Lionel Messi’s Hot Pink Number to The Rise of Holograms.

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

This week: Lionel Messi’s hot pink number, the rise of the holograms, Goal Click on the Story Board, flag football’s big year, Jon Stewart and the future of Apple TV, the Doordash pitch to gamers, Fortuna Düsseldorf’s free tickets and more.

The New York Times and CNN on experiencing Messi

Lionel Messi, named last week by SportsPro as the world’s most marketable athlete, also has the world’s hottest-selling football shirt.

When the Argentinian legend signed for Major League Soccer side Inter Miami over the summer, The New York Times reports, the club’s stock of replica jerseys quickly sold out. Since then, kit partner Adidas — which also makes Messi’s boots — has been working to reorganise its supply chain, with the Pantone 1895C pink version still especially popular across the globe.

Meanwhile, for those fans who want to do more than just wear their hero’s shirt, The Messi Experience will begin a world tour from Miami in April next year. Developed by multimedia companies Primo Entertainment and Moment Factory, it is billed as an ‘immersive technological experience’ that will combine 360-degree mapping technology, 3D visuals and artificial intelligence to recreate key moments from Messi’s life and career.

The BBC on the march of the holograms

From large-scale video installations like Frameless to the Abba Voyage holographic residency in east London, tech-led immersive attractions are being positioned as the next generation of theatrical and fan experiences.

Expectations are rising in the space, with computing solutions like those powering Australia’s Hologram Zoo becoming ever more accessible.

Matthew Barrett talks Goal Click with The Story Board

The Story Board is the sports storytellers podcast from Trippant and this week, we’re hearing from someone who has helped give a vast range of football fans and players the tools to share their own perspectives.

Beginning with disposable cameras and working with NGOs, brands and federations, Goal Click has collected stories everywhere from World Cup dressing rooms to refugee camps. Founder Matthew Barrett explains its approach to Trippant head of content and storytelling Eoin Connolly.

AdWeek on flag football’s Super Bowl smash

These are heady times for flag football, with gridiron’s small-sided, low-contact cousin set for a huge wave of global exposure before an Olympic debut at LA 2028.

The sport’s presence at the Games is the result of an extended collaboration between the International Federation of American Football and the NFL. The latter views flag football as an accessible way of driving participation internationally and outside traditional demographics as part of its global brand strategy.

And the league has early cause for optimism around those efforts, with activities like its Super Bowl commercial in February sustaining a rise in player numbers across the US — including a significant post-pandemic spike among young women and girls.

Fast Company shares some feedback with Elon Musk

Unbelievably, a full year has passed since Elon Musk completed his contentious $44 billion takeover of Twitter, now X.

No sooner had the company let that sink in than the Tesla and SpaceX founder began letting staff go, to widely detrimental effect. Some of those former employees have given their reviews of the new owner’s first 12 months and they are, fair to say, not good at all.

Techradar on YouTube’s plan for news

The horrifying real-world events of recent weeks have been a huge test for social media and news organisations alike — exposing vulnerabilities to misinformation and provocation that have often made a difficult situation worse. Calls for tech platforms to address these challenges are hardly unfamiliar. And with X mired in verification controversy and Meta engaging less formally with official news sources, YouTube is leaning into the issue: unveiling a feed for ‘authoritative sources’ and a $1.6 million fund for short-form video journalism.

The Verge on Jon Stewart and Apple TV ambitions

Apple still wants to do for television what it did for communications and computing. The biggest company around is planning an overhaul of the Apple TV platform in a bid to finally make it the central hub of viewers’ lives, bringing all their favourite films, shows and services into one space.

For all that, Apple’s identity in original programming is still evolving. Its own Apple TV+ streamer, a relatively low-key player so far, is set for an imminent hike in subscription prices and faces new questions about creative independence after the cancellation of current affairs show The Problem With Jon Stewart. The venerated comic and former Daily Show host reportedly moved on after a disagreement over editorial direction on China and AI.

The Wall Street Journal on the Doordash gaming strategy

Food delivery apps have made huge gains, for obvious reasons, in the past few years. To keep the momentum going, most are now targeting repeat diners as much as new customers.

For US service Doordash, that has meant becoming the go-to partner for intense video game sessions. It has designed a comprehensive strategy around reaching gamers, from esports and in-title sponsorship to arcade-styled advertising and streamer-fronted promotions.

Forbes on Fortuna Düsseldorf’s ticketing revolution

How much would you pay to see your local football team? How about nothing?

German second-tier club Fortuna Düsseldorf have rolled out a new pilot scheme where they offer free matchday tickets to all spectators. Three ‘Fortuna For All’ games are planned for this season — and fans got unbeatable value from the first, with the home side overturning a three-goal deficit to beat Kaiserslautern 4–3.

Fortuna have radical plans to make all tickets free at the 54,600-seater Merkur Spielarena from 2028, covering the difference through sponsorship and merchandise sales. If it works, it could transform the relationship between the club and local community.

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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