The Changing Face of Media

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The way that sports are consumed has changed immensely in the past decade or so. For the final week of the course, our Media Design & Communication students gave their opinion on how streaming media would affect their communication strategy if they were running a professional team. Check out a copy of them below.

By: Lucas Rains

The way people are able to access content and watch programming has evolved significantly just in the last few years. New streaming services such as MLB.tv, even new programs on sites like YouTube, and new applications for smartphones and gaming consoles make watching sports even easier than the normal television and radio options that we are used to.

As the article on Sport Techie said, the rise of viewing video on the Internet is tremendous. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are ruling the way people ingest their media, which includes sports. That is supported by the fact that the National Football League recently sold rights to their Thursday Night Football games to Twitter. In fact, 50 percent of Twitter’s activity has to do with sports. So the NFL’s decision to sell to Twitter despite higher offers from other suitors is well in their best interests. Social media has dominated our world in the last decade, and the sports streaming takeover is well underway.

As a communications professional with a pro sports team, adapting to these new technologies and services will allow more people to access them and to benefit from them as a result. In this scenario, the team I am working for has added two new programming options for fans: a console application and a live streaming pregame show on YouTube.

My strategy as a communications professional after implementing these two new services would be to continue to provide access to my team’s players and management, but in new ways. Television and radio provides great ways for people to view games and hear or see pre and post-game interviews. With the pre-game show on YouTube, fans will have the ability to view their favorite players’ interviews from any mobile device, no matter where they are. Before, the TV station would be the only place to view that content.

On this pregame show, I would do my best to implement other social media sites to increase fan engagement with the show and the team and players. For example, fans can tweet at the show to ask their team’s players questions, or even run contests to be a guest on the show. Increasing fan interaction is the ultimate goal with this.

With the console application, I would try to do more of the same. People that choose to pay for a live streaming app on their PS4 or Xbox One are probably already deep into the world of being social on the internet. Pushing that continued interaction online will be key to keeping the audience figures high with this new streaming service.

For the most part, my strategy wouldn’t be that much different than the way it was with the traditional TV and radio options for fans to view and listen to their sports. TV and radio is even adapting to the new wave of social interaction online. You’ll often see a Twitter handle of an athlete on SportsCenter, or on a live broadcast, they will show live Facebook feeds of a big event that is going on. Utilizing this two-screen experience with the broadcast of the game and then the screen in your pocket online will be essential to this new strategy.

By: Mary Walsh

New technology, such as social media, sports apps, and live streaming are taking sports fan engagement to the next level. According to the Sport Techie article (2016), about 50 percent of the sport conversation happens on Twitter. Twitter is a great way for fans and sports teams to interact with each other real-time and to gain information on items like events, trade, drafts, players, inside scopes, and much more. Another social platform used frequently is Facebook. Over 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day (Sport Techie, 2016), which this stat is a great way for sports franchises to get their brand out.

Along with social media, I believe a console app and a live streaming pregame show would benefit a sports franchise in the existing communication plan. The console app will give fans an extra inside look on the athletes, schedules, events, and much more. I would use the most of website information of the franchise and transfer it into an interactive app. For example I would have athlete’s bios, stats, and much more available to the fans. I think the app would be a great way for fan interaction and engagement. I believe the live streaming pre-game show would be easier to market to a wider audience because more people use social media platforms/video streaming sites than a console app. I would have different segments on the pre-game show to give fans a behind-the-scenes looks at the athletes before the game, including interviews.

The way I would market these new additions to the franchise is through the website and social media. The communication team would create a social media calendar (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) which would help promote the new additions. The social platforms content would include when to tune in, introducing the additions, and who would be on the show. Another way to introduce the additions would be making a promo video for each and sharing it on the social platforms. Through the website I would create a banner at the top of the page introducing the additions and add a tab for each addition on the main menu bar. These tabs would have how to download the console app and show what is included, while the live pre-game show would have a schedule on who the hosts are interviewing and a video box where the show would air. For the live show, I would schedule certain athletes, coaches, and front staff to be interview about tonight’s game, what events are happening in the future, and what fans can look forward too. Along with the interviews, I think a segment of the athletes preparing for the game in the locker room or on the playing field/court/ice would be great for fans. I think these ways of promotion would be effective and it would be a success.

These two additions would be a great way for the franchise to keep up with the ‘times’ of technology and promote to younger fans.

Reference: 

Sport Techie. (2016). Social video is the new TV and twitter streaming NFL games is just the beginning. Retrieved on June 26, 2016 from http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/04/14/social-video-new-tv-twitter-streaming-nfl-games-just-beginning/

By: Selvana Evans

As a communication professional, adding live streaming and a consul app is only going to increase fan engagement, which in turn generates more money and fan base. I would not have an issue adding these two items to my communication plan. Sports and society in general have taken social media outlets to the next level. Everything we do not only has something to do with technology but is affiliated with social media in some, way, shape, or form. This definitely does not exclude sports media. The sports industry has come a long way with how it engages its fan base and I am not surprised that live streaming and a console app is being added to the long list of media outlets the industry uses.

Live streaming is already popular, however allowing pre-game live stream is a  new concept. Typically there are fans taking pictures and videos and they post and tag the team they follow. Now live streaming is becoming more involved, allowing a team’s fan base to see what happens during the pre-game portion of the event. This is a great promotional tactic if done correctly. Their would have to be a policy in place to ensure that what is streamed is what organizations want the fans to see. In addition, it is important to not allow the fan to see too much, as you do not want fans to be turned off from coming to a game because they are seeing everything online.

The console app can be used during live streaming and usually done so for fan interaction during the live stream. This is also a way to engage fans to get them excited for the game and can generate more fans attending live games. Yes we do have to consider the negative conversations individuals may have while using text live, however that can happen with any social media resource. It would be important to have someone monitor the live feed and the fan interaction at all times. Censorship is important to keep live-streaming family friendly.

In conclusion, there is no need to steer away from this great combination of new media. The goal is to get more people in those seats at games, generate a bigger fan base, and keep sports alive. To do this we need to stay in the current times where social media is taking over. Staying away from new innovative things can only hinder the outcome of the teams’/players’ success. Especially because there is far more competition in “selling” the player to the fans not only “selling” the team. Many fans “buy” into a player before they “buy” into a team. Just like the social media graphics they had between Lebron James and Steph Curry. Yes, they both play for great teams but social media was focused on those two players the most and then they highlighted the team they played for. In an age where everything is about the “new” staying in the “new” is what will keep everything alive.

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