This morning we welcomed over 30 representatives from the world of sports and entertainment to our exclusive rights holder breakfast learning session. Organisations including the Premier League, Professional Cricketers’ Association, AEG, European Tour Productions and the National Theatre joined the workshop which centred on digital strategy aligned to the plan, activate, measure framework created by Nielsen.

Jon Long, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports UK & Ireland kicked off proceedings by providing an overview of key digital industry trends before Digital Consultant, Andreas Plastiras chaired a panel discussion where Moe Hamdhaidari; Head of Digital Platforms at Chelsea FC, Mark Frankel; Social Media Editor at BBC News and Gavin Johnson; Managing Director at JOE Media answered questions.


Amongst the most pertinent trends and insights outlined by Jon was engagement levels across specific social media channels. The slight decline in year on year engagement* levels on average on Facebook across nine leading sports bodies and comparison, the increase in the number of engagements** on Instagram amongst (growing from 118M interactions in 2016 to 193M on average in 2017).


The importance of a strong owned and earned content strategy was also raised, along with highlighting the importance of pre-defining the best-fit distribution networks for brands or organisations. This ensures they can provide fans with content on the pages and platforms that they visit most to consume it an organic way.

The increasing commercialisation of any digital and social strategy is key. Nielsen outlined the increase in branded content partnerships that have been established across leading rights owners, and cited the unique opportunity for brands who typically do not generate media value through linear channels (TV for example) to embrace newly created Digital and Social assets.


Given the variety of the roles held by the panellists and the challenges faced within each of their respected organisations, it was fascinating to hear of the stark similarities that should be embraced when planning, activating and measuring any digital strategy.

Mark Frankel, for example, outlined the maturing nature of social media platforms. Importantly, he highlighted the need to transition from simply seeking reach to providing content that is inclusive, that resonates with fans and encourages two-way conversation. These were sentiments echoed by Moe Hamdhaidari when outlining the importance of building and sustaining ‘relationships’ with fans across digital and social media platforms.

Other key themes of our discussion included the significance of defining a strategy that caters for different audiences and different territories. As well as audiences, the importance of using data to assess what is working best in real-time environment – a unique facet of digital, given the speed of data availability compared to the linear broadcast experience was also well discussed.

From a commercial stand-point, Gavin Johnson provided insight as to the success of JOE Media’s ‘Total Tekkers’ campaign, leveraged with XBOX, and described the ways in which the impact and success of the campaign was measured (by Nielsen Sports and Entertainment).


It was a fantastic session which really reinforced the importance for a well thought out digital and social media content strategy. It also reinforced the role to establish a plan, activate and measure framework – fundamental in making this all possible.

*Facebook Engagement defined as Reactions, Comments, Shares
**Instagram Engagement defined as Likes, Comments


For more information on how Nielsen can support you in achieving your digital and social media objectives, please reach out to Chris Hurst at