Sports federations understand the immense value that fans bring to the table; they’re the very essence of why professional sports exist. Yet keeping them engaged and part of the narrative both during and in-between games or events is easier said than done. While the globalized nature of sports provides enormous opportunities for teams and leagues to win over more fans, and grow their brand reach, striking a balance between reaching new fans and keeping existing fans enriched and engaged remains a juggling act. At MediaKind, we have been working with major sports federations and rights-holders to explore how new business models and technologies can help keep their audiences engaged and digital access as wide as possible. It’s an area I’m excited to be discussing at the upcoming virtual SVG Federations Focus event.
Maintaining fan engagement between seasons
During major live televised and streamed events, global fan engagement levels often speak for themselves – through merchandise sales, social media buzz and live streaming metrics. Yet keeping this momentum going between games or seasons is a huge obstacle for federations to overcome. Maintaining fan interest in between Premier League games is one thing, but for sporting events that have four-year gaps such as the World Cup, Olympics or Commonwealth Games, the challenge is in a different ballpark. That’s where federations can start getting creative with their content creation and delivery.
For all its value, live content has the shortest lifespan out of any other type of media due to its instant nature. Many of the large sports organizations use this live content to grow valuable banks of assets and clips which, in theory can then be re-packaged and repurposed multiple times. The ultimate challenge here is rights but delivering dynamic live sports experiences that engage fans while retaining control of the content curation should be high on the agenda for sports federations.
Imagine a memorable sporting moment, like Aguero’s last-minute title-winning goal during the 2012 Premier League, and re-producing that clip into highlight reels, gaming assets, and player profiles. The value and lifespan of that content is instantly extended considerably, bringing greater value to the rightsholder and creating new points of engagement and access for fans and sponsors, even during off-seasons.
Keeping fans engaged
Sports federations can also extend the reach of their fandom and bring in new revenue streams beyond the stadium by providing more flexible live and on-demand subscription options. One question that always arises at sports summits I attend is “how can I extend my marketing reach and make my content more accessible?” This is where sports federations can re-evaluate their subscription options to accommodate what fans want. Many fans today, particularly younger audiences, don’t always want to commit to watching a full game or match. This ‘all or nothing’ approach risks alienating certain fans, when in fact simple solutions exist.
To help this, MediaKind has been working with sports rights-holders to enable them to segment different parts of the live feed and monetize individual streams that were previously difficult to do, such as the final quarter of a basketball game or a penalty shootout at the end of a soccer match. This delivers a far more efficient content pipeline, combining video and data to unlock a whole new world of commercialization. Managing all of this requires careful manipulation and control of both the audio/visual (AV) pipe and the data and experience layer.
As a technology company, our aim is to make it easier for sports organizations and content creators to get access to our technology. The cloud and the services it enables us to build reduces friction and makes it easier for a wider audience to adopt complex workflows.
Tune into SVG Federations Focus!
Join me on the Thought Leader Perspectives panel at the Virtual SVG Federations Focus event on Wednesday 12 October, where I’ll be discussing the challenges and opportunities in the live sports streaming space in much greater depth. I’ll be joining Sam Leadsom (Vizrt), Tom Blake (Imagen), and Mathieu Yerle (Chyron) providing a vendor’s view of the creation and distribution of content for sports federations.
Find out more about the event here and register here!