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THE SPOT – meet the guest speakers!

The Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Sports Week Paris and previously Vivendi Chief Marketing Officertells iSportconnect why adapting to change in the digital reality doesn’t mean sport becoming any less authentic.

Sport Must Learn from Entertainment

The sports world is at a turning point in a rapidly changing world. 

The age-old traditional business models are giving way under the massive pressures of digital transformation.

The days of rights owners being able to depend on broadcasters and sponsors writing cheques to fund their operations profitably are numbered. Who knows how much longer they will be able to do so?

“Sport will have to adjust to the new competitive digital reality just as other entertainment businesses have already been doing, many with great success” said Lucien Boyer, who will deliver a keynote on the Future of Sports Entertainment at THE SPOT.

“And sport can actually become more economically powerful and influential than ever before – if it responds pro-actively to inevitable change.”

“Sport has much to learn from entertainment,” he said.

Lucien recently stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer of French media Vivendi, the parent company of the Canal+ and Universal Music groups as well as mobile games giant Gameloft and advertising agency Havas. 

Before joining Vivendi, he was the long-time head of Havas Sports & Entertainment. 

“The music business lost half of its value 20 years ago,” he said. “It was hit by rapid technological changes that it just was not ready for. Over the past two decades, music has clawed its way back to where it was. Sport does not want to go through that and it doesn’t have to.”

“My message to sport is – don’t wait. Anticipate and shift.”

“Rights owners will have enormous opportunities to create new value chains.”

He added, “The changes in the media and entertainment market are social changes. In order to remain relevant sport needs to reflect the society it’s a part of. When many of the big traditional sports were created in their current forms, they were part of a 19thCentury society. If you were inventing tennis today, for example, it would be very different. It’s the same for any sport.”

He continued, “It’s important to recognise that adapting to change doesn’t mean sport becoming any less authentic. Sport is still sport. Everything derives from that. But rights owners need to develop new business models.”

Lucien is now the Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Sports Week Paris, a new initiative galvanising stakeholders around the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

By Jay Stuart, Editor at iSportconnect

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