MATT JONES, MANAGING DIRECTOR – ACTIVATION

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is resulting in worldwide impact, directly affecting every continent and our most critical industries, such as healthcare, finance and travel.

Public events and operations are on hold and facing an uncertain short-term future, and the ramifications for the sports marketing industry are significant.

Large-scale, showpiece events are being shelved by the day as a precaution, leaving brands and rights holders across the globe wondering where to turn in light of the outbreak.

In our world, we’ve seen Formula 1’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix cancelled, Formula E’s season postponed and almost every sporting league across Europe and North America either called off or forced to be staged behind closed doors. This has had big consequences for many in our industry, whose activations and participation at such events have suffered the same fate.

In this time of uncertainty, we at Right Formula feel a duty to our client base to communicate that we are here to help and suggest alternative ways forward.

There is no blanket solution to the problem, but we, as a consultancy, can help provide practical alternatives to ensure the best is made of this unfortunate situation. From closed doors come new opportunities.

Wellbeing and safety is critical to our clients, so we have been proactive internally in advising the best route and offering contingency plans that make sense for the audiences our clients still need to reach – coronavirus or no coronavirus.

While this is undoubtedly a huge challenge, we want to help use this as an opportunity to differentiate. We believe there are alternative approaches, be it digitally interactive, virtual or a combination of both, that can offer thought-leading, immersive experiences. These are just a few thought provokers as to how brands can change their methods to stay agile and active during the coronavirus crisis.

 

Other considerations include:

  1. A reassessment of objectives. What is needed and what is the end goal? What elements can still remain but be communicated via a different approach? Break down your physical requirements and brainstorm alternatives.
  2. Innovations for interaction. What broadcast and immersive digital technology concepts are at your disposal and within your budget?
  3. Review your existing partnership marketing assets. With every challenge comes the opportunity to look for new opportunities. By reviewing the situation and discussing renegotiating with the rights holder, alternative solutions and opportunities might be sought.

It’s clear to all of us working within sport that this is a significant challenge that affects our industry in new ways. However, as with everything, the world doesn’t stop turning so it’s important to use challenges such as this as an opportunity and seek new, alternative ways to ensure your brand continues to thrive.