The benefits of digital for rights holders are three-fold. Firstly, it provides greater marketing capacity; secondly, it provides more accurate fan data and thirdly, it creates a range of new digital assets. Combining strong digital strategies with fan data analysis ensures rights holders can grow revenue and enhance capacity. Examples from global sponsorship best practice are telling in this regard.

Clever content combined with fan data ensured the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #WeAreWinter campaign trended worldwide during the Sochi Olympics. This is a good example of a rights holder proving the value and scale of its property.  The IRFU hopes to emulate this with #ShoulderToShoulder during the Rugby World Cup.

Sponsors are forging tri-partite agreements between themselves, rights holders and media owners to close the gap between physical and virtual attendance. The NFL’s partnership with Twitter and the NBA’s League Pass are two high profile examples of rights holders unlocking the potential of digital assets. The launch of GAAGO as a digital platform for delivering games in other markets represents a local success. GAAGO will expand its offering to over 100 programmes in 2015.

Implication

Rights holders cannot depend solely on sponsors to enhance the profile of their properties. Successful rights holders will invest in fan analysis and savvy digital strategies to maximise the appeal and value of their assets. With access to content remaining a key asset, rights holders will go to greater lengths to highlight the value of their properties in 2015.