Digital Disruption: How Has Technology Changed Sports Business Practices? (2/2)
In the second part of our look at how digital technology has changed the face of the sports industry, we look at how sport as a consumable product has been augmented beyond all recognition and how rights holders' relationships with sponsors have also changed dramatically.
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Advances in technology has facilitated rights holders to increase accessibility as well as offering behind-the-scenes content, which has enabled fans to feel closer to the action, through watching online or on television.
World Rugby, the sport's world governing and law-making body, has already shown how compulsive live access to decision making in the 'corridors of power' can be with live coverage of the TMO's room and the multi-angle Hawk Eye technology they use to analyse replays of crucial decisions.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) also understands the extra value this technology brings to existing and potential new audiences. It has invested in 4k Ultra HD and Hawk Eye SMART replay tech, giving fans, umpires and coaches the benefit of instant real-time, multi-view replays and analysis.
The objective of traditional sport sponsorships was simply to reach the maximum number of people. The fractured digital landscape has made that more difficult, so brands have shifted their focus on getting to know fans, in order to be able to target them with personalised messages based on their passions. To do that, they need access to customer data.
Consequently, Jez Clark the head at the leading marketing agency, Fuse revels, "Conversations we're having now around the grounding of deals are increasingly focused on access to data on the rights holder's audiences,".
He adds, "We have access to a broad range of tools to help us collect and understand the data and gain behavioural insights into how people are consuming and connecting with sport".
That deep knowledge of a rights holder's audience is incredibly valuable, enabling a sponsor to shape their offering to match each fan's demographics and personal interests, rather than producing one message that may only resonate with a fraction of its potential audience.
It's clear the sands have shifted dramatically, and sport is still moulding itself to the different demands of changing behaviour of its audience. Only with a flexible, multi-skilled and robust workforce will the industry be able to stay ahead of the game.
(Missed Part 1? Read it here!)