Sportel: Perform Exec Says Company Is Evolving Along With Trends In Market
Perform Dir of Group Business Development Alex Rice said that the fast growing sports media company’s focus remains on providing high-end content for its clients. Asked on Tuesday at Sportel Monaco about rapid changes at the company, Rice said, “Nothing changes and everything changes at Perform. I think, ultimately we are a traditional business, and the focus of the business is still very much around rights acquisition, creating great products for the end users and building the whole end-to-end digital experience, whether it’s live video, live stats or live editorial. I think we continue to evolve our business with the various trends that are talking place in the market.” Perform, which owns properties in different areas of the digital sports media landscape, is continuing to acquire rights to key properties around the world, Rice added. With the acquisition of Opta during the summer, Perform emphasized its intent to play a major role in the gathering of sports data as well.
IT’S GOOD TO KNOW: In an era when sports media rights spending seems to know no bounds, it may be surprising that a rather young company like Perform, which was founded in ’07, has the capabilities of acquiring key rights. Asked how Perform is able get key rights like the NBA in Germany, Rice said, “I think it’s relationships, and we’ve got some great relationships with all the major agencies and with all the major rights owners. We often are there to create additional value, and I think we have proved our case over the last seven years as a business that’s been out to provide that additional space. I think the rights landscape will continue to change, and I think we have to change with it, wherever we are.”
ALL ABOUT AFRICA: Perform has offices on four continents, but despite operating one of the most utilized football websites in Africa, Goal.com, the dark continent remains highly elusive in terms of revenue. Rice: “I think our biggest challenge is Africa, where we have a huge amount of users for our properties. But how to create revenue from this service is challenging. It’s a challenge to sell ads in that market. It’s a very different market to approach in terms of both subscription bases and ad-sale bases because the end users tend to be on mobiles.” He said that the fact that many of Perform’s African users use mobile devices makes it a challenge to brand the content or put sponsorships around it.
THE REVENUE RIDDLE: The obstacles of generating revenue in the digital sphere are also impacting Perform. Like most companies operating online, Perform uses both subscription-based and ad-sales-based models. While still working on the right mixture of both, Perform seems to have already set course for one of the concepts. Rice: “We believe that there is a growing subscription audience for sports as there has been across the entertainment sector as well, where people buy a season pass for a major network series. We also start to see it year-on-year with our subscription products that are growing."