4 Questions, Answered
1.) What bearing do player performance stats have on your business’s bottom line?
A big one, it turns out, as the FA’s Technical Director Les Reed and Football Manager Studio Director Miles Jacobsen will explore in the latest of our Leaders Linked sessions tomorrow. It’s one-hour, it’s completely free, and it’s going to be action-packed with nuggets of insight.
2.) While we’re on the topic, how is fitness data monetised?
Being bought by a clothing brand is clearly one route, as demonstrated by fitness start-up Mirror’s $500 million acquisition by Lululemon this week. But what if a sale isn’t on the agenda? How are the legions of run tracking and workout apps – spurred by millions of new users thanks to lockdowns across the world – monetising their products beyond attempting to upsell to premium versions? Strava knows so much about me, but not a sausage on the commercial front beyond attempting to make me pay for it. It’s a genuine question. Thoughts welcome.
3.) Can you name two recent deals that are so blindingly, obviously good it’s a wonder it’s taken them this long to sign them?
Why, yes I can. Exhibit A) Zwift and the Tour de France. Exhibit B) World Athletics and Parkrun.
4.) What’s going on in the world of sports media rights?
Things. Are. Happening. Whether it’s Simon Denyer stepping down as CEO of DAZN, with owner Access Industries stepping up; or Saudi Arabia apparently making a legitimate move into premium sports broadcasting following three years of flagrant piracy in the country; or beIN Sports sticking to its word and dropping Serie A, only to sign a deal at a much reduced rate to bring it back; or Turner dropping its Bleacher Report Champions League deal early; or Fox ceding the US Open rights to NBC; or the potential ramifications of the Premier League having ripped up its own rulebook to bring the product back, there’s a lot going on in sports media. Probably a good time to sign up to join our dedicated Broadcast Disruptors community then – for regular, in-depth insight and frequent virtual get-togethers with the executives shaping the most dynamic area of the sports business.
The Digest, Digested
OneFootball’s new identity flexes with the rhythm of the game (3 mins)
DDMC Fortis becomes FMA and remains bullish as AFC project enters ‘operational’ phase (4 mins)
Australia and New Zealand’s winning bid and the reasons behind FIFA’s 2023 Women’s World Cup vote (3 mins)
Fortnite to test full-length film screenings (1 min)
Borussia Dortmund will virtually tour Asia (1 min)
FC Bayern and Audi launch ‘Audi Digital Summer Tour’ (1 min)
DP World Presents: leadership in unprecedented times (15 mins)
Chain Conversations: Liverpool’s Katerina Tornari and the INF’s Clare Briegal (18 mins)
LeBron James and Maverick Carter raise $100m for new media company SpringHill (1 min)
Amazon is renaming the Seattle NHL stadium Climate Pledge Arena (2 mins)
David Beckham co-owned Guild Esports launches, seeks $31m investment (1 min)
McLaren secure £150m loan from National Bank of Bahrain (1 min)
Spotify’s collective model inspires new ATP chairman Guadenzi(6 mins)
At home with Leaders: USTA Professional Tennis CEO Stacey Allaster (62 mins)
- Fortnite as an entertainment district – another example, here, of the makers of Fortnite turning the game into a virtual destination for media and entertainment events. This time it’s a Christopher Nolan film. And it’s Inception, which is, if you’ve seen the film, very appropriate.
- Virtual tours – they were always going to be a thing, weren’t they. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich might be the first to announce ‘virtual tours’ of Asia and beyond, but they won’t be the last.
- Interesting people talking to interesting people who are just as interested in talking to them, part ii – Keith Pelley and Cyril Abiteboul, leaders of the European Tour and the Renault F1 team respectively, pick each others brains about managing through Covid in a one-on-one conversation for shared sponsor DP World. It’s good. And if athlete sponsor time is precious, this shows there’s scope for some interesting executive activations. And sticking with the theme, here’s the latest in our series of ‘chain conversations’, with International Netball Federation CEO Clare Briegal in conversation with Liverpool Global Partnerships Director Katerina Tornari.
We’ve got a real jam going down
LeBron James has been busy while sport has been away, raising $100 million in funding, alongside his business partner Maverick Carter, for the foundation of a new media company. SpringHill Co will be a consolidation of James’s current companies – Robot, SpringHill Entertainment – maker of the upcoming Space Jam sequel – and Uninterrupted – and already has a deal with Netflix to work on a new basketball-themed movie with Adam Sandler.
Amazon signs naming rights deal
Amazon has signed a deal to take the naming rights to the renovated Seattle arena. The home of the new Seattle NHL team will be called the Climate Pledge Arena, named after Amazon’s commitment to go net carbon neutral a full 20 years from now.
Beckham takes esports position
David Beckham has taken a minority stake in new London-based esports outfit Guild Esports as it seeks to raise $31 million in funding.
McLaren secures Bahraini float
The McLaren F1 team has secured a £150 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain ahead of the start of this F1 season this weekend. The McLaren Group had already announced that it will have to make around 1,200 employees redundant across its technology, automotive and racing businesses.
- 572,000 – an encouraging number of viewers tuning in to CBS for the return of the NWSL.
- 340 – the number of commercial partners UEFA’s TEAM Marketing look after, a depth and breadth of relationships that makes the much emulated ‘Champions League model’ seem like oversimplification.