🦄 vol. 9
matt and sash chat about drone deliveries and the commercial impact of the messi and ronaldo signings
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drone delivery 🛩
Futurists have long promised flying cars and pizza delivery via drone, and we're still waiting (for the former at least). But humans are notoriously bad at forecasting, and the idea of a drone delivering our groceries may also be a little while longer. WIRED recently covered Amazon's failing global drone delivery dream. It begs the question: if Amazon can't get it right, can anyone? The short answer is yes (thankfully).
While we’re all suckers for a drone shot of Cape Town’s coastline, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know there’s a whole lotta utility beyond that. Zipline has revolutionised access to healthcare supplies through an autonomous drone-based logistics system. Initially aimed at delivering blood products to remote hospitals in Rwanda in a bid to reduce mortality from postpartum haemorrhage, the scope of medical supplies has expanded to meet growing healthcare needs. Servicing over 1,000 healthcare facilities, the logistics network has made more than 150,000 deliveries of life-saving medical products. It even found a role in the pandemic, delivering vaccines to outlying areas in Africa.
Sounds interesting, flesh it out a lil' more? 🥸
Disclaimer: calling Zipline a drone company may be a bit of a misnomer. Instead of the quadcopters typically employed by most drone companies (yes, the ones that buzz like a swarm of f*cking bees), Zipline designed its own proprietary autonomous aircrafts that resemble propeller airplanes; on one charge, they're able to fly over 160km and deliver payloads weighing upwards of 2kg.
The concept is (almost stupidly) simple. Central warehouses receive on-demand orders from doctors via a mobile app, with supplies then packed and loaded onto the aircraft by human operators (potential for automation? 🤔). Once launched via the catapult-type mechanism, the aircrafts fly to pre-programmed destinations where the payloads are ejected and land via a small parachute in less than 20 minutes (that’s quicker than getting Nando’s on UberEats). Bypassing rivers, mountains and washed-out roads, the aircraft leapfrogs outdated logistics solutions and requires no local infrastructure to serve remote communities. Pretty cool, right?
Where to from here? 🤔
Well, Zipline has just raised $250 million in new funding, valuing the startup at $2.75 billion (🤯). While its primary footprint has been in Africa, recent partnerships with Toyota Group and Walmart have seen the instant logistics service being expanded to Japan and the United States. The startup has its eyes set on taking a bigger bite out of the $70 billion healthcare logistics industry (or maybe the $6 trillion global logistics market).
football influencers ⚽️
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’d know that 2 of the most iconic transfers in football history took place.
The GOAT(s) 🐐🐐
The debate about who is the better player between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has divided football fans for well over a decade now. And depending on who you talk to, you’ll hear of different criteria used to determine who the GOAT really is. And while I have my own opinion, I’ll reserve it for now and acknowledge the fact that both players are in a class of their own.
Money moves 💸
Before the transfer window, it seemed like it was all business as usual. Messi was on his way to starting his 18th season for Barcelona, and Ronaldo was on his way to begin his 4th season at Juventus F.C. But a combination of COVID-induced financial pressures and Financial Fair Play rules meant both players were suddenly on the market and subsequently sold for cut-price amounts.
Messi was ‘forced’ to leave Barcelona and was swooped up by the Qatari-backed PSG on a free transfer (🤯) with a contract signed worth a reported ~$41 million a year.
Ronaldo went from officially leaving Juventus, to almost joining Manchester City, and eventually rejoining his former club Manchester United, all in the space of 24 hours. An initial transfer fee of ~$18 million was paid to Juventus, and a contract was signed worth a reported ~$38 million a year.
Immediate impact 🤯
The media attention and hype has understandably been at an all time high. But before Ronaldo and Messi even kicked a ball, a taste of their impact was already felt:
PSG’s Instagram account gained ~3 million new followers in the 24 hours following Messi’s signature
Man United’s Instagram account also gained ~3 million new followers in the 4 days post the announcement of signing Ronaldo
Man United’s Instagram post announcing the signing of Ronaldo (who is also the most followed person on Instagram) is now the most liked post by a sports team on Instagram
Following the Ronaldo announcement, Man United’s share price increased by 5.8% on the NYSE
PSG and Nike’s Messi shirt sales revenue reached ~$144 million (the club makes ~$10 million of that revenue)
Man United and Adidas’ Ronaldo shirt sales revenue reached ~$260 million (the club makes ~$18 million of that revenue)
Astonishingly, the myth about shirt sales paying for a transfer fee might just hold true for Man United and Ronaldo! And this is just after one week. 🤯
So what does this mean for the teams? 😯
Football teams’ revenue can be broken down into 3 main categories:
Commercial (sponsorships; retail; merchandising, etc.)
Broadcasting (TV rights)
Match day (ticket sales)
Holding all else equal, the commercial revenue seen by these clubs is anticipated to substantially increase given the ability to leverage the Messi and Ronaldo brands.
Messi and Ronaldo are undoubtedly the greatest players of their generation. Yes, they’re ageing, but they clearly still have the ambition and ability to keep winning.
Their success will not entirely be judged on the field. They are massive brands in their own rights and their (new) teams have the perfect opportunity to leverage this clout for exponential commercial growth.
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matt thought pepsi’s marketing efforts were more than cool