Yahoo on the ramifications of Saudi Arabia 2034 to Disney’s Hulu buyout.

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

This week: the Fifa World Cup heads to Saudi Arabia, Disney moves for Hulu, James McNicholas tells a boxing story, Kim Kardashian signs with the NBA, Asahi gets the beers in, and more.

The Athletic and Yahoo on the ramifications of Saudi Arabia 2034

With Australia taking its bid out of the running, Saudi Arabia is all but confirmed as the host of the 2034 Fifa World Cup. 

Even in the context of the kingdom’s accelerated sports strategy, this is a big moment. It is a controversial one, too, after an opaque process that precluded debates in public around the role of state actors in football, the Saudi human rights record and other related issues.

Those discussions will recur as football’s global calendar and economy are reshaped over the next decade. At the same time, the continued shift from bid campaigns to negotiated settlements will have its own implications across the major event space.

The FT on Disney’s Hulu buyout

Disney is taking over Hulu, the US streaming service it first launched as a joint venture with fellow big media beasts Fox and Comcast. 

The group first took its holding from a third to 67% when it bought out Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019, and it has now agreed to pick up Comcast’s remaining 33% shares. An initial $8.6 billion offer is on the table but Comcast can be expected to push back in the appraisal process. 

That willingness to deal suggests a consolidation of Disney’s streaming activities but what it means for the future of its traditional TV services – such as leading sports network ESPN – remains to be seen.

James McNicholas joins The Story Board

He’s an actor, comedian, writer and football journalist – and now he’s a guest on The Story Board podcast. 

James McNicholas talks to Trippant head of content and storytelling Eoin Connolly about his remarkable memoir, The Champ and The Chump, where he explores the colourful life of his grandfather, the late former world middleweight boxing champion Terry Downes. 

And James also talks about his own varied storytelling identities – how he balances performing and reporting, writing for The Athletic and podcasting for fan media favourite Arseblog.  

Kim Kardashian signs with the NBA 

A new NBA season is upon us – one which promises to be as significant in the boardroom as it is in the paint

A looming rights renewal push should tell us plenty about the future of the sports media marketplace, but in the meantime the league has signed another deal that underlines its broader significance in a cheekier way. 

Kim Kardashian’s Skims brand is now the official underwear partner of the NBA, the WNBA and USA Basketball. We may not see much of the product but an association with one of the most visible people in pop culture will be hard to miss. 

Forbes makes ‘Magic’ a billionaire

He’s one of the greatest basketball players of all time – his breakthrough early years celebrated in the recent HBO series Winning Time. He’s an activist and HIV survivor, a serial investor in sports teams and other industries, and an American cultural icon. 

And today, according to Forbes, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is a billionaire. The 64-year-old is the fourth athlete to attain that status, with the overwhelming bulk of his earnings coming off the court and much of his time spent growing business opportunities in Black communities across the US. 

SportsPro on Asahi’s Rugby World Cup round

Around five million pints of beer were drunk at stadiums and fan parks during the Rugby World Cup in France. That points to a headache for someone but probably not for Asahi Group, which was enjoying its first outing as the tournament’s official beer partner. 

With the Japanese brewing giant acquiring celebrated brands across Europe, the competition was as much a platform to build awareness as it was a gathering of thirsty fans.

Fast Company on Boston’s new golf connection

After months of controversial and currently stalled consolidation efforts in 2023, golf is on course for something quite different in 2024. 

Backed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the inaugural TGL virtual golf series will debut in January, splitting 18 top PGA Tour players into six teams for two-hour matches at a purpose-built Palm Beach arena. 

Innovation is the name of the game and in golf, even team brands are relatively uncommon. So how do you prepare the approach? The creators of Boston Common’s look explain how they tried to combine heritage with an inclusive feel.  

Inside The Games changes hands

For over a decade, Inside The Games has provided insightful and comprehensive coverage of the sports federation world. 

Under the leadership of the veteran Olympic correspondent Duncan Mackay and Sarah Bowron, it has been a source of authoritative commentary and a proving ground for fresh generations of sports news reporters. 

It is now heading into a new era, with Mackay and Bowron selling to Vox Europe Investment Holding Ltd and heading on to other ventures after 18 years. All of us at Trippant look forward to seeing what’s next for all involved.  

Trippant champions people and storytelling to grow businesses across sport, entertainment and experience. If you want to see what we can do for you, head to our website. 

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