Odgers Berndtson
Clipper Around The World
Whitestone International
Whitestone International
Keynote interview: Casey Wasserman, chairman, chief executive, Wasserman Media Group
Stephan Hall, Simon Cummins and Andrew Douglass
Media Panel 3
Vero’s Mike Lee shares his thoughts
Mark Blundell of MB Partners
Abi Hallworth and Lindsay Petken

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Event Updates

Meet the Sponsorship Panel

With exactly a week to go before SportsPro Live here’s a look at our Sponsorship Panel.

This Thursday: who you’ll see and what you’ll hear at SportsPro Live 2014

We're just a week away from SportsPro Live in association with Odgers Berndtson, the first conference from the team behind SportsPro magazine.

Introducing the SportsPro Live Media Panel

With SportsPro Live now just a week away, we thought it was high time to give you some more information on our Media Panel.

SportsPro Latest News

Abu Dhabi confirms new Grand Prix agreement

Abu Dhabi confirms new Grand Prix agreement

Abu Dhabi will continue to stage a Formula One race beyond 2016 after agreeing a new deal with Formula One Management.

West Coast Post: In conversation with MLS commissioner Don Garber

Don Garber has held the reins to professional soccer in the US since 1999. During a trip to Barbados last month, SportsPro caught up with Major League Soccer’s (MLS) commissioner to find out where things stand with David Beckham’s proposed Miami franchise, why Las Vegas could make a viable soccer city and whether or not MLS teams should play in National Football League (NFL) stadiums.

SportsPro TBC breakout sessions: the agency role and why real-time marketing is like jazz

Post-lunch proceedings saw delegates split into two groups for simultaneous breakout sessions, with one section returning to the main stage and another splintering off to the Lord's Media Centre.

Relive SportsPro Live 2014

Scroll through the blog feed below to relive the highlights of the last SportsPro Live

  • 6:14pm

    That brings proceedings to a close. A huge thank you to everyone that came along today for our first-ever conference. We've got tonnes of video content to follow online - keep one eye on sportspromedia.com - and even more stuff for the May edition of the print magazine. 

    Phew, that's it. SportsPro's digi team are officially done. We're off to get inside the industry. 

  • 6:10pm

    Blood was drawn on both sides of the divide and now it's time for the vote. In a nail biting vote of hands, the motion was not passed, so the world's mega events will officially not have a permanent home. 

  • 5:51pm

    Let the games begin. To finish the day, and potentially tarnish SportsPro's impeccable image, we're pitting four giants of the global sports industry against each other. It's a war of words and James Emmett, SportsPro's editor, is our warlord. The subject is simple: mega events should have permanent homes. Adam Fraser from Benchmark Sport, Vero's Mike Lee, Richard Gillis of Unofficial Partner fame and sports sponsorship's founding father, Patrick Nally, make up this battle royale. Seconds out, round one. 

  • 5:48pm

    Richard Gillis brings proceedings to a close and David Cushnan returns to sound the bell for the Great Debate. And gets the beers in... 

  • 5:45pm

    SO: Top athletes are going across the globe and if there aren't major events in Africa, they won't have time to go there very often. 

  • 5:45pm

    CS: Counterfeiting is a problem. We see a lot of counterfeiting in Africa so you don't have the revenue coming from jersey sales.

  • 5:40pm

    Quesion from the floor about the difficulty of securing sponsorship from international brands in some regions, in this case Africa. Why do these brands hold back, when there clearly have to be measurable benefits in some cases?

    LU: Brands need to be more open, but budgets are never big enough and they have to prioritise. One sponsorship does not make a platform. Also, it's important on the other side to build the value proposition; even if brands pass this time, they might do next time when their priorities shift.

  • 5:40pm

    Oliveira mentions Tom Cleverley and suddenly social media doesn't seem like such a great idea any more...

  • 5:39pm

    Light streaming a little lower through the Emirates Stadium windows as the sponsorship panel near its close...

  • 5:37pm

    Question from the floor to Sir Ben Ainslie about how to compete with the unlimited resources of Larry Ellison in the America's Cup.

    SBA: He has that advantage, but his vision is to make the Cup more accessible and make it more about the sailors.  

  • 5:35pm

    SO: As other media open up to more people, there is a greater premium on athletes and their talent. 

  • 5:34pm

    SO: Have to strike a balance between being too accessible, losing mystique of celebrity, and using it to open up personality. 

  • 5:33pm

    SO: Some players have more followers on social media than their clubs. So how do they mobilise that?

  • 5:30pm

    SBA: Last America's Cup was a huge step forward in terms of accessibility thanks to investment in production.

  • 5:28pm

    SBA says he doesn't understand Twitter, before adding, somewhat unconvincingly, "I follow it, it's interesting." He's not interested in gambling either. Anyway, "back to more serious topics"... 

  • 5:25pm

    CS: We tried Twitter as a promotional platform but it didn't really work for us. Instagram is getting more important. Facebook is very important. We could never get any traction through Twitter. But social platforms are hugely important in creating engagement for sponsorship - we're working on building the biggest football club in the world, Karma United.

  • 5:25pm

    Stadil's back! "Maybe someone here can tell me why because I don't know," he says. "A while ago we sponsored Aston Villa even when they were placed sixth or seventh. We also sponsored Hearts and Dundee United. This is a pretty massive marketing push for a brand our size. At the same time we launched our brand in the UK and nothing happened. This is a scary example of when sponsorship doesn't work." Anyone?

  • 5:22pm

    LU: Sponsorship is seen as a necessary evil because the brands are going to push and interfere. But the right sponsorships are going to enhance the experience. If a brand is going to take you into a new market, that is value brought. 

  • 5:21pm

    LU: The more educated brand and the more educated property actually see that 1+1 makes 3. The best partnerships are formed by sitting down together. It's a bit like a marriage - it has to evolve and you have to grow together. But I think we will see some change. There is a lot of content and there are a lot of brand dollars. We won't see it in this cycle, we'll see it five years from now.

  • 5:19pm

    SH: Narrative around sponsorship needs to change, as do controls. All of the Olympic partners helped to make the London 2012 Games a success, building a marketing message organisers didn't have the budget to achieve on their own. IOC has not recognised this and this is reflected in some of the struggles brands are having in Rio. 

  • 5:15pm

    SH: The brand was important, even more so from reputational repair, but well over half of the effort put in was internally facing. Driving business performance by being rewarded by the value and tangible benefits of the Games. The incremental business value was also hugely significant - over UK£100 million on record. 

  • 5:14pm

    Gillis: Lloyds' sponsorship of London 2012, signed in 2007, virtually traced the financial crisis. How did you cope with that challenge?

    SH: We really found ourselves in the middle of a storm. I honestly thought the CEO would be in touch saying 'we can't do this, this won't work for us.' But Lloyds never lost faith that this would outlast the negativity of the crisis. We had a strategy, we leveraged it well and we didn't over-activate.

  • 5:13pm

    CS: When we're measuring the value of sponsorship, we start with PR value. Then we look at engagement - how many people are in the Afghanistan fan club online, how many are making their own Karma pages. Then we look at direct sales and related sales. 

  • 5:11pm

    CS: Company Karma is about doing well, but doing good. Once you have the money flowing through the body of the company, it's about what you do with it. We try to get involved in projects that make a difference. What we've done in Afghanistan has helped people but it's also given us millions of pounds in PR.

  • 5:09pm

    CS: It's not just about branding opportunities, you have to find brands whose values correlate with yours. Only then can you really activiate effectively. We have deals with the Afghanistan national soccer team, Sierra Leone. Soon we will confirm with FC St Pauli in Germany.

  • 5:07pm

    CS: It's approaching a time when making clothing stock is accessible to almost everyone, even if the entry barrier is higher for footwear. Nike and Adidas are also operating at a much higher level. So we have to try to do something else. In terms of our sponsorship strategy, we're targeting teams that have a lot of depth. 

  • 5:05pm

    SO: David Beckham is a one-off, like Michael Jordan or LeBron, but there has to be something from the approach that you can apply to many athletes.

  • 5:03pm

    SO: We've seen a lot of diversification in recent years in athletes' activities. We've been working on David Beckham's retirement for several years; not planning when it would happen, but having ideas like the equity stake in a team in mind.

  • 5:01pm

    RG: Simon Oliveira, you're well known for your work with David Beckham. What are the challenges in building an athlete brand?

    SO: I'm surprised how often PR around a player is an afterthought. An individual's brand has to be effective, it has to work for them. 

  • 5:00pm

    SBA: My past has been as a single-handed sailor but your interests grow. I'm not kidding myself that I'm a financial or management guru - it's about having the right people around you.

  • 4:58pm

    Stadil opens by pointing out that he might be "convicted of national treason" for sitting next to Sir Ben. Apparently Ainslie beat a Danish sailor - can't remember his name - at the 2012 Olympics. He does, though, add that Sir Ben "is a nice man." Top bloke.

  • 4:58pm

    SBA: We have a group of private investors who will take a greater stake in the team once an America's Cup challenge is launched, then we have a comercial structure ready. A sustainability partner would be a key part of that.  

  • 4:53pm

    SBA: I spoke to Team Oracle boss Russell Coutts a few months ago about starting a British team in the America's Cup, and he said, "That's funny, I was just about to talk to you about coming and working for us." I joined their team for the America's Cup win and we got a clean boat we could use to build our own sponsorship portfolio and start a team.

  • 4:51pm

    The Best-dressed Panel of the Day Award has to go to this one. Christian Stadil looking, perhaps unsurprisingly for a man in the business of selling clothes, dashing in round specs, knitted jumper, turn-up chinos and tan-coloured boots. Photo to follow.

  • 4:49pm

    David Cushnan back on stage - briefly - to introduce a major session on sponsorship.

    Richard Gillis will be moderating, speaking to Christian Stadil of Hummel, Sally Hancock, Simon Oliveira of Doyen Global, who has represented David Beckham and two-time SportsPro Most Marketable Athlete Neymar. Sailing great turned team owner Sir Ben Ainslie rounds out the panel in style. 

  • 4:44pm

    The Data and Measurement panel has come to an end, as has David Cushnan's marathon of panel moderating. Next up, we're all back in the main hall for one final push as our Sponsorship panel brings the formalities to a close. It promises to be a banger.

  • 4:37pm

    James Emmett brings discussions to a close. Richard Gillis will be along in a moment to lead a session on sponsorship - Sir Ben Ainslie among those joining him on another heavyweight panel as the two conference rooms at the Emirates Stadium converge again. Then the gloves come off - figuratively, it's quite warm today in north London - in the inaugural SportsPro Great Debate.

  • 4:35pm

    Cushnan has opened the discussion out to the floor. Can data have a negative impact if small clubs are given too much?

    MR: "It's fundamentally nonsense to give clubs a slide deck that's 1000 decks to show how hard you've worked. We limit presentations to 20 decks maximum."

  • 4:32pm

    From the floor: Phil Sherwood, former head of volunteering for Locog, remembers that during his tour of Afghanistan in his army career, the most powerful tool he had in creating peace in unfamiliar communities was a football. 

  • 4:30pm

    CG: Three Ps: Participation will always be important. Practitioning and how we develop coaches is a hugely powerful tool, they can become great role models. One area we need to work harder on is policy and realising the effect that sport can have. 

  • 4:27pm

    SB: 50 per cent of our stakeholders are women. We need to make sure they are properly represented.

  • 4:25pm

    SH: The media has a key role to play in this discussion. In this country we don't always provide role models to inspire young people to get involved and I think we are making some progress there through start-ups like Sported. I'm hopeful but there's a lot of work to do. 

  • 4:24pm

    DC: Is data just for elite clubs?

    CH: "Raw data is near-useless for clubs. Clubs need specialists to tailor it. Usually the federation or club has a target and then you need to tailor the raw data to its needs, and then commercialise it." 

  • 4:24pm

    Oops. A momentary PA system malfunction sends a clang of techno-fuzz across the room, interrupting Keller's point. If the delegates weren't awake, they are now.

  • 4:23pm

    JE: Where do you see sport's role in society going in three years, and then in ten years?

    NK: How we communicate to young people in the next few generations is going to be crucial. Society has a job to communicate to young people in a very different way, and sport is a great way of doing that.

  • 4:21pm

    CG: We need to immerse corporates in their communities; maybe the communities they grew up in. Much of the way we do business has become depersonalised. It's not about guilt, it's about inspiration.

  • 4:20pm

    SB, on the subject of inspiring action: It's not only about elite sport and putting on a great performance on the track or the field. You can set a great example by that and you hope it will produce a multiplying effect.

  • 4:19pm

    CG: If you go ten stops on the Jubilee Line from Westminster to the Olympic Stadium at Stratford, life expectancy drops ten years. That means we are failing. We need to plug the resources available in the corporate world through sport into the places where it can make a difference. 

  • 4:18pm

    Good stuff from Infostada, and Cushnan gets things going, firing a question at Repucom's Ben Pincus. What exactly do you do? 

    BP: "We basically collect the data and exposure of all the brands involved in global sports events. We also have a market research side. Obviously a lot of properties would like to know how to grow their fanbase, so we do a lot around fan segmentation data." 

  • 4:18pm

    NK: Sport has a role to play as it has a wider reach and it has an amplification effect.

  • 4:16pm

    NK: The public sector cannot afford to lead on social innovation; the business sector cannot sell to a society that is as fragmented as it is at the moment.

  • 4:14pm

    NK: Business' job is to make money. If you take money from profit, people who want to make profit will be cynical. But the way forward is to show shared value, to show that not all types of profit are equal. Suddenly, we're asking a question for business, rather than creating a problem.

  • 4:12pm

    SH: Lloyds had wanted to leverage its sponsorship at the level of communities. It wasn't a forced fit as we have a branch on every high street. What it meant was the most satisfying activities around the sponsorship were things like the Torch Relay. The next step from there is more conscientious sponsorship.

  • 4:10pm

    CG: I rarely get cynical but I do get sceptical, particularly about who is in the room running the sport, but sport is very good at cutting through that scepticism.

  • 4:06pm

    JE: Is there a sense of cynicism within a federation about this kind of CSR activity?

    SB: Yes and no. Athletics is traditionally an elite sport and that reaction is very common. But today we are reaching people in very different ways, which means you have to relate stories to them on their terms. 

  • 4:05pm

    NK: Some of the exponential growth we've seen in recent years is coming from the fact that the corporate world wants to be seen differently.

  • 4:01pm

    SH: We need to use the equity of major events to encourage more women and young girls to participate in sport and to understand that this is possible. 

  • 3:59pm

    CG: A few weeks ago I was at a conference in Amsterdam where they were asking if sport was a panacea, and I think the answer is yes. 

  • 3:58pm

    SH: There's a direct correlation between playing sport and doing well later in life.

  • 3:57pm

    And we're back underway at Highbury. I mean, in the Highbury Suite. We've got Guido Bouw from Infostrada Sports, Christian Holzer, the COO at Impire, Repucom's head of business development Ben Pincus, and Matt Rogan, one of the co-founders of Two Circles. A short presentation from Infostrada before, for the final time, David Cushnan moderates.

  • 3:55pm

    Back from coffee and in the Royal Oak Suite, James Emmett is leading a panel on Sport and Society in the Royal Oak Suite.

    Joining him are Nick Keller, the founder of Beyond Sport; Sally Hancock, chair of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation; Sylvia Barlag of the IAAF; and Chris Grant, the chief executive of Sported.

    Here we go.

  • 3:35pm

    Cushnan wraps things up on the broadcast technology panel, and it's been a belter. We've got a quick break before our new panel, featuring Infostrada, Impire, Repucom and Two Circles, sit down to discuss data and measurement. You don't want to miss this one. It's set to kick off at 15:40

  • 3:24pm

    Question from the audience, and it's from a man from an 'emerging market', and that's Kenya.

    Actually it's more of a statement: If you're an international federation, shouldn't you be seen to be embracing everybody, not worrying about what's a mature market or not?

  • 3:24pm

    DC: It seems everyone is pumping out a lot more content, but are they getting the data to back that up?

    RS: "I think those are coming, but I don't think those tools are there yet." 

  • 3:21pm

    DN: "We view Twitter as a brand new communications platform. It's the main news site I use. I'm a huge NHL fan and there's no other site that would give me information faster. So there's been a huge shift in the way we consume content."

  • 3:18pm

    Kefuffle at the end of the panel as everyone jumps in to agree with Datnow, who's talking about cultural celebrations. It all calms down pretty quickly. No security needed.

  • 3:15pm

    Datnow wants some of the MINT action. He thinks Mexico is very interesting. Bids put in and bids withdrawn from that territory. He's mentioning lots of Mexican names and they're difficult to hear (well, they're difficult to spell).

    There is significant money being put behind serious infrastructure in Mexico. It's an exciting region to watch, and one that Casey Wasserman highlighted earlier in the day.

  • 3:13pm

    Still going strong, Cushnan throws it out to the audience. Alas, broadcast technology fans are a shy bunch and no hands are raised. Fear not, De Marchis jumps at the chance to impress with another gizmo - this time it's Google's Chromecast. Enthralling stuff from Deltatre's one-stop technology shop. 

  • 3:13pm

    Glasgow 2014 chief Grevemberg fields a question from hosting ringmaster Eoin Connolly. Still with us?

  • 3:11pm

    First mention for 'forget about the BRICs, it's all about the MINTs' and that's from Nick Varley. 

  • 3:10pm

    RS, formerly of Manchester City, on the topic of United's relatively late dive into social media: "Manchester United have the global brand, so they can afford to take thier time, and I think that's sensible. In China it was fascinating; they waited and then executed. And it worked." 

  • 3:06pm

    Cushnan's up again, and this time it's personal. Who's impressing you - teams, brands, people?

    WR: "NBA clearly do lead the way, in social media I think they do a great job. Cross promotion is a big thing for them, and I think BBC also do it very well. Another good example is Lewis Hamilton's website, it's a really great platform. Loads of dogs." 

  • 3:01pm

    AW: One of the things that Teddy Forstmann taught me when he bought IMG was that it's a darned sight better to own something than to work for it.

    IPL was a perfect storm. The infrastructure existed, the audience existed and there was a great big gap in the market. We just had to work out the best way to garner that demand. In India the average television household has one television and the lady of the house controls the remote, so we tried to create a product that would appeal to a new, broader audience. We had to get the ladies engaged and we did that by bringing in the Bollywood aspects and the entertainment elements. 

    Those sorts of perfect storms don't often exist. I can see one brewing in Indonesia with Indonesian football, but there aren't so many IPLs sitting there waiting to happen; it took me 21 years to come up with that!

  • 2:59pm

    CDM: "If you have child who is under 20, you'll find they'll never watch TV continuously. In some sports, such as football, I think we'll need to be more creative."

  • 2:59pm

    ML: The Qatar 2022 bid was an honest campaign, a sophisticated campaign; we played by the rules and confronted the issues that we were asked to address. In Qatar's case, and we bid on the dates that were required by Fifa, it's obviously created a lot of debate in the aftermath.

  • 2:53pm

    CDM: "I see a future in using big data to start telling the story in sports." 

    RS: "Yes, but some sports are better suited to second screen experiences than others. In football, you've got 20 minutes of dead time, that's the time you want to be targeting for second screening." 

  • 2:52pm

    Connolly: What do you do in a bid when the story runs away from you?

    NV: We had an example of that with Fukushima and Tokyo 2020. Clearly it wasn't Tokyo 2020's problem, but you just have to work with a stakeholder, the government in this instance, and urge them to make sure it's addressed clearly and there are no grey areas.

  • 2:51pm

    Omnigon's DN: "Our perspective is mobile first. The reality is audiences on mobile are greater than on traditional platforms or even on tablet. Responsiveness when it comes to smartphones is the main thing, but it's expensive." 

  • 2:49pm

    ML: "So much of what happens in a bid depends on the campaign. It's easy to say we're sure that things would turn out the way they did in hindsight."

    He would say that, wouldn't he? 

    "Tokyo was the cleverest campaign." Lee, who worked on Doha's recent Olympic bid, praises his rival Varley, who worked on the communications strategy for the winning Tokyo 2020 bid.

  • 2:46pm

    Grevemberg in on the act: Glasgow was a cause-related bid. It was going to use the Commonwealth Games in a regenerative way. Time, place and purpose really does matter in terms of a bid.

  • 2:45pm

    Cushnan, who looks like setting the world record for most panels hosted at a sports industry conference, gets things underway. Where are we on the smartphone journey?

    CDM: "Today everyone wants to be a broadcaster: the players, the teams. We are a still producing things for broadcasters, but I think potentially that could change." 

    A bearded De Marchis begins wielding his latest piece of broadcast technology to the crowd, much to the delight of Cushnan. A secruity joke from the host is met with a mixed response. 

  • 2:43pm

    Wildblood: You have to be absolutely sure of the existing infrastructure in new markets.


    He would know - he only went and played the IPL in existing infrastucture in India.

  • 2:41pm

    Connolly throws a curve ball first up, turning the panel on its head and asking if the rush of new hosts and new markets is over. Is it all about old hosts in old markets?

    Answers from Datnow and Lee so far: It's actually a bit of both. Sports bodies have got a choice.

  • 2:38pm

    New markets, new money, new methods - but how far is too far?

    Eoin Connolly is joined by Glasgow 2014 CEO David Grevemberg, Seven46 founder and bidding comms expert Nick Varley, Vero Communications chairman Mike Lee, The Sports Consultancy MD Robert Datnow, and IMG EVP and the commercial smarts behind the formation of the IPL Andrew Wildblood.

  • 2:37pm

    Ian from SportsPro here. We've splintered from the main room to discuss broadcast technology over in the Highbury Suite. Joining our host, David Cushnan, is Carlo De Marchis, the chief product officer at Deltatre, Omnigon's David Nugent, Russell Stopford of Perform, and Wyndham Richardson, the co-founder of Pulse Innovations. 

  • 2:11pm

    You may have noticed we're not live blogging this one. Check back in ten minutes or so for a doubleheader of New Hosts, New Markets and Broadcast Technology.

  • 2:03pm

    Welcome back. To shake off that post-lunch sluggishness SportsPro’s David Cushnan and James Emmett will grill three sports industry experts on some of the key sports industry stories of the moment in a quick-fire round of questioning. In the firing line are Martyn Ziegler, highly respected chief reporter of Press Association Sport and SportsPro columnist; Patrick Nally, the man dubbed the founding father of international sports sponsorship; and Henry Chappell, the founder of leading sports PR agency Pitch.

  • 12:42pm

    Some fascinating insights there from our Media panel. Peter Hutton has wrapped things up and the delegates have immediately swarmed the sandwiches. After lunch, at 2pm, we'll be back on the main stage for a Quick-Fire Questions session with Henry Chappell, the founder of Pitch, Martin Ziegler of Press Association Sport, and Patrick Nally, the founding father of international sports sponsorship. SportsPro's David Cushnan will be pulling the strings once again. 

    That's half-time. Join us again in just over an hour. 

  • 12:37pm

    Iain Edmondson from London and Patners asks a question: what's the role for out of venue events that don't have a paid audience in the future?

    ALERT: The question provokes disagreement.

    DH: I think that cycling is very precarious. Unless you're a cyclist, it's impossible to understand. I took a four minute clip of the four top cycling experts on a broadcast of the Tour de France a few years ago. Don't use jargon. Don't assume that the audience knows what you're talking about. Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups. People start sniggering at this clip after 30 seconds because it's jargon and you don't know what they're talking about. History is littered with sports that cease to exist as an emotional draw for the audience. You have to try to ignite the passion of a 15 year old kid.

    JTA: With cycling, we're addressing a core audience and in Europe the sport is understood and well-watched. It's one of our highest ratings winners. I would not agree with what DH says on cycling.

  • 12:35pm

    PH: Let's open it out to the audience, I'm sure there are some questions out there...

    Nigel Curry: "David, given your history in cricket, and Barney at Sky Sports, is there a future for test cricket? What needs to happen in production terms?"

    BF: "I think British test cricket is very healthy. Our highest ever ratings in cricket was England winning the 20-20. In India, test match attendances are down - I think globally it's at the very heart of the game, and in this territory it remains very strong." 

    DH: "LA is hardly a cricket hotbed. But as long as there's cricket, I think there will always be test cricket." 

  • 12:26pm

    BF: Producers and directors have largely stayed with Sky and that's because we've got an atmosphere of perpetual improvement. We give our football producers pre-season games because when it gets to the real stuff, you have to be flying.

    Just this week I presented awards to two of our senior guys who've been with us for 25 years. And they're both still pushing themselves to improve.

    DH: Our companies are run and managed not by bean counters or executives, but by producers. The likes of me, Barney, and Vic Wakeling became accidental executives. Our hearts and our minds are in the trucks and galleries but we found ourselves almost by accident in the corner office. Of course we care about the bottom line, but the quality of the production is paramount. I'm very proud that 21st Century Fox is driven by producers.

    An absolute rallying cry for producers and creative talent there from the inimitable David Hill. 

  • 12:26pm

    PH: Will the BBC be able to support sports, as a free-to-air broadcaster, given the pressure on licence fees? 

    DG: "When you're in a multi-genre environment it's a real challenge. I think they'll also potentially struggle in the area of expertise in the coverage sport. If your broadcast teams are covering enough of one specific sport, they'll not be really top notch." 

    PH: Rugby league on the Sky Sports is a good example of broadcast expertise, how does the BBC counter that? 

    DG: "Sometimes the answer would be to employ a specialist who covers it on a regular basis. I know that's something that might not go down too well in Salford." 

  • 12:23pm

    DH: Football is a working man's game. It's an industrial game. Cricket is an agricultural game. The fact it was able to organise itself into a shorter, Twenty20 format was remarkable, but it has to happen across other sports. Sport has to be aware of the myriad other distractions in modern life. Unless you adapt to what the population wants, it could be curtains for you.

  • 12:18pm

    BF: English Netball - we looked at a lot of smaller, nascent sports post-Olympics and if they're willing to work with a broadcaster, amend their scehdules, be as cooperative as possible, there are some sensible organisations out there who can build a sustainable model and get air time. There's air time there, not rights fees. Production costs are big enough for the broadcasters.

  • 12:16pm

    PH: David, I'm sure you'd like to be able to build TV infrastructure into sports events more?

    DG: "There are a lot of middle-ranked sports which have a real opportunity to cultivate relationships with broadcasters. An Olympic sport for instance will face all sorts of issues. It's great for them every four years when they're under the IOC umbrella. But can we make it a more consistent sports between Games?"

    In jumps an animated David Hill - clapping, rocking back in his chair, he's clearly enjoying himself. He's riled up by the topic of making Olympic sports a more consistent product. And the audience is laughing - perhaps some on-stage showmanship is just the wake up the room needed. 

  • 12:11pm

    PH: The idea of owning sports events, as well as broadcasting them....

    JTA: Eurosport Events has been a great way to develop synergies inside the group, focusing mainly on motorsports. We've been developing the the WTCC for ten years. Sebastian Loeb has joined from WRC. It's a great product now. We wouldn't have been in such a strong position to build that product if we hadn't been able to showcase ourselves to so many millions of homes in the past. This is linked to owning content and sports rights costs. We give a very large distribution and very large public to our content. It's a great way to build events. We've done it with the ERC as well.

    In summary: JTA believes the pan-European model, and gigantic audience of Eurosport is a great structure for events or series to use in order to grow. 

  • 12:08pm

    PH: Is there a permanent battle between media companies and sports organsiations? 

    DH: "I thought the coverage of the marathon at the London 2012 Games was one of the most beautiful pieces of broadcasting I've seen. Looking at this stadium I'd say it's probably around 40,000 to 50,000 seats, but in the future teams will struggle to get people away from their TV because the TV experience will be so compelling."

    [Editorial note: the capacity here at the Emirates is at least 60,000]

  • 12:06pm

    BF: As you gaze into the next 25 years the key principle remains and that is telling the fundamental story of the game. But we're in an insatiable age and people no longer praise you for a good production, they always want more. It's like the app store where companies push updates to me before I even know I need them. 

  • 12:04pm

    JTA: "I think live sport is not only the best live experience on sports broadcasting, but in broadcast as a whole. It's just wonderful entertainment. For us, it's just trying to find - in a very French fashion - a captivating experience. We are just trying to get the best experience on television. Fans will want to come to a more individualised experience." 

  • 12:03pm

    PH: More playercams in the future?

    DG: It's a lovely thing to have but it's not the fundamental thing. If you can't see where you're going to pass the ball to you're missing the point. You have to enhance the audience's appreciation of the sport they're watching. The gimmicks will have their place and there'll always be a certain demand for them.

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