Tag Archives: sport

Fortnightly web reading list

Here are some of the interesting articles I’ve read over the last fortnight:
The Rouble. Making Bitcoin seem stable since October 2014.
The Rouble. Making Bitcoin seem stable since October 2014.

Everything You Create Is a Product – I really liked this article, which reinforces the importance of first impressions, even for employees who turn up at the same office every day.

Inside RadioShack’s Slow-Motion Collapse – Bloomberg Business – A good, in-depth article on the demise of RadioShack. Hindsight is such a wonderful tool in business – but what would you have done differently?

Bitcoin Price – It’s been an interesting week for Bitcoin. As one customer remarked, “If you think Bitcoin is volatile, look at the Rubble as well”. Point taken. Here are various well written articles on Bitcoin including This Bitcoin Price Chart Shows What’s Blocking Faster Adoption – NASDAQ.com.

Continue reading Fortnightly web reading list

Reading tab list for the week

Netflix share price - first 3 weeks of 2015. Break open the champagne as thousands cut their [TV] cables
Netflix share price – first 3 weeks of 2015. Break open the champagne as thousands cut their [TV] cables
Here are the interesting web articles I’ve read over the last couple of weeks:
Can I Stream.It? – Almost the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) of legal streaming sites.
BBC News – Windows 10 to get ‘holographic’ headset and Cortana – Windows 10 looks great and this is one of the best descriptions of forthcoming Microsoft products (excluding Office, Sharepoint, development tools…).
Davos 2015: The university of the future – Some good thoughts on the future of universities, even if it’s a somewhat biased article.
10 Innovation-Killing Phrases That CIOs Should Refute – A great resource to dip into when necessary.
BBC News – Netflix shares jump 12% on growing global membership – Glad I bought some shares six months ago. Seriously though, Netflix has become synonymous with legal movie streaming.

Continue reading Reading tab list for the week

Cyber athletes see it coming

Nothing on TV tonight? Watch Twitch instead like millions of others
Nothing on TV tonight? Watch Twitch instead like millions of others

There’s a new shake up happening in the sports industry at the moment, and in one of the main organiser’s words, traditional sports “Can’t see if coming”.

Last week BBC radio produced a great programme called “The Rise of the Cyber Athletes” – it’s one of those radio programmes where they place a camera in the studio which kind of converts it into a standard TV programme…

The audience for watching cyber athletes compete in international electronic games tournaments is growing very quickly. And that audience is bringing considerable revenues and investment.

Cyber athletes have sports nutritionists, sports psychologists, training camps, rigorous training regimes – often up to 16 hours a day, and attract large audiences to live events.

Continue reading Cyber athletes see it coming

How the NBA and McLaren are leading technology innovation

Darren Roos gave the keynote speech
Darren Roos gave the keynote speech

Customers often ask my team how we stay up to date with the latest innovations across industries. One way is to attend industry events outside of your own.

Today we went to Leaders Meet Innovation – an event for sports organisations hosted by SAP and the NBA at the BAFTA in London. We were invited to the event because we produce several sports websites.

The event itself was extremely well organised. Most of the top brands you can think of in sport were there, and SAP – the main sponsor, gave a really good presentation on why sports is important to them, especially as a case study to other industries. They were showcasing their nba.com/stats products at the event and during some their presentations. Continue reading How the NBA and McLaren are leading technology innovation

My Favourite Gadgets, Books, Apps and Awards in 2014

Following the annual tradition on this site for the last post of the year, here is a list of my personal favourites from the last twelve months. Continue reading My Favourite Gadgets, Books, Apps and Awards in 2014

A British review of US sports and media offerings

Possibly the easiest signup form, presented by Fox Soccer
Possibly the easiest web signup form, implemented by Fox Soccer

This week I’ve been working from our newest sales office in Atlanta, USA. It’s been a great week, and we’ve met some really interesting (and super friendly) people and companies.

During the visit, I spent some time looking at the consumer media offerings over here. The US has often been ahead of the UK market when it comes to television, but the UK leads the world in some web offerings – such as grocery shopping and BBC’s iPlayer, so I wanted to see what the US has to offer. And it’s difficult to do this from the UK because so many sites are geo-blocked. Continue reading A British review of US sports and media offerings

The cross selling and upselling business model

This is the ninth part of the series on how companies can make money from high traffic websites. In this post we’ll discuss cross-selling and upselling. As we’ll demonstrate, cross selling doesn’t need high traffic to sell more products.

At Endava we work with companies who are capturing data about their visitors and attempting to personalise the experience, usually with a goal of providing superior service, or selling more goods.

It’s all about the customer (and CRM is key)

At the heart of this solution is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM has become synonymous with large, expensive and difficult IT programmes.

Continue reading The cross selling and upselling business model

An introduction to 4K television, and why it’s more than a better picture

In the next couple of years, TV will change significantly, both from a distribution, content and rights point of view.

From the rights point of view, UK customers have until now enjoyed a single provider for all their television. This has slowly moved to multiple providers, for instance Netflix and a Sky subscription. With BT winning the Champions League rights from Sky, this leads us further down the path of more subscriptions – similar to the US television model.

Netflix stock price since broadcasting House of Cards
Netflix stock price since broadcasting House of Cards

On the content side, we’ve’ve seen new companies commission (the TV word for “fund and then produce”) new shows. The leading example here is Netflix and their House of Cards production. See the stock price chart above – House of Cards was released on Netflix in February 2013. Netflix’s share price has doubled since then, and the second series is being released on Netflix next month.

While traditional broadcasters are churning out low-quality reality TV, Netflix are hiring A-list celebrities to produce high-quality drama. Which one is likely to attract the most viewers?

For the latest new television technology, 4K, it’s the distribution method more than the screen technology that I find interesting. I’m not playing down the advanced engineering and manufacturing to get 4,000 pixels working completely separately resulting [finally] in pure black.

4K will be the first television media technology distributed over the Internet before physical media.

In the past we’we’ve used DVDs to introduce HD technology (before satellite and then digital terrestrial broadcast).

With 3D TV (I never saw the point personally and I think we’ll see 3D services being quietly shut down this year), it was available on DVD and then satellite too.

The first 4K broadcaster will be Netflix. Think about that… a seven-year old company is beating the BBC and Sky to a new consumer broadcast technology.

And the reason for this is straightforward. The infrastructure required to support 4K is already in place. 4K “only” requires a (stable)  8 Mbit Internet connection. To distribute this over satellite television would mean removing some other channels – there isn’t the remaining bandwidth to broadcast all of Sky’s existing channels and a new 4K one. This is also why so many of Sky’s SD channels seem low quality – they have been compressed to squeeze the data into the broadcast.

Digital cinemas have been using the internet to download 4K movies for some time. A 4K movie is between 90 Gb and 300 Gb. Although, a cinema can afford to take a long time to download the film if it is only allowed going to be viewed in a few days’ time. With Netflix, which is currently streaming only, you’ll need that stable 8 Mbit connection.

What does this all mean for consumers?

Two things. The first is that we are moving ever toward non-physical content: think rental, or Spotify, not buying DVDs.

The second, is if you are planning to buy a 4K TV, make sure you’ve got a decent Internet connection.

Top 5 Sponsorship Innovations

Working for IMG for a few years, I got to learn a few things about sport sponsorship. It’s one thing to put a sponsor on a t-shirt, but there are also new ways. Here are my top 5 sponsorship activations:

  1. One of my favourite sports sponsorship deals is
    Team Sky Cycling Team Photo: Mogens Engelund
    Team Sky Cycling Team Photo: Mogens Engelund

    the Sky cycling team. My assumption is that Sky didn’t own the television rights to the Olympics in 2012, plus they could see Bradley Wiggins rising through the ranks of British Cycling. This meant he could potentially win the Tour de France and if the sponsorship was activated correctly, the two brands could become synonymous. By pumping more money into the cycling team than any other team was receiving, training and winning was a little easier. Also, some consider cycling as ‘the new golf‘, with popularity steadily increasing, so Sky have capitalised on this too, with events such as Sky Ride. Even the branding and design of the Sky team wear has been carefully thought about.

  2. Deutsche Telekom sponsor Bayern Munich. The German telco also want to prove their IT capabilities, so they use their own domain (which also really helps SEO) for the Bayern Munich website: www.fcbayern.telekom.de. In digital media terms it’s not only innovative, but subtle and effective.
  3. In 2008, a computer gamer and YouTube user, Levinator25, uploaded a video to YouTube of a glitch in the game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. The video showed that if a ball landed in water in a specific place, Tiger Woods would stand on the water and still take the shot. EA responded with a video that is just brilliant, and more importantly, has been watched over 6.5 million times.
  4. Clever marketing from Morrisons for Andy Murray
    Clever marketing from Morrisons for Andy Murray

    When Andy Murray won Wimbledon, most of the UK came to a standstill. Some clever people at Morrisons had thought about this historic event a fortnight earlier when Wimbledon started, and converted the front of their Wimbledon store to read “Murriwins“. Interestingly, I think this was technically ‘ambush marketing‘, because I don’t think Morrisons was a sponsor. And Morrisons isn’t a sponsor of Wimbledon either.

  5. The last example isn’t a sports sponsorship but it’s very clever. And apparently no money changed hands either – quite what type of sponsorship this is categorised as, I have no idea! Nevertheless, for Nestle to sponsor the name of the next Android Operating System as ‘Kit Kat’ is ingenious. The Kit Kat brand can handle this – it’s a bit of fun, and the previous names of Android Operating Systems such as ‘Eclair’ and ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’. For Nestle to agree to this ‘deal’ it demonstrates how mainstream and ‘cool’ the technology has become. Did you know that Android Operating System names are in alphabetical order? This meant Kit Kat nicely slotted into place.

Sky offers sports channels for £9.99 per day without a contract

Ryder_cup

A round of applause for Sky TV this morning please.

Firstly, the financial results are impressive:

The company, which reported six-monthly pre-tax profits up 7.5% to £642m to 31 December, beat most analyst expectations, adding 132,000 broadband customers in the quarter to 31 December.

Consensus City estimates put broadband sign-up numbers at closer to 117,000. BSkyB has 4.2m broadband customers.

The number of customers taking high definition TV rose 93,000 to 4.56m of its total customer base.

A third of BSkyB customers now take a “triple play” of three services such as TV, broadband and line rental.

Revenue rose 5% to £3.5bn in the six months to the end of December, with Sky pushing its interim dividend up 20% year on year to 11p.

Average revenue per user, a key metric monitored by analysts, rose £24 year on year to £568. Churn rose slightly from 9.6% at 31 December 2011 to 10.3% at the end of last year.

Source: The Guardian

Secondly, they are taking an innovative strategy moving forward with their NOW TV product. NOW TV is a contract free, streaming version of Sky Movies. Sky has announced they will soon be adding Sky Sports to NOW TV for £9.99 per day, again contract free.

The commercial model for consumers makes this very interesting. Instead of a Sky Sports subscription with a minimum cost of £42.50, £9.99 per day looks appealing to users who only watch a handful of sports programmes per month.

Even if you throw in longer sports events such as gold events such as the Ryder Cup, NOW TV can still work out cheaper than a monthly subscription.

Consumers can watch NOW TV through a TV using You View or an Xbox 360 as long as users have an Xbox Gold subscription.

This is a courageous move from Sky. I recently moved from BT Vision to Sky because of the sports package, refusing to consider the pirate video route. Although we spend a significant amount on our monthly Sky subscription with HD and some extra channels, I still subscribe to Netflix because of the choice of box sets.

We live in interesting times on the TV front.

Photo courtesy of Brent Flanders on Flickr