Tiger changes clothes to Microsoft opens its Xbox.

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

This week: OpenAI teases a new text-to-video era, Tiger Woods unveils Sun Day Red, the Super Bowl eclipses everything but the moon, Messi triggers a Hong Kong backlash, Disney goes big on Fortnite, and more. 

Sora resets the generative AI conversation

More than a year on from the giddy launch of Chat-GPT, OpenAI has shown it is still capable of generating a lot of publicity.

Its technologies still merit plenty of discussion, too. This week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman unveiled the company’s latest product: a text-to-video tool called Sora. This promises to turn user prompts into ‘complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background’, and the early examples shared by Altman look like a big leap forward.

To this point, videos produced using generative artificial intelligence have been sometimes horrifying works in progress. But Sora’s levels and realism and dexterity suggest the kind of rapid development seen not just in Chat-GPT but image generators like Midjourney.  

It will certainly be enough to relaunch debates about the economic impact of these solutions, the increased risk of abundant misinformation, and ethical concerns over the source of materials used to train AI models. And while it is not yet clear when Sora will be widely available, those in the creative and communications industries will once again be recalculating timelines for integrating or adapting to these systems.

Of course, the real implications of this may not be visible until the most excited chatter has died down. But as the Financial Times has reported this week, a juicier hype cycle gives OpenAI some more time, and some more funding, to get somewhere closer to a viable long-term model.

The Recap

Golf.com on Tiger Woods’ new brand

Tiger Woods has returned to the PGA Tour with an uncharacteristic shank and a new look, debuting his TaylorMade co-branded Sun Day Red clothing line after ending a 27-year partnership with Nike. 

The BBC on an NFL ratings bonanza

The Super Bowl, somehow, keeps heading for the moon. This year’s game was watched by an average 123.4 million Americans – an all-time record for any US broadcast outside of the 1969 Apollo 11 landing, for which live viewership estimates are a looser 125 to 150 million.

Marketing Week and The Drum on the pick of the Super Bowl ads

A Lionel Messi-led spot for Michelob Ultra was the popular favourite among this year’s Super Bowl commercials, according to analysis by System1. But could Beyoncé’s Verizon campaign have the biggest cross-cultural impact?

SportsPro on the future of the US sports bundle

The US sports industry is still reverberating from the shock news that ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros Discovery will join forces to launch a combined sports streaming service before the end of this year. So what’s happened, what happens next, and what does it mean for sports media and television in the digital age?

The FT on Lionel Messi’s Hong Kong misadventure

Fans in Hong Kong bought tickets to see Lionel Messi and all they got to watch was a football match.

The fallout from Messi’s injury-led withdrawal from an Inter Miami friendly – including the cancellation of two Argentina friendlies in China – underscores the tension in the celebrity-led global marketing of clubs.

The Verge on an open Xbox

Microsoft has announced that several titles previously exclusive to its Xbox videogame console will now also be heading for Sony Playstation and Nintendo Switch. It is the very start of a reworked, software-led gaming strategy for the tech giant – which could mean the end of the console wars as we know them.

IGN on Disney’s leap into Fortnite

Disney has confirmed its most ambitious video game project to date: a $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games, and a partnership to build an ‘expansive, open, persistent, and social universe’ featuring its characters and interoperating with the massively multiplayer world of Fortnite.

In case you missed it…

Robyn Duda on The Story Board

On the latest episode of The Story Board podcast, Trippant’s Eoin Connolly talks to event strategist and experience designer Robyn Duda, who shares two decades of lessons in managing people, problems and expectations with the likes of IBM, Spotify and Coca-Cola.

She also discusses RacquetX – a new conference and trade show she has created for the racquet sports industry, which debuts in Miami next month.

The power of understanding your story

Your story matters – and so does your customer’s story.

In this first entry in a new series from Trippant, we explain how great storytelling is at the heart of any good business communication strategy.

Trippant champions people and storytelling to grow businesses across sport, entertainment and experience. If you want to see what we can do for you, connect with us here.

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