JDG Sport Shorts #3

A look at a few things in the world of sport and marketing that caught my eye this week.

Notts County fan engagement

I’ve known Sarah via Twitter for a couple of years, and she is really passionate about fan engagement and has done a great job at first Oxford United and now Notts County. The sort of marketing and fan engagement elements that she implements are often not noted by those at the top, or by anyone on a balance sheet, but their absence is noted as has been the case with Oxford since her departure.

In the modern age with so many alternative entertainment options for kids and families alike, clubs need to do more to engage with them. It’s no longer a case that people will just turn up.

The video above gives a great behind the scenes look and explanation of their latest project – I’d have gone with black and white walls though!

You can of course back Notts County and bet with William Hill online, top UK bookmaker ahead of this weekend’s games.


Sponsorship is vitally important, but really?

First of all, Sheffield Arena is my favourite place to watch hockey in the UK.

However, I was slightly taken aback when I saw a photo of the ice prior to the pre-season game against Manchester.

It’s great that so many companies want to get involved with sponsorship, but surely there’s better ways than this?!


Weight loss challenge for boxing club

Community sport is so important, and there are often battles with funding.

A very good friend of mine, Al Roskell, is aiming to raise £6,000 for Stockbridge Amateur Boxing Club in Liverpool by taking on a phenomenal 12 stone weight loss challenge.

“12 stone represents 12 rounds each being a milestone on my personal journey which will continue further to this being complete. Volunteers give up their time to coach children and adults alike 3 nights a week at different times at the Stockbridge village gym. Stocky A.B.C. makes a vital contribution to keeping young and older people fit and teaching fantastic discipline in a safe environment. Many young children and adults have gone on to great things further to attendance at the club. Including Rocky Fielding who is the current WBA inter Continental super middleweight champion as well as a former Commonwealth and English super middleweight champion. Costs are kept low for members as this gives an opportunity for everyone to partake in this great sport.”

To donate, click here.


And finally…

Is there a better name for a mascot in sport anywhere?

What JDG has been up to

As we race towards the final third of the year, it felt like a good time to review what JDG has been up to and where we’re at.

It is now coming up to seven years since JDG Media was founded by myself, and it has been an interesting journey with several ups and downs, but most importantly some great experiences.

Ultimately, the business has always revolved around myself and though I have at times tried to expand that out with the aim of becoming a full scale digital agency, the decision has been made moving forward to simply focus on my strengths and ensuring that I always sit at the centre of everything JDG does.

So what have we doing? Well, our main site Love Rugby League continues to go from strength to strength. The fast-paced and ever-changing face of journalism online represents ongoing challenges, as we now face stiff competition to gain attention on social media from fan sites that don’t need a business model to sustain.

Unfortunately, that has cost us the services of a couple of key writers, though we are hoping to adapt our model moving forward. We have a terrific working partnership with Betfred, who have been the main sponsor of the site this year, and the numbers that we have been able to provide them have been outstanding.

We have also brought on Batchelors this year, to push their Mushy Peas brand, again a sponsor of Super League generally. The Rugby Football League has also utilised our channels to push their ticket sales, and we look forward to developing a fruitful partnership with their marketing department over the coming months and years.

Back in June, we once again ran a hugely successful media campaign for State of Mind, gaining press coverage in several newspapers, on BBC and Sky Sports, as well as numerous local radio stations. We have now been working with State of Mind for five years, and it is a pleasure to be involved.

Away from rugby, our British Ice Hockey site has kicked on this year and we are now hoping to attract commercial partners ahead of the 2017/18 season that will enable us to push that forward as Love Rugby League has done over the past few years.

We are currently working with Braehead Clan to develop their new website, and that will hopefully be live before the new season.

A big part of my work currently is with Manchester Giants basketball team, effectively running their commercial, media and marketing operation. A new website and club shop, developed by JDG, was put in place earlier this summer.

The new football season – check out the Sportingbet Welcome Bonus and have a flutter – starts properly for me this weekend when Warrington Town kick-off against Rushall Olympic, and again I will be covering that in-depth for Warrington Worldwide, Warrington Guardian and the club itself.

We continue to pitch and look for new clients, and have some interesting proposals out there currently. If you would like to work with me and my small team, then please do get in touch.

Essentially, we can provide the perfect online sports solution – whether that incorporates website build, management, social media, content, PR or otherwise, just give me a shout!

UCFB students using JDG as a springboard to success

Two UCFB students are gaining valuable work experience with JDG Sport, a leading independent provider of sport content and marketing services.

Dan Jones and Jay Karabel, who both study BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing students, were granted the opportunity to work for JDG after the company approached UCFB looking for two students to help their client base.

Within JDG, Dan is responsible for finding clients and building working relationships, while Jay, pictured above, works with existing client Manchester Giants, with the aim of increasing the basketball side’s sponsorship revenue.

Speaking about the importance of investing time into work experience alongside his academic studies, Dan said: “I’ve had to put into practice the ideas I’ve taken from lectures, but seeing it in practice in the work place shows that there’s so much more to it.”

The last academic year saw Jay take part in a sales master class, run by successful businessman Ken Sharpe as part of the UCFB Complementary Curriculum. Speaking on how the class had better prepared him for this experience with JDG, Jay said: “Ken’s master class really helped me with my experience. It involved all areas of sales with a specific view into the sport industry. Certain approaches, persuasion strategies and closing skills were discussed in detail and that definitely better prepared me for my work with JDG Sports and Manchester Giants.”

Dan and Jay have future ambitions of expanding their own football businesses, with both currently in the process of kick-starting their companies. Dan runs Represent Soccer, which aims to help talented footballers fulfil their dreams of playing in America, while Jay is in the process of setting up Match Peak, which will offer non-league sides affordable performance analysis.

Asked how he has found the experience with JDG Sports so far, Jay said: “It has been really great because of how it has developed me personally and as a business and marketing student. I also hope to take the commercial skills into my business idea.”

Dan added: “It’s been an amazing experience! I’ve been given a free reign to shape my role to how I would like it. It’s made me even more passionate about running my own business and has given me plenty of new skills to do so.”

This story first appeared on the UCFB website.

In the Dugout: Simon Boynton, Digital Sports Group

In a new feature on our website, each week we will interview someone from the sport media and marketing industry to find out a bit more about them, what they do and their sporting loves.

If you want to be featured, drop us an email at hello@jdgsport.com

First up is Simon Boynton, the co-owner of Golden Decade, a specialist business contractor for the sports industry. Clients include Digital Sports Group (football.co.uk), Fleet Street Sport (sportsvibe.co.uk) and Media, Zapsportz and the PFA. 

What is your earliest sporting memory?

England v Brazil WC 1970 – Just the Jairzinho goal. No memory of the Banks save or ‘that tackle by Moore’

How has online changed the way sport is covered?

So many ways, but if I had to give one, it would be that the accessibility to the action has increased so much that we no longer have to rely on the traditional media’s interpretation of the events on the pitch. Sometimes I will watch the Match of the Day highlights of a game that I have seen live on Sky and, with the exception of the teams and the score, I could be watching two different matches.

Why do you have rugby league and rugby union on one site rather than two separate sites?!

The view is that they are two different codes of the same sport. The new T20 city cricket will be covered on cricket.co.uk, not a new site.

Does the growth of digital mean that in theory, any sport can become a global phenomenon?

Within reason yes, The emergence of eSports over the coming few years will test this to the limit. I think that in as little as ten years many actual (Olympic and sub-Olympic) sports will be seen as archaic as Morris Dancing. 

What challenges do you face with the sheer volume of sport, especially football, content?

Ignoring the fact that the BBC should concentrate on its core business of broadcaster (in a multimedia environment) and not have an all encompassing, advert-free, fully paid for website….don’t get me started!

Two things instantly spring to mind.

i) In the same way that access to the action has increased, so has the ability to create noise around it. Having a reliable point of reference such as an independent news agency like PA is vital, it is just a shame that they cannot seem to capitalise on this.

ii) You have to have a USP, without that you will never stand out from the crowd.

How are things different now to when you started out?

The internet didn’t exist – need I say more!

Does media coverage dictate whether a sport is popular, or does a popular sport earn media coverage?

We are moving from the former to the latter. The days of big broadcasters dictating the agenda are coming to and end. There are still some positive examples such as women’s football (BBC) and Paralympic sport (C4), but it is becoming increasing difficult for the mainstream media to set the agenda.

What’s your favourite sport and team?

Football – Arsenal/England

If you could have any sportsman/woman round for dinner, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Thierry Henry. My wife and daughter are both in love with him………

New website launched for Manchester Giants

JDG Sport, in collaboration with Sportbox, is pleased to announce the launch of the new Manchester Giants basketball website, www.manchestergiants.com.

The exciting new website includes an online shop, which gives fans the facility to buy merchandise and tickets for the first time in one place.

Most importantly, the website has been built to match the club’s brand guidelines and ensure its marketing material is uniform across the board, both on and offline.

All existing news content was migrated over, while full player stats were also imported as part of the move.

The homepage slider enables the club to highlight its best and most important content, and there are new sections for the club’s junior and netball sections.

A fully responsive design means that the website is easy to use whatever platform you’re on – be it mobile, tablet or desktop.

Check out the new website at www.manchestergiants.com.

JDG Sport has developed websites for several clubs, including Braehead Clan, Swindon Wildcats and London Lions.

It founded the Sportbox platform, which now provides club websites for community and amateur sports clubs for free. For more information, visit websites.sportbox.co.