The extent to which sports business can represent an area of tension has been reflected for years by Europe’s largest sports business congress “SPOBIS”. So also on 29./30. January 2020 in Düsseldorf. Clubs such as associations, world champions such as Olympic champions, board members such as pioneers, sports such as football, handball, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, tennis, table tennis, hockey and horse racing as well as eSports. In addition, sporting goods manufacturers, events such as the EURO or the Olympics. Value creation via scouting and talent promotion as a capitalization offensive as well as values apart from any reference to competitive sports. The spectrum was gigantic.
SPOBIS: Sports business with spectacles and explosives
There was also no shortage of explosives that would make your ears perk up on the stages, corridors, lounges, exhibitor stands, parties and side events. The greatest tangible explosive power comes from pyrotechnics. And with Bernd Hoffmann, chairman of the board of the second division soccer club Hamburger SV, a controversial protagonist was asked about it on the main stage. Hoffmann’s calm comment – “to find the best possible solutions in consultation with this discussion” – is given current explosive power: For example, HSV is allowed to check ten smoke simulators outside the spectator areas under the supervision of a specialist company before the home game against Karlsruher SC kicks off on February 8 in the Volksparkstadion burn down. The Ministry of the Interior and Sport in Hamburg and the DFB Commission “Prevention & Security & Fan culture “approved the HSV’s application. Focused on verbal explosives and core statements with a sense of mission and polarization, we present our impressions as a bundled bouquet as a four-person web-netz delegation, including a sharper lens on the online marketing context.
Sports business balancing act: business, monetization & intangibles
The SPOBIS creators Marco Klewenhagen and Philipp Klotz not only moderated the irritating topic of worrying excesses in professional football with the CEO of FC Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge , but also the new DFB President Fritz Keller presented his views ready for the stage. The question of the social responsibility of sport and the media was raised by the chairman of the Bild editor-in-chief, Julian Reichelt, and Aki Watzke, chairman of the board of Borussia Dortmund, in a striking and powerful way. Also in focus: marketing opportunities for social media, media behavior, e.g. of Generation Z, and community management.Google, Facebook, Instagram – these topics also repeatedly affected the various sporting trend facets.
Crystal clear Google perspective
In connection with the exclusive cooperation between Google and web-netz for the further development of the sports business with regard to digital marketing, Carsten Richter from Google had strengthened our four-person web-netz delegation. We therefore map the impressions from the perspective of an expert in advance. Background information: The New Business Manager of the search engine world market leader was always connected to sport through his studies and his former professional activities in China as well as with the German Football League (DFL), but experienced the compressed two-day SPOBIS input for the first time:
“SPOBIS offers the industry the ideal exchange between clubs, leagues, agencies and other companies. From the organization to the lectures, I was pleasantly surprised! ”Nevertheless, the Google manager also warned:“ However, I also quickly realized that in the last few years, after my work at the DFL, the industry was still didn’t do that much. ” The Bundesliga clubs are more and more arriving in the digital world, but they still have their internal problems to drive progress!”
The former DFL man continues critically:
“German football talks so often about the fact that the big clubs are making so many things better from the other leagues, but that is mainly because the clubs do not trust themselves to take the step towards digitization and digital sales channels. And right now they are losing the decisive meters compared to the other leagues! ”- Carsten Richter, Google
When asked where the fan is staying, Richter stated with no make-up: “We’re not talking about fans falling by the wayside here either. On the contrary, we are talking about the clubs being able to do more for the fans with just a few measures. ”And the sports-loving Google manager also explicitly brings the club’s board members into play:“ I would be delighted if we could take this step together and convince the board of directors of the clubs that the decisive step towards digitization must now take place. “
Attention fans: ticket trap!
In the Google context, the topic of ticketing / stadium capacity utilization gained new explosiveness, according to Felix Benckendorff: “ Some clubs still do not use online marketing to lead their fans directly to their own ticket shops . Third-party providers take advantage of this and direct fans directly to their platforms. Sales for the club are lost and the fan has invalid tickets. ”The online marketing expert continues: “The football clubs are being caused considerable financial damage by third-party providers. Not to mention the fans who subconsciously fall into this ticketing trap and suffer the annoyance of overpriced tickets that do not allow entry. It is high time that the clubs take action here, protect their fans and earn the sales themselves. You can sell tickets for € 1 on Google and Facebook and prevent fans from ending up on Viagogo. “
“My wish is that no more fans stop in front of the stadium because they have purchased an invalid ticket from a third party. The clubs have that in their hands and should take appropriate measures such as running Google Ads. It’s actually very simple! ”- Felix Benckendorff, Head of web-netz sports
Google & Facebook: One currency?
The topic of digital sponsorship potential was also discussed on the stage. The statements made by Marc-Christoph Schillig , Project Manager Sponsoring at Targobank AG , are particularly noteworthy : “When evaluating data, too many things still disappear in a black box that is still incomprehensible to us, a lot has to be done on the data side. “He consequently wanted a“ single currency for Google and Facebook ”. That left many viewers frowning in disbelief …
Bundesliga soccer team on the SPOBIS
The presence of German professional football at the annual sports business meeting in Düsseldorf was mixed. With a few exceptions, the 1st league was active on site and on the stages. From the top management of the two global players FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to DFB Cup winners and Euro League club Eintracht Frankfurt, derby rivals 1. FC Köln and Bayer 04 Leverkusen to clubs at risk of relegation such as promoted SC Paderborn 07 , Fortuna Düsseldorf and FSV Mainz 05. Unfortunately Werder Bremen gave the SPOBIS the cold shoulder, sports director Frank Baumanncanceled at short notice and Werder marketers were not spotted either. An indication that there are still professional football addresses in the House of Lords who do not consider marketing separately from the current sporting performance barometer?
Defensive SPOBIS appearance of the second division
Also due to the match day in the 2nd Bundesliga, the clubs from the 2nd division were unfortunately only sparsely represented. Notable exceptions were Hamburger SV with CEO Bernd Hoffmann, Henning Bindzus (Director Business Relations and Brand of HSV Fußball AG) and other marketers, FC St. Pauli with a delegation, VfL Bochum with Knut Keymer (member of the management team) from 1. FC Nürnberg became CFO Dr. Mario Hamm saw and also the Spvgg. Greuther Fürth was present.
OMR founder Westermeyer in a live podcast with Mats and Jonas Hummels about CR7, Cathy Hummels & Co.
In the truest sense of the word, the SPOBIS finale on stage with the concluding program item was worthy of a final – when Philipp Westermeyer, the creator of the Online Marketing Rockstars Festival and the most successful German podcast, the brothers Mats Hummels and Jonas Hummels (podcast “Alone difficult ”) to the verbal theme dance. Westermeyer, an advertiser through and through with an aggressive online attitude, tried, for example, to compare it with the digitally most successful top athlete and influencer Cristiano Ronaldo(CR7), currently on the ball for Juventus Turin, who was the first person to break the 200 million Instagram follower mark. The OMR CEO threw at BVB defense chief Mats Hummels that “Cristiano has its own marketing partner for every continent, i.e. exclusive car partners for Asia etc.” – and wanted to know how the 2014 world champion did his online marketing activitiesconsidered. In this context, Hummels emphasized that he has not had any strategic monetization interests to date and pointed out that he was not active at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and that “several hundred thousand slipped through”. In the usual relaxed manner, he continued with a look at Instagram & Co .: “I don’t feed it like hell every day.” With a wink, he added that he “learned at home” that “community management” is important – and everyone knew that his wife, Cathy, was meant to be a professional Instagram influencer.
Brand Partners, Monetization & Nutella Addiction
Hummels, whose Instagram account @ aussenrist15 with 2.9 million followers has a very lucrative monetization potential, provided insights into his online activities and attitude, knowing full well about the existing capital opportunities in the field of online marketing:
“There’s a lot of money in there that could also be used. There are also a lot of inquiries, but I only do something when I feel like it. Always spontaneous, no plan, whatever I want. ”- Mats Hummels
Westermeyer also wanted to know how the BVB defense strategist generally feels about brand partnerships, whether for example only brands from the Champions League area are eligible. In addition to his long-term advertising partner Hugo Boss , Hummels took the German global player with the three stripes onto the field: “ Adidas has been with me all my footballing life.” The former FC Bayern professional also emphasized: “I only do things that I like myself or use ”As an example he cited Nutella: “ I ate like a madman … and 12 loaves of bread at one turn ”. As a negative example, he cited a shoot with “Head & Shoulders” that was unsuccessful in his opinion. To the OMR podcast with Mats and Jonas Hummels.
Hairy topics: hairdresser affair, Boateng-Goretzka battle
The fact that “hairy” affairs can ensure coverage online is underlined by two events: On the one hand, the hairdresser affair at RB Leipzig, when 9 RB professionals had star hairdresser Sheldon Edwards from England flown into the hotel before the match at Eintracht Frankfurt. The importance of this media-relevant topic is also underlined by the fact that Ralf Rangnick, as strategy manager of RB worldwide, arranged one-on-one meetings with the new RB professionals. On the SPOBIS stage, RB sports director Markus Krösche finally declared the affair “settled”. With a “hairy” story, Jerome Boateng and Leon Goretzka caused a stir in the social networks as the professionals of FC Bayern Munichtangled hands-on during training – and responded with a reconciliation post. The result: Boateng’s Instagram post caught more than 178,000 and Goretzka’s over 162,000 likes.
DFB President Fritz Keller and the “last campfire”
Campfire vs. Likes? DFB President Fritz Keller said on stage : “Football is the last campfire in our society! “With this, Keller focused on the timeless essence of football with the social importance of uniting people of the most diverse socio-economic origins under one theme. Independent of trends, media and money. The 62-year-old commented on the current irritation of overpriced DFB jerseys, tickets and low capacity utilization at international matches: “I am of the opinion that we can make one game or another more family-friendly and show it at an earlier time” and the prospect of “One or the other public training session” of the national team. Keller continues: “Football is a sport for everyone. That’s why we reintroduced the standing room for the next game in Nuremberg. The children’s tickets, for example, should be available for five euros. “
Eintracht Frankfurt: Presence, Distinction & Passion
Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed a large presence on stage. In addition to SGE President Peter Fischer , who wants to have 100,000 members by the end of 2020 (currently 81,000), CEO Axel Hellmann and Frank Hensgens , Managing Director DACH at Eintracht’s main sponsor Indeed, spoke about and for the SGE, which according to SGE -President was able to celebrate “an absolute shining year”. Hellmann provided insights into the cooperation and interlinking of the committees that serve as the foundation of success:
“We move with clear role plays and rules within the board of directors in clearly delimited constitutional areas and there must also be worked with clear goals, approved by the board of directors and given as a point of reference.”
“Our goal is to be the top 10 in the Bundesliga, because the budget gives us that too. We want to be the top of the middle class in terms of the economic wheel that we are turning. ”- Axel Hellmann
“It is crucial that these guidelines are accepted by the athletic responsibility, then common topics emerge. And that is also the case with Fredi Bobic! “
As a “acid test”, the SGE chairman made the trip to the USA one week before the start of the Bundesliga. Hellmann presumed that it had shown that “marketing and internationalization with the sporty functioned perfectly because there was consensus in the intersections between all areas in terms of a uniform strategy.”
Indeed: SGE sponsorship actually successful
“More and more people are looking for Indeed and getting to know us,” says Frank Hensgens, Managing Director DACH at Eintracht main sponsor Indeed. And the friendly managing director, who had the dream of professional football as a child, provided many figures that document the success of the sponsorship: from 25% ROI via VIP invitations in the business box in the Commerzbank Arena, + 43% trust / reliability in the Rhine-Main region, + 100% usage among sponsoring experts in Germany, etc. In particular, the target group of male 35+, often the decision-makers in companies, was reached. And the 17 billion media contacts in the DFB Cup winner year are gigantic. In addition to these impressive numbers, Hensgens placed the great importance of emotion and passion at the center of sponsorship in order to enable positive internal charging: “Sponsoring and charging the brand with emotion is extremely important, and that worked out great. ”Hensgens continues:“ Not just money, the idea is also important, such as the “United Colors” campaign. This employee measure is also very attractive: “All 450 German Indeed employees have received a Eintracht jersey.” The most lasting and intense experience is the stadium experience for Hensgens: “That also electrified those who were not interested in football and took them with them on the trip.”
Ex-football professionals with an interest in sports business
In addition to the two former Bundesliga goalkeepers Jens Lehmann (Arsenal London, BVB, Schalke 04, Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Richard Golz (Hamburger SV, SC Freiburg), Hans Sarpei in particular showedstrong interest in sports business. Even more: the former Bundesliga player (VfL Wolfsburg, FC Schalke 04) and Ghanaian national player is in great demand even after his playing days: With the Telekom soccer documentary “Das T stands for Coach” he is on the ball for and with nationally Amateur soccer players. In addition, the likeable fan favorite uses his social media accounts with value-oriented statements. His Instagram account has 109,000 followers and he even has 561,000 subscribers on Facebook. The sympathetic Sarpei understood the game off the pitch also on the online fields – and played it successfully, not least thanks to professional advice from Jung von Matt / Sports .
By the way: With Jonas Hofmann and Lars Stindl from Borussia Mönchengladbach, two current Bundesliga professionals also attended the congress without appearing on stage. A few days later, Hofmann was so inspired in the 2-2 away draw of the Foal Elf against RB Leipzig that he even crowned his best performance of the season with a goal.
SPOBIS statement: Digital dynamite among derby rivals
Leverkusen boss Fernando Carro had a provocative swipe at Rhine rival 1. FC Köln in his repertoire on stage: “There are clubs like Atlético Madrid that come to us in the Champions League and don’t even know that football is also played in Cologne will. ”The explosive effect did not fail. None other than the “Kölsche Jung” and 2014 world champion, Lukas Podolski (formerly 1. FC Köln, now Antalyaspor) , followed up with a counterattack on Twitter: “Nonsense at work. Whether Milan or Atlético Madrid – the main thing is that Señor Carro has known since the last derby that football is played in Cologne. Lots of warm air under the Bayer Cross! “Note: Bayer 04 Leverkusen lost the last derby in Cologne 2-0.
Rummenigge “smells” a record
At present, professional football collects 1.2 billion euros per season from national rights. On top of that there are a few hundred million from all over the world. The next four-year period is due from the season after next. The first breakthrough of the sound barrier of five billion euros is given as a negotiation target between the German Football League (DFL) and interested broadcasters and streaming providers. FC Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummeniggeis in good spirits, as he announced to presenter Marco Klewenhagen on the SPOBIS main stage (photo below): “A few months ago I had concerns, also because we are already at a decent level, but now I am optimistic that we will take another step can go up ”, said at the SPOBIS sports business congress in Düsseldorf. Rummenigge justified his confidence with the unexpected end of the pay-TV broadcaster Sky in the bidding process for the next Champions League cycle: “This has put Sky under dramatic pressure for the Bundesliga rights.” Does Rummenigge have the right nose as he once did as a goalscorer?
“Good of the game” and be careful about finances!
Rummenigge, ex-national team captain and star striker at Inter Milan , also risked a “critical look at international football” in the SPOBIS talk and warned against overemphasizing the financial side. He also distanced himself from the reforms that were in the air concerning the Champions League : “Do not fix what is not broken. And the Champions League is everything, just not broken. Everyone is happy with the format of the Champions League. In the knockout phase, all German teams have attractive games. There is absolutely no need for change. ”Rather, the 64-year-old emphasized:“ We have to take the clubs and fans into account. Fifa’s motto has always been ‘Good of the Game’. I’m slowly getting too little taken into account. “
The SPOBIS also reflected the nationwide strong response to podcasts as an audio trend format. Football world champion Christoph Kramer in the service of Borussia Mönchengladbach , active on Instagram as @ chrikra23, made critical comments in the live podcast on the SPOBIS stage with presenter Moritz Fürste , ex-hockey Olympic champion and world hockey player as well as managing director of the world’s first competition event format on the fitness market HYROX : “As a footballer, you always hear the same questions after the game: Missing mentality? Missing greed? These are things that you simply can’t say anything about, ”said the 28-year-old at the sports business congress in Düsseldorf.
The discussion of values
Christoph Kramer’s statement was also devoted to the question of values with a view to young talent and personal development. A particular explosive force was Kramer’s swipe at the player adviser scene in connection with young talents. Kramer not only criticized the unfounded promises with which players’ agents lure youngsters. His criticism of financial “carelessness” was particularly explosive. He complained that it can not be beneficial for B or A juniors to already “receive contracts for 10,000 euros a month”. “A dangerous development … Wherever there is a lot of money, there is also charlatanism!”
In general, Kramer was not at a loss for any critical point of view. In Germany he also named a culture “where everyone is only out to ask an uncomfortable question. Waiting for someone to make a mistake, which is then cannibalized. ” The struggle for reach: “You tend to click on reports that have a bit of flavor, they are more interesting.”
BVB boss meets Bild boss on stage
Raise the curtain on the big topic “Morals and ethics in professional sport”. BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke and BILD boss Julian Reichelt presented themselves in an offensive state in a talk with presenter Marco Klewenhagen. Watzke, directly affected by the social media campaign by 19-year-old BVB star Jadon Sancho, who documented his luxury Dubai trip in a “gold steak” manner in a video: Years already earned five million euros – that would certainly not have been a success story … “Watzke continues:” If we pay someone five, six, seven million, he can theoretically eat a gold steak every day. If he needs that, then you should ask what went wrong there. But after all, he doesn’t harm anyone with it. “
Watzke puts it into perspective: “I find it much worse when a little boy asks for an autograph – and he is left standing by a player.”
Reichelt and the stimulating figure Özil
Julian Reichelt, chairman of the Bild editor-in-chief, appeared on the main stage in an offensive mood and took a clear position on topics that concern sensitive aspects such as refugees and racism. The “Özil affair” came up in particular: Mesut Özil, professional Arsenal FC, posed in a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2018 and shortly afterwards posted racist accusations like these on his social media accounts: “In In the eyes of Grindel (DFB President at the time / editor’s note) and his helpers, I am German if we win and a migrant if we lose. “
Reichelt was right on the SPOBIS and explained the critical media reaction of the picture: “He was criticized for his politically unspeakable behavior.” Reichelt also attested Özil “allegations for his own benefit”.
Quotes from Reichelt: “Özil is someone who prefers to vote for dictatorship” and “who has accused our country of racism across the board … in order to increase”. “The language he chose wasn’t German and not Turkish, but English, it was about his marketing environment .” Note: Mesut Özil is after Toni Kroos the German professional footballer with the most social media followers: 21.7 million on Instagram alone!
Horsepower in the sports business: “German gallop”
The new brand Deutscher Galopp (formerly GERMAN RACING) forms the big umbrella brand under which exciting horse races and atmospheric events take place on the German racetracks. At the same time, the brand functions as a generic term for horse racing in Germany. Jan Pommer, responsible managing director PR / Marketing, presented the new offensive with a new name and the new logo at the SPOBIS. In the future it should become more modern, a larger target group can be reached with a new appearance, says Pommer: “We have to be active and approach people. Describing the dynamics of horse riding as unique, he referred to the great potential of this sport. Pommer’s “top priorities” also include youth work and the challenge of making sport exciting for future generations: “We have a tradition that will last almost 200 years, our job is to ensure that it has a long-term future. Of course we want to be young and dynamic. “
“Really big tennis”?
The former Wimbledon winner Michael Stich used the sports business congress stage to demand, among other things, that today’s tennis professionals turn to the public more authentically in order to increase the sport’s media presence: “The players have to reveal more about themselves than on Twitter or Facebook. It has to be possible to develop a relationship with the fans, who have to be able to say, I think he’s great and he is stupid, ”said Stich in Düsseldorf. The 51-year-old named top stars Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as examples : “I’m close to tennis, but I actually know very little about them as people.” As part of the panel “Berlin will be the tennis capital again”Stich enjoyed the reintroduction of a women’s tournament on the Spree in the early summer of Berlin’s Steffi Graf Stadium: “Berlin as the capital city is ideal for this, but there is also a huge demand for tennis in general because it has long ceased to be an elitist sport and as a real national sport goes through society as a whole. Tennis is a sleeping giant. “
Basket hunter offensive
Arne Dirks, managing director of the men’s basketball league club Brose Bamberg, nine-time German champion, currently in the middle of the table, confirmed his steep thesis from the sponsors podcast on the SPOBIS stage and confirmed: “We want to be the most innovative sports club in Germany “. In line with this, the contract extension with sponsor SIXT fluttered in: “Just like our club, SIXT is never satisfied with the second-best solution. That is the reason why our philosophies fit together so well. Now we are taking the next step together and will take our successful partnership to the next level. ” Vinzenz Pflanz , President Corporate Sales at SIXT, chose affirming words just one day after the SpoBis was published: “Our premium claim connects us with Brose Bamberg, who have been in the top league in their area for many years.”
Best values for the EHF-EURO also digital
Hand on it: handball is a top entertainment product. The EHF EURO 2020 underpinned this with facts and figures. Even more: the biggest European championship in history was marked by jam-packed arenas, millions of TV viewers and an enormous increase in social media reach. With just under 500,000 visitors, Handball-Euro set a personal record for attendance. At the largest European handball championship of all time, three countries (Austria, Sweden, Norway) and six venues fought for the title. Best marks on TV too. Broadcast by almost 90 channels worldwide. Best of example: The market share of the Croatian broadcaster RTL in the final against Spain was three quarters of the population! Croatia versus Germany saw a total of 7.4 million in both countries, 6.4 million on ZDF. Handball goes digital: The fans were continuously informed with extensive digital content via the numerous digital channels of the EHF EURO 2020. The EHF EURO’s social media channels recorded one on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter27 percent growth . It’s impressive: 12 million videos in the 2-month period December / January!
Volleyball: Interactive Ground and Ground of Facts
As part of the last volleyball Supercup, the volleyball Bundesliga attracted the greatest media attention with the world’s first interactive indoor floor. Lukas Schumacher from web-netz sports met Frido Gutknecht at the SPOBIS and learned from the Head of Marketing and Marketing of the Volleyball Bundesliga:
“I get my motivation from the guiding principle“ He who is brave will be successful ”. And that applies in particular to working in sports. “
“Of course we don’t yet reap the sponsorship or media revenues like in football, but we also don’t compare ourselves to other sports. We have found our permanent place in the public interested in sports and we now have to develop and expand it. The volleyball Bundesliga, the sporty “Home of Respect”in Germany, stands credibly for important social values, for example, women and men are on an equal footing with us. This striking strength, unique in the professional team sport of ball sports, leads in addition to the increased nationwide media presence, the increased level of sporting performance of the clubs, increasing number of spectators in the halls and the two highlight events DVV Cup finals and comdirect Supercup, in which we always come up with new Innovations, such as the interactive video glass floor at the Supercup 2019, also mean that the volleyball Bundesliga is becoming more and more interesting as an advertising partner for companies whose own corporate communication with the associated sports sponsorship is based on such values.
The sports business scene is characterized by increasing interest in more and more sports. New digital response numbers like at the handball EURO in January as well as the interactive hall floor highlight at the volleyball Supercup underline the new drive. Even sports like horse racing are motivated to bring new horsepower to the sports business streets. Professional football is still far away thanks to extremely lucrative income from sponsorship and media. Podcasts as an audio format are also very popular on the sports field. With the Hamburg OMR maker Philipp Westermeyer, the financially most successful podcast marketer entered the sports stage at SPOBIS. And it was this pioneer who brought the huge monetization potential of soccer stars with high reach social media accounts into play. The subject of fan-friendliness is explosive on two levels: On the one hand, in the ticketing area through third-party providers and, on the other hand, in the case of outdoor events, the stimulus question of pyrotechnics. In addition, there is still great growth potential in the area of online and performance marketing for more sales in all sports – including the national soccer leagues. Last but not least, the opportunities for and with the sports stars in the context of influencer marketing are moving more and more into the focus of the monetary interest for the clubs / associations (employers!). In addition, there is still great growth potential in the area of online and performance marketing for more sales in all sports – including the national soccer leagues. Last but not least, the opportunities for and with the sports stars in the context of influencer marketing are moving more and more into the focus of the monetary interest for the clubs / associations (employers!). In addition, there is still great growth potential in the area of online and performance marketing for more sales in all sports – including the national soccer leagues. Last but not least, the opportunities for and with the sports stars in the context of influencer marketing are moving more and more into the focus of the monetary interest for the clubs / associations (employers!).