Why video is, & will continue to be, massively valuable in sponsorship.

The consumption of sports is changing every month. We’ve chatted about it before and even had it come first hand from our chat with Tyler on The Inches podcast.

In sports, we tell stories. stories of players, games, teams, and the great moments

It started with newspapers, then radio, then we started to be able to consume it live with television. And television reigned supreme …until the internet came.

After that, it became the wild west of who produced and distributed content. With the internet, anyone with a could create content. But what has remained in all of this is video. Telling these stories through video has remained constant.

Fans consume on video. It is how they hear & see these stories unfold.

This couldn’t be more represented than by the graph below.

This graph jumped out to me as it deals with sponsorship and sports. As technology continues to get better, more and more will be consumed on video through various platforms.

Here are some thoughts on how we can take advantage here:

Brand dollars follow fan eyeballs: Why this matters for sponsors.

On the macro side of sponsorship, we are in the attention game. In advertising, which sponsorship is, we live off engagement and attention we can grab.

In the past, this video distribution was owned by cable networks. We were at the will of these channels for how we distributed video content and therefore which sponsors could be a part of that

Today though, everything is different. We can own and have our video assets be a big part of our sponsorship packages.

The place where most fan attention is… we can offer directly to sponsors to be a part of.

So the reason this is so important comes down to having control over the most valuable asset in the game right now while being able to create and distribute at a low cost than ever before.

If brand dollars follow fan eyeballs…video is the most important asset we can build for our sponsorship assets moving forward.

Short-form vs. long-form vs. live video

The real value in this graph is the distinction between the different types of video and where the attention is there.

There is short-form, long-form, and live video as options for us as we create content. I think this is a beautiful way to break down how we should think about our content.

Short-form video is really what we push and thrive on in sports. Highlights & short interviews are all great…but unless we give our fans long-form content to binge on….we’re missing a huge amount of opportunity at consumptions

The sleeping giant is a long-form video. We can really grab attention here with our fans and get them consuming for longer, which means more attention on us and our sponsors.

As you can see above, that will account for most of the video consumption moving forward.

In sports, we need to up our long-form video content significantly to match our fan’s attention.

For example, you can shoot your own “Hard Knocks” type content with pretty minimal cost today. Fans love getting a look inside the organization and learning the stories about coaches and players.

According to the graph above, long-form will dominate consumption…and continue to be a gateway for our sponsors to infuse into the content. I would argue this is more important and valuable to brands than in-stadium rink boards & signs.

How platforms fit in the strategy

Some see this and think “There are so many platforms out there. How can I possibly pull this off with a small staff?”

If you break this down into live, long-form, and short-form videos instead of by platform you can weather this storm.

I know, I know, there are different nuances to the platforms…but really we can make those tweaks to the foundation content.

When creating your content, focus on long-form. Film your content with the idea you will cut it up into smaller pieces of content.

Don’t forget the above graph that long-form should be the dominant factor….but we can use it to cut up into shorter form videos.

And as we dive in more on this strategy, short-form content can be the driver to the long-form content.

When you post the snippet of the video on your social channels, you can drive people to the longer-form video content.

This allows you to have content that drives more content consumption. This is a beautiful thing.

For example, you can post a video snippet of the long-form episode on Twitter (140 seconds) with a link to the long-form YouTube video link.

From there, you have them engaged

So where do you post each form of content? Well below is a quick breakdown:

Live: Facebook Live & YouTube Live

Long-Form: Facebook watch, YouTube, Instagram TV (IGTV)

Short -Form: Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter.

Owning your distribution for sponsors

I’ve talked about this in the past, but the above graph is why it is so important to OWN your video distribution.

Attention is on video, and it is growing at a huge rate.

In the past, you had high production costs for this content and needed a TV channel to distribute it…which usually meant a cut of sponsorship revenue or high costs to distribute.

We don’t need that any longer. We can build a following on our YouTube channels, Facebook following, and Instagram to drive attention and choose which sponsors to activate.

The effort here compared to the value is MINIMAL. I’ll give you a quick example of that value, Arsenal Fan TV YouTube channel pulls in over $357,000 a month in revenue from the channel.

They don’t play any live games, just great long-form video content.

Again…$357,000…and it isn’t run by the club. That is more than most of our packages for the entire year.

They only have 1.4M subscribers…which is amazing….but I bring this up because we can build this for our teams fairly easily.

The next big thing in sponsorship is owning these video channels and knowing how to harness them for new revenue from sponsors.

The dagger here, if you don’t build this…someone else will.

Overall, as you look into 2020 & beyond, start building your video assets. They are powerful today but will only grow in power as it becomes easier to consume.

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