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2022 Super Bowl Sports Business Takeaways

I'm fresh off the plane and reflecting on the events and activities over the last week. I spent a good part of last week in LA for Super Bowl related meetings, events, parties and networking. I haven't had that many passed hors d'oeuvres in my entire life. But, I digress. I was able to meet with many influential, smart and important people in sports business and attend some amazing panel discussions. Here are my top five takeaways from the week:

  1. If you remember the cola wars from back in the day then get ready as now two new world wars have begun. It's the crypto wars and betting wars. First up the talk more than ever is on the crypto space. Who's in it? Who's waiting? And most importantly who's making money? We saw the various companies activation parties, TV commercials and sponsor announcements. The feeling around town from people I talk to is that crypto is here to stay and everybody has an opinion on it. The amount of money being spent is vast, too vast for some but watch where it all goes in 2022. What's your feeling? If you could have a choice and get paid all or part of your salary in crypto would you opt in? Leave a comment.

  2. The betting companies were everywhere and now there are 31 players in the game but a few standouts who are really making an impact. Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, Draftkings etc. are the big boys on the block and will continue to dominate as more states open up. This is an all out slugfest and where I see this going is the convergence of betting, entertainment and sports. I hear rumors of some amazing technologically advanced integrations so look forward to the future here. I still have yet to place a bet but the day's still young.

  3. Those lovely three letters ring in everyone's ear. NFT. Yes, everyone was talking about NFT's and so many experts were in LA preaching the gospel. Listen, NFT's are taking shape but from what I see and hear they really run the gamut from pure entertainment, design, fun all the way to serious revenue generation. The younger generation mostly see's it, likes it and buys in and the people I spoke with feel NFT's have to be part of your sports marketing program somewhere if for no other reason then to say you're doing NFT's. For me like betting I have yet to acquire an NFT but I have a 1 of 1 NFT of me racing a tri in a speedo which I'll sell for one bitcoin. Zelle me.

  4. Integration! In speaking to many sports marketing folks around town it's obvious that sports sponsorship packages have to include a high level of integration across digital, social and now meta. Another player in the sports marketing realm, like we needed more. But yes, teams, athletes and brands are wanting to integrate into the metaverse. It's another catchy term but one where serious decision makers are looking into and hedging bets.

  5. Fancentric focus is still a main topic in the industry and more teams, leagues and media companies are doing everything they can to engage the fans in new ways since fans have so many options for entertainment and with shorter attention spans. Arthur Blank, owner of the two professional sports teams spoke at length about this at the Bloomberg Power Players Summit. His take was to bring in the same customer targeted emphasis from Home Depot to his sports teams and it has worked. His stadiums are routinely filled.

I'm looking forward to the next big sports week to catch up with friends and continue the journey in the up and down sports business world. Thanks for reading.

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