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George Orwell once wrote that sport is “war minus the shooting”.

But that was in December 1945, just after the end of the second world war.

The use of sport as a political tool has evolved considerably since then.

Prof Simon Chadwick has studied the way football, F1 etc have been used as part of ’soft’ power plays by nations attempting to grow their ‘brand’ and influence.

While countries like China and Qatar, as well as clubs like PSG and Man City, spring to mind the UK and the US are also adept at utilising their stars on the field to enhance their influence overseas

Prof Simon Chadwick

TOPICS

1:45 What is soft power? The good cop v bad cop analogy

3:20 How is this used in soft power? The British example

“it is not unusual for the Dept of Trade and Industry to take people from Premier Lcub clubs on business trips”

4:05 The Qatar example

5:45 The concept of Nation Brand. The use of airlines in sponsorship is widespread

8:50 What PSG’s shirt tells us about soft power

PSG ‘overpaid’ for Neymar and it was soft power statement

11:50 “You cannot compete effectively without a social and digital presence”

13:12 The Qatari content around their brand message and how Saudi Arabia has responded

14:55 Is the China strategy - is that soft power in the same way?

18:23 The genesis of China’s sporting strategy, the reporting problems

21:10 Has China’s first five-year plan really achieved its aims

24:54 The two part of the strategy - investing in bring players/coaches and clubs overseas

Why the Chinese government were upset with the initial gold rush around Chinese football

28.32 The link between the Chinese economy and football. Especially given that Trump is spoiling for a trade war with China

OLHA COMO FOI A APRESENTAÇÃO DO NEYMAR AOS TORCEDORES DO PSG !! - YouTube

31:45 The more considered approach to China rather than the boom or bust

30:50 What are the markers of improvement for Chinese football?

33:54 F1 - the 70’s heyday and the “Eastward pivot”.

37:35 Why Vietnam is the epitome of the change in F1

38:20 How far F1 were behind and how they have caught up

40:52 Is F1 ‘Out of Time’?

42:03 What about the Olympics? Does recent history suggest we need state involvement to bid to host an event

Calgarians vote No on 2026 Winter Olympics bid - YouTube

45:24 Could we see a shift of football club currently owned by Americans, moving into Asian hands

47:51 Fan disenchantment and the dangers of disengagement from British-owned clubs because they just can’t compete in modern sport

49:20 The need for a ‘climate change’ summit in football

50:43 The problem of vested interests

51:23 The British government and EU have done nothing to regulate their Leagues. Hence the need for a football parliament.

LINKS

Prof Simon Chadwick Profile | Twitter | LinkedIn

Video lecture Sport in the 21st century

Articles on TheConversation.com 

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Match of the Day is a British institution.

The BBC’s Saturday night football show started in 1964 and still sets the weekly agenda for the sport that dominates the UK and the League that enthralls the world.

So it is incredible to think that it took until 2007 to hear the voice of a female commentator.

In this podcast, Jacqui Oatley MBE talks to me about the attention she received on the back of that appearance. We also discussed the state of play for women sports broadcasters and journalists in the UK. What is changing, what is not and, as usual, how social media has changed the landscape.

As you’ll hear, everyone, including me, has a lot to learn.


TOPICS

2:30 Looking back on the publicity when she became the first female commentator on Match of the Day

“I didn’t want to be a celebrity, I did not want to be a token. I did not want to be different from any of the men”

6:52 Being a role model for aspiring women reporters

8:18 Her advice to young female sports reporters

10:45 The effect of social media to sports reporters, especially female ones

Jacqui Oatley: women's football is generations away from equality, but it's getting there - YouTube

14:30 Taking on the ‘trolls’ - how, when and why

18:10 How social media has exposed more sexism

21:31 The effect of motherhood on her career

25:45 The pressure to change yourself

28:45 Why cricket appears more accepting to women broadcasters

33.35 The recent appointment of the first female chair of the Football Writers’ Association

35:20 The Women in Football movement

Jacqui Oatley on Women's Football and Women in Football - YouTube

39:25 Subtle sexism v overt sexism in the workplace - which is worse

41:30 The problem of women not having the confidence to apply

42:50 The heroics of Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, athlete, administrator and journalist.

47:30 Women’s Super League: the progress from 200 in the stands to 2,500 inside 10 years

“When Faye White was little, she did not know there was an England team.”

Cricket mourns death of Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint the WG Grace of women's game - YouTube

53:30 The next step: Operation Bums-On-Seats

54:10 Finding a market for women’s football in the UK

59:40 The opportunity in the Women’s World Cup this year

“If England were to get to the final, I think the game would explode in this country.”

1:02:34 What is needed in the future? What will show the development of women sports broadcasters/journalists is on the right track

LINKS

Jacqui Oatley Twitter | Instagram | Wikipedia

Women in Football Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

PS. Apologies to all, especially Jacqui, for the error in research I made in this podcast. I have an excuse but it is exactly that, an excuse and not a reason. That is not good enough. I left it in as lesson to myself to improve in this area. In the future, I will look to get an interview with a representative of Women in Football to expand my knowledge. It is too close to do one back-to-back. However I will ask. Apologies again, Rich.









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Mr Richard Clarke by Rich Clarke, Mrrichardclarke - 2M ago

The emerging football leagues around the world might consider the J.League as a model.

Since starting in 1993, it has formed the foundation upon which Japanese club teams have become a force in the AFC Champions League and their national side regulars in the latter stages of major international tournaments. They even co-hosted the World Cup in 2002.

Now, the J.League is looking to expand overseas using digital as a driver.

Kei Koyama

Kei Koyama, from their international development department, spoke to me about the past, present and future, including the J.League furoshiki (translated as 'wrapping cloth'). This is a digital asset hub which allows them to create better content quickly and efficiently.

We also discuss the competition’s very different demographics and the strategic importance of the 10-year broadcasting deal with DAZN.


TOPICS

Bringing top talent in Asia to J.League

Why focus on Thailand

How the league helps the clubs sign players. “It’s a bridge between the club and the league”

The impact of the major players coming in Iniesta, Podolski, Torres

The DAZN deal and its strategic role "DAZN is a partner to develop the League together"

The split between free-to-air and DAZN

The ‘furoshiki’ digital asset hub/ consolidating assets in the club and opening up.

Learning for the NBA and other leagues over the use of highlights

The importance of the relationship with the clubs

Why the 2011 earthquake was behind the international expansion strategy

Using tours as a tool for international expansion

The most popular European League in Japan

The possible boost of the Olympics and Rugby World Soccer

Using data from the DAZN dealing

The typical J.League experience and demographics. Has it been planned or organic

The women's league being organized differently

The importance of the national team in the growth of the league and part of being the best team in Asia

The initial vision for 100 pro clubs. How they are looking to expand the leagues

Helping J.League clubs win the AFC Champions League

Japan's general lack of interest in sport

The effect of co-hosting the World Cup in 2002

The type of sponsors attracted to League

The target of winning the World Cup by 2050

LINKS

Kei Koyama LinkedIN
J.League announces its ‘furoshiki’

DAZN, Iniesta and providing a pathway: How J.League is widening its net


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Cricket, lovely cricket.

England's national sport has been under pressure for many years, with the four-day County Championship widely perceived as the domestic competition in the most precarious position.

However, there has been genuine hope in the blossoming audience for a relatively basic video streaming service synced with the traditional radio commentary.

Ben Warren, Somerset CCC

It is a League-Wide scheme developed by the England and Wales Cricket Board but Somerset CCC have been at the forefront. Digital marketing & communications executive Ben Warren runs the service for the club.

Like many county devotees, he is fiercely protective of a game that is overlooked but far from unloved.

With a controversial new franchise-based tournament starting next season and threatening to take attention from the longer-form game, the pressure is on.

But can digital media really help save county cricket?


TOPICS

1:48 Content strategy in a nutshell and how it has evolved

3:50 Live streams of the four-day games - the proposition and the surprising popularity

6:14 The quality of our video product "far away from a TV product"

9:37 500,000 views in 35 days last season and 100,000 for the first three days in a pre-season friendly

13:34 Whether the new digital product is a lifeline for county cricket?

16:01 Early thoughts on monetisation

18:31 "The product is not a level where we would expect a fee"

22:21 Would sponsorship be possible when your product is using BBC commentary teams

24:43 Tapping into the passion of the Indian subcontinent

27:01 Engagement patterns and utilising wifi at the ground

29:35 The different cadence of county cricket. The value in being 'quality background noise'

30:31 Fulfilling the expectations of the crowd for a live experience

31:32 The digital team at Somerset and covering away games

32:19 The in-play clips of boundaries, milestones and wickets. The popularity (around 10m view last year) and the system that creates them.

33:45 Has the new digital content really brought in new spectators

36:01 Don't put paid-for walls around a new product

37:10 What will be the effect of the Hundred?

41:24 Taking lessons from the franchise model in cricket and starting from scratch

44:43 "IPL is the perfect scenario for content"

46:20 The trick of getting fans engaged in new stories

47:50 Who creates great content in county cricket

49:34 Somerset's developments in the upcoming season

LINKS

Ben Warren Twitter | LinkedIn

Somerset CCC Web | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Craig Overton takes incredible hat-trick against Nottinghamshire - YouTube

Highlights package created from live stream footage.


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In terms of digital and social media, Major League Baseball is perhaps the most enigmatic sport in the world.

We are constantly told that America’s pastime is past its prime. It is an ‘aging sport’ that is struggling to hold on to the coat-tails of the major players, NBA and NFL whilst coming under increasing pressure from up-and-coming sports like soccer.

Click for Julian’s LinkedIn proflle

However, MLB Advanced Media and incarnations were at the very forefront of innovation long before other sports started to plough resources into digital and continue to be a leading light.

The Colorado Rockies are not the most fashionable team in baseball but they have built a reputation for quirky interaction and content with personality.

Julian Valentin leads the strategy at Coors Field. With the 2019 baseball season fast approaching we discussed the past, present and future for the Rockies and how the hell his team covers 162 regular seasons games!

TOPICS

3:00 The Rockies content strategy in a nutshell

3.50 The targeting and segmenting

5:00 Coping with that huge number of games

7:10 Turning a ‘chip on the shoulder’ into a positive

8:30 Creating content around that

9.40 Interacting with the fans and, when necessary, standing your ground

10.51 What tells them that fans want their attention

11.16 Buy-in from the top on reacting to fans

13:02 Creating continuity of voice

15:07 How they staff a game

17:07 The advantage of having a dual role – social media and player relations

19:40 The ideas that have worked… and the ones that have failed.

20:52 The KPIs they look to

22:31 Why “be interesting” is not enough as content strategy. It must be attached to a Rockies feel

24:02 The analytics tools he uses

25:10 The relationship between MLB and the clubs

26:25 The legacy of MLB Advanced Media and its digital/ social media innovation

28:44 MLB’s rules changes and the Facebook deal

31:34 Publications strategy, is it worth it?

33:45 The value of very long-form content

37:45 Why still images can be > video

39:45 The move towards monetisation

42: 34 Cultivating creativity

44:16 Does being an ex-pro athlete help his role?

46:37 The content emphasis placed on the home opener

48:12 His favourite MLB content teams

50:01 Looking outside of sport for inspiration

52:13 The difference in tone and voice for college teams vs the pro teams

53.03 Where to take sports digital and sports content

54.15 Will there be an EVP or SVP of content

LINKS

Julian Valentin on Twitter, LinkedIN, Wikipedia

Other stories on Julian

Front Office Sports podcast

DSM Sports podcast

9News feature

Julian wins the National College Soccer championship with Wake Forest, receiving a nasty kick in the face for his troubles

Colorado Rockies on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

More Sports Content Strategy
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Alex Fynn

The Sunday Times described Alex Fynn as the ‘Spiritual Godfather of the Premier League’. He is uncomfortable with the label but, in many ways, it is an apt description. The marketer and author also had an influence on the inception of the Champions League and he is critical how both conceptions have developed.

Now, Fynn is outlining his proposal for a fully-fledged European League. The idea has been talked about a lot in recent months and, if you believe the revelations in Der Speigel last year, the Continent’s elite clubs are trying to hammer out a format right now. It is fraught with difficulties but, more importantly, is it dangerous to the future of the game?

TOPICS

How far away is the Premier League from the vision he put forward in his part of the original blueprint

Why he is unhappy to be called the Spiritual Godfather of the Premier League

His original structure

Basing the Premier League on ‘events’ not run-of-the-mill games

The importance of smaller divisions creating interest

Why there had to be free-to-air games

Why the recommendations that made the money were taken and the ones that grew the game were ignored

The relatively modest size of the first Sky deal

The ways Sky have changed the game

The three key drivers for satellite TV

The value of the television spectacular

Have we reached a saturation point?

Why Alex feels big clubs deserve more of the TV revenue

The crucial differences between the German and Premier League

Limiting squad numbers and guaranteeing English members

The struggle to appoint a CEO for the Premier League

Is there a Premier League bubble?

His original thoughts on a European Super League

Why “they were wrong then and they are wrong now”

The problems with group stages

Why it is time for a European League

How a new European League might work and the issues surrounding it

The stumbling block of reducing the size of the Premier League

Finding enough room in the schedule

‘FFP has failed and it is never going to work’

The possibility of fans turning against football

LINKS

Alex Fynn on Twitter

Alex’s talk on his European League proposal in London on February 28

Alex Fynn’s books on Amazon

Article: The birth of the Champions League

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Increasingly, football clubs come in groups. The nature of ownership has changed much since the patronage of British industrialists started ‘works teams’ at their factories. In fact, the only real remnants are some of the nicknames.

These days, wealthy owners have multiple teams in different leagues on different continents. Sometimes there is an obvious vision, sometimes not.

US-based soccer investor Jordan Gardner is taking a different approach. He has already taken stakes in clubs in the UK and Ireland but his next venture will be different. He is leading a consortium that hopes to take over a top-flight Danish club and change their business model. A major part of that is developing talented players from the overseas, primarily the fertile development area of the US, then selling them on to major clubs.

It is a twist on an established approach and the among the first to link the North American game and Europe in such a direct way.

TOPICS

How he got started

The logic behind his approach

“You can't run a sports club, just like a business. But you shouldn't run it just like a passion project where there is no sound business acumen to it.”

His experiences at Dundalk and Swansea. Assessing the change in the business model after relegation

If you have chosen a league, how do you choose a club?

Selling the vision to the community and supporters

Is Europe a real pull given the insular nature of the other main US sports?

The MLS system v the European system for youth development

The emphasis on getting the environment right

The advantage of not having to sell to Barcelona at the moment

Moving beyond Moneyball

The comparisons with Man City’s global approach

“We're looking at players that are very young, coming in on mostly free transfers a. and a small enough scale where we can kind of get players, I don't want to say that are under the radar, but a different profiles player than, let's say, a large European club is looking at.”

Why the UK is not the most attractive league for this idea

Why “clubs don’t really try to achieve a sustainable model”

“I think the problem with the way so much of the revenue is skewed towards television, it does not incentivise the club's to innovate when it comes to other revenue streams”

The importance of communicating the philosophy

“A lot of clubs and owners aren't out there in terms of communicating exactly what the philosophy is, in terms of, ‘are we spending money? and ‘what are we spending money on?’

Why he is already looking at his next club

His thoughts on his next target country

LINKS

Jordan Gardner on Twitter, LinkedIn

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