Emerald Media acquires stake in global sports management firm GSC

18 April 2018 Consultancy.asia

Global Sports Commerce, one of the world’s largest sport-focused management and technology consultancies, has been acquired by KRR-backed Emerald Media.

Global Sports Commerce (GSC) is a leading player in the worldwide sports industry, providing a range of services including consulting, commercial sponsorship and management solutions. The company’s head office is situated in Singapore and they have 13 subsidiaries around the globe, offering services across Australasia, Africa, Europe, the USA and Middle East.

GSC and their affiliate Techfront Australia are together fusing sports with media and technology to dominate their field. Techfront, who are known in Australia for their modular temporary LED signage for stadiums, also advise sporting entities how to create audience-specific branding strategies, increase advertising revenue and connect through sponsorships. They advise sports bodies, leagues, rights’ holders, stadiums and brands on the ways in which technology developments can foster customer engagement.

"We are very happy to have a strong partner in Emerald Media, whose team’s extensive investment experience and critical connections across the globe will help deepen GSC’s engagement with the world of sports. This investment further contributes to the consolidation of sports commerce worldwide via use of technology, and it helps us expand our international footprint,” said M S Muralidharan, the CEO of GSC.Emerald Media acquires minority stake in Global Sports CommerceIt’s perhaps no surprise that Emerald Media, an advisory agency who are aggressively investing across Asia, decided to join forces with GSC. Emerald Media’s position in the Asian media industry and a string of recent acquisitions show the company’s strategy is to expand both within and beyond the fast developing Asian media market.

Funded by global investment firm KKR, Emerald Media will now have the growth capital to invest in next generation technologies for the sporting eco-system. The company plans to continue its upscaling through inorganic growth and by expanding its operations in the fast-growing digital sporting solutions markets worldwide.

Paul Aiello, Managing Director of Emerald Media, said, “In a few short years GSC has established itself as a leader in the Sports technology industry. We are pleased to partner with M S Muralidharan who is a pioneer in the field and look forward to accelerating the expansion of the business as a key player in the industry, as it further expands its reach in the global market.”

Sports tech developments

At the game, digital technology has changed the way that sports and sports management obtain revenue and how patrons experience live events. Technology like LED displays and the Internet of Things (IOT) connect fans to their teams and stadiums and venues with consumers to provide new opportunities for engagement.

Rajesh Kamat, Managing Director of Emerald Media, states; “The introduction of digital technology into the world of sports has helped amplify fans’ appreciation of the games and has helped to create an alternative source of revenue for clients, besides the games themselves.”

These digital developments also give patrons access to stimulating additions to their live sports coverage, ranging from real-time statistics to replays on demand. Today these types of technology are the standard in sports coverage and together Emerald Media and GSC are on track to create new forms of digital sports engagement.

Kamat continued; “GSC, with its 360-degree sports solutions, has transformed sports tech in India and across the globe by enhancing the way sports franchises interact with fans and capitalising on the ardor of their fan base. With GSC, we are excited to add sports to our eco-system of assets.”

GSC’s affiliates do business with sports organisations including: FIFA, the English Premier League, UEFA, NRL Australia, the Australian Football League (AFL), IPL, Formula 1, the Big Bash League, New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia, IMG and Asia Sports.

Beijing and Tokyo emerge as serious tech hub rivals to Silicon Valley

12 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

As Silicon Valley struggles with a number of institutional issues, the location of the world’s top tech-hub may ultimately change – with Beijing and Tokyo emerging as serious contenders according to a survey conducted by KPMG.

Now into its seventh edition, KPMG’s Technology Industry Innovation Survey quizzed over 700 global tech executives on their thoughts on the future industry landscape – revealing that for the first time more than half of the respondents (58 percent) believe Silicon Valley will no longer be the technology innovation center of the world in just four years from now, with Beijing and Tokyo seen as two possible usurpers.

“Many factors affect a city’s perception as an innovation hub, including favorable government policies and incentives, accelerators, tech parks, corporate investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and, in all cases, at least a few highly successful and wildly popular success stories,” said Peter Laco, an Executive Director at KPMG in Slovakia, of the previous survey.Top contenders for the next world-leading technology innovation hubWhile New York remains the most touted hot-spot among respondents, Beijing and Tokyo landed in the second and third spots as likely contenders for the global tech-hub crown, with seven Asian cities featuring among the top dozen; Shanghai (in equal 5th, but overtaken by Beijing), Taipei (in joint-5th as a notable riser), Singapore and Seoul (at 7th and 8th) and Hong Kong, which rounded out the top dozen. Shenzhen, meanwhile, has dropped outside the top 20.

With access to talent and quality infrastructure remaining key attributes for a successful hub, the report states that, despite all the positive business factors present in Silicon Valley, “an escalating cost of living, questions about diversity and corporate cultures, high business taxes, an overmatched infrastructure, and even increasing scrutiny into data privacy and other business practices are contributing to the perception that Silicon Valley may not continue to dominate.”

Still, the US (which also featured seven cities among the top 20) as a whole is still considered the country expected to produce the most disruptive technologies in the coming years, maintaining its top spot ahead of China despite a narrowing of the gap by two percentage points on last year (to 23 percent against 17 percent). The UK meanwhile has gained some separation on Japan in fourth, while Singapore, South Korea and India appear among the top ten.Countries that show the most promise for disruptive technologyTo gain further insight into the likelihood of a burgeoning tech-hub reaching the peak of the global pecking order, KPMG analysed the results of the survey against a range of other city indices, including A.T. Kearney’s 2018 Global Cities report and Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings – identifying Singapore as the most consistent Asia Pacific performer across the board, with Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong lagging in a variety of areas.

“The belief that Silicon Valley will be displaced as the leading hub underscores the continuing decentralisation of technology innovation, spurred by investment in other cities and regions globally, as well as contributing factors in Silicon Valley,” says Tim Zanni, KPMG’s global technology sector leader. “Even when faced with pressing issues that call for funding, cities and countries are carving out significant investment to become a technology innovation hub due to an expected broad economic impact.”