NFL teams get ‘second screen’ to keep season-ticket holders engaged
The NFL is allowing teams to create their own “second screen” experience this year, hoping to keep season-ticket holders closely connected during the pandemic season — and keep more fans, conversations and impressions on team-owned platforms instead of social media giants.
Any team that wants to include live streaming content from inside its home stadium must limit access to current season-ticket holders, and clubs such as the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins are taking that route. But the Jacksonville Jaguars are aiming for wide reach and new fan conversion while attendance at TIAA Bank Field is limited to 25% capacity. They are eschewing live streaming content for a collection of pre-produced content, off-site standup reports from talent, and fan interaction.
The site — www.jaguars.com/jagsathome — will recreate some video board content, and conduct prediction and trivia contests with $10,000 in prizes available. Top-tier team sponsors TIAA Bank, Dream Finders Homes, Publix, Baptist Health and Daily’s will have a presence. A stream of its fans’ tweets will be included on the site via a dedicated hashtag. Team digital reporter Ashlyn Sullivan and social influencer Eric V. Dunn will open the site 20 minutes before game time.
To get league clearance, teams commit to not doing anything that undermines the lucrative national broadcast rights — namely live streaming from inside the stadium — and to encourage tune-ins to the broadcasts. The second-screen plan is one of several changes made by the league to give teams more freedom to connect with fans and local sponsors while attendance is limited, including putting sponsor logos on seat covers and letting them broadcast local replays of games this season.
“We are all in agreement that we want to make this complementary,” said Jaguars CMO Julian Duncan. “We’re not trying to erode or take any equity out of the ecosystem; we want this to be a rising tide that lifts all the boats.”
A key challenge will be to convince fans there’s a reason to be on the Jags at Home site instead of on Twitter, which is currently the dominant online home for banter, news, jokes and other conversations during NFL action. Duncan thinks the Jaguars will provide enough value to stand out for fans who want depth on their own team.
“NBA Twitter is big; I don’t know if NFL Twitter is quite there,” Duncan said. “From an NFL standpoint, Twitter takes off at a club level. People like to talk about their team, while being engaged with gaming, stats and information.”
In Miami, the Dolphins last week announced a “Virtual Membership Pass” to season-ticket holders that makes the second-screen product a jumping off point for new value-generating perks. The new product includes player and alumni appearances, discounts and special events. The second-screen product will launch for the Dolphins’ home opener at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 20 against Buffalo.
Other teams decided against taking advantage of the new ability to program during games, believing their efforts are best spent focusing on the time before or after the broadcast windows.