On Thursday, 3 August, Fnatic‘s concept store – Bunkr, hosted The Drum’s Sports Briefing, a special evening dedicated to the latest trends and developments in sports marketing.
The main debate topics included: how is the sports marketing industry evolving, what can businesses learn from these developments, best practices for increasing audience engagement and brand advocacy, how is data being traded among the sports market and how are marketers utilising this information and what is eSports and how are businesses entering this space.
Sport Briefing started with an exclusive screening of The Drum documentary: eSports: Football Reboteed. By embarking on a journey that took him in the some of the most important cities in the eSports landscape, John McCarthy – entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum – found out why the value of the eSports industry raised to over £1bn.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion moderated by John McCarthy, that involved some sport marketing industry leaders:
- Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at Dotmailer
- Matt Wilson, CEO & Founder at Ball Street Media
- John Parker, Head of Sport at M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment
Being able to attend the event has obviously given me the chance to assist to the panel discussion which raised a lot of interesting points. Some of these gave valuable predictions for the future growth of the sports marketing industry. eSports became another way to engage with a community and this is what led football clubs as Wolfsburg or Manchester City to appoint gamers to extend their reach over a very specific target market.
If initially the sports marketing landscape could be seen as a monopoly of the very traditional medias that pushed content towards the fans, now the industry is very different, as strategists try to build huge audiences around those who have shared passions. Thereby, understanding the passions became an objective significantly important, which could dictate clubs’ strategies.
Another interesting idea came out by referring to virtual reality. The possibility of matches being broadcasted in VR to fans from less accessible areas, can allow clubs to sell football to different markets with new opportunities for the sporting properties – as changing advertising depending on watcher!
John Parker raised an interesting point, saying that no matter what the budget is, storytelling can be the key of a successful campaign, and it can make anything work, even if we are talking about a very small budget.
A big question for all the speakers was: ‘How will eSport affect gambling?’. However, it might be premature to talk about this, as eSport addresses at the moment to a big number of very young people, for who any gambling activity is illegal.