Fan Fact According to an advertising study from Dailymotion ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, research examining fan consumption revealed that 83% of content related to a high-profile football match is consumed before or after match day, leaving brands with extra time to advertise.
The Chicago White Sox has signed eight college athletes to their new name, image, and likeness program, CHISOX Athlete.
What's the deal?
With Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals becoming part of the norm at the college sports level, the White Sox have taken the first step towards bringing these deals to the professional levels, announcing NIL deals with eight college athletes with ties to the Chicagoland area. The MLB club started the program to “help empower student-athletes, their voices, and careers both on and off the field,” the White Sox said. Due to MLB and NCAA rules, the team could not pursue NIL deals with college baseball or softball athletes.
The eight members of the inaugural class—five women, three men—are all Illinois natives, signed to one-year agreements and being paid equally. As part of the program, the college athletes receive branding opportunities with financial incentives for social media promotion, access to professional resources within the White Sox's front office and career mentorship from sports executives.
The bottom line:
The White Sox join a growing group of brands signing college athletes to NIL deals. Last year, the NHL's Florida Panthers signed Miami QB D'Eriq King to a NIL deal, making him the first college athlete to agree to a promotional deal with a professional sports team.
Togethxr, the platform founded by iconic athletes Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, Simone Manuel, and Chloe Kim, is building community through compelling content. In June, Togethxr—a women’s-focused media platform launched by superstar athletes Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel, and Sue Bird in March 2021—dropped a five-episode docuseries on Johnson as part of its ongoing series on up-and-coming talents called Fenom. For Morgan, it’s also the type of content that perfectly embodies Togethxr’s ambition to stylishly straddle sports and culture from a women’s perspective. “It’s an incredible story,” Morgan says. “These are things most people wouldn’t otherwise see or hear if not for Togethxr and the partnerships we’ve been able to make.”
Togethxr is the latest media brand that has launched and quickly built a passionate fan community based on a strong, unique perspective, as well as social-forward content that spans social platforms, short-form video, photo essays, and podcasts. Togethxr is like the empowerment lens of LeBron’s SpringHill Company, mixed with the POV of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, tied to four legendary athletes across a diverse array of sports. It’s built a loyal following across social platforms, including more than 1.8 million TikTok followers, and the overall result so far has been a sports and culture media brand unlike any the culture has ever seen. “In life we try to stay away from cliches, but sometimes it just fits: This is like lightning in a bottle,” says Bird. “It happened so naturally. The engagement we’ve seen on social media is wild. It’s not just followers, it’s the actual engagement. People are connected to this brand.”
Amazon and data measurement firm Nielsen have sealed a three-year deal for measuring the ratings of Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” (TNF). Nielsen said this would be the first time the firm will include a streaming service and its livestreaming program in its National TV measurement service. The firm will begin measuring next Thursday, August 25, during the “Thursday Night Football” preseason game, when the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Houston Texans.
Nielsen will measure viewership of the game, along with the pregame and post-game shows on Prime Video and Twitch. It will also measure out-of-home viewing and the viewers watching in teams’ local markets via over-the-air stations. Out-of-home viewing refers to bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. “TNF” will be measured and processed like all other NFL games using Nielsen’s panel, the company said. The same metrics will be reported across all other national networks, Nielsen added. Amazon claims the deal will benefit its company as well since the measurements can provide advertisers with direct comparisons across their media investments.
In a moment of tumult and uncertainty around getting and keeping our best, diverse talent, it’s time to shift our paradigm of how we think of talent in the first place. Talent can no longer just be your employees. Talent must be your new fans.
We encourage senior business and people leaders to request an invitation to join Hashtag Sports and The Venn Collective as we rethink the employee-employer relationship and help Chief People Officers + Chief Business Officers work more collaboratively to attract, hire, and retain diverse talent.
This three-hour workshop on September 15 in Atlanta, GA will feature a panel of thought leaders, access to exclusive data & insights from Creators of Color, and an interactive exercise designed to help you engage employees as your new fans.
Microsoft’s Xbox partnered with the New York Liberty and Brooklyn Nets parent company BSE Global earlier this year with two goals: drive conversation and awareness for both brands, while shining the light from Lady Liberty’s torch on women’s sports. Those initial goals have been satisfied. And that’s paved the way for a unique partnership activation: the WNBA’s first-ever gaming-themed court at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The partnership with the Liberty is part of a much broader campaign by Xbox titled “Power Her Dreams” to highlight women’s sports. Accented in Xbox’s signature lime green color along the baseline and sidelines, the court was used in back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Sparks on Aug. 2 and 3. Inside the court were green dots resembling the vents from the Xbox Series X, the most recent console model. The court was also stenciled with sonic waves in both Xbox green and Liberty seafoam. The activation also had a digital component, allowing Roblox players to access a Dunking Simulator game on an identical court.
The upstart sports brand Overtime announced a Series D round of funding to the tune of $100 million, with Liberty Media Corp. joining its long roster of investors. Dan Porter, CEO and founder of Overtime, pledged to grow the company’s existing leagues in basketball and football. “Operating, owning it, and then really investing in audience development so that we can bring in media rights and sponsors — that’s the core of what we’re going to do with this money over the next two to three years,” he said.
Liberty, which boasts sports-related assets including Formula One and the Atlanta Braves, joins returning investors including Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global, Bezos Expeditions, Blackstone and Sapphire Sport. All together, Overtime has raised $250 million since its launch in 2016. But raising money this time around didn’t come easy, Porter admitted. “It was enormously difficult, I’m not gonna lie. I think that the level of capitalization of companies previously, when interest rates were phenomenally low, was very high,” he said. “And now things have shifted the other way. But there’s an enormous pressure to make this last for a very, very long time, so that you’re somewhat insulated from the ups and downs of where the market is and where the economy is.”
IMPACT: The NBA won't hold any games on November 8, Election Day for the 2022 midterms, in an effort to focus on encouraging fans to vote.
MEDIA: Dan Loeb’s Third Point calls for Disney to divest ESPN and take control of Hulu.
CONTENT: NASCAR Productions will build a state-of-the-art 58,000-sq.-ft. production facility in North Carolina.
SOCIAL: Snapback Sports and The Kitchen have linked up to create the first Snapchat pickleball show.
CONTROVERSY: Patrick Reed is suing Brandel Chamblee and the Golf Channel for defamation, claiming the pair conspired to defame LIV golf players.
Talent: Kevin Hart
Spot: DraftKings Reignmakers 'The Kevinverse'
DEAL OF THE WEEK
Angel City Football Club to fight online abuse and harassment through partnership with GoBubble
Social media abuse towards soccer players is being shown the red card by Los Angeles-based National Women’s Soccer League team, Angel City Football Club (ACFC), who have agreed to partner with safety tech company GoBubble to shield the team's social feeds from online hate and bullying. GoBubble works with leading sports governing bodies and teams around the globe to help protect social feeds from racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ+ messaging, and threats in real-time. ACFC, the first professional sports team in the United States to protect its social media channels from online bullying, including abusive, racist, or derogatory language, has deployed the tool across its @WeAreAngelCity Twitter and Instagram accounts and provided it for free to its staff, including coaching, soccer operations and front office staff.