Spotify wraps things up to Paddington Bear pops up everywhere.

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

This week: Elon Musk talks advertising, Spotify wraps, Sports Illustrated hits an AI glitch, and Paddington Bear pops up everywhere, alongside features on Team GB, Premier League shirts, the Chinese Super League and more.

Elon Musk unloads on the DealBook Summit

Even by Elon Musk’s standards, this has been quite a week in the public eye. 

Having alienated key advertisers by endorsing antisemitic posts on his X platform – and even after apologising for those actions – the world’s richest man put the ‘offensive’ back in ‘charm offensive’ during an interview at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit. 

His forthright, expletively charged rejoinder to brands like Disney made most of the headlines but the rest of the conversation – in which Musk said “it’s a weakness to be liked” – suggests that confrontational pose is not being dropped any time soon.

Wired on Amazon joining the AI Q

Away from all that sound and fury, another piece of Silicon Valley news made a comparatively quiet arrival. 

But given the sheer size of its cloud-computing client base, Amazon’s launch of Q – a chatbot that helps businesses to troubleshoot, understand their workflows and get the best out of AWS – could yet make a very significant impact. 

The BBC on Spotify Wrapped and post-genre music fandom 

This week, just before its algorithms get skewed by a month-long binge of festive favourites, Spotify has been telling its millions of users about their listening habits for 2023. 

The Spotify Wrapped playlist has been a marcomms smash since launching in its current form in 2017, while becoming valuable storytelling tool for the music industry itself. 

It has shown, for example, how fans have developed increasingly eclectic, genre-curious tastes, with intriguing ramifications for artists and publishers. 

Futurism on Sports Illustrated’s AI mishap

For much of its near 70-year existence, Sports Illustrated represented something of a global gold standard for sports media. Yet the US title has battled through digital turbulence in recent years and, if the past week is anything to go by, the AI era could further damage its prestige. 

Earlier this year, Drew Ortiz and Sora Tanaka followed the likes of Geroge Plimpton and William Faulkner in securing a coveted SI byline. Only, Drew Ortiz and Sara Tanaka never existed, and the product reviews they produced often made little sense.

SI owner The Arena Group has blamed a third party for introducing the shonky generative copy to their site. However it happened, the episode has again underlined the ethical and reputational risks that come with embracing this new technology too carelessly.

The Athletic on the Premier League shirt market

Between Black Friday and the Christmas rush, this is a big period for Premier League clubs selling officially printed shirts. 

The ecosystem has grown more sophisticated in recent years – in terms of design and distribution – but there are still simple practicalities to observe, from stocking shelves to stocking the right combinations of letters for star players’ names…

The Guardian on Team GB’s uneven following

Some of the biggest British sports stars of 2024 are currently plying their trade in near anonymity and often trying circumstances. 

Team GB are one of the most popular institutions in the UK but how can leading Olympians – and their sports – escape their quadrennial cycles of spotlight and shadow? 

The Drum on team mixers without the alcohol

Party season is upon us but the office Christmas bash may be changing, with more businesses making an effort not to put booze at the centre of their social activities. 

For those building company cultures, that means thinking differently about how to encourage more inclusive forms of team bonding and celebration. The Drum asks some agency leaders to explain their approach. 

The BBC on the rise and fall of the Chinese Super League

Before the Saudi Pro League, there was the Chinese Super League: a mega-spending new entrant that promised to change the centre of gravity in club football back in the mid-2010s. 

Less than a decade on from a flurry of major transfers, with government focus long since having shifted, the financial picture is very, very different – with international stars harder to find and a flurry of clubs collapsing.

The New York Times on Paddington’s Photoshop adventures

Every day since March 2021, a friendly little bear from darkest Peru has worked his way into ever unlikelier settings in pop culture history. 

Jason Chou talks about how he began photoshopping Paddington Bear into scenes from film, TV and gaming, and the online community those appearances have inspired.  

Trippant x Brisbane Roar

Finally, some news from Trippant HQ: we’re delighted to announce that we’ll be working with A-League football club Brisbane Roar, helping them pursue their ambitions to reconnect with their state-wide, national and international fanbase.

We’ll be supporting their communications and marketing team with senior advisory and consultation, as well as leading specific communications and community initiatives – and we’re thrilled to be joining them on their journey.

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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