All posts by Medway Sports

Denmark football legend Schmeichel plays piano

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RT EXCLUSIVE: FOOTBALL LEGEND PETER SCHMEICHEL PLAYS PIANO WITH RUSSIAN MUSIC ICON DENIS MATSUEV

MOSCOW, JUNE 8Denmark’s football legend Peter Schmeichel, the host of RT’s The Peter Schmeichel Show about the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, played piano in the latest episode with the internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, a celebrity 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ambassador.

To watch the episode of The Peter Schmeichel Show featuring Denis Matsuev go to https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=txZxumhi0fc.

While exploring Saint Petersburg, Schmeichel told the audience about the football stadium that will be hosting some of the World Cup games before heading to the city’s famous St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra to meet Russia’s star pianist Denis Matsuev.

“One of my favorite musical pieces is Rachmaninoff’s second Piano Concerto. The chairman of the Rachmaninov Foundation is a big football fan. He happens to be one of the FIFA ambassadors for the World Cup, on top of being one the best pianists in the world,” Schmeichel said about Matsuev.

Speaking about both football and music, Matsuev pointed out, “The most important goal is we play for the audience. This is the most important thing.”

In his RT program The Peter Schmeichel Show, the legendary goalkeeper for Manchester United and the Denmark national team tours Russian cities set to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, keeping the audience up-to-date on the preparations for the championship.

Earlier, RT’s team of hosts was joined by star coach José Mourinho, who gave his predictions for the World Cup specially for RT. He believes that Russia will make it out of its group to face Spain in round 16. Mourinho will also participate in RT’s special coverage dedicated to the 2018 World Cup, sharing his expert analysis and predictions for the tournament with the network’s vast global audience. RT Spanish will feature Columbia’s football veteran Carlos Alberto Valderrama, the country’s most capped player.

Ahead of the tournament, RT has launched a special multimedia project dedicated to coverage of all things World Cup 2018: a website complete with the match schedule, player info and current standings, as well as news and exclusive interviews with sports stars. During the World Cup, the site will provide live text commentary of the games and stories from RT reporters.

Peter Schmeichel is Denmark’s most capped player, having made 129 appearances for the national team. During an illustrious career he won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League title, and a UEFA European championship.

RT is a global TV news network that broadcasts 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish, and French from its studios in Moscow, Washington, DC, London, and Paris. 100 million people in 47 countries watch RT channels every week; 45 million watch RT daily. In the US, RT has a weekly audience of 11 million viewers (Ipsos). It is also the most watched TV news network on YouTube with more than 5 billion views. RT is the winner of the Monte Carlo TV Festival Award for best 24-hr broadcast, and the only Russian TV channel to be a five-time Emmy finalist for news programming.

F2 Finding Football

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YOU TUBE ANNOUNCES TWO NEW UK SHOWS THAT BEGIN STREAMING ON THE PLATFORM THIS JUNE – “F2 FINDING FOOTBALL” AND “THE SIDEMEN SHOW”

LONDON, JUNE 4, 2018 — YouTube has teamed up with British superstar creators to produce two brand new Original series for subscription streaming service, YouTube Premium. “F2 Finding Football” follows the F2 as they discover football culture around the world with world-renowned musical guests such as Lil Jon, Becky G and more.

F2 Finding Football

In “F2 Finding Football,” football skill pioneers Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch (The F2) explore the beautiful game and unique pitches around the world in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, France, Thailand and more. The hosts and their guests take on adventures in every episode from creating their own version of a Japanese game show with Steve Aoki (DJ), making a Western movie in Hollywood with Blink 182’s Travis Barker (Blink-182) and much more. Additional celebrity guests in the series include singer and actress Becky G, EDM duo Krewella, rappers A$AP Ferg and Lil Jon, and Rock band Sigur Ros. “F2 Finding Football,” is produced by Whistle Sports.

The series will premiere on the F2Freestyler’s YouTube Channel on June 13th, just in time for the World Cup. From kicking a ball through narrow alleyways of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to The F2 mashing up trick-shots and tango in Buenos Aires to eating shrimp alive in Thailand, “F2 Finding Football” is a fusion of culture, music, community and sport.

Wingrove and Lynch (the F2) say: “It’s been an unbelievable experience creating this series. Whether it be a loyal football fan or someone who’s never seen a pitch, this show will give an unforgettable glimpse into how our beloved game is played around the world, just as many of these incredible countries are about to play on football’s biggest stage.”

  1. LaLonde, vice president of content, head of studio for Whistle Sports says: “To create a series with YouTube Premium featuring such talented individuals like The F2 is a true dream. As Whistle Sports continues to grow and increases its push into longer-form, premium content, it’s exciting to introduce this series that embodies the values of our younger audience: positivity, creativity, humour and skill.”

Luke Hyams, Head of YouTube Originals in EMEA says: “At YouTube, we continue to support incredible European creators and the stories they want to share with the whole world. ‘F2 Finding Football’ is a show that will captivate global audiences as it explores the many ways people are inspired by the beautiful game in some of the most football-obsessed countries in the world. The series also gives The F2 the opportunity to show off their incredible skills (or tekkers) as never before in some incredible locations around the world alongside some very special guest stars!”

The first episode, premiering on June 13th, will be free for the public to stream as well as the second episode which will air soon after. The remaining episodes will be available by purchasing YouTube Premium, which will be available in the UK early this summer.

For high resolution images for use in press, see this folder for “F2 Finding Football” and “The Sidemen Show”. Please note all images for “F2 Finding Football” should be credited to Chris Macchi/Whistle Sports. All images for “The Sidemen Show” should be credited to Blue Ant Media.

Jimmy Anderson swaps the wicket for the oche

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#JIMMYDOESDARTS AS THOMAS COOK SPORT AND ANDERSON STEP UP TO THE OCHE TO TAKE ON A SUPPORTER IN A CLASSIC NINE-DART CHALLENGE

In his first challenge as a Thomas Cook Sport ambassador, the #JimmyDoes campaign took the cricket star out of his comfort zone as he went head-to-head in a nine-dart challenge against one lucky supporter during the PDC’s visit to Manchester earlier this month.

With current PDC professional, Stephen Bunting, on hand to offer tips and training ahead of the sporting showdown, record-breaking bowler Jimmy switched the wicket and a ball temporarily for darts and a board and took on winning fan, Chris Ford, at a nine-dart challenge.

Taking place across Thomas Cook Sport’s social media channels, the first #JimmyDoes voting campaign pitted the LTA vs the PDC, with darts coming out on top with 69% of the vote. With one voter getting the opportunity to take Jimmy on at the winning sport, Chris stepped up to the Oche for a one-on-one showdown. By close of play, it was the England cricket star who walked away with a 262 – 211 victory.

Jimmy Anderson, Thomas Cook Sport brand ambassador, commented: “It feels good to have the opening #JimmyDoes challenge and first victory under my belt! It was great to get some tips and hints from Stephen, he certainly helped take my game to the next level ahead of my match with Chris.

“Keep an eye on Thomas Cook Sports’ social channels for the next #JimmyDoes vote and you could be taking me on during my next sporting challenge!”

Check out the first #JimmyDoes video here: #JIMMYDOESDARTS

For more information on packages with Thomas Cook Sport, please visit https://www.thomascooksport.com or call  01733 224 834.

London Marathon 2018 – Common Running Injuries

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COMMON RUNNING INJURIES: CONSULTANT SURGEON ASSESSES THE DAMAGE FOR LONDON MARATHON

Over 300,000 people applied to take part in this year’s London Marathon, and of those 40,000 people will be running the 26 mile stretch across the capital.  Around 58% of those competing, have never run a marathon before, but will be valiantly pushing themselves to run for fun, charity or health reasons.
The wide range in abilities and disabilities of runners also determines the chances of injuries during or after the race.  A medical specialist team will be on hand to support the participants in the event of any strain or injury but in the event that those taking part only feel discomfort or anything unusual when they arrive home, we asked Mr Harold Nwaboku, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of Total Orthopaedics at Highgate Private Hospital to give us a breakdown of the most common injuries suffered as a result of such a long distance trek and how to spot those symptoms:-
What is iliotibial band syndrome?
Iliotibial band syndrome is a recognised problem in runners which can surface at this time of preparation for the London Marathon.  The iliotibial band runs from the hip region to the knee and its function includes movement of the knee.  This injury arises from overuse when the band becomes inflamed, which can hamper the training programme of runners.
What are the symptoms and who is susceptible to this injury?
Pain and sometimes swelling on their outer side of the knee.  It can often become very painful and difficult to run, but the pain subsides as soon as you stop. Athletes who do repetitive forward motion exercises for extended periods of time, most commonly including long distance runners, cyclists, and gym goers who perform repeated squats.
How do you test for this injury?
You can self-test by bending the affected knee whilst standing, you feel pain on the outside when the knee bends.  Touching the outer side of the knee will also elicit the pain, and an ultrasound or MRI will reveal the inflamed site.
What are the treatment options?
Most patients will respond well to rest or change in activities.  Physiotherapy assessment and treatment is also an option which can assist with recovery.  If rest or physiotherapy do not help, an Orthopaedic referral and assessment is the next recommended course of action.  Steroid or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections can offer pain relief.  Surgery is usually a last resort when all the non-operative options are unsuccessful
Patella tendinitis (Runner’s Knee)
What is patella tendinitis?
Patella tendinitis is commonly known as ‘runner’s knee’.  It is a common cause of anterior knee pain which occurs at the front and centre of the knee, where the tendon attaches to the bone.  The pain is often constant and can negatively affect the motion and motivation of the individual. 
What are the symptoms and who can be susceptible to this injury?
You will experience a dull or sharp pain under the knee cap while running, kneeling and climbing stairs.  Pain can also occur after sitting for long periods of time.  Knee instability is also common, leading to the knee giving way or falling. Individuals involved in running and jumping sports, and the condition is found to be more common in females.
How do you test for this injury?
The act of squatting is a common test, in addition to touching along the patella tendon from where the pain starts and ends.
What are the treatment options?
Assessment of footwear and of the training equipment can aid in preventing patella tendinitis, in addition to maintaining a healthy body weight.  Physiotherapy can help aid recovery as well as activity changes.   The RICE regimen may be recommended to calm inflammation: rest, ice, compression and elevation.  Steroid or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections can offer pain relief.  Surgery is usually a last resort when all the non-operative options are unsuccessful.
Hip stress fracture
What is a hip stress fracture?
It is a fracture of the top part of the femur (hip bone).  It occurs when there is repeated stress to the bone over time and can occur in high mileage runners and those training for a marathon.  At the start of this condition there is a small crack, which can lead ultimately to the fracture of the hip if left untreated.  While it is a rare cause of hip pain, it should be ruled out to prevent further injury.
Who can be susceptible to this injury?
Athletes who take up running and jumping sports, who repeatedly put pressure and stress onto the hip.  When stress to the bone is applied repetitively, it can cause an overuse injury like a hip stress fracture.  In addition to runners, gymnasts, ballet dancers, and power walkers and marchers can also experience this injury.
How do you test for this injury?
The condition may be suspected after learning of a patient’s history.  Rotation of the hip will be tested and could lead to further investigations like imaging scans being needed.  X-rays may not reveal anything visible for several weeks, so an MRI scan will likely be recommended as it is the most sensitive and specific test for this condition. 
What are the treatment options?
Orthopaedic referral and assessment is recommended if a hip fracture is suspected.  Rest and protection from weight bearing, so repetitive activity will need to be stopped.  Bed rest will be recommended in cases of severe pain, but surgery will only be recommended for cases with two complete hip fractures.
For more information or to assess any strain or injuries, please contact Total Orthopaedics at Highgate Private Hospital on https://totalorthopaedics.london/ or call 020 8108 3798

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) celebrates an historic landmark

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LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF OPEN ERA TENNIS AND PIONEERING HERITAGE

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) today celebrates an historic and landmark moment in the founding of professional tennis as global stars mark 50 years since the very first Open Era Tournament.

On April 22 1968, the British Hard Court Championships – held at West Hants Club in the English seaside town of Bournemouth – became the first of 12 Open tournaments for the year sanctioned by the then International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF). The tournament marked the birth of modern-day professional tennis and led to today’s multi-million dollar global industry defined by Grand Slam events and superstar athletes.

Fifty years ago, the first Open Era titles were won by Australia’s Ken Rosewall and Britain’s Virginia Wade, who took home the first ever prize money breakdowns recorded on a draw sheet – the men’s title with £1000 and the women’s £300.

Virginia Wade OBE, who won 55 singles titles including three grand slams singles titles, said: “Bournemouth and the West Hants Tennis Club have a very special place in my heart, being born there. The British Hard Courts (although the surface was shale) was the first of the early tournaments that all the players got excited about and it meant even more to me in 1968 to win the first event of the Open Era.

“It’s amazing when we think of the global phenomenon tennis has become over the last 50 years and we should be very proud that British Tennis had the courage to make it all happen.” 

Wade went onto win the US Open, Australian and Wimbledon over the course of her 18-year career.

Ken Rosewall, who won 133 career titles including eight Grand Slams, added: “I can’t believe it’s been 50 years. The British Hard Court Championships always had a lot of history there and we were all impressed with how big that event was and a lot of surprising results. I remember there were the top Brit players led by Mark Cox and the leading Pros from the National Tennis League of which I was one. It was very exciting to play there in April 1968, it was my first time and as it turned out the last. Rod [Laver] and I played off in the final, which was delayed by rain and I was glad to win in four sets. 

“Nowadays the game has grown so much, and in all sports, the players are well compensated. It was great that Herman David from Wimbledon and the LTA in Britain had the vision to bring the amateurs and the pros together. The changes have been fantastic for tennis helping the sport become more international. The Olympics has also helped that a lot and the top players in the world are much more international not just the Aussies, the Americans and the Brits as it was back then.”

It was when the legendary Australian champion Rod Laver agreed to turn pro in 1962, with some of his fellow pros under contract to Jack Kramer, including Rosewall, helping to fund it, that the ILTF realised that a review of the current rules were inevitable. Those who did turn up were banned from playing in the four major tournaments (Australia, France, Wimbledon and the United States). Laver, who had won all four major championships in 1962, did not play in the majors again until 1968.

This historic seachange in tennis took place following an impassioned speech from the LTA’s Councillor for Kent, Derek Penman, at the Lawn Tennis Association’s AGM at The Queen’s Club on December 14, 1967. Tennis was traditionally an amateur sport with only a few turning professional – usually the best amateur of each year. Prompted by the protests by professionals against the many competitors, who pretended to be amateurs, while accepting under-the-table payments, in a process branded ‘shamaterusim’.

Penman’s speech resulted in unanimous AELTC support, which the then Chairman of Wimbledon, Herman David stated “it must be constitutional”. Once the LTA had passed a motion for an open Wimbledon in 1968 LTA Chairman Derek Hardwick then proposed that Britain should abolish the distinction between amateur and professional players at British tournaments.

With support from Herman David, Hardwick & Penman sought to gain international support over the next three months and travelled around the world garnering support from the US and other nations. After an emergency meeting of ILTF member nations in Paris on March 30 1968, Open tournaments were sanctioned, and the British Hard Court Championships was the first to be played in this era.

The LTA is celebrating their pioneering role and legacy in the forming of professional tennis by welcoming Tim Henman, players from the first Open Era tournament in 1968 including Sue Mappin, Frances McLennan, John Clifton and John Paish and future stars of British Tennis to an event on 29 April 2018. The event will commemorate the role the LTA and West Hants Club together played in paving the way for professional tennis across the globe. Former British No.1 Henman will play an exhibition doubles match with fellow former British professionals Miles Maclagan, John Feaver & John Paish, there will also be a match between the former British professionals and junior players from West Hants on the day.

This year also marks a number of other notable landmarks in the history of tennis, including the 130thanniversary of the founding of the LTA and the 40thanniversary of the first-ever BBC broadcast of the Eastbourne International – which saw Martina Navratilova beat Chris Evert two weeks ahead of her maiden Wimbledon title. 2018 will also mark the 40thconsecutive year the BBC have televised the Queen’s Club Championships, which started in 1979.

To find out more about the Open Era and the evolution of tennis in the past 50 years, visit https://www.lta.org.uk/news/general-news/2018/april/open-era-british-tennis-celebrates-50th-anniversary-of-the-open-era

New card system for Football Fans

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FOOTBALL FANS TO ACCESS STADIUM WITH AN ALL-IN-ONE TICKET AND MEMBER CARD WITH INTEGRATED CONTACTLESS PAYMENT FUNCTIONALITY

  • Fortress has joined forces with Global Processing Services and Wirecard to launch ‘The One Card’, an all in one season ticket and member card with contactless payment functionality
  • Season ticket holders can use the contactless technology to enter stadium and make fast and easy payments at the POS or online
  • New solution will help reduce queues and waiting times across some of the world’s most renown names in the sports industry
London – January 2018: Fortress GB, whose card base is currently 7.5 million, have joined forces with Global Processing Services (GPS) and Wirecard to launch this first integrated contactless stadium season ticket card to the UK sports market. Season ticket holders and members can use The One Card to gain entry to the stadium whilst using the same card for purchases at selected merchants at the point of sale or online. 

Fortress GB is partner to over 130 of the world’s most prestigious and diverse sports teams and organizations, providing technology that has powered the adoption of digital ticketing and the use of RFID/NFC technology in the sports and entertainment industries, supporting game day operations and wider fan engagement activities. Fans can purchase the Season Ticket online or within the app, via the clubs’ existing integrated ticketing platform. The contactless season card will cut down waiting times and reduce queues for fans during all important matches throughout the season. Fans can choose to pay with the membership card and in future purely digital with a new smartphone app for quick and convenient, contactless payment.
Duncan Martin, Development Consultant at Fortress comments: “We carried out an extensive search for partners that understood the strategic aims of our company, along with the challenges presented by working in the sports stadium environment – this resulting in selecting the most relevant partners Global Processing Services (GPS) and Wirecard to launch The One Card.” 
Suresh Vaghjiani, Managing Director at Global Processing Services comments:“Fortress GB has a long-standing reputation of working with the world’s most prestigious football teams and now with the launch of The One Card, they are creating a new customer experience that will further enhance the bond between fans and the football club by providing added convenience with an all-in-one proposition.”

Asseterum to sponsor the 2018 World Seniors Snooker Championship

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ASSETERUM CRYPTO CURRENCY IS THE MAIN SPONSOR FOR 2018 WORLD SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIPS

We are delighted to announce Asseterum Crypto Currency as the Main sponsor for 2018 World Seniors Championships which will be held at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe between the 20th and 24th March 2018.

Assetereum is a Yorkshire based company who have had huge success in the utilities and online shopping sector, 1986 World Snooker Champion Joe Johnson is an advisor to the board
and they are keen to make their crypto currency affordable for anyone. You can own some of their crypto coin for as little as £10 when it launches tomorrow.

As well as being the title sponsor they are awarding 10,000 Assetereum crypto currency coins to the winner and 5000 to the runner up. They will also multiply the highest break made at the
championships by 30 and convert that into their crypto currency coin.

Jason Francis, creator of the World Seniors Snooker Tour said

“delighted to have Assetereum on board, to my knowledge the first global sporting event that has been sponsored by a crypto currency. The addition of their coins to the prize fund could see this grow to be the largest snooker prize ever!”

Andy Papaiacovou, CEO, said

“We are delighted to be the sponsors of such a fantastic event and hope this is just the beginning of a long term association with the World Seniors Snooker Tour. I have been an avid snooker fan since childhood and I am looking forward to seeing these great legends of the game battle it out again”

Stephen Hendry said

“I’d like to welcome Assetereum as our title sponsor for the World Seniors Championships in Scunthorpe. It’s the first time a crypto currency has been added to the winner’s prize. I wish them all the best with their launch tomorrow”

The winner of the Asseterum World Seniors title gets £10,000, 5000 crypto coins and a place in the 2018 World Professional Snooker Championship Qualifiers where they are 3 matches from
the Crucible.

To find out about Assetereum and see how you can own some crypto coin for as little as £10 go to

https://www.assetereum.io/Register/Snookerlegends
#worldseniorstour #daretodream

Live Streaming Industry Cashing in on China’s Billiard Boom

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WITH EVERY INTERNATIONAL BILLIARD EVENT HELD, CHINA’S MAJOR LIVE STREAMING PLATFORMS SEE NEW PEAKS OF VIEWERS.

For example, during the 5th Joy Cup World Chinese 8-Ball Maters Grand Final this Jan. 10th-16th, six billiards related streamers successfully made their way into the Weekly Top 10 List of China’s Sports Event Streamers, and their total highest real-time viewer count hit 718.6 thousand, as recorded by zbrank.com, a professional statistics analyzer which collects and publishes data from China’s mainstream live streaming platforms.

 Weekly Top 100 Sports Event Streamer Breakdown by Genres (Jan. 9-15, 2017)

Sports Streamer Percentage Total Followers Follower Percentage
Basketball 30% 462 691 42.38%
Billiards 29% 311 316 28.52%
Football 25% 223 681 20.49%
Chess & Cards 7% 30 487 2.79%
Badminton 2% 35 400 3.24%
Boxing 2% 10 026 0.92%
Tennis 2% 8 237 0.75%
Volleyball 2% 2 820 0.26%
Other 1% 7 093 0.65%

Date source: zbrank.com

It is widely believed that in the close future, Billiards, Basketball and Football will become the three pillars of China’s sports event streaming business. To lay claim to this burgeoning market, live streaming platforms are now vying to acquire streaming rights of high-profile billiards events.

For example, in mid December, 2017, by collaborating with Joy, China’s top billiards table maker, Panda.tv successfully purchased the streaming rights of valuable billiards events throughout 2018 held by high-end billiards clubs nationwide, covering over 20 major billiards provinces, including Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and etc. Billiards enthusiasts are also welcome to stream small billiards contests around them under Panda.tv’s newly added Billiards Category.

Suffice to say, there are still many potentials in China’s billiards market waiting for you to tap! If you want to size these unprecedented business opportunities, please don’t hesitate to sign up for the 12th China Guangzhou International Billiards Exhibition (GBE 2018), the world’s most professional billiards trade show held in China! Hurry up and contact Amy at gbeexpo@yeah.net to get your free E-ticket.

World Chinese 8-ball

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2018 WORLD CHINESE 8-BALL MASTERS HEATS UP WITH CNY¥1,000,000 PRIZE

The World Chinese 8-ball Masters is about to make its extraordinary marks in 2017 at the end of the season. Since the inception in 2006 and evolution as an international pool event in 2012, the World Chinese 8-ball Masters has been progressed through thick and thin. Remarkably in 2018 its grand prize for champion will skyrocket to CNY¥1,000,000, the highest of all time in view of the initial prize funds of CNY¥8,000! The 6th World Chinese 8-ball Masters in 2018, is set to be the most competitive edition!
 
 
Please also note that the China Finals of 6th World Chinese 8-ball Masters will take place during Dec.27, 2017Jan. 12, 2018. More than 297 players from more than 40 countries spread across six continents will travel to the Northeast Chinese City of Qinghuangdao scrambling to take a slice of the total prize fund as high as CNY¥1,000,000!
 
In spite of the jaw-dropping prize, the change of competition rules of World Chinese 8-ball Masters has also hit the headlines! Players, fans of billiards, and media were brought together to perform panel discussion of rules amendment. The details of rules improved are still waited to be reported!

Is Mo Farah the UK’s Sports Personality of 2017?

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MO FARAH TOOK THE CROWN AS 2017 SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR LAST NIGHT, BEATING FAVOURITES ANTHONY JOSHUA AND LEWIS HAMILTON

The surprise announcement raises the question; who was truly the most influential sportsperson of 2017? Sports marketing agency Exposure has conducted research to answer this question.

Jamie Vardy and Sam Warburton are the most influential figures in UK sport, says new study

Only 50% of the top 20 is composed of active sportspeople

Inclusion of social media influencers shows changing face of UK sport

20% of the top 10 is female

New research has revealed the top twenty most influential Brits when it comes to encouraging people to attend, play, watch or engage with sport in the UK. Joint top of the list are Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy and Welsh Rugby Union star Sam Warburton.

The research, carried out by creative communications agency Exposure, showed that rugby influencers and those involved in athletics and swimming are as well-represented as high profile footballers. As well as current sportspeople, the list includes Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis (No.7) and former players and TV commentators like Gary Lineker (No.10) – and the heads of major sporting bodies such as the FA and the RFU.

Other major influencers are YouTube channel Copa90 (No.11), fitness coach and author Joe Wicks (No.12) and social media personality Spencer FC (No.13). Only half the top 20 is composed of sportspeople active in their field, showing the surprising diversity of people that are able to effectively influence how the British public engage with sport in this country.

The research employed a unique analysis tool to identify the 250 biggest names in UK sport and examine each person’s online influence through social media platforms like Twitter, offline influence such as appearances in books, newspapers and on TV and their personal ‘brand value’ based upon their current level of public interest, recent scandals and any charity initiatives that they are involved in.

The Top 20 most influential figures in UK sport:

Name Name Sport/Role Position
Sam Warburton Rugby 1=
Jamie Vardy Football 1=
Adam Peaty Swimming 3
Owen Farrell Rugby 4
Gareth Thomas Rugby presenter 5
Tom Daley Diving 6
Dame Jessica Ennis Athletics commentator 7
Marcus Rashford Football 8
Dame Katherine Grainger Chair, UK Sport 9
Gary Lineker BBC Sports presenter 10
Copa90 YouTube 11
Joe Wicks Social media influencer 12
Spencer FC YouTube 13
Harry Kane Football 14
Ian Ritchie Rugby – CEO of RFU 15
Andy Murray Tennis 16
Gareth Bale Football 17
Baroness Grey-Thompson Member of the House of Lords, Board Member of London Legacy Development Corporation 18
Justin Rose Golf 19
Martin Glenn Football – CEO of FA 20

The research demonstrates how influencers come from a wide range of sports, including rugby, swimming and golf, and not just the usual suspects like football.

There are people from the world of sport that wield an extraordinary level of influence and they aren’t necessarily the big names that sponsors automatically seek out. Organisation heads like Dame Katherine Grainger (No.9) and Ian Ritchie (No.15) also rank highly, due to their ability to affect every aspect of sporting life from grassroots development to international play. TV presenters and commentators are still the recognisable face of UK sport to those who watch sport on TV.

Andy Jephson, head of sport & culture at Exposure, comments: “Some of the ‘traditional’ big names of UK sport have been surpassed by players who fans have a closer connection to. From Jamie Vardy’s rise from the lower leagues to the emergence of young British stars like Marcus Rashford, our research suggests that football fans are looking for players who are authentic and real.”

While sportspeople dominate the top 20, the power of social media has changed the parameters of influence in UK Sport. Andy Jephson commented: “It’s incredible to see Joe Wicks, Spencer FC (Spencer Owen) and Copa90 in the top 20 as it is evidence of the democratisation of sport, where there are now opportunities for people outside of the establishment to get involved in the sports that they love.”

There are also signs that women’s sport is becoming more influential in the UK. The fact that only 15% of the top 20 is comprised of women might on first glance appear to reinforce traditional gender imbalances in sport. Women represent 20% of the top 10 and 250 most influential people in UK sport – when viewed in context of the scale of men’s sport and how established it is, this figure can be seen as evidence that the influence of women upon UK sport is growing.

Methodology:

Exposure used its unique scoring system to find the UK’s most influential figures in sports, focusing on those who can influence people to participate/engage with sports – whether that be through attending games, watching games at home or in the pub, buying merchandise, following their every move online, or participating in the sport itself.

The research factored in each person’s online influence, offline influence and their brand value (i.e. is there public interest in them, any recent scandals, are they ambassadors of a charity or perhaps have their own charity etc.). The extensive list analysed over 250 people involved in UK sports including athletes, presenters, journalists, social media influencers and publications.

More detail on the research:

The research included more than 2,000 individual measurements split into three equally-weighted categories, including:

Online: Presence; frequency and quality of content; number of followers; engagement; and objectives of their social media channels.

Offline: Ability to affect the laws; number of people currently participating in their sport; increase or decrease in people participating in their sport; appearance in offline channels such as books and TV; and how often the sport is covered in mainstream media.

Brand Strength: Whether they are international, national or local champions in their sport; recent performance compared to expectations; public interest in them increasing or decreasing; involvement with charitable causes, be it face of a campaign or spokesperson for change in their own sport; recent involvement in any scandals, both personal and professional; and if they are considered inspirational or ground-breaking in their area.