Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 18, 2019 • 08:00 am ET

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Manchester United plc (NYSE:MANU) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] The first question today will come from Randy Konik of Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Analyst
Randy Konik

Thanks a lot, and good morning. I guess a question for Richard. You talked about some of the continued increase in engagement statistics around the digital side of the business as well as you announced some key new sponsorships. So it looks like two from Europe and two from Asia. Are you thinking about taking the app and kind of layering in even more digital partnership opportunities for your commercial sponsor partners. I've seen some stuff on the app with links to HCL or Swiss quotes, there is some advertising in there, but it seems as if there is another kind of access to allow for you to add more value to your partners from a -- an advertising and exposure standpoint. So just give us some perspective on what you're thinking about doing from an app perspective.

And I guess, second, with the new announcements of these Malta, Lego, Konami, etc, are you -- have you re-imagined or re-thought what the addressable market would be around the world in the different regions for sponsorship opportunities, because it seems like your ability to continue to kind of grow that is much bigger than we would have thought a few years ago. Thanks.

Executive
Richard Arnold

Thanks, Randy. So the two questions in summary, were opportunities within the apps increased commercialization. And then secondly ongoing expectations for the future in terms of sponsorship growth, if I've understood that correctly?

Analyst
Randy Konik

Yes.

Executive
Richard Arnold

So, turning to the first question. I think that what you've seen to date is our focus is being primarily on fan engagement and quality in terms of the design of the app and the user experience, and the results of that have been borne out in terms of both the app rankings in stores as well as the engagement statistics, we've seen. The next phase, that's planned for the app will be around growing at scale, and that is something that in conjunction with the work that we're doing on the -- obviously the existing social media platforms or on our TV audiences around the world as part of that integrated solution, obviously that engagement and its scale do provide opportunities for commercialization.

At this stage it is not expected that those are commercialized separately, but those form part of the integrated architecture we've got now for rights, their monetized on a global basis, by category. So for example, air line car, etc, as you've seen to date.

In terms of the second point in terms of the ongoing expectations around sponsorship. What we're seeing is that the underlying demand and for our rights continues to be strong, pipeline is good, and new categories are constantly being derived as the world evolves, particularly in a digital setting and we continued to have a number of major categories open for future sponsorship as well as strong in-category price point growth