From Goal Keeper Kit to YouTube Primetime.

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

This week: cricket and flag football reach the Olympics, Peter Hutton talks to The Story Board, Nike and Adidas push goalie tops and super-shoes, YouTube Primetime hits the UK, and much more. 

The Guardian on the next wave of Olympic sports

It’s official: cricket, flag football, baseball/softball, lacrosse and squash have been put forward by the LA 2028 local organising committee for inclusion in California’s Olympic Games. 

The decision should be ratified at the IOC Session in Mumbai on Sunday and each sport has taken a very different route to the programme. They will have different effects as well: flag football brings the world’s richest domestic league, the NFL, into the Olympic picture; cricket’s long, long-awaited comeback should yield massive returns in the South Asian rights market while continuing that sport’s globalisation.    

SportsPro on Sony’s sports tech empire

Between in-house innovations and a run of acquisitions, tech giant Sony has steadily positioned itself behind a wave of transformation in how sports are covered, officiated and analysed. Those operations – encompassing everything from VAR to live Disney animations of NFL games – have now been consolidated into a Sports Businesses arm that is ready to move into another dimension. 

Peter Hutton talks to The Story Board

The Story Board, Trippant’s new podcast series on sport and storytelling, continues with a fascinating conversation with Peter Hutton: one of the best-travelled operators in sports media. Hutton has worked as a journalist, commentator, presenter, producer, executive and CEO, in a career including stints in Europe, Asia and North America, and has the likes of Meta, Eurosport, IMG, Sky Sports and MP & Silva on his CV. 

So there are few people better placed to talk through the fundamentals of sports storytelling or the changes of recent decades.

The Verge and Fast Company on AI verification

After a strike-riddled summer in which the role and risks of artificial intelligence have cast a long shadow over entertainment media, sensitivity towards its use has sharpened. 

Not a great time, then, for Disney to be accused of basing its promotional poster for the new series of Loki – the latest extension in the Marvel television universe – on an image created using generative AI. 

Meanwhile, design software powerhouse Adobe is rolling out a new Icon of Transparency checkmark to flag AI manipulation. There is, however, a degree of scepticism around its effectiveness.   

Sky Sports and Reuters on a roaring trade in goalkeepers’ jerseys

Nike sought to make up for an unforced error this week when it belatedly put out a replica of the England women’s goalkeeper’s jersey, worn with distinction by Lionesses stopper Mary Earps in a run to the Fifa Women’s World Cup final back in August. 

The company initially declined to produce the shirt after, it now seems, miscalculating demand: a public outcry has been followed by a rapid sell-out. 

Adidas, supplier to the AC Milan’s men’s team, was in no danger of a similar mistake. When veteran striker Olivier Giroud turned in some last-gasp heroics between the sticks in Saturday’s win at Genoa, the club swiftly announced it would release goalkeepers’ tops with the Frenchman’s name and number on the back. These, too, have now sold out. 

The Drum on B2B marketing in the C-suite

Digital media is at the core of consumer marketing and changes in that space have now had a seismic impact on those in business-to-business functions. 

Drawing on new research from EssenceMediaCom, The Drum’s founder Gordon Young finds B2B marketing roles growing in complexity – even as those in them finally gain serious influence at the top tables of companies.

Advanced Television: the UK gets ready for YouTube Primetime

After the great unbundling of the 2010s, media companies are now deep into efforts to rebundle: developing cable and satellite-style packages for the streaming era that offer value and simplicity to viewers.  YouTube Primetime Channels is among the more intriguing concepts, bringing premium original channels straight on to the world’s leading video search site. Already live in Germany and the US, the service launches in the UK this week.

Fortune on a crisis of trust at Unity

As one of the major providers of the cross-platform engines on which games and other complex programmes are built, Unity Technologies has a gigantic customer base across the software development sector.  

And when it decided to exploit that customer base by imposing a new pricing structure, the company saw a dramatic collapse in trust and goodwill. CEO John Riccietello has now paid for that misjudgement with his job.

Runners World on the next leg of the super-shoe race

Elite marathon runners just keep going faster. In the past fortnight, Tigst Assefa has taken the women’s world record down to 2:11:53 and Kelvin Kiptum has slashed the men’s mark to just 2:00:35. 

It is no secret what is making these times possible: a generation of breakthroughs in footwear technology that are pushing the boundaries of achievement and the limits of the rulebooks. Assefa won her race wearing Adidas Adios Evo Pro 1; Kiptum used Nike Alphafly 3 to set his record. Even as leading manufacturers negotiate with the athletics authorities, they are aiming to communicate their own supremacy to running enthusiasts.  

The BBC on the world’s missing national football team

The Marshall Islands – a tiny volcanic archipelago with a history as a nuclear weapons testing site – is the only country on the planet without a national football team. 

Now, even as climate change brings a serious potential threat to its shores, it is building up to an overdue debut. A 33-year-old English coach, Lloyd Owers, is the man tasked with making it happen. 

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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