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Posts from the ‘Football Finance’ Category

Sport ‘Asleep at the wheel’?

Reproduced with gratitude to Misha Sher, Worldwide Vice President, Sport & Entertainment at MediaCom:

“What the industry can learn from the best work at Cannes Lions.

Sport is resting on its laurels if it thinks that brands will simply continue to sign up for expensive rights deals.

Sport has it all. Passion, engagement and reach. It’s live, global and social. The ability to connect with consumers through their biggest passion points has underpinned a sponsorship industry that is now worth $60bn per annum and growing at 4.5%.

Sport’s must-watch-live nature has made it a pillar of the communications for many brands. Combine that with the earned benefits of the discussion around the event and it’s been a win-win for everyone involved. Money has flowed to rights holders and their media partners.

Last year the average price of a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl was in the region of $5m.

But even sport must now ponder whether its existing business model is good enough in the digital age. Rights holders need to think carefully about whether brand owners will continue to come back time and again (and pay more for) the same old package.

Even a behemoth like the NFL have seen the viewing numbers decrease while McDonald’s has just pulled the plug on the Olympics. While we shouldn’t draw any conclusions from these specific examples, which aren’t related, it is worthwhile re-examining how sport is addressing its value proposition.

Sport is entertainment as much as a physical contest and just as entertainment has had to upgrade for the 21st century, so too must sports.

The reality is that consumers have far more choice when it comes to entertainment than ever before and never had there been such an intense competition for their attention. Brands, websites, on-demand TV shows are all trying to gain their attention. Sport faces more and better quality competition than ever before.

This is one of the main reasons why ‘content’ has become such a buzzword for brands in recent years. On average, consumers see 5,000 advertising messages per day so grabbing and retaining their attention is no easy task.

Compelling stories, integrated partnerships, inside information combined with high quality video are often the only things that can connect.

Many rights holders have not grasped the importance of this and have not evolved what they’re offering. They are still selling reach and impressions, failing to understand that advertisers are increasingly interested in building genuine connections with consumers. Chief Marketing Officers and Brand Managers don’t set aside sponsorship budgets. They allocate budget where they feel a partnership can provide an effective connection with their consumers. And there lies the biggest challenge for sports right holders. They’re not competing with each other. They are competing with all other genres and channels to demonstrate they have the ability to address business challenges.

How many are fit for purpose in an age where consumers crave different formats, across all digital and social platform at a time of their choosing? When the temptation is to find something more entertaining is just a swipe away, what are sports right holders offering brands that will keep their audiences attention?

Earlier this summer I was on a jury at Cannes Lions judging the best in branded content and brand partnerships in the Entertainment Lions category. What struck me was relative lack of entries related to sport on a shortlist or amongst the winners. Channel 4’s We’re The Superhumans to promote the 2016 Paralympics was a notable exception.

If sport has some of the most compelling stories, which is one of the arguments for the high sponsorship fees, then why are brands having more success through other channels?

It would appear that right now brands (and their agencies) aren’t able to creatively leverage sport partnerships into award winners and while it’s not all about awards, it would be wise to understand why this is the case.

Of course, none of this would matter if the person who signed off sports deals was different from the person who signs off on other forms of marketing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and with brand budgets tight and accountable, the same CMO will often be comparing and deciding between an entertainment proposal and a sports idea.

The sooner rights holders in sport realize that traditional sponsorship assets aimed at reach are increasingly less valuable, the sooner they can adapt to the ever-changing habits of their fans and expectations of their commercial partners.

Brands are looking for solutions, for ways, not just to reach, but to connect and build affinity with consumers. Sport needs to evolve to address this or it won’t be long before marketing dollars start flowing elsewhere.”

Fancy a flutter?

As you are aware there are some key sporting dates coming along in the Calendar, the Grand National on Saturday 8th April 2017 and the US Masters at Augusta starting on the 6th April 2017. These tend to be huge betting opportunities for sports fans and to give us some encouragement to recruit new members and generate good revenue from existing members we have created a special deal just for followers of Manchester Rugby Club.

For anybody to take up our free bet package (£30 gets you £30) from tomorrow morning to the 8th April, the start time of the Grand National, we will get a cash incentive of £20 cash to our Club which will be paid once the terms and conditions of the offer are delivered.

So you will appreciate now is the time to start recruiting new members especially at the busiest time of the betting calendar, just think 25 punters taking up this package would get our Club £500.

Fancy a flutter and help us out in the process? Plenty of people bet on these events and so now why not encourage them to use our Site www.manchesterrugby.bet.

Thank you for reading.

eBay #FootballFinance

What next #footballfinance Basingstoke FC up for sale on ebay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BASINGSTOKE-TOWN-FOOTBALL-CLUB-/162310949891?hash=item25ca7c8c03

Though Seller has no history on ebay??? Oh hang on a minute, it’s just a publicity stunt!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38227594

Though why not I say.  I’m aware of all sorts of fundraising, many often not traditional, but as someone once said “unusual results can require unusual methods”.  And personally I’m all for it if both ethical and helps a Client secure its financial and fundraising targets.

Brexit – watch out #sports

Lest we forget, Brexit, an insight on sporting implications kindly authorised to be reproduced by  GlobalSportsJobs’ legal partner, Couchmans LLP – as the author of the below article.

“Following more than three months of guesswork and intrigue, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has provided much-needed insight into the timetable for the triggering of Article 50 and the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the notice will be issued by the end of March 2017, beginning a two-year period of negotiations with the aim of completing the process by 31st March 2019.

These negotiations are the subject of immense debate. Apart from those who don’t accept that Brexit should take place at all (a sizeable majority in some regions), there is a spectrum of support for different Brexit ‘options’, ranging from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’.

But with the road ahead depending on the views of all 27 other EU member states, it is difficult to tell at this stage what type of Brexit will prevail. The sheer number of overlapping commercial, regulatory and legal issues that require consideration and renegotiation is staggering, carrying huge implications for the international sports industry.

Amputation, not resignation?

In legal terms, the process of Brexit is more akin to the amputation of a limb than the resignation of a club member.

Some British civil servants have described the amputation process as ‘spectacularly complex’, such is the depth of the connective tissue, arteries, nerves, muscles and veins between the UK and the EU. Cutting through each thread will be a painstaking and lengthy process, with some estimates suggesting it could take 10 years for the full set of arrangements to be negotiated to conclusion.

The proposed repeal bill removing the European Communities Act of 1972 may assist the process, taking all current EU legislation into British law and thereafter permitting the UK Parliament to amend or cancel any unwanted legislation over time. However, this necessary step does not disguise the difficult path ahead.

The implications both for the severed limb and the remaining body are complex and serious. The Article 50 procedure was clearly not devised with the objective of making it easy for EU members to exit. Once the two-year resignation process has started, it can only be extended by the unanimous agreement of all of the members. If negotiations haven’t concluded within 24 months, the amputation will take place in any event. This should perhaps focus negotiators’ attention on the key objectives; they will not want a situation in which, at midnight on 31st March 2019, all treaty obligations between the EU and the UK fall away with nothing to replace them.

However, such a timetable equally allows a minority of members to exercise more leverage over the outcome than they might usually have. Either way there is something of a gamble involved in commencing the Article 50 procedure.

One possible means of effectively extending the timeframe might be for a withdrawal agreement to be reached via a qualified majority (65% rather than 100%) of the European Council, a step which itself includes an extension of time beyond the two years within which to conclude certain aspects of negotiations. However, the legal and political legitimacy of such an approach might be questionable, if its true objective is to circumvent the two-year notice period.

The common theme running through all this complexity is uncertainty, which is having a significant and largely hidden impact on sport and other industries.

M&A activity in the UK has fallen substantially since the referendum decision in June 2016. Investors, sports bodies and others are undoubtedly sitting on their hands, waiting for some clarity over the parameters of negotiations. Will the UK be forced into an isolated, protectionist approach, or will the remaining EU members be prepared to consider a form of ‘Brexit Lite’, given the UK’s position as the sixth largest economy in the world? Will the pound be further devalued? Will tariffs apply to UK products and services – including, for example, sports rights?

Impact on sports deals

Sports contracts pertaining to, amongst other things, media rights, sponsorship and hosting arrangements are often multi-year in duration and international in scope. Sports bodies, media owners, sponsors, athletes and others who seek to enter into pan-European, multi-year contracts and arrangements, extending beyond March 2019, have legitimate concerns around how to protect their position in this new environment.

Of course, one measure that should certainly be considered is taking legal advice, which will likely focus on two key areas:

1.      What might be the impact of a sudden change in the law and/or circumstances affecting deals

2.      What steps might be taken (including contractual provisions) to guard against the implications of these?

The latter might be added, for example, to a ‘force majeure’ type clause, and/or a ‘material adverse change’ provision could be drawn up to tackle specific concerns that might apply to the contract in question. This might include termination rights in certain circumstances, or possibly the right to convert the UK portion of an international transaction into a separate contract, provided it made sense for the parties once the effect of the UK’s withdrawal agreement is known.

There may also be opportunities to consider the jurisdictional positioning of rights ownership either within or outside the future boundaries of the Single Market.

Meanwhile, the changes in free movement will undoubtedly have an effect on sport – and football in particular. Any potential changes to visa regulations may encourage longer term contract extensions and signing of EU players before the 2019 deadline. The 2018 football summer transfer window will potentially be the last to take place while the UK is in the Single Market and we may see a rush of activity as clubs seek to secure continental talent.

One issue many sports bodies are already grappling with is the effect of the potential changes in trademark protection processes and laws on their existing and planned international trademark programmes. The degree to which the European trademark regime will continue to apply to UK brands remains very much up in the air and will require careful auditing and management of portfolios.

A further legal outcome of Brexit will be the ending of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the UK.  Whilst the system of making preliminary references to the ECJ will come to an end, it is likely that the UK courts will continue to have regard to EU jurisprudence for guidance.  Bearing in mind the long lead time for references to be resolved, what will happen to ECJ references which are still pending at the time of Brexit? In the absence of a specific agreement as part of the Article 50 withdrawal negotiations, the simple answer is that nobody knows. Possibilities include pending references being declared devoid of purpose and therefore inadmissible, thus requiring them to be withdrawn, or the ECJ simply declaring that it no longer has jurisdiction to determine such cases.

Surgical precision

Returning to our amputation analogy, surgeons on all sides will need to work with great skill and patience to minimise damage to both patient and limb during this unprecedented operation.

Whether the process is a panacea or proves to be fatal remains to be seen. Meanwhile, sports business operators should not remain on the sidelines, but lobby for their positions to be properly represented, while factoring in the potential Brexit outcomes – ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, painless or painful, short or long – into their legal, regulatory and commercial strategies.”

Original article at: http://www.globalsportsjobs.com/article/sport-and-brexit/.