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Hashtag Sports 2018: Takeaways

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Yesterday at the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan, The Annual Hashtag Sports wrapped up after three days of inspirational and actionable sessions featuring over 200 world-class visionaries from sports, entertainment and technology.

MKTG was there in full effect to not only support multiple clients who appeared on stage over the three day period, but also to act as sponges and bring back what we learned to our teams.

We sat down with two of the MKTG employees in attendance to get their thoughts. Take a look:

Gavin Blawie – SVP, Digital


What was your main takeaway from this years Hashtag Sports Conference?

When it comes to driving conversation and relevance across audiences at scale, there is nothing like live sport.  Sixteen of the top 20 moments last year on Twitter were live sporting events, and as broadcast viewership falls year over year, it was a gold rush of brands, leagues, teams, players, agencies, consultancies, agents and hybrids all talking the same disruption, and all looking to capitalize on the Sports X Social revolution now fully in progress.

What was your favorite session and why?

I loved How Innovation & Tech are Transforming Fan Experience – heard from experts in their fields talking about how best to personalize the fan experience, now that we can use data to better understand fan motivations, and needs, not just usage/”I bought a ticket” but now fans self identify through social and form virtual, passionate communities – “I’m not just a Rangers fan, I’m in section 125 tonight, here’s the view from my seat”

Over the course of your career,  you have attended many conferences. How does Hashtag compare and how does it differ?

Hashtag did a very good job of bringing diverse voices from all the major leagues, clients and agencies, and the ability to hear so many diverse voices saying the same things – the future is personal, content needs to be shared, superfans are key to engagement, nothing drives UGC like live – this is a very exciting time for an agency like MKTG to be navigating the change.  It’s an opportunity for all of us as an agency partner to flagship brands navigating these changing times to orient ourselves around content creation and thought leadership as much as experiential, sponsorship and H&E, and work to get our own progressive clients empaneled in panels where they reflect on principles and programs we developed together but can’t always publish.  Now, it’s less a PR and new business effort, which we always have done, but more a table stakes of consideration in a world more transformed by digital by the day.

Quinn Hurley – Summer Trainee, MKTG Global Team


What was your main takeaway from this year’s Hashtag Sports Conference?

One of the main takeaways I had from this year’s Hashtag Sports Conference was the focus on Generation Z. Within all the sessions I attended there was a continuous discussion of how to target Gen. Z, promoting innovative ways of marketing to them through advertisements, new channels, and app sports sections. The consistent idea from the conference was the lack of comprehension of this technological generation. I thought this focus was an interesting and difficult topic but will encourage necessary change in sports media/marketing strategies.

What was your favorite session and why?

My favorite session was called “The Value of Premium, Original Content: How to Create and Monetize New Digital Formats”, showing the mutualistic partnership between the NFL network and Snap Inc. It presented the history and results of the partnership, the background of the NFL discover page on Snapchat, the consistent NFL helmet edit features, and the strategy of the NFL Snapchat platform. They also added the results of their partnership, such as that in the 2018 Super Bowl, Snapchat became the most used app during the game for the first time in history. This session showed the ideal relationship between media and sports, emphasizing that even a traditional company like NFL can partner with new media companies like Snap Inc.

Hashtag is running a promotion for 2019 already! If you buy your ticket between now it’s only $395. Visit THIS page to register! See you there next year!

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 28th, 2018 at 11:36 am