Fans Want More. Are We Ready to Give It to Them?
April 26, 2012 by Barrett Davie, EVP & Founder
I attended a great conference in NYC yesterday, the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit. The message was loud and clear that the fan/audience/targeted consumer is more engaged and consuming more sports-related content then ever. Importantly, the numbers show that these people represent a coveted consumer base; however, they are elusive and on the move. They consume sports programming through multiple channels, in a non-linear fashion, and serving them up for advertising partners is becoming more and more of a science each day.
I found it interesting to hear that during this year's March Madness, online games and supporting content was consumed almost equally on tablets and mobile devices as through traditional broadband connection. This represented an increase from approximately 33% in 2011 to almost 50% in 2012. Not only were TV viewers simultaneously watching other games and related content on their computers; they were also consuming much of this content while on the move and outside of their traditional TV viewing environments.
I also enjoyed hearing from one of the major network executives that "reach" is now being valued as the same across all platforms, whether reaching a consumer on a traditional television or through other "video" devices.
While most of the panel participants represented major media companies, league governing bodies, and a few of the brands with which they work in an advertising and sponsorship capacity, these trends offer some lessons to think through for individual teams at their property level. While not necessarily a brand new phenomenon, the implications may be critical on a number of levels. In particular, two immediate points came to mind:
1) Teams need to incorporate other technologies into their gameday programming to drive an integrated experience ensuring an even deeper and more focused gameday engagement for attendees; and
2) given the already captive environment offered by the gameday experience, teams need to seize the opportunity to tell brands about their "reach" story. When competing in the local market, those consumers that local TV will have the hardest time reaching, both a) due to their lack of, or fragmented, tv consumption, and b) by virtue of a higher level of technology adoption, are those most likely to attend live sporting events. Now more then ever, armed with some fairly basic information, teams should have the ability to offer an added shot of "reach" to many prospective advertising/sponsorship customers with whom they may have previously struck out, so to speak.
The combination of these venues as a reach vehicle, as well as the opportunity to incorporate integrated technologies, and time with which to engage, make these trends a powerful combination to be leveraged by properties to offer compelling opportunities for brands.
There are a lot of exciting points to make on this, and I hope you'll all think about this and how it can positively impact your business. Whether an advertiser, or a local team, both groups should be excited about the opportunities to positively impact a media plan through working in venue to create new and effective campaigns.