ONE TO WATCH
This week multiplayer battle-royale game Fortnite held its first-ever World Cup Final. The tournament was held over three days in front of a live audience in New York at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and streamed live on both YouTube and Twitch with over 2 million people tuning in. With a total cash prize of $30 million split between winners and title for best Fortnite player in the world up for grabs, top gamers from more than 30 nations competed on large computer monitors in one arena. Setting the precedent for future events and stand out gaming influencers (including sixteen-year-old Kyle Giersdorf who won a record-breaking $3 million in the solo event), the Fortnite World Cup was an epic worldwide event and worth a watch.
Expanding upon its popular food catalog called Fearless Flyer, grocer Trader Joe’s is branching out with the launch of a YouTube channel. From a charcuterie tutorial to a quirky Falafel Waffle recipe to a behind the scenes look at how cult favorite Scandinavian Swimmers are made, the branded YouTube videos are whimsical and informative. In addition to the videos, the channel also features soothing podcast like audio-only videos called Inside Trader Joe’s that explain how different facets of the business operate such as the plant, wine, and international cuisine departments. Well-made, high quality, and most importantly appetizing, Trader Joe’s is a great example of a brand creating YouTube content that consumers want to watch.
Due to a lack of bank accounts and credit-building habits, almost 26 million people in the United States are invisible to credit ratings and an additional 19 million have files that are unscorable (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2019). New startup Grow Credit aims to solve this problem by allowing consumers to build their credit through everyday purchases and subscriptions. Already partnered with Netflix, Spotify, and ClassPass, Grow Credit serves as a free and digital Mastercard that simply pays for a users already existing subscription online automatically each month. From there, Grow Credit reports monthly payments to credit bureaus, which positively impacts a users score. Turning simple modern-day payments into a credit-building opportunity, Grow Credit has expanded the traditional calculation of credit scores and may ultimately increase access to credit for those looking to build or establish good credit.
IN OUR CARTS
When thinking of an athlete’s drink of choice one might think of water and probably (actually definitely) not beer. But now new ‘functional’ craft beer Sufferfest has launched ready to help athletes “celebrate, recover, and refuel for their next workout.” From pale ales to IPA’s to pilsners, Sufferfest beers are low in gluten and brewed with black currant and salt to provide electrolytes and sugars that athletes typically need after a workout. Moreover, certain beers in their product line are brewed with bee pollen, which includes a muscle recovery component. A nutritious rendition of a classic beverage, Sufferfest is sure to be a hit for thirsty athletes craving a cold one.
Currently in city-wide beta-testing in Seattle and London, classic video game Minecraft is foraying into augmented reality with the creation of Minecraft Earth. The AR app lets players collect resources, build cities on top of the real world, and battle mobs either alone or with others. For example, when walking in a park a player could recreate their environment by building a treehouse or holographic fortress. Set to roll out in more cities this summer, the new app seamlessly blends the digital world with real life and will certainly captivate the 91 million users currently on Minecraft already.
Who Gives a Crap is a direct-to-consumer toilet paper startup and subscription service that has recently taken off in the United States. Besides offering 100% recycled toilet paper without dyes, ink, glue, chlorine, or artificial scents, the company is a certified B-corporation and donates half of its profits to organizations such as WaterAid (a non-profit that provides access to clean water and educates on sanitation and hygiene methods). With most of the largest toilet paper companies in the United States utilizing “freshly cut trees,” we give Who Gives a Crap major props for developing a convenient and sustainable subscription that everyone can use.