Last month, KORE's Chairman Matt Sebal was invited to participate in
a conference in Shanghai on "The Business of Sports in China: Score and Change" hosted by The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.
Matt spoke in the panel session 'Digital Marketing in the Sports Sector,' which explored engagement both on and off the field. The panel shared success stories of using social and digital data to build audiences and experiential campaigns for brand activation.
- Bryan Bachner, Investment Director, New Economy Fund, China Everbright
- Jonathan Tay, Chief Creative Officer, Amanacliq
- Benjamin Wahl, Head of China, Borussia Dortmund
- Robin Trebbe, Managing Director China & Asia Pacific, INTERSPORT International
- Matthew Sebal, Chairman, KORE Software
- Victor Cui, CEO, ONE Elite Agency, ONE Championship
- In China, sports is about building community: whether it be creating teamwork; developing a fan base; encouraging national spirit; or attracting new consumers.
- Engaging the fan to be a part of this community is step one to creating sustainability in the industry. In China, it’s a unique challenge because the traditional business model for the sports industry does not normally contemplate developing revenue from the team itself.
- In China, the primary focus in sports management is sports, not entertainment and monetization. This traditional sports mentality is now bumping into millennial sports fans that want something more than traditional sports, they're searching for a fuller fan experience.
- The panel focused on how to disrupt the conventional system to create a brand new sports industry, an industry that knows what’s at stake for the fans of an overseas club at a team level; that knows how to entice the sport fan to engage with teams and sponsors; that knows what attracts fans to buy the sport-related products; and perhaps most importantly, that knows how to take the information generated by all these connections and enhance the power of each line of communication.
While it's clear there are differing priorities for sports business professionals around the globe, there's one constant at the center of the conversation: the fan.
The fan's experience and engagement drives the business of sports; from ticket sales and operations to sponsorship activations and onsite experiences, it's all about the fan. Making sense of the data points generated by this engagement is an exciting challenge with a meaningful return for the industry across all areas of the business.