Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the Business of Sport Summit (BOSS) in Sydney Australia which included the privilege of sitting on a panel to discuss fan engagement with some industry experts.
Like most conferences, it was a great opportunity to get in a room with colleagues from across the globe and share experiences, thoughts, and insights into industry best practices. The speakers and panelists brought with them a wide variety of expertise and the topics the program covered also provided lots of great takeaways.
Here are my five biggest takeaways from BOSS 2019.
1. GO WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS
Murray Barnett, from Formula One, identified how the sport has done an outstanding job in developing content on platforms and channels to suit where their prospective audience is already engaging. The Netflix program Drive to Survive is a fantastic example of identifying how the way we consume content has changed and, rather than trying to drive fans back to the traditional broadcast model of ‘Race Day Profile and Highlights’, F1 have utilised a platform that new fans are already engaged on. Furthermore, the use of mobile platforms to tell the story of drivers and teams was second to none.
2. OWN YOUR ROLE IN A PARTNERSHIP
We were treated to a masterclass on how brands can truly transform their image through developing a commercial partnerships plan and actually executing it.
Jean-Marc Pailhol, from Allianz Insurance (Global), walked us through how they identified where new opportunities existed to tell a different story about their brand. They went from partnering with sports such as Golf and F1 to buying into new age entertainment such as Drone Racing, Formula E, and even creating their own brand-new form of adventure motor vehicle racing.
Not only did they become the major partner of these events, but they also took a percentage ownership stake in each. They are now playing a major role in the development of each sport/form of entertainment and taking the concept of ‘partnership’ to the next level.
3. DATA IS STILL KING
Whether it be through fan engagement, the development of content, or identifying new ways through which we should be expanding our offering e.g. through testing the waters with ESports, expanding into a women’s competition, etc., data is still the absolute master for making educated decisions.
There is now a greater level of importance being placed on how this data can actually make an impact as opposed to the total amount of data we can acquire. Key players in our space are now flipping big data on its head and utilising hyper targeted campaigns as a way of truly giving partners value for money and effective cut-through in a cluttered market.
4. STAYING RELEVANT IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Wimbledon (The All England Lawn Tennis Club) is steeped in history and tradition. Alexandra Willis, Head of Communications at The Championships, however, was able to take us through how they have been able to stay relevant in this fast-paced digital age while staying true to their values and sense of tradition.
Through the use of extremely engaging content, and making the most of the global exposure this event receives every year, Wimbledon were able to tell a story that appealed to different generations than they normally would and utilise platforms and technology like never before. They were able to use data, technology, and a long history of insights to ingrain tradition into current content and ensure they were relevant to a huge variety of consumers.
5. AUSTRALIA IS A CROWDED MARKETPLACE
One clear and common theme that shone through was that we work in one of the most crowded sporting landscapes in the world. Australian right’s holders have never had so much competition for consumer’s attention with pro leagues spanning over an even longer period each year and other industries now playing a much smarter game when it comes to securing their fair share of the household budget.
Australian right’s holders are starting to work together to ensure they stay ahead of the curve and are identifying ways in which a game day or live experience can be the most sought-after product by sporting fans.
Furthermore, as part of this, we are seeing that the traditional broadcasters are still playing a major role in how sport is currently consumed. All of the talk about new players in this space such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, etc., has not quite yet had an impact on the larger rights holders in our region.
It was pretty positive to come out of the two-day event with some new connections and greater relationships with current colleagues. Most importantly, however, were some greater insights into future trends of our industry. Hopefully, others who attended got some nuggets to take away or at least enjoyed those fantastic donuts for afternoon tea on day one!
Written by: Sam Irvine
KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.