Looking Back on Unleashing Content

The story of Red Bull’s rise to become a global media powerhouse and the ways in which the GAA is moving towards management of elements of it’s own content were two key parts of Sport for Business’ Unleashing Content event that took place at the TV Studios of RTÉ yesterday.

A packed studio of over 100 brand leaders, agencies and members of the sport for business community gathered for a morning that lifted the curtain on an area of sports sponsorship and marketing that has become critical.

Here are sone of the highlights from the morning as well as a selection of images from the day.  We will also shortly be releasing video content of some of the key moments from the day.

The Red Bull Session

Colm O’Riagáin Red Bull Ireland’s Head of Communications told us of how the brand had organically grown it’s content production and distribution, shared stories of how the tides off Inis Mór were a key part of his life ahead of next week’s Cliff Diving Event that will be broadcast to tens of millions around the world and how being a sports rights creator, music publisher and media house removed so many of the hurdles that can often come in the way of partners.

The Media Session

Múirne Laffan, Head of Digital at RTÉ and our partners for the day yesterday spoke of the continual need for a media house to innovate and spoke of how RTÉ Sport had come together in terms of Digital, Radio and Television to create a team that was stronger than the sum of its parts, adapting different sporting properties to the best medium.

The creation of GAAGo in partnership with the GAA was a great example of rights holder and broadcaster not acting as two but really coming together as one to create something that was of value now and long into the future.

John Greene, Sports editor at the Sunday Independent made a strong case for how the values and discipline of news gathering and reporting were as important today as they have ever been.

“Sports audiences are intelligent. They pick through the noise to find the content they are interested in,” he told us.

He also gave us insight from behind how the story had broken and quickly developed around Brendan O’Sullivan’s failed dope test, and also on the unverified story that Diarmuid Connolly would not be appealing his 12 week ban and that had become ‘news’ because the source was ‘trusted’ before proving to be false.

Ross O’Dwyer from Pundit Arena echoed those sentiments around trust over speed in terms of breaking a story and looked into the model of how branded content always had to pass the test of reader acceptance before getting to a page, for the good of the fans, the media and the sponsor.

The GAA Session

Alan Milton of the GAA revealed that the GAA policy on giving up a bigger cheque to retain the right to broadcast their own clips of action within a minute of a point or goal being scored had taken over two years to steer through internally and with media partners.

“The thought of us having to wait 48 hours to show action was ridiculous in the modern age,” he told us but “it was also important that we did not jump head first into something that could damage other areas of how people view our games either at the ground or on their devices.

Archive material has been a big winner with over 100,000 view of some historic footage released as part of the new GAA Now initiative. This is an area we will return to in detail over the summer.

The Measurement Session

Spencer nolan of Nielsen Sports flew over from London and was joined by Daragh Persse of the Brand Fans to discuss how brands and rights holders are increasingly looking harder at a valuation of what they are getting from the content they produce.

“It’s all about knowing what you want to achieve and then building metrics that will matter to you in achieving those objectives, said Nolan.

“It’s long past the idea of likes and a search for virality but there is still a vanity element at play with a lot of content that is produced,” added Persse.

The Player Session

We rounded out the morning with Bernard Brogan and Sophie Spence, who arrived straight from a training session with Ireland for the forthcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Brogan shared how the creative process worked in hi relationship with King Crisps and the part that Gary Lineker had played in persuading him that this was the right thing to do.

Getting a real relationship and understanding of what the brand wanted and the athlete was willing to do was important to both and Spence spoke fondly of the way that that happened with Nissan during her year as a Generation Next Ambassador.

Brogan spoke openly about the way that media access had changed, about the care that needed to be taken not for one own reputation but more for the dynamic within a team and how something said off the cuff could have a real impact on other players, however unintended.

He also spoke of getting Jackie Tyrell to apply body paint for a Littlewoods ireland photo shoot in his role as a founder of Legacy Consultants, crossing over between being a player and managing a brand.

The morning flew by and it was a genuine pleasure to have brought it together working alongside the team at RTÉ and by listening to what members of Sport for Business are interested in.

Thanks to all those who came along, who shared on social and who played their part in making it a winning morning.

Images thanks to Tommy Dickson of our Partners Inpho Photography



Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.


Sport for Business Membership provides a network of information, innovation and intelligence to over 200 of Ireland’s leading organisations in sport and business including RTÉ, Red Bull, the GAA, Nielsen Sports, The Brand Fans, Legacy Consultants AIB, Vodafone, AIG, Nissan and many more.  Here is a look at what we do.



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