In this in-depth video interview, conducted via Zoom, we hear from industry veteran, Marshall Glickman, CEO of G2 Strategic, who benefits from almost four decades experience of working in the sports and entertainment sector, with clients including ATP, EuroLeague Basketball, LaLiga and Ligue 1.
The following is an edited down version of the full hour-long video interview.
Can you give us an overview of G2 Strategic, your services, clients, etc?
We provide business counsel, focusing on commercial assets, monetisation, growth, new markets, guest experience, sales strategy, ticket sales, premium/hospitality, digital transformation, venue design, finance, organisational structure/culture and all matters relating to revenue generation. We do not offer sports advice! With both LaLiga and EuroLeague, we provide counsel directly to the Leagues, as well as work directly with individual clubs. We travel to Spain and several EuroLeague countries multiple times each year. For EuroLeague, I am on the CBO Board, and have helped launch a series of initiatives, including Business Operations & Club Services (BOCS); we also facilitate and lead the annual EuroLeague Business Summit. For LaLiga, I chair the Customer Experience Committee (made up of 18 clubs), where we are leading a series of new initiatives, including Customer Experience Standards, transitioning to digital ticketing, ticket re-sale, video screen content, and seating in proximity to the pitch. We also work directly with several LaLiga clubs and regularly lead Workshops for all clubs on topics such as business planning, sales strategy and guest experience.
You will be giving a Keynote at the next edition of ALSD International, being held at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium this October 12-13, and also moderating panel sessions with both EuroLeague and LaLiga. Can you give us some insights as to what to expect?
Given the current pandemic, we will focus on plans for re-launch. We are working with both Leagues and individual clubs on three phases:
1) During suspension of games (now) — stakeholder engagement, business planning, monetisation strategies & actions, protocols for re-launch, partial capacity strategies, overcoming fear and limited financial resources, development of new monetisable assets, etc.
2) Once the doors open, assuming limited capacity — access control, screening, sanitation, digital ticketing, contactless payment, etc.
3) Once the doors open, full capacity — focus on new markets (women, GenZ, young Millennials, B2B), new formats for social gathering, celebration, and how to take advantage of pent-up demand.
How do you see the sports sector evolving post Coronavirus?
I suspect older fans will attend fewer games, if any, preferring to watch on TV, but there is a huge opening to welcome new fans, especially GenZ and younger, by substantially improving the guest experience, enhancing links with the broader community, corporate social responsibility, etc. This is an opportunity for all European Leagues to refresh their aging fan base and shift the value proposition from sports results to experience, and to use digital tools and tech to improve engagement, service and customise experiences. Media rights will be more valuable and be delivered across multiple platforms; streaming will become a bigger part of the media pie. New ticketing products, especially Netflix-like monthly subscriptions, will become popular. Paper tickets will end and the smart phone will become a necessary companion at live sports & entertainment events. Capacity downsizing will take place in many venues, while gate and ancillary revenues will increase due to higher customer spend in exchange for unique experiences. Valuation of commercial assets will shift from impressions to results (ROI).
What should clubs, teams and venues be focused on in the short term?
Focus groups (weekly), via video conference — talk to the fans. Surveys and formal research as well. Comprehensive business planning. Reallocation of human resources to bottom line results. Structural changes that assure long-term economic stability. Focus on service and experience. Infrastructure upgrades will take time, because accessing construction financing will be challenging. B2B networks will emerge (like Bayern Munich’s Business Circle). Clubs should digitise administrative tasks and humanise engagement.
Check out the full video interview with Marshall, conducted via Zoom, online at: https://youtu.be/IsCvI_wo8mE