It was a great and memorable SPORTO 2015 Conference, not only because we won the Media award together with RTL television, but also due to the fact that SPORTO hosted many inspiring speakers. It was great to listen and communicate with these sports marketing stars, and learn something new.
We are proud of our SPORTO Media award that we won together with RTL Television for the 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship project. Nino Štambuk, RTL Television sport editor, said: “It is great pleasure to receive this award. We worked hard together with Overtime sports marketing team, and the results are here! Part of Overtime team is at this moment in Zagreb at Cedevita Basketball Club Euroleague game in the Dražen Petrović hall which is sold out for the second time in 6 days. I believe we will win this award again next year, because we will broadcast the 2016 European Handball Championship in Poland.”
These are 10 things we learned at SPORTO conference this year (many are from Torsten Wirwas’ presentation). Enjoy!
1. EVEN THE WORST CASE CAN BECOME BEST CASE
I really liked the Derrick Rose example that was presented by Torsten Wirwas. Darren signed a contract with Chicago Bulls and Adidas, but after signing the contract, he had a horrible knee injury and he missed over 200 games.
Adidas marketing team made a great turnover, from the worst case to the best case. In which way? They created an emotional and inspirational video and campaign, #theReturn.
2. MAKE FANS A PART OF THE TEAM
Many clubs say that they want to make their fans part of their franchise, but it is not the case every time. New Jersey Devils made this statement real, they included fans into the club’s story with “Mission control”.
Fans are working at the club 12 hours every day, and they are running club’s social media and communication. Great example for clubs with a low budget, who need content, engagement and better connection with their fans.
3. FIRE UP THE CONVERSATION WITH REAL TIME CONTENT
Real time communication is very important, especially for virality. People love real time content that you cannot see during TV broadcast, or something that adds value immediately after it happens.
First example comes from Brad Keselowski, a NASCAR driver, who tweeted during a race. It became viral, because no one else can see something like that from his perspective. On the other hand, this was very dangerous…
Another example comes from the 2014 World Cup, when Luis Suarez had his ‘show’. Many brands were ready for it, and they tried to be the first who reacted to Suarez’s biting of his opponent.
When the power went out in the Superdome during the third quarter, leaving thousands of spectators in the dark for a half hour, Oreo saw an opportunity. They tweeted, “Power Out? No Problem.” Attached was a photo of a lone Oreo cookie waiting in the dark, with accompanying text that read, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Suddenly, all those people waiting for the power to be restored and the game to start over saw a funny reminder that Oreo is the cookie for all occasions. The tweet didn’t tell anyone to go buy Oreos. It didn’t include any call to action, actually. It didn’t need to.
This real time marketing is the only reason why we now also talk about these brands. But for this type of marketing, you usually need to have a big team of people.
4. BOOST THE SURPRISE FACTOR
One of the best examples from SPORTO conference is ‘The surprise factor’ example. Kendrick Lamar performed a surprise concert on the back of a moving truck. This is the tweet in which he announced it to the world…
It’s not a sports marketing example? True. But, you can do something similar with your club or national team. It’s really cool, right?
5. MAXIMISE THE OPPORTUNITY
When the Rugby federation decided to remove sponsors logo on the shirts from the World cup, O2, the main sponsor of England Rugby Federation made a smart move.
The challenge they faced was to stay relevant even when they lose the logo from the shirt. They changed their communication, and tried to communicate through the rose, the symbol of England Rugby Federation (which will be on the shirt during games).
They turned around the sponsorship rules because the Rose is not an ad, but after this campaign, people who saw the Rose, thought about O2. This is a great win for O2, especially because the World Cup was in England.
They also made a great online campaign, with hashtag #WearTheRose, and an interactive landing page where they showed the world how people love and support England Rugby Team.
6. USE NEW COMMUNICATION CHANNELS / BEHIND THE SCENE RULES
During the presentation, Alex Willis from Wimbledon said that they used new communication channels and that this was very important for their global growth.
At Wimbledon, they even used Weibo (China), Periscope and Snapchat. An interesting fact is that out of the TOP 6 videos from Wimbledon, 5 of them are ‘behind the scene’ videos. This exclusive content is key today and will be in the future.
At this year’s Wimbledon, they used paid promotion for the first time. This is probably a trend that all clubs, federations and events will follow in the future.
7. PR IS VERY IMPORTANT
During the panel with Ranko Vučinić (KHL Medveščak) and Aleksandra Radujko (Novak Đoković PR team), we learned that PR is very important for professional teams and individual athletes. Of course, it helps a lot if you have a great team or result as individual player to begin with.
Ranko said that KHL Medveščak started as a pure PR project. The results came after they were already a brand in the region. This is one of the main reasons why they became a part of KHL league. It’s a great story that shows us the importance of good PR.
“It doesn’t matter if you work with a team or an indivudual athlete – the principles are the same, but the strategies are different,” Aleksandra Radujko said. She also noted that, as a PR team, you always have to be in contact with your client. It can be very dangerous if the media gets a hold of any information before you do.
8. BE INNOVATIVE
We saw a great example from Kornspitz, an Austrian company that supported the Austrian Olympic committee. They didn’t have a big budget, but they had a successful campaign. How? They were innovative.
They drove a truck through Austria, and gave people interesting content. They had photo shooting platform where people took photos with a smile to support their team. In a campaign called “Smile like a winner” they collected over 90.000 smiles (photos) during the campaign.
The Austrians also made an “Austrian house” with their own bakery inside the Olympic village. People who worked in the Olympic village created ‘behind the scene’ content for all the fans who were watching the Olympic games from Austria.
9. HAVE A CLEAR VISION
Great example of a clear vision is coming from Swatch beach volleyball major series. They started with around 500 people in the stadium and now, this is an event that has great support and a crowd of 7.000 people. People camp in front of stadium to get inside.
Why? They have a great story, content and entertainment for fans. They were visionaries, even when others saw the competition as a failure with only 500 people in the stands. Now, they hold this competition in four cities around the world, and they are growing.
10. WORK WITH THE BEST
Alex Willis from Wimbledon said: “We hire good people, agencies can do it on a better level!”, and this is the recipe of their success.
There was also one interesting quote about social media today: “It is like teen sex, everyone wants to do it, but nobody knows how.” Make sure anyone you hire knows what they’re doing because if they are not professionals, they might cause more damage than good.
If you need professionals, you can send us an e-mail, and ask if you have questions.
PHOTO: SPORTO Conference