with Meta to bring official Liverpool merchandise into the Meta Avatars Store.

It marks the first time Meta has ever made sports apparel available for purchase in its Avatars Store. Fans can now deck their online avatars out in Liverpool’s home or away kits. They can also purchase a lifestyle outfit of a red hoodie and sweatpants set adorned with the Liver bird that appears on the team’s crest. “We’re also excited to help Liverpool begin to tap into the new metaverse economy, with digital apparel revenue that will be incremental to the apparel sales the club generates in the physical world,” said Jerry Newman, Meta’s director of media partnerships, Northern Europe.

Read: Boardroom


marketing

Big 12 hires Translation as it seeks creative firepower amid college conference upheavel

The Big 12, on verge of losing Texas and Oklahoma, wants to contemporize its image with music and influencer branding as it soon adds four new markets including Houston. Translation has been hired to leave creative and strategy and will work alongside the Big 12's incumbent agency, LDWW.

"We believe in the convergence of culture, technology, and storytelling to power the modern-day student-athlete. The latest expansion of the Big 12 is an unparalleled opportunity to bring a community of students, college sports fans, and athletes together through the influence of music and creators," said Steve Stoute, Founder, and CEO of Translation. "We're looking forward to bringing the Big 12 brand to untapped audiences, creating a new standard for how a sports conference shows up."

Read: Ad Age


What Else Is Trending?
  • TALENT: The Inside the NBA crew has been signed to new contracts to keep the group "together for many years to come."
  • MOBILE: NFL+ is on the agenda for an upcoming NFL owners meeting as the service endures complaints across social media.
  • SPONSORSHIP: Women athlete sponsorship deals have grown by 20% over the past year as female athletes are proving to be a better investment when it comes to audience engagement.
  • DIGITAL: VUS Ski & Snowboard has signed a streaming deal with Outside Interactive to create a ‘snowsports hub’ comprising live events, lifestyle content and Web 3.0 products.
  • STREAMING: The Edmonton Oilers have launched the team’s new official year-round video streaming service, Oilers+.

RAD AD


DEAL OF THE WEEK

American Express, Utah Jazz, and VivintArena announce partnership rooted in contact-free payment

The Details

American Express, the Utah Jazz, and Vivint Arena announced today a new sponsorship agreement making American Express the Official Payments Partner of the Jazz and Vivint Arena, with an emphasis on creating unforgettable customer experiences through unprecedented service, access, and value. The new alliance provides a number of exclusive perks for American Express Card Members, such as access to tickets and merchandise prior to going on sale to the general public, two dedicated Card Member entrances for easy access into Vivint Arena at doors 2 and 8, and the opportunity to attend specially designed private experiences. A new contactless American Express Shop will debut on the main concourse at Vivint Arena in early 2023 as a Card Member only, checkout-free store.


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