When Refinitiv opened up the Global Sports Forum (GSF) on Wednesday January 29, 2020 for the Six Nations rugby union championship, there were concerns about how busy the chat would be for the next six weeks.
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This isn’t a tournament like the rugby or soccer World Cup where there are games on most days and plenty of live action to talk about. The matches all take place at the weekend and the only action is from Monday to Friday, when the GSF is running, revolving around team announcements and injury news.
Why join the Global Sports Forum?
Would Refinitiv clients want to talk rugby every day, especially in weeks when there was a break in the schedule and no games at the weekend? How would the chat sustain over this period?
Refinitiv need not have worried. Our clients clearly have a great appetite for sports chat and, with a few guests thrown to add spice during the quiet periods, there was plenty of fascinating rugby and sport talk every day.
Even with coronavirus and oil prices clearly keeping clients busy on the financial markets, our GSF members still took time out to talk about the matches, the team selections and the effect of the virus on sport – three Six Nations games postponed and lot of matches in other sports scheduled behind closed doors.
On March 9, one member was even breaking the news faster than most of the media when the game between France and Ireland was postponed.
It is part of Refinitiv’s job, as moderator, to keep the members informed of all the latest breaking news, not only about the Six Nations but about other sports.
Snaps on the Global Sports Forum
Snaps (i.e. news alerts) are passed on the service as quickly as possible, before I had time to write a word, one well-informed member told the GSF: “The final Six Nations games are off.”
He was reacting to a story running in the French media saying the whole of the last weekend of action had been postponed. The French report wasn’t quite correct because only the French game against Ireland had definitely been cancelled with Wales against Scotland due to go ahead in the last round of action.
The story was confirmed by the French Sports Minister, but the GSF was buzzing with the latest news before most of the British and international media were running the story.
This happened continuously throughout the championship with the team news appearing on the Global Sports Forum straight after it was announced, with members discussing and analyzing the line-ups straight away.
This is what the GSF is supposed to be about – reacting to sports news as it happens. Refinitiv clients are used to responding to news quickly on the markets and they are no different when it comes to sport.
What’s next on the GSF?
The next big event – if it is not affected by the coronavirus – is the European Championship in soccer from June 12 to July 12 2020. In addition to daily chats, Refinitiv hope to be providing what they did previously during both the soccer and rugby World Cups, in 2018 and 2019 respectively, with live analysis from reporters in the stadium, where members can ask questions about the atmosphere and teams in the minutes before kick-off.
There will also be special guests from across the soccer world on the GSF to answer members’ questions, as well as a daily quiz where there are prizes to be won.
During the Six Nations, guests on the Forum included former Ireland international Bernard Jackman, Reuters rugby expert Mitch Phillips (twice) and Graeme Bowerbank, Head of Rugby Operations at Harlequins, which is sponsored by Refinitiv.
Who do you think will win the @SixNationsRugby? Have your say in the comments below and join the conversation in the @Refinitiv Global Sports Forum!
Click to register: https://t.co/LY5oqXTenx 🏆🏉
— Financial – Refinitiv (@insidefinance) February 6, 2020
There were some great question-and-answer sessions. The guests always get the Forum buzzing and some members sometimes even arrange their diaries around the chat.
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Adrian Warner is an award-winning sports journalist who has been covering sport for more than 30 years as a correspondent at Reuters, London’s Evening Standard and the BBC. He now teaches multimedia journalism at the University of Northampton as well as running his own freelance journalism and media training and consultancy business (www.adrianwarnermedia.com).
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