First day of #SportDataLondon was nothing less than expected… a day where some of the best companies and professionals from the industry got together and discussed how data can be used to monitor and increase fan engagement and sports performance.

I summarised some of the key points discussed by the speakers in a short post with some key facts, stats and strategic goals. Read the result below.

First panel discussion that I attended. Big focus on video content.
Panel: OTT: New sports content business models (Theo Luke – Twitter; Russell Byrne – English Football League; Chris Mead – Twitch, Sebastien Audoux – Canal +, Felix Blank – Sportradar)
  • Twitch will increase their focus on esports in the following months, trying to take advantage of this emerging market.
  • Twitter sold all their Parnership Packages for the FIFA World Cup in less than 2 weeks.
  • Twitter needs to work on a model that will allow to reglement the acuqisition of digital rights.
  • Blockchain can be the new OTT – offering transparency of transactions to consumers.
Panel: Challenge in producing live multiple sports events and broadcasting them globally (Ben Gallop – BBC Sport, Ronan Joyce – Facebook, Tommy O’Hare – Olympic Channel, Damien Frost – Discovery Communications, Matt Stagg – BT Sport)
  • Video has become a megatrend for all mediums.
  • Facebook is still the best tool on the market for acquisition of target audineces followed by conversion of business goals.
  • Fans are no longer only interested in the elite sport – they want something different, something that involves people related to them.
Keynote: ‘MatchDayBot’ – How teams are using data & AI to create millions of social impressions & increase fan engagement (Adam Greenwood, CEO, Greenwood Campbell / Microsoft)
  • Greenwood Campbell created ‘Cherrybot’ for AFC Bournemoth – a matchday bot that improves the matchday experience for fans.
  • It provides immediate responses, is available 24/7 and AI helps the bot to learn answers for repetitive questions.
  • Bournemouth introduced it at the home fixture against Liverpool. Despite 0-4 loss, resulted in 11k fans who engaged with it, 19k messages and selfies sent through it and 3.2m social impressions all over the world.
  • The bot is incorporated in Messenger – platform with the best engagement rates on the market.
The engagement to monetisation journey of the ‘MatchDayBot’


How the NBA make European fans feel ‘court-side’ through social content (Brianne Ehrenkranz, NBA)
  • NBA has 700m fans worldwide. 70m of these live in Europe and 10m of them are part of the priority markets.
  • 64 European players play in the NBA.
  • Through their digital platforms, NBA try to give any fan access to content at any time, anywhere.
  • NBA’s European fans are splitted in two categories: core fans (have favourite team, they follow it on TV) and casual fans (check results on a weekly basis, don’t really watch the matches but have a favourite player).
  • NBA’s issues for the EU market are: most of the content they produce is in English, but a big part of the market don’t speak the language, matches are played at late times and NBA has to compete with football to attract viewers.
  • To respond to the issues above, all platforms aim to be truly global and really encourage conversation.
  • In Europe, NBA adopted a ‘football first culture’ where they try to capitalize on the interest of the local markets in football by working with influencers from the sector.

    NBA’s map of European coverage
Delivering exclusive content and storytelling on the third largest sports site in the world (Jack Cowin, Head of Brand Partnerships – Lad Bible Group)
  • Sport Bible totals almost 10.9m followers on Facebook.
  • Lad Bible is the 3rd biggest producer of video content online, after WWE and NBA and no1 on Facebook.
  • Sport Bible’s audience is segmented in two parts – football fans and social sport fans.
Lad Bible’s ‘distruptive model’
  • All the content from Sport Bible goes through the pub test, trying to make it good enough to be shared within groups of friends in the pub.
  • There are 3 elements for Sport Bible content: Humour, Emotion and Milestones.
  • Narcos x Sport Bible and Adidas Predator x Sport Bible are two fantastic examples of brand activation offered by the company.
Pablo Escobar discussing transfer fees… All instrumented by Sport Bible
Leveraging in-game data to imrpove game design and player engagement (Matteo Vasirani – Electronic Arts)
  • FIFA generates 1.5TB of data everyday.
  • FIFA identified 5 characteristics of their players: recency, frequency, activity, playtime and timeliness. Based on these, players are segmented in different groups.

Do not miss… Some great videos that the speakers shared today:


One thought on “Some Things from #SportsDataLondon Day 1

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