While everyone else seems to be slumbering through the pandemic, TikTok seems intent on building a mighty digital empire. On all fronts, TikTok seems to be making deals and sewing up talent and sponsorships.
TikTok Business Partners
There seems to be a sense of real urgency in their efforts to embed themselves deeply into the social fabric of the nation. This could of course just be intelligent business practices, but it may also perhaps be fueled by TikTok's near-death experience at the hands of Donald Trump. If the matter ever comes up again, they apparently want plenty of native allies and business partners available to speak on their behalf.
The company has recently been expanding hard into partnerships with major sports leagues. The most recently announced deal comes via twin Major League Soccer franchises. The Portland Timbers of the men's league and the Portland Thorns of the women's bracket have agreed to long-term sponsorship deals with TikTok which will include the addition of the well-known TikTok logo on the jersey sleeves of their upcoming 2021 season. While the company will not own the coveted front of the jersey, they are nevertheless making their mark. Few doubt that this is just the opening move in a long term strategy to make the company ubiquitous, especially among the younger generation.
Other recent sports-oriented moves are built around hosting live events for the increasingly popular UFC and, over in Europe, sponsoring the 2020 EUFA Football Tournament. All of these efforts show their eagerness to build a lifestyle brand that is much larger than just the original short-form video platform. What they clearly have in mind is an idealized user who has interests in the many things that TikTok is now partnering up with.
Long-Form Version of Tiktok
With significant recent acquisitions being booked in both the sports and music fields, one has to wonder what will come next on the corporate platter of delicacies? In particular, the many sports moves suggest that there are plans for a long-form version of TikTok on the horizon. Showing snippets of UFC or MLS action is nice highlight reel stuff, but the big money is still found in broadcasting the games themselves.