Live streaming of various sports and consumption of sports related content on social networks are steadily increasing. Recently Chicago Bulls (Run with us) and Real Madrid (Hala Madrid) launched their own shows on Facebook Watch, Facebook’s video tab for original content. English Football League is developing branded content with the aim of getting more brands engage with and benefit from the 72 teams they have as partners. Apart from gaining more fans/viewers, digital content also helps sports brands to monetise through sponsorships and partnerships. There is Dugout that started with just 3 teams (Arsenal, Chelsea and FC Barcelona) now boasts of getting 150 teams by the end of 2017. 50% of the ad revenue is split between the teams that contribute to the content, while the company keeps the other 50%.
Apart from content monetisation, sports brands also get into distribution. NBA have launched their own subscription based video streaming product NBALeaguePass. MotoGP has VideoPass and Forumla1 has F1 Access. It’s not just major sports that are benefiting from the digital audience. World Surfing League partnered with Facebook to live stream all their tours and their page now has 6M followers.
The increasing popularity of digital has given rise to networks like DAZN, world’s first fully dedicated live sports streaming service. Traditional broadcasters also realise the potential of digital platforms and ESPN now has a Snapchat version of ‘SportsCenter’. NBC had earlier confirmed their partnership with Snapchat for 2018 Winter Olympics.
Beyond clubs, teams and brands, sports personalities are looking for ways to monetise their large social media fan base. With their own independent social channels, these personalities will get a chance to present themselves more authentically – whether to support a cause or for independent commercial purposes.