Aug 26, 2020

Why Investing in OTT Is a Good Idea

Why Investing in OTT Is a Good Idea

Over-the-top (OTT) viewing is one of the truly disrupting and innovative trends in content distribution amongst leading global sports organisations.

When properly implemented, this channel may help build entirely new relationships with your fans (also in previously unreachable markets!), propel your commercial growth and brand recognition. To reap these benefits, OTT uses simply an Internet connection through which you provide your fans with highly attractive, ideally exclusive videos (and other TV derivatives!), which might allow you to build your brand at a previously unattainable level.

To OTT or not to OTT… that is the question!

In order to help you decide consciously, we have to make sure that you understand the importance of implementing this solution on the strategic level. Once we do it, you’ll immediately know if OTT sports streaming is a perfect fit for you now (or maybe it needs to wait a bit).

IMPLEMENTING OTT – A STRATEGIC VIEW

Some people think of OTT delivery as a technological change. We consider such an approach to be a huge mistake.

To be fully efficient, implementing OTT must be equal to the change of the sports club’s mentality. It’s a step towards transforming your organisation into a media house. You need to deeply rethink your value proposition, target group and value distribution to correctly choose the path to take.

The revolution that will make you become a broadcasting centre means enormous opportunities, but also a tremendous responsibility. You need to make sure that you have a thoroughly thought out idea on how to build your content so that it stays unique and appealing to your regular fans and potential new supporters over the time.

Don’t think of OTT as a technological change. Treat it as a marketing transformation! Look at your community (survey if possible) and evaluate if they’d be interested in your club as a content medium. Consider what connects your local society apart from supporting the same club. Prepare a realistic plan for “OTT Media House” development.

The multiplicity of interactions you are able to create with your fans is a good factor verifying whether OTT should be introduced in your sports organisation. If you know you can make people involved, don’t hesitate.

COMMON MISTAKES IN OTT TRANSFORMATION

We point out the most common mistakes that sports clubs tend to make when implementing OTT services. Avoid them to make your OTT transformation as efficient as possible.

#1 Narrow content

Sports, sports, sports… go beyond that!

If you plan to invest in OTT, you need to know that sports might be the main topic around which your video marketing will flow, but certainly can’t be the only one. Your club needs to be ready to think outside the box and go beyond the typical content. Otherwise, there would be no difference between you and other information media.

Be a pioneer and show your community that you have the power to combine the highest quality of what your recipients have already gotten used to and completely new, innovative ideas.

#2 Lack of patience to people

You need to have a sufficient number of skilled HR to cover the creativity, “substance” and time sacrifice that OTT delivery requires. As we previously mentioned, the implementation of OTT is often equal to a revolution in the company mentality and modes of action.

It might bring incredible long-term effects. However, prior to OTT introduction, the question that should be raised by you is: “Do I have enough resources to apply all the changes right now or should I wait for a bit?”

Another critical issue is the role of giving space and time for your current journalists to grow to the new challenges that they’ll undoubtedly have. Remember that for years they had been used to a different type of work. Let them develop by helping them in getting out of their comfort zone. Explain to them the reasons for the changes and your expectations. Give them additional support at the beginning of the new marketing era (if they need it)!

#3 “Let’s make the USA in Europe!”

The USA is an excellent place to observe what impact OTT might have on your sports club in terms of fan engagement, brand building and community enlarging. Simply saying – extremely positive!

Nevertheless, never forget that the difference in the attitude towards sports between the USA and Europe is vast and direct copying of solutions can be counterproductive. When it comes to Europe, what we appreciate the most is the final result of the game. While in the USA, people tend to treat soccer more like entertainment rather than competition for life and death.

Why Investing in OTT Is a Good Idea

The awareness of this distinction is essential to correctly implement OTT in Europe and develop it in the right direction!

#4 Quick ROI expectation

OTT is a long-term investment in brand and community creation. If you expect it to bring you ROI immediately, you might either get quickly disappointed or even start taking irrational actions that will contribute to the drop in your performance.

If you decide “to OTT”, you need to be as calm, resolute and rational as Horatio in Hamlet.

If you decide “not to OTT”, you may face troubles in catching up with your competition in the future.

OTT BEST PRACTICES

OTT services need to be carefully planned. And while it can become one of the main trends of 2021, you should check the advice coming straight from our and our business partners experience on how to best use OTT in your sports club.

#1 Winter/Summer Camp

Preparation camp is the best moment to launch OTT in your sports club. Why?

First of all, you have access to all the exclusive backstage materials. It’s a unique “substance” that might allow you to create an advantage on the information media market, especially if we consider the fact that barely any TV decides to follow the teams in their camps.

Secondly, you have unoccupied friendly games that you can use to show your supporters what your OTT technology might bring in the game. Winter or Summer Camps are the best periods to verify the acceptance of your ideas.

Last but not least, preparation camps take place at a time when people are missing football games. There appears a massive need in them for finding an entertaining platform that will replace the lack of official competitions. If you approach these emotions appropriately, you may make them stay with your OTT sports streaming forever.

TISA Group has recently cooperated with Legia Warszawa on covering friendly games during the winter camp through the OTT streaming. The project aimed to provide fans of Legia with free access to streamings through the official Legia app.

Why Investing in OTT Is a Good Idea

Broadcasts were available only for logged-in users to improve fan engagement and increase interest in the exclusive contents of the application and web platform. The implementation of the project was very successful as proven by the numbers.

#2 Exclusive technological possibilities

Introduce technologies that will give your supporters possibilities they’ve never had before.

Some of the ideas include allowing fans to moderate the live streams independently. One of the options is letting them change the sound between the pitch, stands, coaches and commentators. Another solution that you might consider is making your audience able to analyse the same situations from different cameras or go back in time to the actions that interest them the most.

There are numerous alternatives, and you need to choose which ones will be the most suitable for your community.

#3 Community creation

One of our business partners–  the biggest club in Poland, Legia Warszawa – proved that they know how to use OTT properly to gain the advantage on the market. Not only did they go beyond the sports in their videos and live streams, but primarily they also managed to motivate their fans to real-time interactions.

Moreover, just after COVID-19 broke out, they created a charity movement #GOTOWIDOPOMOCY [eng. Ready to help] that aimed to help pensioners. It was strongly supported by their journalists and marketing specialists with technological possibilities offered by OTT. It was a wonderful success story that brought hope to many members of society.

Remember that it’s been a long time since football clubs changed from associations of males that are meeting to play to the communities that need to unite various people. Use OTT to create new experts, stars and celebrities among your community. It will also facilitate the process of engaging them in real-time interactions!

#4 OTT monetisation

We’ve already explained that sports clubs investments such as OTT don’t need to bring quick ROI. Nonetheless, a long-term positive balance is what we all seek for.

OTT services allow you to become a new information medium. Once you possess such a power, you can use it to distribute advertisements of football-related products such as shoes, balls, shirts and many more. You can also focus on other types of businesses such as betting companies, celebrities promotions and whatever your creativity is able to smartly adjust.

By enlarging your community and enhancing your brand identity, by signing contracts with new sponsors, by promoting your products, you can monetise your OTT investment more efficiently.

HOW WE ACQUIRE INFORMATION IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

The ability to manage digital media inventory is what determines our effectiveness. There are four ways in which people consume information in the modern digital world.

Currently, websites constitute the basis of information flow. Since 2000, they’ve revolutionised the way people look for knowledge and real-time facts.

Another vital source of information is social platforms. The content that appears there very often reflects our interests, hobbies and views. It’s the essential element of any sports club marketing strategy that aims to become a “media house”.

What is developing most dynamically now is VOD-like, YouTube-like and OTT-like information sharing.

Why Investing in OTT Is a Good Idea

Thanks to smartphones, there disappeared the obstacle of watching videos anywhere we are. The primary source of success here is that for the majority of people listening and viewing is more pleasant than reading.

Last but not least, there are mobile native applications that in contrast to other social media channels, let you control all the information that is shown to the public.

The marketing specialists of sports clubs have one main goal – win the market in these four digital dimensions. So what if we gave them the tool that would allow them to control all of these inventories in one place and facilitate their effectiveness? That’s where we come to UMPIRE.

WHAT IS UMPIRE AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE IT

UMPIRE is a perfect tool to carry out the transformation from old-style marketing to a real media house. It also doesn’t require tremendous financial support.

It’s a broadcasting platform that combines four main ways of obtaining information by fans. The digital inventory there is intuitive and easy-to-manage. TISA created this product with the help of sports clubs and leagues. Thanks to such cooperation, UMPIRE will easily tailor to your organisational structures.

UMPIRE:

  • has streaming and video content management tools,
  • lets you manage all the social media channels in one place,
  • has two built-in native applications ⇒ they guarantee a mechanism to automate posts that need to be integrated with mobile apps,
  • doesn’t require a staff of people,
  • has its website,
  • facilitates transformation.

It is a CMS that lets you communicate with fans through all the available digital methods. Ultimately, it aims to allow the supporters to watch the game and follow the news from the “UMPIRE Match Center” simultaneously.

CONCLUSION:

To OTT or not to OTT?

Only you can make the right decision. What we offer is sharing our know-how and tools like UMPIRE that will let you combine the digital inventory challenge with OTT implementation. Remember that the earlier you prepare your sports club to become a media house, the greater will be your market share in the future.

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Thanks to Mateusz Lentowczyk, an expert in OTT and CEO of TISA, who contributed to the creation of content for this article with his experience and knowledge.