The Importance of Reaching Sports Fans with Direct to Consumer Video

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

Recently, we’ve been looking on this blog at how important a direct to consumer video solution can be for sporting clubs, teams, federations and organisations in realising the true value of their content. D2C platforms enable sports organisations to regain control of their own rights and distribution, ensuring that the full depth and breadth of their content is made available – and thus monetisable – to their fans.

A key part of this proposition that is often overlooked, however, is sports fans themselves. When we as video, technology and media professionals think about D2C solutions, we usually consider the benefits of delivering the full range of our content to those viewers and what new revenue opportunities that they can create.

It will not come as news to any sporting organisations that their fans are the most engaged and passionate viewers they can engage with. There is, of course, a spectrum of engagement, from generalist sports fans, to casual viewers that might tune in if they happen to see it on TV, through to the hardcore fan that will buy tickets to live events, buy merchandise and pay for the content wherever they can find it.

A direct to consumer video solution is, in the initial, most engaging for those most hardcore fans, giving them a dedicated portal where they can gorge as much as they want on the full range of your video content – from archival to new and original. But while the hardcore are guaranteed to spend the most time and money on the platform, a broad range of your audience will also engage. Viewers that catch every event no TV, or that go to occasional live events, or that search for your content on other streaming services on a semi-regular basis, when presented with the opportunity to get all of that video from a single, official source, alongside other engagement options (being able to watch on whatever device they want, personalisation, deeper discovery abilities) will almost certainly sign up to the service.

It cannot be overestimated, the importance of having the brand that you as a sports fan engage with, whether club, federation or organisation, facilitate your fandom and your viewing in a way that answers the viewing needs you have. Fans see it as something the brand is doing to give back to them, even while knowing that they are doing it to monetise them at a deeper level. This will drive fans to evangelise about the service to their network (be it in person or social/digital), creating organic marketing outreach from trusted sources to new viewers that may well have been impossible for you to reach.

None of this is to minimise the primary importance of a direct to consumer video service, which is to give you more control over your content and generate new and additional revenue. But amidst that, it is always important to remember how these platforms will be perceived by your most important and reliable customers. The new engagement opportunities you present to them for the brand and content they love can help guarantee long term success.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
April 30, 2019

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