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Young Hollywood Is Already Laying Big Plans for 2014 FIFA World Cup

Youth video site reveals dedicated channel with Momentum

Brazil has been a complicated marketplace for brands in recent weeks, but it's not stopping companies from getting ready for the FIFA 2014 World Cup. For instance, Young Hollywood and Momentum Entertainment Group today are announcing their partnership to create a digital channel that will focus on covering the celebrity goings-on around a sporting event that's essentially becoming the world's Super Bowl.

Taking place in Rio de Janeiro during June and July next year, the country-versus-country soccer tournament promises to attract millions of tourists to South America and constant international media coverage that brands and publishers hope to capitalize on. Young Hollywood, which has a youthful audience of hundreds of thousands of viewers a month, is already formulating a newsroom strategy about how to differentiate its coverage compared to other outlets in terms of the event-focused channel, which has yet to be named. Video interviews with names of interest will likely be central to the channel's coverage.

"We have been closely following the talent and athletes who we believe could drive really interesting content," Young Hollywood CEO R.J. Williams said. "We have been tracking both international celebrities and American celebrities who are passionate about the sport to start drawing up some unique content ideas."

He added, "We will also go behind the scenes and examine some of the biggest players' lifestyles in the weeks leading up to the World Cup to see how they prep."

The exec hinted that his website's coverage would be rife with social media plays—expect many hashtag-based efforts to maximize buzz via Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Instagram, etc. And though the companies are developing what advertising will look like within the coverage, Chris Weil, CEO of the content-development-focused Momentum, suggested the online platform would offer brands opportunities to jump on the native ads trend.

"It will be less about ad units and more about true integrations," Weil said. "Our brand partners will be woven into the storyline in an organic, authentic way. Momentum and Young Hollywood have both had great success individually doing this in the past, and now this partnership allows their teams to truly collaborate and deliver best-in-class branded entertainment."

Meanwhile, how brands, agencies and media players handle the World Cup could be interesting if Brazil's civil unrest persists into the 2014 calender. A major sticking point for thousands of the protesters has been that their nation has spent billions of dollars on sports stadiums for the World Cup while government programs lack funding. So the looming soccer tournament doesn't seem like it's going to calm an environment that's forcing many parties—from political to business—to adapt.

But with so many people watching, marketers will almost certainly look to utilize their craft to brand their products. And Young Hollywood, as a media brand, may need a traffic boost.

Monthly unique visitors for YoungHollywood.com for June numbered 358,000, according to comScore, which represents a 60 percent decrease from the same month for the year before when it totaled 897,000.

At the same time, Young Hollywood allows its videos to be shared across blogs and other publishing sites that boost its video views stats. And with that in mind, the Los Angeles-based company self-reports 10.5 million video views for June.

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