Last Week Today: May 17 – May 23, 2021 Sponsorship News

last week today May 17 – 23

This is part of our "Last Week Today" series that includes a weekly roundup of the past week's most exciting and industry-altering news. Check back on our blog every week for updates! These stories cover sponsorship news for May 17 – May 23, 2021.

Merger Makes Media Monster

As both Netlfix and NBCUniversal continue to be major players in the media world, they’ll need to make room for a new, very big fish in the pond. The unnamed, new media company entering the fray will be a combination of WarnerMedia (being spun off from AT&T) and Discovery, with an expected value of $130 billion. With the rights to the NBA, NHL, and MLB, as well as popular streaming services such as HBO MAX and Discovery+, it’s clear that this media giant will be taking direct aim at Netflix for overall market share and media dollars.

Wearable Attracts Athletes and Investors Alike

While the trend of wearable tech to measure one’s health is nothing new, brands are now working more exclusively with professional athletes to differentiate their products and set the investment market. WHOOP, a bracelet that tracks biometric data through an app (for a monthly subscription fee), was recently valued at $1.2 billion. The technology is marketable alone, but the partnership that WHOOP has with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is a unique way the brand is connecting with fans and potential customers. It can be expected that competitors in this space such as Apple and Google will begin to highlight more of their partnerships with known athletes.

The Association Targeting the Emerald City?

The National Basketball Association has experienced exponential growth over the last decade due to savvy media strategies through both broadcast and social media. That said, the lack of teams in major markets has led many to believe the NBA will add at least two new teams with a primary goal of bringing a team back to Seattle. While Las Vegas is also a major player for a new team due to their success hosting NBA Summer League, the move to Seattle is seen by many as long overdue since the Super Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008. A previous hurdle for an expansion team in Seattle was the lack of an NBA-level arena, but the renovations to the former Key Arena for the new NHL team have reopened the possibility for basketball to return to the Emerald City sooner than later.

Streaming Giant Looks to Enter Gaming

With revenue up 24% year-over-year in Q1 2021, it’s already been a good year for the media streaming company Netflix. Even with the solid financials, Netflix is currently looking at ways to grow the business as streaming subscriptions have slowed in recent years. One of the new avenues for the company is in gaming, as there are rumors they are looking for an executive to run this future side of the business. Whatever Netflix decides to do regarding gaming, others in this space such as Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft should take note. Nobody wants to be the next Blockbuster.

Be on the lookout next week for the usual round-up of sponsorship news.

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