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

  • B.C. unveils housing plan that raises foreign buyers levy and taxes speculators

    Economic CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia is raising its foreign buyers tax and expanding it to areas outside of Vancouver, while bringing in a new levy on speculators, as part of a sweeping plan to improve affordability in the province's overheated housing market. Source
  • B.C. government introduces new speculation tax and raises foreign buyers tax

    Economic CBC News
    The B.C. government delivered on a wide variety of promises from its election platform and throne speech in its first budget, forecasting a $219 million surplus for the upcoming fiscal year on the strength of a strong economy. Source
  • Canadian bank earnings forecast bright but housing, NAFTA cloud outlook

    Economic CBC News
    The forecast for Canada's biggest banks is bright thanks to U.S. tax reform and higher interest rates, but as they report first-quarter results this week, domestic mortgage demand and the North American Free Trade Agreement could cloud the long-term outlook, analysts say. Source
  • Competition Bureau reaches settlement with Leon's and the Brick

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau says it has reached an agreement with Leon's Furniture Ltd. and the Brick Ltd. regarding allegations of deceptive marketing practices. As part of the settlement, Leon's and the Brick have agreed to each donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings over two years to charities to be approved by the regulator. Source
  • Competition Bureau settles with Leon's, The Brick over marketing practices

    Economic CBC News
    The Competition Bureau says it has reached an agreement with Leon's Furniture Ltd. and the Brick Ltd. regarding allegations of deceptive marketing practices. As part of the settlement, Leon's and The Brick have agreed to each donate $750,000 worth of home furnishings over two years to charities to be approved by the regulator. Source
  • Pipeline backlogs to cost Canadian economy $10.7B this year: Scotiabank

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Delayed oil pipeline construction is causing a steep discount for Canadian crude prices that is costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year or about 0.75 per cent of GDP, according to Scotiabank. Source
  • Pipeline backlogs could cost Canadian economy $15.6B a year: Scotiabank

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Delayed oil pipeline construction is causing a steep discount for Canadian crude prices that is costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year, according to Scotiabank. "Pipeline approval delays have imposed clear, demonstrable and substantial economic costs on the Canadian economy," said bank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault in a report Tuesday. Source
  • Don't fall for the staging: Real estate expert on how to avoid rookie buyer mistakes

    Economic CTV News
    Being a first-time home buyer without guidance from qualified professionals is like using the internet to diagnose a serious illness -- it’s not going to end well. That’s the advice Toronto real estate agent and industry expert Karyn Filiatrault gives to millennials looking to enter the housing market. Source
  • Trump government expected to defend tariffs on Canadian solar modules in court

    Economic CBC News
    President Donald Trump's decision to hit imports of Canadian solar energy modules with staggering tariffs, starting this month, has sparked another court battle over the extent of his powers to push through his America First agenda. Source
  • Trump administration expected to defend tariffs on Canadian solar modules in U.S. trade court

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to hit imports of Canadian solar energy modules with staggering tariffs, starting this month, has sparked another court battle over the extent of his powers to push through his America First agenda. Source