Trippant Takeaways.

Instagram Threads, Wimbledon climate protests, long reads, Mattel at the movies, sport and anime, Ryan Reynolds and a drug-fuelled Olympic alternative can be found in this week’s Trippant Takeaways, our round-up of stories on communications trends in sport, tech, media and entertainment.

Gizmodo on Instagram Threads

With Twitter getting ever closer to exceeding its rate limit, any and every potential successor has been followed with some curiosity. But rumours of a new text-based service from Meta have really grabbed popular attention.

Now, it’s here: Instagram Threads has launched in selected markets and is probably best placed to replace Elon Musk’s ailing network. So does it have what it takes?

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The BBC on calls for Wimbledon to boycott Barclays

Protestors from Just Stop Oil have already left their mark on the All-England Club, making Wimbledon the latest scene of their eye-catching protests at UK sports events in 2023.

But before the first ball had been served this week, another prominent collection of climate campaigners were calling out the tournament’s sponsorship strategy. Film director Richard Curtis and actor Emma Thompson are among those questioning its tie-up with Barclays over the bank’s links to environmental polluters — underlining how interconnected reputational issues are becoming in sports partnerships.

The Financial Times on Ryan Reynolds: sports investor

The Hollywood-powered rise of Welsh football club Wrexham AFC has been one of the stories of the past two years in the sports industry. Now, actors Ryan Reynolds and Ryan McElhenny are writing another chapter in Formula 1, joining a group of investors buying a 24 per cent stake in the Renault-backed Alpine team.

For Reynolds, it is only the latest move in an entrepreneurial career that applies his wry persona to serious, underpriced opportunity.

Bloomberg on the bursting sneaker bubble

The market for limited-run footwear has defined large parts of the fashion industry for a decade and become an investment activity in its own right. But as inflation bites, consumer interest is flagging, with potentially significant ramifications for influential brands like Nike.

The New Yorker on Barbie and Mattel’s cinematic strategy

After months of hype, the Barbie movie will open in cinemas almost everywhere on 21st July.

Hopes are high — critically and commercially — for Greta Gerwig’s affectionate satire but whatever happens, Barbie owner Mattel is not done yet. With Hollywood beginning to consider life after superheroes, the toymaker is about to empty its chest of childhood favourites to find more IP-backed stories to tell.

The Press Gazette on the shortage of UK long reads

The extended feature is a cornerstone of US news media and part of American literary heritage but in the UK, a combination of economic and cultural factors give longer reads a more limited presence.

Fast Company on the evolution of the Spotify brand

Spotify has transformed the music business and changed expectations in other sectors as well. Its logo has also developed in step with the digital era it helped to shape.

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4se on sport and anime

Sports documentaries have been booming in recent years but in Japan, another distinctive mode of storytelling has a rich, emotive history in the space. The 4se Matter podcast, a co-production of Leaders and Sports Business Journal, looks at the relationship between sport and anime.

The Guardian on the strange tale of a dopers’ Olympics

The scourge of performance-enhancing drug use has hampered the reputation of dozens of sports for decades, leading some contrarians to ask whether carte blanche is the best approach.

Now, lawyer and businessman Aron D’Souza has run with that idea to its logical conclusion: the doping-test-free Enhanced Games. He insists that the concept can unleash ‘superheroes’ of athletic performance; opponents detect some alarming risks to competitor safety and a faintly bizarre rhetorical stance.

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