He’s a marketing guru with experience at Reebok and adidas. He’s been working for BG for 18 months.
Q. As someone coming in to gymnastics from the outside, what struck you immediately as being the big untapped opportunities within the sport?
A. … From the outside, I thought I could see that gymnastics seemed under-commercialised.
Q. Were there specific, unforseen barriers to how you commercialise the rights and properties?
A. The sport itself is – certainly was – very focussed on the organisational stuff: safeguarding and regulations and so on. Quite rightly so …
I saw [British Gymnastics] as a hidden gem. …
A. Tell us how you’re trying to shift the brand and the narrative…
The three main headlines …:
1) We have a participation boom, particularly among our core audience of 5-14s.
2) We’re medalling well at the high performance level; and
3) We have this high female bias – roughly 80% in our participation.
Q. What impact have you seen so far?
A. ‘Power to amaze’ is not an external strapline, but rather a brand essence. We’ll be starting to roll it out across our events this Spring.
It’s also informed our commercial proposition, which has three main threads.
One is around community. …
The second area for partnership is innovation. …
The third area … is that we have access to really engaging and interesting content in gymnastics.
From behind-the-scenes to clubs to gymnasts – there’s a whole thread. … Gymnastics already benchmarks really well against other sports on social media, particularly Facebook and YouTube. …
(He mentions Nile Wilson’s YouTube channel with 1m + subscribers.)
… But we know many gymnasts have their own platforms and audiences outside of British Gymnastics, and they’re free to pursue those commercial opportunities to supplement their funding.
Q. As a sport that enjoys a huge Olympic boom every four years, how does that cycle affect your planning?
A. One of the incongruous things is that our high performance success has mainly been driven from the men’s side, but our participation is driven from the female side. …
Sport Industry Group – NIGEL HILL Q&A: GYM GETS COMMERCIAL
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