April in Review
By Carson Schatzman, Copywriter
Each Monday, Athena employees receive a recap of important news stories from the past week. Much of this is industry-related news, just to help our busy team members stay apprised of what’s happening in relevant fields like telecommunications, sports, marketing, and the world of data and analytics, among others. Now, at the end of the month, we’d like to share with you some of what we’re reading, and why!
Thanks, Carli Lloyd!
The popularity of women’s sports has been surging recently, according to Forbes, with higher ratings, increased attendance, big-name sponsorships, and of course, spectacular performances.
The Big Picture: Marketers are picking up on the popularity and still untapped potential of this market. Many big-name brands such as Buick and Visa are already making considerable investments by sponsoring games and events.
As a women-founded-and-led company with a number of women who were NCAA athletes and a company history of working in the sport’s world, we love to see women’s sports receiving the attention they deserve!
Food for Thought
U.S. shoppers are switching brands more than ever, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rising inflation and supply shortages across the country have meant that consumers can no longer afford brand loyalty, instead choosing products based on their affordability and availability.
Why It Matters: Major food brands, whose consumers are turning to competitors and store brands that can more readily be refilled on the shelves, are the most impacted by waning loyalty. Unlike past financial downturns, many brands can’t just develop a cheaper version of their products to keep customers loyal due to ongoing production constraints.
Customer experience and community engagement initiatives are a couple ways we support our clients as they seek to maintain and improve customer connections through better or worse.
Coming to a Broadband Office Near You
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced plans to increase its staffing to help distribute billions of federal broadband funding for states, according to Fierce Telecom. The NTIA’s goal is for “every state…to have a person at NTIA who they know they can call.” The agency already met with broadband leaders from 46 states since each state must submit a broadband plan for NTIA approval before receiving funding.
By the Numbers:
- Congress has allocated $65 billion for broadband deployment across the country.
- The NTIA is responsible for distributing $48 billion of the funds through different programs.
- Most of the NTIA funds would be channeled towards the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) initiative, which holds $42.25 billion.
- According to NTIA chief Alan Davidson, the mission is to use the funds to deliver high-speed affordable broadband at 100/20 [Mbps] to every American.
We have supported national broadband deployment plans and digital equity initiatives, and we believe deeply that comprehensive broadband access and adoption is vitally important.
The Great Cancelation
While big-name brands like Netflix have caught the headlines, consumer confidence and discretionary spending are down across the board, impacting the retail and hospitality sectors along with other entertainment subscriptions, according to the Financial Times.
Why It Matters: Capturing and retaining brand loyalty is extra important as consumers cut back on spending. Inflation and geopolitical uncertainty have pressured consumers to reevaluate the importance of purchases. Still, it’s not entirely a numbers game as consumers remain appreciative of the benefits and experiences some brands provide. The companies that find ways to provide increased value to their customers, even if it goes hand-in-hand with price increases, will benefit in turn.
We love to help clients identify and amplify the most valuable parts of their brand, and we believe cross-functional teams with strategic marketing, community engagement, and creative services are the key to surviving and thriving in extra-competitive climates.