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February 8, 2024

Disney Invests $1.5B in Epic Games, Expanding Fortnite Universe

Disney is investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games, acquiring an equity stake alongside a collaboration that will focus on expanding the Fortnite universe, CEO Bob Iger confirmed in the company’s earnings call on Wednesday. Iger called the move “Disney’s biggest entry ever into the world of games and offers significant opportunities for growth and expansion.” This isn’t the first time the companies have partnered, engaging millions of Fortnite players through numerous collaborative activations and integrations. Disney‘s first-quarter earnings report came out better than expected, reporting adjusted earnings of $1.22 per share compared to the $0.99 average many were projecting.

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An Apple Flip-style iPhone is Reportedly in the Works

Apple may have just released the Vision Pro, but it remains hard at work improving one of its most popular products. According to The Information, Apple is working on “at least two” prototypes of a foldable iPhone. The model will resemble the Galaxy Z Flip devices. It’s improbable that we’ll see a debut of the products this fall when new iPhones are typically revealed, as The Information added that it’s not currently on Apple‘s mass production docket for 2024 and 2025. Until then, we’ll (im)patiently wait for more innovative products from the Big Tech powerhouse.

Netflix & the Red Sox Partner to Produce 2 New Projects in 2024

In their latest pursuit to become the go-to platform for sports storytelling, Netflix announced a collaboration with the Boston Red Sox to produce two original projects on Wednesday. The streaming giant shared in a post on X that the first show will be a sports docuseries featuring “unprecedented access to Red Sox players” and the second a documentary about the 2004 World Series championship team to arrive later this year. The first docuseries will mirror Netflix‘s other successful sports series, Formula 1‘s Drive to Survive and the NFL-themed Quarterback. MLB Studios, the league’s in-house production company, will play a role in developing both programs.

Nick Saban is Taking his Talents from Alabama to ESPN

Well, it didn’t take long for Nick Saban to get picked up out of retirement and into the booth, agreeing to join ESPN as a college football analyst, the company announced Wednesday. Less than a month after he made it official, the former Alabama coach will work mostly as an analyst on ESPN’s flagship CFB show, College GameDay. Saban will also make appearances around SEC Media Days across ESPN platforms and contribute to NFL Draft coverage. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to join their team,” said Saban. His first assignment will be announced at a later date.

ICYMI: Boardroom breaks down why Saban is the best business partner in sports. 

WNBA, VOICEINSPORT Team Up to Keep Girls in the Game

The WNBA and VOICEINSPORT (VIS) are teaming up to encourage young girls across the country to remain in sports while also providing access to some of their favorite basketball players. With the help of partners like NikeGoogle, AT&T, US Bank, and more, the WNBA Changemaker Collective leverages its massive network to elevate, advance, and economically empower girls and women through the power of sports. With this project, the W and VIS set a goal of engaging over 50,000 girls in sports in 2024 through the VIS platform. In addition, the young women will each be paired with one of 12 WNBA athletes who will serve as mentors for the initiative.

Check out my full story here for more on this project, including insight from WNBA Chief Growth Officer Cloie Edison and VIS Founder & CEO Stef Strack.

NBA Names Emirates its Official Global Airline Partner

On Thursday, Emirates and the NBA revealed a multiyear global marketing collab wherein Emirates is the official global airline partner of the NBA. The union also makes Emirates the inaugural title partner of the NBA Cup, previously called the NBA In-Season Tournament, as well as the first-ever referee jersey patch partner of the NBA. Traveling fans will also have the benefit of watching content on all Emirates flights via the airline’s inflight entertainment platform, including long-form documentaries, player profiles, interviews, and more.

Bitcoin is Back Up

The price of Bitcoin returned above $44,000 on Wednesday for the first time since Jan. 12, with an increase of 2.5% over the last 24 hours. Consequently, the price action resulted in the liquidation of over $15 million in bitcoin-leveraged positions, per Coinglass data. The rush marks an important revival for cryptocurrency, measuring up with market projections and investor sentiment surrounding the forthcoming Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meeting.

Boardroom’s Michelai Graham breaks down some recent insights on Bitcoin.