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Volume 27 No. 10
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NFL Draft-A-Thon Helps Tagboard To Record Q2 Growth

Tagboard’s cloud-based production suite that supported the NFL Network’s "Draft-A-Thon" digital live stream in mid-April with new enhanced real-time graphics and social media commentary proved to be the catalyst for a record Q2, which included 44% year-over-year growth. “That lended itself to a windfall of every major league in the U.S. that we started doing something with,” said Tagboard CRO Nathan Peterson, who added that the company has added five more NFL teams (18 total) as partners since then. Tagboard helps over 400 sports and entertainment clients incorporate social media commentary and polls into live broadcasts on linear and digital as well as cut graphics packages and build lower thirds and scrolling tickers in real-time. In its simplest explanation, through Tagboard’s back-end technology, a producer can drag-and-drop what content they’d like to appear on screen. The Washington-based technology company, which also works with 11 MLS clubs, including new client Inter Miami CF, was called upon to support the MLS is Back Tournament and power the fan-generated social commentary onto broadcasts’ virtual Jumbotrons. That is one of Tagboard’s longest-standing sports relationships, dating back at least seven years, according to company Founder & CEO Josh Decker. Additionally, within both of the NHL’s Edmonton and Toronto bubbles, fans’ tweets -- with the help of Tagboard -- have appeared on in-arena LED screens during player warmups, marking the first time the company has worked with the league during the NHL Playoffs, said Peterson. Additional sports properties, like the PLL for its two-week summer tournament, have also leveraged Tagboard’s remote production capabilities for the first time during broadcasts. Throughout the pandemic, ESPN has consistently incorporated fan tweets into the lower corner of UFC broadcasts to further engage with viewers. Decker: "We built the right product for the right time, and we had these established relationships and trust throughout the marketplace that allowed us to help our clients achieve the most during these challenging times."

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SITUATION: Other small businesses who operate in the shadows have also seen their businesses strengthened due to the pandemic. Sani Sport, a 20-year-old Montreal-based company whose machinery disinfects protective equipment and eliminates infectious diseases and viruses, is used by nearly every NHL club, said Founder Steve Silver. Though he declined to provide specifics on company revenue or year-over-year growth, Silver did say that where NHL teams may previously have had just one disinfectant machine in their home rink, some have made multiple orders during the pandemic, including adding machinery for their practice rinks, too. Silver said that currently 70-80% of NFL teams use Sani Sport while a “handful” of MLB clubs -- including the Padres -- have ordered more machines during the pandemic. “The pandemic has put things in a different light,” Silver said. “It means that there’s more of a recognition of what we do and more of an acceptance of what we do as a staple as opposed to something that’s on someone’s wish list when the finances allow it.”