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Sports Tech Live - Issue #42

If you missed it, the digest will now be published on Wednesdays and Fridays. Here is Wednesday's one
Issue #42  •  November 8  •  view online
Sports Tech Live
Sports Tech Live
All your Sports Tech news in one place, covering topics like AR/VR, Data Analytics, eSports, Live Streaming, Sports Betting, Wearables, etc.
If you missed it, the digest will now be published on Wednesdays and Fridays. Here is Wednesday’s one, including analysis on the Streamer wars that is seeing the likes of Ninja, Shroud and CouRage moving to Mixer and Youtube gaming, the proxy war between Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
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There is a fantastic piece from Sid Lowe in The Guardian about Athletic Bilbao and the ways it seeks to win off the pitch with its fans. It is the top story in the content section.
Football clubs are more than just sporting clubs. They are a cultural phenomenon that reaches far beyond the white lines of the football pitch. Fewer are greater examples of this than Athletic Bilbao.
They are rooted in their history and only field players from the Basque Country and doing so whilst never being relegated and winning 23 Copa Del Rey’s and La Liga on 8 occasions.
They have leaned into their identity and have used players, managers and their staff to do so.
The article describes the books they have self published and given away to fans for free. It is not a money making exercise but a cultural and fan connection one.
In the glitzy world of social media, live streaming and multi million euro signings they have taken an old school approach in engaging fans and building deep, meaningful connections.
Their latest book is written by a player, which is a first for the club. It is not your typical autobiography but a deeper look at the person outside of the football pitch.
They also have a book club running where fans and players alike can nominate books to read and players, coaches, executives have read the books and shared their opinion on the book and its meaning with the fans. This is a fascinating and human approach to connecting with fans and enjoying in shared experience outside of the football pitch.
They also run an annual film festival that branches outside of just the Basque Country. The Kenny Dagliesh documentary won the festival last season and players from around the world are invited to participate in the festival itself.
This is deeply fascinating to me as I think a lot of lessons can be learned for other sports teams, leagues and organisations.
Would fans want to know what book is being read by some of the team members of the team they adore? Would fans want to know what TV shows the team is obsessing about and is the talk of the locker room? Would fans want to know what music is played in the locker room or inside the headphones as players leave the team bus and enter the stadium?
I think the answer is hell yeah!
Earlier this year I highlighted the work that the Philadelphia Eagles have done to become a media creation company in publishing multiple podcasts and TV shows to build that bond with the fans, beyond game day.
Fans are bored of the generic interviews that players give. They are usually so robotic that it inspires no one.
Fans want to have a feeling of connection to their idols. They want to see them as humans and know their interests, opinions, passions and feelings.
Clubs should be leveraging their greatest asset in all of this, the players themselves!
The growth of the mega star sees greater interest in individuals than an entire team. Take a look at the biggest stars in the game, they have more followers, more engagement and a bigger audience than the teams they represent.
The old saying of no one is bigger than the team is being flipped on its head. Whilst it might be true on the pitch, off it, fans want to engage, follow and understand the individual humans that wear the shirt they adore.
Clubs should realise this and look to see how they can leverage their greatest asset as right now they are using them as commodities to pose for pictures in the latest kit with the latest sponsor that fans can see right through and are frankly bored with.
Clubs should be self publishing media companies that cater to their fans needs and interests and use their stars to be the focal point. All the pieces of the puzzle are there, it will just take a commitment from the club and players to deliver the content that fans will eat up.
Have a great sporting weekend,
Will

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Twenty One Ways to Blow Up Your Company

Whether hiring bad employees, ignoring goals, or focusing on your needs instead of investors, committing any of these could put you out-of-businessJason Mendelson, co-founding partner, Foundry Group, shares his insight into the 21 ways entrepreneurs could blow up their company.
Streaming Wars
Report: Sky Sports enters race for Champions League rights - SportsPro Media

ESPN+ surpasses 3.5m subscribers - SportsPro Media

Cowboys-Giants ratings hit ESPN season-high - Sports Media Watch

Fox Expects Record Prices for Super Bowl Spots - Broadcasting & Cable

Gambling
Major League Baseball’s new free-to-play prediction game is on track to launch in March on the league’s Opening Day, according to Kenny Gersh, MLB’s EVP for gaming and new business ventures.

Knicks, Devils Broadcasts Get Betting Flavor With FanDuel Deal - Bloomberg

A bill passed by the New York State Senate in June would pave the way for in-person sports betting at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, and executives representing both venues endorsed that possibility this week.

eSports
China Imposes Curfew on gaming in a bid to fight gaming addiction among teens » TalkEsport

Esport stars Ninja, TimTheMan, LIRIK, summit1g and Shroud star in anticipated LAMO battle royale game

You Can Now Gamble On The League Of Legends Worlds Finals In New Jersey

Team Vitality Opens New Esports Facility and Receives Further Investment

Riot Games' Partnership With Louis Vuitton Shows The Future of Marketing In Gaming 11/08/2019

G2 Esports enters League of Legends partnership with Mastercard - Esports Insider

Content
Athletic Bilbao’s book-publishing and literature and film festivals are a model for how smaller clubs can express their identities in an era of super-club domination

Amazon Serves Up Andy Murray Tennis Documentary From ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ Producer Passion Pictures

Keegan-Michael Key, Venus Williams to Head CBS Sports Game Show | Hollywood Reporter

AC Milan follow Inter onto DAZN - SportsPro Media

Blue Wire Expects New Partnerships to Accelerate Growth

Pro Presence: How Meditation and Mindfulness Are Improving Athlete Mental Health and Performance

'There was no accountability': What went wrong for The Players' Tribune - Digiday

Jeter’s Players’ Tribune Is Said to Discuss Sale to Minute Media - Bloomberg

Pro14 lands UK highlights deal with BBC - SportsPro Media

Marketing
The CBD 'floodgate has opened' for pro athletes: Olympian Lolo Jones

Peloton’s Biggest Fans Have an Almost Religious Zeal - The Atlantic

Caf 'cancels' US$1 billion TV and marketing deal - BBC Sport

The NBA’s Most Marketable Rookie Not Named Zion Williamson

When the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC square off in the MLS Cup on Sunday, fans can tune into Twitter for several interactive content activations throughout the match.

Partnerships
NFL takes three-way Nike and Fanatics licensing deal global - SportsPro Media

Airbnb set to become Olympic TOP sponsor, says report - SportsPro Media

VR
Step Into Floyd Mayweather’s Gym: You Can Trash-Talk Him, But You Can’t Beat Him—the Virtual Reality Is Programmed That Way

eCommerce
Spalding hosts holiday shopping event on social media | Mobile Marketer

Best of the Rest
Can YouTube star Logan Paul find redemption in boxing?

Meek Mill and Kynetic CEO Michael Rubin discuss the Reform Alliance

College Football Fans Compete for Tickets to the Bowl Game, but Most Only Get a Bowl Cut

A groundbreaking method of using gene testing to catch doping cheats could be ready in time for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo

Six Nations and Rugby Championship in talks over new competition - SportsPro Media

INFLCR hires new COO, opens LA office - al.com

Why has a privacy app used by Edward Snowden hit the NBA, NFL and NCAA?

Long Reads
Osasuna, with not much money but spirit to burn, are using footage of fan power to drive their return to La Liga

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Techstars Startup Digest Sports Tech Live is curated by:
Will Martin Will Martin
will.martin@startupdigestmail.com
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