Innovation in Digital Sport – Meet the Speakers: Chris Paget

This is our series of interviews with the speakers at the upcoming DigitalSport.co event: Innovation in Digital Sport. We talk presentations and the wider topic around the talks to whet the appetite for the event later this month.

Previous instalments: Fiona Green, Michael Broughton, Alex Trickett

It is now less than a week until the next Digital Sport event: the innovation in digital sport conference at Hotel Football in Manchester, right next to Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.

The latest instalment of our Meet the Speakers series features Chris Paget, an associate in the Sports Team at Sheridans, a private practice sports and entertainment law firm based in the West End of London. His talk will introduce much of the day’s proceedings, underpinning most of what’s to come.

“The talk itself will be an overview of the changing commercial landscape and the opportunities and challenges that the sport industry faces during this so-called ‘digital transition/migration’,” he tells me. “The title is ‘the opportunities and challenges for the sports industry in the digital age’.”

The whole event centres around innovation, so what better way to kick off proceedings than by framing the question itself. What is the current landscape? What are the challenges it presents for the future? And what’s the best way to tackle them? The rest of the presentations will touch on all of the main issues, but Paget will provide the context.

Fan engagement, data, mobile, “how technology is driving the sports industry”, and the “ever-changing media rights landscape” are some of the topics of Paget’s talk, he says, and it’s clear that these issues will be discussed from various angles at Hotel Football, with each speaker shedding light from a different point of view. It would be impossible to talk about innovation without touching on at least one of these areas, but there’s a wider context to each of them.

For the rights holders, consultants, brands, agencies and social media-types present, a look at the legal issues usually brings a different context and a new way of thinking to the table.

“I aim to demystify the notion of the digital disruption of the sports industry and consider the opportunities and challenges for sports stakeholders in the context of driving fan engagement in the digital age. But I’d also like to touch on some of the legal issues and wider industry trends in the context of sport’s transition to a more digitally centric model.”

In the last few years, technology hasn’t just been a factor in the growth of sport in digital, but the advancements that we have seen play an active role in how the landscape as formed. We’ve seen the rise of fan broadcasting and live streaming, as well as a thriving podcast sector, too. All of these things are possible because of powerful smartphones: specialist equipment isn’t needed for live broadcasting, nor is it necessary to record, produce, upload and even listen to podcasts, for example.

“There can be no doubt that shift in consumption habits of fans is disrupting the previously established sports model, both from a commercial, media rights and engagement perspective. And my talk will try to draw out some of the key themes which should serve as a gateway to some of the topics that are being discussed throughout the day.”

One of the benefits of having a sports lawyer discuss the underpinning themes of the vast range of issues that face the future of digital in sport is getting a different angle than most of us are used to. But the same surely applies in the opposite direction. And Paget suggests as much I ask him what he likes about Digital Sport events.

“The Digital Sport network brings together people from throughout the sport industry with fresh and innovative approaches and outlooks,” he says, “It always provides for lively and thought-provoking debates on a wide range of topics.”

Make sure you grab your ticket below:

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 157 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and a regular contributor to Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan91

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