With Hari Sethi, Senior Client Success Manager at Cheetah Digital.
In this special Uncaged Wisdom Podcast, a game of two halves, Hari Sethi talks to Julian and Kayla about his experiences working with many of the largest sports teams and associations.
In the first half, Hari discusses how those working in the sports industry are adapting to the seismic shocks brought about by COVID-19, most notably the removal of the centerpiece live event. How are brands adapting and finding new and innovative ways to keep their fanbase engaged? We also discuss short- and long-term digital marketing strategies that should be implemented.
In the second half, Hari focuses his attention on the medium- and long-term, looking at how clubs and associations can help support the reemergence of sports post-COVID-19. One of the key lessons to take is the importance of a centralized data strategy. How can sports teams and associations build out something here?
First half highlights:
1:00 to 5:00 - How are sports teams and associations dealing with COVID-19. Hari gives some context to how clubs are coping with the removal of the centerpiece live fixture, making the point that this is the latest, though most dramatic, in a series of changes on how sports are consumed today and how fans now interact with their club.
5:02 to 7:03 - Changing expectations of fans — they expect to be engaged more and this is what sports teams and associations can do.
Use of archive material and building upon the power of nostalgia. Video, Images and Statistics. Data driven activations, recreating the focal point of their week around the re-streaming of a classic match, coverage of which can be surprisingly light-hearted.
7:40 to 10:30 - Loss of revenue from game days being acutely felt but keeping fans engaged, optimistic and generating interaction online is the first priority for these clubs. Developing ways to build off of a captive audience still hungry for sports, some of which can tie back to existing sponsorship agreements. Sponsored challenges, along with fitness and wellbeing content providing value fans and online communities.
11:08 to 17:03 - Hari discusses some of the digital marketing tactics he’s seen to keep people engaged. Interactive examples such as score predictors and team selectors being repurposed with the new content being created. Clubs and associations should be using this time to audit all the materials they have, appreciating the value of the content they are sitting on, unique to sports. Also the new ways engagement activities are being incentivized. Emphasise consideration to local communities where these clubs are based. These bonds are unique to sports and adding genuine CSR initiatives regional and country.
17:04 to whistle - How is this content being served? Email reserved around virtual focal points. Email and SMS, Push notifications. How are sports teams and associations offering up future access to sports as a way to gain some revenue? Huge growth and opportunity in e-sports. Most of the clubs we are working with taking a very measured approach to this difficult situation.
*Peep peep peeeep. As the half time whistle blows and it's level at the break.
Second half highlights:
0:30 to 2:45 - Turning our attention to the medium- to long-term, how can clubs and associations help support the reemergence of sports post-COVID-19. An interesting discussion is to be had here around broadcast rights — will there be fundamental changes here as clubs further embrace the power of OTT platforms?
3:28 to 5:33 - The importance of adopting smarter tactics with fan data. Data-rich clubs are better equipped to adapt in these challenging times and will benefit even more in the future. Clubs building out rounded records on their custom and segmented audience. Benefits for content, messaging, and sales.This period should be used for self-reflection and an objective review on the efficacy of club’s digital strategies around fan engagement/profile enrichment.
7:21 to 10:40 - Considerations on how sports teams and associations can use their privileged position to build a proper centralized marketing database around a true data strategy. What data points around a fans life are key? What would be your golden balls record. Digital marketers here should treat this period as an extended pre-season.
12:20 to 17:16 - What are some of the tactics being used to acquire new fans, perhaps those small local teams and organizations.
17:30 to Whistle - Hari ends by sharing with us his soapbox — ticket prices for the local community and younger fans.
A Cheetah Experiences Solution, the "Team Selector" enables sports clubs to combine weekly fan engagement with profile enrichment, to help them better understand the modern fan.
Check out the resources listed in this episode below.
Julian is the Senior Director of Client & Vertical Content for Cheetah Digital. Prior to this Julian was the Head of Customer Success & Account Management for Experiences in AMER. Over the past 10 years, he has been focused on making strategies and software really work for brands and the digital marketers trying to implement them. Englishman in NYC, Demo DJ, and the line is a dot to him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯