Podcast and Playbook By 1080 Media Reveal New Omnichannel Sports Strategies
By Community | June 17, 2021
The explosion in digital media channels is posing both a challenge and an opportunity to sports clubs, governing bodies and rights holders, according to a London based sports TV producer that has just launched a new service to help sports navigate the multichannel minefield.
1080 Media TV has launched a new approach to help sports respond progressively through its new SPORTSCAST|360™ service which provides a flexible approach to content creation and repurposing. CEO Clifford Webb said, “The rapidly evolving multichannel world needs new strategies that engage fans and drive revenue growth across a wide spectrum of digital touch points. An omnichannel marketing approach was originally developed by online retailers to stimulate buying decisions through customer interactions on multiple media.”
The company says that many leading retail sports brands have been particularly effective in driving online sales in this way. It is now evolving beyond e-tailing and the pandemic has been something of a catalyst and accelerator in driving a wider ‘omnichannel’ approach to help sports manage the growth in digital media and platforms more effectively. The concept helps maximise reach, drive revenue, build brand value and develop fan and sponsor engagement.
“We’ve had to take a look at how we produce content and reuse and repurpose it.”
A podcast special report has been produced in conjunction with iSportConnect to examine the concept in detail. Chief Strategy Officer, Sandy Case, agreed that we’re living in a multichannel world: “There’s an omnichannel culture out there and it’s becoming apparent that there are now new revenue streams through new technology being created, that people didn’t know existed, so there are now more ways sports can make money.”
Executive Director of the World Match Racing Tour, James Pleasance, agreed: “While TV content is crucial, with the onset of all these new social media channels and the speed at which they’re developing, and the speed at which people are consuming content, we’ve had to take a look at how we produce content and reuse and repurpose it.”
This global sailing series was built on the same discipline as the America’s Cup using matched, single hull yachts, and it’s awarded over $23-million USD prize money since it was established twenty years ago. Yet sailing is seen as a ‘challenger sport’ and can take advantage of an omnichannel approach to build awareness and grow its audience and fan base. They have achieved over three million views of archive footage shared on social media during the pandemic.
“As media channels become more widespread and smarter, so have sponsors, who have explored how they can activate and maximise through those channels – and I think that’s why it’s essential to have these channels available for sponsors,” added Pleasance.
“Now through the explosion of social media we can be smart. Social was about reach, now it’s more about how fans are engaging, and how you engage comes down to how you target them and what content you use. It’s a challenge but also a huge opportunity.”
Host broadcaster and content producer for the World Match Racing Tour is 1080 Media TV and Pleasance admits he learns from their experience with other sports too, in addition to the likes of the NFL, F1 and major golf tournaments. 1080 Media TV’s CEO Clifford Webb agrees, “There are so many different channels and opportunities. We’re focussed on getting the message out to as wide an audience as possible, which requires constant production and editing of a variety of content on each day of an event. We can achieve that very effectively by tailoring content specifically to the audience and the channels we’re targeting, so you have to customise everything.”
Nicolas Marullo is President and CEO of Canadian based media tech company Cinco and heads up their innovation lab, and has been developing responses to develop new multichannel experiences: “We always say that content is King, but context is Queen. It’s important to create content that makes sense. There are now so many touch points – sports need to understand this too.
“Different channels or platforms will achieve different things, but it’s about the passion of the fans: They want to cheer with other fans, they want info from experts; they want to receive exclusive content, they want to have special access and special treatment. If you go back to the basics and capture the essence of why we love sports, and why social media is so important, and why digital is becoming a very important part of our lives; mix it together and do it in a meaningful way and the recipe will bring you success.”
iSportConnect Editor at Large, Jay Stuart, agrees, ‘’In the near future the fandom, the loyalty, the passion, may go to those sports that can deliver a good entertainment experience. I can envision a world where I don’t support that team anymore because they’re not giving me anything in terms of my digital consumption and where I want to be. It’s a challenge for sports and for rights owners. They can say, ‘we’ll always have fans’ but I look at it and say, no, you could be gone. I think that’s the reality that a lot of them have to face’’.
“A sponsor will tell you people are not fans of their product, they might consume their products, but they are fans of sports teams and players and sponsors want to be liked in the same way.”
“People who watch one sport, want to watch others. Omnichannel has to be different things for different fans. A lot of sports fans are omnisports fans, they’re promiscuous in their sports appetites.”
However Stuart recognises sports ultimately have the upper hand: “A sponsor will tell you people are not fans of their product, they might consume their products, but they are fans of sports teams and players and sponsors want to be liked in the same way. So sports is in a very special position and there are just more and more opportunities for them to benefit from this new omnichannel world.”
You can hear much more in the podcast, compiled and presented by media producer and consultant Jonathan Levy, who is also a former Global Communications and Partnerships Director with an international sport.
You can listen to the full podcast here:
1080 Media TV has produced The Omnichannel Playbook – a free guide which outlines a 5-point plan to: Grow fan and sponsor engagement; Build global reach; Develop live, highlights, hybrid events, social content and human stories; Create an interactive community; Drive revenue and build brand. It comprises 25 key considerations, case studies, background, statistics, a comprehensive media matrix and implementation tips. To request your free copy email email@example.com, or use the contact page of their website at www.1080media.org