Last Week Today: May 24 – May 30, 2021 Sponsorship News
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 24 – May 30, 2021.
The Association Eyes Africa for Growth
The decade-plus of expansion and investment by the National Basketball Association in Asia has paid off exponentially as the growth of the league is now on a global scale never seen before. Even with this success, the NBA continues to look for new markets. The latest development on this front was the recent announcement of NBA Africa. Based on current investments and media rights plans for the continent, NBA Africa is already valued at $1 Billion. With long-term goals of NBA academies and social initiatives throughout Africa, it will be interesting to see how these plans help continue to evolve basketball as a world sport, contending with soccer for global popularity.
Nike Doubles Down on Osaka
Amid the recent news of Naomi Osaka declining to play in the French Open, Nike continues to stick with their brand ambassador, announcing a second collection to her branded line at the athletic apparel company. Four-time Gland Slam champion and highest-paid female athlete, Osaka, has recently opened up about mental health issues she’s experienced with the newfound fame that comes with success. It remains to be seen how this time away from the game with impact her sponsor relationships, but one can expect Nike to play a key role as the mental health of all athletes is becoming less of a taboo subject for public conversation.
Amazon Strikes Back
It didn’t take long, but Amazon has counterpunched the recent WarnerMedia-Discovery merger with their own acquisition of MGM Studios. The $8.45 billion deal brings in an impressive amount of media content under the Amazon umbrella, including everything from the show “Shark Tank” to the James Bond franchise. With a goal of building their media library streaming audience through sports properties, the MGM acquisition makes sense on many fronts as they now hold the rights to premiere sports content such as “Thursday Night Football” and the New York Yankees. This is just the latest move in the streaming wars, but will most likely not be the last.
Nielsen Folds in Streaming
As the nearly century-old company, Nielsen, sees the extreme changes to how U.S. households access media content, extensive efforts have been put in place to include streaming for their ratings system. With streaming subscriptions at over 250 million in the United States (average of 3 per household), the standard ratings via broadcast media had to be adjusted to more accurately gauge the public’s viewing interests. This recently announced change to a new Nielsen One platform should help brands better evaluate current or potential sponsorship investments into the broadcast or streaming space. Even the trendsetters have to evolve at some point.
Be on the lookout next week for the usual round-up of sponsorship news.