In the world of sports, when it comes to sponsors and partnerships almost everything is up for grabs. Sports clubs and organisations need to continue to drive revenue forwards to compete for the best players, the best backroom staff, the best facilities and investment in grass roots etc. Many clubs are now striving to find more itinerary to offer to their ever growing list of sponsors/partners to keep the flow of money coming in. Online video not only offers the potential to help create this itinerary but it also offers much greater engagement potential over other forms of communication.
Take football for example. We are all now able to watch most of the games live on TV or at the pub, we can catch up with the highlights on MOTD, Sky, ESPN, clubsites, apps, the list goes on. What the fans crave is access, to get behind the scenes at the training ground, in the tunnel or at the academy. They want to experience the banter of the players, the camaraderie of the backroom staff and a glimpse of the manager’s masterplan. This content is what the fans want to see and they want it with a unique insight and flavour that only the clubs can provide. This unique content combined with the engaging medium of video generates a hugely engaged and loyal audience.
None of this is new you will be thinking. Correct, but it’s how you do it that will be the key to its success as an asset to the football club. With all brands it’s all about identity, reinforcing that identity, purveying quality, establishing a connection and being remembered. Companies spend millions on brand identity and they are keen to get that brand out there but the environment has to be right.
Big brands are now savvy to the power of the web. In 2011, spend on internet advertising in the UK was greater than TV and press. However, peoples viewing habits continually change, we get used to flashy banners, teasing skyscrapers and we zone out of Facebook ads. Big brands are looking for a vehicle to engage with an audience. Exclusive online content is the answer.
The key to maximising the effectiveness of this product is a clear and simple strategy with 4 core parts, content and technology, usability and marketing.
- Your content must be well thought out, regular and of a high quality to support the brand (HD where possible), it must be continuously reviewed to see what works and what can be adjusted.
- The technology must work with you and not against you, integrating video platforms with existing content management systems are the key here. A well thought out media workflow will save you hours, allow you to get content out more quickly and reduce headaches in the future.
- Usability often gets overlooked, the viewer’s experience must be simple yet effective, they will want it to work on their laptop, iPhone, Android device and over 3g, Wi-Fi etc. Brands will expect this as a given.
- Marketing of the product will be something you can work into your company’s existing strategy, however, for big events and key content a more targeted collection of journalists and bloggers is a better focus of your efforts. As well as traditional marketing you can also allow your audience to push the content out for you as well, utilising social media elements within the video technology allows the fans to share that video or moment in time but keeps them in your branded environment.
With a successful online video product you can increase your portfolio of partnerships itinerary that little bit further and engage with an audience in a unique way that only video and the insight of the club can provide.
Written by: Matthew Quinn, Digital Solutions Director, StreamUK.
StreamUK is a market leading online video and streaming services provider. Currently shortlisted for 3 2012 Football Business Awards, the company’s work with Liverpool FC has been well documented, as this year LFC claimed its StreamUK’s revamped LFC.tv, is now the most successful online video subscription service of any football club in the world.