Broadcast, Digital & Media, Future Trends, Governance & Commercial Growth, Partnerships, Sport Business | May 12, 2021 | 8 min read

The lede: The future of media rights spelled out in black and white.


By James Emmett

Hello one and all and welcome to another edition of the Leaders Digest, the email that cuts through your working week with a shining blade of insight. If you’re not subscribed, do sign up here.

4  Questions, Answered

1.)    Is the traditional agency model dead? 
An impassioned defence, here, from Pitch International’s OIi Slipper. Done properly, straightforwardly, and without the spin and the smoke and mirrors, commercial rights agency work remains valuable – even if the margins are nowhere near what they once were. The return of proper lunches is a tantalising prospect.

2.)    Are you youngish and talented? 
There are awards and recognition for you out there if you want them.

3.)    Why should you employ a behavioural psychologist?
Because with any luck they’ll be as good as the Chicago Bulls’ Kevin Brilliant and provide you with enough ‘aha’ moments to keep your business transforming for the better for years.

4.)    Who is going to solve the issue of discovery in this new era of digital content consumption?
It could well be Buzzer’s Bo Han.


Get me on the guestlist

–    You are well and truly welcome to join us for LeadersWeek.direct/ later this month. It’s going to be a feast for the senses, and is GUARANTEED to tickle your insight bone. Join us.


The Digest, Digested

Why Amazon is building its advertising business (3 mins)

The Broadcast Disruptors Bulletin (8 mins)

Premier League to renew £4.7bn contracts with Sky, BT and Amazon on same terms (1 min)

Andreessen Horowitz plans $1bn crypto fund (2 mins)

Former Premier League chief Scudamore joins CVC’s team (3 mins)

Former Premier League chief Scudamore joins Monterosa (1 min)

Genius Sports buys Ballmer-backed Second Spectrum for $200 million (2 mins)

Sportradar acquires InteractSport to bolster cricket offering (2 mins)

Silver Lake standoff: Kiwi marketing guru warns NZ Rugby to ‘beware booby-traps’ (4 mins)

Endeavor China set to acquire Mailman Group (2 mins)

Google names new WNBA changemaker (1 min)

What is an entertainment company in 2021 and why does the answer matter? (15 mins)

The mega guide: China ecommerce and digital marketing, Q2 2021 (It’s 654 pages and I’m going to be honest: I haven’t read it all)


What’s new

–    Amazon flicks the monetization switch – the we-do-a-bit-of-everything giant is putting on its big boy pants and getting serious about advertising, just days after securing a new 12-year package of NFL rights.

–    A rethink on UK domestic media rights terms – The Premier League is looking to renew its package of domestic TV deals at the same price point without a bidding process in a move to ward off the ill-effects of market ague.  A European Super League-provoked UK government review into football ownership and governance is now coinciding with a growing recognition within the boardrooms of major rights holders that longer media rights deal terms – currently limited by competition laws to three years – would guarantee more value. I sense negotiating positions being taken.


What’s trending?

–   Crypto – Twitter is all of a sudden awash with threads about hustling your way to your first million and nonsense about Ethereum and Dogecoin. It’s hard to see the wood from the trees, but this looks like $1 billion worth of timber to me.

–   Richard Scudamore’s bona fides – The former Premier League chief is back in the game and monstering the job market, turning his hand to two juicy looking roles at CVC Capital and Monterosa.

–   Data giants on a spending spreeGenius Sports and Sportradar are both in the process of tooling up, spending hundreds of millions of acquisition dollars as they do it.




–    Manel Arroyo and Marc Saurina will take on increased responsibility at Dorna Sport following long-term commercial chief Pau Serracanta’s decision to leave the MotoGP and World SBK promoter. Arroyo will become CCO, adding to his existing role as Media Managing Director, while Saurina will become Global Commercial Partnerships Senior Director.

–    Katie Hill has been hired by the NFL as its new SVP, Communications. Hill, a former Communications Director in President Obama’s White House, will report to NFL EVP, Communications Jeff Miller.


–  Are you Red Bull Racing’s new Senior Events Manager?
–  Are you the Promoter of Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix’ new Sales & Marketing Business Analyst?
–  Are you the Chicago Bulls and White Sox’ new Centralized Digital Leadership Team’s new Digital Marketing Director?
–  Are you LA28’s new Communications Manager?
–  Are you Augusta National Golf Club’s new Pastry Intern?
–  Are you The O2’s new Partnerships Director?
–  Are you Formula 1’s new Product Manager?
–  Are you the Philadelphia Eagles’ new Senior Corporate Partnerships Activation Manager?



A booby trap 
Silver Lake’s mooted $330 million deal for a 12.5% stake in the commercial arm of NZ Rugby is encountering some opposition in New Zealand.

Endeavor’s cheque’s in the Mail(man) 
Endeavor looks set to finalise a $60 million acquisition of the China-based Mailman Group – which includes the Seven League agency – after the deal, which has been in the pipeline since 2019, was given approval by Chinese regulators. It will be the first major acquisition made by Endeavor following its IPO last month.

A W for Google 
Google has been staking out a position for itself as a champion of women’s sport since the arrival of former Visa marketing leader Kate Johnson last year. Its first major sports sponsorship with the WNBA and its broadcast partner ESPN is a big first step.


Longer reads

–   With every long-form mega media piece that passes, Matthew Ball takes another step closer to usurping Michel de Montaigne as my all-time favourite essayist. What is an entertainment company in 2021 and why does the answer matter? Ball waxes knowledgeable.

–   A 654-page bible on China’s ecommerce and digital marketing landscape.

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