It's only a matter of time before most clubs have an esports team – Fnatic

Esports has got everyone talking and experts predict that it will attract global revenues of more than £1bn by 2020.

Organised, competitive computer gaming that can be staged in front of a live audience and millions more online, it's no wonder that top professional sports teams are already seeing the value in creating their own esports teams. 

Róisín O'Shea is Senior Partnerships Manager at Fnatic, whose players attend more than 75 international events per year, and she believes that esports are "one of the most impactful things happening in the world of sport and entertainment.

"Millions of people tune in online to the tournaments, hundreds of thousands watch players stream their games online, and social media engagement is bigger and better than any other sport. Prize money in some titles can reach $21m, and the pot is getting bigger."

After another PR disaster, what can we learn from the United Airlines crisis?

Images of a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight dominated the news recently.

And then this weekend, a flight attendant after he was filmed challenging a passenger to a fight at the front of an aircraft cabin.

‘United Airlines PR disaster’ currently has more than three million hits on Google. For an airline which boasts the slogan ‘fly the friendly skies,’ the fact that the incident came so soon after two teenagers were blocked from a flight for wearing leggings underlines consistent mismanagement.

So what can sports brands learn from the catalogue of errors that hit United’s reputation and share price, particularly if you have never encountered a threat to your reputation before?

Sport needed an independent networking organisation to bring the industry together – Nigel Fletcher, SDM

Sport is big business and networking is key for individuals and organisations in the global sports industry.

Nigel Fletcher runs Sports Development Marketing (SDM), which has launched the International Sports Chamber of Commerce, which holds events in London, Lausanne and New York to name but a few.

"I set up SDM in 2009 after five years at FIFA because I believed there was a void in the business to business networking and events space globally.

"I had a vision to bring all the different components of the sports industry together from both a commercial and development perspective.

"I also felt that the industry needed an independent organisation to do this, so SDM was set up and we embarked upon this journey."

Modern Pentathlon is exciting because anyone can win – Pier Paolo Petroni

The modern pentathlon is an event like no other.

While most athletes focus years of training into a single sport, this event requires the versatility to cope with the demands of five very different disciplines.

Pier Paolo Petroni represented Italy at the Rio Olympics and the 29-year-old believes that the widespread of sports in the event is what makes it so special.

“There are many different variables in the modern pentathlon compared to a single event like swimming where you already know what your time will be,” he said.

Has football lost its sense of humour after Sutton pie controversy?

The furore over Sutton United’s betting controversy could have been avoided with a comprehensive communications plan

There was so much focus on National League Sutton United’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs in Europe but in stuttering form and ripe for a giant-killing.

Amid the build-up, the reserve ‘roly poly goalie’ Wayne Shaw attracted a lot of attention, not least because at 23 stone, he cut an unlikely figure for a footballer.

Bookmaker Sun Bets, who took out one-off shirt sponsorship with Sutton for the fifth-round FA Cup tie, offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the game.

It did not take long for the Football Association and Gambling Commission to launch investigations and Shaw duly left the club, prompting outcry for losing his job after a seemingly naïve misjudgement but underlining the importance of proper communications planning.