Industry Shorts: Pro14, Wolves, Octagon, Game4Padel

15 May 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The Guinness Pro14 has launched its own OTT video platform, claiming it is the first major rugby union competition to do so.

Developed in partnership with production company StreamAMG, Pro14 TV has been launched ahead of this weekend’s semi-finals of the Pro14 Finals Series. Supporters in selected international territories will also be able to watch all the action from across the championship live via the direct-to-consumer platform. 

Traditional monthly and seasonal options will be launched for the 2019/20 season. In addition to live, chargeable match coverage, the service will offer free registration-led access to a comprehensive library of clips, highlights, full-match replays and a range of exclusive content.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will launch a new retail megastore in Shanghai this summer, while the Premier League football club has claimed a first by announcing it will install a new barrier seating solution at Molineux stadium.

The new Wolves Megastore will be located near to the headquarters of the club’s owners, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, on the Bund – Shanghai’s most famous landmark. The Bund Financial Centre (BFC) shopping mall is a brand-new addition to high-end retail shopping in Shanghai and Wolves will become one of the first anchor tenants.

The club will also be opening three smaller pop-up stores in Nanjing, Hangzhou and Chengdu. The Shanghai Megastore will open in early July with an official ribbon cutting on the 15th, when the team will be in the city to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Meanwhile, Wolves are set to become the first Premier League club to install seats incorporating barriers in an existing stadium. The club has announced that all seats in the Sir Jack Hayward Stand will be replaced this summer by a new barrier seating solution, furthermore all seats in the Stan Cullis quadrant will be fitted with an independent barrier. Both options will fully comply with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s most recent guidance.

Current government policy prevents any form of standing area in the top two tiers of English football, however the latest edition of the SGSA’s Green Guide contains guidelines on the use of ‘seats incorporating barriers’ and ‘seats with independent barriers’.

Octagon has partnered with War Child to launch War Child FC. Octagon, which won Agency of the Year at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019, responded to a brief from War Child to develop the club’s mission and visual identity.

War Child FC was created to harness the power of football combined with War Child’s mental health and psychosocial support programme to improve the lives of children and young people affected by conflict. The new War Child FC kit is available in EA Sports’ FIFA 19 video game, where players can unlock the kit through a donation to War Child.

Andy Murray has added to his investment portfolio with a stake in the Game4Padel organisation. Game4Padel’s aim is to become the market leader in the UK padel tennis market, with the sport believed to be on the verge of the same growth seen in many other countries around the world.

Game4Padel will work with a wide variety of British sports venues to finance, install, maintain and operate padel courts but also to create bespoke playing programmes and support networks to ensure that success at grassroots level is maximised. Terms of Murray’s investment were not disclosed.

#WePlayStrong, UEFA’s women’s football campaign, has entered into a partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association to help celebrate its first-ever Women’s European Freestyle Championships.

The Championships will take place at Cinema Hall in Budapest on 17th May, the day before the UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at Groupama Arena in the Hungarian capital.

Liv Cooke, former world freestyle champion and #WePlayStrong Ambassador, will be the head judge for the inaugural competition. As well as sharing content, #WePlayStrong will help raise awareness of the first-ever European freestyle championships dedicated to women.