Maven Partner Update - August 3, 2020

MavenIR

ABG AND MAVEN REAFFIRM ALLIANCE AND GOALS FOR SI

The leadership teams at Maven and Authentic Brands Group (licensor of the Sports Illustrated brand) just completed a thorough review of our respective roles in building a secure future for Sports Illustrated and have agreed to an amendment to our licensing agreement, designed to improve communication and promote collaboration. This is a milestone that will help fuel the stability and growth of SI. As James Heckman and ABG CEO Jamie Salter each enthused on a recent conference call with employees, Maven and ABG are united in taking Sports Illustrated’s digital and print assets to new heights over the coming decades. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO AWARD WINNERS AT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

While the induction ceremony this summer was shelved due to COVID-19, the National Sports Media Association this year affirmed what we have always known: Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci is a Hall of Famer. Tom is one of the greatest minds ever to cover Major League Baseball, and is joined in NSMA’s 2020 Hall of Fame class by Dan Patrick and Michael Wilbon. This is one of the highest honors in the profession.

Other members of the SI team have been recognized recently for excellence:

Jenny Vrentas was nominated this month for the prestigious Dan Jenkins Medal for excellence in sportswriting. She's one of 12 national-best sportswriting award nominees for her 2019 Sportsperson of the Year piece on Megan Rapinoe.

Greg Bishop was recognized twice by the Boxing Writers Association of America for his 2019 coverage. Greg shared first-place recognition in the Best Boxing Column category for his piece Boxing’s Tragedies Put Sport in Difficult Corner, plus earned third-place honors for best boxing event coverage for the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight.

Sports Illustrated was nominated for two ASME cover awards for the Best Sports and Fitness Cover category (Tiger Woods winning the Masters and Megan Rapinoe Sportsperson of the Year, which was a finalist).

PRODUCT UPDATES: ADS, PRIVACY, APP AND MORE

Monetization: We have added new prebid partners for display and video to maximize revenue, and improved the video player’s float-and-park viewability which also will drive a higher yield. Direct ads may now be sold against content restricted from exchanges once you have identified an article as demonetized.

Privacy and Data Protection: Maven is getting in front of CCPA and GDPR updates. We are upgrading to the new industry standard in consent framework protecting our partners, users and subscribers.

Universal Navigation: This gives partners a new distribution option for discovery via the key menu. In addition, allowing a user to login to all coalition properties is increasingly critical for monetization, as data privacy initiatives make cookies unusable for ad targeting. This also will allow for new promotional opportunities on desktop and mobile.

Maven App: We are upgrading the look and feel to a more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing design. Upcoming updates include an onboarding process for new users to find your content; improved video display; and a feed of all sites users follow on the network, with suggestions similar to the current RCW (re-circulation widget) to help them discover more content, increasing distribution across the network.

OUTSTANDING, RECENT TOPICAL CONTENT

Brian O’Connell at The Kitchen Table Economist details how the pandemic is prompting house-hunters to hit the pause button on the American Dream.

Nasha Smith at En Fuego wrote a fun and fresh piece -- boldly and creatively illustrated, too -- that elevates the voices of women of color: Sole Sisters: The Women Behind Made for the W are revolutionizing sneaker culture.

Joan Pagano at A Woman’s Health’s suggested at-home strength training exercises.

The recent series of Groundhog Day-type movies have mostly been ho-hum, explains James Berardinelli of Reelviews.net but the new Andy Samberg film Palm Springs is a worthy entry in the genre.

MAVEN SPOTLIGHT

LevelSkip.com is devoted to video-game enthusiasts. Founded by a diverse group of engineers, product and community advocates, moderators and editors, the aim is succinct: “to be the best place online to find high-quality, informative-style content.” Pageviews last month totaled more than 2 million. The archive of unique articles numbers over 3,500.

Content on LevelSkip is diverse—ranging from the Top 15 Nintendo 64 Games You’re Never Too Old to Try to The Top 5 Must-Have Nintendo Switch Accessories.

RECENT MAVEN CHANNEL LAUNCHES

As always, you'll find a full list of Mavens by category at Maven.io.