Sport’s greatest fairy tales

Winning provides the best entertainment for spectators and is the ultimate goal for athletes. However the journey to that win, particularly if the odds are stacked against a team or individual, often provides the best stories.

The truth is that people love the underdogs, and not just because they offer hope at a time when all may seem lost. Watching someone defy the odds and sink a three-point shot at the final buzzer, score the winning penalty kick, or come back from a serious injury, is what keeps an audience engaged and at the edge of their seats. These spectacular moments capture the imagination of the audience. Importantly for content and media managers, these are also the moments that people expect to be able to relive again and again over time.

Making this happen can often be challenging for content managers, who are likely dealing with mixed media archives that date back decades, and may include a large amount of analog video content. Ensuring that broadcasters and other partners have access to an organised and seamless content management system can be the winning strategy your sport needs.

Here are a few iconic Cinderella stories to inspire the way you manage your content.

US women’s soccer takes centre stage

Until 1999, US women’s soccer had a relatively small following and an unsuccessful record which kicked off with a defeat to Italy in their first ever match in 1985. Through hard work and dedication, the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) went on to win every single match during the 1999 World Cup, beating favourites Germany and Brazil in knockout stage and making it to the final.

The final match was their most influential and memorable victory, garnering significant media attention to put women’s soccer on the international stage. More than 90,000 people attended the match between the US and China, the largest attended women’s sporting event ever. The game ended in a draw and went to a penalty shootout. Brandi Chastain was the US player to make the winning shot.

Her celebration is one of the most famous in women’s sport history with footage of her dropping to her knees, removing her top and celebrating in her sports bra. Her victory made the cover of Sports Illustrated and the front pages of newspapers around the world, and continues to be a defining moment for the sport.

Refugees are athletes

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian teenager, competed in the world’s first all-refugee team during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Yusra’s story is not unlike many refugees who have fled war-torn nations in the hopes of simply surviving.

Yusra and her sister were smuggled to Greece on a boat that wasn’t able to sustain the number of people onboard. To keep it afloat, Yusra and her sister used their swimming training to steer the dingy through currents and towards the shore.

It is this struggle and her talent that brought her to the 2016 Olympic Games. Yusra went on to win one of her 100m butterfly heats against four other swimmers.

Stories like this really inspire and showcase the power of the human spirit. They can also extend beyond, and Yusra’s story is already a written memoir with a feature film also in the works.

From butterfly to bee sting

Perhaps the greatest sporting fairy tale of all time is Muhammad Ali’s comeback to regain the world heavyweight title in 1974. Having been exiled for three years over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War, Ali came back to beat George Foreman – a younger, stronger and more formidable opponent – by knockout.

The fight was watched by a record television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world’s most-watched live television broadcast at the time. Ali’s new fighting style, ‘rope-a-dope,’ brought excitement both in and outside of the ring. Equally, content managers that can showcase new and exciting techniques or moments within sport, stand the best chance at amplification.

Rising to the top

Content which showcases adversity, something new, or a revolutionary moment is the footage that fairytales are made of – and it is these moments you will want to amplify. Therefore, it is imperative that they can be readily accessible and easy to share, no matter what

Find out how your content can rise up from underdog status to leader of the pack by watching our video, Winning Starts With Strategy.

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