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Alibaba and Ford form technology-based alliance

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Alibaba Group has formed a strategic alliance with Ford Motors to enhance consumer retail experiences and explore solutions for sustainable mobility.

As part of the three-year partnership, Ford will work with Alibaba’s four business units namely AliOS, Alibaba Cloud, Alimama and Tmall and jointly explore mobility services, connectivity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and digital marketing.

Ford and Alibaba will initially focus on digital solutions for new retail opportunities at various stages of the automotive ownership cycle. Alibaba will also further leverage Ford's experience in selling vehicles globally.

Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and chief executive officer said: “China is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly. Collaborating with leading technology players builds on our vision for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences,’’

Alibaba Group chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said: “Alibaba is excited to redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles together with Ford Motor Company. Our data-driven technology and platform will expand the definition of car ownership beyond just having a mode of transportation and into a new medium for smart lifestyle.”

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Manchester United unveils official global mobile app

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Manchester United has unveiled an official mobile app powered by its digital transformation partner, HCL.

The new app features exclusive content, including the United Now feed – which collates the latest news, polls, stats, videos and blogs about the club– and a live matchday experience, including line ups, up-to-the-second match updates, live blogging, player stats and score updates from rivals.

The app will also provide exclusive content and behind-the-scenes player access.

Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold said: “This app will allow our 659 million Manchester United followers to easily connect to the club they love, wherever they are in the world. Fans will now have the opportunity to follow all Manchester United matches through the app with up-to-the-second notifications and updates.

"The app was created by a dedicated project team from HCL Technologies and Manchester United, ensuring a truly collaborative approach to the project. The team not only built the new app and website, but also created an advanced underlying platform that will give the club the ability to adapt as new technologies emerge.”

HCL Technologies’ corporate vice president, Ashish Gupta said: “Our partnership with Manchester United has been one of continuous co-innovation. HCL’s digital experience platform has driven significant business transformation combining digital product strategy and technology innovation to deliver a compelling user experience. The Manchester United official app has received excellent reviews from a worldwide fan base with downloads in over 210 markets."

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The Drum presents: Tom Ollerton talks to Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios

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Talking about the latest marketing technology in order to make sense of it for brands and agencies to apply it through his podcast 'Shiny New Object' is Tom Ollerton, AI consultant and the former innovation director at We Are Social. In this latest installment, Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios offers her thoughts on the impact blockchain will have on the marketing industry.

Each episode of The Shiny New Object Podcast will be distributed in partnership with The Drum and can be followed by subscribing through the Apple podcast app (which also currently features the SheSays Says series) here on the website or follow The Drum's SoundCloud page.

Tom Ollerton is a consultant in the field of creative artificial intelligence. He helps brands use the speed and scale of AI to make their content and media budgets work harder. Tom runs a monthly meetup called ‘I’ll Be Back’ that studies the intersection of creativity, ads and AI. Each week he interviews an influential marketer about their favourite new marketing technology.

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Sony Pictures Network unveils a digital campaign for the 18th Asian Games

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Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India has unveiled the #KoiKasarNahi (No stone will be left unturned) campaign for the 18th Asian Games to be held in Indonesia.

As part of the campaign, SPN will be hosting a ‘Fan Flame’ on its microsite . Inspired by the Asian Games torch that burns in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, the virtual Fan Flame will have message of support that will be passed on to the participating Indian athletes.

To feature on the virtual Fan Flame, fans will need to use hashtag #KoiKasaNahi on social media platforms. SPN will broadcast live more than 300+ hours of the Asian Games in both Hindi and English.

It will also have a live studio show with panelists like wrestler Jagdish Kaliraman, hockey champions Sandeep Singh, Viren Rasquinha, and Jagbir Singh, tennis players Somdev Devvarman and Gaurav Natekar, badminton player Aparna Popat, and expert columnists Ayaz Memon and Boria Majumdar.

Rajesh Kaul, president, Sports and Distribution Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “At Sony Pictures Networks India we have always promoted a multi-sport culture and it doesn't get bigger than the 18th Asian Games.

"As our athletes compete across 36 sports and against sportspeople from 45 countries, we will bring fans and viewers the ultimate experience to enjoy the Asian Games. As patriotic fans, it’s our utmost duty to give our unrelenting support to our athletes just as they will give on this stage.”

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