Comprising of more than 800 sessions, 19 different tracks and countless brand activations- the inaugural SXSW Sydney promises to be not just a conference but a melting pot of creative thinking, inspiring speakers, and provocative panel. Across so many varied sessions, it really is a ‘choose your own adventure’ of ideas and speakers.
Each day we want to share some of the things that made the team at Kaimera say “huh…. that’s interesting” and that will hopefully kickstart some new ideas and encourage some debate.
SXSW Sydney had so many conferences, expos, and events that it was hard to choose which ones to miss out on. Fortunately for me, day five gave me the pleasure of attending three absolutely cracking sessions covering sports marketing, mass cultural moments, and corporations doing good.
Over the last few days I was stewing on the ideas that were shared and the great conversations had between panellists. Every time I revisited the sessions there was one theme that was consistent across all three… taking a long-term view on marketing and business decisions is key to maximising sports marketing, driving the most value from mass cultural moments, and being a serious contributor on societal issues.
In an attempt to turn three epic hours of heated discussion into one post, here is a quick summary of each session that I attended:
- Rewriting the rules of sports marketing. A highly qualified panel including a CommBank GM, Kayo Marketing Director, and AFLW player (and business owner and Olympic medallist!) took us through the changing world of brand involvement in sport. The big message from this session is that whilst live sport is king, the appetite for sports adjacent content is huge. With social media and the growth in podcasting, there are several different ways to engage with sporting audiences and expand your reach. No where is this better shown than through players own social/podcast platforms, interviews with players, highlight reels (like Kayo minis), and documentaries like Drive to Survive or The Test.
- Creating mass cultural moments. Another heavy hitting panel where CMO’s and Chief Customer Officers from Seven West Media, McDonalds, and IAG took us through their thinking on creating and playing a part in mass cultural moments. A common thread amongst the three panellists was that commercialisation of cultural moments requires a deep values alignment with the business. The most recent and significant example of a mass cultural moment that was touted throughout day five of SXSW Sydney is the success of the Matildas at the FIFA World Cup. This success was leveraged exceptionally well by CommBank who’s shared story with the Matildas started years prior with a values alignment at the core of the business.
- Is doing good actually doing any good? This might have been the best session with Carl Rhodes nearly receiving a standing evaluation for his honesty on “woke capitalism” – I’ve even been convinced to buy his book! On the panel with him were two equally respected experts in their own fields with Dr Emily Millane (superannuation expert), and Skye Lambley (CEO at Herd MSL & Salterbaxter). The focus of this session centred around one idea: long-term conviction is essential for building brand value on topics regarding ‘doing good’. Trust in government and business has never been lower, yet expectation on companies to do good has never been higher. This creates a tension where businesses want to rush to tell consumers how good they’ve been in areas of sustainability and social justice. However, the same consumers are sceptical of claims made by business. Businesses are encouraged to actually do good, clean up their backyard, and do so over a long time at the risk of short-term impact to profitability. I.e. put your money where your mouth is!
And that’s a wrap! I want to finish by thanking our partners Seven West Media for the opportunity to attend such an incredible event. Hopefully SXSW can return to Sydney another year!