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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 09.09.13 – 09.16.13


Top news in the #SportsBiz this week showcases tennis utilizing IBM analytics to better players and business.  Other news includes the legend of Boomstache, the NHL setting their sights high, MAG taking their marketing efforts on the road, and BNY Mellon partnering with Levis’ Stadium.  Read on for more.

Sports Technology

IBM uses analytics to aid in the growth of the tennis business

SlamTracker by IBMWith IBM’s goal being to provide the best experiences for fans, the media, coaches and players, the US Open provides a great event platform to do just that.  Because the US Open always gives fans some great performances, IBM strives to figure out what exactly drives them.

IBM believes that by analyzing vast amounts of data, players can go from good to great; the same goes for business.  Three different commercials debuting during the US Open are prime examples of this:

  • “Counterfeit” is a 30-second TV commercial that describes how the use of Big Data and analytics to verify every component in a finished product, helping one company nearly eliminate counterfeiting.
  • “Interview” is a 30-second TV commercial about how Smarter Enterprises use Social Business tools and big data and analytics to understand the right characteristics for each job in order to hire the right person.
  • “Watson” describes a series of eight 15-second spots showing how Watson has been busy since its big win on Jeopardy! in 2011, with its advanced cognitive computing power being applied in several industries.

Because IMB sees major sporting events as a way to illustrate business applications for the technology developed for the USTA, sports and businesses are reaping the rewards.  The above commercials are examples of the business side of analytics tools being used to make business better.

Likewise, Andy Murray has used big analytics to improve his game.  Statistics showed he failed to win big matches when he was under a lot of pressure.  By using that data to determine that his game was fine and his patience needed some work, Murray started winning.

Again, IBM strives to provide everyone involved with the US Open with the best experience possible.  The company is using big-time analytics to improve business and sports alike.  The IBM Slamtracker is a unique tool that uses data points from past years at the US Open to show fans the keys to victory for each player.

You can read more here.

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Sports Business

The NHL aims for $1 billion

NHL_LogoIt has been recently reported the the National Hockey League is looking to generate an additional $1 billion over the next three years.  This revenue is expected to be gross national revenue.

The league expects its gross revenue to grow to “nearly 20 percent of league-wide hockey-related revenue.”  Here’s a quick look at part of the NHL’s plan:

  • Expansion of the league’s core businesses: media, licensing and sponsorship.
  • The NHL’s big-event strategy, which in 2014 includes the Winter Classic and Heritage Classic and four additional outdoor games in major markets branded as the Coors Light Stadium Series: two games at Yankee Stadium and one each at Dodger Stadium and Soldier Field.
  • An increased presence in Europe, with more regular-season NHL games overseas, the return of the World Cup of Hockey — which, in 1996 and 2004, featured eight top national teams in a tournament in August — and plans for a Champions Cup competition between top European and NHL clubs.
  • Securing new Canadian media rights deals, which would begin in 2014-15.

The NHL stands to gain a lot if the billion dollar mark can be reached.  The league isn’t the only one though.  Since the new CBA gives the NHLPA 50% of the hockey related revenue per season, the players also stand to gain a lot too.  You can also expect to see a lot of personnel shifting in the marketing, media, distribution, and advertising areas of the league to ensure the goal is met.

You can read more here, or here at Sports Business Journal.

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Sports Marketing

MAG makes marketing mobile

Marketing Activations GroupA company named Marketing Activations Group, based out of Ohio, has started to take their work on the road.  MAG creates hands-on marketing experiences for their clients and ships them off to an event in the back of a semi-trailer.

Marketing Activations Group has had a solid client list since its start-up in 2005.  The company started with Gatorade and Cooper tire, but as it began to grow it expanded the list to include names such as the Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Turner Sports.

Owners Todd Alles and Aaron Wallace have grown the company over the past few years to include six full-time employees in order to keep pace with the work.  With the list of big name clients growing, additional employees were certainly welcome.  An annual sports festival in Detroit recently led to the firm taking on the Detroit Tigers’ winter festival.  Alles said with a grin:

“A January outdoor event — yeah, that’s always a good idea in Detroit,”

The goal of the company is to create a genuine real-life experience that helps to create a strong connection with the brand.

You can read more here and visit the MAG site here.

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Sports Sponsorship

BNY Mellon becomes founding partner of Levi’s Stadium

BNY Mellon and Levis StadiumLevi’s Stadium is set for its inaugural season in 2014.  With the date seemingly just around the corner, the partnerships are accruing.  BNY Mellon has become the 11th founding partner of the 49ers’ new home.

The 49ers’ stadium is set to be loaded with some great technology for fans.  Likewise, BNY Mellon – an investment management company – finds common interest in putting advanced technology at the heart of their operation.  Curtis Arledge – the chief executive of BNY Mellon Investment Management – explains:

“As a global investments company, we place technology and innovation at the heart of everything we do for our clients.  It makes sense for us to be closely associated with the best and brightest minds of one of the country’s premiere technology centers.”

The agreement between Levi’s Stadium and BNY Mellon is set to run until the 2023 season.   The deal is set to include the following:

  • Exclusive branding rights for the field level East and West Legacy Clubs.
  • Permanent and digital signage.
  • Exposure in 49ers radio and television broadcasts.
  • In-stadium hospitality.
  • The opportunity to host client events throughout the year.

With both Levi’s Stadium and BNY Mellon placing user experience and technology at the forefront of their operations, the two companies share similar interests.  This should make for a great partnership in the coming years.

You can read more here.

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Social Media In Sports

The legend of “Boomstache” is born

BoomstacheIn this day and age, social media is a vital part of any marketing plan.  The legend of “Boomstache” is a prime example of how the use of social media can be used to leverage a product, be it a personal brand or not.

At West Virginia University, Joe DeForest was the defensive coordinator through the 2012 season.  With little success, he was moved to special teams coordinator.

With this change, WVU saw a boost in special teams.  This is in part due to sophomore transfer Nick O’Toole.  With O’Toole as the punter, the team was averaging 10 yards a punt more than the previous year.

The 6’4″ punter had his picture taken for the team.  He adorned a mustache, mullet, and a wide grin.  The legend of Boomstache was born.

Social media has since taken control to promote the trend.  #Boomstache is a popular hashtag on Twitter, while the Facebook fan page has about 3,000 likes.  O’Toole weighed in on the topic:

“I don’t know how that hashtag started.  I know former (WVU punter) Pat McAfee was called ‘boomstick’. So apparently, I’m now ‘boomstache’. I’ll take it.  I liked the Facebook page just because I wanted to see what people were saying.  I thought (the T-shirt sales) were a joke at first, but then Monday I saw they were selling them on High Street. So I went down to the store and picked up some shirts.”

The Boomstache legend continues to grow and social media is a major factor in that.  In today’s marketing world, social media cannot be overlooked.

You can read more here.

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