Byravee Iyer
Nov 12, 2013

UK’s Perform plots Asian expansion

ASIA-PACIFIC - UK-based sports media company Perform, which owns the digital rights to several leagues and tournaments, is set to open offices in Indonesia and Malaysia in early 2014 as it eyes additional opportunities in Thailand and Vietnam.

Tim Holland
Tim Holland

“The increase in website traffic and client demand for connecting with sporting fans via digital platforms is fueling this growth, and we are now ideally positioned to provide advertisers with integrated digital opportunities both on a local-market and region-wide basis,” said Tim Holland, MD, Asia Perform.

Perform’s revenue in Asia-Pacific grew 62.8 per cent to $39.7 million in 2012. Revenue in the region represents 16.4 per cent of global revenue.

Malaysia and Indonesia showed strong growth during the period. In Indonesia, Perform’s football website Goal.com's pageviews grew 555 per cent from 9.5 million to 62.5 million between September 2011 and September 2013. The Singapore and Malaysia sites have both grown more than 170 per cent since March 2012.

Thailand and Vietnam also show promise. Both markets have large numbers of sports fans and strong growth in the digital space. Goal.com's monthly pageviews in Thailand have increased 520 per cent since August 2012 and Vietnam's have grown 473 per cent since November 2012, according to the company. Overall, the Southeast Asian editons of Goal have seen collective growth of 956 per cent in pageviews since September 2011, growing from 9.5 million to more than 100 million. This strong growth in Southeast Asia contributed to the 162.4 million pageviews across Asian editions of Goal in September 2013 alone.

Perform is keen to tap growth in Japan, where after 18 months of heavy investment, Goal.com became the number one football brand in the market with 27.6 million monthly pageviews, according to the company. Its video-on-demand platform, ePlayer, is the top video platform in the sports category with 24.6 million streams per month.

Perform counts localisation of its products and the creation of engaging content as key factors in its success. Localisation encompasses far more than language translation, Holland stressed. Perform’s team of local journalists utilises the resources of its 400 global editorial staff to select and present the most relevant stories. The media company also invests heavily in covering local leagues, competitions and events that are relevant to each edition. Increasingly, it also acquires or creates local video content that is specific to each market. “So in effect we are delivering breaking news to fans in both the language and context that makes sense for their market,” Holland said.

As part of this rapid expansion, Perform has brought advertising sales in-house. Until now, its products and services were sold via third-party partners such as iHub. Its fully fledged sales and advertising operations team in Asia will support agencies and advertisers in the region. The team in Singapore will be led by Elliot Renton, commercial director, SEA, and will be supported by Justin Lim, Singapore sales manager. Perform plans to appoint a head of sales in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as hire five or six sales staff in Indonesia.

The publicly listed company has three revenue streams: advertising, sponsorship and content licensing. It commercialises multimedia sports content across digital platforms and offers advertisers a range of assets to create campaigns including digital display, video pre-roll, targeted content sponsorship and brand integration through brand specific assets including corporate websites and social media.

It also owns the digital rights to more than 200 leagues, tournaments and events. As for content licensing, Perform offers media agencies, brands and developers more than 10,000 video clips, 25,000 editorial stories and in-depth data from 1700 competitions worldwide.

The company has been working with major media agencies in the region. Some of its major advertisers include male grooming brands, automotive giants, beverages, airlines, consumer electronics and broadcasting companies, said Holland, who declined to name potential advertisers. Nike, Garuda and P&G are long-standing clients.

The UK-based company has offices in Australia, France, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and USA. 

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