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Platforms Featured Global

These are the world’s most influential players on Instagram, according to Nielsen

Singapore – Market measurement firm Nielsen has released new data to list the most influential players on Instagram, with all of the listed players to play at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been a global superstar for nearly 20 years with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, again increased his Instagram following in the past year with around 47% follower growth. He leads the list with a media value of US$3,585,218.

Following next is Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi with a media value of US$2,631,388 and Brazilian footballer Neymar with a media value of US$1,152,495. Other high-ranking players include French football player Kylian Mbappé (US$1,173,157 media value) and Brazilian player Vinícius Júnior (US$685,120).

Meanwhile, Spanish footballer Gavi ranks first in the breakthrough players list on Instagram, with an expected media value of US$377,305 and an engagement rate of 29.46%. Following him is Brazilian player Raphinha with a media value of US$22,727 and engagement rate of 3.59% and Brazilian player Antony with media value of US$106,229 and engagement rate of 12.42%. 

Other breakthrough players include Spanish player Pedri (US$255,212 media value and 13.20% engagement rate), Argentinian player Rodrigo De Paul (US$206,983 media value and 13.34% engagement rate), and Brazilian player Rodrygo (US$119,726 media value and 5.42% engagement rate).

Marco Nazzari, managing director of international sport at Nielsen said, “With dozens of the world’s most recognizable athletes competing for football’s ultimate prize, the World Cup will capture the attention of nearly a billion people. This event provides brands unique opportunities to partner with the right footballers to effectively engage their target audiences. Nielsen InfluenceScope evaluates all aspects of a particular player’s influence so that brands can ensure that they receive a proper rate-of-return for the right investment.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

LaLiga Pass debuts in Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand – LaLiga Pass, the over-the-top (OTT) platform offering of Spanish football division LaLiga, will be made available to fans in Thailand, giving them access to LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank matches.

LaLiga Pass has also been made available to fans in Indonesia as part of the Asian offering of the OTT platform.

Through LaLiga Pass, fans in both countries will become the first in the world to have LaLiga Pass available for their mobile devices and televisions, a step that allows LaLiga to get even closer to its fans, making them owners of the content and allowing them to enjoy an increasingly personalised fan experience.

Along with live coverage of every LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank match, LaLiga Pass users will also have access to match round-ups, documentaries, videos of the best goals and saves, interviews and other exclusive content designed for each country.

In addition, each matchday will feature three LaLiga Santander matches narrated in the local language, something that only LaLiga Pass users will be able to enjoy.

Alfredo Bermejo, digital strategy director at LaLiga, said, “One of the keys of the entertainment sector is to be able to offer a high degree of personalisation, to speak to each fan in their own language and to provide them with quality content adapted to their tastes and needs. We believe that LaLiga Pass, and all the technology behind it, is a big step in this direction and will be a great option for those who want to enjoy LaLiga and everything that surrounds it.”

Furthermore, LaLiga Pass will also represent a new business model that will both improve the fan experience and attract more LaLiga fans as well as provide a technology that can be commercialised and exploited by other companies through LaLiga Tech.

Oscar Mayo, executive director at LaLiga, commented, “LaLiga Pass is a logical step in our audiovisual strategy. Over the last few years we have strived to improve the experience for fans watching LaLiga from different parts of the world and we now want to take things a step further by allowing them to have more control over what they watch, offering more and better content, and telling more stories around LaLiga and its clubs in those countries.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GameFi Platform DEA inks partnership with Angkor Tiger FC

Singapore — Singapore-based global GameFi platform, Digital Entertainment Asset (DEA), has struck a partnership with the Japanese-affiliated Cambodian football club Angkor Tiger FC.

Angkor Tiger FC will participate in DEA’s play-to-earn ecosystem as a ‘gaming guild’ as part of this partnership. To that extent, the football club will purchase NFTs of digital assets and in-game items on DEA’s gaming platform ‘PlayMining’ by utilising the investment funds of the club’s sponsors. Within the DEA ecosystem, gaming guilds are organisations that invest in NFTs of the platform’s Play-to-Earn games and generate revenue from the games by playing them in an organized manner.

Naohito Yoshida, CEO of DEA, said, that the business models DEA is working on under ‘PlayMining,’ such as GameFi and Play to Earn, are not only a fusion of gaming and fintech but also aimed at solving sustainable social issues and helping people around the world to achieve their goals.

“We are committed to ensuring that the efforts of DEA and Angkor Tiger FC will contribute to creating jobs and improving people’s livelihood in Cambodia,” Yoshida said.

Akihiro Kato, Angkor Tiger FC’s owner, is optimistic that this partnership will help strengthen the Cambodian economy and the club simultaneously. He added that their aim is to be more than just a football club.

“In our hometown of Siem Reap, usually a vibrant tourist destination, many people have lost their jobs because of the Corona pandemic. As we were thinking about what we could do as a club besides soccer, we met Mr Yoshida and decided to start the Tiger Guild project because we saw the possibility of improving the livelihood of our supporters and the people of Siem Reap. I would like to team up with DEA to create a new form of club management for the next era,” Kato said.

Through this partnership with DEA, the Cambodian football club aims to help create new income streams in Cambodia by leveraging DEA’s diverse range of play-to-earn games. Additionally, the football club has also insisted that supporters who earn rewards by participating in the play-to-earn games deposit their winnings for club-related activities, which will accelerate the stimulation of Angkor Tiger FC’s economic zone.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia Airlines ties with Johor pro football club to elevate sport’s presence

Johor Bahru, Malaysia Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) and Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club (JDTFC) has recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mark their partnership which will be committed to elevating the local football scene “to the highest level.”

With the partnership, Malaysia Airlines will be exclusively designated as the official airline partner for JDTFC, flying the team to games across Malaysia and in representing the country internationally; besides cobranding opportunities in merchandising rights and customer engagement via experiential experiences.

Captain Izham of MAB commented that there is obvious synergy between Malaysia Airlines and JDTFC as both brands represent Malaysia on an international stage and both strive to provide world-class hospitality. 

“Our partnership will give us a platform to further build on each other’s strengths and we are very excited to begin this journey with our new partner who continues to be the pioneer in Malaysian football, break records and prove that a Malaysian football club can be attractive to internationally renowned partners,” said Captain Izham.

Under the MoU, Malaysia Airlines and JDTFC will also unlock their shared visions in elevating Malaysia’s football scene through a collaboration of ideas in branding and hospitality, domestically and internationally. The airline also said that consumers can expect more engaging collaborations as the airline seeks to create Johor as its key hub, connecting the state directly with East Malaysia.

HRH Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, owner of JDTFC, also commented, “There are very few Malaysian brands that have such a global reach as Malaysia Airlines and I think it is a big statement for such a brand to see JDT as a partner that can match their aspirations. I believe we will certainly live up to the standards expected of such a partnership and we will keep improving to ensure that we remain an attractive and valuable partner. 

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Platforms Featured APAC

Premier League rolls out Asia campaign to discourage piracy of football matches

Hong Kong – Premier League, one of the well-known football leagues globally, has rolled out its second phase of anti-piracy campaign across Asia, specifically to the markets of Hong Kong and Malaysia. Said campaign is centered around the dangers that illegal football streams pose to fans.

Done in partnership with broadcast partners Astro and PCCW, the campaign notes the perils of patronizing illegal football streams which include data theft to malicious malware, as well as emphasizing the poor viewing experience through broken links and delays.

Said campaign will feature images of fan favorites such as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min and Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. In addition, the campaign will be rolled out across digital platforms in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Speaking about the campaign, Kevin Plumb, director of legal services at Premier League, said, “This campaign is an important part of our education to fans. We will continue working with our broadcast partners to fight piracy and disrupt illegal Premier League streams. However, we want to ensure supporters really understand that piracy is not only illegal but also brings with it many risks.”

He added, “Illegal Premier League streaming also means missing out on watching high-definition games in real-time with expert commentary and insights from players and managers. We want fans to enjoy the best Premier League viewing experience possible via official broadcast channels, not via broken and delayed illegal sources which also bring with them a great risk of malicious malware and ransomware.”

The Premier League is committed to tackling piracy and continues to work closely with its official broadcast partners in the region to educate consumers on the dangers they face when watching illegal football streams.

Furthermore, across the Southeast Asia region, the Premier League has also been targeting those responsible for operating illegal football streams and bringing them to justice through the courts.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Live streaming platform Bigo Live engages football fans in AU via session with two AFL talents

Sydney, Australia – Global live streaming platform Bigo Live’s new live stream event aims to engage football fans in Australia, and it has partnered with Australian Football League (AFL) talents Xavier Duursma and Cameron Zurhaar to conduct a Q&A session with fans.

To be streamed live on 27 and 28 of February, the live stream session aims to encourage Aussie football fans to be active and healthy during the global pandemic by unfolding and connecting the communities over the shared love for football.

During the session, the AFL players will answer the top 10 frequently asked questions to them and will share football players’ stories and talk about their daily lives as professional players.

On 27 February, Cam Zurhaar, who plays for North Melbourne Football Club, will go live streaming first from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. AEDT. While on 28 February, Xavier Duursma, the wingman for Port Adelaide Football Club and 2019 rising star nominee, will go live from 8:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m AEDT.’

Bigo Live has been leveraging ANZ talents, such as Stan Walker, M4SONIC, Taylor Henderson, Dami Im, Erin Miranda, and many other artists, and is now looking forward to connecting to the rich sports culture in the region.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

APL unveils new execs to take helm of its marketing and digital business

Australia – Australia’s professional men’s football league, Australian Professional Leagues (APL), has recently announced new hires, to take the helm of its marketing and sponsorships business as well as its digital development efforts and media rights. 

Ant Hearne (picured left), former chief commercial officer at sports streaming service, Kayo, assumes the same role in APL; while, Michael Tange (pictured right), former strategy consultant at Rugby authority, Rugby Australia, is appointed to the position of Strategy and Digital Director

The appointments are the first of the ones to come ahead, following the league’s announcement of the unbundling of four professional football leagues from Football Australia in December.

Hearne joins the team to set up and lead all commercial activities for APL, including user experience, marketing, and content, as well as sponsorships, rights negotiations, and other revenue opportunities. 

Aside from Kayo, Hearne also stood as CCO to other streaming services of pay television company Foxtel such as BINGE, WatchAFL, and WatchNRL. His career in Australia, Asia, and the US incorporates senior marketing and commercial roles in telco, digital media, marketing tech, and sports entertainment. 

Meanwhile, Tange is charged with leading strategy, digital development, and media rights for APL. He brings with him 15 years of experience managing global roles with sports, data, and technology companies. He joins from Nielsen Sports in New York where he spent a decade working on commercial strategy, broadcast, digital, and fan development with leading properties such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA TOUR, and Major League Soccer.

“With full ownership of the four leagues, we have an ambitious vision for the growth of the game at every level. The new, expanded executive team [has] been tasked with unleashing the APL’s commercial and entrepreneurial capabilities, and we now have a structure that will enable them to deliver the right outcomes for all of Australian football,” said Paul Lederer, chair of APL

Meanwhile, Hearne, the new CCO, reiterates the sport’s growth opportunity in Australian sport, having twice as many participants as any other game in the country. 

“It’s now time to deliver commercial outcomes that will fuel the sustainable growth of the game. Our teams are playing exciting, fast-paced, uncompromising football in front of the most passionate fans and it’s the APL’s mission [to] take that direct-to-consumer in order to unlock the power of the fan and ultimately grow the whole game. It’s going to be an exciting ride,” said Hearne.

APL Commissioner Greg O’Rourke continues to lead the operational side of the business in conjunction with Deputy Commissioner Tracey Scott.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ShopBack SG brings in football fans with new tie-up with LaLiga

Singapore – Rewards and discovery platform ShopBack in Singapore has tied up with Spain’s professional football league LaLiga for a joint marketing amplification, which will include giveaway contests within the platform.

At large, the partnership will see a release of an official campaign video of LaLiga, in-app and website pushes, social media engagement, and out-of-home advertisements. A video shoutout by LaLiga ambassador and former football player Gaizka Mendieta will also be released. 

Video, courtesy of ShopBack.

One of the main marketing initiatives within the partnership is a social media contest which will give away a football fan an all-expenses paid trip to Spain for two to catch a LaLiga match live. 

LaLiga spearheads Spain’s two national professional football competitions LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank, where both have already started its 2020-21 season on September 12.

In order to participate, ShopBack users must visit the LaLiga page on the platform starting 27 November and click on the “Submit Entry Now” button to be redirected to an Instagram post. In the post, users must comment on why they deserve to watch a Laliga game in Spain, share it to Instagram, and tag their intended travel buddy. Lastly, those interested must make a purchase on any ShopBack selected brands

The competition will run from 27 November to 31 December 2020, in line with ShopFest, ShopBack’s annual mega shopping festival that spans the entire year-end shopping season. 

In a press statement, ShopBack said that through the partnership with the sports association, it aims to “portray its value of togetherness just as football brings people together.”

ShopBack Co-founder Joel Leong said, “We are excited to kick off this partnership with LaLiga to bring football fans and shoppers together. With the sporting world still gradually being reinstated to normalcy, the upcoming football matches in Spain promise to be that rush of adrenaline and the perfect opportunity to bring people together.”

LaLiga’s Managing Director for SEA Ivan Codina commented, “Alongside our fans, we long for the time when we can return to the stadiums and celebrate the passion of live football action of LaLiga in person. In this situation, together with ShopBack, we wish to remind our consumers that we are ‘better together’ despite being physically apart. With the pent-up demand to travel and experience live sports continuing to build, the grand prize is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we know would excite fans.”