Dentsu Sports Technology Venture

San Francisco-based Scrum Ventures and Dentsu have developed Sports Tech Tokyo, a one-year accelerator program for sports technology companies to provide business opportunities to test marketable products.

Scrum Ventures invests in sports technology for athletes and consumers, including wearable devices, sensors, and virtual reality (VR) technology.

Available from January 2019, the program is seeking applications from startups focused on a wide range of sports-related technologies and will initially select 150 companies to work with.

The use of technology in sport is extensive today. Some thematic applications include coaching and competition analysis, clothing and wearables, science and human performance, media broadcasting and communications, entertainment, e-sports, business and digital transformation, and sporting facility planning and use.

Venture investments in sports startups grew to US$1.5 billion in 2017, according to Deloitte – marking a 50-per-cent increase in two years.

With Japan hosting two major sporting events in the next two years – the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics – the country hopes to add further value to the sports technology business.

While the Sports Tech initiative is not directly related to Dentsu’s advertising business, the company is exploring ways to manage fan engagement, an area of marketing and that working with companies that develop new technologies for sports fans can garner large amounts of useful data.

Examples as yet unconnected to Sports Tech could include systems enabling micro-sponsorship of sports teams or smart clothing that could send data about an athlete’s movements to insurance providers.

This venture will see Dentsu developing ideas with the start-ups that wish to participate in the programme. The first is technology to help athletes in their training, both physical and mental.

Another area of innovation is to improve the viewing experiences for audiences, which could include innovations in the field of virtual reality and programs to improve technologies at stadiums, such as smart payment systems.

This tech-based sports program will be integrated with many new forms of business models and revenue streams that are in development across the Dentsu Inc portfolio. 

 

 

Australian National University Transformational Management Program

I have joined the Australian Transformational Management Program run by the Australian National Univesity (ANU) developed in conjunction with the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association (AusTTA).

I was delighted to be invited by the Chair of AusTTA Adam Salzer to attend the program over a two year period starting in November 2017 until December 2018.

The program is designed by leading international scholars in the fields of organisational behaviour, change management, and project management to give the group chosen the confidence and skills to stretch yourself beyond your current boundaries as agents for transformational change.

Last month on September 8th fellow participants, faculty members and project sponsors held a launch session at the Allan Barton Forum at ANU to meet each other and whet the appetite discussing megatrends, the role of the projects/case studies and evidence-based management. The dinner that night at Boffins Restaurant in University House was just as rewarding.

 

The ANU Transformational Leadership Program now has a core goal now and a set of resources that ANU’s Research School of Management team can deliver too.

The AusTTA believe leading transformation is a rapidly evolving field. To unlock future opportunities and transform existing organisations, change leaders must be able to contend with a volatile and rapidly changing macroeconomic environment, unprecedented technological disruption, legacy systems and processes as well as my personal favourite resistant organisational cultures.

The Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association, the ANU Transformational Leadership Program has been built around the ANU’s unique evidence-based approach to management capability development.

The aim is to ensure that participants have the skills and knowledge to solve today’s change problems, and the capabilities to collect and synthesize the best available evidence to respond to future transformational challenges.

By the end of this program, the participants will receive new thinking, skills to:

  • Provide pragmatic, evidence-based Board-level advice to maximise the benefits and minimise the distress associated with fundamental transformations;
  • Design and lead complex transformations using cutting-edge theory, tools, and models to effect change in complex organisations;
  • Effect culture change in support of transformation and sustainable agility; and
  • Establish efficient governance structures and controls in favour of change initiatives.

I’m looking forward to the contribution I can make over the coming year.

Launching Telstra Broadcast Services

Telstra Broadcast Services
Telstra today announced the rebrand of recently acquired business, Globecast Australia, to Telstra Broadcast Services, unveiling the new brand at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam.

The move cements Telstra’s commitment to providing deeper capabilities in media services for customers in the broadcasting industry. Telstra Broadcast Services offers its global customer base media delivery over satellite platforms, including direct to home satellite transmission and IPTV managed services; IP streaming and encoding; satellite monitoring and disaster recovery. It has also developed live point-of-view miniature camera technology which is used extensively at sporting events through its Globecam business.

Globast1

Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, said, “Telstra Broadcast Services, formerly known as Globecast Australia, has built an enviable reputation ensuring its customers can deliver the quality content their users expect, quickly and effectively. When coupled with our extensive investment in Ooyala, our partnership with Akamai and our growing portfolio of specialised media products,  our decision to rebrand and clearly define our media services division is a strong indication of the strategic importance of this industry to Telstra.”

Globacast2

One of the first deals reached under the Telstra Broadcast Services name, has seen Network Ten renew a multi-year contract for its global content delivery via fibre.

Jason Tuendemann, Chief Technology Officer at Network Ten said, “Network Ten has entrusted the Globecast Australia team with delivery of its live, digital television for more than a decade across satellite and fibre.

“In recent years, OTT via Globestream and the Globecam miniature cameras have added new dimensions to the service provision and indeed to Ten’s interaction with audiences across news, sport and entertainment.  Telstra is also a long-standing, trusted partner of Ten and we now look forward to working with the Telstra Broadcast Services team.”

This year will also see Telstra Broadcast Services increase its Globecam live, digital devices commitment for Network Ten’s broadcast of the KFC Big Bash League, with more games than ever before.

Triple Screening the new finding in Telstra 2014 Smartphone Index Report

Nielson Research

Ever sat down to watch TV in your living room with your tablet in hand to check your favourite websites and social feeds? Only to then pull out your phone to check a text message that’s popped in?

You’re not alone! In fact, ‘Triple Screening’ is actually a fast growing Aussie trend among connected smartphone owners, as revealed in the 2014 Telstra Smartphone Index released today.

The Index – our annual study with Nielsen on smartphone ownership and usage amongst Australians – reveals 42 per cent of us are triple screeners, with 69 per cent of 16-24 year olds leading the charge.

The most popular combo for triple screening is Smartphone+TV+Laptop followed by Smartphone+TV+Tablet – and women triple screen more than men.

Smartphone

So what does that mean for the everyday Aussie?

As more people become multi-device owners and are engage in triple screening behavior, the more competition there is for content providers to hold the attention of viewers.

In recent times we’ve seen an explosion of content across platforms. As an example, huge increases in network traffic across AFL.com.au and NRL.com in the past year reflect a desire from sports fans to get closer to the action via a mobile device, while they’re on-the-go.

Such is the demand that last year Telstra and the NRL set up a Digital Media Unit to provide a constant stream of quality content to a growing digital audience. Meanwhile both the AFL and NRL Official Apps have notched up more than 1.3 million and 1 million respective downloads.

In fact, the Smartphone Index tells us sport consumption on smartphones in general has jumped – 44 per cent of active Smartphone users access sport content, which is up 10 per cent from 35 per cent in 2013.

To find out more about how we’re consuming more content via more screens, take a look at our 2014 Smartphone Index Whitepaper.

Telstra secures NRL digital and sponsorship rights for five years

NRL_Telstra_Logo

Rugby League fans will, for the first time, be able to watch matches live on mobile phones and tablets, regardless of their carrier, under a five-year digital media and sponsorship agreement between Telstra and the Australian Rugby League Commission, announced today.

Under the partnership, Telstra will have:

  • Exclusive broadcast rights of all NRL matches for mobile and tablet devices*,
  • Naming rights to the Premiership and Sunday Football,
  • Operation of the NRL website and related team sites, the official NRL app, and the official NRL fantasy games;
  • Extensive highlights packages during and after games
  • Exclusive post game access/press conferences to mobile and tablet devices
  • Extensive signage and marketing activation rights.

Telstra Media working alongside Australian Rugby League Commission will deliver a game-wide NRL digital strategy committed to providing fans with the ultimate digital experience.

For the first time, Rugby League fans will be able to watch Telstra Premiership, State of Origin and Test matches live to-air on mobile phones and tablets via the Official NRL App on iPhone and Android, regardless of their carrier. Matches on Channel 9 will be simulcast and those on Fox Sports will be live.

A full-time NRL Digital Media production unit will be established working out of Rugby League Central and featuring a large full-time staff focussed to deliver and provide fans with the best digital content in Australian sport, including unprecedented levels of video, player interviews and special behind-the-scenes.

Rugby League’s technology platforms will be rebuilt from the ground up, with the NRL, NRL clubs, NSWRL, QRL and One Community all slated for new digital solutions that will give fans fun and easy interactive access to all the latest content. Fans will have access to extensive highlights packages during and after games and to exclusive post-game features and press conferences on their mobile and tablet devices.

Interim ARLC CEO, Shane Mattiske, said the new partnership Telstra and the ARLC will jointly deliver more fans unprecedented coverage of the game and benefits that flowed through to the sport’s grassroots.

“The Telstra Premiership is the longest running competition naming rights sponsorship in Australian sport and to extend that with the most significant naming rights sponsorship investment in the game’s history is a wonderful indication of the strength of Rugby League’s brand,” Mr Mattiske said.

“Telstra’s proud history in supporting Rugby League and its fans at all levels of the game, from the Telstra Premiership through to the game’s grass-roots and community programs, is at the heart of its commitment to providing the investment and latest technology for a digital network that is changing the ways fans connect with the game.

“Together we have achieved significant growth in the game’s digital network over the past few years and this new investment will fast-track its future development and provide fans with unrivalled coverage and engagement with the game.”

NRL_Telstra_Press_Conference

Question time at Telstra Experience Centre
From left to right: Rick Ellis Group Managing Director Telstra Media, David Thodey CEO Telstra, John Grant Chairman Australian Rugby League Commision, Shane Mattiske Interim ARLC CEO

Telstra Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Thodey, said Telstra was unmatched in its ability and commitment to deliver Rugby League to more Australians and match content will be available to all consumers via the NRL app.

“Australians have embraced smartphones and tablet devices and this partnership provides for us to make the app and its live coverage available to all NRL fans where and when they want it,” Mr Thodey said.

“Whether it is watching live coverage of the Telstra Premiership while they are out and about, catching up on latest news or highlights or competing with friends in fantasy football and tipping, the 2013 season will see Telstra and the NRL deliver an unprecedented experience,” he said.

Mr Thodey said that as well as taking the league to a wider audience, the partnership between Telstra and the NRL would support the continued growth, success and enjoyment of the game.

“At NRL games and events, fans will have the opportunity to interact with the sport and their heroes in new and unique ways. Meanwhile we will continue to develop the sport through local community programs,” he said.

*Five matches per round live and three as per Nine Network broadcast times

Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is exactly what we need.

An email to my friends at BBDO and Proximity Worldwide,

After five years in the BBDO and Proximity networks, and thirteen years in total in the Omnicom Group I leave today the advertising agency world for a new role at Telstra Corporation.

I have accepted a newly created position, Director of Digital Media and Content in a newly established division called Telstra Media based in Sydney. Telstra Media has been established to manage Telstra’s end-to-end media capabilities led by newly apppointed Group Managing Director Rick Ellis former CEO of TVNZ. The new division will consist of over 4,000 staff  and over $4 billion in combined annual revenues.

Telstra Media has the operating responsibilities of FOXTEL pay TV business, Telstra IPTV business including the global award winning set-top box the T-Box. The BigPond Movies app that has already accumulated over 3,000 film titles with over 2.4 million movies downloaded by customers to date.

The BigPond news, lifestyle and entertainment portal and mobile feature phone properties that reach over four million unique users a month.

Also in the media portfolio is the marketing services division Sensis which includes Yellow and White directory digital media products.

Besides Telstra’s eclectic mix of media businesses, the deciding factor to take on this new opportunity was the company’s involvement in the Australian federal government’s National Broadband Network agenda. Telstra has recently announced a major commitment to media flagging new upgrades in its media delivery infrastructure, namely in video distribution capabilities for broadcast-quality video streaming services to any device connected to the internet.

As a proud Australian, the opportunity to return home to Sydney and shape the overall strategic direction of Telstra’s digital content services and advertising sales portfolios was just too exciting an opportunity to pass up.

Sometimes change may not be what we want. Sometimes change is exactly what we need.

I thank you all for a truly wonderful BBDO network experience. I have met and worked with many talented people in the markets of Australia, New Zealand, China and United States and as such I hope to keep in contact and continue to collaborate with you all in my new role.

My new email contact is adam.good@team.telstra.com

Best

Adam

The role of Innovation in agencies

I was asked by Creative Social to talk about the role of Innovation in agencies. Creative Social is the global digital collective founded by Daniele Fiandaca the Head of Innovation of Cheil UK and Mark Chalmers former creative partner of Strawberry Frog.

Below are the answers to their questions.

How do you define innovation?

It’s the opposite too madness and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. In business, advertising or production development innovation is the delivery of value through an idea or set of ideas that focus on improving the customer experience. It’s about developing a culture to trying things, pilot programs, test and learn always seeking incremental change that show improvements in the customer experience. 

You have had Innovation in your job title before, what does that actually mean?

When I moved from President Tribal DDB Asia Pacific to the Clemenger BBDO Group as an Executive Director responsible for the group digital direction I added the word innovation to the title. It was 2007 and many marketers had a perception of just digital advertising as banners and web sites. The guy or girl who came along to an agency meeting speaking internet stats, digital promotions, online advertising and email campaigns etc. I really wanted clients to look at digital as not a channel but as a new language to enhance their customer experience. Social media was on the increase at the time enabling immediate broadcasting of positive and negative experiences of brands which ultimately influences the buying decisions of others. I wanted clients to see digital could be used beyond a cold fixed desktop screen communication platform. I wanted them to look at the entire customer journey using digital to create action sensory communication. 

What is your background? How did you get into an innovation role?

I have been in digital media, marketing, content, advertising, publishing and technology for over twenty years. I started in the Australian film and television industry, moved to Microsoft and then onto Newscorp. I jumped into advertising with Omnicom agencies DDB, Tribal DDB, Clemenger BBDO and now with Proximity Worldwide.

During this ride I have lived and worked in varies countries including United States, China, Australia, and New Zealand. The advertising and technology industries continues to change, but my professional goal seems to stay the same. I just want to always be part of a team looking to break new ground and develop creative interactive brand experience programs for clients. I’m passionate about how brands and businesses can create participation with consumers in both the real and digital channels.

What do you think are the key characteristics to being successful in an innovation role?

You have to be an energetic, creative with analytical  skills. Be focus on teamwork, collaboration and building effective working relations with clients and all members of your team. When driving a project for a client be the one leading consumer engagement and always getting to the truth of the brand. You also need strong understanding of brand marketing functions, as well as operational dynamics that can affect a company’s ability to reach audiences and drive sales. Be driven to create meaningful tools and architecting user experiences. Once you have an idea on the table, apply and interactive mindset and a focus on making the end user feel personal with it. The idea must be helpful towards advancing the users purpose. Always ask yourself why do I care about this idea?

Give us an idea of what you do day to day to deliver innovation in your business?

Obviously plenty of reading, following innovation blogs and people with a strong design background is something I do each day. I also think it’s important to get away from technology and try to do things that don’t use it at all. Try to move away from complexity and get to enjoy very simple things. Here is where you find great ideas.

From your experiences, what can be the biggest barriers to true innovation?

Worried about failure. No one likes it but unless you make mistakes you don’t learn anything and you don’t move forward with new thinking.

What has been the most innovative thing you have seen in the advertising space over the last six months?

We all can impulse spend but what about a product to help us impulse save. Westpac launched in March this year an innovative impulse savings product to help New Zealanders save as impulsively as they spend.  Impulse Saver, a free iPhone app that enables customers to save denominations of their choice up to $50 with a simple click of a button.

What technologies/behaviours that we can see coming up in the next 12 months excites you the most?

People are in love with their personal internet enabled smart devices. Doesn’t matter if it’s a phone or tablet they are never more than a couple of meters away from them at any given time. These devices for the first time in our short technology history are actually becoming smarter every day. To make them smarter people choose and seek out an array of useful applications to download and improve their device and of course their lives.

The increase in hand held internet enabled devices has allowed us the ability to create action sensory communication. Mobile phones and smart devices today have eyes with inbuilt cameras. They have brains to know where they are located via mobile networks. They also have ears with built in microphones. They have a skin that you can touch which increasingly allows a brand a platform to augment consumer’s senses and truly change behavior.