Datatainment: Soccer Sexes-Up Spreadsheets
We've had data visualisation. We've had data journalism. But there's a missing layer that sport has ignored. Only the most passionate of fanatical sporting statisticians can get joy from the data that accompanies the world's most popular sport. There must be a better way of telling the stories behind the stats. Soccer has as much data as any other sport and with an estimated 3.5 billion fans, it has more audience than anyone else. But entertaining that audience, rather than simply informing them, is where the challenge lies. Richard Ayers, the digital innovator at Manchester City FC, one of the world's top soccer clubs, will reveal where the club is going and explore the best examples in the game. He'll look at the pace of change in Soccer's stats as the top club's strive to engage a wider demographic and will assess parallels in F1 Grand Prix, the differences with North American sports and the impact of second-screen experiences.
As Digital Playmaker for one of the premiership's fastest developing football clubs, Man City, I find new opportunities in digital media that can be exploited both creatively and commercially. I deal with new products, partnerships, innovation and creative development.
I play a very similar role for the BFI. As Head of Digital Business Development for the British Film Institute, I find and deliver new opportunities that yield commercial and cultural value and give fantastic opportunities to work with every aspect of the nation's moving image life. I am particularly interested in developing partnerships.
In November 2011 I was named "Individual of the Year" at UK industry awards the DADIs for my work at City.
At the beginning of the year I had taken up the interim, newly-created position of Head of Digital for Manchester City FC to help the club create a market leading capability to engage a global fanbase. We capped the year off by winning two Lovie awards (European Webby's) for Best Sport Site and Use of Mobile. I have now handed over the reigns and moved to focus on innovation.
Broadly speaking I am a creative, content, commercial and operational hybrid who focusses on my two loves of sport and film. On top of City and the BFI, I consult for a range of sports bodies, clubs and broadcasters.
Originally a radio journalist who turned geek, I launched BBC News online in 1997 and in the .com boom I went commercial and ran Tiscali's portal for 7 years.
Since 2007 I have focussed on a small portfolio of clients including Trinity Mirror, the Guardian, M&G Investment Bank and, in sport, the ECB, the MCC and helping Channel 4 with their digital coverage of Paralympics 2012.