Recently I wrote about the use of new camera angles in rugby with ‘Ref Cam‘. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how platforms and brands are encouraging the use of video within their strategies.
If you are a basketball fan, or been keeping an eye on digital sport trends, you will have noticed the coverage that March Madness has been gaining. It is a massive event in the US and sees Twitter light up with new content, hashtags, promoted tweets and updates from the games.
This year they have taken it to another level by releasing game highlights in 15 seconds snippets as close to real-time as they can manage. This means that fans who dont have access to watching the game and are predominately on their smartphones can not only keep up with scores but also watch the action.
Allowing fans to watch video within Twitter isn’t anything new and many have done so with YouTube embeds and phone videos. But the capabilities have been constantly pushed by the platform developers. Last year I travelled to New York to put into action an idea that was developed only a few weeks earlier. The plan was to Livestream a press conference directly through Twitter but using a pinned Tweet for fans to follow the announcement as it happened. It helped turn a B2B presentation into something different and it gained extra traction because of it.
The idea for March Madness is different. Turner Broadcasting, who own the TV rights, teamed up with Twitter and Snappy TV on this occasion. Their joint aim was to give fans quick highlights that they can access where it had not been possible before. The added benefit is that the clip is easily shared and many more people will get to see it than may have otherwise.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
So what does the future hold? Twitter is rapidly moving into this space with the launch of Vine and now this partnership. For other sports it offers some amazing possibilities. Imagine if SkySports tweeted out goals as they happen from important games, or the BBC show a wicket going down in the Ashes this summer??
Fans like to have access to key moments as quickly as they can. We’ve seen from the success of the ESPN Goals app that it is all about speed and relevance. It is most certainly one of my favourite apps and has almost made Match of the Day redundant to me. I get to watch all the goals by 5.15pm and saves me having to listen to Lineker, Hanson and company (dull). Not to mention no longer having to worry about recording it or getting home for 10.30pm and staying up until midnight. We, the fans, now gets to control what we watch and when we watch it. And this is only the start.
How broadcasters react to the constant changes in technology and the development of platforms such as Twitter is now key. Will they see it as a threat putting this content out there for all to view (though you can still geo-block the video content so rights issues won’t be affected) or will they embrace it and give the fans what they want?
This opens up so many new doors but who will be brave enough to step through them?!