Reviews | The rise of football clubs as distributors of media content
The media play an extremely important role in strengthening the way football clubs engage with their supporters. The key, for those who are doing it successfully and effectively, is to share content that just can’t be seen elsewhere.
Clubs have access to hundreds and hundreds of hours of exclusive material on their website which includes game footage, highlights, interviews and press conferences. With the competition to retain their fan base and the growth of new supporters beyond the local region, football clubs have had to become distributors of media content in order to engage with their fans, to attract new supporters and add new sources of income.
To stay ahead of the competition, football clubs and rights holders must constantly innovate when it comes to the fan experience. In general, increasing fan engagement with interactivity, providing more statistics or data analysis will contribute to a better understanding and therefore to a better enjoyment of a match. Importantly, it also creates brand commitment and more opportunities for promotion. Let’s consider eight practical ideas for boosting fan engagement and increasing fan base.
Start with the basics
Fans accustomed to traditional sports coverage will expect a similar experience when watching a live broadcast of a game. This means a rebuff-free broadcast-quality picture, with the ability to watch from anywhere, on any viewing device of their choice. Make sure match tuning options are easy to find on your website and that any team news or late updates are prominently displayed.
Video on demand
When clubs provide access to video-on-demand (VOD) archives of game highlights, they have the opportunity to expand the way these clips can be enjoyed by fans. You can get creative in the way the clips are organized and the metadata captured for each one. For example, as match sequences are examined for highlight potential, increase the types of plays that are considered highlights – the best goals, the most acrobatic saves from the keeper, great one-on-one skills. , great passing sequences, etc.
Whether a match is broadcast live from your website or broadcast by a sports network, post highlights clips to your platforms as they happen so viewers can refer to them all. watching the game live. This not only creates interaction, but also benefits fans who have logged in late by allowing them to catch up on what they missed.
Various forms of personalization are offered as another way to drive engagement and could be structured as a premium tier subscription option. Popular offers include alerts for key moments during matches (like goals), in-game stats on favorite players, scores, highlights, relevant targeted ads, and augmented reality overlays. There is also an e-commerce opportunity here, such as a one-click offer to order a key moment related kit.
View apps together
Fans love to watch games with their friends. It’s easy if they’re all locally based and can attend in person or meet at their favorite pub. To include fans living further away, traveling, or absent for a variety of reasons, Watch Together apps allow small groups to enjoy a familiar camaraderie during a match. These apps also provide another source of income. It has a small built-in delay to ensure that all participants see the action of the match at the same time, even those with longer stream latency than others. They can live chat with each other through a low latency connection between them, such as WebRTC links.
Support fans around the world
Many clubs enjoy wide support around the world. Consider offering match commentary and content on your website in a few languages with the largest fan base. Share watch group information with overseas supporters so that they can contact each other and be invited to join a watch group.
Innovations in the viewing experience
Sports TV coverage typically includes reading highlights from multiple camera angles, but the broadcaster chooses which camera view is shown. With the right technology in place, digital coverage through a club app can now offer viewers a premium option to choose which camera angle to watch during the game, or even provide split-screen views from multiple camera angles.
This concept can be extended with the ability to watch multiple matches at the same time on a split screen. This could be a popular premium option, especially during playoff tournaments with multiple games at the same time. An additional feature that rights holders should consider are the key moment alerts with streaming cuts to that other live match stream.
Augmented reality overlays
With the advent of 5G, there have been successful attempts to present individual player stats during live play by overlaying small data points near a player on the screen. Viewers may ask certain players to be tagged when they are on the pitch, for example the odds of them scoring a goal.
It goes without saying that some of the most exciting moments in sport come towards the end of a game, with a tied or close score, overtime or penalties to decide the winner. Some rights holders and platforms are experimenting with low-cost late-game access, triggered by key moment alerts to fans who may not have watched the game.
These ideas can be implemented with technology that exists today and is already being discussed or tested to foster better engagement with existing fans. Either in combination or tailor-made to meet individual demands, they can help rights holders reach new markets globally and potentially add revenue streams. Give your supporters the best streaming experience possible and they’ll keep coming back for more.