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Where top sports marketers turn their focus in 2021: the second screen experience

For the sports fan, it is becoming increasingly difficult to passively sit on the couch and just watch the game. The constant presence of internet-connected devices along with the multitude of media channels available at fans’ fingertips has led to a multi-screen, interactive experience – which can and has to be monetized to relieve the financial pain caused by the pandemic crisis. Here are the reasons why you must turn your focus to the second screen in your marketing ecosystem, either if you are a sponsor, a brand, a club, or an athlete.

Fans are now enhancing their TV-watching with a second or third screen to get the highlights, interact with others, watch replays and actively participate during a broadcast. With the added distraction of multiple screens, advertisers are more challenged than ever to create a memorable experience across the channels.

Although people surround themselves with a bunch of “gadgets” at home, it is not a surprise that smartphones are the top choice for second screen multitaskers. According to the research of emarketer from 2016, 68 percent of internet users in the US browsed the web or used apps on their phone while watching TV. That percentage is estimated to be over 80 percent by this year. If you count desktops, laptops and tablets as well, this number raises over 91 percent.

Second screen enhances the engagement for sports programming

When asked what they do on their second screen while watching TV, the majority of sports fans reported using social networks, which presents a huge opportunity for brands to reach fans. Rather than just placing the same promotions across all channels, it is important for advertisers to adapt their message and become part of the conversation with meaningful content that adds value for the user and provides a unique experience.

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As the media consumption habits are rapidly changing all around the world, establishing a high quality second screen experience is not a “nice to have” but a must have tool in 2021 in the sports marketing environment

Generation Z wants personalized, first class media content – and is willing to pay for it

A recent study by the DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga) also comes to an exciting conclusion for the creators of premium content: “Gen Z” appreciates high-quality content and they are willing to pay for it more than older generations are. The results tally with surveys by renowned firms such as TNS and Deloitte, which show that acceptance for paid content online is increasing year on year.

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However, Gen Z has its own preferences, especially in the context of Bundesliga broadcasts, which were the focus of the study. The list of priorities is topped by the desire for shorter and more entertaining media formats. According to the study, from 10 to 22-year-olds are less likely to watch an entire football match than older generations. This is associated with a desire for personalized content – highlight summaries should be tailored to individual interests, for example with a focus on players of a certain nationality or goalkeeper saves. There is also a need for content to complement the core product, such as in-match clips or prepared match data.

The importance of the mobile availability of all content is therefore growing. Also, the use of two devices at the same time is becoming more common. This second-screen consumption is primarily used to obtain match data and additional information on Bundesliga matches. A future trend of changed media use is indicated by the fact that the proportion of Gen Z who would consider watching a football match via virtual reality (VR) is already high at 38 per cent

A possible medicine in the financial crisis: new, digital revenue channels

The facts cited above are underlining that to keep revenue streams and cash flow alive, creative digital campaigns are crucial for right holders. With Seyu, clubs can expand their marketing portfolio with 8 additional commercial platforms, directly reaching fans in front of their TVs home or in pubs. Our partners can tailor their sponsorship strategies based on analytical reports (including ROI analyses) that we deliver for them by extracting information from fan selfies such as the popularity of merchandise, consumer behavior or even supporter chants likeability. At the same time Seyu takes the risk out of user generated content (UGC) for sport industry partners and allows them to share moderated, high-engaging, fan-generated, branded social media content on their platforms. Thanks to the emotions that supporters have with their photos, Seyu selfies deliver extraordinary organic social media engagement and reach. Our study shows that Seyu fan photos deliver an average 320% more engagement than any other photos shared from the same sport event.

Endless opportunities for our partners

Becoming part of the social conversation with sports fans can be easier said than done, but there’s no doubt that marketers will continue to innovate and create new activations between TV and social. Especially in this period  – 2021 will be a tough year in the sports business, and rights holders are able to interact and engage with the fans almost only on digital and audiovisual channels. One thing’s certain though; this innovation through the second screen experience will continue to deepen fans’ relationship with sports, as well as challenge advertisers to find new ways to be included in that bond. Be prepared for that!

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