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Volume 24 No. 176
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Fragmentation Is Impacting Sports Content, But Guaranteed Audience Still Available

The fragmentation of sports content has sometimes made it difficult to collect an exact number on how many eyeballs are consuming a specific event. During a panel discussion on Day 2 of the '17 Stadium Sports Marketing Symposium, Publicis Media Sports Senior VP Jeff Garrant said, “Fragmentation is across the board. Sports is seeing that effect, but it’s still a place where you can get a guaranteed audience.” He added, “The live event is still going to draw a major audience and it is still a place people want to be. What has changed is the ability to tell a deeper story within sports because there are so many additional touch points. The game around the game is 24/7 now. So, when you talk about fragmentation, of course we’re seeing it everywhere.” New York Life Corporate VP/Brand Marketing Natan Cohen said, “When we’re talking about fragmentation, we’re not talking about the fragmentation of the actual product. We’re talking about our abilities as brands, advertisers and companies to be able to get our message out. But where are the opportunities to do that, to do that in scale and to do that in a way where you can measure and know what that outcome is? That involves making relationships with so many more entities in order to get to the same scale. Even a live view is changing to where it’s there but it’s happening in so many ways.” MediaVest/Spark Senior VP & Group Content Dir Eileen Masio said, “To the point about fragmentation in digital, I think you’re paying more for fewer eyeballs because of the premium content. But I don’t know if that is going to continue or if we’re going to be able to sustain that.”

ADAPTING TO MOBILE: Much of the sports content that is being fragmented is in large part due to the advancements in mobile and social technology. The challenging part for brands is being able to market yourself on that technology in a way that does not interrupt the short attention span of users. Garrant said, “It’s tough to judge what a successful mobile campaign or second screen campaign will be because people are going to that screen and they don’t want to be interrupted.” He added, “If you can find a way to tie your brand to what’s going on with that second screen as it relates to what’s going on in that game, I call that successful.” Masio said, “When you watch broadcast on linear, the commercials are the price you pay to get that content.” She added, “For mobile it all becomes so social. Content is all about a value exchange. Consumers will watch your content.They don’t care if a brand produced it or a network produced it as long as there’s something in it for them.” Masio: “The great thing about social and digital is we know who you are, we know where you’ve been, and we probably know what your team affinities are. So, we’re able to put content in front of you that is aligned with your interests. It’s about that value exchange. If it’s content either behind the scenes, off the field or on-the-field highlights, you get all of that. As long as you have that value for the consumer, they will stop, they will spend time with you and your brand.”