BUSINESS

Connect Partnership Group Acquires Chicago-Based HARLON to Expand Sports, Music and Immersive Entertainment Offerings Nationwide

HARLON | June 24, 2022

Connect Partnership Group
Connect Partnership Group, a Dallas-based sports and entertainment agency, announced the strategic acquisition of HARLON, a full-service sponsorship sales agency that specializes in representing rights holders across sports, music, and entertainment. The acquisition will expand Connect’s growing portfolio of property sales clients, including the addition of immersive entertainment experiences to the company’s suite of offerings.The announcement comes on the heels of the XFL selecting Connect as its sponsorship sales agency to enhance and execute the League's corporate partnership strategy.

As part of the acquisition, HARLON founder and industry veteran Scott Howard will join Connect as Executive Vice President of Property Sales out of the company’s Chicago office, bringing along HARLON’s exciting portfolio of immersive entertainment and music clients.

For years I’ve admired the impressive work the Connect Partnership Group team has done, and I could not be more excited to step in and be a part of the company during an incredible period of growth,” Howard said. “I look forward to working alongside the Connect team and growing our business to provide the very best services for our clients.

HARLON has been one of the Midwest’s most-respected emerging sales and marketing agencies, trusted by properties such as the Mempho Music Festival and Lighthouse Immersive, the powerhouse that created the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. To date, the attraction has sold more than 5 million tickets across 20 markets in North America in less than two years and is one of Ticketmaster’s best-selling exhibitions in history.

Connect Adds Sales Veterans

In addition to the acquisition, Connect announced the addition of three new members to the sales and consulting teams, all with extensive partnership sales and consulting experience with some of the country’s leading sports and real estate properties.

Kristin Harwood joins Connect as Senior Director of Sales in Connect's Property Sales Division. Harwood spent more than five years managing partnership sales with the Seattle Mariners organization before assuming corporate partnership roles with the Dallas Stars, the XFL’s Dallas Renegades and Premier Partnerships.

Joining Harwood as Senior Director of Sales in Connect’s Property Sales Division is Matt Castellan, who will be headquartered in New York and will focus on Connect’s representation of Hudson Yards’ sponsorship rights. Castellan most recently oversaw sponsorship sales for the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City, and has extensive marketing and sales experience from past roles with Stanton & Company, Citi Bike, the 2016 Chicago Olympic City Bid and the 2012 NYC Olympic City Bid.

Price Johnson, who spent the last six years leading Topgolf’s Global Partnerships sales team, is joining Connect’s Consulting Division as a Special Projects Consultant to assist with its rapid national growth. Mr. Johnson brings over 25 years of combined sales, marketing and operational experience to Connect, including nearly 10 years in the software and communications industries, which aligns well with the Consulting Division’s growing roster of industry-leading technology companies.

“The past year has been one of incredible momentum for Connect, our team and our clients, and by adding HARLON and a powerhouse of experienced sales members to our team will only accelerate our ongoing scaling efforts, help secure more key wins for clients, and further position Connect as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry,Connect is now bigger and more established than we ever have been, and we’re just getting started.”

-Connect co-founder Danielle Shuff.

Last Fall, Connect rebranded to reflect its rapid growth in areas beyond its formidable Partnership Sales and Strategy division, most notably its Consulting division, which has secured a unique niche in the industry by providing an outsourced business development team to companies that desire to sell their product or solution to large public venues. To support the continued growth - with Connect expecting year-over-year revenue to double as it readies more client announcements and client transactions in the second half of the year - the company is actively hiring sales professionals and account managers, with immediate openings in Los Angeles.

Since it was founded in 2015, Connect has been trusted by some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including the Dallas Stars, LA Chargers, Chicago Cubs, XFL, Related Companies, Circuit of The Americas, VIRGIN FEST, IBM, Nokia, American Tower, and CommScope, amongst others.

For more information about Connect Partnership Group or to contact directly, visit ConnectWins.com.

About Connect Partnership Group
Connect Partnership Group is a strategic sales and consultancy agency that specializes in representing and selling sponsorships, naming rights and other media assets in sports and entertainment, while also providing an outsourced business development team to companies that sell products and services to the industry. Based in Dallas, Tex., Connect capitalizes on a combined 120 years of sports business experience selling and activating sponsorships, operating events, consulting on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, and creating strategic and mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for properties and brands around the world.

Spotlight

This Whitepaper will explore the pros and cons of each variant of Android in the context of STB Development  projects for pay-TV operators. Furthermore, the paper will look at the difference in effort and complexity for  Android TV and AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based on compliance with CDD, providing insight into the commercial impact of each variant for an operator and the overall benefits vs. trade-offs.


Other News
PRODUCTS

Gabb Wireless™ Announces Gabb Music™ - A New Streaming Service Built Specifically for Kids

Gabb Wireless | June 01, 2022

Gabb Wireless, the leading company in providing safe tech for kids, is launching Gabb Music, a new music streaming service believed to be the largest, clean music library curated specifically for kids. Gabb Music includes songs by popular artists from nearly every era and genre - without any swearing, innuendo or drug references. To help kids best enjoy Gabb Music, the company is also launching a suite of new hardware including the world’s safest cell phone for kids Gabb Phone Plus from Samsung, as well as wireless earbuds and speakers Gabb Buds and Gabb Blast. As the latest expansion of Gabb’s many upcoming safe tech solutions, Gabb Music will help families turn up their summer with peace of mind and lots of fun.Gabb Music While most current music streaming services are built for adults first, with kids as an afterthought, Gabb Music was created to prioritize kid safety from the start. Using Gabb’s advanced AI filtration system and by partnering with some of the world’s largest record labels, Gabb Music offers a curated library of songs that kids, teens and parents can enjoy together as a family. Packed with hits from all genres, including pop, hip-hop, country and rock and roll, Gabb Music provides a path to music exploration for kids, without bleeped out explicit lyrics. Gabb developed a first-of-its-kind process to scan millions of songs using industry-leading tools - including Tuned Global’s music catalog delivery service coupled with LyricFind’s data analysis solution, LyricIQ - alongside Gabb’s proprietary technology and human review to create the world’s safest music catalog for kids and teens. This leads to a library full of hits, new releases and classics free of graphic lyrics and inappropriate subject matters. Over one hundred mixes have been curated from a catalog of millions of songs, with new music and themed mixes to be added each week. “Music is the number one requested item from our Gabb kids and parents. Instead of settling for another music service, we built our own filtration system and experience. This will allow kids and teens to listen to many of the hits without the explicits, We built safe tech from the ground up, and now we’re doing it with music.” -Nate Randle, CEO of Gabb Wireless Gabb Music is launching exclusively as a radio-style streaming service - making it easier for younger kids who simply want to pick a music mix like they would pick a radio station. The app is powered by Tuned Global’s leading music streaming technology as a white-label solution. Gabb Music will be rolling out exclusively on the Gabb Phone and Gabb Phone Plus, with a free 30-day trial for new and existing customers. Once the trial expires, a Gabb Music subscription will be $4.99/month. Gabb Music will become available to all existing Gabb Phone customers over the next few weeks. Gabb Phone Plus The new Gabb Phone Plus, the premium safe phone for kids, combines the safety Gabb is known for, with the superior quality Samsung delivers. Gabb Phone Plus is made with high-grade materials - featuring a durable all-metal build, long-lasting battery life and 5.83” edge-to-edge display for high performance and reliability - and provides kids with access to Gabb Music. Gabb Phone Plus will include more apps to help kids get the most out of their phone, while still preventing access to the internet, social media and games. The device will soon have an ever-growing list of safe, curated apps, including those for education, finance, spirituality and team sports. Alongside these new apps, Gabb is also launching Gabb Messenger, a new SMS/MMS messaging app that protects Gabb users as they connect with their families and growing social world. Gabb Messenger comes pre-installed on Gabb Phone Plus and handles SMS/MMS messaging, group chats and provides comprehensive filtration, preventing explicit messages from being delivered. Gabb’s proprietary algorithm pre-emptively filters out offensive images, language, and spam. Gabb Phone Plus is available now, exclusively at gabbwireless.com/product/gabb-phone-plus, for $199.99, including Unlimited Talk & Text plans with no contract starting at $29.99/month. Gabb Buds Gabb Buds are low-profile earbuds designed specifically for kids. They feature a streamlined, compact design with three earpieces to fit any size ear, a portable charging case, six to eight hours of listening and they are sweat and water-resistant. Gabb Buds also easily pair with Gabb Phone Plus, Gabb Phone and other wireless devices, and can seamlessly switch from listening to music to joining a phone call. Gabb Buds are available now in black and white for $49.99, exclusively at gabbwireless.com/product/gabb-buds. Gabb Blast Speaker Kids can take their music anywhere with the Gabb Blast Speaker. Whether it's in rain, dust or snow, the Blast delivers impressive 360-degree audio and hands-free versatility in a conveniently portable package. Blast works seamlessly with Gabb phones, via Bluetooth, as well as other wireless devices, so kids can rock out to their favorite hits from Gabb Music for up to 12 hours of play time. To double the jam session, kids can connect two Gabb Blast Speakers together for True Wireless Stereo sound. Gabb Blast is available now in black, gray, and Gabb blue for $49.99, exclusively at gabbwireless.com/product/gabb-blast. About Gabb Wireless Founded in 2018, Gabb Wireless is a rapidly growing cellular network company that provides safe technology solutions for kids. With a mission to solve the growing screen-time addiction among youth, Gabb creates the safest technology for kids. For each step of kids' development, Gabb offers products that keep families connected, give kids freedom, and provide parents peace of mind. Learn more at www.gabbwireless.com.

Read More

VIRTUALIZATION

Metaverse Platform Metarix Announces Diamond Partnership with Tenset

Metarix | May 21, 2022

Metarix, a project that aims to revolutionize the virtual world and provide an interesting and satisfying experience to a huge number of people announces its diamond partnership with one of the most trusted launchpad platforms Tenset.Metarix, a project that aims to revolutionize the virtual world and provide an interesting and satisfying experience to a huge number of people announces its diamond partnership with one of the most trusted launchpad platforms Tenset.The Metarix is a smart contract platform built on its own Layer 2 Blockchain experienced (but not limited to) in its Metaverse. The project is in its early stages of building, currently building its blockchain, followed by metaverse, DEX, NFT marketplace, SDK service, WEB3.0 platform, P2E game, and the other stage 1 production attractions and experiences. The tech industry and financial world are merging into one and it’s happening on the only platform that is sustainable throughout political affiliation, inflation, gender, race, creed, etc.- the blockchain. Throughout the countries of the world, everyone from everywhere is feeling the shakings of uncertainty and instability. Financially speaking, a lot of people are hedging against inflation and even their own local currency for something that is deflationary and has the potential to increase in value over time solely relying on supply and demand to determine market value. It is estimated that only 4% of the world’s population is using cryptocurrency at this moment. Years ago, game developers toyed with the ideas of an open-world concept game, where there was a freedom to roam and interact as the player saw fit. For the first time, there was a bit of freedom in gameplay that attracted millions to that niche of gaming. From RPGs, MMORPGs, GTA’s, etc., the hunger for freedom in the digital world had manifested to a point of creation. That passion for free gameplay, the desire to create beyond the limits of humanity, and the dream of financial freedom and economic stability had a baby- it is called The Metarix. The Metarix is a metaverse built on the foundation of its own Layer 2 Blockchain called the Metarix Chain. The currency of this token and metaverse is MTRX. Diamond Partnership with Tenset Metarix has managed to land a diamond partnership with tenset which is one of the most trusted launchpad platforms. They are launching a presale in partnership with Tenset and few of their products will be launched soon. Metarix is one of the best projects in recent times for being innovative in building a complete decentralized ecosystem for Gaming, NFT's and Metaverse. The Metarix offers a platform that allows other crypto programs, games, NFTs, and decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to run inside or outside its metaverse. But inside, you’ll see islands, properties for sale, houses, beaches, mountains, businesses, attractions, mini-games, concert halls, arcades, shops, NFT marketplace, banks, and software development kits that will be the game development center to help the average joe design his own iteration of the 90’s arcade game he was addicted to, or the teen creating his own viral NFT. Metarix has truly put the power to design and create wealth as the user chooses. Metarix has an NFT marketplace to support the games, music, and NFTs created with the SDKs, as well as a DEX to support the cryptos created via the new games and the games hosted in the Metarix Metaverse. This ecosystem is governed by the MTRX (Metarix Token), which is in Presale starting May 20th. Expect the token launch to happen after all presale events and IEOs. This is a project to keep an eye on. The road map is very ambitious, and the project has a proven development team that can get it done at a high level. Users can connect to the presale page and invest or watch the development unfold before their eyes. Metarix’s website is metarix.network. All inquiries can be made to support@metarix.network. About Metarix METARIX is a decentralized metaverse built on its own layer 2 solution blockchain. Filled with an ecosystem of P2E gaming, functional NFTs, web3 commerce, business endeavors, virtual real estate, concerts, live venues, content creation services & more. The governance METARIX token will be available via PRESALE starting 5/20/2022.

Read More

SOLUTIONS

Xperi and ARD Partner to Deliver the Dashboard of the Future

DTS | May 16, 2022

DTS®, a global leader in next-generation audio, imaging and sensing technology, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: XPER) (“Xperi”), and ARD, the association of Germany’s regional public service broadcasters, announced the integration of the ARD broadcasters into DTS AutoStage, the first global, in-vehicle hybrid radio platform to be commercialized around the world.ARD’s public broadcasting stations, which reach more than 52 million people and represent more than 74% of all radio listening in Germany, will be integrated, free of charge, in the DTS AutoStage ecosystem. DTS AutoStage increases consumer content engagement with bold and immersive imagery, station logos, songs, comprehensive artist and album information and more, all while making the broadcasters’ content more personalized and easier to find. DTS AutoStage also enables continued station listening from local broadcast stations when the vehicle drives out of broadcast range. “As ARD, we are committed to providing our listeners with a progressive radio experience, and we are happy to partner with DTS AutoStage to achieve that goal, We are looking forward to integrating with partners to help our broadcasters meet the needs of our listeners in the rapidly evolving connected vehicle landscape. Editorial control and user-simplification are important for us and we are happy that DTS AutoStage offers broadcasters those features while enabling a broad and consistent content delivery.” -Alexander Sasse, Head of ARD Partner Management Audio and Voice The ARD/DTS AutoStage integration offers seamless, accurate and consistent delivery of all ARD broadcaster metadata in the vehicle dashboard, with the key benefit that the stations can manage their services, station information and streams all in one place. ARD and DTS AutoStage systems support broadcaster services to provide security, reliability and data compatibility with car companies. “We are pleased to join with ARD to deliver the most innovative, visually-immersive in-vehicle entertainment experience to Germany’s owners of vehicles supporting the DTS AutoStage platform, such as the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class, EQS and others,” -Gereon Joachim, vice president, automotive sales and strategy for EMEA, at Xperi. Joe D’Angelo, senior vice president, broadcast at Xperi further stated, We know that providing the digital dashboard’s best content and maintaining editorial control is critical to broadcasters, and our system has been designed to facilitate just this. Keeping radio front, center and aggressively competitive in the dash is key to our platform. We know that this is exactly what consumers want, and we are proud to deliver it1. According to D’Angelo, the DTS AutoStage platform has been purpose-built to support radio broadcasters around the world. The team behind DTS AutoStage, which is currently available in 60 countries, has unrivaled expertise in content management, delivery and content use compliance. DTS AutoStage is ISO 9001 certified and its content is sourced from more than 80,000 radio stations, 100,000 plus broadcasts, more than 40 million tracks, four million albums, one million artist bios and more – all aggregated, curated and personalized to create the richest and most relevant in-vehicle radio listening experience. The partnership with ARD continues DTS AutoStage’s momentum as it expands into mass market vehicles globally. DTS AutoStage already has content partnerships with major broadcast groups and aggregators around the world, including:, BBC, Bauer, Cumulus, Global Radio, NPO, Audacy, Beasley, Cox Media, radiko, Radio Maria, FM World and many others. Xperi’s automotive technologies are designed to improve the in-vehicle experience and, in addition to DTS AutoStage, include DTS AutoSense and HD Radio. DTS AutoSense comprises occupancy and driver monitoring systems implemented at the edge. HD Radio, now available in more than 85 million automobiles, is the most successfully deployed commercial digital radio system worldwide. About DTS, Inc. Since 1993, DTS has been dedicated to making the world sound better. Through its pioneering audio solutions for mobile devices, home theater systems, cinema and beyond, DTS provides incredibly high-quality, immersive and engaging audio experiences to listeners everywhere. Now, DTS is also powering imaging and sensing technologies as well. For more information, please visit www.dts.com. About Xperi Holding Corporation Xperi invents, develops, and delivers technologies that enable extraordinary experiences. Xperi technologies, delivered via its brands (Adeia, DTS, HD Radio, IMAX Enhanced, TiVo), and by its startup, Perceive, make entertainment more entertaining, and smart devices smarter. Xperi technologies are integrated into billions of consumer devices, media platforms, and semiconductors worldwide, driving increased value for partners, customers and consumers. Xperi, Adeia, DTS, IMAX Enhanced, HD Radio, Perceive, TiVo and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of affiliated companies of Xperi Holding Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other company, brand and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. About ARD ARD stands for "Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic of Germany." This consortium includes nine self-governing, publicly funded regional broadcasters serving Germany’s 16 federal states and airing approximately 250 hours of television and 1,500 hours of radio programming per day. In an online world dominated by commercial offerings, ARD provides trustworthy journalism unencumbered by the constraints of advertising and sponsorship. ARD’s online world comprises a broad range of topics such as news, sports and business, as well as shows about the arts and documentaries, to name but a few. It also gives access to ARD’s central on demand services, the ARD Mediathek and the ARD Audiothek.

Read More

TECHNOLOGIES

Kontron Announces the Opening of Its New In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity Product Service Center in Europe

Kontron | June 17, 2022

Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), and Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) solutions, announced its latest IFE&C product service center has officially been opened. The Part 145 certified European Repair Centre, located in Ismaning, Germany, at the Kontron Europe headquarters, will offer repair, modifications and updates for Kontron’s In-Flight Entertainment range of avionics products within its dedicated 100 m² repair area. Initially, repair support will be offered on the range of Kontron Server products, Wireless Access Points (CWAPs) and Removable SSD; additional IFEC products, including the MODMAN product family, will be supported over time. “It became increasingly obvious with our global business that having multiple certified repair centers across the globe, would allow our customers to choose how to manage their own programs. This new European facility is the first step in this process and we will make further announcements regarding additional regional repair centers in due course. When service is requested it’s important that downtime is reduced to the absolute minimum and that fast turnaround times with traceability and quality are available. I’m very excited that this new facility is fully operational and ready to help our customers.” -Jon Moseley, Kontron’s VP Business Development The facility with dedicated trained and certified support staff will be a critical part of the support Kontron plans for its IFE&C business. Under the management of Christian Tanner, a 14-year Kontron veteran, the repair facility demonstrates Kontron’s commitment to the IFE&C business and the European region. Kontron is a global leader in IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT). As part of the S&T technology group, Kontron offers individual solutions in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 through a combined portfolio of hardware, software and services. With its standard and customized products based on highly reliable state-of-the-art technologies, Kontron provides secure and innovative applications for a wide variety of industries. As a result, customers benefit from accelerated time-to-market, lower total cost of ownership, extended product lifecycles and the best fully integrated applications. For more information, please visit: www.kontron.com All rights reserved. Kontron is a trademark or registered trademark of Kontron Europe GmbH. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks or copyrights by their respective owners and are recognized. All data is for information purposes only and not guaranteed for legal purposes. Subject to change without notice. Information in this press release has been carefully checked and is believed to be accurate; however, no responsibility is assumed for inaccuracies.

Read More

Spotlight

This Whitepaper will explore the pros and cons of each variant of Android in the context of STB Development  projects for pay-TV operators. Furthermore, the paper will look at the difference in effort and complexity for  Android TV and AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based on compliance with CDD, providing insight into the commercial impact of each variant for an operator and the overall benefits vs. trade-offs.

Resources