Techie is the new Geek at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona. The two trending Sports Techie topics at GSFB 2012 were Social Media and the Olympics Games, with a third, Techie, the other focus of this blog. The following are sports business experts: Seb Coe, Mark Tatum and Eric Cantona. Many Americans and Internationals might know one of these names; however, I would be impressed if you knew who all three people are. Thing is, each of these people is a Sports Techie.
Before I tell you who they are and what they spoke about I need to elaborate a bit more about why Techie is the new Geek at the #GSFB. Coming into this event as an official blogger gives you automatic Klout with the Speakers, Delegates and Hosts. Because of that fact, people wanted to hear what I had to say about sports technology, and also Sports Techie, LLC.
What I have noticed from afar and now in person is the absence of technology when compared to science and now, art, with the sports business affairs of corporations and education. Even our own President Obama does the same thing.
Look, technology is not your enemy any more than science is your friend. Let us all face the facts that our youth do not seem to be gravitating in masses to the arts and science educational path for a spell now so our governments and businesses see an opportunity to help us all get out of that stigma. My gut tells me that as more and more push science, tech further becomes the kissing cousin nobody wants to publically embrace. I call that the “Terminator or T2-Factor.” Many people see a not so distant future where T2 is part of our world. I would rather visual a “Real Steel” future where robots battle it out in the ring, at least until they become self-aware, which gets back to T2.
When I watch Sports Science on ESPN, mostly what I see is a show full of sports technology. Sure the sports science is awesome but really, without all the Techie bells and whistles, who is watching that show? When I listened to the panelists at the GSFB, technology was not really expanded on like the new science and art branding campaigns that are aimed towards electrifying our global youth. Are mobile phones science or art? They are technology and along with tablets are connecting everything and everyone at an unseen before pace.
Hopefully you are now getting my drift; Techie is indeed the new Geek. Just like technology, the word Techie is ostracized. I see the over saturated term Geek forced into sentences when Techie is simply more appropriate and an upgrade. On my flight home from Paris to Seattle on Air France, the Wall Street Journal used the word Techie. Imagine how I felt as THE Sports Techie for the past two years as I have built up an online community based upon this cool word? About 12 feet tall like a robot boxer! One thing for sure, the GSF in Barcelona gets Techie because that is why I was invited. I would rather be a Techie than a Geek, and a Sports Techie on top of that, no offense Geeks. Think it through and hopefully, so too will you.
If you had a chance to ask Eric Cantona, Director of Soccer, New York Cosmos, if he is a Sports Techie, my educated guess now is that he would not even say no, he would gesture and leave the room. Arrogant, ignorant or is he just clairvoyant? This guy is considered the Michael Jordan of French soccer. What he is though is just a guy who I actually grew to like. Eric would not field any questions from the Media, Delegates or his adoring social media fans, the only speaker with these restrictions. Normally I would brush that off and say this is SoMe suicide, however, the more I listened to him speak with accompanying videos, the more I realized that he is Sports Techie, and Eric does not even know it.
Moderator Stefano Bernabino, Chief Editor, EuroSport, and Havas VP and Chief Creative Officer, Jacques Seguela, joined Eric for a “Conversation.” Eric is a former Manchester United Captain and an accomplished actor. He has created sponsorship videos for decades and he is comfortable with self-parody. Being able to laugh at yourself is a good trait and for that I respect Eric.
In a Bic Recycle campaign, his 1995 ads are integrated into his 2010 adverts to create a compelling video that wants to help out our Mother Earth as all Sports Techie advocates wish for. In the 1995 Bic commercial series, I noticed an electronic organizer that indicated beginnings of his being Sports Techie. Eric’s commercials with Nike Football are so Sports Techie you need to search them out on YouTube for some viewings.
I found this Lipton commercial featuring Eric to be Sports Techie slapstick with the way he boots the golf ball into the cup with the help of film.
In the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, I later had a friendly chat with Stefano about sports technology. Call it an elevator pitch in terms of time. I probably did well because what ultimately came out is that there is no Sports Technology magazine in the US, Europe or Asia, that has captured the market … yet. First thing out of his mouth was, “A sports tech magazine would be nice for sponsors.” Bingo, Stefano gets the word Techie now too.
I listened to Seb Coe, Chairman, London 2012, talk about the Olympic Games and all I heard was to check out the incredible sports technology. No doubt, these Games will be a sports tech breakout opportunity beginning with the 21st century venues. There are, “No White Elephants,” said Coe. These will be connected stadiums.
In another Program, the panel discussed the future of the Olympics and World Cup venues and the trend towards smaller sized and temporary green stadiums that can be deconstructed and recycled while offering solar powered roofs, removable pitches, and multi sport opportunities. Downloads and bar codes will be used as promotional tools.
The GSFB showed a world class video production of the upcoming London Games. The new Aquatics center caught my eye with its Techie look and feel. There will be a giant screen for fans to be able to watch video outside the Olympic venues. The Paralympics facilities used for adaptive sports are cutting edge. The Games will finish off with 10 days of Track & Field in the new Olympic Center. Unquestionably, security and transportation are huge Techie factors and paying for this will be expensive. The metrics of 200 languages is one component amongst many in terms of software localization issues. All this will be surrounded by an epic opening and closing ceremony. Seb is what I call an Ultra Sports Techie.
Then there was Mark Tatum, the NBA Executive VP of Global Marketing Partnerships who is a Sports Techie sportsbiz master. His impressive GSFB panel talked about – The new Frontier: globalization of brand sponsors. When you stop to consider that according to Mark, “the NBA has 345 of 450 players on Twitter,” social media is a major factor with the NBA’s Digital Global plans. The seeds of Jeremy Lin and Linsanity are rooted in the investments made by the NBA in overseas satellite offices, NBATV offering On-Demand for the millions of online Chinese, and the Internet. All this groundwork laid by the NBA plus Yao Ming’s popularity helped Lin become the webs first Social Media superstar.
I shared with Mark that in 2002 I went to a Starbuck’s business conference with speakers Howard Shutlz, Ervin “Magic” Johnson, and NBA Commissioner, Howard Stern. No one had asked the commish a question yet and since I had already met Magic, (my favorite player in any sport) several times in the past, my question to Mr. Stern was the following – How will the Internet effect the NBA? Of course, the Commish took the session over and excitedly talked for 20 minutes about it while comparing the Internet to Cable TV in terms of significant NBA sports business opportunities. Mark agreed and said, “The NBA has been investing in China for 20 years.” This was the result of long term strategy with no shortcuts, he said. Mark truly understands Sports Techie Biz.
It feels like FIFA is up against a firewall with gambling. From what I can tell, they are wanting to create a “Task Force” to better handle this ongoing “Big Mission” of $2 billion spent over the past 10 years by mafia and commerce on betting. FIFA invests 75% of their revenue into Football development. The English National football program are under going a radical upgrade via a coaching education program aimed at identifying and training players much like FC Barcelona and their “La Masia,” youth soccer training system. In my opinion, sports technology will aid both the FIFA betting and football development priorities.
Kevin Roberts, Editorial Director, SportsBusiness, was an outstanding Moderator for: TV vs. Web. This hot button topic is core to panelist companies like Youtube, Eurosport, Group L’Equipe, and the Spanish Media Group, in addition to all of us fans.
Without a doubt, the Networking & Workshop: Sports, social media and the GSFB SoMe Trophy insights: How to measure engagement not just “likes,” was excellent. Jez Jowett and Chris Rapaport, both with Havas Sports & Entertainment, offered data mining looks as to the criteria used for selecting the trophies. They shared the reasons the UFC won the first SoMe trophy via their algorithm built around Twitter, Facebook and Twitter engagement. Response time of four hours and a ‘Like to Comment’ formula was used over a month’s timeframe icon. Is it odd then that Rio 2016 scored better than the LA Lakers did? Location based apps were discussed. I recommended Get Glue, Google+ and Linkedin as solid additions to their SM algorithm next year. If you want to monetize sportsbiz, “micropayments,” may be in your future. Their last slide about a $1 million dollar blogger made sense.
Not enough lines and words to extreme express my gratitude to Havas, their Staff, Partners, and the good People of Barcelona, for the wonderful opportunity and help with being an official blogger at this year’s GSFB 2012. Muchas gracias!
Think Globally, Act Locally
I will see ya when I see ya, Sports Techie
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