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Why Michelin's marketing tactics are yet to Tyre

The Michelin Guide is one of the finest early examples of content marketing. Here's a quick story of how it came about, and how it's being applied today by sports apparel retailers.

Photo Source: Bournemouth Echo

In 1900, there were fewer than 3,000 cars on the roads of France. To increase the demand for cars and, accordingly, car tyres, tyre manufacturers and brothers Édouard and André Michelin published a guide for French motorists, the Michelin Guide.

The guide provided useful information to motorists, such as maps, tyre repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, and petrol stations throughout France. 

Over 100 years later, it’s still well-known and arguably one of the finest early examples of content marketing. 

This is because the Michelin brothers recognised there were two ways to increase sales of tyres – either increase the number of cars sold or increase the usage. As such, the guide, which later included ‘Michelin star’ restaurants, was designed to encourage motorists to make more journeys, as well as increase the demand for personal vehicles.
In the modern day, it is interesting to explore opportunities for a similar method to be embraced, particularly within a sporting context. 
Wiggle, a European sports retailer that sells cycling, running, swimming and outdoor equipment and apparel, provides a strong example. 
The company hosts a whole collection of long-distance organised cycling events, called sportives. They also describe them as a “superb way to explore a new area on your bike” thus encouraging riders to travel further afield. 
The premise is simple, the more you use your cycling equipment, the more likely you are to buy more (and better) equipment in future, and this could be applied to ample other examples too. 

Asics hosts running events and Nike's Running Club app let's you add shoes and track their mileage (so you know when it’s time to buy a fresh pair). What examples have you encountered? And where else could this be applied?

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Photo Source: GIPHY
As a solution to the pandemic, fans who aren't able to attend Euro 2020 matches are being encouraged to transfer their tickets to a “friend or family member” via Uefa's ticket app.

However, this comes with some problems... 

While users can only pay face value for the ticket through the app, there is nothing to stop the vendor from adding an additional fee through Paypal or a bank transfer. Furthermore, once purchased the buyer can move the tickets on again, claims The Guardian.

NFTs could provide a solution, though. 

While Protos has reported a 90% decrease in NFT sales, their purpose goes beyond digital artwork. NFTs can essentially represent any form of unique information, including an event ticket.

So, how does this solve the problem? 

Firstly, the blockchain provides a single source of truth for both organisers and ticket holders. As such, using NFTs can prevent scams and fake tickets. The transfer of NFTs from initial sale to any subsequent resale is recorded immutably on the blockchain, so all parties involved can easily verify the authenticity of the ticket. 

And secondly, as programmable digital assets NFTs can have built-in rules for resales, merchandise, content and royalty splits. This means that the organiser can determine profit sharing percentages for any future resales or downstream creative content on secondary markets, and reliably receive these funds knowing they are unalterable within the NFT’s coding. 

Problem solved? Let me know what you think by replying to this email.

P.S. If you'd like to learn more, check out this article by Cathy Breed, 'NFTs are ready to disrupt the ticketing world!' - it's very good.
Here's a few of the top articles that I've come across this week. I hope you enjoy!
Photo Source: The Times
Governance and Finance
Photo Source: Google
Broadcast and Media
  • Google launch Web Stories, an online tappable storybook curated with videos, GIFs and images, bringing you real-time, in-game sports highlights easily accessible from Google Search.
  • Qatar-based pay-TV network BeIN Sports has confirmed the renewal of its Middle East and North Africa broadcast partnership for the Uefa Champions League in a US$200 million a year deal for the 2021/22 to 2023/24 rights cycle.
  • Amazon Prime Video will air 302 live Ligue 1 matches per season in France after Amazon reached an agreement for a three-year deal to show top French club football.
Photo Source: Norwich City
Sponsorship and Marketing
  • Norwich City has ended its jersey partnership with gambling company BK8 after just five days, following outcry from fans about the group’s ads that feature scantily-clad young women.
  • Manchester United star Marcus Rashford is continuing his association with Nike. The deal includes a significant financial contribution towards Marcus' community efforts.
  • Did you know all five of the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. allow teams to collect fees for converting fans into sports bettors? One NFL club exec said the affiliate opportunity is worth "7 figures annually or 8 figures over the term”
Photo Source: The Times
  • Thicker lines will be built into Premier League VAR technology next season in a bid to calm fan and manager anger over fine-margin offside decisions
  • US sports analytics firm Stats Perform is up for sale, according to Sportico. Vista Equity Partners are exploring selling the business and have enlisted investment bank Evercore to oversee the process.
  • In-home boxing startup, LiteBoxer, raises $20m in funding to get its machine in front of more customers, as working out from home seems here to stay
Welcome to the the Sports Pundit Networking Series. The aim is to promote Sports Pundit readers and foster a greater community across the newsletter. For the latest edition, I caught up with Denis Green, Head of International PR at Mailman Group.
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Quick ask. It takes me hours each week to put these newsletters together so if you enjoyed this edition, it would mean a lot to me if you could share on social or forward to friends and colleagues! Thank you. 

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