Hashtag Sports® explores the many ways in which digital media and technology are disrupting the status quo across sponsorship, content and distribution, advertising, fan experience, and culture.
Our 2017 annual event was the most diverse gathering of decision makers and influencers across the new sports economy with attendees from more than a dozen countries representing teams, leagues, brands, agencies, networks, publishers, rightsholders, technology companies, SAAS platforms, and startups.
More than 150 executives, entrepreneurs, athletes, and creators took the stage over three days to make original announcements, share insights, and offer bold predictions.
2018 TRACK DESCRIPTIONS
Hashtag Sports shines an industry-wide spotlight on companies and luminaries delivering thought leadership to the world’s new sports economy.
Athletes & Creators
Outfitted with reach and resources, athletes and influencers have fashioned themselves as prominent publishers, budding entrepreneurs, and effective activists. Gone are the days of carwashes and steakhouses—Kobe is incorporated, Kevin Durant is a Silicon Valley savant, and Martellus Bennett is Giphy’s newest creative director. Modern athletes are infusing cash and creativity into content creation and tech investment like no one else. Join us at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we go direct-to-source and uncover how Athletes & Creators are leveraging their influence to unleash their inner innovator.
Gamers & Streamers
Adam Silver wants streams of NBA games to look and feel like Twitch—and it’s no surprise why. With millions of daily interactions and a proven propensity to influence purchase decisions, the power of the gaming community to rapidly transform the way streaming content is viewed and consumed remains unmatched. Add in a projected market size of $1.5 billion as well as the convergence of competitive athletes with video game culture, and the esports epidemic begins to look lethal. Join us at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we consider how Gamers & Streamers are redefining the spectator experience for Gen Z / Millennial fans.
Opposites attract. The magnetism of sports and its consumer base of fervent fans is pulling new and truly unique partners into the industry. Kids’ brands such as Nickelodeon are forging cross-platform distribution agreements with leagues, companies at the forefront of the gig economy (e.g. Airbnb) are finding new gigs with sports teams and properties, and legacy publishers like ESPN are converging with disruptive media brands and influencer networks (e.g. Cycle) to reach younger audiences. Join us at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we uncover the Next-Gen Partnerships delivering new resources and results to the sports economy.
Content & Distribution
Depending on who you ask, sports is either currently having or just had its “Napster Moment” and traditional rightsholders and advertisers are searching for solutions. Social networks like Facebook and streaming giants including Amazon have upped the ante (and the bids) for sports rights, infusing Silicon Valley’s new money into the new sports ecosystem. Attend Hashtag Sports 2018 to learn how leagues, publishers, and advertisers are revamping traditional models of Content & Distribution to grab and keep the attention of the Connected Fan.
Sponsorship & Advertising
The ever-changing face of fans is changing the face of spending in sports. Generation Hashtag’s digital footprint is a dream, but their apathy for advertising leaves modern marketers’ in a conundrum. Yet, with over one-third of ad dollars and two-thirds of sponsorship being spent on sports, fans’ affinity for their favorite teams and leagues clearly remains reason enough for marketers to channel funds into the sports ecosystem. Join us at Hashtag Sports 2018 for the Sponsorship & Advertising track to explore how brands are connecting with the Connected Fan.
Immersive technology is set to bring your living room to life, and there’s no shortage of players aiming to turns sports into virtual gold. Leagues, brands, and publishers are providing fans unmatched access and enveloping storytelling by blending content, culture, and cutting-edge technology. With Apple demoing AR on the iPhone and half a billion headsets expected to be sold by 2025, expectations surrounding consumer adoption of other worldly experiences are accelerating. Join Hashtag Sports 2018 for our Immersive Media track to explore how virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are blurring the lines of simulation for sports nation.
The renaissance fan is giving the game day experience a rebirth as emerging technologies deliver unprecedented levels of engagement. Teams are mandating mobile-only ticketing, AI is reshaping the UI of popular apps, and brands have discovered the power of connecting physical products to the digital world. Attend the Fan Experience track at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we take a look at the innovative technologies and digital solutions deepening the relationship between multiplatform fans and their favorite clubs.
If it were left up to a popular vote, betting on sporting events would be legalized. In the lead up to the Supreme Court’s impending winter decision, 55% of Americans favor a a new federal framework for sports wagering. As technology provides deeper dives into team and player data, an entirely new betting opportunity emerges in esports, and ratings-strapped rightsholders remain eager for steady eyeballs, there is seemingly no better time than the present to green light sports betting and infuse an estimated $26 billion into the nation’s economy. Join as at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we explore how Sports Betting can become a boon for sports business.
Data & Analytics
With the sports media bubble on the brink of a transformative burst, the new sports economy is finding safety in numbers. Analytics are improving marketers’ speed and agility, providing teams, leagues, and brands the power to react in real-time and better understand fan behavior, sponsorship effectiveness, and trends across media. Join the Data & Analytics track at Hashtag Sports 2018 as we examine the ways in which data is powering and inspiring a new era of intelligence in sports.