May 19, 2020

Hasbro looks to video games in modernization push

Activision
Hasbro
Tencent
Fortnite
erptre fusion
2 min
Hasbro looks to video games in modernization push
American multinational toy and board game manufacturer Hasbro is exploring video game tie-in products as it seeks to modernize its offering
 
Following publication of the firm’s Q3 earnings report, CEO Brian Goldner told CNBC that its top-selling product is currently a Fortnite-themed Monopoly set.
 
Fortnite has taken the world by storm, with 125mn active players in June according to Statista. Its free-to-play Battle Royale mode, a last-man-standing shooting game with 100 players per round, has generated massive revenues through in-game purchases.
 
Goldner told CNBC that the company is preparing to release a Nerf product based on Blizzard’s Overwatch, and that a Fortnite version of Nerf will follow soon after to allow kids to “play the game for real”.
 
While Hasbro experiments with bringing video games into real-life play, it is also beta-testing online versions of its highly popular Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and Wizards of the Coast legacy franchises.
 
“What we’re really offering that audience and that consumer and that gamer is the opportunity to play in a digital space,” Goldner said. “As we go forward, you’re going to see a suite of mobile and PC-based games”.
 
CNBC added that Goldner said there would be “an announcement from us shortly talking about how we’re going to enter into esports in a major way.”
 
Tapping into the rapidly growing esports market, dominated by firms like Tencent Games, Activision Blizzard, and Take-Two Interactive, with Hasbro’s array of tried-and-true tabletop games poses a significant financial opportunity for the firm.
 
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In Hasbro’s Q3 earnings report, Goldner spoke about the effect that the collapse of Toys’R’Us had on the firm’s revenues:
 
“The global Hasbro team is effectively managing our business forward through a very disruptive year,” he said.
 
“The lost Toys’R’Us revenues are impacting many markets around the world, notably the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia.”
 
Goldner continued:
 
“We are successfully managing retail inventory and it is down significantly in the U.S. and in Europe, where we are aggressively working to clear excess inventory by year end.
 
“A growing array of retailers are now ramping new programs to take share this holiday season and we are well positioned to meet their demand.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

NASCAR
Microsoft
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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