Mark Moreau, Partner
Have you really identified all your competitors?
The lines between the sports, entertainment and technology industries continue to blur and merge, and the scope of competition the sports industry faces has never been so broad. The importance of a wide analysis of your competition is vital for the future success of any sports business, as traditional rivals are no longer the only competition in town.
Recently, Adidas’ global creative director, Paul Gaudio, underlined this new reality when he stated that the company’s chief business rivals are not other sportswear firms, but Netflix and Instagram.
Despite offering completely unrelated products, Gaudio points out that Adidas, Netflix and Instagram all compete for the attention of their time-and-cash-limited target demographic market’s attention. Gaudio went further when suggesting that when this target market considers making any purchase, they have unlimited options available to them to that previous generations did not – and it’s not just shoes.
This broad ‘leisure industry’ – be it streaming films, using social media, gaming on mobiles, shopping for clothes, attending events and more – is the sports industry’s direct competition.
The ‘leisure’ pounds, euros, dollars and yen will flow to those players in the sports industry that can best harness the power of the convergence of sports, entertainment and technology.
If you build it, they will come
Technological advancements continue to revolutionise the business-to-consumer relationship, enabling companies to expand their reach from local to global. With these constant evolutions, companies must rapidly recognise the importance of adopting new avenues of purchasing to ensure they are engaging and acquiring customers.
Social media features, such as Instagram’s Shoppable posts or Pinterest’s buyable pins, have turned the process of purchasing goods online on its head by streamlining the process and allowing for direct purchases from the social media platforms themselves. We are just starting to feel the initial tremors of these features, and the aftershocks will be severe for those who are unprepared.
The sports industry must go where the market is. With global fan bases, the opportunity for revenue isn’t walking past your club shop anymore. It’s on Instagram or watching box sets on Netflix. How well positioned your business is to capture the attention of this market using technology will make or break bottom lines for the foreseeable future.
A technology-based arms race
With the pressure of competition from new industries, the sports industry must fully embrace entertainment and technology to maintain a competitive edge.
Adidas’ move to include a wide range of cultural icons – influential musicians, sports stars, designers and more – in their recent ‘Calling all Creators’ campaign demonstrates their belief that to appeal to their target market they must tap into all cultural touch points. It isn’t about just shoes anymore.
Adidas’ ‘Calling All Creators’ Campaign
British hip-hop artist Stormzy’s announcement of Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United in an Adidas-promoted video is yet another illustration of Adidas’ efforts to transform its once sports-oriented brand to a cultural brand. By engaging with influencers from outside of sport, Adidas has positioned itself as a multi-genre brand; one that is attractive and relevant to an even greater audience.
Adidas also led the pack in reinventing and innovating the footwear industry with the launch of its ‘Speedfactory’; an initiative which allows the creation of bespoke, custom shoes while also reducing Adidas’ carbon footprint; a bonus from a CSR perspective too.
These recent campaigns have proved successful from a numbers perspective, with Adidas’ share price having doubled in the past two years alone.
The technology behind such initiatives is available to all and maintaining a competitive edge in the sports industry is now a technology-based arms race. Only those with the right in-house talent will be successful in the future.
Mark Moreau has recently joined SRi as Partner and is focused on finding transformational senior executive talent that sits at the intersection of Sports, Media, Entertainment and Technology.
For a market overview of your company or for a confidential discussion, contact Mark directly by email here, on +44 (0) 7826 555 550 or on +44 (0)207 092 6963.