Sports industry tries to win over millennials

The sluggish pace of American football has not always been an asset, but Sky Sports executive Barney Francis thinks it could be key to the game's success with emerging youth.

See Full Article

Francis' sons, ages eight and 11, seem to be in natural sync with the American game's short bursts of activity, which are interspersed with endless pauses, time-outs and referee decisions. They are more drawn to the game than soccer, which is a mainstay in Britain.

"They concentrate for five seconds of time and then they drift," said Francis, managing director of Sky Sports.

The appeal of bite-sized content to an increasingly smartphone-dominated society was a key takeaway from proceedings at the Leaders group's Sports Business Summit in New York.

Participants, including teams, agents and advertisers, are still looking for the secret to keep the big money flowing in pro sports in an era of media flux.

They rued declining attendance at many live sporting events and the effects of the decline of traditional media business models.

Youth "are using devices more than ever before. Their spare time is more pressurized than ever," Francis told AFP on the sidelines of the event.

"They want new things all the time."

Digital revenues lag

CBS Sports has enjoyed success with other youth-culture mainstays, such as Twitter and Facebook feeds prepped in tandem with sporting events, or short behind-the-scenes segments on rising millennial golfers like Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus.

"Social media is a big opportunity with the millennials," he said.

However, McManus described a tricky calculation with the bulk of the company's advertising revenue still coming from traditional broadcast and cable.

"The fact of the matter is the NFL gets the lion's share of its revenue from broadcast television and from basic cable television," McManus said. "It is still a challenge to monetize the digital media.

Iconic football team Real Madrid is beefing up its smartphone app so that fans will be more engaged at games. The team is also keen to amass as much data as possible on its fans' social media tendencies, said Begona Sanz executive vice president at Real Madrid.

"This is where we are now - trying to create a platform which automatically gets the information to try to get the intelligence so that we can offer them what they want," she said.

Olympics sponsor Procter & Gamble plans segments profiling athletes of the 2016 games. However, the episodes must be easily clickable and easy to view when customers desire.

"We need to learn how we can be better at providing exactly what they want to consume at the moment she wants to consume it," said Janet Fletcher, a brand director at P&G.

One upside of the flux is a greater willingness of star athletes and entertainment celebrities to take risks with a campaign if it seems original enough to break through the clatter, said David Droga, founder of advertising firm Droga5.

Sports apparel maker Under Armour supplied workout gear for actor Matt Damon for a movie trailer for the hit, "The Martian." The brand's distinctive "UA" logo gets star treatment in a way that is "seamless" to the ad's minimalist look, Droga said.

Droga said some celebrities are even willing to accept lower compensation if they are convinced of an idea.

"Doors are open when everyone agrees there's an avenue to explore," he said. "No ask is too outrageous."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • LCBO workers delivering overwhelming strike vote

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Liquor Control Board of Ontario staff have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike as their union continues to bargain for a new collective agreement. Voting by members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union was held Monday and Tuesday. Source
  • Swedish museum celebrates corporate failure

    Economic CTV News
    From Harley Davidson-branded perfume to a lasagna produced by toothpaste maker Colgate, the corporate world is awash with ideas that fail to connect with consumers, and one museum curator hopes to inspire people with them. Source
  • Metro profit beats estimates despite lower produce, meat, dairy prices

    Economic CBC News
    The chief executive of Metro Inc. says prices for produce, meat and dairy were lower in its most recent quarter, but the grocer still increased its profits and beat analyst estimates. Food prices were about two per cent lower than a year ago during the 12-week period ended March 11, CEO Eric La Fleche told a conference call with financial analysts Tuesday. Source
  • Uber looks towards electric aircraft for next ride-hailing project

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK - Uber is taking to the skies with its next project - "flying cars" - even as all eyes are on its problems on the ground. On Tuesday, the embattled ride-hailing company announced plans for an on-demand network of electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. Source
  • Billy Bee and Doyon honey sold in Canada to be made in Canada, too

    Economic CBC News
    The company that owns the Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands says it will start using only Canadian honey for both products in Canada this year. McCormick & Co. says Billy Bee and Doyon products containing all-Canadian honey will start appearing on store shelves in June, while the Billy Bee organic variety will arrive before the end of the year. Source
  • Trump plans to slash U.S. corporate tax rate to 15%

    Economic CBC News
    President Donald Trump plans to stick with his campaign pledge to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent, but the dramatic cut raises a problematic question for the White House: How can the president deliver the "massive" tax cut he promised without also blowing a massive hole in the budget? Source
  • Reducing debt among Barrick Gold's priorities: president

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Barrick Gold says it will focus on maximizing its free cash flow, reducing debt and maintaining investment discipline in the year ahead. Company president Kelvin Dushnisky told Barrick's annual meeting Tuesday that the gold mining giant will also work on transforming its business to better use technology. Source
  • Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands shifts to all-Canadian honey in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The company that owns the Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands says it will start using only Canadian honey for both products in Canada this year. McCormick & Co. says Billy Bee and Doyon products containing all-Canadian honey will start appearing on store shelves in June, while the Billy Bee organic variety will arrive before the end of the year. Source
  • Wells Fargo board re-elected as management faces protests

    Economic CBC News
    Wells Fargo & Co.'s annual meeting turned raucous when it was repeatedly interrupted by angry shareholders on Tuesday as the bank's chairman and chief executive tried to calm nerves ahead of a vote that could oust the majority of its board. Source
  • Wells Fargo shareholders disrupt meeting as fate of board members awaited

    Economic CBC News
    Wells Fargo & Co.'s annual meeting turned raucous when it was repeatedly interrupted by angry shareholders on Tuesday as the bank's chairman and chief executive tried to calm nerves ahead of a vote that could oust the majority of its board. Source