in Sport

May 11, 2020

Gemba’s industry-leading events set the agenda for the sports & entertainment sector. Over six separate events since 2012 we have explored some of the most pressing issues for the industry and shared our insights to help shape the future for sport and entertainment.

“Gemba”, in Japanese management theory, means “the real place”, or the place where the value is created – where the action happens.

“Going to Gemba” is a concept baked into our organisational processes and culture. It’s where we learn, see, feel, hear and experience the real thing, the actual fan experience, the cold pies, the overpriced tickets, the queues, and also the passion, the great performances on stage or sports field, the roar of the crowd, the moments we’ll remember forever.

Since 2012 Gemba has been hosting industry-leading events where we go deep into a topic that is shaping the future of our industry. Our Going to Gemba event series has covered movies, esports, the future of broadcast, the legacy of major events, and the role of sport in environmental sustainability.

Explore our events below, and get in touch to have the opportunity to participate in our next Going to Gemba event.



The Big Timeout – 2020

For over 60 years the sports industry has experienced almost uninterrupted growth. It has taken a global pandemic to put a pause on the industry.

Some would argue that there were cracks emerging pre COVID-19, and the enforced shut down of the global sport industry has simply sped up the widening of these cracks. But nonetheless, with sports from elite to grassroots on enforced shutdown around the world, we have an amazing opportunity to re-group as an industry. A Big Timeout. A time to Pause, Reflect and Reset.

To share some thoughts on this Big Timeout, we brought together a panel of industry leaders to bring diverse perspectives to the discussion – different sports, different roles and different sorts of organisations.

FIFA’s Ross McCall, Kylie Rogers from the Australian Football League, and Formula 1’s Matt Roberts discussed how the shutdown is changing how sports are working with commercial partners, maintaining the momentum in women’s sport, getting fans back into venues, and their “best” and “worst” experiences as sports business professionals during the COVID-19 period.

Watch a video of the discussion below, or read a summary of key insights from the event here.



Playing the Long Game – 2019

Literally the burning platform of our time: What role should and can sport play in addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability? We revealed exclusive new research that proves sports fans care deeply about sustainability issues, and that they want sports organisations to do their part.

Our guests – Celine Delgenes (Global Vice President – General Manager Specialist Sports – adidas Global) and Scott Jenkins (General Manager of Mercedes Benz Stadium and Board Chair of the Green Sports Alliance) spoke passionately about what their organisations are doing to be more environmentally sustainable, and how that has proven to be good for business.

Our exclusive whitepaper, launched at the event, is available for download here



The New Broadcasters – 2016

The viewer takes control. In 2016 we brought together Twitter and the NFL at the Sydney headquarters of the National Broadband Network (nbn) to explore how streaming and digital rights are changing the sports industry and the traditional broadcast industry.

Read more: thegembagroup.com/news/the-new-broadcasters



Level Up: Embrace the passion of esports – 2016

Back in 2016, esports was just entering the wider public consciousness and coming onto the radar of forward-thinking sports and entertainment industry investors and brands. Gemba’s ongoing consumer research had identified a rise in interest and passion for esports, building on a well-established fan base for electronic gaming. At the time we didn’t know much about this emerging space, so we set about “going to Gemba” and becoming experts.

Of course, now we know that it’s esports, not Esports or eSPORTS or e-sports. And as mainstream sports and brands have become involved in the space, we have continued to advise and guide their decisions.

For an insights into esports fans and what drives their passion, watch the video below.

Read more here: thegembagroup.com/news/embrace-passion-esports



Rise of the Franchise – 2015

In 2015 we shifted our attention from stadiums to silver screens.

Just like sports teams and leagues, our research highlighted that movies attract a group of loyal, highly engaged fanatics who follow films through multiple versions – think Star Wars, Hunger Games and Marvel.

With sports in decline and a cluttered sports marketing environment, Rise of the Franchise explored movies as a new and viable opportunity for brands to invest in entertainment. The event focussed on helping brands understand and navigate the structure of the Movie industry, from production through to cinema and challenged the complexities of activations in movies.

Read more about the Rise of the Franchise here



Hope is not a strategy: tracking the legacy of major sporting events – 2012

In 2013 we launched our inaugural Going to Gemba series with a conversation about what happens after a major sporting event. Events such as the Olympics create hype, pride, awareness and infrastructure that can set a city alive – but what about after the buzz dies down? How can major events maximise their legacy to improve sports participation and reinvest in the sports economy?

Hope is not a strategy brought together industry leaders to explore and develop a framework for post event legacy planning.