Seamless digital-to-physical connection key for sports properties

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 4.37.06 PMTMA SVP, Digital Strategy & Innovation Tom Edwards sounds off on the direction sports properties need to take in 2015 to keep up digitally.

Q: What does 2015 hold for sports properties from a digital perspective?
We’ll see a heavy focus on converging media, user-generated content and bridging the gap between physical and digital experiences for fans.  It’s incredibly important to create a seamless digital-to-physical connection and mobile is the key to unlocking this connection, especially for sporting events.

Mobile and social have the ability to unify a fan base — whether in-stadium or at home.  The connection between TV, social and mobile — for both fans who are at the event and those watching the game somewhere else — unifies the content and validates fan participation.  The value of enabling a closer connection through an existing fan behavior, such as user-generated content, provides fans with the opportunity to show their spirit while reinforcing the fact that the team is focused on bringing fans closer to the game — and to each other.

There’s never been a better time to create compelling experiences that connect in-venue entertainment.  With increased focus from rising mobile platforms (such as Snapchat with its new “Our Story” offering) that allow the seamless integration of local event content, the ability for brands to sponsor content and ultimately connect with those not at the event.

One of the key issues being discussed regularly as it applies to the mobile ad industry is viewability of content.  This is going to be a key area of focus that team and league marketers will need to address with their media partners.

One final area of opportunity is tied to contextual relevance that goes beyond simple location from a mobile marketing perspective.  By aligning behaviors and contextually-relevant aspects such as time of day, weather, etc., there’s a significant opportunity for brands to better connect with fans or maximize a sponsorship with a sports team or league.

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