D-Day for GDPR: What it means for the sports industry

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) expert Milly Lawrence, a consultant at LiveWire Sport, spells out what the hottest acronym since COBRA actually means.

by Guest Contributor
D-Day for GDPR: What it means for the sports industry

After months, years even of anticipation, Friday, 25th May, 2018, is the day that General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force. 

For some this is the deadline that we have all been working towards, etched on our calendars with a big red ring, to ensure that all our data activity is GDPR compliant and fit for the new, big data world that we live in. Whilst preparation for GDPR comes to an abrupt end now, for others this marks a new dawn in the way that we will use data. The rules of the game have changed. So what will we do differently in the world of sport?


From this day forward we will ask every sports consumer that shares their personal data with us to provide us with explicit consent to process their data by way of an opt-in. If anyone wants to withdraw their consent we will let them to do so with ease.  We will not hold their data unless we have their consent or unless the legal bases of legitimate interest applies. 

Personal data for minors

For the first time data belonging to minors has been afforded higher protection and if your club or federation holds data for children aged under-13 you will now be seeking parental consent in order to process the data. We will endeavour to include a greater degree of administration and process to sit behind the way that we run simple activities from holiday camps to training sessions.  

Privacy notice

Hot off the press our websites will be adorned with our new privacy notices – re-written and edited to ensure that transparency and control are at the heart of the matter. Our privacy notices will explain clearly what we do with the data we hold, why we hold it, who we share it with, what recourse people have if they are not happy. They will not shy away from the true way in which we deal with data.

Don't get caught out by GDPR, we're entering a new, slightly more transparent, frontier


Our marketing will be streamlined – made for the consenting super fans and not for the away fans that you come into contact with in passing and by chance. GDPR presents us with an opportunity to build better relationships with sports consumers who actually want a relationship. This means smarter segmentation and dynamic campaigns that personalise a communications experience.

Lead generation

We will go about new and innovative ways to generate interest in our sport. Whether that’s building fan engagement platforms or formulating a value exchange programme we will find ways to attract new followers and retain them. Sports consumers will be approached with relevant content and expert editorial with an even greater understanding of audience. 

With 25th May upon us we have passed the finish line with a newfound respect for data privacy. With grit and determination we will march forward and strive to provide the best data management we can in a world that is that little bit more transparent, accountable, flexible, innovative and data happy!

Milly Lawrence is a GDPR consultant at LiveWire Sport specialising in post-GDPR marketing and engagement campaigns. Find her work on Twitter, @LiveWireSport, and on