Ten things we learnt at Sport and Technology 2010
Friday 16th July, here in London, at BT Centre, the home of the event sponsors, BT Media and Broadcast saw the 6th annual Sport and Technology: The Conference. Over 160 delegates attended a busy day enjoying over 20 industry leaders share their expertise. In a day packed full of content, these are the top ten things that we'd like to share.
1. Mark Wilson-Dunn, Global Sales and Marketing Director, BT Media and Broadcast, observed that the timing of today’s conference could not be better. While wearing his England shirt, he commented how the recent England ‘goal that never was’ against Germany had highlighted the changing role of technology in the world of Sport.
2. David Shield, SVP, Global Director of Engineering and Technology, IMG Media, revealed the technical challenges of launching the Premier League channel in under 19 weeks. The channel will deliver 380 games a season in HD globally and goes live on August 9. It will enable the Premier League to release international rights worth $1m per game
3. Ben Gallop, Head of Interactive and Formula 1, BBC Sport, made the point that TV audience appetite for sport is bigger than ever, as proved by the World Cup, but that we are seeing a growing trend for a 2-screen experience
4. This 2-screen experience, explained Steve Plunkett, Director of Customer Innovation, Red Bee Media, is being brought about by two key developments – firstly, the Internet coming to the TV and secondly the divergence of content onto other devices. In the 2-screen world, the TV is all about watching the content in the best way possible, while the second device (a mobile, laptop or similar) is all about socialising and how the viewer critically can get involved.
5. The question was asked – what new technology will have the same impact as the colour TV did on snooker? Aiden Cooney, CEO, Opta, observed that to a certain extent the developments are limited by the conservative nature of broadcasters and highlighted how much more and richer data could be available to sports viewers, for example, the heart-rate of Jonny Wilkinson as he took a spot-kick in the World Cup Final
6. During the ‘Better Activation Of Sponsorship’ session, Mark Hargreaves, Chief Operating Office, Knowledge MGI, talked about the 65% of consumers who start a transaction but do not complete it and how technology is now allowing businesses to track what happens in this ‘Abandon’ space
7. In the same session, the panel questioned the London 2012 decision to restrict ticket purchases to VISA card holders only, questioning whether this was a ‘value-add’ from a sponsor or something which could alienate non-VISA card-holding sports fans.
8. David Bush from Sony presented learnings from the World Cup 2010 which he described as the world’s first truly global 3D event, including how 3D is proving to provide a different creative challenge for programme-makers, requiring slower speeds and cuts
9. 100M people enjoy playing Fantasy Sports globally and Andrew Wainstein, Founder & Managing Director of Fantasy League, highlighted how the link between live video and fantasy play is developing, in particular by major league baseball in the US
10. In the day’s final session, the role of the sports stadia in the future was discussed. The difference in requirements was starkly highlighted by the brief from 1992 for the new Lansdowne Road stadium and the eventual brief in 2007 for what has become the Aviva Stadium. New sports stadia are technology-proofed, available for commercial use 24/7 and equipped with an infrastructure to provide measurable benefits for commercial partners and maximum comfort and interaction for fans from the ‘Playstation’ generation.
- Matt Bourn, Managing Director, Braben (www.braben.co.uk) the PR partner of the SportBusiness Group Conferences and Events division.