Leaders Week insights start in earnest

The London Leaders’ Week kicks off at Stamford Bridge this week, bringing together some of the biggest names around the sports industry for a week of talks and panels and a chance to find out what’s going on in the world of sport.

Our very own Dan McLaren and Niall Coen, CEO of Snack Media, will be around the venue on Wednesday and Thursday, but before the main event kicks off we’ve already we’ve heard some interesting snippets from new parts of the event at BT Tower and Cake’s HQ.

One thing we heard already on Monday was about Manchester United’s use of data. Phil Lynch from the Premier League club was present at the discussion on Monday evening at the BT Tower in London, and gave an interesting insight into how they use the data they glean from their fanbase.


Taking information about which players fans in each region want to see the most, and engage with the most is valuable for the club to understand which players they should make most visible in which region. Lynch said that United have big players like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku who play well all over the world – hardly surprising info, of course – but that there are players who will do better in other regions, and when the club understands that, they’ll do more of it.

That ties in with what we learned just a few months ago when Javier Hernandez moved from Bayer Leverkusen to West Ham United during the summer. According to data from Result Sports, West Ham gained followers on Facebook and Twitter, mostly from Central and North America, whilst Leverkusen actually lost followers, presumably as a result.

Another hot topic in the sports industry these days is Esports. Every week there seems to be a new growth story within the sector, and soon it will be time to define it properly.

For one thing, there is no sole Esport – rather it’s an umbrella term for a lot of different games which require different skills and appeal to different audiences – and there is a growing acceptance that this is a more diverse place than perhaps some thought of it as before.

Esports is many things to many people, just as sport is many things to many people. It’s worth remembering we’re talking about a broad church in a big place.

The rise of Esports is quite a clear way in which we can see the digital world affecting a change within the sporting one, but there are clearly a multitude of other ways in which that is happening. One is down to the fact that people do seem to have shorter attention spans due to having more content competing for their time and more time spent on social media, where shorter video clips are much easier to digest.

Thanks to that, it seems that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be looking to make sure that this need is met, promoting faster sports – or faster versions of certain sports – as well as promoting more women’s sports, too.

That trend probably won’t slow down anytime soon, as life’s pace keeps getting faster. It’s great to know that sports – and events like the Olympic Games – can adapt and not get left behind.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 831 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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