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Prosumer Power

Prosumer Power

Havas Global Comms

Havas Global Comms

October 6, 2020

BETC’s Guillaume Martin says the latest Prosumer Report, Sports Forward, demonstrates the transformative power of sports across the globe.

"I was surprised to see how much Prosumers see sports as a real power - a social and professional elevator"

Head of Strategy at the agency, Guillaume chats about the unique Prosumer methodology and the influence the studies have on our work across the Havas network. 

 

Can you tell us a little about the latest Prosumer report – Sports Forward – and what were some of its most interesting findings?  

Our relationship with sports is ever evolving and we know now that they play an even more crucial role than we had anticipated in our society and our lives. In this study, we explored the fundamental shifts occurring in the sports industry and how they are transforming how people play, regard, watch, and experience sports.  

I think some of the more interesting findings involved how important sports are in building people’s personalities and how transformative they can be. We all know that sports have an impact by teaching young participants fundamental values, but I was surprised to see how much Prosumers see them as a real power, a social and professional elevator. We found that 92% of Prosumers believe that sports have the power to change lives – this number is one of the highest we’ve ever seen in our Prosumer reports. The study also found that sports have become so essential that most people consider them a human right. That says a lot about how the industry has evolved and will continue to gain prominence. 

  

What encouraged the theme of this report? 

Sports are always in the headlines but 2020 was set to be a great year for sports fans, with the Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics and UEFA’s Euro 2020, all postponed until next year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, sport has never been so multi-dimensional: it is about health, of course, but also about education, inclusion, urban policy, etc. It seemed a good time to dive deeper into the subject to analyze what’s at stake in this ever-growing industry. 

Every year we select three or four broad topics and create provocative questions to better understand emerging trends in these areas. The surveys are conducted across multiple markets, and the fielding generally takes three to six weeks (depending on the number of questions). From there, we analyze the data to more closely understand Prosumers’ prospective attitudes: what they think today, mainstream people will more likely agree to in 6 to 18 months.  

  

How did the pandemic and the complete absence of sporting activities impact the process or alter the final report?  

If anything, it brought us even more insights than we initially anticipated. We were able to cross-compare the data against that of a separate COVID-19 study we conducted, with interesting results. Sports helped millions of people get through the lockdown, as a therapy to fight against its mental and physical consequences. We also saw how important sports can be in bringing people together and offering something to look forward to in difficult times: the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, featuring basketball superstar Michael Jordan, averaged 5.7 million views across all 10 Sunday night episodes during the lockdown. And if stadium crowd restrictions are here to last, it will make the demand for interactions between fans and teams even more crucial.  

"We owe it to our clients to stay ahead of the trends that are transforming and shaping our society"

How important are Prosumer Reports to the Havas network and in what ways has the data been utilized in the past? 

We owe it to our clients to stay ahead of the trends that are transforming and shaping our society, to foresee today what tomorrow will look like. Our Prosumer studies allow us to understand attitudinal shifts across industries, giving us valuable insights into potential areas of opportunity. We use these insights on behalf of existing clients and also in pitches. Consequently, they are extremely important to our network and allow us to differentiate ourselves within our industry.  

Why do you think Prosumer reports hold a greater value to our clients than other research available? What makes the findings of Prosumer reports stronger? 

Our unique methodology makes the findings much more valuable for our clients than all the random surveys you can find online. We use a proprietary algorithm that allows us to track attitudes among both mainstream consumers and those influencers on the leading edge (Prosumers) who are driving markets worldwide. Monitoring the gaps between the two groups helps us identify emerging trends ahead of our competitors and offer clients a glimpse of the future. By understanding our probable future, we are in a better position to help shape it and are also better equipped to speak to our consumer audiences in ways they find engaging and relevant. We conduct three  or four reports every year, in up to 40 markets, and have accumulated an enormous database that lets us analyze the evolution of people’s hopes and fears on a long-term perspective.   

The report surveyed Prosumers in 28 countries around the world. How did Prosumers vary globally in their response to this report?  

Participating in sports is widely considered a path to self-improvement, but this is much more true in Asia, especially in India or the Philippines, and to a lesser extent in the US, where sport is seen as a warrior path to success, than in Brazil or France where physical education is no more important than other school subjects. 

There is another clear cultural divide between nations that are self-performance driven when it comes to sports and those that are technology driven. Several countries, including France, Canada and Germany, are attached to the traditional values of sports and see athletics as a symbol of human endeavor. They value individual effort and admire those athletes who push the edge of their individual performance and field of competition. Other countries, including China, the US and India, take a more scientific approach to athletics. They see science and big data as a way to create enhanced “superathletes”, and they are keen to see how technology can advance performance. These are two very different philosophies, creating both tensions and opportunities for brands.  

As a sports fan, is it exciting to see a snapshot into the future of the industry?  

Absolutely! Much like the industry as a whole, the fan experience is evolving. People expect fans to play a bigger role in future, with bigger responsibilities. They are willing to be part of the team and be able to interact with athletes on a regular basis, with a technology-enhanced experience. Nearly half of Prosumers think the broadcasting experience ultimately will become so immersive that fans will no longer need to be in arenas for live competitions. This is a pretty hot topic right now, in a post-pandemic world. Moreover, nearly two thirds of Prosumers find it unacceptable that they have to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms and channels to watch all the sports in which they are interested, and many of them think that most sports coverage ultimately will come from fans rather than from media professionals. That will have a tremendous impact on the global sports economy. 

"I was surprised to see how much Prosumers see sports as a real power - a social and professional elevator"

Head of Strategy at the agency, Guillaume chats about the unique Prosumer methodology and the influence the studies have on our work across the Havas network. 

 

Can you tell us a little about the latest Prosumer report – Sports Forward – and what were some of its most interesting findings?  

Our relationship with sports is ever evolving and we know now that they play an even more crucial role than we had anticipated in our society and our lives. In this study, we explored the fundamental shifts occurring in the sports industry and how they are transforming how people play, regard, watch, and experience sports.  

I think some of the more interesting findings involved how important sports are in building people’s personalities and how transformative they can be. We all know that sports have an impact by teaching young participants fundamental values, but I was surprised to see how much Prosumers see them as a real power, a social and professional elevator. We found that 92% of Prosumers believe that sports have the power to change lives – this number is one of the highest we’ve ever seen in our Prosumer reports. The study also found that sports have become so essential that most people consider them a human right. That says a lot about how the industry has evolved and will continue to gain prominence. 

  

What encouraged the theme of this report? 

Sports are always in the headlines but 2020 was set to be a great year for sports fans, with the Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics and UEFA’s Euro 2020, all postponed until next year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, sport has never been so multi-dimensional: it is about health, of course, but also about education, inclusion, urban policy, etc. It seemed a good time to dive deeper into the subject to analyze what’s at stake in this ever-growing industry. 

Every year we select three or four broad topics and create provocative questions to better understand emerging trends in these areas. The surveys are conducted across multiple markets, and the fielding generally takes three to six weeks (depending on the number of questions). From there, we analyze the data to more closely understand Prosumers’ prospective attitudes: what they think today, mainstream people will more likely agree to in 6 to 18 months.  

  

How did the pandemic and the complete absence of sporting activities impact the process or alter the final report?  

If anything, it brought us even more insights than we initially anticipated. We were able to cross-compare the data against that of a separate COVID-19 study we conducted, with interesting results. Sports helped millions of people get through the lockdown, as a therapy to fight against its mental and physical consequences. We also saw how important sports can be in bringing people together and offering something to look forward to in difficult times: the ESPN documentary The Last Dance, featuring basketball superstar Michael Jordan, averaged 5.7 million views across all 10 Sunday night episodes during the lockdown. And if stadium crowd restrictions are here to last, it will make the demand for interactions between fans and teams even more crucial.  

"We owe it to our clients to stay ahead of the trends that are transforming and shaping our society"

How important are Prosumer Reports to the Havas network and in what ways has the data been utilized in the past? 

We owe it to our clients to stay ahead of the trends that are transforming and shaping our society, to foresee today what tomorrow will look like. Our Prosumer studies allow us to understand attitudinal shifts across industries, giving us valuable insights into potential areas of opportunity. We use these insights on behalf of existing clients and also in pitches. Consequently, they are extremely important to our network and allow us to differentiate ourselves within our industry.  

Why do you think Prosumer reports hold a greater value to our clients than other research available? What makes the findings of Prosumer reports stronger? 

Our unique methodology makes the findings much more valuable for our clients than all the random surveys you can find online. We use a proprietary algorithm that allows us to track attitudes among both mainstream consumers and those influencers on the leading edge (Prosumers) who are driving markets worldwide. Monitoring the gaps between the two groups helps us identify emerging trends ahead of our competitors and offer clients a glimpse of the future. By understanding our probable future, we are in a better position to help shape it and are also better equipped to speak to our consumer audiences in ways they find engaging and relevant. We conduct three  or four reports every year, in up to 40 markets, and have accumulated an enormous database that lets us analyze the evolution of people’s hopes and fears on a long-term perspective.   

The report surveyed Prosumers in 28 countries around the world. How did Prosumers vary globally in their response to this report?  

Participating in sports is widely considered a path to self-improvement, but this is much more true in Asia, especially in India or the Philippines, and to a lesser extent in the US, where sport is seen as a warrior path to success, than in Brazil or France where physical education is no more important than other school subjects. 

There is another clear cultural divide between nations that are self-performance driven when it comes to sports and those that are technology driven. Several countries, including France, Canada and Germany, are attached to the traditional values of sports and see athletics as a symbol of human endeavor. They value individual effort and admire those athletes who push the edge of their individual performance and field of competition. Other countries, including China, the US and India, take a more scientific approach to athletics. They see science and big data as a way to create enhanced “superathletes”, and they are keen to see how technology can advance performance. These are two very different philosophies, creating both tensions and opportunities for brands.  

As a sports fan, is it exciting to see a snapshot into the future of the industry?  

Absolutely! Much like the industry as a whole, the fan experience is evolving. People expect fans to play a bigger role in future, with bigger responsibilities. They are willing to be part of the team and be able to interact with athletes on a regular basis, with a technology-enhanced experience. Nearly half of Prosumers think the broadcasting experience ultimately will become so immersive that fans will no longer need to be in arenas for live competitions. This is a pretty hot topic right now, in a post-pandemic world. Moreover, nearly two thirds of Prosumers find it unacceptable that they have to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms and channels to watch all the sports in which they are interested, and many of them think that most sports coverage ultimately will come from fans rather than from media professionals. That will have a tremendous impact on the global sports economy. 

One of the world’s largest global communications groups, Havas is committed to creating a meaningful difference to brands, businesses, and people.

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