We have an opportunity to enter the golden age of sports broadcasting. Sporting institutions, broadcasters, rights holders, and content providers have a responsibility and a necessity to communicate and engage with avid sports fans in 2021. With the likelihood of empty, or limited capacity, stadiums for this year’s Olympics and Euro’s, it’s time to deliver interactive and engaging content that creates a stadium-like experience for viewers at home. With the glut of tools and platforms at our fingertips, It’s never been so easy to create captivating content.
Cloud-based production tools
2020 forced innovation in producing new ways to immerse fans into the stadium, connecting viewers across the globe and giving the audience a stage to interact, plus brands and sponsors were able to extend reach across platforms. Looking at it simply, everyone is a broadcaster, whether you’re Leicester City FC, the International Tennis Association, or Harlequins Rugby Union Club, everyone has the ability to create high-end video with cloud-based production tools, managed from a laptop.
You don’t need expensive bulky hardware to create and publish content for a wider audience, a plethora of social media platforms, alongside varying production tools such as content management solutions, now enable simple and effective live streaming. At this level, you no longer need the expertise or a degree to capture, edit and publish live content. Add some creativity and imagination, and with a click of a button you can produce quality viewing to more people.
AGC – Audience generated content
It’s time we got rid of the term user generated content (UGC) and replace it with audience generated content. Why? Because we’re living in an era where content providers have so many ways to interact with viewers and enable cross-platform, reciprocated interaction. Content created by the audience is becoming a major part of the narrative, not only does it make the viewer feel valued, but it also enhances the experience. We’re gradually seeing a variety of broadcast and digital programming calling for fans and viewers alike to share images, comments, videos and opinions via social media, which can then be published in real time.
Facilitating a conversation on social media is an organic way to advertise, motivating followers to watch your show. When Manchester City returned for the final games of the 2019 / 2020 season, they realised that they had to ensure fans were involved in the matchday experience. Their We’re Not Really Here campaign featured a range of initiatives, from live streaming videos of fans on webcams into the stadium, to a pre- and post-match show streamed on social – including Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube – fan-created content was influential to connecting a global fanbase and a community.
Production tools not only enhances the content, engages the audience and extends viewer reach, but it also creates an opportunity to open new streams of revenue. In an environment where sponsors no longer have their full investment due to the empty stadiums, agreed deliverables can be met through a different medium. The local merchant that usually sponsors the half time show in the stadium can be included within a rotating graphic on a show streamed live on Facebook for example – ensuring local and global sponsors renew for next year.
It also allows social producers to be more creative, where they may be limited within a standard broadcast scenario, self-produced streamed programming allows more artistic license to offer added interactive content such as voting for the best amateur celebration sponsored by X, or even streaming a live game of FIFA, played between fans brought to you by Y – as Sydney FC did recently.
Create new audiences
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) wanted to extend the reach of Wimbledon 2019 and evoke the interest of a younger audience, so they independently launched and produced a live daily show, Wimbledon Coffee Morning. Streamed on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, the show featured a range of content including candid interviews with players and celebs, and special behind the scenes footage, but most importantly – it had a social focus!
Using the #JoinTheStory hashtag, the presenters created a call to action for audience participation, running live polls and enticing viewers to interact via social to share images and comments. Producers would then share the best engagement and publish live during the show for the presenters to interact with. This was a huge success for AELTC, not only did they extend reach beyond the primary broadcast with over one million views, but they also engaged with a younger, more social media-focused generation and created new tennis fans across the globe.
So, with the correct tools and an audience, global and local sporting institutions have the opportunity to connect on multiple platforms and produce content that adds huge value to a sports fan’s experience.
To find out what our cloud-based content management platform, Bee-On can do to boost your sports-based content, contact us now for a demo.