An article that was recently published in the The Economist has been doing the rounds in the sport sector. The headline recited the notion that ‘data is more valuable than oil’, which given that the five biggest market cap companies in the world today (Facebook, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple and Microsoft) are all technology businesses, this is a fair proclamation. It’s not a new statement, however. In 2006, famous mathematician and architect of Tesco’s Clubcard, Clive Humby was quoted saying, “Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so, data must be broken down and analysed for it to have value.”
In the ten plus years that have followed, the digital media industry has gone through something of a refining process to the point where it is now growing on average of 19% year on year, with digital platforms revolutionising the way in which we communicate with one another. The digital media market is now worth over $200bn a year.
Clive Humby helped Tesco to become a market leader by utilising 1st party data to drive customer retention. Today, the rapid growth of the digital media market is driven by Silicon Valley’s elite, who like Humby, understand the power of data and how to use it to drive business. It’s no surprise that in 2017, Facebook and Google are responsible for 90% of digital advertising revenue growth in the past year. This rapid progression is due to their compelling offering to consumers and brands, which includes a data capture process that is straightforward and anxiety-free for consumers. It is an amalgamation of technology, creativity, data science and the ability to package up data into a format that can be bought by advertisers, that the digital media market is worth what it is today.
Five years into our the WePlay journey, we are similarly an organisation driven by data. We apply the best practices learned from Silicon Valley’s elite into the sport sector, helping rights holders, event owners and their partners to maximise on the opportunities obtainable through digital media, to deliver efficient and effective digital marketing campaigns built on a foundation audience data.
What many in the sport sector fail to recognise, is that sport as an industry and passion platform is responsible for an average of one-third of online conversation and engagement. Engagement that occurs in digital environments such as Facebook, Instagram (Facebook), WhatsApp (Facebook), YouTube (Google) and Twitter. Such high volumes of engagement produce enormous amounts of data. This data can be packaged into a format that advertisers can bid against in a variety of advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, Google Display Network, Facebook Business Manager and Twitter’s Ad Platform. Of the $200bn that will be spent on digital media in 2017, a large percentage will be allocated within these platforms, buying media to capture the attention of sports fans, a transaction that sporting organisations should commercially profit from.
Nielsen reports that the global sport sponsorship market is forecasted to reach $62bn in 2017, while rights spend is expected to reach $45bn. These figures exclude the billions of dollars spent by consumers on things like apparel, food and beverages and of course, the percentage of the $200bn digital media market that will be allocated by brands to target audiences watching, participating in, sharing and conversing around the vehicle of sport.
The opportunity would seem lies not in Silicon Valley, but in the sport sector.
Introducing PlayEngine™ – Capture. Analyse. Action.
PlayEngine is a data-driven commercial marketing platform, enabling audience owners to increase revenues and produce new income streams through data.
Combining ad-tech, data science and over 30 years of creative, marketing and strategy experience from within the sport industry, WePlay utilise the PlayEngine platform to help our clients to capture, analyse and action valuable audience data and drive a higher performance on event ticketing, hospitality, eCommerce, CRM acquisition and sponsorship activations, as well as enhancing the overall value of a sponsorship package.
To learn more about PlayEngine visit www.playengine.co
WePlay is a leading digital sports marketing agency. We work with rights holders and brands, delivering efficient and effective digital marketing campaigns. Our roster of clients includes Aston Villa Football Club, Bath Rugby, England Hockey, English Football League, Harlequins F.C, Iron Man, Red Bull, Rugby Football League, Six Day Cycling Series, UK Sport and Yokohama Tyres.