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Burnley changes gather Pace under new ownership

Sport has always faced change. However, we are now seeing a pressure to accelerate that change, and much of that is coming from new owners.

New owners that view sport differently, and as such, empower their organisations to implement technology and strategy wherever possible to enhance performance, both on and off the field.

Photo Source: Burnley FC
Since their acquisition by ALK Capital in December 2020, led by Chairman Alan Pace, the Premier League’s perennial underdogs, Burnley Football Club, are starting to become a wonderful example of this.

Embracing Data and Technology 
Firstly, the club has embraced data and technology, becoming the first Premier League team to use AiSCOUT within their talent Identification strategy. 
The AI and data analytics capabilities of the AiSCOUT's app allows videos to be critiqued and for scouts to analyse and filter footage on players that have scored particularly well.
After more than 12,000 aspiring footballers across 125 different countries completed virtual trials, The Clarets announced this week they've now welcomed the first players to their academy.
Generating Economies of Scale
The other significant announcement to come from the Lancashire club in the past month relates to Burnley’s newly formed strategic partnerships – their own take on the increasingly popular multi-club model.
The advantage of multi-club models, as explained by KPMG’s Football Benchmark report, ‘Multi Club Ownership: Is it the Future of Football?’ is that you can realise a competitive advantage when it comes to on-field performance and player development. 
Interestingly, instead of taking an international approach (such as City Football Group or Pacific Media Group), Burnley has focused on enhancing their footprint to each corner of the British Isles with clubs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. 
The premise, however, remains the same: support development of young players and coaches while expanding Burnley’s network for talent identification.
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Photo Source: GIPHY
During the iOS14 announcement, Apple pledged to improve users' privacy by limiting apps' access to Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). This change was postponed until early 2021 to let developers migrate to more privacy-friendly alternatives.

Last month, iOS14.5 was finally released, and Facebook (among others) was not happy. The social media giant opposed such privacy measures, arguing that small businesses need to access user data for targeted advertising. Statistics from Verizon subsidiary Flurry Analytics show after iOS 14.5 was released, only 11-12% of all consumers and 4% of American consumers have allowed Facebook to track them, in what has been described as a "nightmare" for Facebook.

Ultimately, the proposed tracking changes show the importance of building a robust first party data proposition to aid targeting, engagement and commercialisation of audiences.
Johan Junker, CEO of Antourage, commented, "This move from Apple is definitely a big opportunity for sports with communities, and also a tell on what they are getting ready for themselves at Apple... dominance, especially in the mixed reality space, the meta verse. Short term: kill Facebook, long term win in the meta verse."
Here's a few of the top articles that I've come across this week. I hope you enjoy!
Photo Source: Guardian
Governance and Finance
  • A public vote to create a €1.2m cricket ground has taken Barcelona's authorities by surprise, but the sport has become increasingly popular in the Catalan city
  • The NBA is seeking to further its ambitions on the African continent by creating a formal business unit, NBA Africa
  • European football clubs are on course to miss out on roughly €9bn of revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Uefa, which pointed to a “new financial reality” for the sport.
  • Spotify owner Daniel Ek has revealed he made a bid to buy Arsenal this week that was rejected by the Kroenke family, who stated they "don't need the money".
Photo Source: EFL
Sponsorship and Marketing
  • EA Sports pays tribute to late football prodigy Kiyan Prince by turning him into a playable character in Fifa 21 with all proceeds raised will go directly to the Kiyan Prince Foundation
  • Raheem Sterling has used mentoring charity ReachOut UK to help launch his new partnership with New Balance after ending his association with Nike. 
  • Gazprom has extended its sponsorship of the Uefa Champions League and expanded its association with European football’s governing body to include national team competition rights.
  • Heineken has launched a new global campaign as part of its sponsorship of UEFA EURO2020. The 'Enjoy the Rivalry' campaign aims to encourage fans to watch alongside their rivals.
Photo Source: Investopedia
Broadcast and Media
  • Facebook is building out a sports pay-per-view platform. After launching its paid online events platform last year, Facebook has announced plans to double down — aggressively expanding into lower-tier sports leagues and teams.
  • Netflix is looking to hire an executive to oversee an expansion into videogames, a sign it is stepping up its efforts to grow beyond traditional filmed entertainment, according to people familiar with the situation.
  • UK free-to-air broadcasters the BBC and ITV have reached an agreement in principle with Six Nations Rugby on a four-year renewal of their domestic media rights to the competition.
  • The Hundred is partnering with BBC Music to bring live music back to the UK. A local BBC Music Introducing DJ will also be embedded into each of the eight teams. Each DJ will curate a unique soundtrack that is reflective of their city and the people, players and artists within it.
Photo Source: PGA Tour
  • WHOOP is creating new types of athlete-fan connections by publishing athlete biometrics, including during a PGA Tour broadcast.
  • FC Barcelona legends Andrés Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué are embracing cryptocurrency with their business ventures. 
  • DataPOWA has been acquired by IXUP. The ASX tech firm is expected to benefit from the commercialisation of DataPOWA’s POWA index, as well as important product integration and new product development opportunities.
  • Watch: GSVS Talks - Buying In: NFTs and the Future of Fandom (View Here)
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 Dan Tunna, a communications and marketing consultant working with clients such as The FA, KIN Partners, and Joymo.
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As part of Loughborough University's commitment to advancing race equality and being an anti-racist community, we are pleased to launch Voices of Diversity: BAME Speaker Series.

Voices of Diversity will consist of a variety of events and initiatives which highlight the experiences, impact and achievements of BAME individuals, whilst providing an opportunity to hear their thoughts on how to transform the University's culture for the better.

Following the tragic murder of George Floyd and the international Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, we know there is much work to be done to recognise and address the realities of systemic racism.

The University is working on a number of anti-racism initiatives, including: its membership of the Race Equality Charter; undertaking surveys and focus groups with staff and students to understand better how racism shapes work and study; improving the reporting of racism and hate incidents (and taking disciplinary action where racist behaviour has occurred), and more recently, the BAME Staff Network has developed ten Guiding Principles for Race Equality Work.

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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