Fox has slated two in-person upfront events this spring — one in LA in March, the other in its usual mid-May berth in New York — as the industry looks to emerge from the long shadow of Covid.
On March 23, on the Fox lot, the company will hold the Content Drives Commerce Brand Partnership Summit. will be held on Wednesday, March 23. The upfront, designed to showcase the full entertainment, sports, news and streaming portfolio, will then take place on Monday, May 16, at the Skylight on Vesey in New York.
While a number of events — this month’s Sundance Film Festival, among others — have had to turn virtual this winter due to the Omicron surge, Fox is putting a stake in the ground for live gatherings. Given the initial timing of the pandemic, which swept across the U.S. in March 2020, this spring’s upfronts and NewFronts stand to be the first in-person ones since 2019. In the intervening period, of course, the very notion of TV has also been redefined by the ongoing emphasis on streaming. That rapid evolution makes it especially important for traditional media companies to look at their business practices with a fresh eye.
Several companies have moved toward multi-part presentations to advertisers and media in recent years, reflecting the growing complexity of the ad landscape and the role played by technology. In New York, this year’s downtown venue will mark a significant change from Fox’s longtime host site, the Beacon Theatre. The annual presentation at the Upper West Side landmark, an Art Deco jewel built in 1929, was long followed by an after-party in Central Park. Skylight on Vesey, formerly the home of the New York Mercantile Exchange, has recently started hosting events and gained attention last year for an immersive exhibition of Van Gogh paintings.
“Fox will showcase how we continue to challenge the status quo across measurement, creativity and innovation to drive impact with partners in 2022,” ad sales chief Marianne Gambelli said. “Our combination of community, accessibility, and creativity, all delivered at massive scale are what sets Fox apart from our peers. As a 100% ad-supported portfolio, staying connected with our valued partners is a huge priority, and we can’t wait to see everyone in person.”
Along with its twin events in March and May, Fox said it has also locked an appearance May 2 during the IAB’s annual NewFronts, which focus on streaming. The event will focus on Tubi, a free, ad-supported service acquired by Fox in 2020 for $440 million.
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