EXCLUSIVES: Top 5 Opinions of the Week – 22/5/16

By iSportconnect | May 27, 2016

A New Dawn for West Ham

West Ham co-chairman David Gold has spoken to iSportconnect about a new dawn for West Ham, ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium.



From the 2016/17 Premier League season they will have one of biggest club grounds in the UK – and are planning to make it the biggest in London.

Having already increased capacity to 60,000 from the original 54,000, due to demand, Gold revealed the club had even bigger plans, and believes it will elevate the team to previously unseen heights.

“Commercially it stands to reason that this is an iconic stadium that will attract players so we’re looking to bring in top quality players”

“A corporate advantage is endless to come to such an iconic stadium. We’ve gone from a 35,000 stadium at Upton Park to now a 60,000 seater stadium, of which 52,000 of those are season ticket holders; we have another 20,000 fans on the waiting list so you can see these are incredible opportunities for the football club”

Read more HERE.

The Next five years for British Rowing

It’s the age-old problem in sports broadcasting. How do you cover a sport that doesn’t take place in one enclosed place?

It’s a logistical nightmare. Particularly for rowing – TV crews have to cover up to two miles of water, which does not mix well with cameras.

British Rowing’s CEO Andy Parkinson admitted it was an area of concern for rowing. If events can only be covered by spending large amounts of money, clearly less events will be covered, which isn’t good for the growth of the sport.

“It’s one of the areas we’re looking at, we’re looking at how other sports do it. Our field of play is big, we need a lot of cameras. But the development of drone technology is something we’re looking at, we’re starting to look more at cameras on boats, which I think would be a great initiative. I think the general trend to sports presentation lends itself to representing the sport in a better more dynamic way.”

Find out more HERE.

Brands must respond to the rise of eSports

The man in charge of the famous Football Manager computer game series, Miles Jacobson of Sports Interactive, has warned the sports business world to ignore eSports at their peril.

Jacobson is studio director of Sports Interactive, owned by Sega, who develop the famous football simulation series.

The rise of professional gamers and eSports globally, has caught many traditional advertisers and brands by surprise. Although Jacobson thinks the industry is now reacting:

“Advertisers are really taking games seriously now, as they realise the amount of eyeballs they can reach… Part of that is through opportunities inside games.”

“So with Football Manager we have advertising hoardings around the side of the pitch, and it’s a key part when we’re looking at getting rights, is letting leagues know how many eyeballs their brands are going to be seen by.  The leagues and the clubs can use that to get their sponsorship deals up, because of the amount of eyeballs.”

Read more HERE.

Expert Reaction to Facebook agreeing live streaming deal with La Liga

The Spanish Women’s First Division fixture between Atletico Madrid and Athletic will be the first major European fixture to be streamed to Facebook by La Liga.

The match will be available worldwide in every country with no geo-blocking of content in place.

Stuart Ferreira-Cole is Regional Director of Western Europe for video technology experts Ooyala.

He believes this will be a trend for broadcasters in the future.

He said: “It is clear that audiences are becoming more and more fragmented as to where they consume content and so publishers are evolving their distribution strategies to follow their audiences.”

“As we saw with the Europa League and Champions League finals streamed by BT Sport on Youtube, so more and more rights holders will look to Facebook Live, where Ooyala is an official partner, to target a growing and highly engaged social audience.”

Read more HERE.

F1 needs change – Whitmarsh

One of Formula One’s most important figures in the last 20 years, former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, says F1 needs to rethink its strategy.

Whitmarsh spent almost a decade working for McLaren Racing, as CEO, and later as team principal, before leaving the sport in 2013 to work for Ben Ainslie Racing.

The main issue Whitmarsh has with the sport is the level of dominance Mercedes are enjoying – which is affecting interest levels.

“Formula One is a real challenge. It’s a technically advanced sport, it’s a great sport, and I had the pleasure of being involved in it for 25 years.”

“I look at it now with some sadness. What’s happened is the regulations have led down a path where you have a dominant team, and all credit to Mercedes, they’ve made a tremendous investment and commitment to that sport.”

Read more HERE.