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Good morning! Amazon executives are sure having a good one—the giant for just about everything is about to gain a lot more football fans. On Wednesday, the National Football League announced new long-term deals with broadcasters like CBS, Fox, NBC, ABC and ESPN, but there’s a newbie in the market equation this year. For the first time, an online streaming platform has nabbed exclusive games, and Amazon Prime platform will stream all the Thursday games, Bloomberg reports.
NFL games continue to be the most-popular programming on TV and in an era where streaming and entertainment options run the gamut and TV viewership continues to dip, broadcasters are vying for as much football as they can get.
“For brands ... the expanded digital rights could mean new opportunities around audience targeting, e-commerce and consumer interactivity,” write Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi, Garett Sloane and E.J. Schultz, in an in-depth look at what the NFL's streaming future could mean for advertisers.
Alexi McCammond, who was set to start as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue next week, has resigned already after the publication’s staff publicly called out McCammond for making racist and homophobic tweets a decade ago when she was still a teenager. It’s the latest instance of an executive being called into question for past racist indiscretions on social media.
Teen Vogue publisher Condé Nast announced the change on Thursday after receiving pressure from “staff, readers and at least two advertisers,” reports The New York Times. Screenshots of McCammond’s deleted tweets, which included comments about Asians and gays, were shared online in the days after she was appointed to the editor-in-chief position.
The tragic deaths of six women of Asian descent this week in the Atlanta shootings that left eight dead, has distraught Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, which have continued to face racism and hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the industry has been showing its support for the AAPI community with statements of solidarity and, in some cases, donations to organizations that support the AAPI community—similar to how brands first responded in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
“We hear, see and stand with you,” said Delta. “We grieve alongside the AAPI communities,” said Starbucks. “We must stand together against racism and build a safe and just world,” said Salesforce. Meanwhile, Etsy announced it is pledging $500,000 to AAPI organizations and will amplify AAPI voices and providing more training to employees.
Bookmark our live blog to keep tabs on the brands, media players and agencies responding to the surge in violence.
Visitors have been staying away from New York City for a good chunk of the past year, with coronavirus cases spiking intermittently, but that’s beginning to change. The Wall Street Journal reports an uptick in hotel occupancy and increased foot traffic, noting how several properties, such as the Mandarin Oriental and Ace Hotel, plan to re-open soon. STR, a data firm that tracks the hospitality industry, found that hotel occupancy reached 47% in the week ending March 13, the highest the city has seen since June 2020. The Times Square Alliance says it is seeing 115,000 people come through Times Square a day, a 15% increase since September.
New York is taking measures to keep its recovery going. The state is lifting its requirement that domestic travelers quarantine upon arriving. And good news for Yankees and Mets fans: On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the city would start opening outdoor sports and performing arts venues at limited capacity. Restaurants will be allowed to serve at half their capacity from today, and indoor fitness classes are set to resume on Monday. The virus, meanwhile, remains a threat.
‘Bring your kids’: On Wednesday, Nickelodeon held its virtual upfront presentation and encouraged parents to have their kids join in the fun. The event was led by a cartoon version of “The Loud House” actress Gabrielle Nevaeh Green and the fictional Lincoln Loud. The network shared its plans for the next year, which includes ramping up its digital offerings on Paramount+, Pluto TV and YouTube.
Cheers!: Molson Coors has chosen Droga5 to handle creative for its Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, and plans a “robust 360 marketing campaign” in the increasingly competitive hard seltzer market.
Children of the 'Gram: Facebook-owned Instagram is reportedly planning to build a version of the photo-sharing platform for children under the age of 13, according to an internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Too soon?: Last year, brands stayed out of April Fools’ Day, but this year industry experts believe people deserve a laugh and a way to de-stress. Expect a lot of brands hawking fake products and parodies of this pandemic-filled year.
Waste not, want not: Continuing its sustainability pledge, Ikea has developed a “ScrapsBook” cookbook in Canada, which instructs readers on how to create original meals out of their food waste.
Friday high-five: And finally, don't miss our entertaining weekly rundown of the top 5 creative brand ideas you need to know about, hosted as always by the infectious Ad Age Creativity team. Join today's livestream here at 11 a.m. EDT.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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