Katie Lewis, VP- Rights Partner Relations at DAZN
- DAZN acquired the global rights to broadcast the UEFA women’s champions league and then announced that coverage would be free to view on YouTube for fans around the world. How does this fit into DAZN’s strategy?
DAZN’s long-time and long-term vision is a world in which men’s and women’s sports are viewed and treated equally. Laddering up to that, our mission has been to give women’s sport more visibility and the global exposure needed to grow.
This stems from our understanding (through extensive consumer research conducted around the world), that the biggest barrier when it comes to women’s sports viewership is a universal lack of consistency, frequency, and quality of coverage. This coverage gap is what directly results in fans not understanding what, how, when, and where to watch. DAZN is committed to closing this gap by making it easier than ever before to watch the UEFA Women’s Champions League – all matches, all over the world, all in one place, and all for free.
We’re confident this availability and nonstop promotion and storytelling, will help the competition and women’s football rise further into the mainstream. There are huge opportunities in women’s sport, and by fostering an early relationship with what’s already proved to be a super- engaged global audience, we are confident the business potential will only continue to grow.
- “We all rise with more eyes” campaign video captured the essence of what you called the “snowball” effect – more eyes, more fans, more tickets sold, more advertisers, more sponsorship deals for players, more female refs, more female decision makers ultimately leads to more girls playing. Tell us moreI hope you love it, because I think it’s one of the most powerful pieces of content DAZN has ever produced and each time I watch it I get goosebumps. It truly brings to life our belief in the “snowball” effect, and vision of the unstoppable impact more visibility will have on growing women’s sport and inspiring the next generation. We all have a huge part to play in the growth of women’s sport, from broadcasters to governing bodies, to fans, to brands. Change is not happening quickly enough when it comes to levelling the playing field, and I’m delighted that DAZN is at the forefront of growing women’s football and turning our deep-rooted vision into consistent, long-term actions. Watch the video here!
- The UEFA women’s champions league season has started. How is it going so far and what have been the learnings? Just three weeks in, we saw millions of views from all over the world on YouTube and on DAZN – which has immediately reaffirmed what we knew to be true, which is that the appetite is there. We just needed to feed that interest with visibility and access. This has been an exciting and promising start that sets a great benchmark for the rest of the season and for the future seasons to come. We’re currently between matchday 3 and matchday 4, and so have data and analytics from a few matchdays now to support our decision making, as well as regrouping across business functions and with our partners on key takeaways. Our intention is to further enhance what we’re doing across all touchpoints – including production, social content, CRM activity, and more. We’re incredibly eager to continuously learn and evolve as we go, as part of a wider mission to grow the competition and take women’s football to new heights.
- You worked for DAZN in APAC (Tokyo and Singapore) for 4 years before coming back to London. How did you find the experience? I would encourage anyone reading this to consider a move to a new market as, without doubt, I’m a better person and employee as a result of experiencing new cultures and totally different ways of life. Of course there were lows, and there were many challenges, but I look back on it with a real sense of pride and achievement.
- What do you enjoy about your job? I’ve been at DAZN for 8 years in a few different roles, and I genuinely believe that our ability to disrupt and evolve sets us apart. There are some exceptional staff at DAZN who are visionaries for what we can do and achieve as a business, and the constant evolution and variety makes me very motivated, energised, challenged and engaged.
- What have been the highlights so far? There have been many, and my time in APAC undoubtedly ranks as #1. Most recently, the UEFA Women’s Champions League launch really gave more purpose to my career. The launch of the global platform late last year and bringing DAZN to 200+ markets was also a highlight – and not only because my friends and family were finally able to understand my job! I truly love the product and what DAZN stands for, so people all over the world having the ability to use it and enjoy it is really exciting.
- What made you interested in going into this type of work (when you first started out in your career)? Growing up, my background was very sporty, and while my dad and brother both ended up on the teaching side, I always knew I wanted to end up in the business side of sport. At the time, I didn’t know it would manifest into what I do today, but I always had an ambition to be in the industry.
- What do you find are the down sides to the job (travel/long hours / missing family events/etc)? DAZN is a truly global business, so time zones and personal time management can be difficult. And, as with anything, things don’t always go according to plan or go wrong altogether, and that’s particularly difficult when you’ve put in such long hours and effort.
- What advice would you give women wanting to do what you do? Graft – nothing substitutes hard work when building your reputation. Learn as much as you can about the industry, and then focus on how you can make an impact and what unique value you bring.
- What hopes do you have for the women working in the sport business industry in the future? A greater and more consistent focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, alongside flexible working has certainly moved the industry in the right direction. That in itself gives me a lot of hope, and is a huge improvement from when I started out almost a decade ago. In the same way we have championed the snowball effect for women’s sport’s visibility and coverage, I think all corners of the industry should champion providing more opportunity and support for women reaching their career ambitions, and for it to become ‘the norm’ for visible senior female leaders