| Oct 6, 2016

As the sun sets on another Leaders Sport Business Summit, the mood mellows, but the good times roll on: get on down to Frankie’s, if you’re not there already, for a couple more frosty ones before the day is out.

It’s been another jam-packed day here at Stamford Bridge in London, so here’s your on-the-button review. Once again, we can’t promise it will be comprehensive, but it should at least provide a few closing thoughts to take home with you. Or indeed to bring back to Stamford Bridge with you if you’re joining us for the final piece in the Leaders Week puzzle tomorrow – the Leaders Meet: The Game Changers conference.

Another shout for the industrious crew from the SportBusiness Group – our B2B media partners – who have been busy chronicling the day on their live blog platform. You can catch up on the Leader stream here, the brand stream here, the digital stream here, and the eSports stream here.


You might have missed it yesterday, but the Freudian slip-watchers were out in force and brought this one to our attention: Asked by Nielsen Sport’s Simon Long whether eSports was a friend or foe of traditional sport, Blizzard’s Gio Hunt said emphatically “FOE”. Oops. We know what you meant.

  • Adolfo Bara, MD of Sales and Marketing at La Liga, said the league’s latest title sponsorship deal with Santander – which will, crucially, be activated globally – actually came about very quickly. “We met them once,” he said, “then we met them again, sat in a room for ten days of intense negotiations, then we came out with a deal. It’s like giving away your daughter; you want to make sure it’s to the right person.” Phew – we dread to think what a long deal looks like.
  • DiscountIf scooping the top prize in the Tech Start-Up competition. The fledgling firm wooed the judges with promises of low costs and high returns. A one-way route to success if ever there was one. For more on the hard-fought contest, read Andrew Serio’s summary below.
  • Thank heavens for Marshall Osbourne, the fresh-faced Head of Sports Partnerships at Uber, who took the unloved 3pm-on-the-second-day slump spot. Conference fatigue kicking in: throw down dome figures: in just four years, Uber has grown from an interesting company worth $360 million to a genuine global giant worth a staggering $68 billion. According to Osbourne, 15% of this year’s Super Bowl crowd went home in an Uber. Marshall was great. He saved us from the rain and helped us with our bags. #uberallstar


  • VR: it’s exciting for sure. But opinion on the exhibition hall floor was split. According to a straw poll taken by SportBusiness, it’s either the next big thing, or the next 3D. Detractors say the cost of production and the cost of the headsets is too great, and it’s hard to get people to spend a long time in the environment.
  • Freestyle footballer Sean Garnier pronounce his own name. It’s See-ann. Who’d have thought it?
  • Bleacher Report President Rory Brown: “Instagram is the home for our ‘wow’ content, Facebook you can go a little simpler.”
  • Uefa marketing chief Guy-Laurent Epstein on ‘that’ David Guetta Euros song: “The Guetta song was number one in 15 countries, top ten in over 50. It allowed us to reach a broader audience, more female-driven. Facebook stats showed that 24 per cent of people who engaged with the song were female. For football, that is usually eight per cent.”
  • Potentially one of the best #humblebrags from YouTube star Spencer Owen: “I was so embarrassed; all these kids were running past Gareth Bale to get to me.”

On the grapevine:

  • Thierry Borra, Coca-Cola’s long-time Olympic marketing exec, is something of a wine buff. He’s from Beane, quite possible the capital city of wine in France, and could well be about to start his own sports marketing industry wine club. Count us in.
  • Could FIBA’s Basketball Champions League be in the market for friendly games with the NBA? It could well be.
  • eSports is the future, but some within the industry are willing to accept they rely on technology of the past: that venerable old box in the corner – the TV – validates the quality of the entertainment on offer.
  • ‘Throwback Tweets’ – aka highlighting, and usually mocking, the first tweet someone ever sent – could be the next ‘born on this day’ in terms of social media engagement.

On the Twits

@Michael_Beast: A pleasure as always to listen to @petermooreEA today. A very insightful presentation on EA’s views on competitive gaming.#Leaders16

@SamFogden: Another great session at#Leaders16 by @[email protected] and @seanfreestyle on the power of social influencer marketing.

@SkySportsDavid: Inspiring talk from @cavs CEO @lenkomoroski on the engagement & effect of their @NBA 2016 campaign. Above & beyond. #ALLin216 #Leaders16

@CroninBenjamin: @SpencerOwen says he started posting content on YouTube as an online CV to get job in TV. Now it’s a viable career #leaders16

@jhaniv: Anyone who’s doing a marketing conf has to invite Pam El CMO of @NBA to give a keynote! saw her up&close at #Leaders16 she’s AMAZING!

The Leaders Tech Startup Competition – in collaboration with Chelsea FC, SKY Sports and Deltatre

  • Cash Rules Everything Around Startups
  • Digital fan engagement was the unofficial theme of the first annual Leaders Sports Tech Startup Competition, as six teams competed for investment and the judges’ adoration
  • Stage TEN, Nine Sports, and Stadeom are all about developing online content streaming platforms for fans to seamlessly switch between streams, develop their own online personas, and interact with sponsored brand content
  • Laduma is an early-adopter of VR-based storytelling, boasting impressive production capabilities (including 3D, a first for VR!) and content creation talent to help teams “tell stories in a way they never have before”
  • However, our two finalists stood out from the pack. Game On is basically a super-charged WhatsApp for sports fans, “building a chat-based broadcasting network” entirely dedicated to sport. DiscountIF gamifies online purchasing, allowing brands to offer discounts to sports fans during online transactions
  • Like our American colleagues prefer, there had to be a winner, and the judges selected DiscountIF for its combination of quick, cheap implementation alongside a clear path to revenue generation

Congrats to all involved, and the bar has been set high for future iterations of the competition!



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