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Marketplace launch aims to widen Horizms

Digital assets company Horizm have launched Marketplace, a billion-dollar digital asset matching platform that highlights an immense opportunity to capitalise on new revenue streams. 

Photo Source: Horizm
Last week, Horizm launched Marketplace, an AI-powered platform that aggregates digital sports inventory, allowing brands to match their audience needs with the digital assets of rightsholders. To put this into layman’s terms, Horizm has essentially created a digitized matchmaking service that replicates the current purpose of an agency. 
 
For brands, the benefit is the ability to target according to criteria such as audience demographic, geographic, type of industry and budget. For rightsholders, the new platform allows them to unlock new revenues from their existing digital inventory (of which, a collective offering of over $1bn is available on the platform for brands to activate against).

So what? Well, with the traditional revenues of many sports teams hit hard by the pandemic (notwithstanding Manchester United), the opportunity for new, alternative revenue streams, presented in a user-friendly way, would appear to be well-timed. Furthermore, it also coincides with an increasing demand for greater flexibility from brands entering into partnerships with sports teams.

While Horizm’s Marketplace fails to address the more traditional sponsorship assets such as stadium naming rights or a team’s front of shirt, there is certainly momentum growing towards more greatly valuing a rightsholder’s digital assets and use of their IP (which can also be seen from other agencies – look at CSM Sport & Entertainment’s use of Greenroom Digital, for instance).   

Ultimately, the launch of Marketplace signals the huge the opportunity currently out there for rightsholders, brands, and agencies alike to capitalise on significant behavioural shifts, particularly the increased time spent watching digital video (which spiked among UK adults during the pandemic at 2.75 hours).
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK 
Photo Source: GIPHY
China is the largest esports market, with over 400 million fans and viewers, according to the most recent numbers cited by state-run news outlet the People’s Daily.

The problem is, while local and national governments had been supportive in the past of building up the games industry, competing to host tournaments and even allowing university courses in esports, new rules that took effect on the 1st of September have restricted anyone under the age of 18 to gaming only three hours per week, or one hour per day at 8pm on Fridays through Sundays.

These new restrictions appear set to deal both short- and long-term damage to the gaming industry in China, with those long-term impacts likely the most painful for professional esports, according to Al Jazeera reporter, Michael Standaert.

While the article goes onto to question the attractiveness of a professional gaming career for Chinese teenagers now, I personally think the more interesting question is, How will these regulations effect the brand value assigned to major esports franchises? I especially sympathise with those that have current sponsorships with major Chinese brands such as TCL and Xiaomi.

What do you think? Let me know by replying to this email. 
WEEKLY ROUND UP 
Here's a few of the top articles that I've come across this week... including a new section called 'Beyond Sport' that aims to focus on news items that are of interest (to me at least) but wouldn't be found in the typical sports news bubble. I hope you enjoy!
Photo Source: LaLiga
Governance and Finance
  • CVC set out their strategy behind $3.2bn investment in LaLiga with aim to bring smaller clubs up to speed.
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to launch Wolves Records - the club's own record label. 
  • The FA has announced that England will host a new international women’s soccer competition, which will kick off in February 2022. 
Photo Source: Getty Images
Broadcast and Media
  • United Rugby Championship has rolled out a global OTT service called URC TV to offer coverage of all of its 151 games. 
  • ICC.tv has partnered with Cricket Australia to broadcast their summer of cricket into emerging markets including Europe and Southeast Asia. 
  • LeBron James’ content company SpringHill is in advanced talks to secure investment from a consortium including RedBird Capital.
Photo Source: Getty Images
Sponsorship and Marketing
Photo Source: LA Clippers
Beyond Sport
PODCAST
In Episode 4 of Sports Pundit Explains… Sponsorship, Andy and Murray are joined by Craig Santicchia, Founder of Wolfpad Gaming and Co-Founder at Karta, to debunk myths around the commercial world of esports, why Gucci got involved with Fnatic, and advertising in the metaverse.
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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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