About Nimble Productions
Nimble Productions is a broadcast and video production company specialising in high-end sport culture content for television and online.
Sport is always at the heart of our work
I co-founded Nimble Productions with Gareth Rees (managing director) in 2017. Over the last few years, we’ve produced sport-related programming and video content for BBC, Channel 4, BT Sport, Red Bull and many more outlets. This has included documentaries (such as Geraint Thomas' documentary on the Tour de France, Geraint Thomas: The Road Will Decide), entertainment shows (such as Six Nations Sin Bin with Gareth Thomas and Gabby Logan) and the televisation of the Action Woman Awards for sportswomen.
Women's football is growing faster than ever
Participation and interest in women’s football are growing, thanks to things like London 2012 (where 44.2% of athletes were female) and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We worked on nine series of The Clare Balding Show, where part of the show's remit was to promote women's sports. It led to us doing another of Clare’s shows: Women's Football World – the first series of its kind anywhere in the world.
We saw room for more women’s football content
On seeing the increasing popularity of the sport, we wanted to create a women's football content hub that populates digital and social channels. This idea taps into the huge, global growth area in an exciting and positive way. Also, with us at the helm, we knew there’d be a trusted team in charge of it that has been working in women's sport for a very long time.
Clwstwr gave us the chance to put some real investment into a targeted approach
Creating a women's football content hub was such a big idea; we knew it needed a lot of time, a big team, the right experts on board and investment. We wanted to gain an overview of the industry in terms of where we've been, where we were, where we are and where we're heading. Our broadcast and digital landscape changes so quickly; what worked on social and digital channels a year ago doesn't work now because of changes to the algorithms and content creation methods. With all of this in mind, we applied for Clwstwr funding. We received £30,000, which we match-funded, to see if our idea was feasible and to do some deep research before the making phase.
The process from getting the green light to finishing our reports took about six months
We started things off in September 2019. We got the team together and made an extensive research plan and an activation plan. Then, around October time, we put focus groups together. As we dug deeper into the project, we pulled experts on board. There were professional footballers who we’d met while working on other projects, professional sportswomen, members of the media and more. We also had would-be consumers of content around women’s sport involved, and the Clwstwr team gave us support, access to their expertise, the data we needed and help with the analysis.
To be able to tap into audience focus groups and international footballers in order to help put something together is really exciting; it wouldn't have been possible without the financial investment and support of the Clwstwr team.
We gathered lots of information from these people and our research, which we put into data sets before putting together different papers. These included a paper on the demographics around women's football and women's sport, one on current content distribution trends (including costs and key markets) and one on the rights market for women's sports. It was a beast of a task! We pulled all of the gathered information together then submitted our final report on the findings and our future plans in February 2020.
Our findings show that there is a hunger for our idea
We discovered that there are more platforms than ever before for women’s sport. However, we also learnt that people want a new women's football community that goes beyond the professional matches. Some hub options that surfaced include content related to mobile apps (ones that show how people could play, where they could play, et cetera), and the use of innovative technology and audio visual equipment to engage with each other and share grassroots broadcasts.
Following the R&D, everything is moving in the right direction
The content hub is an exciting, large project that, through R&D, we have been able to bolster with new ideas and approaches. As soon as life and business get back to normal following the disruption of COVID-19, we can develop the project and take it further. We’ve had such a positive experience with the Clwstwr team from beginning to end, and are grateful for the existence of such opportunities to explore and develop creative ideas.
Find out more about their Clwstwr project - Global Women's Football Hub.