Business of sports sponsorship conference – Chairman and Host’s blog – Day two

Andrew Woodward – Communications Management Consultant

www.andrewwoodward.net – blog.andrewwoodward.net
Email inbox@andrewwoodward.net
Twitter @andrewwoodward

0905 – Patrick Delany, CEO Fox Sports

Sports very important in TV in a globalised world
Had a brief to shake the place up at Fox Sports
We don’t do a deal unless we have everything
FS in business is same interests of sports industry and sports codes
Next generation of sports leaders in the room
Reflections on 6 years
Emotion and passion far too regularly used in sports industry
If you want to be a sports professional today, you need more than that
Sports built on community and amateurism about playing and players and not profit and professionalism
They were set up to organise sport – not promote it.
FS pays $1b every five years to the big codes
FS job bigger, better and special delivery to homes

Sport is two things: joy and optimism and dollars and cents
Has to do a big rights deal every year
Talent bill has gone from $5m pa to $20m pa
Invested heavy in technology
We research and act
Good sport, great production, no ads
All major sports out to 2022
Last few weekends: most competition comes from ourselves with cricket and football
Positive ad growth of more than ten percent in a market going backwards by 5%
Viewers love ad free
Strategy appears to be working
FS wants local sport to grow and grow – as if sport grows – it grows  
Tribe: fantastic, fans and followers, all are into sport
Roy Morgan: 651k fanatics, 1.3m fans and 15m followers
Sports needs strategy, smarts and nous
The key word in sport is tribalism, that is belonging.

General observations on the framework on success
Best sports understand to prosper: entertain (capable and substantial), atmosphere and appeal to base human desire to belong
Competition is nurtured and creates rivalry,
AFL is socialist – it is all about bringing the competition along
Stadium need to suit the game, empty seats kill atmosphere
30k in Canberra will bring a game alive, 30k in 80k kills a venue and on TV and the multiplayer effect – talking to millions
Sport needs to appeal to humanity, attach to tribes of fellow believers
Tripod of successful growth: entertainment, atmosphere and humanity
Football has done well with tribes and small stadiums. But it struggles to convert participation and viable teams
AFL and NRL turns stadiums into cathedrals

Rugby facing problems, 12 teams were playing a very high standard a few years ago, Super Rugby is now ‘on its knees’, competition is confused, tribal identity is no where to be seen, entertainment is patch, appeal to human instinct is missing, little emotional connect, atmosphere doesn’t carry across the whole fixture, rugby has become the domain of rugby fanatics

Sports business needs to be more than just about the game
History of sport to different to the administration of sport… previously run by well meaning amateurs, heroes of sport were guardians of the game, passion is not enough
Sport needs to be run by professionals of ASX100 not a cake stall or line marker

Balance sheet of our nation – Wallabies, Socceroos and Diamonds… the whole country does well.
Australia owes a great debt to sport
Government needs to take a greater interest in sport
Sport is nation building like bridges and dams

Three brands: Fox Sports, Fox Footy, Fox League
Footy: Emotional, that’s what footy is
League: Home of Rugby League, mined fans, huge amount of research, fox sports is an embodiment of the fun of the game, ratings are amazing, ads are sold out

The world is changing and in the business of sport we need to respond
Investing in local sport – NRL and AFL
Also broadcasting online to international audiences Watch AFL and Watch NRL coming
Made the call to back local football 18 months ago – $50m a year to back ALeague
Couldn’t compete with overnight broadcasts of EPL, decision made in the interest of sports ans

Governments need to change, rules that govern the media haven’t changed since the 1980’s

Sport needs to push government and the community
Need to entertain
Sport must be a place that people can belong

Business model of sport is under threat
Lots of changes and shifting
How we respond will determine the future

Q&A from this session

Still too come

0940 Session – New opportunities for growth and monetisation

Jeremy Loeliger, Chief Executive Officer, National Basketball League
Darren Birch, General Manager – Digital, Growth and Audiences, AFL
Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital, Cricket Australia
Pat Moloughney, Director – Network Sport Sales, Seven West Media

1030 Session  – Ownership in sport: Discovering challenges and opportunities, Tony Shepherd AO, GWS Giants

Still to come

1130 Session – Powered by passion: Energising the experience and engagement of fans

Still to come

1220, Alex Wicks, Arsenal FC, Developing a global football club in the digital age

3 questions
Digital age for barns
How has Arsenal invested
What can we expect in the next phase of digital development

24/7 interaction
Understanding consumers
Invectives and reward

Fragmentation of channels and platforms
Increased consumer expectations
Disruption – low barriers to entry
Ownership of digital rights and content

The role of digital

Virtuous circle
More on field success
Increase fan base and engagement
Increase revenue
Invest in team

Removing pay wall to digital only membership subscription too numbers from 35k subscribers to 1.7 million
Only started using instagram properly 2 years ago
Have Spanish website
Have Twitter feed for North America
Help international fans engage with the club
Have gone from knowing people like Arsenal to having a digital footprint of people as to engage with them better

Developing valuable partnership assets
Driving propensity to purchase (Retail)
Although a football club, the marketing budget is not huge so they rely on partners like Emirates and Puma
Trying to bring together Arsenal brand, partner brand and consumers/fans
European ran a campaign with Arsenal players – 5m views, 7 m on Arsenal fb page, 260m PR reach, 65k views of outakes

Educate sponsors about how to merge in social media

Monetisation of merchandise: mobile first and clean, multi currency, test and learn, enhanced customer service

What’s next in digital
IN stadium digital experiences
New content types
New platforms
Physical and digital convergence

Monitoring esports teams

Not planning any partnerships with A-League. That’s not the business model.

1400 session, Planning and executing the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Hon Peter Beattie AC

Still to come

1430 Session, Digital is pivotal: Unlocking revenue potential and strategic advantage

Still to come

1520 The World Game for All – FIFA’s Efforts to Support Women’s Football, Sarai Bareman, Chief Women’s Football Officer, FIFA (SUI)

Women’s coverage is about 5% of that of men’s on social media
Prize money. Men’s World Cup coming first – $35m, coming fourth $20m. Women’s World Cup coming first, $2 million
There’s a greater female influence in FIFA.
FIFA is changing its rules
Men and women’s sponsorship is bundled together, hampering growth.
FIFA 2.0 under development
Specific goals for women’s football, global strategy under development, working on it for mid-year presentation.
Need to overcome cultural barriers (women’s football banned in some countries)
Must come from top down as well as bottom up
Strategic model covers: marketing and comms, development programs (players and officials – how to hang on to young players), competitions and leagues (no womens club World Cup), governance and leadership, social impact.
UEFA investing multi millions into women’s football, looking at how to make it cool.

1600 Closing Remakrs from Andrew Woodward

Notes available at blog.andrewwoodward.net

Key issues form the conference
Women’s sport – in general, sponsor interest and facilities
Change, change, change: be professional, be into tech, engage with broadcast, have deeper engagement with the fan
Advice on sports people – have broad experience

Further things to discuss:
Rugby was missing
No discussion on role of sports betting
Amazon came up in every second discussion

Sport must support action on
Climate change


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