It is less than one month to SPORTO 2019 and here comes the 14th international issue of the SPORTO Magazine. We looked at the broader impact of sports dominators and examined the athlete endorsement trends. We travelled to Northern Europe for a detailed insight into the sport sponsorship markets in Finland, Denmark and Sweden. The social-first story of the brutally challenging regatta The Ocean Race will give us some adrenaline rush, and of course, we have not forgotten about the more recent sporting feats such as the Ineos 1:59 Challenge.
Please find more about the contents in our announcement.
The game changers
Not all ambassadors are created equal. There are some that not only dominate their sport but transcend it. They are the ‘dominators’ and they set the tone for sports marketing and athlete endorsement. We talked to Activative’s Jeremy Edwards, our well-known guest from previous SPORTO editions, to get his opinion on these special athletes: “One way to understand the value of sports dominators is to fixate on the numbers and the money; to judge them based on their records and statistics; to examine the effect they have on ticket sales and TV audiences; to shine a light on their salaries, endorsement deals and all other revenue streams. But it is probably just as important to consider the impact they have had in bringing new, non-core audiences and fan demographic segments to the sport – how they have converted the previously unconvertable and thus transcended their sport.”
Complex content distribution
Guy-Laurent Epstein, Marketing Director of UEFA Events S.A. & SPORTO 2019 guest, comments that “loving football” (while referring to Eric Cantona’s speech at 2019 UEFA President’s Award Ceremony) is exactly the right term, since football is all about passion and emotion. The magic of football, he adds, is its global appeal – to be able to share this passion with people across the globe who may speak different language, have different backgrounds, come from different environments, but in the end share the same emotions.
The marketing expert who entered sports marketing world working on a project for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France shares his views on the power of consistent branding, importance of content distribution through a variety of platforms, including Over The Top (OTT), current partnerships attracting more and more digital giants and the changed role of the marketing director in a sports organisation.
Sponsorship market in Scandinavia
The leading representatives of sponsorship associations from Finland, Denmark and Sweden talk about the value of the sports sponsorship market, its growth, specifics, trends and challenges, and reveal which are the most popular and marketable sports and most prominent athletes in their countries.
A few insights: In Finland the sponsorship market is growing at a rate of four percent annually, in Denmark the term “commercial partnership” is used instead of sponsorship and in Sweden sports sponsorship agencies are developing into full-service agencies.
Minnesota Vikings’ digital storytelling
Consumer trust in social media is in decline. Facebook pages are no longer achieving the same level of reach and engagement. This does not seem to have much effect on sporting events, however, as victories and sports miracles attract by far the most interest and are spreading faster than any other type of content. Scott Kegley, Executive Director of Digital and Innovation at the Minnesota Vikings, is well aware of this. Even though there are less games played in the National Football League (NFL) than in the NBA or baseball, American football is extremely popular on social media, providing not only a multitude of engaging stories but even an occasional sports miracle. One of them will be presented by Scott at this year’s SPORTO Conference.
A constant cycle of content
“If you do not yield an emotional reaction from content, then you do not create any feedback – either positive or negative. Plain content creates a passive response and homogenous content does not yield any brand loyalty. If supply of your product is limited, then that may work. But if supply is limitless, people will go elsewhere,” says Lee Walker, Executive Editor of the US Bleacher Report, where integrating animated videos with parody elements has become their trademark.
Boats built with media in mind
The Ocean Race takes sailors to the most remote parts of the Earth and, oh boy, can it get rough and raw! But still – with the help of technology and people that know how to use it – fans are digitally never far away. Jonathan Turner, Head of Digital at the Race tells us more about how and why this works.
We also talked to Jeff Nathenson, Head of International at Whistle Sports, who discussed generation Z and brand engagement opportunities through sports content in the digital age, and Marzena Bogdanowicz, Head of Marketing and Commercial for Women’s Football at The Football Association, who shared more about the Lionesses brand development. Don’t miss the new column from Carsten Thode (Aphetor) about the foundation of all sport commercial models, the exclusivity and obsession with it for many rights holders and sponsors. In the column we also host Kim Skildum-Reid (Power Sponsorship), focusing on the specifics of sponsorships in the e-sports world. We have not forgotten about the inspiring Ineos 1:59 Challenge.
SPORTO Magazine brings also insights from Sportradar, the world’s largest sports data provider, and TV ratings and social media charts of athletes and clubs across social media platforms in the Adriatic region.
The new SPORTO Magazine with an insight into the sponsorship, performance and trends in the sports industry is available for all SPORTO Conference past participants, European Sponsorship Association & Europaische Sponsoring Boerse members.
If you would like your own copy, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.