SportsPro Live Digital Sports Panel

Wembley Stadium, the home to some of the UK's biggest sports events, became the setting for SportsPro Live. I joined a panel with Jean-Marc Paihol, the Global Head of Market Management & Distribution at Allianz, along with Louis Matignon, Multiplatform Solutions Manager at Eurovision, to discuss Digital Sport and how it is measuring up and following the footsteps of more traditional sport. 

I provided the panel audience with insights from a so called 'millennial', a word the panel seemed to agree was not in their favored vocabulary. For someone who's TV isn't plugged in and who's daily consumption of content is all online, I shared my thoughts, experience and insights into how this audience reacts and consumes the content from these new digital sports. Whether it's the viral sensation of Drone Racing, Virtual Golf tournaments or the FIFA Interactive World Cup, these digital sports are growing at a phenomenal rate and they're being helped by how the audience consumers and supports them. Digital sports, esports specifically, is available nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Across social media, streaming platforms and news updates, esports is all-access which and some what of an edge over traditional seasonal sport. However, there also isn't enough room for this always on approach, especially when it comes to massive events. The esports calendar is becoming busier, nearly too busy and a balance will soon be needed to give everyone involved enough breathing space to continue growing. This is where traditional sports can teach the digital equivalent how the balance could be found.

- Liam Thompson / Gaming & Influencer Exec

NOT 1, NOT 2 BUT 3 AWARDS

Chuffed to have won three UK Sponsorship Awards last night!! 'Best use of PR' for Barclays Premier League, 'Best use of Research & Evaluation' for Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Natasha Cabral walked away with the hugely prestigious Barrie Gill Award, given to the rising star in the UK sponsorship industry. Fantastic work.

New eSports column on SportBusiness

In the start of a new series, Liam Thompson, our gaming and eSports guru picks out the most interesting stories from the eSports sector and writes up an overview for SportBusiness, the world's biggest selling sport business magazine.

The first overview includes:

  • Audi signs short-term deal with Astralis team
  • NBA and Take-Two to create official NBA 2K eLeague
  • Gillette’s League of Legends activation will allow fans to 3D print shaving accessories
  • And more

Read the full piece on SportBuisness here.

SIGNING NATALIE DORMER FOR EA!

Our EA team secured Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer to play Dr Lexi T’Perro in Mass Effect: Andromeda


In the newest instalment of the Mass Effect series, Lexi enters the depths of outer space, stepping on board The Tempest. Natalie Dormer voices one of the game’s central characters and one of the first characters players will meet when they wake up from their 600-year cryo sleep.
 

ARE YOU A FREELANCE PRODUCTION MANAGER??

With some major events in the pipeline across Barclays, Coca-Cola and EE we are on the hunt for a Freelance Production Manager. Check out the JD below and send over your CV and cover letter to Joanne.Warnes@havas-se.com

 

Freelance Production Manager JD

We are looking for a freelance production manager with a strong integrated campaign background covering sports and entertainment, who has a real flare and passion for live events.  The candidate will have experience in activating brand partnerships and a strong history of creating and implementing first class consumer brand experiential campaigns and a proven track record in managing campaign elements and coordinating external suppliers.

As a Production Manager, we look to you to have strong relationships with a variety of suppliers and be able to pull together competitive costs and solutions for both live campaigns and new business projects. We expect you to be able to manage the creative requirements for all your production elements liaising with our in-house creative team to achieve this.

Your role is focused upon day to day delivery – you will need to manage the demands and prioritization of your tasks and client needs. You need to be conducting business in an effective manner with pro-activity, attention to detail and accuracy in all communication either internal or external.

We’re proud of our client roster and excited to work with some of the biggest brands in the world including; Barclays, Carling, Coca-Cola and EE. Although we would not expect you to be an expert in their field, we would expect you to have an up to date knowledge of innovation and technology in the activation and experiential industry, making you versatile at activating across these markets.  We would expect you to take responsibility for keeping this knowledge current and see you playing a key role in exciting our clients with examples and demonstrations of the latest trends, event innovations, case studies and best practices emerging from the wider industry.

Key Skills

Planning and organisation, effective at planning your time and efficient at producing project documents including briefs, contact reports and status reports

Finance, you should be able to structure and maintain an accurate budget, managing suppliers, POs and communication with our finance team

Planning, demonstrate experience in planning and proposing both creative and practical brand campaigns

Communication, you should be confident communicating at every level, with a knowledge and sensitivity that you can apply to a variety of different situations – negotiating with suppliers, supporting team members or simply getting on with your colleagues and key contacts

Industry knowledge and expertise, you should understand and be able to communicate trends within the industry and market place. Ideally you will be able to demonstrate this knowledge with examples of your ability to think creatively and see opportunities of how you can bring this knowledge to life

Some of the key day-to-day duties will include:

  1. Propose production solutions for new business pitches
  2. Write budget for new business pitches
  3.  Write production time-lines for live events
  4. Liaise with external and internal suppliers to execute live campaigns and one off events/productions
  5. Manage you client budgets to ensure work is delivered profitably and communicated to the wider team

 

UK SPONSORSHIP AWARDS FINALISTS!!

We've just been shortlisted for 5 UK Sponsorship Awards!

Barclays (x2)

Our work celebrating the end of Barclays 15-year tenure as title sponsor of the Premier League has been shortlisted for two awards - Brand Sponsorship of the Year and Best use of PR in a Sponsorship Campaign

EE (x2)

Having just been shortlisted for the BT Sports Industry Awards, The EE Wembley Cup is on a roll being shortlisted for Branded Content of the Year and Digital Activation of the Year.

HSE Cake

The 5th and final shortlisted entry is for Consultancy of the Year so let the 40 day countdown to the awards night commence! 

SPURS £400M STADIUM PARTNER

Tottenham Hotspur are planning a £400m deal for the naming rights to their new stadium and are prepared to drop all references to White Hart Lane in order to secure the most money from a potential deal. Jo Porter, Managing Partner Insight & Strategy spoke to The Drum to shed light on how the football club's push for a naming rights partner could pan out: "There are broadly two types of potential naming rights strategy. One leads with brand engagement, the other puts a higher emphasis on generating brand awareness.The O2 and Wembley connected by EE are good examples of brands using venues to engage with new and existing customers, by seamlessly showcasing core service attributes in to the relationship. "Then there's the other type of sponsor who wants to use football's huge media numbers to create broad awareness with a new or foreign audience. The decision to offer a clean name potentially helps Spurs' chances of finding this type of partner at a higher price point." Full article HERE

Tottenham Hotspur are planning a £400m deal for the naming rights to their new stadium and are prepared to drop all references to White Hart Lane in order to secure the most money from a potential deal.

Jo Porter, Managing Partner Insight & Strategy spoke to The Drum to shed light on how the football club's push for a naming rights partner could pan out:

"There are broadly two types of potential naming rights strategy. One leads with brand engagement, the other puts a higher emphasis on generating brand awareness.The O2 and Wembley connected by EE are good examples of brands using venues to engage with new and existing customers, by seamlessly showcasing core service attributes in to the relationship.

"Then there's the other type of sponsor who wants to use football's huge media numbers to create broad awareness with a new or foreign audience. The decision to offer a clean name potentially helps Spurs' chances of finding this type of partner at a higher price point."

Full article HERE

OUR NIGHT AT THE BAFTAS

Last night was the 70th BAFTA and our team were front and centre celebrating the 20th year EE have sponsored the event. 

After months of preparation, we hosted a VIP pre-drinks party for 150 guests at the Dorchester, welcomed 140 VIP guests for the ceremony and post-awards dinner and surprised 475 competition winners with tickets (400 more than previous years!). For 75 of these winners, this also included an exclusive post-awards dinner. 

Another superb team effort!

 

WE'VE BEEN SHORTLISTED!!!

Absolutely chuffed EE Wembley Cup was shortlisted for Event or Competition Sponsorship of the Year!!

EE Wembley Cup

Collaborating notable gaming and football YouTube vloggers with FIFA Legends we launched The EE Wembley Cup, a 8-part YouTube series climaxing in a live final at Wembley Stadium with a 22k strong crowd. The series generated over 40m online views, 540k likes and 382k comments - 99.6% of which were positive! The game was live streamed and had a peak live audience of 280k with the hashtag being used 130k times and trending organically #1 on Twitter.

Let the countdown to the ceremony commence...!! 

ELEAGUE ACTION

Another week of eSports action rounded up with all the bits you need to know by our gaming pro Liam Thompson

What a week we had last week. For me as a big CS:GO fan I was treated to a full 7 days of eSports action during the ELeague Major, watching the best teams from around the world compete for a slice of the $1 million prize pool. The Eleague event was hugely successful for a number of reasons, with ridiculous kills, unexpected upsets and amazing comebacks. More broadcasting deals, exclusive signings and sponsorships have occurred in the last week with a few to pick out and digest.

Audi’s new sponsorship takes pole position

After previously highlighting Audi’s jump into eSports by sponsoring team Astralis, I mentioned they were in the running to win the upcoming ELeague CS:GO Major… And they did just that.  After a shaky start losing their first match, winning just two out of their first four and being one game away from elimination, things weren’t looking good for Astralis. The team clutched up and made a championship run which went down to the wire. With it all hanging on the final round, game three of three, Astralis managed to win the grand final 16-14 against Virtus.Pro. For Audi this is the best start possible to their new found sponsorship, their brand already making an impact to eSports viewers.

Watch the winning moment right here via Twitch eSports.

Record breaking viewership

Speaking of viewers, it was announced that the Eleague CS:GO Major broke the all-time concurrent viewer figures in the history of Twitch. The previous record of 890k concurrent viewers was smashed; the grand final reached over 1 million live viewers, all tuning in to watch Astralis and Virtus.Pro fight it out for $500,000. 1 million live viewers… Not only is that number just crazy, but the viewing figures often sat between 300-600k viewers for the majority of the week long tournament, which doesn’t include around 200k people who watched directly via GOTV on the game itself, plus those watching live through Turner’s broadcasting channels. Going back to my point before, Audi’s brand was displayed subtly at the fore-front of this tournament to millions of eSports fans across just one week all down to Astralis.

Facebook secure exclusive streaming rights with Blizzard

Similar to how ESL agreed exclusive streaming rights to YouTube Gaming for their 2017 Pro league, Facebook are now stepping up their game and following suit with new exclusive streaming rights. In an agreement with Blizzard Entertainment, Facebook have been granted an exclusive deal to broadcast the 2017 spring season of “Heroes of the dorm” taking away the rights from ESPN2 which has shown the season and championship for the last two years. Moving from a paid network service to a free social platform will help Blizzard reach a new and potentially bigger audience than before, showcasing the competition, statistics and more.

G2Kinguinnewcsgoteam.jpg

G2 eSports becomes the first to sign Facebook deal

It isn’t just publishers and leagues who are creating these streaming deals with Facebook, now a team is too. G2 eSports have also announced a deal with Facebook which will see the team broadcast gameplay onto the platform. G2 currently have professional teams across 6 different games including League of Legends, Hearthstone and Rocket League. While the deal isn’t exclusive and the players will likely continue to use services such as Twitch and YouTube, they will start to ramp up their broadcasts on Facebook being the first team to sign such a deal. They aim to use this new media strategy to help grow the team’s audience, unlock new sponsorships and increase engagement with its brand.

Gillette signs cutting edge deal with ESL

Gillette has announced a new global partnership with ESL which sees the male grooming brand sponsor the League of Legends Intel® Extreme Masters World Championship Katowice 2017. Gillette will be offering the teams and fans at IEM Katowice the chance to customize Gillette razor handles using 3D printing technology. Any League of Legend’s players competing at the event will also receive free grooming services throughout the opening weekend. Gillette has also signed its first eSports athlete to become a global brand ambassador, xPeke, a professional gamer who once was crowned MVP at a previous IEM Katowice event. They’ll be creating content with him and holding special signing sessions at this year’s event.

As broadcasting rights get eaten up by different platforms and even teams are starting to follow the trend it will be interesting to see how many more we see over the next few months. 

'THIS GIRL CAN' RETURNS!

'This Girl Can has returned and Jim Dowling, MD, talks to The Drum about the power of the campaign: "The industry habitually defaults to using superstar athletes to inspire people to do more physical activity and buy product.'This Girl Can' helped land the message to the rest of the industry that many women can be intimidated by physical perfection rather than inspired by it” Full article HERE

'This Girl Can has returned and Jim Dowling, MD, talks to The Drum about the power of the campaign:

"The industry habitually defaults to using superstar athletes to inspire people to do more physical activity and buy product.'This Girl Can' helped land the message to the rest of the industry that many women can be intimidated by physical perfection rather than inspired by it”

Full article HERE

E SPORTS REPORT W/C 23RD

 

Our in-house Guinness world record holding gamer, Liam Thompson, has started a weekly round up of the big news in the eSports world:

 

We’re just 3 weeks into the year and already there is plenty of movement happening in the eSports space. Last week saw huge brand investment, league creations, technology partnerships and more. Take a quick look at the big news from the week along with a little extra something from me at the end...

Dutch football league starts new eSports competition

Eredivisie, the Dutch Premier League, is launching a new FIFA league: the E-Divisie. All 18 clubs within the Eredivisie league will be represented virtually as their official eSports player will compete for them on FIFA 17 Ultimate Team. At the start of the season, all 18 clubs recruited their own player and now its time for them to prove themselves. The partnership between Eredivisie, EA Sports & Endemol Shine Nederland will drive fan engagement, build better relationships with a younger audience and see exciting content being created. It’s all kicking off on Monday 6th February.

VR partnership created for viewers

Traditional sports broadcasters are always looking for ways to update and improve how we watch; this is no different for eSports. SLIVER.tv is one of the industries leading virtual reality eSports broadcasting platforms and last week they signed a new partnership with gaming league ESL. Fans will be able to tune in and watch Dota2, League of Legends and CS:GO in immersive 360° VR across multiple events planned for this year. Using Google cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and more, you can experience the action at home in VR, but the partnership also extends SILVER.tv access to the events to showcase their technology with the live audience.

FNATIC return to Call of Duty

Over the weekend one of the world’s biggest eSports organisations, FNATIC, announced they are returning to the Call of Duty scene with a new roster ready to get going for the 2017 season. FNATIC left the Call of Duty pro scene 5 years ago, but has grown to become one of the most recognisable eSports brands across other major game titles including League of Legends and Counter Strike. It’s a good move for FNATIC, while the prize pools aren’t as big as other eSports events, it’s a chance to widen their brand appeal and reach a new audience of Call of Duty fans who maybe weren’t aware FNATIC once had a pro COD team (I didn’t!)

Audi drives up eSports investment

One of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Audi, has just signed a new sponsorship deal with eSports team Astralis. While you might not know the likes of their professional roster, dev1ce, gla1ve, & dupreeh to name just three, their current CS:GO team is currently one of the best in the world, lined up to win the next major event starting this Sunday. The details of the sponsorship haven’t been shared; however during a media shoot yesterday the team official jersey now displays the recognisable 4-ring logo of Audi. I’m sure we’ll see more than just a bit of t-shirt branding come out of this partnership in the long run, but it falls just in time for the ELeague CS:GO major in Atlanta this week as the team will play in-front of millions of viewers over the competition period. (Jan 22nd-29th)

Liam meets ELeague and Bet365

Speaking of the ELeague major… Just before Christmas I discovered that Bet365 had opened an eSports section! Covering events all around the world, you can now make bets on eSports matches, handicaps, scores etc just like your typical sports. I’m no gambling expert but decided to try my luck and mixing casual betting with intense eSports competition. So far across two event weekends I’ve somehow managed to return over 6x my own investment, and with the ELeague major coming up you can bet I’ll be giving it another go…

But how does one bet on something as unpredictable as eSports, here’s three simple tips I’ve used and can help you get to grips with this interesting mechanic.

1. Listen to the casters / analysts

Before a match begins the analyst desk go over statistics, previous match ups and also predictions after introducing both teams. Whilst I’ll know who’s likely to win the odd match-up, the analysts are the best to know for every team and I’ve even changed my bet based on their predications, and it sometimes pays off. Some teams are known to play better on certain maps; the analysts know this and can give you key information to help make the right choice.

2. Cash out!

The interesting thing with CS:GO betting is you can cash out quite frequently between rounds. Without jumping too deep on how CS:GO plays, a competitive match consists of a best of 30 rounds – Terrorist & Counter Terrorist sides, with most games usually considered to be “CT Sided” as you play on defence. During a game, if your team is winning say, 10-2 on a certain side, Bet365 will offer you a decent return to cash out early! Which is a good route to take as some games can go on crazy comebacks and you can end up losing (Thank you Team LDLC for making an unexpected 12 round comeback against me!)

3. Watch the match

I like eSports (if you couldn’t tell!), when it’s a game I understand and can relate to there is a thrill of watching the best teams perform just as you might with football, rugby or even tennis. Betting adds that little extra something, and for me it makes me pay more attention. I can appreciate a good play, understand why a team made a certain decision and get left hanging on the edge of my seat when it comes down to the finals rounds. I’m not addicted, my starting bet is actually quite low and really it’s all just a bit of fun while I enjoy something I’d be watching anyway.

If you want to watch the moment that saved me from losing £150 then you can here: Flipsid3 vs Vega Squadron. I had money on team Flipsid3 winning this match, and with the score being tied 14-14 in the best of 30 match, this round was crucial and luckily played in my favour – It even had my brother, who had no money on the line watching and gasping at every moment.