Fan positivity for sport behind closed doors has grown and fears over re-attendance can be quelled

Before COVID-19, the sporting world was characterised by a globalised and cyclical sporting calendar, with broadcast, commercial and matchday the three core financial pillars of its existence. While relentless, this calendar is also fragile, and the Pandemic has thrown it into disarray. With sports returning, the terrain has changed, and robust research is required to understand how. In the second part of our fan insights trilogy, we analyse sports fan perspectives to offer insights and guidance on how they expect sport to adapt, to understand how the sporting world will thrive again.

Fans are open to watching sport behind closed doors, but they want it to be accessible

Sofas will replace stands, and TV remotes will replace tickets, as many sports rights holders focus on getting sport up and running behind closed doors for unfinished seasons and beyond. A global spotlight is on the Bundesliga and UFC, who have pioneered the format, with the Premier League, Formula One, Royal Ascot and the PGA following close behind, and other including Premiership Rugby and ECB in the planning stages. Despite the lack of crowds, 71% of fans will not be deterred from watching sport behind closed doors on TV or online, helped by many having now seen it in action. Competitiveness, uncertainty of outcome and feats of sporting excellence are other elements that make sport, sport, and these remain very much alive behind-closed doors.

Growing openness to behind closed doors fixtures comes at a time when the format is also in its infancy. Virtual crowds and pre-recorded crowd noises (trialled by the Bundesliga) are all efforts to close the gap to sport as we knew it. However, sports rights holders should not just look at how to replace the atmosphere created by crowds, as this is likely to be unachievable, but also at how the at-home viewer experience can be enhanced. Wide-ranging commentary and punditry choices, referee mics and 5G automated score updates are just some potential avenues. However, what is imperative to sports fans first and foremost, is access.

74% of our Sports Fan Panel think it’s imperative that sport behind closed doors is available to watch as widely as possible. The Premier League has moved in the right direction, relocating 4 fixtures to the BBC for the first time ever, and also 4 to Amazon Prime, which will be free-to-air. With the Championship and potentially League One to resume, EFL’s iFollow, and also Formula One’s F1 TV, spearhead the rise of OTT platforms for sport, and a movement towards increased global accessibility – albeit usually behind a paywall. Other sports rights holders should review their digital offering, with it presenting opportunities to understand audience data in a more comprehensive way, and to engage fans in a highly personalised manner.

Fans are more anxious to attend live sport and need to feel safe before returning

With reliance on sources of revenue weighted differently on a sport to sport basis, getting live sport on the screen may be the overriding priority for some, but not for others. Many sports organisations will be very keen to get bottoms on seats to get revenue streams flowing again once lockdown ceases. However, a fan-led focus will need to be adopted to realise this. Sports should aim to remedy reattendance anxiety, which has increased by 27% in the month since our April 2020 survey, as fans’ knowledge of COVID-19 transmission improves. Growing anxiety also explains why the number of fans planning to reattend events as soon as they can has decreased by 19%, just in the past month.

Despite this, 41% of fans are still positive about supporting their beloved teams as soon as lockdown lifts – and the rest can doubtless be won over. With fan anxieties a roadblock to reattendance, clubs and event organisers can facilitate fans’ return to stadium gates, by tackling specific fears highlighted in research. Global survey data shows that regular disinfection is most important to sports fans when visiting public spaces, while adherence to social distancing measures and provision of hand sanitizer are also desired: return to stadium plans should incorporate these. Measures such as these will also need to be visible to fans as lockdown begins to lift, to quell fear of the unknown. As agreed by our Industry panel last month, strategising should begin now

Sports that are quick to resume can tap into new audiences on a global scale

Excluding the Bundesliga, individual and non-contact sports will experience a quicker and/or smoother return to the screen. Mixed martial arts, snooker and horse-racing evidence this, with all three leading sports staging a comeback in recent weeks, albeit in a trimmed format. This will give them access to part of lost broadcast revenue at an earlier stage, while also avoiding the organisational headache of returning teams to training and eventually matchday. Sports that cross the fan viewership line first can even grow their audiences at this time, underlined by 56% of sports fans being more likely to watch sports that they wouldn’t normally watch as it makes a staggered return.        

Having pivoted swiftly, Formula E and Formula One have been able to tap into this thirst for live sport like few other sports – throughout lockdown. Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge and Formula One’s Virtual Grand Prix highlight recognition of a growing esports market. Tapping into it will help bridge a new generation into the sport and unlock a revenue stream that can withstand all weathers, unlike broadcast, commercial and matchday. The buzz caused by Extreme E at what is dubbed a ‘crisis point’ for sport highlights its potential for growth, and that of the motorsport industry in general, particularly as crowds are not a core component of the sport for the at-home motorsport viewer.   

Lets discuss…

The Sports Fan Panel represent over 50 sports and are a highly engaged audience that endeavour to shape decisions within sport. If you would like to explore the benefits of tapping into the Sports Fan Panel for your organisation, and view infographics such as the one below, then please click here.

Sports fans are more active than ever, as ‘accessible sports’ look to benefit

The UK Government announced lockdown measures on March 23rd 2020, making it 70 days since the nation came to a standstill. This pause has had a widespread impact on society, politics, and economies, and of course sport, which is intertwined with all three. The relentless use of “unprecedented” across sport media during this period highlights the need for answers. With supporters and participants being the main source of revenue for sport, whether it be broadcast, commercial, matchday or target-led government grants, there is no-one better to tap into to inform decision-making, and the future of sport, than the fans.

In the second edition of our Sports Fan Panel COVID-19 survey, 1878 fans told us how COVID-19 has continued to impact their lives and what the return of sport should look like. Over the coming weeks, we will be releasing our findings in three parts – Sports Fans’ Lives, the Sporting World and Women’s Sport. In combination with a powerful sample size, our research and analysis adheres to robust methods. We stress this fact, as now, more than ever, it is essential that sports organisations are aware of where insight is coming from and that they directly question what they are told and/or read.

A positive paradox for COVID-19 and exercise

The widespread benefits of exercise on physical health are well-known. More recently, the positive effect that exercise has on mental health is also being discoursed and grounded in research. Supplementing this, we can reveal that sports fans are tackling one of the most challenging times in recent history – head on. 74% of the Panel recognise that exercise can be instrumentalised to better manage their mental well-being. This underpins the latest wave of Sport England’s longitudinal analysis which identifies that 63% of adults report mental health improvements from exercise during the pandemic. Despite the shackles placed on the nation by an invisible viral jailer, we are clearly finding ways to access exercise and harness its benefits.

In fact, our latest Sports Fan panel findings indicate that people are spending more time exercising compared to the early stages of lockdown. 54% of the Panel are exercising for 5 or more hours per week, which is a 17% increase from our April 2020 survey. As well as doing more exercise, more sports fans are setting out on foot, hopping on the bike and getting their sweat on at home. It seems a restricting Coronavirus pandemic is having an ongoing positive impact on the nation’s exercise habits, which is taking greater effect as lockdown continues.

But what does this mean for sports during lockdown?

‘Accessible sports’, like cycling and golf, will emerge stronger

With 21% of the Panel cycling, and a further 26% planning to take it up, there is an opportunity to help the nation switch from four wheels, to two. British Cycling have taken note, re-launching the #choosecycling campaign that aims to drive this process and to achieve their goal of inspiring “the next generation of cyclists”. The National Governing Body (NGB) will also benefit from a widened participation base, and a deeper talent pool to channel into one of six cycling disciplines, if they can engage new participants and encourage them to continue once normality returns. This is a unique period and an opportunity that cannot be missed by sports that are still accessible, and effort should be made to attain and retain new participants.

Golf and tennis are examples of ‘accessible sports’ that have featured in Government narrative in past weeks. Sports fans have expressed a desire to tee off for the first time as lockdown extends, which will be encouraging for England Golf. This stems from unprecedented (yep, we said it) levels of leisure time across the nation, where for both golf and tennis, the full sport, or at least the majority of it, can still be undertaken with social distancing in play. However, there is an expiry date on ‘accessible sports’, as other sports will return and people will have less leisure time, and so representative NGB’s must act – fast. Top-down visible safe-practice guidance, incentivising beginners and inventive marketing campaigns pushed through digital channels, are proactive and effective ways to do this.

A fantastic example of an NGB not letting the crisis go to waste through a proactive and inventive approach, are British Triathlon. Their Colour Challenge encourages participants to engage with daily exercise regimes, and progress is tracked via a customised colour chart. Through attaining sign-ups and newsletter recipients via an inventive campaign, British Triathlon are elevating the sport at a turbulent time, while raising funds for charitable causes. NGB’s, like British Triathlon, who are able to pivot quickly in response to the pandemic through innovative campaigns, will also place themselves in a better position to withstand the impact of the virus.

But, what about team sports, that are built around shared goals and action?

Team sports will stage a comeback

£35 million of Sport England funding has been offered to grassroots clubs and the physical activity sector, helping to keep sport afloat. While essential, this lifejacket still cannot accelerate the return of team sports that are more tightly bound by social distancing rules compared to ‘accessible sports’. ‘Staying alert’ is typically a marker success in team sport, but at the two month stage of the pandemic, this phrase has taken on a new meaning. Six people up to two metres apart will become the new normal for the near future of sport and exercise, but all those involved with grassroots sports will be encouraged by 80% of sports fans planning to resume sports participation.

In the face of new challenges, team sports have been reactive, publishing quick turnaround return to sport guidance in response to Government guidelines. This is a step in the right direction, as fans want to return but also need to feel safe. Our Sports Fan Panel evidence this standpoint, with 62% likely to return to teams sports, while 18% of fans were unsure and require more information to resume participation. This is promising news for teams sports, who should look to maintain this level of transparency with fans like never before, as their return, and the revival of grassroot sport, clearly depends on it.

Gyms have also been trying to keep members connected during their closure via social media. Migrating workout routines from gym to digital channels is a smart move at this time, considering that 40% of sports fans are exercising at home. However, with this relocation arises new challenges. The likes of Joe Wicks and Meggan Grubb are new competition to gyms, in a fitness world that has become digitalised and domesticated by lockdown, and where limitless online choice offers an attractive alternative to being confined to what is available in a 5-mile radius. Yet, gyms have unique selling points of their own, like rich social networks and a better range of equipment. Apparently these pros outweigh any cons, as 67% of our Panel will return to the gym and lift… once lockdown does.

Lets discuss…

Our Sports Fan Panel have shared positivity around their plans to return to sport, and the full infographic is available below. If you would like further information on the unique benefits of the Sports Fan Panel and how your organisation can use it, please register your interest here.

Extreme E and Goodform partner to grow global audience

One-off race locations, top-level motor racing, powerful messaging, and innovating electric vehicles; Extreme E is stirring new audiences on a global scale, even before its inauguration. Goodform, with a proven track-record of success in the motorsport industry, will help Extreme E accelerate its growth in engaging and capturing new audiences through always-on fan insights.

With a broadcast strategy that aims to penetrate as many markets as possible and to make the sport accessible to viewers globally, Goodform’s insights will enable Extreme E to track direct engagement with fans around the world. 

“With a focus on gender equality within sport and a very clear sustainability strategy, Extreme E is an organisation that we have a great deal of respect for. We are excited to join them on their remarkable journey of spotlighting climate change through the power of motorsport, and the audience insights and engagement that we deliver for them will play a key role in their growth.” commented Goodform Marketing Director, Joe Kyle.  

Goodform, who have been Formula E’s Data & CRM agency since the start of Season Four, and who run F1 Fan Voice, Formula 1’s official research community, will manage, grow and provide insights on Extreme E’s audience data, utilising it to deliver direct communications.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, commented: “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Goodform. As we build towards our first season, all our efforts are concentrated on connecting and building our relationship with the next generation of motorsport fans, through clear activation and engagement.

“Extreme E is a sport for purpose which aims to use its platform to motivate people to tackling all the challenges which exist with climate change. This relationship with Goodform is essential in building a relationship with our fans as we embark on this incredibly exciting journey.”

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world, including Greenland, Senegal, the Amazon, and Saudi Arabia, selecting locations which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues.

Starting early 2021, the five-race global voyage will highlight the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promote the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect our planet’s future.

As well as being a platform for electrification and sustainability, the series recently announced that its teams would comprise a 50-50 split of male-female drivers, marking a major breakthrough for gender equality in motorsport.

Teams already signed up to compete in the new electric off road series include US powerhouses Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing, Veloce Racing, HWA, Abt and QEV, with more big names to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 presents new challenges, but also new opportunities for sport industry professionals

If you’d like to access the full 26 page report of Goodform’s research, and be part of the Insights Panel in the future, please click here.

For Goodform’s most recent survey in partnership with iSportconnect, individuals working across the sport industry gave their views on challenges and opportunities at this unprecedented time. 86% of professionals perceived the impact of COVID-19 to be negative for them and their organisation, however, only 25% felt this impact would continue into 2021. Considering the prospect of a packed sporting calendar next year, many involved in the industry clearly share some optimism about the future of sport.

But what is the biggest challenge faced by the industry right now? The financial ramifications of lost broadcast revenue is the most recognised hurdle to overcome for professionals, with 68% picking it. Consequently, the proverb ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ has never been more fitting, as clubs, governing bodies and rights holders look for innovative ways to maintain engagement. Despite the resultant competition to the traditional broadcast format, only 33% believe that the pandemic will weaken the value of TV rights in the long-run.

The financial implications of lost sponsorship revenue is another major challenge in the sport industry, according to 49% of survey respondents. Consequently, 81% of these individuals highlighted the importance of data and evidence to support the benefits of partnerships. At a time of uncertainty for sport, this is just one example that positions research and insight as an essential step in strategic planning and revival.

Strategic planning was a standout route to finding success at this time with 66% of professionals spotlighting it, while increased focus on data and engagement was the second most recognised opportunity at 55%. These are some of the key opportunities explored in Goodform’s Guide to Growth document, designed to support sport organisations during challenging times. If you’d like to discuss the document and/or support and guidance at this time, please contact joe.kyle@goodformgroup.co.uk, Marketing Director, Goodform.

Interestingly, only 19% of survey respondents feel clubs, governing bodies and rights holders are maximising the current potential for fan engagement. This seems to be true as archived footage and sports involvement in the community were how our Sports Fan Panel most wanted to consume sport, whereas industry professionals agree that athlete content is instead most in demand. We explore the impact that COVID-19 has had on fans and the wider sporting world in our recent discussion from our Sports Fan Panel insights, available here.

We will continue to offer a 360 view of sport through our research and insights from fans and industry professionals – stay tuned!

Impact of the Coronavirus on sport – the fan perspective

The Coronavirus was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on the 11th of March 2020. With no regard for geography, the virus has had a widespread impact on societies, economies and politics across the globe. The response to cancel sports competition has unarguably been the right one, but how has this affected the most important stakeholders in sport – the fans?

1788 members of our Sports Fan Panel shared their views on the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on their lives and the wider sporting world. They were a hung jury when casting their vote on how current competitions should finish, but most were excited to re-immerse themselves in live sports. It seems COVID-19 has dealt a significant blow to sport, but fans are ready to bring it back to life.

The sporting world

There is speculation that the Rugby Football Union could suffer a £45 million loss in revenue due to the pandemic, and the Premier League a staggering £1 billion. Two of the biggest sporting competitions every year, the Six Nations and the Premier League, therefore face pressure to finish their campaign whilst minimising disruption to the fragile, cyclical sporting calendar. At an unprecedented time for sport, this is no easy task.

This struggle is compounded by the fact that fan opinions are split, meaning any decision made is bound to cause upset. 24% of the Sports Fan Panel want the Premier League season to end immediately and current standings to remain, whereas; 22% agree that the season should finish now, but argue that points be void. The remaining fans want the season to finish, with 22% wishing this to be from behind closed doors, but 19% arguing that fans should be in attendance.

This concept of fixtures and events taking place from behind closed doors has been discussed in sports news frequently in recent weeks. Finishing the season and hosting sport events with crowds in the foreseeable future, may not be possible until a vaccine for the virus is widely available. Who knows when this will be? With 43% of the panel agreeing that behind closed doors games should occur in the event of a pandemic, live games without fans would help fill the void for many supporters, but can they be deemed a panacea?

There is consensus amongst fans on how the pandemic has been handled so far. On the 11th of March, the same day COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, over 52’000 Atletico Madrid and Liverpool fans mixed in and around Anfield. Unsurprisingly, around 3 in 5 of our Sports Fan Panel agreed that the match, as well as Olympiacos v Wolves and the Cheltenham Festival – all of which took place as the potential scale of the pandemic was becoming apparent – should have been cancelled or postponed. But who do fans think are responsible for softening the impact of the virus on the sporting world?

84% and 79% of fans believe that governing bodies and the Premier League respectively, have a duty to support lower league clubs in the fallout of the pandemic. This will be welcome news for the Premier League, as their advancement of £125 million to EFL clubs, is likely to be supported by fans. Conversely, this may be deemed by clubs as a short-term adhesive for the impact of the pandemic, which will have long-term implications. But, the spotlight has turned to players, for now.

Fans’ lives

Our Sports Fan Panel have been doing less exercise during lockdown, which may be indicative of efforts to avoid transmission of the virus. However, 39% have been working out at home, with 23% of these individuals looking online for help. Evidenced barriers to exercise such as cost, time and inspiration are no longer as prominent, and the likes of Joe Wicks, Gym Shark and Tyson Fury, have taken note. Clearly, exercise habits are changing.

The Coronavirus has evidently impacted fans’ relationship with fitness, but what about their relationship with sport? With an entire roster of mega-events and elite competitions postponed or cancelled, a void has been opened in fans’ lives. The Olympic Games, Euros, Premier League season, Six Nations, Wimbledon, T20 World Cup and the Open, form just part of an extensive list. Unsurprisingly, 3 in 4 of our Sports Fan Panel agree that they are impacted by the loss of live sport.

So how can sports stay connected? Across broadcast, social media and other digital platforms, archive footage has been instrumentalised to drive fan engagement, even leading to a temporary re-naming of Match of the Day to ‘Match of Their Day’. This was the most popular method amongst fans to drive engagement, with 49% outlining highlights as the way to do this.

However, the majority of the Panel have cast their attention away from sport for a replacement, with only 16% choosing to spend time they usually use to watch sport, with consuming sport in a new way. It seems re-living moments of glory will bring joy to many fans, but nothing compares to experiencing it for the first time.

Hearing this, sports organisations may feel helpless, but, a standout finding from the survey will offer some comfort. 89% of fans plan to attend the same number of events once sport resumes and 72% will be no more anxious than before the pandemic. Although the way in which fans consume sport from the comfort of their own home is quickly changing, attending live sport events offers something that can’t be matched during this period.

Hopefully this will act as a turning point for sports rights holders, who can use this time to review and improve the live sports experience, which on the whole, has been neglected. More from us on this very soon.

Final thoughts

The sporting world may be changing rapidly, but the time-tested emotional bond between fan and club, team and athlete, seems resolute in the face of the pandemic. The reliance sports organisations have on traditional broadcast revenue may be changing as new channels come to the fore, but the prospect of attendance revenue upon sports return represents a light at the end of the tunnel for sports organisations. More so than ever, fans will be relied upon as the heartbeat of sport.

Emerging sports, and the environmental impact of sports in general

Sport has an ever changing landscape with international markets representing an opportunity for significant growth for many sports. How fans consume and engage with sports is fundamentally changing, particularly for millennials and Gen Z across the globe. This is epitomised by the incredible year-on-year growth experienced by Esports.

So, does the changing landscape allow for new sports to gain greater traction, quicker? Goodform’s Sports Fan Panel survey looked at a selection of emerging sports to understand awareness levels. The sports were selected to cover a range of different styles that are likely to appeal to different audiences.

Formula E leads the way

Formula E leads the pack with 81% of people being aware of it, and 69% knowing what the sport is. Rugby X and Obstacle Course Racing (Tough Mudder, Spartan Race etc.) both also recorded high awareness levels with 77% of people having heard of the sports, but only 57% and 58% respectively knowing what the sport is.

It would appear that the Free-to-air broadcast route that Formula E has taken is proving effective in growing the sport. 54% of people’s awareness of Formula E came via TV, whilst 39% of those that know what the sport is have watched their races. The accessibility of Formula E races not only on television, but also online, puts it in pole position in an industry where being available digitally is fast becoming a factor for success.

In contrast, awareness of sports that allow people to take part in them such as Obstacle Course Racing and Ultimate Frisbee, is driven by word of mouth and social activation from those that have taken part in the sport. They represent an emerging type of sport that is built around participation, social capital and visibility on social media.

Environmental impact of sports

On their own, both sport and climate change make headlines, yet the impact that sport has on the environment rarely does. Despite this, 69% of our Sports Fan Panel believe reducing the environmental impact of sport to be important, and 89% and 77% agree that this should be done by reducing the use of single-use plastics and carbon emissions respectively.

This provides further explanation for Formula E’s success. The sport has saved over 300’000 plastic water bottles by using 100% recyclable water pouches, forming a part of its wider sustainability strategy. This Life Cycle Assessment is used to continuously analyse the environmental footprint of Formula E and action improvements, such as not using single-use plastics.

So, fans recognise the importance that sports try and lower their environmental impact, although, it appears that this is often not essential to increasing viewership or participation. While Formula E have attracted audiences through their dedicated sustainability strategy, 64% of the Sports Fan Panel claim this would have no impact on their likelihood to watch a sport.

Furthermore, maintaining competitiveness, quality and excitement in sport superseded lowering environmental impact for the majority of our Panel. However, it may be exciting for environmentalists, that 35% of the panel were willing to sacrifice these three core facets of sport to make a difference environmentally.

We don’t want sport to lose the components that make it, well… sport, but, it clearly has a role to play in a more sustainable future.

What now?

The shifting of the sporting landscape has quickened in the months since our Sports Fan Panel shared their views on emerging sports. The coronavirus pandemic has made a big impact and will be damaging for many sports organisations, in particular emerging mass participation events. But, it’s important to be positive during this challenging period. Will there be an opportunity for some sports to reach new audiences and new heights?

E-sports are once again our front-runner. Twitch, an e-sports streaming platform, has experienced a 40% growth in viewership between January and March. While many sports traditionalists will question the sporting legitimacy of competitive gaming, there is no doubting its popularity in recent months. It looks like captive audiences in pursuit of their sporting fix are looking online to get it.

For traditional sports it is essential to adapt to a new type of demand, and horse racing and cycling have been the quickest to react. The Grand National and the Tour of Flanders were televised this weekend, but both horse and bike were only witnessed in the virtual world. This new format may not have appealed to some fans, however, both sports will be ensuring broadcasting revenue that is key to survival at this time.

Sports not equipped for the virtual world still seek to reach the screen, which could be from behind closed doors. While this could be considered damage limitation for the Premier League, Rugby League may view finishing the Super League season as a one-off opportunity. Being broadcast with less scheduling competition could win over fans of other sports and level the playing field.

And what of the environment? The exact long-term implications of coronavirus on climate change won’t be known for some time. What is clear though, is that when there is a consensus across society that action is required, extreme measures can be established in a moment. Lets hope more than just sport-based lessons are learnt during this period.

For more information about this research or Goodform’s Sports Fan Panel, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Strategy Director – alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk

New Research: Maximising the Potential of Women’s Sport

When it comes to gender equality in sport, new research released by Goodform to mark International Women’s Day in 2020 highlights there remains much more progress to be made.

We know that women’s sport is on an upwards trajectory – there are new initiatives, new funding streams, new competitions and an unprecedented volume of media coverage. We also know that men’s sport remains the dominant player – in participation, in attendance numbers, in column inches, in commercial clout. 

In Goodform’s latest Sports Fan Panel survey amongst almost 1500 sports fans, interest in the men’s game outstrips interest in the women’s across 8 major sports, with only tennis and athletics boasting near-parity in terms of interest. This is also reflected in attendance patterns – 30% of those surveyed have neverattended either a women’s or mixed gender sporting event, a staggering 10 times more than the 3% who have never attended men’s sport. This is in spite of half of the sports fans surveyed believing that women’s sport is both more affordable and more family friendly than the men’s game.

There have been some high-profile successes in the growth of women’s sport in the last few years – most notably the ICC Women’s World Cup Final selling out at Lord’s in 2017 – but sports fans perceive this progress to be stalling: 40% of men and only 26% of women surveyed stated that they believe the gender gap in sport has diminished in the last 12 months.

This week, Sky Sports committed to investing in a 360°approach to covering women’s sport, with plans to utilise its YouTube channel to make events including the Women’s Six Nations, the WNBA, Vitality Netball Superleague and women’s cricket available to a wider audience. The potential positive impact of this move is highlighted by Goodform’s findings: availability of women’s sport on free to air TV is seen to be more important than the success of national teams in driving increased engagement with women’s sport – and 47% of those surveyed stated that they would watch more women’s sport if it were more readily available.

When it comes to funding the growth of women’s sport, it’s complicated. 77% of women and 63% of men believe that profits from the men’s game should fund the women’s game until parity is achieved– with the remainder believing that women’s sport should be commercially sustainable in its own right. For a third of those surveyed, this funding should only be on the basis that the men’s game is not affected in any way – a balance that we see many organisations trying to navigate. For example, the recent announcement that the prize money for The Hundred will be equally split between the men’s and women’s teams makes for a great headline – but masks the huge disparity in wages that remains (the average contract for female players is £8,000 compared to £66,600 for the men). In a world of limited funding and an increasingly competitive sponsorship environment, there are no easy answers.

What’s clear, though, is that the opportunity for women’s sport to grow remains huge. Its appeal continues to grow – and with a higher proportion of men than women interested in the women’s game for half of the sports includedin the survey, it’s clear that women’s sport has the potential to compete for everyone’sinterest, time and loyalties – not just women’s.

For more information about this research or Goodform’s Sports Fan Panel, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Strategy Director – Alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk

Goodform & Formula 1 shortlisted for the Sport Industry Awards 2020

Goodform has been rewarded for an incredible year with a place on the Official Shortlist for the Sport Industry Awards 2020 – the industry’s biggest night of the year. 

Nominated in the Data & Business Impact category for our work with Formula 1, the shortlist is recognition of the incredible impact that F1 Fan Voice has continued to deliver since its launch in 2018. 

An online global research community with over 100,000 members from 100 different countries, the first of its kind by an international sports rights holder, provides Formula 1 with the single most important tool to achieve its business objective of ‘putting fans at the heart of everything we do’. 

It represents a move beyond using solely demographic and behavioural data, which remains common across sporting organisations, and instead places the same emphasis on attitudinal data and truly getting to know what fans think and feel.

In making research much more accessible, it has fundamentally changed the business’s culture, with decisions now made with fan views taken into account.

“The Sport Industry Awards shortlist is further recognition of the positive impact that F1 Fan Voice is having on Formula 1 as a business, its partners and external stakeholders, and fans of the sport. 2019 was a great year for awards for F1 Fan Voice as it claimed ‘Best Technology for Fan Engagement’ at the Yahoo Sports Technology Awards, and ‘Best Custom Media Research Project’ at the Mediatel Media Research Awards, and we look forward to more awards success this year.” said Goodform’s Strategy Director, Alexandra Kyrke-Smith. 

Honouring the work done across the sport business sector, the Sport Industry Awards bring together the great and the good of sport under one roof for an evening of success, sharing and celebration. Welcoming more than 1,700 high profile guests annually, #SIAwards2020 is the most prestigious commercial sports awards in the world, and has been the industry’s flagship evening for nearly 20 years.

The night itself will be hosted by former international footballer Alex Scott MBE and TV personality Mark Durden-Smith, both ready to welcome a string of celebrities to the incredible celebration.

Last year high-profile attendees at the ceremony in London included England and Manchester City star Raheem Sterling, England Manager Gareth Southgate, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Baroness Valerie Amos, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger, swimming sensation Adam Peaty, racing’s Sir AP McCoy and rising athletics star Laura Muir.

Alex Coulson, Managing Director of Sport Industry Group, added:

“The Sport Industry Awards really are the apex of the sport sector, so congratulations to those shortlisted today. It is a phenomenal recognition of the work done throughout the year and to a commitment to excellence. We had an incredible amount of entrants this year so to emerge on the final list is a great achievement. 

“Our Judging Process is incredibly rigorous, with round one – known as Industry Selects – welcoming more than 60 external experts to Sport Industry Group HQ alongside adjudicator EY, carefully scrutinising each. We take an immense amount of pride in it and I want to thank everyone who took part. 

“I’d also like to thank all of our partners, without whom the Awards would not be possible and who we continue to work with to ensure that the year-long Sport Industry Awards campaign is an enjoyable one. A final congratulations to all those shortlisted today – we look forward to a fantastic night.”

#SIAwards2020 #AlwaysOnGoodform

iSportconnect Insights: Sports Industry not using technology effectively, say experts

In the latest iSportconnect Insights survey, Goodform surveyed nearly 150 professionals from the world of sports business on the biggest challenges faced digitally. One of the most startling statistics to emerge from this new report is that only 31% of people within the industry believe that tech is being used effectively to enhance fan experiences. However, in contrast, 59% of people from the world of sport believe it is being used beneficially to improve athlete performance.

Another notable statistic to come from Insights is that a fifth of people within the sports business industry see piracy and the illegal use of rights as a factor in influencing the value of media rights. But, of those who participated, 71% declared customised content as the most important factor for driving next-level fan engagement going forward, showing the need for better use of technological advancements.

Launched in March 2019, iSportconnect insights has been designed to shape industry discussion and to provide quality market intelligence about the trends driving the sports business – directly from those working at the heart of the industry.

 “We know that the business of sports is a hotbed of innovation in the tech area, but the new Insights reports highlights that the business can still be doing more with the new tools that are being made available,” said iSportconnect COO Ray James. “We are all on a learning curve in these exciting times.”

For more information or to receive the full report, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Strategy Director, Goodform: alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk.

iSportconnect insights have since launched another survey focusing on sponsorship trends in sport. You can take part in this survey by following the link here.

VAR so far: How have fans’ views changed?

With the 2019/20 Premier League season well underway, our latest Sports Fan Panel assessed the impact of VAR technology on the Premier League, comparing fans’ views before the season started; to their views now. The results show how fans perceive the technology to be faring in its inaugural season in the Premier League.

In the first survey, 50% of fans thought that VAR would have a positive impact on the Premier League (22% negative). However, after four game weeks, our follow-up survey found that just 31% of respondents felt that VAR has had a positive impact (34% negative) – suggesting that it hasn’t had the impact that fans were expecting.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have revealed that there have been 475 incidents checked by VAR in 80 Premier League games. The most recent decision to be overturned by VAR is that of Jordan Ayew’s goal against West Ham United, the fourth overturned decision to award a goal this season. It is understood that referees are satisfied with VAR’s introduction in the Premier League, but what are the views of the fans attending the matches or watching on the TV?

Fans in the stadium

Of those who have attended a match where VAR has been used, 42% believe that it had a negative impact on the game, with 74% stating that they did not receive enough information and 61% stating that the decision took too long. The latter was identified as a main concern in the first survey, when 85% of fans were worried that VAR would take too long to make a decision. In order to ensure fans are aware of why a decision is being reviewed, 70% of fans believe that showing the incident on the big screen would help to provide fans with more information.

Fans watching on TV

In contrast, of those who have watched a game on TV where VAR has been used, views are split on the impact it has had on the game – 45% of fans believe that it has had a negative impact and 45% believe it had a positive impact. In comparison to those fans in a stadium, 60% believe that they were given enough information, but 63% still think that the decision took too long to be made. To improve the technology and ensure all fans know what is going on during a review, 78% of fans believe that audio of the referee talking to the VAR assistants would help to improve the fan experience.

As we progress through the season, each VAR review could be the difference between clinching that final Champions League spot or avoiding relegation. Should there be more review areas to ensure every contentious moment in a match is reviewed? VAR has been introduced with just four review areas so far: goals, penalty decisions and direct red cards. However, when asked which other areas should be reviewed, fans felt that violent conduct and diving should also be reviewed.

It’s early days yet, and it remains to be seen how VAR will fare as the season draws on. Our Sports Fan Panel will return at the end of the season to see how perceptions of VAR technology have evolved and whether fans’ opinions have changed.

Formula 1 and Goodform shortlisted at the MRS awards 2019

The Market Research Society have announced their prestigious shortlist for the 2019 MRS Awards – with Goodform and Formula 1 making the shortlist for their global fan community, F1 Fan Voice.

The Market Research Society is the UK’s professional body for research, insight and analytics, with their awards recognising best practice in market research across all sectors. F1 Fan Voice is one of just four entries shortlisted for “Best Business Impact – Global” at the annual awards, with this category recognising clients or organisations that use research to make a real and lasting impact on their global business and operations.

The shortlist includes:

  • BBC World Service
  • Condé Nast
  • Formula 1 & Goodform
  • Shell & Kantar

The MRS Awards celebrate research’s ability to drive innovation, inspire change and deliver results – and the celebration for the Awards will take place on Monday 2nd December 2019.

For more information on the F1 Fan Voice and the value it adds to Formula 1, click here.

For more information on the awards and the other companies that made the shortlist, click here.

Join the Goodform team: Designer position available

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, proactive and creative Designer with clear and effective written and verbal communication skills to join the Goodform team.

As a part of the marketing team, the successful candidate will play a key role in the management and development of the Goodform brand across all channels. You will also play a central role in the development of marketing campaigns and digital projects, including email, website, apps and social, for Goodform’s impressive client list.

What working for Goodform means:

  • Working for a leading CRM, Insight and Sports Marketing Agency in the UK
  • Working within the sports industry alongside leading Sports Organisations, Rightsholders and National Governing Bodies
  • Working in a professional, friendly and supportive environment with an open-plan office
  • Working in a fast-paced and passionate environment

For further information on the role, it’s responsibilities and applicant requirements, please follow the link below.

To apply for this role please email your CV, portfolio and a covering letter to hello@goodformgroup.co.uk using the subject line: Designer Application

Closing date for applications: Friday 27th September 2019

UK football fans views on the use of VAR

The 2019/20 Premier League season gets underway tonight and will be the first English division to use the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology. Here, our latest Sports Fan Panel findings tell us what UK football fans really think of VAR.

The survey looked at topics such as the standard of refereeing in the premier League, the impact of VAR technology on the Premier League and fan experience and the importance of VAR technology on referee decisions.

Most respondents (96%) stated that they have disagreed with a big decision a referee has made during a match but over half of fans agreed that they enjoy the controversy and debate that refereeing mistakes produce.

A major talking point in football over the years has been the extensive player protests after a referee has made a decision. Indeed, three quarters believe that player protests actually influence referees, and when it comes to VAR, only 2 in 5 believe it will eliminate player protests about referee decisions.

Whilst only 10% of fans think that VAR has been ‘very successful’ when it’s been used in other competitions to date, the cautious consensus seems to be that VAR will have a somewhat positive impact on the Premier League. When asked which scenarios are the most important for VAR usage, goals and penalty decisions came out on top – and over three quarters of fans would also like to see it used for foul play, which is not within its scope currently.

When it comes to the impact of VAR on fan experience, 47% of fans think VAR will ease fan frustrations with wrong decisions but 44% think it will make fans reluctant to immediately celebrate goals. Will this influence the atmosphere within stadiums in the Premier League?

Our research suggests that it is the way that VAR is employed during matches that will make or break the fan verdict – 85% identified the length of time it takes to make a decision as a concern, with 3 in 4 fans think that a VAR review should take no longer than 2 minutes to ensure the game doesn’t stop for too long. Only 7%, however, would want to see the game continue whilst the decision is being made.

Over the course of the season’s 380 games, fan views will surely shift – in which direction remains to be seen, but our research will continue to track and explore attitudes to one of the biggest changes to the nation’s beloved Premier League in recent years.

For more information on the Sports Fan Panel, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith: Alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk

The impact of VAR technology on the Premier League

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology is about to embark on its debut season in the Premier League and is set to be one of the most significant changes to the English game for some time.

Our latest Sports Fan Panel survey will identify what football and general sports fans really think about the technology and how they think it will impact the Premier League during the 2019/20 season.

The technology has become a major talking point in recent years with its introduction into some of Europe’s major competitions and more recently the Women’s World Cup in France. With decisions unclear and fans in disagreement, VAR has come under scrutiny in the Champions League for contentious decisions such as the Kimpembe hand ball against Manchester United and the controversial Mo Salah penalty for Liverpool in the Champions League final.

In fact, without the influence of VAR on some of the decisions in the Women’s World Cup, Lionesses forward Ellen White would have claimed the golden boot after seeing two of her goals disallowed during the competition.

The technology is being utilised in the Premier League during the 2019/20 season to ensure that referees are reaching the correct decisions. However, some of the decisions reviewed by VAR in other football competitions have caused controversy leaving some players, managers and fans frustrated.

The survey will cover topics such as:

  • The standard of refereeing in the Premier League
  • The impact of VAR technology on the Premier League
  • The impact of VAR technology on fan experience
  • The importance of VAR technology on referee decisions

It is clear that Premier League referees need support, but will VAR provide the answer?

Have your say and be in with the chance of winning a 2019/20 football shirt of your choice, click here.

F1 Fan Voice makes the shortlist at the 2019 Leaders Sports Awards

Leaders have today announced the shortlist for the 2019 Leaders Sports Awards, the global search for companies who are shaping the future of sport.

Over 450 entries were submitted by a wide range of companies from 31 countries during the 9 month process and now the final 25 companies shortlisted for this year’s Leaders Sports Awards have been revealed.

Goodform and Formula 1 have made the shortlist in the Innovation category with their entry of the award-winning F1 Fan Voice and have a third award win for the research platform in sight.

The Innovation shortlist includes:

  • 5G Remote Production by BT Sport/EE
  • DAZN by DAZN
  • Executive Huddle by San Francisco 49ers and SAP
  • F1 Fan Voice by Formula 1 and Goodform
  • The Emirates FA Cup: Bringing match footage to global audiences, in real-time by The FA and Twitter

This year’s awards have proven vastly competitive with high quality entrants from all corners of the globe. The entry for the F1 Fan Voice stood out for its impact in the sports industry, consistently impressing the judging panel of over 100 esteemed sport industry experts.

For more information on the F1 Fan Voice and the value it adds to Formula One, click here.

For more information on the Leaders Sports Awards and the other companies that made the shortlist, click here.

James Worrall, Founder & CEO of Leaders Sports Awards said: “Congratulations to all those shortlisted. We had a record year for entries and the quality of those entries showcased the strength of sport across the globe. The judging was particularly tough. This year’s shortlist is a masterclass of innovation and creativity within the industry and we’re looking forward to a great night announcing the winners in October during Leaders Week.”

The celebration for the Leaders Sports Awards will take place on Wednesday 9th October 2019 at the iconic Natural History Museum, London.

Netball tops the list of ‘growing sports’ for fans as the UK’s appetite for major events remains insatiable

As summers of sport go, it doesn’t get much better than 2019. We’ve witnessed arguably the most exciting Cricket match of all time as an unforgettable Cricket World Cup drew to an even more unforgettable close to see England crowned Champions. We’ve witnessed semi-final runs for Vitality Roses at the Netball World Cup, and the Lionesses at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We’ve witnessed the longest Wimbledon men’s final of all time (if you could drag your eyes from the Cricket, that is) between two of the sport’s greatest ever players, and near flawless tennis from one of the women’s games newest stars as she demolished a great champion to claim the women’s title.

And all of this before a home Ashes series, and a Rugby World Cup to look forward to later in the year. 

In Goodform’s Sports Fan Panel latest research, netball tops the list of sports that fans perceive to be ‘growing’, highlighting the impact of Commonwealth success and a home world cup on the sport. Cycling too fares well, ranking second ahead of Rugby and Football – suggesting that British Cycling’s aim of making Britain a true cycling nation is well on its way.

Formula E (which, incidentally, those working within the industry recently voted as the biggest growing sport) completes the top 5, highlighting that the return of the London race for the 2020 season is sure to be a hit with the UK audience.

The Sports Fan Panel research shows, too, that there remains a huge amount of positivity towards hosting major events in the UK:

…and whilst we love to see a British team do well, the two most important factors in a UK-hosted event being a success are seen to be the creation of a lasting legacy and boosting local economies.

With several more UK-hosted major events on the horizon – not least the Rugby League World Cup in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in 2022 – the event organisers will be looking to emulate the successes enjoyed by both cricket and netball during this fantastic summer of sport, as British fans look set to be treated to some of sport’s greatest spectacles for many years to come.

iSportconnect Insights highlights the industry’s biggest challenges

iSportconnect Insights was launched in March by Goodform and iSportconnect, designed to shape industry discussion and to provide quality market intelligence about the trends driving the sports business – directly from those working at the heart of the industry. The inaugural survey focused on industry challenges in 2019 as well as sports betting in light of recent legislative changes.

The results of this first survey were unveiled at the CRM & Ticketing Masterclass in London. Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Head of Research and Insight, shared the results with Masterclass attendees ahead of her participation in an expert panel on Driving Engagement Through Data and Audience Understanding.

In the first survey, members were asked to identify the top challenges facing the sports industry in 2019, with the top 5 challenges perceived to be:

  • Attracting and engaging younger audiences
  • Financial sustainability
  • Attracting sponsorship
  • Integration of new technologies
  • Declining TV audiences on linear platforms

Formula E was selected as the top growing sport in 2019, followed by MMA, Football, Basketball and Netball.

Respondents also selected Rugby World Cup as the biggest event of 2019, winning by a wide margin, ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in second place and the ICC Cricket World Cup in third place.

To obtain the full report, or for any questions regarding the panel, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith here.

You can take part in the second survey, focused on the key area of Data & Analytics, here. By signing up to the panel at the end of the survey (which will take no longer than 5 minutes) you will then receive future reports directly to your inbox.

Goodform commits to Time to Change scheme

Goodform has officially signed up to Time to Change’s Employer Pledge to demonstrate a commitment to changing attitudes towards mental health.

On Monday 3rd June 2019, the pledge was signed by Goodform’s Owner, Alison Dalrymple and Managing Director, Michael Jones. The pledge has since been signed by the entire Goodform team to show a further commitment across the staff base to opening up conversations around mental health and supporting each other’s wellbeing.

Joining over 900 employers in England who have also signed the pledge, by taking this step Goodform is demonstrating a commitment to promoting health and wellbeing amongst employees. By creating a safe, supportive and inclusive working environment, our pledge to the Time to Change programme is designed to change how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and make sure that employees who are facing these problems feel supported, whilst reducing the stigma associated with mental health.

In order to join the scheme, Goodform has created an Action Plan detailing the initiatives that will take place throughout the year. Having recruited Employee Champions to support the Pledge, Goodform’s commitment includes access to an Employee Assistance Programme, the introduction of a Wellbeing policy, sharing information around mental health and wellbeing in monthly newsletters to all staff members, and regular fundraising initiatives for Goodform’s chosen charity, Mind.

Talking about the Employer Pledge, Goodform’s Managing Director, Michael Jones said, “The wellbeing of our staff has always been of paramount importance to us and we are therefore delighted to add additional structure and commitment to this by signing the Time to Change pledge. Working alongside colleagues who put themselves forward as Champions has already been a rewarding experience, further enhanced when sharing our pledge with the rest of the staff. We have chosen to support Mind charity this year in our internal fundraising events. This will give us all a great chance to commit much needed funds but also learn more about how we can spot the signs of those who may need our support whilst helping to remove the stigma that those suffering with mental health issues often find themselves in.”

You can read more about the Time to Change Employer Pledge here.

Success for Goodform at the 2019 Sports Business Awards

Friday 31st May saw further success in 2019, as Goodform picked up the Silver award for Agency of the Year at the Sports Business Awards 2019.

The prestigious awards afternoon spanned across 18 categories and was attended by high profile CEOs, athletes and industry leaders from across the country. In a highly competitive category, the Agency of the Year award was recognised for the overall commitment to and understanding of sport demonstrated across a wide range of categories.

2018 was a flagship year for Goodform with high-profile clients acquired (F1, Formula E, Tottenham Hotspur, England Athletics) and longstanding clients retained with significant growth of services. Development of two bespoke platforms has enabled even greater value for clients and move the industry forward.

Highlights of the year included the launch of the F1 Fan Voice platform, helping Tottenham Hotspur FC manage the engagement with Season Ticket Holders and Members during the transition to their new stadium, driving interest, engagement, new audience and ticket sales for the Athletics World Cup, and delivering research on Safe Standing for the EFL with over 33,000 responses leading to a parliamentary debate.

Commenting on Goodform’s Silver Award, the judges stated:

“Goodform deliver on a seriously large scale; constantly gathering insights to inform their campaigns: seriously impressive.”

“A pioneer in sports data management, development and utilisation, the agency continues to go from strength to strength. Their growing list of clients is very impressive as they continue to lead the way in this area. They have undoubtedly made a major contribution to commercial development in the sport as their client retention shows the value of their offer. All solutions are tailored to individual needs providing the service each organisation needs.”

Speaking about the success, Goodform’s Owner, Alison Dalrymple said:

“We are delighted to be recognised with the Silver Award in the prestigious Agency of the Year category. Amongst strong competition, it is further reward for our teams outstanding contribution across our expanding client base. We are very grateful to our clients who welcome us in to the heart of their businesses.  We love our work; empowering the business of sport and harnessing data to effectively inform strategy and drive commercial return. It’s a pleasure to share our progress with the esteemed judging panel and we will strive to go one better next year!”   

Yahoo Sports Technology Awards Success for F1 Fan Voice

Goodform and Formula 1 are delighted to have won ‘Best Technology for Fan Engagement’ at the 2019 Yahoo Sports Technology Awards for F1 Fan Voice.

The Yahoo Sports Technology Awards is a unique celebration of technology-led innovation across the sport industry, with winners from around the world across 14 categories.

On a shortlist including BBC Sport’s VR App for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Dimension Data’s work on the 2018 Tour de France, F1 Fan Voice caught the judges’ attention for its innovative use of online market research panel technologies and the impact which the platform is having not only on fans but also on Formula 1 as a business.

F1 Fan Voice, which launched in April 2018 and has grown to over 65,000 members, provides open channels of communication between Formula 1 and its fans, allowing their views to be heard at the heart of the sport, whilst also rewarding and engaging via prize draws, giveaways and exclusive content.

Speaking about the win, Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Goodform’s Head of Research & Insight, said, “We’re delighted to see F1 Fan Voice recognised at the Sports Technology Awards. For us, F1 Fan Voice represents true fan engagement – allowing the sport’s fans to influence key decisions and giving them a direct touchpoint with the organisers of the sport they love. It’s fantastic to see so many F1 fans interacting both with each other and with Formula 1 on the site, with fan insight playing a pivotal role in decision making at Formula 1 as a result.”

Matt Roberts, Global Research Director at Formula 1, added, “It’s fantastic to take home another award for F1 Fan Voice, beating some tough competition in the process! Along with Goodform, we work hard to ensure that F1 Fan Voice is not just a research platform but also a tool for real fan engagement – we focus on delivering value back to members of the community via sharing the insight back to fans, exclusive blogs, competitions, Q&As and games. F1 Fan Voice epitomises the ever-closer relationship between Formula 1 and its fans and we’re very pleased to see this recognised with this award.”

For more information about Goodform’s research services please contact Alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk

Sports Fan Panel Insight: the growth of US sports in the UK

The popularity of US sports in the UK is continuing to grow with no signs of slowing down, according to recent research from Goodform’s Sports Fan Panel.

As the first to host games in the UK, the NFL remains ahead of the NBA and MLB in terms both of awareness of its UK fixtures and the level of interest in attending, with almost half (43%) of those who stated that they were interested in the NFL saying they’re likely to attend the NFL in London in the next few years.

The overall consensus also seems to be that holding US sports in London is a positive – for the sport, for fans, and for London – with 56% agreeing that holding fixtures in the UK is good for London.

When it comes to encouraging attendance at fixtures, however, there is clear appetite for fixtures to be held elsewhere in the UK as well as in London – with almost half saying they would be encouraged to attend NFL, and a third for each of MLB and NBA, if there were matches held outside of London.

It doesn’t just stop at the big three, as well – almost half of those surveyed said they’d be interested in seeing NHL played in the UK, and 29% would be interested in seeing MLS too.

But when we asked about our treasured Premier League going abroad for a 39th game, there was less enthusiasm on show – only 19% said that they felt positive about this idea!

For more information on the Sports Fan Panel, please contact Alexandra Kyrke-Smith: Alexandra.kyrke-smith@goodformgroup.co.uk

Twitter | LinkedIn

Double shortlist success for Goodform at the Sports Business Awards

We are delighted to announce that Goodform has been shortlisted for two categories at this year’s Sports Business Awards. Having enjoyed previous success at the Sports Business Awards in 2017, where Goodform was named ‘Best Business Serving Sport’, in 2019 Goodform is shortlisted for both Agency of the Year and Best Fan Engagement Programme.

2019 marks the first year that the Sports Business Awards have included ‘Agency of the Year’, adding an extra competitive edge to the category as each finalist sets their sight on becoming the first winner. The award recognises the overall commitment to and understanding of sport demonstrated by the agency in areas such as Advertising, PR, Design, Social & Digital media and other forms of promotional marketing – and the judges will be looking for creativity, insight and clearly defined client outcomes within these areas.

Goodform has also been shortlisted for Best Fan Engagement Programme for their work with Formula 1 on F1 Fan Voice. The judging panel will be assessing this award by looking for evidence of creative programmes used to engage and interact with fans, providing clear examples of successful engagement.

The winners will be announced at the lunchtime awards ceremony on Friday 31st May at The Brewery London, where Goodform will be looking to claim another award for their work on F1 Fan Voice following success at the Mediatel Awards earlier this year as well as aiming to be named as the inaugural Agency of the Year.

Goodform deliver for Six Nations for an eighth successive year

Goodform and Six Nations have once again been working together in 2019, seeing fantastic results off the pitch as the Championship came to a close this weekend in a thrilling Super Saturday. Tries, counter-attacks and extraordinary comebacks made this year’s Guinness Six Nations one to remember as Wales were crowned Champions with another Grand Slam win.

Building on from a fantastic year of data growth in 2018, Goodform and Six Nations have built on this and the successes of previous years in what’s their eighth year of partnership. Goodform’s work with Six Nations during the 2018 tournament saw a significant increase in database size with over 150,000 new fans signing up. Email campaigns achieved an average open rate of 47% whilst sponsor content via email received excellent exposure with over half a million views.

As the official CRM agency of the Six Nations, Goodform’s remit remains to drive data growth, increase fan engagement, and encourage traffic to the official website, mobile app downloads and participation in the fantasy game. This year, work has taken place on the data infrastructure to fully integrate all data sources, resulting in deeper audience understanding and facilitating automated journeys, as Goodform and Six Nations seek to view fans in a more holistic manner by understanding all fan touchpoints with the tournament. Goodform’s work this year is also focusing on delivering value to Six Nations partners, including Guinness, with whom Six Nations announced a title partnership deal in advance of the Championship.

“We have worked closely with Goodform for a number of years now and have been extremely encouraged by the progress we have made in that time. We have had a very successful 2019 to date. One of our key objectives is to grow an extensive fanbase that we know and can communicate to with the right messaging. We have enjoyed an upward curve in terms of growth over the last five years with Goodform’s consultancy and services helping to achieve that.”

Shane Whelan, Digital Manager, Six Nations

 “Once again, we’re delighted to extend our partnership with Six Nations, now into its eighth year. Our focus for the 2019 Championships remains not only on data growth, but also on creating an environment that allows for a much deeper audience understanding across the Six Nations fanbase. The insights this creates will be used to deliver targeted, creative campaigns to fans and to continue to drive value for Six Nations, the National Unions and commercial partners alike.”

Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Head of Research & Insight, Goodform

 

Please click here to sign up for exclusive competitions, promotions and news from Guinness Six Nations.

Goodform & iSportconnect launch new Global Sports Industry Research Panel

iSportconnect insights, powered by Goodform, is a new global research panel for sports business professionals, exploring key trends within the sports industry.

Designed specifically to shape industry discussion and to understand the views of those working at the heart of the sports industry, iSportconnect insights will give sports business professionals the opportunity to have their say on the most topical and thought-provoking issues of the moment – with all insights shared back directly with those who take part.

The panel launched yesterday with the initial survey focusing on sports betting. The panel also gives members the opportunity to state which topics they’d like future surveys to focus on.

“We are excited to be launching this initiative with our friends at Goodform,” said iSportconnect COO Ray James. “Their research expertise across high profile sport industry clients makes them the ideal partner in iSportconnect insights, which will not only create valuable information that we can share with our community but help us to serve our members more effectively.”

Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Head of Research & Insight at Goodform, said: “Understanding what fans and participants think and feel is an integral part of what we do at Goodform, and we’re looking forward to delving deeper into the views of those working within the industry via this new panel. The panel has been designed with a view to delivering value to those taking part and to informing discussion around key issues impacting the direction of the sports industry – and we’re excited about the insights it will produce!”

The new platform will carry out six short surveys a year.

Learn more about the initiative in the short video below in which we hear from Alexandra Kyrke-Smith, Head of Research & Insight at Goodform.

To take part in the first survey and sign up to the panel, click here.