The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sport sponsorship and digital.

FIFA SETS WOMEN’S WORLD CUP GOAL

FIFA is aiming to attract one billion worldwide TV viewers to watch the Women’s World Cup this summer as it continues its goal of encouraging 60 million girls and women to play football by 2026.

The tournament begins in France on June 7th, and is looking set to be one of the most successful in history, with some 650,000 tickets already snapped up by fans. 750,000 tickets were sold for the last tournament, which was held in Canada in 2015.

“Our first aim is that we want it to be the biggest and best ever,” FIFA’s head of women’s football competitions, Sara Booth. “We know competitions drive development, so we hope that this competition and the success of the Women’s World Cup will help us achieve our participation targets.

“We see this as an important milestone in the countdown to helping us achieve that target.”

For more on this story, please visit The Drum

EUROPEAN AND ASIAN SPORT SPONSORSHIP GROWS

The sports sponsorship markets in Europe and Asia received significant boosts during 2018, new reports have revealed.

Research from The Asian Sponsorship News Index has found that the region turned around recent troubles and grew by 13% thanks to sponsorship deals worth nearly US$10 billion.

Major events such as the Asian Games (which were held in Indonesia), the winter Olympics (South Korea) and the football World Cup (Russia) helped drive this growth.

Meanwhile, the European Sponsorship Association found that sponsorship in Europe hit €20.07 billion, despite many key events being held outside of the EU.

Germany (contributing €6.02 billion) and the UK (€4.3 billion) enjoyed the most significant increases in what was the third successive year of growth.

For more on these stories, please visit Inside Sport and SportsPro Media

RIOT SETS SIGHT ON ‘LIVE SERVICE’ APPROACH

Esports’ position as a “live service” is a key point of difference to traditional sports and one that Riot Games is keen to focus on, according to the company’s head of sponsorships and business development for the EU, Alban Dechelotte.

The differences between competitive gaming and more established sports like football and rugby have been the subject of fierce debate over the last few years, as esports has grown rapidly and become a viable commercial prospect.

Though traditional sports are a key inspiration for Riot, whose biggest product is the immensely popular League of Legends, esports’ ability to quickly evolve its product in a live environment is a unique element of the industry.

“It’s not something that we put in a box and then we start working on the next game,” says Dechelotte. “It’s something that, since day one, we have invested in to become a live service.”

This grants Riot the opportunity to experiment, and as the company continues to grow, Dechelotte promises that it will take risks and try out new ventures.

“We’re going to do a lot of bets,” he says. “We’re going to work with television, work with online platforms. We’re going to do events in Berlin, we’re also doing roadshows in major venues and now inviting cities to present to us when they want us to come.

“I think for all dimensions – sponsorship, merchandising, events – we’re going to fail and learn. And that’s the only way we are sure that we’re trying harder. So that’s our future: trying, and learning as fast as we can.”

For more about this story, please visit SportsPro Media

SPURS REVOLUTIONISE MATCH-GOING EXPERIENCE

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is revolutionising the match-day experience through innovative technology and dining experiences.

The club has worked with HPE Aruba to integrate an underlying system into the stadium’s core so everything is connected, and improved the quality of food, drink and other commercial opportunities available for fans.

Writing in Forbes, Steve McCaskill explains: “Ticketing, security and electric turnstiles are all enabled by this network, as are other innovations such as video screens, LED signage, public Wi-Fi access and mobile point of sale (POS) systems.

“The combination of the public Wi-Fi network and a data analytics platform aims to allow the club to learn more about its supports so they can be encouraged to stay longer at the ground and be targeted with personalized offers that encourage them to spend more at retail outlets.

“Aside from culture, there are several reasons why soccer fans spend so little time at the stadium. The food and beer are often of a poor standard, while it can take a long time to get served.

“Spurs hopes fresh catering and craft beer will help address quality concerns, while longer bars and other innovations will make it quicker to get a half-time pint.

“Bars and restaurants take contactless payments, while the ‘Bottoms Up’ beer taps can fill a cup within six seconds. Meanwhile, Spurs’ IT department can assess the performance of POS systems in real time, reducing the risk of lost revenue or angry fans queuing for a refreshment.”

“It’s is a game changer for the club,” Tottenham Hotspur executive director Donna Cullen explained. “We want it to be one of the most technologically advanced in the world.”

For more on this story, please visit Forbes

WARRIORS SECURE GOLDEN RETURNS

The Golden State Warriors’ new stadium hasn’t even opened its doors yet, but it’s already made $2 billion through sponsorships and ticket sales.

The NBA team will move into the multipurpose Chase Center in September, and though construction has been troubled and is now 30% over budget at a cost of $1.3 billion, team President Rick Welts is unconcerned thanks to interest from sponsors.

JPMorgan Chase and Co is the stadium’s name sponsor, but the likes of Pepsi, Accenture and United Airlines have also got involved.

“The corporate sponsorship side has found a real sweet spot with what’s going on in our industry right now, and the companies are looking to invest in sports,” Welts said.

Golden State Warriors are worth around $3,5 billion, and have one of basketball’s biggest names on their books, Steph Curry. “He’s the heart, soul, identity of our franchise,” Welts said of the start, who is on a paycheque of around $37 million this year.

For more on this story, please visit Bloomberg

GOOD SHOUT

SPORTSPRO MEDIA: The wearable tech that is protecting sports brands and revolutionising the fan experience

THE DRUM: Boots inks FA deal to sponsor UK and Ireland national women’s teams

AFRICA CHINA REPORTING: Chinese stadia in Cameroon revive football and SMEs

SPORTSPROMEDIA: Esports growth behind US$31bn sports tech forecast

POCKETGAMER BIZ: 20 mobile games that have made more than $1 billion

SOURCE: The Briefing #078 | POWA index