Q3 Culture Peeks

July 1, 2023

What our culture experts are stoked to watch, listen to, and play When you’re a culture expert at TMA, work is an endless buffet. So we asked them this question: What’s happening in the quarter ahead that excites you, personally, the most?


The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is being hosted in Australia and New Zealand for the first time, and will feature 32 teams (up from 24), from July 20 to August 20. With the expansion, eight teams are making their World Cup debut: Haiti, Ireland, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Vietnam, amd Zambia. Despite some injuries to some key players, Team USA is the favorite to win (according to the odds in Las Vegas) followed by England and Spain. But also keep an eye out for Germany, France and co-host Australia. It’s good (and about time) to see the pay equality continue to shift in the right direction. For total prize money in 2023, FIFA will pay $110M, up significantly from four years ago when it was $30M. Each of the 736 players will be paid a minimum of $30,000 and a graduated scale based on finish. Players on the winning team will garner $270,000 each. Ticket sales have also quickly surpassed the previous Women’s World Cups. Split between matches in Australia and New Zealand, ticket sales are already over 1M and will likely escalate to become the most attended women’s sporting event ever.

Basia Wojcik, VP of Sports


Coming off the release of her wildly successful Midnights album and her sold-out and record-breaking tour, Taylor Swift has plenty to celebrate in 2023. Well, add one more thing to the list. Swift has announced she will re-release her 2010 album Speak Now on July 7. This is another step in Taylor reasserting her control over her musical destiny and creative voice by releasing musical recordings that she controls, free from those who would seek to take advantage and profit off her musical legacy.  From a business perspective, this means that Swift, as a songwriter on many of her tracks, has greater control over which brands she partners with from a licensing perspective.  By re-releasing her albums, Taylor has the ability to steer brands to licensing her re-recorded masters or else she can deny access to licensing her publishing rights, effectively killing off any deals with which she’s not aligned.

-Jason Blaine, Director of Music Licensing & Supervision


Back in 2018, Bethesda Game Studios announced the launch of Starfield, their newest original RPG title. Since then, the title has generated significant buzz and excitement among the gaming community, EVERYONE is talking about it. After a couple of delays (not abnormal in the gaming world), Starfield is finally set to launch on September 6. From a gameplay perspective, Bethesda is known for creating open-world games that provide players with freedom and choice. Starfield will be no different, it will allow players to explore a richly detailed universe, interact with diverse characters, and undertake multiple quests or missions. The title is being developed for next-gen platforms (PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC), meaning the game is will offer highly enhanced graphics and more immersive gameplay, which is enticing to the community. From a marketing perspective, these studios have majorly increased their marketing efforts behind these big title releases which will bring huge branding and partnership opportunities that can create memorable experiences for consumers. Overall, excited to see the impact Starfield will have on this ever-changing, growing industry. 

-Sami Barnett, Director of Gaming


While we wait out the writers’ strike and pending guild contract negotiations, movie theaters are drawing in audiences with several summer blockbusters. The most anticipated of these is Barbie. Personally, I’m excited because we have been following this project since 2016, when Sony had the rights and Amy Schumer was attached. After Amy backed out (recently admitting to creative differences), Margot Robbie and her production company Lucky Chap convinced Mattel to let her buy the rights, move the project to Warner Brothers, and hire Greta Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach to write and direct and contemporize the story of Barbie. Expect to see Barbie making tough choices as she navigates the imperfections and inequities of the real world. Not only is there excitement for this empowering new story, but between Mattel and Warner Brothers there are 100 marketing collaborations and partnerships. To name a few: AirBNB (rent Barbie’s Malibu Dream House), XBox consoles, content within the  Forza Horizon 5 game, Ruggable rugs, OPI nail polish, Architectural Digest’s tour of Barbie’s mansion, high fashion with Balmain, and mainstream fashion with Gap, Forever 21, and Fossil. TikToks featuring #barbieoutfits have 75 million views and counting. With all of this anticipation, I recommend buying those tickets ahead of time. I already have. 

-Jen Cowan, VP of Entertainment