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  • Writer's pictureOli Shawyer

The Wednesday Wrap...

Working in sport, as most readers of my blog will know, is all consuming. And with so much of our own time focused on our to-do lists and immediate challenges (particularly when in-season), when we do get a minute to breathe, seeking out what other sports, businesses or leaders are talking about is often a luxury (if not, perhaps a chore).

So to introduce a little bit of ‘interesting’ and ‘inspiring’, since starting at the AFL a few months ago, every week I compose and share what I've donned, The Wednesday Wrap. Sharing with a large group of colleagues in and out of HQ. it's a summary of the key articles I’ve taken great interest in, pieces of content I’ve really enjoyed… and everything in between.

Because I’ve always found great energy and insight from trawling the internet, listening to podcasts, reading blogs and watching key notes, I wanted to share that opportunity more broadly. And so at some point each hump day, the Wednesday Wrap will land for you to peruse when sipping a coffee or sitting on the train or bus (or tram), or any other moment of a day you’ve a spare few minutes. There’s no agenda, no right or wrong to what’s said, written or shown. Just a ‘did you see this’ prompt to spark thought, intrigue, conversation.

So let's dive in to this week's Wednesday Wrap.

What to watch:

  • Fly like a butterfly, sting like a wasp: Chiefs - This is amazing access and insight for game-day, which just happens to be from the biggest game of the year: the Super Bowl. A must watch. The narrative, the editing, all of it combined makes for compelling viewing that leaves you demanding more.

Things to read:

  • Logo fix or logo flex? Marketers should be more playful - As the NBA faces calls to update its logo with Kobe Bryant’s image, more marketers should consider being playful with their brand imagery rather than acting as the brand police.

  • The Premier League reveals plans for a Netflix-style streaming service - The idea that the Premier League is considering launching its own streaming service, to sell and deliver live games to fans directly, has certainly grabbed the headlines. So much so that the hypothetical platform has already been given its own nickname – PremFlix. A one-to-watch, particularly after the entry of Amazon into EPL cover over Christmas break, and the keen interest in the evolving broadcast model and opportunity for live sport across the globe.

  • Barça’s digital strategy creates new relationship with fans in order to adapt to changing consumer habits - As the world’s leading club in digital, Barça is now looking to take a further step forward, recently detailing the Club's plans for a paradigm shift in terms of its digital strategy to get closer to fans, know them better and offer them new products and services that are adapted to their needs. Within the link you will be able to download the deck, but important to keep an eye on will be the evolution of their fan-centric approach and setting out to commercialise and evolve connection with fans that can’t physically get to games (350 million followers around the world), particularly that of their new digital membership program (inclusive of access to Barca new OTT).

  • Under Armour shifts strategy to invest in product and brand - After a disappointing 2019 that resulted in its share price dropping following release of results, Under Armour is planning to increase its marketing spend for 2020, and more importantly shift where it will be spent. I recently outlined some thoughts pertaining to the importance and relevance of this to code and club here.

  • Marlins free ticket prices and reduce parking in fight for fans - In a market that rewards winning with attendance, the Marlins are heading into the new MLB season with the third-lowest projected win-total and are hence seeking other incentives to get fans into seats. With a history of ownership that doesn’t commit to long-term success, beyond the avid fans they’re competing with an extensive list of other leisure options available and are hence looking into elevating the affordability of the experience including: clearing up the misconception of cost of attendance, price initiatives, and food and parking allowances.

  • Should Big Bash finally ask whether less is more? – Following broad commentary in the lead up to, and then since, the final of BBL 19/20, about the state of interest and consumption of the competition, the question of whether less is more is posed and discussed.

  • When our stadiums are oversized, the atmosphere and intimacy of the game suffers - Small crowds in large stadiums have had a detrimental impact on one of the game's greatest selling points — the electric atmosphere created by its active supporters. The irony in building a smaller stadium to increase attendances because the atmosphere — or "game day experience" as it is now known — will be far better, is not missed!

  • UEFA and Disney launch women’s soccer project - UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, and global entertainment giant Disney have announced a partnership based around a new grassroots women’s youth soccer project that will use coaching sessions inspired by Disney films and featuring its characters to provide a pathway into the sport for girls aged between five and eight. Will be fascinating to see this unfold, particularly as each sport races for participation growth to lock in life-long fans.

What to listen to:

  • That Peter Crouch Podcast - This isn’t a ‘listen to learn’ recommendation, but a listen to a perfect example of ‘aligning sport and entertainment to drive broader interest into the sport and everything around it’. For anyone that doesn’t know football (soccer), Peter Crouch is a brilliant character who has lived the very highs of professional football (such as playing for Liverpool) for 20 years. He gives insight and access to life behind the scenes of being a professional athlete and it is brilliantly funny and insightful. That perfect mix of talent, avid fandom appeal and new audience intrigue that makes it very difficult to not tune in week in and week out.

Have thoughts pertaining to today’s wrap, or seen anything recently that you think is worth sharing? Shout out.

Enjoy the inspiration and until next time – yours in sport.


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