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2024 Sporting Calendar: A Complete Guide To What’s Coming Up This Year

If you thought 2023 was a busy one in the world of sport, get ready for an even busier 2024!

Last year, we were treated to a pulsating Ashes series as England locked horns with Australia, the Tour de France where Jonas Vingegaard reigned supreme and a women’s European Championship where England’s Lionesses went agonisingly close to bringing football home, as well as too many other events to dive into!

But what’s happening in 2024 that can match – or even top – last year? Worry not, as we’ve pulled together a list of what’s happening when in the next 12 months.

January

7th – 14th: Masters Snooker

13th – February 11th: African Cup of Nations

15th – 28th: Australian Open tennis

28th: WWE Royal Rumble

February

2nd – 16th: Six Nations Rugby

11th: Super Bowl LVIII

17th: Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk

March

2nd: F1 season begins in Bahrain

8th: Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou

12th – 15th: Cheltenham Festival

April

6th – 7th April: Wrestlemania

8th – 14th: Masters Golf

13th: Grand National at Aintree

20th – 6th May: World Championship Snooker

25th – 27th: NFL Draft

May

16th – 19th: US PGA Golf

20th – June 9th: French Open Tennis

22nd: Europa League final

24th: Rugby Union Challenge Cup Final

25th: Rugby Union Heineken Cup Final

25th: FA Cup Final

26th: Monaco Grand Prix

29th: Europa Conference League Final

June

1st: Champions League Final

4th – 30th: ICC T20 Cricket World Cup

8th: Super League Challenge Cup Final

6th – 23rd: NBA Finals

13th – 16th: US Open Golf

14th – 13th July: Copa America

14th – 14th July: EURO 2024

16th: Stanley Cup Final

29th – 21st July: Tour de France

July

1st – 14th: Wimbledon

14th: Euro 2024 Final

18th – 21st: The Open golf

21st: Tour de France finish

26th – 11th August: 2024 Olympic Games

August

26th – 8th September: US Open tennis

28th – September 8th: Paralympic Games

29th: PGA Tour Championship

September

5th: NFL Kickoff Game

18th – 24th: Solheim Cup

20th – 22nd: Laver Cup tennis

TBC: Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup

TBC: AFL Grand Final

October

12th: Super League Grand Final

November

2nd: England v New Zealand Rugby Union Autumn Series

23rd – December 1st: UK Championship Snooker

December

TBC: FIFA Club World Cup

TBC: PDC World Darts Championship

Podcast Advertising Campaigns Outperform Average Conversion Rates With SSPN

At the Sport Social Podcast Network, we take pride in our ability to help take the guess work out of booking campaigns and deliver exceptional results for our clients, using a leading tracking and measurability platform.

With the help of our trusted partner, Veritonic, we have been able to provide our clients with real-time insights and transparent data on their podcast advertising campaigns. By leveraging cutting-edge tracking technology, we can measure key metrics such as downloads, engagement rates, and conversions, allowing our clients to make informed decisions and optimise their marketing strategies. Brands who are seeing success include; My Diesel Claim, Travis Perkins and Bet Victor.  Brands who are seeing success include; My Diesel Claim, Travis Perkins and BetVictor. 

Recently, we reviewed four different audio spot ad campaigns directly related to car sales and/or leasing that ran in 2023. The conversion rate for these campaigns delivered by Sport Social was based on driving unique users to the participating brands’ websites and ranged between 3 and 18% (expressed as a percentage of reach). This means that not only have Sport Social podcasts outperformed the average benchmark of 1.32% and 1.92% motor category benchmark – according to the Podsight Q1 2023 Report – but our results show that even the lowest performing campaign was delivering ahead of benchmark.

According to Veritonic, Sport Social campaigns had an average conversion rate of 7.1%, based on reach of campaigns and driving web traffic to client sites.  

We will work with you to achieve your marketing goals using data-driven success metrics.

What is Dalvik and how does it affect me?

There has been a lot of techy talk in podcasting land over the past week about “Dalvik”, and some podcasting hosts announcing that they are not recognising some downloads. It’s not the easiest to understand how this affects you as a podcaster or podcast advertiser so we wanted to give you a step by step guide on what it is all about.

Podcast Listening

We all listen to our podcasts using different podcast players; the big hitters are Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but there are many more out there.

One of those alternatives is a content aggregator from Samsung called “Samsung Free”. It groups together interesting videos, tv, news and podcasts on the Android home screen of newer Samsung phones. It uses a standard piece of Android software called Dalvik to download audio like podcasts. Other Android phones and software (such as Google Pixel) also use Dalvik.

When we look at podcaster stats and see where the listener traffic to podcasts have come from, there has always been traffic from Dalvik based players, but it’s never accounted for much of the audience.

What changed with Dalvik in November?

Here are the Dalvik downloads for the Sport Social podcast network in November:

From November 1st to November 18th, Dalvik downloads on the Sport Social Podcast Network accounted for 2% of the network downloads. From the 25th to the 29th, that rose to 44%.

On the around 19th of November, the Samsung Free app was updated by Samsung.  In the new update, the Listen tab opened a player automatically. If not stopped within three seconds, the player would auto-play segments of featured podcast episodes and it also pre-downloaded other episodes for instant play. This resulted in a lot of downloads that weren’t initialised by listeners or where the pre-downloads never played.

Here is part of a chart that shows all the devices that have used Dalvik on the Sport Social Podcast Network. All the “SM” device codes are different Samsung phone models, which accounts for the bulk of the Dalvik downloads, but you can see a small number attributed to other players, like a Google Pixel phone.

How does the Auto play feature in Samsung Free affect download numbers?

All good podcast hosts, including Megaphone which we use for the Sport Social Podcast Network, are IAB certified – an external 3rd party who set standards on what is counted as a download and an impression of an advert.

Normally, this auto-play feature In Samsung Free wouldn’t be a problem; other podcasting apps have similar features, downloading a smaller amount of the podcast e.g. 15 or 30 seconds.

IABv2 standards say that a download is counted if 60 seconds of audio is consumed by a unique listener within 24 hours. If a listener was just flicking through podcasts that auto-played, hearing just a few seconds of each, then these downloads would be automatically filtered out of any IABv2 podcasting hosts data.

As the Samsung Free app was downloading for more than 90 seconds, this “passed’ the IABv2 criteria and shows as a certified download on many posting hosts. This also means that there are advertiser impressions that are also passing the IABv2 criteria as being delivered, but they haven’t been heard by human ears.

How is the podcast industry reacting to the Dalvik issue?

Some podcasting hosts and podcast tracking companies have taken the decision to discount all of the Dalvik downloads for the month – regardless of the type of device that is downloading the podcast – including the downloads from legitimate Dalvik sources, such as the Google Pixel phones we see on our data.

Megaphone are waiting for IAB guidance before making any decisions and the Dalvik downloads are currently (12th Dec) still showing in the download figures for the podcasts that they host.

What are Voiceworks doing about the Dalvik issue?

We at Sport Social have decided to identify the Dalvik downloads and impressions delivered on the 19th of November when the app was launched and then between the 25th and the 30th of December when we can see the bulk of the downloads. From these, the downloads and impressions that were delivered on only Samsung devices will be discounted.

This is the fairest way available to us to adjust for what we know hasn’t been listened to, but keep in as many downloads and impressions from other devices and on other dates where the Samsung auto-play feature wasn’t having an impact.

Some of our podcasters on the Sport Social Podcast network might see a different number of downloads on their statements for November 2022 compared to what they see on Megaphone – the Dalvik download issue hasn’t affected all our titles.

Our advertising clients may have seen that we have over delivered on impressions and/or extended campaigns to make up for the impressions that were affected by the Dalvik downloads.

Click here to listen to Andrea discuss the Dalvik issue on our podcast.

Meet Stefan Doyle, the new Head of the Sport Social Podcast Network

What brings you to the Sport Social Podcast Network?

Sport has always been a huge passion of mine. I’ve never really been any good at playing it, but I love the adrenaline and rollercoaster of emotions you get from supporting a team or an athlete to victory.

I am a very ambitious person who loves a challenge and speaking to people about great content. So naturally, I am very excited about the opportunity to grow the Sport Social Podcast Network and help turn it into the biggest audio network in the world.

We have huge plans in the pipeline for 2023 and I can’t wait to share them with you all in the coming months!

When did you first fall in love with audio?

Working in the creative industries was always something that fascinated me from an early age. I originally wanted to be a film director before I started to do radio modules in media studies at school, and from that point on I was hooked. I loved everything about it from making my own sound effects to creating content for my shows and playing my favourite music.

I remember always listening to BBC Radio 5 Live on a Saturday with my Dad for their football coverage and I was a big Radio 1 listener as a teenager. I’d religiously listen to the chart show on a Sunday afternoon while doing my homework. So, I guess that’s where my early passion for audio came from.

I went on to complete a media degree specialising in radio at Birmingham City University and was Station Manager of the student radio station, Scratch Radio, in my final year. Since graduating, I have gone on to work as a Producer for the BBC, Global and Bauer before joining the Sport Social Podcast Network in September.

What are the podcast titles that are always on your listen list?

I’m an Arsenal fan so to get my fix on this I like to listen to Arsecast, ArsenalVision and Seaman Says. Zero Ducks Given have just joined the Sport Social Podcast Network and are sounding great. They’re my go-to cricket podcast at the moment.

I’m also a big fan of Anything Goes with James English. I love his interview technique and the stories he manages to get from his guest are fantastic. If I’m after a laugh, I like to listen to Help I Sexted My Boss. I also really enjoy listening to the Office Ladies with Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. I watched The Office (US version) during the first UK covid lockdown and absolutely loved it. It’s quite fun to hear them talk about the unknown secrets and facts of each episode.

Where and when do you listen to podcasts?

Usually when I’m on the move. Whether that be commuting to meetings and the office or going for a walk in my own time. I flick between music and podcasts when I’m working at home too.

What in your view makes a good podcast?

A good podcast should have hosts (and guests!) who have a real passion and knowledge for the subject they’re talking about. The show should know what it wants to do (educate, entertain, inform) and most importantly it should be well structured and planned out. Listening to podcasts that waffle on with no purpose is a big pet peeve of mine and will see me reaching for the skip button immediately.

Why do you think sport and podcasting work together so well?

Because it creates an opportunity for people to escape into a space where they can indulge in topics and conversations they are truly passionate about.

Whether that be basking in the glory of their team’s latest victory with fellow fans, taking in every word of a real-life conversation with their sporting heroes or giving a rights holder the opportunity to push their brand, it is a match made in heaven.

The podcasting landscape has never been in a better position. While attending the IAB’s Podcasts Upfront event in London earlier this month, my favourite quote of the day came from their Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler.

“Podcasting is not an emerging channel, it has emerged.”

For a sporting organisation or brand not to be involved in the medium right now is a massive, missed opportunity. And if they aren’t prepared to establish themselves within it, someone else will.

What do you see as the next big development in the podcasting world?

I think in 2023 we’re going to see the number of podcasts visualising their content soar to new levels across social media and more specifically on YouTube.

Earlier in March, Podnews gave us an insight into what Google may be planning with YouTube and podcasting in the future. Since then, youtube.com/podcasts has launched in the US.

In May, American broadcasting company Cumulus Media published a study, in partnership with Signal Hill Insights, that identified YouTube is narrowly the most popular platform for podcasts in the US. In fact, six in ten weekly podcast listeners said they preferred podcasts with video.

With over 2.5 billion people currently accessing YouTube every month, it is hard not to imagine the social giant will continue to stretch its lead over other podcasting platforms significantly in the next 12 months.

If you’re interested in whether or not you should be creating a video version of your podcast, make sure to take a listen to our latest episode of Sound Business.

Football Social Daily wins Sports Podcast Award!

Football Social Daily has been named the ‘Best News and Current Affairs’ podcast at the inaugural Sports Podcast Awards, beating off fierce competition for the title.

One of the flagship shows of the Sport Social Podcast Network, Football Social Daily has been providing daily, Premier League-focused podcasts for over two seasons now, with a loyal audience always coming back from more from regulars such as Niall, Jim and Marley.

‘The Dugout’, the Friday night/Saturday morning preview show with ex-professionals has proved a popular addition to the roster this season, and the Sunday ‘review’ show, featuring a raft of journalists and media personalities has always drawn listeners back for more.

The Sports Podcast Awards is a brand-new annual celebration of the very best that the global sports audio community has to offer – rewarding the best podcasters in the space, uniting the industry under one umbrella and boosting discoverability for podcasters and listeners.

The advisory board of the Sports Podcast Awards includes Gabby Logan, Barney Francis, Peter Hutton, Bimal Kapadia and Liseli Sitali, with a voting process determining the winners of each category.

Here’s the moment they were announced as winners by former England rugby player James Haskell:

Russ Bray says Kurt Zouma’s career could be over

It has been a turbulent few weeks for French international Kurt Zouma and his club West Ham United, following the release of a disturbing video showing the defender harming his pet cat.


Hammers manager David Moyes has been brought under the spotlight for immediately playing him just a day after the story became public, which has attracted a substantial amount of criticism.


So, is Kurt Zouma’s career in tatters and is there any way back for him?


Speaking with the “It’s eleven, it’s heaven for Jamie Vardy” podcast, Russ says that there is no way back for Zouma, with footballers not only classed as footballers, but public figures who have to behave correctly in all areas of their lives.


“I think his career now is ruined now anyway, no one will have him, and he’s lost all his sponsorships. You’re a public figure, it’s not as though you’re a bloke playing football over the park… you’ve got to be squeaky clean”

Russ Bray


Host Mark made an interesting comparison to darts players, who would almost certainly have no way back if they replicated Zouma’s actions given that they are their own public figure without protection from a club they play for, and Russ, who has been a darts referee in the PDC for over 20 years, agreed:


“I’d have had a call from Barry Hearn saying thanks ever so much for what you’ve done over the last few years, but goodbye”

Russ Bray

Check out the full chat on the podcast, where Russ talks more about his beloved West Ham and shares tales from his years on the darts circuit below!

10 Questions With: Three Points In The Gaff

1.What inspired you to start podcasting?

JAY: Always loved talking about football and broadcasting so it felt natural to combine the two

MYKEZ: Pundit Jay asked a couple of times and eventually I said I’d try it

PUNDIT JAY: The new era of audio opinion and debate


2. Do you have a favourite episode of your podcast?


JAY: The one where Mykez lost the plot over Harvey Barnes (episode 9)

MYKEZ: No – just any week where City win!

PUNDIT JAY: Episode 8


3. Who is your dream guest?

JAY: Roy Keane

MYKEZ: Pep Guardiola

PUNDIT JAY: Ronaldinho


4. Favourite Podcast to listen to? (That isn’t yours)


JAY: Football Social Daily, obviously!

MYKEZ: I’m not really a pod listener to be honest!

PUNDIT JAY: For the Culture podcast


5. Who are your top 5 Players of all time?


JAY: Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jaap Stam, Eric Cantona

MYKEZ: Ronaldinho, R9, Messi, Henry, Yaya Toure

PUNDIT JAY: Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Neymar, Ronaldo


6. Who are the up and coming stars we should be
looking out for at your club?


JAY: Charlie McNeill and Joe Hugill

MYKEZ: Phil Foden, Liam Delap, Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Romeo Lavia

PUNDIT JAY: Mason Greenwood, Hannibal Mejbri, Isak Hansen, Finley McAllister


7. How would you describe your podcast in three words?

JAY: Mancunian, Fiery, Funny

MYKEZ: Manchester football views

PUNDIT JAY: Opinionated, Mancunian, Cheeky

8. Favourite underdog moment?

JAY: Anthony Crolla winning his world title

MYKEZ: Man City being 3-0 and a man down against Spurs and winning 4-3

PUNDIT JAY: Porto winning the Champions League

9. Apart from football, are there any other sports you are interested in?

JAY: Boxing, and that’s about it to be honest!

MYKEZ: Boxing, Athletics, Olympics

PUNDIT JAY: Not really, don’t mind 100m sprint

10. At what age did you become a fan of your club and was there a moment that solidified your interest?

JAY: Was a Red from when I can remember but going to Old Trafford with my dad to see United beat Liverpool in the Rumbelows Cup in 1990 made me realise just how amazing football can be

MYKEZ: I saw my first game aged 7, but at 10 I realised it’s more than just a game. No real watershed moment, it’s just how it is.

PUNDIT JAY: Since a very young kid, about 6 years old

Mancunian, Fiery, Funny.
8. Favourite underdog moment?
Crolla winning his world title.
9. Apart from Football, are there any other sports you
are interested in?
Boxing and that’s about it tbh!
10. At what age did you become a fan of your club
and was there a moment that solidified your interest?
Was a Red from when I can remember but going to Old Trafford
with my dad to see United beat Liverpool in the Rumbelows Cup
in 1990 made me realise just how amazing football can be

THE ANALYST SIGNS WITH THE SPORT SOCIAL PODCAST NETWORK

Hit cricketing podcast “The Analyst Inside Cricket” has signed up to the Sport Social Podcast Network!

Launched by former county cricketer and TV pundit Simon Hughes in 2017, the show has fast become one of the most highly regarded podcasts in the cricketing world, with thousands of cricket fans tuning in to every show.

As well as being joined on each show by BBC Commentator Simon Mann, The Analyst also features a host of high profile guests with Nasser Husain, Liam Livingstone and Christopher Benjamin all featuring on recent episodes.

The acquisition is perfectly timed as the England cricket team prepare for winter in Australia for the Ashes series, during which Simon will be providing daily shows to keep fans up-to-date with the latest action and news from down under.

Speaking of his signing to the Sport Social Podcast network, Simon said:

“I am a big fan of sports podcasts and I believe they are the best way to reach sports fans and give them the real insight they need. I am very excited to be joining the Sports Social podcast network as I believe they will reach exactly the audience we seek.”

Simon Hughes

Jim Salveson, Head of Sport Social added:

“We’re delighted to welcome a podcast of this quality and size to the Sport Social Podcast Network. Simon has built a loyal podcast following over the last few years and we can’t wait to help him reach even more cricket fans in the future.”

Jim Salveson

The podcast is the latest show to join the Sport Social Podcast network which now has over 100 titles on its roster since its launch in February 2021.

Listen to “The Analyst Inside Cricket” on Spreaker.

10 Questions With: The Tour Report

1. What inspired you to start podcasting?

I never thought I’d listen to podcasts – I’ve always been such a big reader. But this quickly became the way to go now and the popularity of podcasts continue to grow, especially in the golf space. It’s so easy to listen in the car, or wherever you go. We started the Secret Golf podcast to contribute to the golf industry and offer something different.


2. Do you have a favourite episode of your podcast?


I’d say when I took my son, Sam, to THE PLAYERS. We walked the course at the start of the week and I got to talk him through each of my shots on holes 16, 17 & 18. It’s always fun to reminisce my victories at TPC Sawgrass and it was special to do that podcast with him. After that, we went over to the range, Tiger was there and Sam got to hit a few putts with his iconic 18-major winning putter! That thing has killed more golfers than anything


3. Who is your dream guest?


Jack Nicklaus, my idol. Easy.


4. Favourite Podcast to listen to? (That isn’t yours)


I love true crime/serial killer podcasts. My daughter, Annie, got me into them. Patricia Cornwell is my favourite. I also listen to a lot of history podcasts, like about the Egyptian tombs.


5. Who are your top 5 Players of all time?


Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead & Peter Thomson.

6. Who are the up and coming stars we should be looking out for?


Will Zalatoris is on everyone’s radar, and that win for him is coming soon. We listen to the TOUR players – we have 33 as Secret Golf contributors and they tell me who to look out for. They know! We walked around TPC Sawgrass in 2019 with two of our guys – Pat Perez & Jason Kokrak – who were playing with Collin Morikawa. He was very much an up and coming star then, and they knew it. Mito Pereira from Chile is one to watch right now.


7. How would you describe your podcast in three words?


“The facts only!”


8. Favourite underdog moment?


I’ve got to give the credit to my co-host, Diane Knox here. She backed her fellow Scot, Martin Laird, to win the Shriners tournament in Vegas last year at 250/1 – and he won! Absolute underdog moment on the podcast. She made a lot of people a lot of money that week.


9. Apart from Golf, are there any other sports you are interested
in?

Lots of sports, but my Houston Astros are my team in baseball. Being Australian, we grew up being outside, so I love to hunt and fish when I can.


10. At what age did you become a fan of Golf and was there a
moment that solidified your interest?

My parents would take me to play golf in Narrabri, Australia. My older brother used to play, and I went to my first clinic when I was 12. I was hooked after that.

Listen to “The Tour Report from Secret Golf” on Spreaker.