Future of live sports? How Amazon streamed NFL games to 200 countries and 600 types of devices

Signal acquisition, content ingestion, transcoding, ad insertion, playback optimization, and end-to-end monitoring probably weren’t top of mind for NFL fans who watched Thursday Night Football this season on Amazon.

But developing and implementing the technology required to stream live sports over the internet to millions of viewers in more than 200 countries at the same time is no easy task — and Amazon, for the most part, scored a touchdown with its first attempt at live football.

The Seattle tech giant last week streamed its 10th Thursday Night Football game as part of a deal worth a reported $50 million it signed earlier this year for the rights to stream the games. The NFL made a similar deal with Twitter last season, reportedly for a much cheaper price, as it tests new ways for fans to watch games as more and more cancel their cable subscriptions.

The NFL streaming deal is part of Amazon’s growing video arm that includes the company’s Prime video library; its Amazon Studios production unit; and other sports-related live streaming deals. Amazon spent $4.5 billion this year on video content.

Across the 10 NFL games — Amazon will also stream the Steelers vs. Texas bout on Dec. 25 — the company has attracted more than 17 million viewers, or an average of 1.7 million per game, which is slightly down from Twitter’s numbers last season.

You can read the full article here

Hyundai’s Super Bowl playbook includes digital, experiential marketing

Watching brands’ Super Bowl strategies next year will be interesting given a number of factors shaking up the ad world in 2017, especially cord-cutting, which has impacted the once rock-solid ratings powerhouse of NFL content. While in-game commercials are still the biggest play here, Hyundai emphasizing social media, digital and even experiential elements shows the brand taking a more multichannel approach in order to engage a wider net of consumers, especially young consumers who don’t necessarily favour TV. Activations at an interactive NFL theme park fit into a growing trend where marketers blend various elements of OOH, digital and mobile together to create more memorable experiences.

Hyundai isn’t alone in returning to in-game Super Bowl advertising after a break. M&M’s is planning to run its first ad in three years, a 30-second spot created by BBDO New York. Frito-Lay’s Doritos is also coming back after a one-year break with an ad by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. On the other hand, website builder company Wix.com — which has become well-known for its Super Bowl presence — is not only not running a commercial around the big game, but eschewing all TV advertising in 2018 as part of a shift toward digital and influencer marketing.

You can read the full article here

Rising star Oladipo has potential to become marketing juggernaut

Longtime announcer and former Indiana Pacers star Clark Kellogg recently made an odd, albeit apropos, analogy about the team’s newest star.

“Victor Oladipo is like a baby’s bottom, smooth and sometimes explosive,” Kellogg said during a television broadcast.

Oladipo has certainly exploded onto the central Indiana scene in his first season with the Pacers. He is fast becoming the face of the franchise.

His scoring average—24.5—is nearly 9 points higher than his first four years in the NBA. Oladipo leads the Pacers in minutes played, scoring and steals, and is near the team top in almost every other statistic.

He has twice been named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week, the only player to accomplish that this season.

It’s difficult to overestimate Oladipo’s early impact on the Pacers’ basketball and business operations.

While the Pacers are still just more than a quarter of the way through an 82-game season, what Oladipo and the team have achieved to date is far beyond anyone’s expectations coming into this season, one in which the team roster was completely overhauled. The Pacers, who were picked to be in the Eastern Conference cellar, are currently in position to make the playoffs.

While home attendance is still a bit behind last season’s pace, all indications are that it’s headed up.

You can read the full article here

NFL and Barstool Sports Could Soon Be at War Over T-shirts

With its origins in Milton, Massachusetts and headquarters in New York City, Barstool Sports, through founder Dave Portnoy, has adopted a take-no-nonsense-from-anyone identity thanks to its satirical coverage of sports and men’s lifestyle matters and eclectic apparel collections. The items that comprise the entity’s Saturdays Are For The Boys (SAFTB) line have made Portnoy and his peers a few fans and, they are contending, one blatant imitator. According to the New York Daily News, Barstool intends to reacquaint itself with the National Football League by sending a cease-and-desist letter, the contents of which, it hopes, will inspire the overseer to stop hawking T-shirts whose text, it feels, violates the SAFTB trademark.

Anyone with passing knowledge of Barstool knows that nobody will ever consider the powers that be wallflowers. This year has found Portnoy et al plying their trade to the chagrin of NFL commissioner Roger Goodelland has seen them needing to receive the same type of legal document that it will send to the league today. Worlds have collided through the present matter, with the Barstool bunch asserting that the NFL’s “Sundays Are For The–“ merchandise that acknowledges the 32 teams of pigskin performers oversteps legal bounds.

You can read the full article here

Subban Joins Adidas with Multi-Year Partnership

As if Adidas wasn’t already crushing their first foray into the game of hockey, they now have the NHL’s most charismatic player on board.

Predators defenseman P.K. Subban has joined Adidas in a partnership that will see the blueliner featured in a variety of promotional items and marketing campaigns, the first of which was released on Monday, a video with Subban showing off some of his new attire.

Subban joins an impressive hockey arsenal Adidas has formed over the past few months since becoming the official outfitter of the NHL to begin the 2017-18 season, including names like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Brent Burns and Tyler Seguin.

Always thinking outside the box, Subban says the partnership was a natural fit, since both parties share a vision to not only grow the game of hockey but the brand and lifestyle as a whole.

“I know that it’s not the traditional hockey deal, but it’s definitely cool to be a part of something that’s essentially never been done in the sport,” Subban said. “This deal is based on lifestyle and integrating pop culture into the sport and crossing over onto different platforms.”

So, stay tuned, because as Subban has shown us time and time again, it’s impossible to know what he’ll do next, but it’s always spectacular.

You can read the full article here