Nielsen Sports: Re-shaping the Sporting Industry through Analytics
Over the last 10-15 years, sponsorships, commercial deals, and transactional trends have evolved considerably in the sports industry. Today, that industry has proliferated into a one of the most commercially sound, high-functioning business verticals. With brands and organizations investing huge sums, there is a growing zeal in sports to better understand the market dynamics and evaluate the prospects which maximize return on investment.
With this development, the demand for research and analytics in the sports has skyrocketed and Nielsen Sports has carved a leading global position in this space. Originally founded in Australia and now headquartered in New York, Neilsen Sports marks its niche as a provider of independent data, insights and advisory services to sports rights holders and sponsor brands to help make smarter business decisions. Growing over time, organizations in sports have developed a taste in analytics and insights as a reliable source of acquiring independent and holistic market data in the sector and the most complete view of consumer trends and habits worldwide. Guy Port, MD Asia, Neilsen Sports says, “With the use of research and analytics we can build a deep profile on sports fan behavior, based on understanding what fan’s watch, what they follow and their online digital activity. The exciting time for our business is the depth and speed of access to this data is far greater than what we had ten years ago.”
Neilsen Sports was incorporated in 2016 after NewYork-based Global Research and measurement firm- Nielsen acquired Repucom.
Our solutions for the ever-growing demand in Australia created the business for us, and we took that business model across the world
Established as an initiative to address the growing demand for sports research in Australia, today the company is a global leader in analytics, insights, measurement, research and consulting solutions in sport, serving over 1,700 rights holders, brands, broadcasters, and agencies. With over 1,400 staff in over 20 global locations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia including offices in China, Singapore, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia, Nielsen Sports is able to also now tap into Nielsen’s even larger international presence to deliver unrivalled commercial solutions in sports.
According to Port, a significant part of the Nielsen Sports’ stronghold in the industry is attributed to the rich sporting business landscape of Australia. With a comparatively smaller population than most global counterparts, Australia promotes a highly concentrated sports market that demands innovation and proof of performance against a wide range of marketing spend options. “Our solutions for the ever-growing demand in Australia created the business for us, and we took that business model across the world,” adds Port.
Nielsen sports entrance to technology was the development of an image recognition system, to efficiently monitor brand presence in sports broadcasts. This platform captures deep level of data ranging from brand placements in stadiums to the media impressions driven by brand logos on sports jerseys. With the advancement of sports media, the company has expanded the capability to new forms of digital and social media content, allowing the industry to understand sponsor presence across the entire sport media ecosystem. More recently in August 2017, Nielsen Sports acquired vBrand, an Israel based startup with the most advanced machine learning platform to understand brand presence in sport media.
With upcoming major global sporting events in Asia such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Port believes that an extraordinary growth of Sport business across Asia is in order. Through a vibrant sporting landscape laid with the growth of global sports such as Football in China, India and Southeast Asia and localized sports such as Cricket and Kabaddi in India, Nielsen Sports plans to grow within Asia’s domestic sports economies. “What’s interesting for our growth in Asia is the localization. It’s been a real strength for Nielsen sports. Along with a global expertise of the sports business world, the key for us today is the development of the local teams as each market in Asia is very niche,” concludes Port.