Digital Sport Morning Briefing: Thursday 7th December

Welcome to our new daily series where I put together and share a list of articles I’ve been reading. Providing a filter for you so you can save time and get an overview of what’s happening in the world of ‘digital sport’. Get in touch with me at @danielmclaren if you want to get in touch or see any articles/videos/tweets that catch your eye for me to include in tomorrow’s roundup. 


Why It’s Time To Abandon “Digital First” (

If you’ve not come across Jess’ blog yet then you really should do. She highlights the latest great activations in social media and has led to her rise to leading the Digital & Social Strategy at the New York Yankees. In this particular post she shares her thoughts on why it’s time to look past being ‘digital first’ and instead look to be ‘brand first’. Always lots to make you think and some great examples are always included for you to gain context.

Snapchat Releases New Report on the Popularity of the App Among Sports Fans (

Snap have been very active around sports, especially the Olympics with NBC and work with teams on helping them become natives on the app. This is obviously part of their drive to ensure they don’t become irrelevant to sports (and others) by commissioning research and trying not to get lost in the battle with Instagram. The new design to tempt more people in will be a pivotal moment, where they will either lose out by moving too far away from why people love the app, or it will help them gain lots of new users and appease the shareholders. We shall see.

The FA’s Russell James talks digital transformation, Cognizant, and growing grassroots soccer (

Interesting interview by the good people at SportsPro with The FA. the organisation has been pretty quiet after a number of new senior hires during 2017 have bedded in. This interview with Russell, who is the Digital Engagement Director, concentrates on grassroots sport and also growing the women’s game following their partnership announcement with tech company Cognizant in November to orchestrate a ‘digital transformation’ of its various activities.

Tennis champion Andy Murray backs two tech startups on Seedrs (

Something that is big in the US but still in its infancy here in the UK is sports stars using their wealth to invest in the technology space. Andy Murray has been involved in this space for a while now and obviously has a good team around him who find the opportunities. Hopefully we’ll see more of this in the coming years with all the money in the Premier League.

Netflix rejects reports of sports-rights market move (

There has been so much said about OTT services such as Netflix getting involved in the live sports space, but so far only Amazon have made any moves. The idea of Netflix doing so is a far fetched one in my opinion as it doesn’t fit with how people use the platform. Their link with Juventus for s docu-series is a different matter and I can see more of the programme money going in that direction.

Onefootball has quietly raised a Series C round and added Adidas as an investor (

The Berlin based football app with 25m fans around the world has gone about raising more funding, whilst keeping it under the radar. adidas getting involved makes sense from a geographical and business perspective and it will be interesting to see how they activate that investment. I do love the description linked to Onefootball as “Facebook for football without the social element”- so basically nothing like Facebook then!

My 25 tips from 25 years in media – the Guardian’s commercial chief (

Nothing to do with sport but I really enjoyed reading this. Some great nuggets in there such as; One of the leadership values of the Royal Navy is “cheerfulness” because, they say, “no-one follows a pessimist” and The more senior you are, the earlier you should leave the pub after work. That’s what friends are for.” Great tips!



Juventus launch teaser for a new Christmas extravaganza on social media

How social and OTT platforms are changing sports consumption.

Why incorporating technology into new stadia is vital for sport’s future

Twitter’s year in review: still sporting platform that knows its niche

Dynamo Kiev to host Esports tournament with Man City, Roma and Valencia teams


About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 820 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

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