From the Decline of Social Media, to American Cricket.

The decline of social media, cricket’s American adventures, Taika’s Tour de Rugby, Jordan Henderson’s interview, and Betty Crocker’s eggs are all in this week’s Trippant Takeaways, our latest round-up of stories on communications trends in sport, entertainment, and experience.

Business Insider on the end of social media

Between weekly calamities at X and the fizzling interest in Meta’s Threads, it has been a stop-start summer at best for the giants of social media.

Yet the seesawing fortunes of those major platforms might be distracting from the core issue: a more profound change in how people approach digital media. Many users are sharing less in public spaces and more in closed networks, turning social media into something less social and more like, well, other media. So what will that mean for the future of online communities and the brands trying to reach them?

The Times and the Guardian on cricket’s changing boundaries

Although the final decision has now been delayed for another couple of weeks, the International Olympic Committee is reportedly eager to add cricket to the Games for LA 2028.

IOC president Thomas Bach has spoken warmly of the prospect and while it would underline the global strides cricket has made in the T20 era, it would also be a chance to turbocharge Olympic relevance — not to mention media rights values — in India.

Whether or not the local organisers build cricket into their programme, the sport will be making a high-profile appearance on American shores very soon. The 2024 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is being co-hosted by the US, alongside the game’s more traditional stronghold in the West Indies. There are even plans to stage matches in a 34,000-seater pop-up venue in the Bronx — though objections from longstanding cricket communities there point to the complexities of growing fanbases fast.

Taika Waititi takes a Tour de Rugby

One of the biggest events in the sporting year, the Rugby World Cup, kicks off in Paris on Friday night. The opening clash brings together two of the favourites: hosts France and New Zealand.

And one particularly notable All Blacks fan — celebrated filmmaker Taika Waititi — has been setting the scene in his own inimitable fashion. The Oscar winner has explored the cultural heart of European game in a special series for New Zealand Rugby.


The Drum on football’s high fashion kit launches

This season’s lines of football kits are becoming more familiar on European pitches and stands, but many were first seen in locales more befitting a top-end fashion house.

As jersey launches become cheekier and more ambitious, The Drum looks at how ‘sports luxe’ crept into the mainstream.

The Athletic talks to — and about — Jordan Henderson

When Jordan Henderson joined the dozens of high-profile players who left European football clubs for the eye-popping salaries on offer in the Saudi Pro League this summer, he all-but jettisoned his reputation as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

An extensive interview with The Athletic this week has not, it is fair to say, won many of his critics round, and The Athletic Football Podcast has followed up with a longer analysis of what the episode says about athletes and activism.

The BBC on two years of NIL in college sports

September is back-to-school time in much of the northern hemisphere. In the US, that also means it’s time to return to a national obsession: college sports.

Student-athletes have been stars for generations but it was only in 2021 that they could make any money from their exploits, when the NCAA loosened regulations around ‘name, image and likeness’ (NIL) rights. Already, those changes have affected how teams are built, how endorsement budgets are allocated, and how sponsors think about appealing to younger fans.

Future Commerce on the ‘Betty Crocker egg myth’

In the 1950s, General Mills changed the formula of its Betty Crocker brand cake mix, removing powdered egg from the recipe and asking consumers to use fresh ones.

Sales skyrocketed. Perhaps, counterintuitively, that was because it created ‘premium friction’, increasing participation in the baking process to make it more satisfying.

Or perhaps, Zine’s Matt Klein writes, there was more to it than that — not least the fact that the cakes just tasted better. And perhaps it’s a little dangerous to disregard nuance in favour of a single, simple answer, however pleasingly unconventional that answer might seem.


Wired on Burning Man’s cultural maelstrom

Last week, around 70,000 people were stranded in the Nevada’s Black Rock Desert after heavy rains blocked roads leading out of the notorious Burning Man event.

As the commentary and complaints swirled and stuck, the incident marked out the distance in perspective between those countercultural radicals who founded the event and the ‘tech bros, celebs, and influencers’ who now drop in — echoing disputes that go far beyond the festival itself.

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