The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sport sponsorship and digital.
DATAPOWA AMONG 12 FINALISTS AT SPORTS TECH TOKYO
The Sports Tech Tokyo World Demo Day took place in San Francisco on Tuesday 20th August, and our CEO Mike Flynn was delighted to be there representing DataPOWA, which is one of the finalists.
Sports Tech Tokyo brings together the creme de la creme of startups working in the sports technology space. 159 companies from 33 countries are selected in the first phase, which took place in February last year.
A rigorous process of analysis and evaluation then takes place before the list is honed to just 12 exceptional candidates for the final stage: The Demo Day, at which a representative from each business presents details of their offering.
“The sports community has to work quickly to keep up with the pace of innovation and tomorrow’s next big thing,” said Sports Tech Tokyo’s Managing Director Michael Proman. “This is what we’re addressing at World Demo Day, where we’ve brought together the industry’s best and brightest from around the world to set the direction, build relationships and preview new technologies while discussing the changing world of sports.”
Sports Tech Tokyo was set up by US venture capital firm Scrum Ventures and Japan’s Dentsu Inc last year. With Japan hosting the Olympic Games next summer, Tokyo was seen as the perfect location to get things started.
Sports Tech Tokyo’s Program Owner and Senior Director of Business Development at Dentsu, Fumihiko Nakajima explained: “Tech investment in the field of sports has been growing globally but with major sporting events coming to Asia, it’s an opportune time for corporations from Japan and beyond to reinvigorate the industry worldwide.
“Our 12 finalists, hailing from seven different countries, are a perfect representation of the global spirit of the program and the opportunities the world stands to benefit from through global collaboration.”
LEVI’S SEEKS RIGHT FIT IN SPORTS SPONSORSHIP
Levi’s is exploring new ways to branch out into sporting endorsements, according to its head of sports marketing Mark Foxton.
The jeans company made its first splash in sports sponsorship in 2013, when it won the naming rights for the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium.
Now with the connections between athletes and fashion growing stronger, the brand is looking to expand its footprint.
“With athletes these days, they all want to be on the court playing or they also want to be designers,” Foxton said at the Advertising Research Foundation panel in New York. “There are a number of folks who’ve reached out to us and asked, ‘Can I help design another pair of jeans?'”
As part of the strategy for leveraging these endorsements, Levi’s is looking to lean heavily into generating authentic engagement through social media influencers and bespoke content.
“We look to connect through authenticity, personalization and customization, and platforms that allow us to find original content,” Foxton added. “We’re not just going out buying social spots. We’re looking at getting fans more involved.”
WOMEN’S SPORT RIPE FOR SPONSORSHIP
Now is the time for brands to get involved with women’s sport, argues Marketing Week’s Tanya Joseph.
Women’s sport is enjoying a huge surge at the moment thanks to the success of the Women’s World Cup and the English netball team this summer. A handful of brands have got involved, but there are still plenty of opportunities for others to take advantage too, Joseph writes.
“Women’s football is prime territory for brands that want to be associated with top-class players who people care about and who are getting media attention. There are added benefits too.
“The values and behaviours female players tend to exhibit and which are especially noticeable among female footballers – focus, resilience, no histrionics, no arguing with the ref, camaraderie, graciousness – are ones I suspect are more attractive to more brands.
“While a few brands have jumped in, the field is relatively clear. Those who get involved sooner rather than later will have an opportunity to build a real relationship with teams, players and competitions, often without rapacious agents and over-officious PRs getting in the way. And to do so far more affordably than with the men’s game.
“And these players’ performances will encourage other girls to get active. Not because they all want to be the next Rapinoe or Carney, though some will, but because girls playing football, as indeed men watching women play, has become visible, normal.”
VAR SPONSORSHIP: THE NEXT FRONTIER?
The season is only a few weeks old, but the Premier League’s introduction of VAR has already caused a major splash.
The technology has played a major part in a number of games already, and caused particular controversy during Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with Spurs, when Gabriel Jesus’s late goal was ruled out for handball.
Fans are split on the technology’s efficacy, but it’s certainly here to stay, and writing for The Guardian, Marina Hyde notes that its prominence in matches offers up a new frontier: sponsorship.
“Back in May, one sports marketing executive estimated to the Financial Times that VAR had been on screen for 27 minutes during last summer’s World Cup, and hazarded that the bigger international tournaments could clear £50m for sponsorship of this most pregnant of pauses, or up to £100m if bundled with other opportunities…
“With most advertising being pitchside or on players’ kit, the chance to have your brand plastered over something absolutely central to the progress of a match must feel tempting. You know, eventually. And also great value for money. Arriving at a VAR decision may take a mere eleventy minutes in linear time, but emotionally, spiritually – and in terms of anger management – it feels a lot longer. Thus for any potential sponsors, it’s like you’re buying some time, but getting a lot more for free.”
SPORTSBUSINESS SPONSORSHIP: NBA teams and players outstrip NFL in global sponsorship power – survey
THE IRISH TIMES: Football Yearbook hanging on as sports annuals face bleak future