Fanalytical is releasing a series of blog posts from the 2018 UNC Sports and Entertainment Summit. Yesterday, we introduced the conference, what was discussed throughout the weekend, and keynote speaker Jim Delany. Visit our Fanalytical blog to see that post and learn more about the conference.
Since 1989, Jim Delany has served as the Big Ten Conference Commissioner. He’s overseen expansion, growth and the rise of the Big Ten Television Network. Takeaways from his speech can be applied across the broader world of athletics to help your athletic department better adapt in these changing times. Today’s first takeaway from Commissioner Delany’s speech focuses on the importance of doing your research and lessons learned during the launch of the innovative Big Ten Network.
One of the hallmark moments of Jim Delany’s career was the launch of the Big Ten’s very own television network, the first of its kind. The launch was announced on June 21, 2006 and nearly a year later it hit the airwaves at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 30, 2007. It’s been live and growing ever since.
One of the biggest things Delany said that was key to the creation of the Big Ten Network was doing your research. For Delany, this was understanding the audience of the television network and how it could grow over time. In other scenarios, this could look like the use of analytics to better understand growth opportunities and untapped markets.
Delany also stressed the importance of commitment. Even if things were rough at the beginning, he knew that he had to stay committed to the television network to give it some time to get its footing and grow. Finally, Delany reminded everyone that at the end of the day, we are still selling sports. And sports are fun! Keeping that in mind is key whenever you hit a roadblock in the sports industry; return to the core tenant of sports’ power to unify and entertain.
At Fanalytical, we are helping college athletic departments grow opportunities amongst fans who have strong ties to their athletic programs. Analytics and creation of the golden record are the methods, but that underlying passion around college sports is the bedrock upon which everything else is built.
Check back next week for the next post in this series, where we will explore the importance of “Identifying Decision Makers”.