Industry Shorts: Lockdown roadmap, Snickers, The Jockey Club

23 Feb 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

The government’s road map for easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the UK could see fans return to stadiums in May, with large crowds potentially permitted across the summer’s major sporting events.

Plans to see the country move from lockdown in the first half of 2021 could see up to 10,000 spectators allowed in stadiums from 17th May if the government’s criteria for easing is met - which includes reductions in the number of coronavirus cases and increases in the uptake of vaccinations.

Meanwhile, grassroots sport and outdoor venues like tennis courts and golf courses will be able to reopen from 29th March at the earliest, with indoor sporting facilities such as gyms and pools may be able to reopen from 12th April with people entering alone or with a member of their household.

Snickers has teamed up with Jurgen Klopp to launch a new ad campaign.

The brand’s owner, Mars Wrigley, has announced the new football-focused campaign, which sees Klopp swap the Anfield dugout for a table football game. 

In the ad - which was filmed in 2019 - the Liverpool coach finds himself hungry and frustrated by his miniature figurines’ lack of tactical nuance before eating a Snickers bar to satisfy his hunger. The spot ties in with the brand’s long-running ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ tagline. 

The Jockey Club, one of the UK’s largest sports businesses, today announced the appointment of Helene Sharrock as its Chief People Officer.

Sharrock will join on 17th May from major retailer, M&S, where she is Head of HR and responsible for people strategies designed to achieve long-term sustainable business growth through change.

Prior to joining M&S, Sharrock was Head of HR within BT’s Consumer division, which included Brand, Content, Strategy and BT Sport. Previously she worked for BT’s Technology, Service and Operations division and at both ESPN and ITN.

In her new role she will be responsible for leading the People and Talent Agenda for The Jockey Club.

SPORF has launched a new official e-commerce store for ‘fan-first’ memorabilia, stocking products like retro shirts, official team merchandise and custom giftware.

The Manchester-based sports publisher has partnered with The Terrace Store, which specialises in sports memorabilia and fan culture, to launch its first e-commerce product, while SPORF says it will absorb The Terrace Store’s inventory, and is already planning future partnerships to expand its product offering.

The first wave of products will see retro football shirts, art prints and merchandise from a wide range of football clubs, including personalised mugs, towels, coasters, and loungewear.

Sportradar and the Korea Professional Football League (K LEAGUE) will launch a new OTT platform for the international market ahead of the 2021 season, which kicks off on 27th February. 

The platform, "K LEAGUE TV”, will have content in both English and Korean, a first for the league, with the pair looking to build on growing global online viewership figures that have seen steady growth season on season.  

Sportradar, an Official Partner of the Sport Industry Awards 2021, will create the new OTT offering which will see all matches from the K LEAGUE 1 and K LEAGUE 2 broadcast live and on-demand for free to international fans, alongside exclusive behind the scenes footage, interviews and highlights. It will also mark the first time that the second division K LEAGUE 2 will be available to a global audience. 

Ascot racecourse has appointed Felicity Barnard as Commercial Director. 

Joining from Tie Break Tens, where she served as CEO for four years, Barnard will report to Ascot Chief Executive, Guy Henderson, and will be tasked with devising and implementing the commercial strategy for in-venue sales and marketing, partnerships, sponsorship, licencing, memberships and new income streams.

The ECB has announced that The Hundred will open with a standalone women’s fixture.

The competition will begin on Wednesday 21st July with the Oval Invincibles hosting the Manchester Originals at the Kia Oval, with the men’s competition taking place with an opening game between the same two sides the following day.

The ECB says it will be the first time a major UK team sporting event has launched men’s and women’s competitions alongside each other and headlined with a women’s match. 

The match will be televised live on Sky and BBC.

Digital sports agency Mailman has appointed former Vizeum Asia Pacific CEO, Duncan Pointer as Managing Director of its APEC (Asia-Pacific Excluding China) division.

The agency says the appointment is in line with Mailman Group's continued global expansion, and will see the Singapore-based Pointer tasked with driving business growth and client services across the region, leading a team of more than 50 employees across Singapore, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

WBA Continental Welterweight Champion Conor Benn has partnered with luxury men’s fashion brand Royle Eleven.

The British fighter will become an Official Ambassador for brand, which launched its debut collection in 2021.

The partnership, brokered by marketing and management agency Blueprint Sports & Entertainment, comes ahead of Benn’s next fight against Samuel Vargas on 10th April, where he will defend his WBA Continental (Europe) welterweight title. 

SailGP has announced Camper as its Official Footwear Supplier exclusively designing and creating a selection of technical and casual footwear for both SailGP and the Spain SailGP Team.

According to SailGP, the Mallorca-based brand shares the sailing series’ purpose and values, ‘challenging the status quo while focusing on quality, performance, and sustainability’.

Camper has developed exclusive SailGP styles – including those supplied to SailGP staff and the Spanish team – that are ‘kinder to the planet and provide the performance, design, and durability needed to compete’.