Mr Beast’s big Amazon offer to Hamilton’s Ferrari Move.

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

This week: UMG’s TikTok standoff, golf’s investment conundrum, Hamilton’s Ferrari switch, the Super Bowl merchandise disappearing act, Mr Beast’s big Amazon offer, the future of women’s football, the value of going off-message, the long tail of the original Apple Mac, and much more.     

Rolling Stone on Taylor Swift’s TikTok timeout

From its heritage in lip-syncing and dance crazes to its dominance of younger demographics, TikTok has long woven pop music into its identity and its all-conquering algorithm.

So an ongoing standoff with Universal Music Group – which has muted artists like Drake, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lemar, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish, and someone called Taylor Swift on the platform – could lead to short-term disruption or have huge long-term implications for the music industry’s relationship with social media. 

Golf Digest on the PGA Tour’s $3 billion investment

After inching towards consolidation in 2023, the state of golf looks a little patchier once again. The PGA Tour this week welcomed $3 billion worth of investment for its new for-profit venture, PGA Tour Enterprises, from Strategic Sports Group, a vehicle backed by heavyweight sports team owners like Steve Cohen, Arthur Blank and John Henry. 

It is a development that has led to talk of player equity and some very ambitious growth projections, and appears to leave open the matter of a proposed merger with LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Golf Digest provides an update.

Sky News on Hamilton’s shock Ferrari switch

Lewis Hamilton is the most famous and successful driver in Formula 1. Ferrari is the most prestigious brand in motor racing. 

When the 39-year-old leaves Mercedes for Maranello in 2025, there will be few more followed or commercially significant stories in sport.

AdWeek tots up the ideal Super Bowl commercial

The stage is set for the biggest day in US sport: on Sunday 11th February, defending NFL champions Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas.

And while millions of American eyes will be cast towards Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy – and, let’s face it, Travis Kelce’s more famous girlfriend – many others will focus on breaks in play. The Super Bowl is after all, well, the Super Bowl of TV advertising. 

The campaigns around each campaign get bigger every year, with teasers already circulating for spots featuring the likes of Chris Pratt, Kate McKinnon, Lionel Messi, and that other pop star-athlete couple you may have heard of. 

But what makes a great Super Bowl commercial? AdWeek has run the numbers to find out what factors are most common to success. 

Fast Company on where losing Super Bowl merch goes next

At around 6.30pm local time next Sunday, either the 49ers or the Chiefs will be confirmed as the new NFL champions. Moments later, players and staff will be adorned in commemorative hats, T-shirts and other official memorabilia. 

It’s a sharp operation – but arguably less impressive than the one that shuffles the losing team’s unlucky apparel out of the stadium and on to the backs of disadvantaged people around the world. 

SportsPro on NewCo and the future of English women’s football

The continued rise of English women’s football is about to be entrusted to a bespoke entity, the NewCo, which is bidding to take the Women’s Super League into an era of commercial acceleration. 

CEO Nikki Doucet has met the press in the past few days but questions remain about what to expect from the NewCo and the best path for sustainable growth in the sport more generally.  

SportBusiness on the arrival of T100 triathlon

Back when it was founded in 2020, the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) promised to be the model for a different kind of athlete-led sports body, while also pushing towards a calendar that brought the best competitors in its sport together on a more regular basis. 

Those efforts appear to be bearing fruit with the launch of the T100 Triathlon World Tour – an elite series backed by World Triathlon and carrying a $7 million prize fund.

Variety on Amazon’s pitch to Mr Beast

He’s one of the most-watched people on YouTube and has parlayed his audience of over 250 million subscribers into philanthropic ventures and big-selling brands like Feastables.

Now Mr Beast, AKA Jimmy Donaldson, is reportedly close to a $100 million deal that would turn one of his signature challenges into an Amazon Prime Video series. That would not only represent a huge personal payday but a critical test case for where the streaming ecosystem is headed.  

Channel 4 confirms digital-first plans

The status of UK free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 has become politically contentious in recent years but the organisation itself remains eager to underline its commitment to public service and forward thinking.

That has taken on fresh impetus with plans to become a streaming-first platform by 2030, with smaller linear channels set to close this year maid a drive to register subscribers to its digital outlets.  

Reuters on Microsoft’s AI-powered resurgence 

Microsoft might just be the biggest thing in tech again – for now, in any case. 

Strong early moves in AI investment, allied to its Activision-boosted gaming division and long-term dependability in software and cloud computing, have sent the company’s share prices up and its market cap above that of Apple. But chipmaker Nvidia, whose products are central to artificial intelligence technology, is heading towards the front of the pack.

The Financial Times on Flutter’s Wall Street bet

Just under six years after sports betting was effectively legalised across the United States, the signs are that the gambling industry’s centre of gravity has shifted. 

Flutter, which owns European bookmakers like Paddy Power as well as US-based Fan Duel, has announced plans to move its stock market listing from London’s FTSE to the New York Stock Exchange, pending shareholder approval.

The New York Times on Reneé Rapp’s rough edges

Given that she is now, officially, one of the Mean Girls, perhaps it is unsurprising that singer and actor Reneé Rapp is prone to the odd cutting public remark. 

Still, is her preference for going off-message a problem for publicists, or is it a refreshing and effective change from slickly coached celebrity conversation? 

The BBC on the enduring appeal of the Apple Macintosh

It’s now 40 years since a compact new computer said ‘Hello, world,’ and announced itself through one of the more iconic Super Bowl commercials

The Apple Macintosh failed to meet lofty expectations on release but it has long since won the argument through its vision for the PC. And the original model still has plenty of adherents – a community still celebrating its singular design as well as its historic influence.

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