The NBA is rolling out a newly redesigned app that it hopes will become a one-stop shop for its fans and serve as its digital flagship.
What's the deal?
The NBA App, which took more than two-and-a-half years to design and finish, will serve as a portal to League Pass and NBA TV, and as a store for short- and long-form content. In creation and in its effect, it has the look and feel at times of the NBA’s attempt at making a social media app for its fans, with vertical content and an interface that mimics the ones seen on Instagram and TikTok.
The NBA debuts at the same time as the league has made other changes to its digital offerings. It drastically lowered the price of NBA League Pass this season, down over 50 percent to $99.99. It also cut down on the latency between live games and the broadcasts on League Pass by half, promising a faster and higher quality feed.
The bottom line:
The league began working on the app shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, seeing a change in media and viewership trends and those have only been heightened since then.
DAZN, an international sports streaming company, has put its IPO plans on hold to focus on profitability and expansion, particularly in Europe, North America CEO Joe Markowski told Axios. DAZN said on Tuesday it has reached an agreement to acquire U.K.-based Eleven Group's global sports media businesses, adding $300 million in annual revenue. The deal gives DAZN access to Team Whistle, a sports content company that's popular on social media and has European soccer rights, which Eleven Sports bought last year.
DAZN plans to focus on betting and NFTs following a $4.3 billion capital injection from Blavatnik in February. That recapitalization wiped DAZN's debt by the end of 2021, and Access Industries made an additional $250 million equity investment.
Alykhan Ravjiani, a member of the Blue Jays social media team, is seated nearby in the camera bay next to the team’s dugout. Aside from a photo gallery celebrating the return of former Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman and a post about a Little League team that was honoured pre-game, the team’s Twitter account has been quiet. Ravjiani has his camera pointed directly at home plate as Jansen begins his at-bat, hoping to capture a special moment in the middle of a pennant race. Ravjiani has been an everyday presence at the ballpark since the start of the 2020 season, when the Jays decided to send him on the road for the first time.
As the young core helped turn a rebuilding squad into a team with World Series aspirations, players such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer became a prominent part of the social feeds. They would make playful jokes, show off personalized handshakes and dance moves in the dugout, and strike a pose every time they celebrated with their home run jacket. If you have seen any of those moments on your Twitter feed, Ravjiani is the person behind them.
The modern fan continues to evolve, with greater expectations around personalization, access, and how and when they engage with their favorite team. Since the last complete season in 2019, there has been a quantifiable shift in fan attendance – many longstanding ticket holders are not returning to live games. But there’s a silver lining: many brand new fans are coming out to take their place.
In this webinar on October 5 at 1 PM ET, see how the New York Yankees and LA Galaxy have used data-driven insights to identify and effectively engage their new fans to drive incredible results.
YouTube, best known for its online video and social media sharing capabilities, is quickly becoming a “power player” in the sports podcasting business, according to Kevin Jones (founder and CEO, Blue Wire). He said the Alphabet subsidiary now belongs “in the top five of every podcaster’s content distribution strategy, which it probably wasn’t two years ago.”
YouTube is increasingly dominating consumers’ time and attention, particularly amongst millennials and Gen Zs. Ninety-five percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 29 polled in a 2021 Pew Research study indicated that they use YouTube.
NBA star Luka Dončić is launching a digital alter ego created using Epic Games’ remarkable MetaHuman technology. The virtual Dončić was built using Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 MetaHuman tech and “augmented with neural network technologies trained with real-world facial animations from Luka’s performance capture,” according to a press release.
The alter ego, dubbed Luk.AI, will be taking over Dončić’s TikTok, where he’ll be doing things like Dueting with other creators and developing “his own personality inspired by things discovered on his FYP.”
Angel City Football Club (ACFC) announced that Chevrolet has joined the ACFC family as a Founding Partner and the exclusive sponsor in the Mass Market Auto Manufacturer category. As with each sponsor of ACFC, Chevy worked with the club's community team to identify ways to reallocate 10% of the partnership back into the community through the Angel City Sponsorship Model. ACFC has identified organizations across Los Angeles that face challenges in traveling to and from ACFC games. To remedy the challenge, Chevy will provide funds to transport up to 100 ACFC fans to every home game as a part of the partnership. Further, ACFC's active content, community, and street team vehicles are getting an upgrade, with Chevy providing new vehicles from their award-winning line-up to ensure the team safely and efficiently continues to make a positive impact on the community and remains connected with fans across the Southland.