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Athletic Greens gets unicorn status

Courtesy of Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens gets unicorn status


The Future. Leading wellness supplement brand Athletic Greens just raised another $115 million in funding, showing how customized wellness regimens are moving from cult-fad to mainstream. The brand, now valued at $1.2 billion, is on its way toward giving the multifunctional beverage market Red Bull-level recognition.

All in on the wellness market
Athletic Greens’ notable valuation underscores an ongoing uptick in mainstream wellness initiatives in the beverage industry.

  • Spirits and beer brands are releasing new low and no alcohol options on the daily.
  • Celsius energy drinks are a newer fan-favorite alternative to Red Bull and Monster, showing up everywhere from the local fitness boutique to VIP Art Basel events.
  • Functional coffee brands like Four Sigmatic and coffee-alternative MUD/WTR are becoming less niche.

And there’s no sign of these trends slowing down anytime soon.

Going green
Despite its name, Athletic Greens’ premise is that they’re a wellness supplement for everyone, not just athletes and fitness junkies. Founder and CEO Chris Ashenden said, “We see a world where people wake up, brush their teeth, have a coffee, and take AG1.” Based on the hype and the funding to back it, the brand could be the world’s next “Got Milk.”


Private equity sees dollar signs in Hollywood


Private equity sees dollar signs in Hollywood

The Future. Private equity firms see major growth opportunities in the content-creation market, and they are investing more in Hollywood and independent entertainment studios as a result. While studios are very down for PE firms to open up their wallets, some executives fear that investors might try to steal some of their decision-making power and creative license along the way.

Lights, camera, cash

A number of private equity firms already invest in the major talent agencies, and many are now expanding into production entities. They see promising ROI on studio real estate and an ever-increasing demand for high-quality content that will serve as steady cash flow.

  • Candle, a media firm backed by Blackstone, has made hefty investments in studios, including Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Westbrook Media
  • LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment sold a stake to RedBird Capital
  • Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment is in talks to sell to a London-based firm
  • Hackman Capital Partners, a real estate investment firm based in Culver City, CA, is racking up its studio investments, including the CBS lot in Studio City

The hype for Hollywood investment aligns with FX’s annual “Peak TV” report, which tracks the number of shows across streaming, cable, and broadcast outlets hitting an all-time high, with a 13% jump from 2020.

Creative in question
Studios love the cash but are nervous about maintaining their creative license. Some studio execs worry that the investment firms will try to dictate decisions on content genres, casting, and creative strategy. The way studios sign their deals with investment firms could greatly shape the future of Hollywood.


Real couple gets married in the metaverse

Metaverse weddings

Real couple gets married in the metaverse

The Future. Dave and Traci Gagnon, a couple that originally met as their avatars during a virtual event, hosted a wedding in the metaverse. The wedding ceremony, which was hosted by the virtual environment company Virbela, recreated the experience from their in-person wedding with avatars designed to match their wedding-day looks.

Metaverse firsts
The metaverse continues to take over aspects of our lives that were once reserved for in-person:

  • ComplexLand brought famed streetwear festival ComplexCon to a virtual space.
  • Gucci Garden on Roblox allowed guests around the globe to virtually experience the fashion house’s Florence installation.
  • TIME magazine is launching a newsletter that lives in the metaverse.

Facebook’s rebrand as Meta hints at large strides in the near future for the metaverse.

Will virtual ‘I do’s” go mainstream?
Metaverse marriages are not yet legally recognized. Still, there are strong implications for the future of weddings and the more general future of live events in virtual spaces. Since the pandemic began, people have been finding more creative, safe, and non-space-dependent ways to say “I do” — from more intimate home and destination weddings to elopements and the Covid-infamous “Zoom wedding.”

And now, the metaverse offers a way for a more personalized way to build communities and share special moments with loved ones from around the globe.


NFTs find their way back into reality

Baseball card NFTs

NFTs find their way back into reality

The Future. A new platform called The Grid wants people to redeem their NFTs for real-life products. The Grid creates NFTs of sports memorabilia, and then consumers earn points for selling their NFTs, which can then be used to redeem actual high-value sports items like an official jersey or a player’s sneaker.

Metaverse memorabilia

Sports NFTs have been a hot conversation among traditional and digital collectors, and the hype has been building across many major sports leagues. A few of the highest-selling sports NFTs to date include:

  • LeBron James Statue ($21.6 Million) that gives the owner exclusive non-commercial rights to photographer Kimani Okearah’s iconic photo of the NBA superstar.
  • MLB Champions Brett Gardner ($21.28 Million), which grants the owner exclusive rights to New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner virtually.
  • Rare Diego Maradona 2020-21 ($4.3 Million), digital trading cards from the soccer legend that soared in price after his death in 2020.
  • Alex Morgan Legendary ($2.129 Million), celebrating the women’s soccer star.

Nostalgia meets NFTs 

Some major sports artifact collectors are saying that while NFTs and the metaverse are an exciting way to engage fans, they’re extremely new and missing a sense of nostalgia. The Grid is unlocking a way to share sports artifacts with the masses while giving people the opportunity to cash out for some major sports collectibles.


Twitter taps Walmart to go holiday shopping

Twitter shop

Twitter taps Walmart to go holiday shopping

The Future. Twitter is collaborating with Walmart for its first-ever live shopping experience. The 30-minute livestream will kick off the launch of Twitter’s updated Shop module, which will roll out to additional U.S. merchants in the upcoming weeks.

New ways to do Black Friday
This year, social platform shopping experiences will be more influential during Black Friday and Cyber Monday than ever before.

  • According to a recent TikTok study, 54% more users plan to shop for Black Friday offers via sponsored social media posts compared to other platforms.
  • 47% of consumers say they plan to use Instagram for Black Friday and holiday shopping.
  • YouTube is hosting a holiday stream and shop series.
  • Platforms like NTWRK and Popshop Live are increasingly popular for limited-release gift drops.

Twitter first released its Shop feature in July as a way for business accounts to showcase their product offerings. Their first livestream collaboration will create a more vibrant in-platform shopping experience to compete with the pre-holiday social platform chatter.

Social shoppers
Walmart’s livestream content will be hosted by Jason Derulo and live across all of the brand’s social media channels to kick off Cyber Week. Walmart has a track record of being the first retailer to use a social media platform’s livestream shopping capabilities.

The brand piloted TikTok’s livestream shopping in December 2020. Walmart worked with its influencer network for live shopping content on YouTube and even launched Walmart Live earlier this year.


Sustainable fashion tries on digital clothes

Digital clothes

Sustainable fashion tries on digital clothes

The Future. People are starting to invest less in their closets and more in digital clothes. This new fashion trend uses AR technology, allowing people to virtually “try on” and wear styles that they can show off on social media. It is more affordable, more sustainable, and allows people to flaunt a more adventurous sense of style.

A major fashion emergency

Increasingly, fashion’s sustainability crisis has made headlines. Startling statistics underscore the waste that the industry produces.

  • We produce almost twice the amount of clothing today compared to 20+ years ago.
  • 20% of global wastewater is produced by the fashion industry. To break that down further, the production of one pair of jeans and a t-shirt requires 5,000 gallons of water.
  • 4 million tons of textiles go to waste annually, while 10% of global carbon emissions come from the fashion production cycle.

Now, digital fashion can help unearth solutions. By allowing consumers to change up their wardrobes frequently without any physical production, digital fashion is a major win for the industry.

Digital fashion dreams 
Emerging designers can also benefit from the digital fashion movement. They can kick start their career in the digital space without the physical production costs that keep many from turning their dreams into reality. Not to mention, with people switching up their styles more frequently, new designers are more likely to be noticed and digitally “worn.”

TCM Gets Gen Z Audience with Marilyn Monroe & Audrey Hepburn Tiktoks_The Future Party

Marilyn Monroe finds TikTok fame

TCM Gets Gen Z Audience with Marilyn Monroe & Audrey Hepburn Tiktoks_The Future Party
TCM TikTok

Marilyn Monroe finds TikTok fame

The Future. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) went viral on TikTok this fall with a Marilyn Monroe post that earned over 12 million views. Bringing the classics to Gen Z’s favorite social platform, TCM is using TikTok to share their upcoming film lineup and promote their refreshed tagline “Where Then Meets Now.” Thanks to the account’s success, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Bette Davis, among other Hollywood icons, are finding revived stardom.

Old Hollywood meets new audiences

TikTok is showing younger generations the timeless power of Hollywood classics

  • On the TCM account, TikTokers blew up the comments on a viral clip of Marilyn Monroe from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, taking note of the iconic actress’ “goddess” status.
  • Marilyn Monroe also has her own verified TikTok account, @marilynmonroe, with 354.8k followers. Her character Loreli from Gentlemen Prefers Blondes also has an account.
  • There are 156M views on videos with the hashtag #audreyhepburn.
  • #bettyboop content and the #bettyboopchallenge have earned hundreds of millions of views for the animated 1930s starlet.

TikTok time machine
Beyond the classic film genre, TikTok trends often create new buzz around pop culture from previous decades. A scroll through the @TheOriginalTikTokTrends account, which posts origin videos of the platform’s hottest trends, shows decades-old episodes from the Simpsons, 90’s chick flick scenes, Mario Kart clips, and 70’s music, among other nostalgia-based trends.

TikTok is a cultural time machine turning long-form and old-school (at least by Gen Z’s standards) classics into digestible content primed for the fast-paced digital era.