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

THE FUTURE OF FAN ENGAGEMENT

Event coverage powered by fans and emerging broadcasting platforms is likely to change the way people consume sports, Forbes argues.

Fan-produced media has been around since fanzines, but beginning with Sky Sports’ ‘Fan Zone’ and continuing into the digital era with social media channels such as Arsenal Fan TV, supporter commentary, interviews and punditry have come to rival coverage offered by professional broadcasters.

This is only set to continue thanks to platforms such as Spalk and SportsCastr, which offer fans professional-level technology to deliver their own broadcasts.

What’s more, broadcasters and rights holders are getting involved too. World Rugby and FIBA have used Spalk, while the NFL Players Association and Women’s National Basketball Association back SportsCastr.

Forbes notes: “While this trend might appear to be a threat for professional journalists and broadcasters, with many of these fans creating content for less money of for free, it has sports organizations excited because it can boost fan engagement.

“And as mobile networks continue to become faster and more reliable and as mobile devices include features such as advanced cameras and video-editing capabilities, this trend is only likely to continue.”

For more on this story, please visit Forbes

TWITTER TEAMS WITH NBA

Twitter’s move into live sports will continue through a deal with the NBA that allows fans to vote on single-player live streams.

Under the partnership, which also includes broadcaster Turner Sports, fans will be given the ability to train the camera on one specific player in the second half of 20 games.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained: “The NBA Twitter community is among the most vibrant in sports and entertainment.

“While watching NBA games on TNT, our fans on Twitter can now enjoy a unique second screen experience that will further enhance the way fans engage with each other and the game.”

Turner president David Levy added: “Turner and the NBA have always taken a leadership position in providing fans with engaging experiences and this partnership with Twitter is the latest example.

“This complementary live stream on Twitter – from the distinct vantage point of the fan-voted, most coveted player on a given night – will provide an additive experience for fans to go along with the fully-produced coverage on TNT.”

For more on this story, please visit The Drum

BARCA IDENTIFY INDIA AS KEY TERRITORY

Barcelona’s Asia Pacific Director General Jordi Camps believes India is a key area of expansion for the club as it continues its global growth plans.

Football has struggled to gain traction in the 1.3 billion-strong country, where cricket is the national sport. However, the tide is starting to turn and Barcelona are one of a number of European football clubs to have opened Indian academies in recent years.

“The growth of the Indian Super League and the success of the under-17 World Cup held in India in 2017 have been absolutely vital for the development of the sport in the country,” Camps explained.

“Not only did it garner global coverage and engage the young people of India, it also helped develop infrastructure, upskill personnel and transfer knowledge to a range of governmental organisations and businesses to help stage major footballing events.

“We feel that we have a part to play in the growth of football in the country too.”

For more on this story, please visit Channel News Asia

SOLSKJAER SUCCEEDS AS UNITED LOOK TO CHINA

The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager has seen the club’s media engagement skyrocket.

United have won six games out of six under the Norwegian, and this success has created a surge in digital activity.

In the run-up to Christmas, shortly after Solskjaer took over, the club’s app received its highest number of weekly downloads since its launch. Additionally, social following grew by 120% and interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter hit 55.7 million.

Meanwhile, United are set to further expand into China by opening a series of entertainment and experience centres in the country.

The locations will launch in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang by the end of 2020 and will bring the club to life through interactive attractions.

United group managing director Richard Arnold explained: “We’re very excited to be partnering with Harves on the Manchester United Entertainment and Experience Centres concept, offering our millions of Chinese fans the chance to experience the club in a new and innovative way.

“We first visited China in 1975 and we’re proud to have seen our fan base in the region grow and develop their passion for United over the years. This new concept will allow them to get closer to the club they love.”

For more on this story, please visit SportsPro Media

GOOD SHOUT

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