Sportel Awards 2022 – Our Man In Monaco
Jump’s Head Creative, Richard Norley has just returned from Monaco attending the sport industry business conference, Sportel 2022.
We asked our Man in Monaco to give us an insight into the Sportel experience.
What’s a day like at Sportel?
“Sportel Days are long. The event opens at 8:30am – with a surprisingly high number of people arriving at that time. I think that the complimentary breakfast served helps people get out of bed and into the event. It’s also good to arrive early to stake your claim on one of the precious desks in the many networking areas spread across the three floors of the event. These tables, especially those next to a power socket, are at a premium and it pays to find a suitable spot as early as you can and stay put. You’ll be using that as your base for all of the day’s meetings. If you can bag a table next to a power socket AND near one of the pop-up cafes then you’ve hit the Sportel Jackpot. You just can’t move from there or go to the toilet for the next 10 hours!”
Who is there?
“Everybody from the world of sport. Literally the entire world from Asia, America, the Middle East, Africa and of course all of Europe. From Broadcasters to Rights Holders, to Federations, Leagues and Clubs representing all different types of sport, from mass-appeal to niche.”
Why do we attend?
“Some of our biggest and longest returning client connections were made at Sportel. It’s the place where content providers meet content buyers in a speed-dating style frenzy of meetings. These are usually conducted in back-to-back 15 minute slots. For me it’s the perfect networking space. Everybody is happy to meet anybody knowing that in 10 minutes if there isn’t a benefit in the services we provide, and what the potential client needs, we can just simply shake hands and walk away. Except, I always stay put, clinging on to my precious desk!”
How do you arrange to meet people?
“Some meetings are simply to say hello to existing or partially-lapsed clients and are organised via email or word of mouth. Sportel also has their own networking tool which is a perfect way to introduce yourselves to others. The majority of my time is spent introducing Jump to potential new clients, to make them aware of our latest projects, services and our skill set in the hope that there is a connection to the services they need. Once contact is made and we’ve had our initial meeting, the conversation carries on after Sportel, staying in regular contact until we find a suitable project we can work together on. On a few occasions I have met people at Sportel who have specifically sought out Jump in order to commission us for projects. Those are clearly the most satisfactory type of meetings.”
What’s Monaco like?
“Monaco itself is a slightly odd place. It’s a tiny country, the second smallest in the world after the Vatican. Its population of 40,000 wouldn’t come close to filling the Emirates stadium in North London. Though most of the Monegasques are multi-millionaires – so they could probably buy the Emirates stadium even if they couldn’t fill it. Architecturally it’s a hotchpotch of old and brand new buildings, each competing for as much space as they can. They are precariously built on huge slopes fighting for a tiny sliver of a view of the Mediterranean. The whole country is on such a slope there are public escalators and lifts dotted around in the street for those unable or unwilling to climb the many never-ending staircases to the next level.
I stay close to the Grimaldi Forum where Sportel takes place. I’m no more than 300 metres from the event but with a height difference of about 1,000 ft. I have to walk two staircases and then take a lift to get on the same level.”
Tell us about the Sportel Awards.
“Sportel Monaco was already a regular fixture in the Jump calendar. This was my first return post-pandemic and was already booked well before we received the exciting news that we’d been nominated for a Sportel Award for our Sport 24 – ‘We Don’t Stop’ Promo. We were nominated in the Prix de la Promotion d’un Programme category, or in its rather less glamorous sounding English name, the Best Programme Promo.
The event takes place in the huge (and hugely impressive) Grimaldi Forum. Below the surface of its pyramid-like structure it continues downwards 3 floors into an amphitheatre that seats about 2,000 people.
It’s free to enter the Awards and it is also free to attend them. Invites go out to all Sportel delegates but surprisingly the audience is made up largely of local Monaco residents. I believe it’s one of Monaco’s bigger social events and all attendees make a concerted effort to fulfil the ticket’s ‘cocktail party’ dress code description.
The Awards take place on the first evening of Sportel Day 1. So it’s just a very quick hop from one part of the Grimaldi Forum to the other. But it’s a world away in terms of glamour. The organisers ensure that the Sportel Awards are given the full celebrity treatment. The great and the good from the world of sport are invited and celebrated. Each Olympic Gold medal winner or championship MMA Fighter, rugby international or former football superstar has their turn on the ‘green’ carpet in front of the media.
And once they’ve taken their seats, the Awards evening is peppered with introductions to the famous sportsmen and women who are sat in the audience. Everyone is left in no doubt that they are attending a prestigious event. Even the relatively lowly nominees, who to my knowledge have had no actual sporting achievements were given their 15 minutes, or rather 15 seconds of fame. Each one of us had a call-time to attend the same photo shoot as the celebrities, where I offered my Best Man at C&A poses to a bewildered group of photographers all wondering who on Earth I was.
It was great to be given the opportunity to be part of the Awards evening and to be able to pick up the trophy in person after it was announced we had won. To get our work recognised and rewarded by our industry peers on an international stage at such a well publicised event is tremendous. I even got to make a speech! Though I’m not one for public speaking, it was a pleasure to be able to publicly congratulate the Jump team that made the promo – that’s Harry Handyside, Tommy Holmes and Hannah Nicholls.
It was also an opportunity to acknowledge the entire team at Jump, who are such a talented bunch and who are all such a delight to work with.
It also gave me an opportunity to thank our lovely clients Simon Pullinger and Lucy Haugh at Sport 24, who are celebrating 10 years of business in 2022 – and to let people know how proud we are to have been working with them for nearly all that time. Thanks to them for giving us such creative briefs!”
You can watch the promo we created for Sport 24’s 10 Year anniversary here.