THE SPORTS ENTREPRENEURS
Brands in Sport
Misha Sher, a sports marketing veteran, author, lecturer with a unique background and great stories from working with Pele to many other big sports properties and brands. We are going deep why brands engage with sports, esports/gaming, women’s sport and how to activate it, athlete marketing and unpacking his current role as Global Head of Sport, Entertainment and Culture at MediaCom (now called EssenceMediacom and part of WPP’s GroupM).
- Born in Ukraine, immigrating to the US at the age of 13, culture shock, didn’t speak the language. Football/Soccer was his language and helped him to integrate
- Dream to be a pro Footballer cut short, first job in Banking in Boston – start making a living
- Next stop Masters Degree in Football in Liverpool – back to his passion – thesis on Premier League Clubs in North America
- Soccerex – Director of Business Development – helping expand to Singapore and new commercial ideas, ie cities paying host fees
- Short sting as Ranger Football Club as Global Partnership Director – some lessons from it
- Entering MediaCom – short intro on the company being part of WPP’s GroupM – managing billions of dollars of advertising money
- Media agency investing in traditional media channels, agency starting to offer new services to take “customers” (Brands) into sport and other entertainment spaces
- Sports marketing agencies and Media Agencies, from partners to rivals
- Pele – amazing opportunity to represent him for several years to help build his brand and create commercial opportunities (Pele was 72 at the time).
- Brazil about to host the FIFA World 2014 and Olympics 2016 – most iconic Brazilian sports star – building his brand by association with other iconic brands (Coca Cola, Emirates, Hublot, Procter & Gamble, etc)
- Amazing networking by being around him and meeting Heads of States to CEO’s – signing multi years, multi million dollar deals for him – managing and maximizing his time
- Some personal stories about Pele, the Legend and the man he was
- Deploying Clients Money – over USD 1 billion in his career across B2C and B2B opportunities – value creation is the key
- Transactional nature of industry vs “why” would/should the fan/customer care and what is the best vehicle to achieve the client’s objectives
- “As a brand, don’t disrupt what people love, be the thing what people love” – Eintracht Frankfurt sponsor example (Indeed), perfect alignment with club
- Discussion about lack of understanding and budgets beyond the initial budget to buy into a property by many brands – ratio spending on activation
- Balancing risk factors for brands between engagement in athletes, clubs/teams and leagues, different risk vs rewards
- Athletes and influencers becoming “media platforms”, huge social media reach and the opportunity for brands
- Gaming/Esport/Web3, where are the opportunities for brands – examples and discussion about future growth
- Growth of Women’s sport, the importance and opportunities for brands
- Working on new book – (working title) “From Athlete to Enterprise” – how to build a personal brand and build sustainable future incomes .
Senior commercial & marketing executive with more than 15 years international experience developing some of the most iconic brands, rights holders and talent. Having operated at the cross section of sport, media, tech, talent and advertising, have an intrinsic understanding of how to unlock growth to drive commercial and strategic objectives.
Have advised on strategic direction, negotiation and execution of more than £1B in partnerships across sport & entertainment in more than 40 markets.
Strong business leader, with track record of building and managing diverse teams while operating in a multifaceted global organization.
Possess a considerable global network of C-suite executives across sport, music, brands, governments, media owners and agencies.
Passionate about embracing disruption and driving industry innovation, with opinions regularly featured in major media outlets (CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sport Business Intl). Co-Author of a best-selling book, ‘Art of Branded Entertainment’, exploring the future of uninterrupted marketing.
Specialties: Leadership, Strategic planning, Marketing & Brand strategy, Business growth, Commercial partnerships, Revenue generation, Sport & Entertainment strategy and activation, Public speaking, Pitching, Sales & Business Development, Talent Management, Negotiation, Brand building.
Clients include: Toyota, Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Dell, Shell, indeed, Skoda, Subway, Hotels.com, BAT, Allianz, GSK, Fonterra, Sony PlayStation, Beats by Dre, Richemont, Pelé, Brian Lara, Eniola Aluko, Liverpool FC, Watford FC.