From ESPN’s Big Bet, to a New Premier League Season.

A new Premier League season, ESPN’s big bet, Zoom’s return to the office, a Chinese smartphone ban for kids and MrBeast’s disgust for his own burgers all feature in this week’s Trippant Takeaways, our round-up of stories on communications trends in sport, entertainment and experience. 

SportsPro lays the ground for the new Premier League season 

The new kits are out, the transfer market is whirring towards its expensive conclusion, and the table has been reset to alphabetical order. Another Premier League season is almost upon us.  

Off the field, it’s been another eventful summer for the world’s most-watched football league. In case you’ve not been able to keep up, SportsPro has produced a handy primer on some of the major business storylines, and a comprehensive commercial guide for every club.  

The Athletic on Dude Perfect’s investment in Burnley 

Burnley are back in the top flight after a year away, and have an unexpected set of minority owners in tow.  

YouTube sport and comedy group Dude Perfect have bought a minority stake in the EFL Championship winners, hoping that their reach and expertise in content creation can take the Burnley brand to another level.   

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Unofficial Partner on Fifa Women’s World Cup marketing 

As men’s club football returns in Europe, an unpredictable Fifa Women’s World Cup is approaching its final stages over in Australia and New Zealand.  

The tournament has magnetised attention on the pitch but have the campaigns around it captured the spirit of the occasion? The Unofficial Partner podcast team assesses some of the most significant marketing creative.  

The Financial Times and Axios on ESPN Bet 

The biggest sports broadcaster in the US has got into gambling. ESPN has confirmed a licensing deal with PENN Entertainment to open an official sportsbook, which will boast a range of digital product integrations and make use of on-air talent for promotion and additional content.  

It should add a welcome revenue stream for ESPN in a challenging subscription environment, while the involvement of a Disney-owned company underlines how established legalised betting has become in the US over the past five years. To make the move happen, meanwhile, PENN has returned control of the Barstool Sports brand to its brash former owner, Dave Portnoy.   

SportBusiness on a tie-up for DAZN and Fanatics 

In another part of the sports media ecosystem, global pay-TV and OTT network DAZN has agreed a partnership with Fanatics, a group holding merchandising deals with some of the biggest leagues and teams around.   

The deal means DAZN viewers can buy official gear directly through the company’s app. It’s an arrangement that further extends Fanatics’ reach and gives loss-making DAZN another potential source of income, while it could also bring the long-promised future of live sport – with interactive features and ecommerce integrations as standard – is coming into view.  

Business Insider on Zoom’s call back to the office 

The move in fits and starts towards something more like pre-Covid office habits is a key business trend in 2023. Still, Zoom putting new limits on remote and hybrid working feels a little on the nose…  

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The Guardian on smartphone limit plans for Chinese children 

China could be set to introduce dramatic curbs on smartphone use for children and young people after recommendations on tech addiction from its digital regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China.  

Measures under discussion include 40-minute daily limits for children under eight, an hour for those aged nine to 15 and two-hour limits for those aged 16 to 18. The news has sent shares tumbling in domestic tech brands like Alibaba and Bilibili.  

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Variety on the MrBeast burger wars 

YouTube superstar MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, thought he had found a suitably digital-age extension of his brand when he launched a ‘virtual restaurant chain’ in 2020. MrBeast Burger sells food almost exclusively through delivery apps, operating out of ‘ghost kitchens’ with no front of house.  

It was a scalable solution that was particularly well-suited to the pandemic era, and MrBeast Burger has now opened 1,700 outlets around the world. The only problem: the burgers, reputedly, are terrible.  

Donaldson himself is now so concerned about the damage to his reputation that he has sued partner Virtual Dining Concepts to get out of the deal; they in turn are countersuing for $100 million for breach of contract.  

Pretty sure this never happened to Ronald McDonald… 

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