Sports are renowned for having hugely historic moments that are remembered and referenced for decades. Just think of Diego Maradona’s remarkable solo World Cup goal against England, Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ during the ’93 Ashes series, or of Marco Pantani’s record-setting climb up Alpe d’Huez at the’ 97 Tour de France.
These dramatic moments of victory or success can announce future superstars to the world or provide milestones for athletes and their teams to treasure, or challenge, for years to come. But the federations and rights holders behind these victories must make the most of them in order to propel their popularity, audience figures and revenue opportunities.
Knowing that is one thing. Making it happen, however, is another. Many sports federations have mixed media archives, including a lot of video, making it hard to manage the content they own and to share it with media partners and social channels at the right moment. To make it worse, many sports rely on legacy content management solutions that can struggle to cope with the influx of new content that is created every day.
But many sports are successfully adapting to the pace of this market and being rewarded for doing so.
Here are three winning examples from around the sporting world:
Chris Froome goes for a run
Cycling hasn’t always boasted large, year-long viewership. However, there are milestone events that bring in bigger audiences, and cycling has been active in encouraging viewer engagement with innovations like bike-mounted cameras that show fans what it is like to ride in the peloton (without the sore legs!).
Top of the tree in cycling events is, of course, the Tour de France. Over the years, some of the most watched stages of the race have been when the riders climb Mont Ventoux, a fearsome mountain that has featured in 16 editions of the Tour. 2016’s climb was particularly memorable as Chris Froome was forced to run part of the mountain after a crash saw him without a bike. Unbelievably, he ended up extending his lead over his nearest rivals at the end of the stage, and created one of the most repeatedly watched and shared moments in cycling’s rich history.
The moment drew so much engagement because the footage was shared online instantly, with social media users posting and sharing clips of Froome’s run, making it one of the talking points of 2016’s busy sporting summer and drew even more interest to the remainder of the Tour schedule.
India and Pakistan captivate a billion people
The most popular sport in the world is football. But that does not mean it always achieves the biggest viewership. That honour often belongs to cricket.
One of the sport’s biggest occasions came on the international stage when India and Pakistan met at the 2015 World Cup in Australia. It is believed that around a billion people watched Virat Kohli’s India beat Pakistan, with a century from the superstar captain himself. The match was so popular that Google even designed a Doodle to mark it.
While this winning moment was a victory for India, it was also a victory for cricket as a sport. In an era when the international game is being marginalised, the World Cup match demonstrated how cricket is growing its broadcast reach – something that can in part be attributed to how Twenty20 content from domestic leagues makes big sixes and tumbling wickets shareable moments for fans and broadcasters alike.
Key here is that cricket federations have modernised to be able to collate and broadcast the huge amount of content they create quickly, as part of a wider move to make the sport more watchable online.
Daniel Ricciardo takes the chequered flag
While viewing figures were steady for most races in the 2018 Formula 1 season, the Monaco Grand Prix stood out by growing its viewership to 110 million. This was both a 10% year-on-year rise, and the biggest television audience for a race since 2016’s Mexican Grand Prix.
It may well be the case that the compelling sight of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo hanging on for the win with only six of his eight gears functioning kept people hooked to their screens. However, beneath that is a wider story about Formula 1’s changing approach to content management and syndication.
Having once seen social media as difficult to monetise, a strategic change has seen F1 begin to embrace modern platforms to engage fans by sharing more of the video content it produces. By increasing the amount of non-live footage on offer and launching subscription streaming, they have been able to grow global audience figures, with Brazil’s numbers up by 21% in 2018 and France’s up by 52%.
These examples show that an innovative approach to content can help sports to turn its winning moments into global events whilst increasing its audiences across the board. Crucial to this is having the right technology and workflows in place to store, tag and archive footage as it happens, so sports can distribute content quickly to fans and broadcaster partners.
Find out how you can make the most of your winning content in our new eBook, Manage Every Moment.