Hollywood actors’ strike concludes to Saudi’s bold IPL investment.

The Takeaway is Trippant’s round-up of essential stories on communications trends in sport, entertainment and experience.  

This week: Saudi’s IPL investment bid, the Hollywood actors’ strike ends, John Lewis unveils its Christmas venus fly tree, SportsPro and Laureus champion purpose-led creative campaigns, brands court LinkedIn influencers, Fortnite goes back to the future, and more.

Bloomberg and the Washington Post on cricket and Gulf sporting ambitions

The marathon first round of the men’s ICC Cricket World Cup ends this weekend, with hosts India now hot favourites to win a first global title since 2011.

Of course, India’s commercial capture of the game has long since been confirmed, with the IPL and its franchise teams accruing ever greater wealth and influence. So a mooted multi-billion investment by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – through efforts reportedly led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – could prove hugely consequential. 

It would be the latest significant development in a trio of Middle East strategies – along with those of Qatar and the UAE – whose potential implications for 21st century sport and culture are still only beginning to be fully understood.

The New York Times on the end of the actors’ strike

After 118 days, Hollywood’s film and television actors are going back to work. 

The performers’ SAG-AFTRA union has agreed a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on issues like streaming residuals and AI use, prompting a string of celebratory statements from some of the world’s biggest stars. 

It may yet be some time, though, before production and release schedules settle down. Moreover, despite better conditions for actors and writers, there are likely to be fewer jobs available in the years to come.

Marketing Week on the John Lewis Christmas ad

It’s that time of year again: festive advertising season. And no piece of UK creative is more eagerly anticipated or scrutinised than the annual John Lewis TV spot. 

Saatchi and Saatchi’s first campaign for the retailer tells the story of a little boy and an insatiable, singing venus fly trap. So is it a little too weird to be wonderful? Or is it a winning celebration of changing Christmas traditions (like poring over the John Lewis TV ad)?

SportsPro and Laureus on sport for good campaigns

This week, SportsPro and Laureus unveiled their third annual Sport For Good Index – a selection of 30 brands delivering positive social or ecological change through sport. 

Producing social impact is the result of a sophisticated ongoing commitment. Properly communicating those values – and inspiring them in others – requires its own thoughtful, sensitive approach. SportsPro has highlighted some of the creative campaigns from brands in this year’s index that get those messages across. 

The BBC on the NFL’s next destination

Last weekend, the NFL played the first of its two games this season in Frankfurt, with those International Series fixtures in Germany following an annual run in the UK and previous visits to Mexico.

The expansion will not stop there, according to league commissioner Roger Goodell, who has confirmed that a “new market” will host a regular season game in 2024. Spain and Brazil are the current front-runners. After this year’s extension of the Global Markets Programme and with flag football set for its Olympic bow in 2028, ambitions for worldwide growth are some way from being satisfied. 

TechRadar on Fortnite’s throwback hit

Even in Fortnite, it seems, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

The massively multiplayer online shooter, which has helped redefine the role of gaming since its release six years ago, attracted a whopping 44.7 million players last week for an event where it reset its in-game world to original 2018-era maps. Over 102 million hours were spent collectively exploring the ‘OG’ environment. 

It all serves as a reminder of the power Fortnite retains to mobilise its digital community, as well as the impermanent access streamers and gamers have to their entertainment in the post-physical media age. 

CNN tracks Microsoft’s blundering AI

Microsoft’s embrace of AI has delighted shareholders but the transition remains a little bumpy. 

The tech giant’s decision to automate a series of aggregation and editing functions on its MSN.com news homepage has been producing wild and occasionally dangerous results, from the promotion of fake news and conspiracy theories to some deeply insensitive editorial decisions.

Fast Company on the age of the LinkedIn influencer

Whether sharing invaluable career insights or suggestions for monastic pre-dawn self-betterment, the LinkedIn influencer has come to dominate the landscape of the professional social media platform. 

And brands have taken notice – particularly tech brands like Intel and HootSuite, who have sensed an opportunity to put a human face on B2B marketing.

The Guardian meets ‘football’s memory keeper’

Since a fateful incident brought him into the Argentina dressing room at Italia 90, Marcelo Ordás has amassed a collection of over 5,000 game-worn football shirts. 

He has since opened a museum in Madrid but retains a personal connection to these precious relics of sporting history. 

Trippant champions people and storytelling to grow businesses across sport, entertainment and experience. If you want to see what we can do for you, head to our website. 

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