RPC Sports Ticker (29 July 2020) – Cyber Security, Lions in South Africa and Lululemon
Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.
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As the English Premier League’s longest season draws to a close, and amidst reports that spectators could be able to watch sport inside stadia in England again from October, this fortnight’s Ticker also takes a look at cyber security challenges facing sports organisations, the recent removal of Watford and Huddersfield’s managers and a documentary for the Lions’ South Africa 2021 tour.
As always, if there are any areas you’d like more information on (or if you have any questions or feedback), please let us know or get in touch with your usual RPC contact.
1. Sports sector urged to tighten cyber security
Last week, the National Cyber Security Centre published its first ever report on cyber security issues affecting sports organisations, examining issues such as business email compromise, digital fraud, and venue security. According to the report, over 70% of the sports organisations surveyed had experienced at least one cyber-attack per year (over double the average for general UK businesses), with approximately 30% of incidents causing direct financial damage.
2. Huddersfield and Watford relegate their managers to the jobs market
Huddersfield Town have sacked manager Danny Cowley after just 10 months in charge of the Championship club, whilst Watford have sacked Nigel Pearson as he leaves now relegated Watford (who were three points clear of safety with two games left to play at the time he was sacked).
3. Lions in South Africa (but not as you know it…)
South Africa and the British & Irish Lions have agreed a commercial deal for a behind-the-scenes documentary as part of the South Africa 2021 tour, taking viewers inside both teams’ camps.
4. Lululemon and Mirror deal reflects demand for home workouts
Lululemon has announced a $500m deal to acquire Mirror - a fitness company that installs screens within users' homes and charges a monthly subscription fee to live stream classes and arrange personal training sessions.
5. Nike dresses its Guangzhou store with sports tech
Following the closure of nearly 90% of its stores for eight weeks to protect employees against COVID-19, Nike has made a grand return, with the opening of its new concept store in China. This store comes as part of its digital transformation efforts, and utilises technology and innovation to improve the customer experience, by offering consumers an experiential and unique shopping experience.
... and finally, according to Google Data, the number of female gamers in Asia has risen by 19% year on year and is now increasing at a rate faster than male gamers. This is particularly significant as Asia includes many key markets for gaming (including India, China and South Korea), and represents 48% of gaming revenue overall. This change is impacting the industry already. Female eSports players have grown their followings significantly and there are now entire leagues dedicated to this growing sector (such as the Female eSports League). It will be interesting to see how gaming brands respond as they compete to win over this growing segment of the market.