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© Sportel Awards

Every year, Sportel Monaco brings together global leaders from the sports industry in the Principality, while the Sportel Awards recognise the best sports footage.

Under the high patronage of Prince Albert II and the International Olympic Committee, the event is first and foremost an international competition which aims to reward the best sports videos of the previous year at a ceremony that is free and open to the public.

SPORTEL goes virtual
 Read Laurent Puons' interview

Many Olympic champions and celebrities from the world of sport participate in the prize ceremony every year.

In 2019, Sportel celebrated its thirtieth anniversary by honouring a sportsman considered to be one of the greatest racing drivers in history: Alain Prost. In light of his outstanding career, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, following in the footsteps of Didier Deschamps.

© Direction de la Communication
© Direction de la Communication

Held in the margins of conferences aimed at industry professionals, the Sportel Awards are also an opportunity for sports fans to enjoy special moments with renowned sporting figures. Many free public events are organised in the Principality during this time: exclusive meetings, signing sessions, preview screenings, and so on. It’s a lovely way to honour sport, sporting champions and the values that they uphold.

This sporting industry event has now been exported to the United States, too, with Sportel heading to Miami from 3 to 6 March 2020.

This is a smart move for professionals. In three days, we offer them the opportunity to meet the key players from the international sports media world as well as from the new technology sector.

Laurent Puons, Deputy CEO, Sportel

© Direction de la Communication
Interview

SPORTEL goes virtual

SPORTEL Monaco has been tracking trends in sport and marketing since it was founded in 1990. Laurent Puons, Deputy CEO of Monaco Mediax, looks back at the key developments in this history of this international event.

SPORTEL has been running for over 30 years. What have been the highlights?

Ever since 1990, the event has continued to grow and has established itself as a major player in the space that straddles the worlds of media and sport: the market, which initially had just 15 stands, now hosts more than 200. The latest significant change has been the development of the SPORTEL Awards as an event in its own right, with signing sessions, fan meetings and screenings. In 2020, we worked with Webedia and the Monaco Esports Federation to organise the final of the French League of Legends championship. It was a huge success, attracting record audiences on Twitch, and we plan to do it all again in 2021! SPORTEL is also going virtual with the SPORTEL + Etalks, a series of webinars.

SPORTEL is also a barometer for new trends in sport and marketing. What trends are we seeing today?

The pandemic has completely upended the sporting industry, which was directly affected as almost all events were cancelled or postponed. New ecosystems have been able to take advantage of this context. Esports and online sports betting, for example, both worked with more “traditional” sectors to identify new opportunities. In addition, immersive technologies have also developed substantially to offer a range of live interactive experiences to television viewers.

The aim today is to create new business models to expand audiences, particularly within this new generation of fans, and to adapt to the way in which they consume sport. As an event organiser, we make a point of always covering traditional sports while actively developing these promising sectors.

Major sporting events are still watched primarily on television. Is this going to change?

Digital is increasingly a factor on the market for the live broadcast of traditional sport. Habits have changed: viewing has shifted from a linear – via television – experience to a multiplatform, multiscreen experience with viewers able to watch anywhere at any time. Moreover, the role of digital platforms has become increasingly significant, including in France, for competitions that are not broadcast on television. These platforms are also starting to adopt a strategy of procuring sports rights. They offer complete entertainment packages, too, with subscriptions at very attractive prices and ever more interactive, high-value-added experiences. Pay and free channels need to reassess their approach!

To limit risk and reach new audiences, rightsholders will have to adapt their strategies to “share” – in other words, to break up and sell rights to pay and free television channels as well as, naturally, to OTT platforms and D2C streaming services.

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