By Carolyne Savini
Thinking about how much technology has changed in the last twenty-five, ten, and even five years, it goes without saying that the way we interact with each other, the conversations we have, and the range of people that we can have them with has been completely revolutionized. No one who walked the earth 100 years ago would have believed that 140 characters of pithy thoughts shared on the web would mean anything, let alone be worth billions of dollars. Thanks to mobile, social, and digital, however, today’s consumers are eating up content 24/7.
Properties, agencies, media companies and vendors within sports and entertainment are seeking to take advantage of these new ways to insert themselves into consumers’ lives and conversations. However, they’re also battling those same advances: now that fans can simulate the at-event experience from the comfort of their own living rooms, some don’t see the draw in attending actual live events
As I recruit executives for sports properties, the number one priority for many of my clients is that the candidates I bring them have the ability to drive revenue. Often, this means creating compelling content, developing passionate and committed fans, and differentiating your brand from other entertainment properties in the market. Recognizing the power of mobile, social and digital to drive revenue and engagement is essential to both combating the declining attendance problem and connecting with a global customer base.
People – especially candidates – often ask me where I see the future of the sports and entertainment business going, and want to know how they can get an edge. My answer: content creation. Knowing how to create relevant and engaging content, direct it to the right channels, and drive revenue is an invaluable skill, and one that is transferable across multiple facets of business.
How does content creation pertain to your role? The answer to that question is most obvious when thinking about social or digital media. Individuals in these specialties must be focused on driving brand engagement. The Atlanta Hawks, for example, do this really well. Throughout their 17-game winning streak last season, they got fans talking when they started adding a “W” to their twitter name with each successive win. They also became the first sports property to sell playoff tickets via twitter.
Creating and selling content is a different process for those in sales or sponsorship roles. In these situations, the focus is on building a compelling story around high-level brand exposure that you can offer a potential client through meaningful content integration. ESPN and ABC did this successfully when they integrated the cast of Universal’s Pitch Perfect 2 into a series of 2015 NBA Playoffs broadcast openings.
Those who can recognize how to tie content in to their corner of our industry, and do it well, are going to help usher in the next era of business in sports and entertainment.