Tag Archives: Australia

Why sport needs crowdsourced coaching

So last week at Wimbledon Viktor Troicki was playing Novak Djokovic and someone yelled out to Viktor that he should serve to Novak’s backhand. He did exactly that and won the point. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the dude in the crowd obviously saw something that Victor didn’t.

Arguably, the punter doesn’t know as much as the coach but what about the collective knowledge of the crowd. I’m not just talking about the crowd at the venue but everyone watching the event via TV or online. There is a tremendous opportunity for a sporting team to engage its fans via crowdsourced coaching. Currently, some teams engage pre and post events via social media for fixture advertising and ‘best on ground’ polls but rarely do organisations engage their fans during the match. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The hypothetical story of a failed retailer – Palm Beach Shoes

cheaper than on-line sign in shop windowI was walking down one of Sydney’s most popular shopping strips yesterday – Oxford Street. In the window of Palm Beach Shoes was this sign (pictured above). At first it surprised me. A well known boutique retailer of pretty decent shoes has resorted to adding a desperate handmade sign to cut through. It reminded me of signs homeless people create that tell their story about how they ended up without a place to live.

The hypothetical story behind Palm Beach’s sign is probably this: A couple rent a tiny shop on Oxford St. With high competition but massive footfall they decide their key points of difference will be range and price. As one Yelp reviewer commented, ‘they’ve got pretty much one of every shoe that’s in fashion right now.’ Another one proclaims, that ‘you get the shoes you desire at a reasonable price. Great value for money.’ High sales result from strong word of mouth marketing and shoppers wanting a bargain in one of Sydney’s most expensive shopping precincts. Meanwhile, owners sip strawberry daiquiris at the Paddington Inn every Friday night.

Then something happens. Sales decline. The owners freak out and put a massive orange ‘SALE’ sign on their front window to reinforce their great prices. They continue to sell the same range of trendy shoes but sales still continue to drop. The GFC doesn’t help but Australia dodged the bullet compared to the rest of the world. What is really happening?


‘What’s that?’ the owners of Palm Beach Shoes must have asked. I’m confident that you know what the internet is. You probably also know that online shopping is on the rise and shop shopping is on the decline. A recent Swinburne University study shows Australians shop online more regularly than people in most other countries, spending on average $206 a month.

Palm’s target market (16-40 year old females who want a bargain pair of fashionable shoes) are savvy and online. With online shops like ASOS, Threadless and Next Direct they can get great prices for well made merchandise. Decent return policies and secure transactions reassure the savvy shoppers who, at the end of the day, won’t have to battle the crowds, wait in line or try and find a rockstar park.

There are two versions of the next chapter for shops like Palm Beach Shoes. The first is that they go into liquidation (cue 1990’s Dr. Evil finger to the mouth). The second is that they get a website (cue 2010’s Austin Powers).

In the not too distant future we will buy everything online. Shops will just be collection points or return shoots. They will be judged not on their customer service but on their UX. Shopping around will be done in clicks and not in days. The consumer will win.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Who wins? The Optus ruling and time shifting content

Optus TVNowAn Australian Federal Court ruling last week means that Optus customers will be able to watch TV (including free to air AFL and NRL) virtually live – on a two-minute delay – a service for which Telstra believed it had bought exclusive rights. Telstra will, no doubt, appeal the decision but given football seasons are about to kick off the consumer will win in season 2012.

The AFL and NRL will complain that the Optus TV Now service will devalue the Telstra rights deal and, in turn, have a negative effect on fans and clubs. The reality is that TV Now allows users to time shift content (remember the VCR?). More people will be exposed to the free to air advertising via TV Now which is a good thing for clubs and the AFL.

Today Gideon Haigh beautifully summarised the outcome on ABC’s Offsiders:

“It demonstrates how in hoc sport has become in television. Sport has borrowed against its future so extensively in the expectation of unending TV riches. The minute that TV sneezes – sport catches a cold. All those pampered players, all those self important suits, all those spoils, all those lifestyles and one judge can make them tremble…just for a moment we should enjoy their discomforture.”

Now I don’t think ‘discomforture’ is even a word but you get the point.

The biggest winner in the ordeal is Optus. The publicity for the virtually unknown service weeks before pre-season competitions begin is priceless.

The freedom for users to digitally record and ‘time shift’ content should never be taken away. Digital rights deals should be done annually so they can stay relevant to the ever advancing technology.

Finally, the AFL should look to the NBA which sells multiplatform ‘League Passes‘ globally around the world. Users can watch every game, from any device, at anytime with DVR controls. If it’s not careful, the AFL will alienate users and lose them to alternative ‘streams’ void of an archaic digital business model.

Related articles

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why The Slap Producers have got it wrong

The producers of the Australian TV drama, The Slap, have taken on a Netherlands torrent site and won. The site was used by about 40,000 citizens of Australia and New Zealand to “share content that was not commercially available for viewing in other countries”. Now, Australians overseas will need to either wait for the DVD to come out in their respective country or find another torrent site to go to.

The ABC geo-blocks iView content so that overseas audiences can’t view. The rationale is that if audiences can download content online, for free, then they won’t bother buying the DVD. The only problem is that TV viewers around the world are fragmenting into the downloaders and the DVD buyers. People who download, don’t buy DVDs and people who buy DVDs, don’t download.

Australian producers need to adjust their business model accordingly. Why isn’t The Slap available on iTunes or an online ABC Shop? Not months after the buzz has subsided but the night after the Australian broadcast. Would producers not make more money via online channels than with DVD sales? TV is evolving and the beauty of iTunes is that you can realease episodes one by one and not have to wait for the season to finish before distributing it on DVD.

What lessons can be learned from the music industry’s struggle with piracy? Is it really illegal to download a show via a torrent in the UK if the show is available, for free, to watch anytime, on iView in Australia?
Tagged , , , , , , ,