Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.
The Olympic Edge
During the Olympic Games, Comcast will interrupt its own commercials with near-live highlights and coverage, Variety reports, taking advantage of the fact it owns NBCUniversal and Olympic broadcast rights. “This makes the viewer feel like, ‘How did that just happen? I literally just watched that,’” said Todd Arata, Comcast’s SVP of brand marketing. For instance, Comcast has seven ads lined up featuring different sponsored athletes, and it will spice up those commercials with footage from the games. Another tactic will be more, shall we say … contextual. One ad slated for primetime Saturday has a theme of sportsmanship, and the Comcast team tasked with incorporating shots from the Olympics will be on the lookout for relevant moments.
The sock and clothing startup Bombas recently raised $150 million, and 45 athletes were among the investors, Sportico reports. To bring in investments from athletes, companies use athlete investment firms to connect sports stars to promising companies. “The private equity funds see us as an attractive group to help win a deal or add value strategically post-close,” said Matt Siegel, partner at one such athlete investment business. “It’s not like an influencer or marketing deal. These guys are treated as investors.” There are no endorsement requirements attached to the deals. But the appeal is clear. “We are big believers in the power of brand advocates,” said Bombas CEO David Heath.
Everyone from Big Tech to DTC to traditional retail is snapping up ad tech talent, according to an Insider roundup of recent industry moves. The programmatic brain drain is going in two directions: To incumbent retailers like Home Depot, Macy’s and Walgreens, and to new app players like TikTok, Spotify and Drizly. One example is Instacart, which poached Amazon’s ad platform leader Seth Dallaire as CRO in 2019. Since then, it’s beefed up on ad tech and analytics executives from Criteo, LiveRamp and Google Ads. Amazon in particular targeted top programmatic engineers, including Google product vet Sam Cox, former Xandr product management SVP Steven Truxal, formerly an IAB Tech Lab board member, former Amobee product chief Jamie Fellows and the current IAB Tech Lab Chairman Neal Richter, who held the role of Chief Scientist at SpotX. Insider has more.
But Wait, There’s More!
Brands are trying to figure out how to retarget ads in the wake of Apple’s privacy changes. [Ad Age]
WPP’s GroupM pulled out of its agency review with Facebook. [WSJ]
AT&T may have unloaded WarnerMedia, but the media company’s CEO says big changes are coming to streaming. [NYT]
Publishers are turning to augmented reality to highlight new Olympics sports such as skateboarding. [Digiday]
Former CBS president and executives form a media and tech-focused SPAC. [The Information]