The Zone

The iSport digital watercooler, where sportsbiz comes to chat…

  • In this article originally published on LinkedIn Dave Wakeman raises an issue that he has talked and written about over a number of different areas - the need to do hardcore fan development over many years; to think about the lifetime value of your fans; and to use stories as a tool to build the game and tie the history to the present.
  • We all know our viewing habits are changing. No longer does a family of four sit in front of a TV screen, rapt with attention as the opening credits roll, and are still glued to the screen as the closing credits appear. Instead, while the family of four may still feature, two of them will be on their phones, one will have an iPad, and the feature film in the background may be missed, paused, or watched at the same time as the latest Grumpy Cat video! So as our viewing habits change, so too is the TV rights model for the sports industry. This from CRM and Business Intelligence expert and iSport contributor Fiona Green...
  • In working with a lot of sports, entertainment, and hospitality companies over the years, people talk about word of mouth pretty regularly. Along with referrals and testimonials. What you find if you spend enough time around these verticals is that in most cases, the talk is great, but the execution is piss poor. That’s why in the normal course of my reviewing websites and looking for examples of things that work or don’t work, I was almost floored to see this banner at the top of the Premium Seating section of the Florida Panthers website. This from the Revenue Architect and regular iSport blogger Dave Wakeman...
  • British sport is imbued with a strong ethic of ‘fair play’. The concept of amateurism promoted ‘pure’ sport, played for its own sake, unadulterated by commercial influences. But for all their amateur bluster British sport was frequently tainted with class prejudice, racism and jingoistic fervor. This piece from UK based antipodean Duncan Stone...
  • Netball globally, but particularly in Australia is experiencing wholesale and radical change. Changing competition structures, burgeoning corporate investment as well as the holy grail of a cost free commercial television contract has seen the sport transformed. Players have been professional for years however it was only recently that they started to be paid as such. It has been a long, sometimes tortuous road but nevertheless interesting that this is hardly unique. This opinion piece from iSport Managing Director Dave Arthur...
  • Sports sponsorship is a mysterious business. Deals are announced, but terms are often kept quiet. Businesses explain the desired objective or audience, but stop short of revealing the strategy for capturing customers. News of sponsorship of women’s professional sports is particularly scant. On the other hand, sponsorship business is huge; it is the largest component of sports business revenue worldwide, accounting for more than $45 billion in 2015. Success in business depends on sponsorship, yet it’s hard to know just how well women’s professional sports are doing in this shadowy arena. This piece from Excelle Sports in the U.S attempts to uncover some of the mystery...
  • This piece was originally published on the Business of Sports website by Russell Scibetti. It takes a Harvard Business Review article by Thomas Redman and gives it sports business context. With the proliferation of analytics in sport both on the field of play and in the business surrounding sport it is essential, especially with the sheer amount of data available that measurements be analysed critically and objectively. Scibetti does this well...
  • I’ll never forget the summer of 2011. Me, Ana and the kids toured the north east of the United States, taking in games at MLS clubs New York Red Bull and Philadelphia Union and getting the full baseball experience at New York Yankees, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. We were there to experience the sports event USA-style. Three years earlier we’d been to Chicago and fell in love with the Cubbies. I mean, what’s not to like for a Sunderland fan: they haven’t won a trophy since 1908 but have the most wonderful fans? Like we Mackems they take an existentialist approach to their devotion. The punishment is good for the soul. The defeats prepare you for life’s ups and downs.
  • Progressive sports clubs are shaping a holistic fan engagement strategy as they push beyond the match day in search of the “every day”. They recognise that fan engagement must play a central role in their overall growth strategy and that a balance of activities reflecting each of the below four strategies is key. They also recognise that every fan engagement touchpoint represents an opportunity to collect data that can drive further value to the club, to fans and to sponsors.
  • In sports, teams are often associated with some specific position or style or attitude. Think about the history of linebackers that played for the Chicago Bears in the NFL. Or, the Los Angeles Lakers are known for their superstars. In the Premier League, we all know that Manchester United is the team that spends, spends, and spends to get the best players at all costs.