Top takeaways from Leaders Sports Business Summit 2018

Leaders Sports Business Summit

Last week saw the return of the Leaders Sports Business Summit, held at Chelsea Football Club. The event brings together representatives from various clubs and organisations within the sports business world. LiveStyled's Harry Samuel, Finn Walsh and myself, Alex Padley were in attendance. Here are a few of my key takeaways.

Day 1

Personalisation is key - Gone are the days of a ‘one size fits all’ for email marketing, according to Inter Milan’s CRM Manager Massimo Venneri. The club’s partnership with Salesforce is helping them engage fans in a much more intimate relationship, automatically delivering the best content for each digital touch point.

Sponsorship and how to do it properly - John Doig of Scotiabank and Patrick Pierce of Etihad Airways were both reading from the same hymn sheet. Their take home message being that terminology such as ‘naming rights’ should be all out banned when talking sponsorship deals. Most importantly, aligning brand values and being involved in a “partnership” should take precedence.

Day 2

The broadcasting shake up - Thursday morning kicked off with everyone listening intently to sports broadcasting newcomer, Facebook, which also have a stake in social media, so I’m told. During an insightful talk by Peter Hutton, we learnt of Facebook’s aspirations for fans to be brought from sofa to stadium, facilitated by none other than VR - what effect this has on attendance remains to be seen. Also noteworthy, with 80% of under 35’s having one or two other activities on the go whilst watching sport, Facebook is aiming to unite them on one interactive platform where social and sport will become one.

Growing audiences - Ligue 1 CEO Didier Quillot is taking digital seriously, very seriously. So much so that he’s recruited a new team to focus on this area, with one condition, they’re all under 30. Expect to see a a digital overhaul for the French top division, as their first steps involve growing their international audience across all digital channels, with an aim to rival the Premier League and La Liga.

Fun facts of the summit go to Alex Green of Amazon and Megha Parekh of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alex informed the crowd of delegates on Wednesday morning that British commentary on it’s NFL games is now rivalling the more traditional US version - “I dare say nice touchdown chap”. According to Megha (during the talk on ‘Sports Investment’), the Jaguars have two swimming pools and a dog park for fans to use both during and outside of game time, now that is some next level fan engagement. I wonder if any Premier League teams were taking note on that one.

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