May 8, 2020

Ready for Your Close-Up?

The media paradox of the pandemic era means the news business is hemorrhaging ad revenue— especially event sponsorships— as cautious brands pull their buys even as readership is spiking

But virtual events present an opportunity for plucky brands to get in front of all those eyeballs.

Some virtual events have drawn more attendees than in-person offerings. Events with notable speakers, like Axios’ live virtual conversation on the future of fintech featuring Andrew Yang, drew over 10,000 viewers.

And virtual events give publishers freedom to experiment. AtlanticLIVE is hosting virtual roundtables of 20-25 experts moderated by editorial staff. In this set-up, event sponsors can build relationships while running soft tests of ad messages. A 10 to 20 percent discount on sponsorship prices vs. live event packages sweetens the deal.

But challenges remain. There isn’t strong audience interest in virtual event topics outside of COVID-19. And many attendees are multitasking. It’s difficult enough to keep sponsored sections of events entertaining under normal circumstances.

To-date, virtual event successes have primarily been free and short-term. But with no sense of normal in sight, event organizers and sponsors will have to get creative around bigger and longer events. Start with our tips here.

Reset the Shot Clock

The return of live sports is finally here – but athletic competition will look very different in our new normal.

As we previewed yesterday, sports fans can look forward to a few live events in May:

Other major sports leagues are also cautiously optimistic about a return-to-play in the next few months. NBA practice facilities are slowly beginning to reopen, with a close eye on local COVID-19 guidelines. The NFL released a detailed plan to have facility reopening protocols in place by May 15. And MLB is hammering out a proposal that would kick the season off in July.

It’s exciting news for fans. And we’ll be watching as much as ever
But given the different realities on the ground worldwide, the 2020 season will lack the camaraderie and community in the stands that brings live sports to life.

COVID-19 By The Numbers

Capital Recap

On the heels of the Labor Department’s latest report showing 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on Congress to pass additional relief legislation

Schumer argued, “No one could look at today’s jobs report, the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, and say we should hit the pause button on further government action.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) echoed Schumer’s sentiments, stating, “The dire job losses show the urgent need for a bold…package that is equal to the crisis gripping the American people.”

Meanwhile, Democratic House leadership continues to put the final touches on their phase four relief bill. The bill could be released this weekend— but more likely will be unveiled next week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has not announced when the House will reconvene but has told lawmakers they will receive ample notice to return to Washington.

Finally, this morning Democratic senators introduced a proposal to send a monthly $2,000 check to people who make less than $120,000. It would increase to $4,000 for married couples who file taxes jointly and also provide $2,000 for each child up to three. The payments would last until three months after the Health and Human Services Department has declared the public health emergency over.

PSA: Mother’s Day is Sunday

What’s the best gift you can get your mom for Mother’s Day this year? Medical experts say it’s staying home— even as three-in-ten Americans say they still plan to celebrate with their moms in person

But with many traditional celebrations and family gatherings on pause, we took a look at how Americans plan to honor their moms from afar.

Most Mother’s Day brunches might be canceled, but Americans still plan on celebrating with food. Restaurants are finding ways to help you make a special meal for your mom. And you can still host a brunch (virtually) without having to do the cooking yourself. Roughly half (47%) of adults plan to call or video chat their moms on Sunday. 

Flower deliveries are still a safe option to light up the room for your mom if you can’t be there yourself. Make sure it’s contactless delivery, though.
And for those who live close to home, a drive through celebration can be a safe way to show your mom some love.