Infographic Credit: Fast Company
When I think of Baseball, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely not the iPad. Baseball is a national past time, dating back to 1846. Who’s going to take that on? Bob Bowman did. The president and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media (BAM) extended the reach of the sport to all of our digital devices, enhancing the way we watch the game, creating a new business, and defining a category.
It started 12 years ago when Bud Selig, MLB’s commissioner, approached Bowman to run the division. MLB owners had decided to pool their digital rights to create equality in distribution for all teams. It was a tough start for BAM to catch on, first convincing online customers to pay for content and creating video streaming capability in anticipation of fans’ expanding access to high speed internet. Remember this is right round 2000, the Hulu or New York Times paid content model didn’t exist yet. These guys were blazing a path in uncharted territory with an entirely new business model.
Fast forward and BAM has caught on and is leading edge in the space. BAM brings in approximately $620 M in annual revenue from streaming subscriptions, apps, ads and game ticket sales.
Yes, game ticket sales. The primary goal of digital video is to get people to attend the games. And the potential is exciting; Bowman envisions digital ticketing tied to fans’ MLB.com accounts where their activity at home and at the ballpark can be uniquely identified in order to provide relevant offers and reward loyalty.
Since BAM owns all of the digital rights to the content, it generates additional revenue by licensing it to other sports media outlets.
And let’s not forgot the incredible technical innovations the group made to deliver live game video paired with stats to fans. There is a large network of cameras, systems, encoders and people that make all of this work to distribute the content to TVs, iPads, Xboxes, iPhone’s, and the like.
The tech platform is so sophisticated they license it to ESPN and Glenn Beck for their streaming needs.
BAM operates in separate offices than the MLB, keeping the autonomy it needs to stay innovative and nimble. The company is actively working on new products and solutions to keep re-inventing the future of digital content delivery.
Check out more in the Fast Company article.
Amazing & fresh design work over in Sweden for an unexpected client type. Stockholm Design Lab created some cheery graphics for a line of in-hospital pharmacies with the goal being "to help the pharmacies distinguish and contrast themselves from the often very clinical and barren environments that hospitals make out.” Also noted is the fact that research has "shown that positive environmental factors can reduce patients’ anxiety and even contribute to their overall well-being. SDL’s design, then, offers a small glimpse of cheer in an all-too-often stressful setting."
I walk by a shuttered Borders everyday on the way to work. It always gets me thinking, “What’s next?” An institution, 40 years standing, now gone, in an instant.
A TIME article discusses five reasons Borders failed: late entry to the web, slow adoption and minimal focus on eBooks, too much focus on music CDs, and then broader business issues such as having too large a footprint and too much debt.
Amazon and B&N were busy creating Kindles and NOOKS and investing in marketing to get them on the top of consumers’ minds. They were re-inventing, respecting change.
Borders lost focus of what consumers really valued: easy and affordable access to content.
The stores were “extras” that simply did not provide enough value to substantiate the trip and the higher retail prices. Reading itself no longer was a gathering experience. Coffee shops, like Starbucks, were quickly filling that void.
Who would of thought a major bookstore chain could have been ushered into bankruptcy by a $99 device and a WiFi connection?
So my question is, “What’s next?” As with any disruptive technology people tend to assume that’s it—there’s no more room for innovation.
So this brings me to today, where I think of last weeks launch of AJ Mobile. Our charter for these featured solutions is to help companies and organizations communicate with their audiences via mobile channels. Currently we are focusing on immediate needs: How do we transition current means of communication to mobile with the same content and framework? A meeting schedule becomes a digital meeting schedule. A communications portal becomes a platform solution delivered via an app. These are great solutions that will serve immediate needs.
So where does Borders fit in? It propels me to ask, “Why?” and “What can be?” not just “How?” And in doing so in tandem with developing our current solutions think of novel ways for communication outside of today’s current constructs. Thank you, Borders for teaching me to never stop inventing.
I've been bullish on the potential of digital signage for awhile now. Imagine a vast network of interconnected flat screen panels delivering customized information to relevant audiences. The implications in terms of growth in number of rollouts, and in how this will affect advertising, media, and consumer facing businesses are exciting.
Imagine using a digital signage network, a system of linked flat screen TVs that deliver content, videos, stills, etc, to communicate with employees? Sounds innovative, but is it feasible? Megamidia, a Brazilian company, is leading innovation in this space.
It announced a deal with the largest McDonald's franchisee in the world, Arcos Dourados, to deploy digital signage technology to 600 McDonald's in Brazil.
The screens will be used to display training videos, and other communications content from McDonald's headquarters to reach employees at local McDonald's.
Digital signage is an exciting innovation in employee communications, and I'm looking forward to seeing further innovation and rollouts in this space.
A friend of mine recently sent a collection of YouTube videos to me that showcase typography as artform. In the videos, words are animated to emphasize the writer's points and facilitate storytelling. The examples serve as creative inspiration for what can be done, just by cleverly laying out text and adjusting size, spacing, timing and position. My favorite is Typography About Language (seen below) because it riffs on the deterioration of effective communication in the i2.0 world. I feel that as we become more mobile and rely on type more it will only further emphasize the value of delivering a clear and concise message that is visually compelling. Something that is simple and ordinary can be redesigned and reimagined into a captivating work.
Check out the entire lineup HERE.
Marriott promoted their nationwide rollout of newly renovated lobbies across their Courtyard by Marriott brand by creating replicas in at least five major US airports. The lobby lounges were created in public spaces in the terminals of Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O'Hare Airport, and Denver International Airport in 2010 and are now available in Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport through 7/31.
This past Sunday I was in Philly airport and noticed the very inviting and well designed space in sharp contrast to the usual airport provided seating. Marriott executed a creative way to introduce their new lobbies by captivating business travelers in airports, places they frequent.
This concept speaks to the exciting power of design and the strategic placement of an "event or experiential space" for a brand promotion or launch.