We've just got time for one more question

We don’t have time for three year plans. Or for the ‘promise of digital’ to reach new audiences. Strategy schmategy.

Sports rights holders, events, teams and leagues are facing oblivion. So, what can digital do to make a signifiant financial contribution? Now. Today.

This week 100 UK governing bodies sought bail outs and direct government support.

Meanwhile, on Radio 4’s Today programme, a National League football chairman said he was thinking about streaming games, and did some maths live on air.

“We’ve lost match day hospitality, which brings in £25,000 a match. If we got 1500 people paying a tenner, that would be £15,000 a game. It’s something.”

The follow up questions didn’t get asked. Like, how much does setting up a streaming service cost? How many subscriptions are your fans already paying for? What if you build it and nobody comes? Etc.

The answer to that middle one might be as high as 17, if you’re American and a millennial.

That said, we probably haven’t added them up, according to Freeview (a bit of research that’s albeit massively biased by who commissioned it).

A new study by Freeview has shown that we’re in the dark when it comes to subscription fees. The average Brit believes they’re only spending £29 each month, when they are actually paying an average of £149.

With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, almost a quarter (22%) of the public are looking for new ways to tighten their purse strings and review their monthly outgoings.

It’s in this context that our podcast with Tom and Marcus at Fifty-Three Six is set.

I really liked their honesty, about both the power and limitations of the digital revenue question. We reference their white paper, click on the image below to have a look.

Decoding an exit press release

Exit comms is a genre all its own. This week we learnt that Qantas has dropped the Wallabies, blaming Covid’s impact on the airline category. The exit release had a drive-by hit that positioned sponsorship as a luxury player.

The airline cut 6,000 staff in June and announced in August it had suffered a UK£1.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) statutory loss in the 2020 Australian financial year, adding in a statement issued with RA that the current cash cost of its sponsorships ‘has to be zero’.

Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said: “In an environment where thousands of our people have lost jobs and thousands more are stood down while they wait for flying to restart, we can’t maintain these sponsorships in the way we have in the past.”

As luck would have it, this week’s pod conversation referenced them.

Kim Skildum Reid is a prominent sponsorship strategist based in Sydney, and she’s not a fan of how Qantas went about their work.

On the podcast, she compares them unfavourably with Air New Zealand’s approach to their All Blacks deal.

Kiwis think of Air New Zealand as like minded. They always talk like a fan. They scale things so they make wins for hundreds of people not just one or two.

Nobody in Australia thinks Qantas is like-minded. And they’re on the front of the Wallabies shirt.

Fwiw, I harbour misgivings about sponsors who aspire to talk like fans, seeing it as the road to Wackaging, where cars, banks and bottled water invade my Twitter timeline with their overly matey, first person inane #bantz.

Byron Sharp dumps on the ‘embarrassing arrogance’ of brand purpose

The How Brands Grow guru in Campaign:

There have been a few brands in the UK taking more opinionated stances on the big issues of the day such as politics or diversity. You have talked about not alienating any potential customers. Do you think these brands should remain neutral to attract the widest number of potential consumers?

If you take a political stand, there are people on both sides, so there is a real danger you and all your friends think you're on the right side of the debate, but you might alienate people. But as a professional, I'm more concerned that you are now talking about things that are just not related to your brand.

As marketers, particularly in this area of brand purpose, we are getting very arrogant. We were pretty surprised about the Brexit vote, then Trump's nomination, then Trump's election win, then Boris Johnson's landslide election, then Labour not winning the election in Australia. At a certain point you have to stop getting surprised and realise you've got something wrong.

I would love to do a survey on this actually. Ben & Jerry's is pointed out as one of the most purpose-driven brands. I would love to know how many consumers on the street have any idea about that. I think they would say: "That's the one with Cookie Dough isn't it?"