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The Top News in #Sportsbiz – 08.26.13 – 09.02.13

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Top news in the #sportsbiz this week includes Wayin helping the St. Louis Rams connect with fans.  Other news includes “The Meeting 9” offering action sports networking, ESPN facing anti-bundling questions, the NFL pressuring ESPN to back out of the “Frontline” documentary and AT&T promoting and protecting its sponsorship deals.  Read on to get your #sportsbiz fix.

Social Media In Sports

Wayin Helps Rams Better Engage With Fans

wayinThe St. Louis Rams, with the help of Wayin, are now more socially interactive than ever.  The new social media hub allows fans, members of the team, and media to interact by finding and sharing social content.

What is Wayin?

WayinHub is a platform that allows brands to engage followers by easily capturing, curating, and visualizing social content on your own site. Wayin Hub is an easy-to-use, customizable, self-service platform.

With the incorporation of the WayinHub, the Rams can now utilize tools such as polls.  These polls allow for questions to be posed by the team with answers coming directly from the fans.  Wayin CEO Elaine Wood explains why the Hub is makes sense for the Rams:

“Social media, especially on mobile devices, is becoming mainstream in sports – whether you’re in front of the TV, on the field or in the stands.  It makes sense that teams like the Rams are looking for ways to innovate how they engage socially. WayinHub allows them to do just that quickly and easily while having the customizable, flexible control to grow with their fans and team.”

With Wayin able to leverage social media interaction so well, teams like the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons are also finding the Hub beneficial.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – clevelmilehigh.org

Sports Networking

“The Meeting” Offers Action Sports Networking In Its Ninth Year

The Meeting 9Between September 26 and 28, The Meeting 9 is set to take place in Aspen, Colorado.  In addition to being the premier snow film festival with the latest ski and snowboard releases, The Meeting serves as the foundation for a weekend of panels, speakers, networking, music, art, and fashion.  Deric Gunshor – Senior Event Marketing Manager of Aspen Skiing Company – has high hopes for this year’s Meeting:

“Last year marked a huge step forward for the conference portion of the event delivering valuable insights, powerful dialog and unparalleled networking opportunities. This year promises to build upon that progress in partnership with Group Y to bring some of the greatest minds inside and out of the industry.”

GROUP Y is the original and leading collective of professionals focused on youth marketing, action sports, entertainment and other progressive and expressive cultures.  The action sports group also focuses on uniting industries and igniting ideas.

Some of the discussion topics will relate to the snow sports industry and include digital landscape, brand activation, licensing and connecting action sports with the mainstream.

The Meeting offers a great chance for networking.  Registration for The Meeting can be completed at www.aspensnowmass.com/meetingreg.  You can read more here.

Photo credit – business.transworld.net

Sports Business

ESPN Looks To Future To Answer Anti-bundling Questions

ESPN in BristolWith consumers looking to video streaming services, ESPN is facing bundling challenges.  Rising TV bills are a major concern for consumers, leading them to alternative options.  ESPN has shown its will to “fight tenaciously and opportunistically to protect [its] empire.”

Disney, owner of ESPN, has argued that without revenue from bundling “it would have to increase the monthly fee for viewers who want ESPN to about $15 a month.”  That price is sure to sit uneasy with consumers.

As of now, ESPN programming is costing cable subscribers $5.54 a month.  This figure can be compared to other sports networks costing subscribers just 75 cents per month, while other non-sports networks are around 28 cents per month.

ESPN is looking to combat these bundling issues with new technologies.  With more and more consumers turning to second screens, the network is developing a “push button future”.  This new service, codenamed 2016, would “let viewers simultaneously watch multiple ESPN channels or videos, send social media messages, buy products, watch commercials and summon statistics at the touch of a button.”

The evolving world of consumerism seems to be forcing ESPN to change its business plan, or at least update it.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – htnp.net

Sports Media

NFL Pressures ESPN

NFL, ESPN, and PBSESPN has recently cut ties with PBS and the production of their documentary “Frontline”.  It is believed that sports media powerhouse had stepped down due to increasing pressure from the NFL.

ESPN is a goliath in the sports media industry, so they’re not often seen backing down.  However, the NFL is said to have pressured ESPN to withdraw from the documentary after the trailer for the documentary was released on August 6.  The trailer depicts people discussing players suffering from dementia and brain disease as a result from playing professional football.

In a few recent tweets, ESPN claims that it did not withdraw from the documentary because of pressure from the NFL.  The network claims its hand was forced because of a lack of “editorial control”.  ESPN issued a statement:

“Because ESPN is neither producing nor exercising editorial control over the Frontline documentaries, there will be no co-branding involving ESPN on the documentaries or their marketing materials. The use of ESPN’s marks could incorrectly imply that we have editorial control. As we have in the past, we will continue to cover the concussion story through our own reporting”.

The time of the whole situation appears odd due to the recent case between the NFL and NFLPA.  The league is being sued by thousands of former players claiming that the league hid information linking football-related head trauma to brain injuries.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – ocnnreport.com

Sports Sponsorship

AT&T promotes and protects

AT&T Stadium, Dallas CowboysIt appears that the telecom industry is as competitive as the cable network industry.  AT&T is both highly competitive and highly secretive when it comes to the sponsorship deals they hold.

It’s said the company spends about $200 million a year on sponsorship deals.  The telecom behemoth can be found sponsoring AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, SXSW in Austin and the AT&T Jeb Bush Florida Classic, a golf and fishing tournament that raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

AT&T has even partnered with Latin Grammy winners Jesse & Joy to create an anthem for fans of the Mexican national soccer team.  Jamie Kerr, an AT&T sponsorship director, had this to say about the sponsorship:

“We want to connect with people at their passion points,”

The company remains a clear big dog in the sports industry.  With such a competitive industry, perhaps it’s better AT&T keeps most deals confidential.  Many deals, such as the company’s corporate champion deal with the NCAA and its umbrella deal with Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer and the Mexican Soccer Federation, are each estimated to be worth “eight figures” annually by Street & Smith’s Sports Business.

With its numbers kept secret, AT&T seems to protect its investments well.  One thing is for sure, the company knows how to promote.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – theboysareback.wordpress.com

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