Last week Jeff Krebs and myself attended the SVG College Sports Summit in Atlanta Georgia. College sports are huge in the US. It spans (American) Football, Basketball, Baseball, Lacrosse, Athletics and many more. The size of the college sports market is mind-boggling. The NCAA alone generates around $800m a year, the vast majority of which comes from the sale of TV rights. Last year more than 27m people attended a college sports game. 55m people watched at least one college basketball game on TV. Compare that with the 10m people that watched the FA cup final and you’ll get a sense of the size of this industry. Wherever such a huge market exists, there’s a need for video workflows to satisfy the demand.
Video management in college sports is a marketing activity. In many (and potentially most) colleges, the production teams actually sit within the marketing departments. Therefore their focus, challenges and even language are very marketing focus. They tend to care most about share of voice, reach, ROI, and impact. Marketing metrics not to dissimilar to metrics we use at Forscene. At SVG we had the opportunity to speak to a number of colleges and partners to investigate their main challenges and see whether Forscene could help them meet their objectives. There are 2 main challenges that colleges face:
- How to better utilise their archive content
- How to get content to their ‘non present’ audience quickly
The archive content challenge is interesting. Colleges have thousands of hours of content that they’d like to be able to re-use and expose within their live content, or as part of their highlights reels. The challenges they face are both finding appropriate meta tagged content, and easily bringing it into their production. Our history in observational documentaries, and managing huge shooting ratios through world-class logging and metadata capabilities was of real interest. Colleges could see the benefits of searching their archive and bringing specific plays, players or events into their production quickly and efficiently.
The second challenge is one we are well aware of. How can a college better engage their social audiences by distributing their video content quickly. Forscene’s integration with Facebook, YouTube and other content distribution networks means that colleges can distribute their edited content from live to on their social networks or website in under 90 seconds. They can also bring in graphics, titling, voice over and metadata to create broadcast quality content in seconds. Suddenly a traditionally workflow that would have taken them minutes or even hours can be completed, remotely, or on location in seconds. It’s the difference between distributing content first and distributing content second. Any marketer will tell you that first is first and second is nowhere. Our existing sports clients that have switched to the Forscene workflow now demonstrate an additional ROI in the volume of packages they create in any given day, vs a traditional workflow, giving fans more for less.
The delegates loved Forscene. They were keen to explore the depth of the product, and like most people seeing Forscene for the first time they couldn’t believe that we didn’t have a dedicated high-speed connection and that the entire demonstration was completed through a standard Internet browser. We will be continuing our discussions with a number of colleges and partners and hope to grow our presence within this segment over the coming months. Suffice to say, Forscene and college sports are made for each other!
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Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre