BLAST, MediaMonks And MyCujoo Participate In Second ‘Talking Sport’ Event

May 29, 2020

BLAST CEO Robbie Douek, MediaMonks CEO Victor Knaap and MyCujoo CEO Pedro Presa took part in Thursday’s ‘Talking Sport’ episode, titled ‘A Pivot to Digital: Enhancing Fan Engagement Strategies in Sport & eSports’. They were joined by moderator Michael Broughton, Marketing, Technology and Fan Engagement Expert and Sky Sports News presenter David Garrido.

“There are years where nothing happens and there are weeks where everything changes and we are definitely in those weeks where everything changes,” Knaap told the audience, explaining how the sports industry can use this situation to accelerate the move into digital. For Knaap, this period of coronavirus lockdown has shown that there is even greater appetite for digital than some might have believed. “The different generations are suddenly behaving more similarly and people my mother’s age start to look at content like Hangouts to have dinner, which was unheard of 10 weeks ago,” the MediaMonks CEO added.

Broughton backed that sentiment up. “I’d argue that we shouldn’t forget about Gen X or the Boomers because they have the money, they’re willing to spend and they’re not so digitally unaware as you’d think they might be,” he stated.

Presa and Douek also agreed that the dynamics of the coronavirus crisis has created new opportunities for embracing Digital. “I think it’s time for rights holders, especially sports rights holders, to embrace the digitalisation aspect and to focus and adapt as well to the different types of content and how they’re being produced,” stated Presa. “I’m still watching football in the same way I watched football 30 years ago, which makes so little sense considering we’ve got so much technology at our disposal,” added Douek.

It was clear that the audience in the webinar and their organisations also agree with the ‘Talking Sport’ experts about the benefits of pushing forward right now with digitalisation projects. A poll was put to the audience with the question: Will the Covid-19 crisis result in a change to the budget allocation for digital for your organisation? 69% said they would increase their digital budget, 21% said it would stay the same and only 10% expected a decrease.

Some key talking points from this week’s episode of ‘Talking Sport’:

Pedro Presa, on why authenticity is as important as production value: “I think it’s time for sports rights holders to embrace the digitalisation aspect and to focus and adapt as well to the different types of content and how they’re being produced. At MyCujoo, we’ve proven that it’s not only about the super high-quality broadcast, but it’s about the authenticity and the easiness of bringing the content to fans, from a mobile phone or a multi-camera production. It’s about being able to basically broadcast and distribute it and be present where the user is.”

Michael Broughton, on involving fans and not simply engaging them: “I think fan engagement as we currently see it is likes, shares and various metrics with various levels of dependability. I like the word ‘involvement’ because when I went away and looked it up in the dictionary, looking at involvement compared to engagement, it talked about a two-way relationship. Fan engagement is ‘I’ve created the content and I’ll send it out to you and you’ll like and share it, comment on it or whatever it is’. Whereas, involvement is saying ‘actually, there’s a deeper relationship here, that there is a two-way relationship and you’re going to be involved with me’.” 

Robbie Douek, on traditional sports not giving the audience enough: “If you look at how much involvement we’ve had in the traditional sports industry since COVID-19, we haven’t had enough. We love football, we love cricket, we love tennis, we love sport. We want to know about these players. We want to know about these teams. And yet, the clubs and the players aren’t giving us enough of our fix. And we need more. Actually, the technology was there and available for them to do that. So, eSports took advantage of that and we’ve been inundated by broadcasters phoning us up for content because there isn’t anyone else providing it. So, we were in the right place at the right time really.”

Victor Knaap, on the need to convince brands that football is not a luxury: “I think the industry needs to start convincing brands that football is not a luxury, that it’s part of life and keeps us sane. Social pressure is getting extremely important, so finding the right message in this time as to why you as a brand are involved in football is going to be super important, because some of the sponsoring is just because the contract is signed and you cannot build from that, but the relevancy is going to be ‘why should you do that?’ and I think that message needs to come from clubs, from players and from the whole industry. If you lose that you will have a setback that is more than 50 percent. If you don’t fix that, football is placed in the luxury spend of a brand and will have a branding backlash.”

The next episode of ‘Talking Sport’ will take place next Thursday, June 4th, and the topic then will be ‘From World Cup glory to Covid-19: The future for women’s sport’. Another group of expert guests will tackle that topic and it’s already possible to register right here.