Sponsorship can mean many things to many people. In the third part of a series posing the question of what it means to individuals working in the sector Scott Graham of PSG Sponsorship takes us through his perspective on what sponsorship is, where it’s going in 2017 and who is doing it best.
T Table Tennis England
Table Tennis England turned heads when they announced that 2.1 million unique viewers tuned into their Tuesday evening European qualifying tie against Greece. Through a partnership with TheSPORTbible, Table Tennis England managed to bypass the traditional sports rights market and go directly to where their audience was via a Facebook Live broadcast.
Mark Taffler, head of commercial, Table Tennis England said: “We proved last night that there is a market for this kind of broadcast – and that it’s a big market.”
“The same night as Manchester City were playing Barcelona in the Champions League, there were 2.1 million people watching table tennis. There is an appetite from people to watch our sport and, through a platform like TheSPORTbible, we are finding them.”
Expect to see sports and events who struggle to get airtime via traditional means look to emulate the success Table Tennis England has experienced.
U Unique Experiences
The ability to provide unique or “money can’t buy” experiences has become an increasingly valuable commodity for rights holders. These magic moments provide the opportunity to differentiate yourself from competitors and give back to competition winners, star employees or your most prized customers. Examples can range from player meet and greets or mascot opportunities to the more elaborate such as Samsung’s Slider which offers the best seats in the stadium, tracking the match up and down the side-lines.
V Virtual Reality
The proliferation of VR devices gathered pace in 2016 with early adopters jumping at the chance to immerse themselves in a whole new way. It’s predicted that VR devices will begin to make their way into the hands of the masses in 2017 and with that comes an opportunity and challenge for rights holders and brands. Many big brands have already got in on the VR act including AIG who put fans in the midst of an All Blacks haka and the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, credited as one of the most forward thinking and tech savvy franchises in sport, who launched their 2016/17 kit using VR and will broadcast games from their new home, Golden 1 Centre, using the technology.
W Women in Sport
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan put forward new proposed rules that would see a minimum of 30% of either gender represented on the board of any sports body that receives State funding. It remains to be seen whether governing bodies will be subject to any financial penalty for failing to meet the minimum standard.
UK Sport is taking a more hardline approach to the issue having introduced a new ‘Code for Sports Governance’ which will apply to governing bodies who ask for UK government and National Lottery funding from April 2017.
“It is vital that our domestic sports bodies and organisations uphold the very highest standards of governance and lead the world in this area,” sports minister Tracey Crouch said.
It is not only funding which could be hit if authorities do not comply with the code. The UK government could also take other punitive measures – including the withdrawal of the support sporting bodies need when bidding to host major events.
X Super Bowl brings back the X’s
In 2017 the 51st version of the world’s most watched game will be resurrecting the tradition of naming each Super Bowl game with roman numerals. For the 50th edition of the championship the NFL felt the clarity of the Super Bowl 50 logo would help to “elevate and celebrate the historic” anniversary in a way that Super Bowl L just couldn’t.
Unfortunately for those who struggle to read roman numerals the NFL has returned to use them in 2017 with Super Bowl 51 to be known as Super Bowl LI.
Y Generation Y
Generation Y – people born in the 1980’s and 1990’s will more than likely have one eye on their smartphone or tablet while watching sport on television. PSG Sponsorship’s 1000 person nationally representative survey found that three-quarters of 25-34 years olds are in the habit of dual-screening with Facebook the biggest draw. Unsurprisingly this drops for 45-54-year-olds and the 55-plus age group, with 47% and 37% of people in these age categories respectively turning to social media and sports websites in the midst of a sporting event.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is planning to broadcast original shows similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime for the first time. Sports programming is high on the list of in demand content along with scripted shows and game shows.
With Twitter already having a deal in place with the NFL to stream live games and talks with other leagues reportedly in progress, Facebook will need to have some attractive viewing options if it wants users to do more than offer a passing glance at videos in their News Feed.
Read the other posts in this series: