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Gaming’s the Next Goldmine – And You Can Measure It

The gaming industry has become central to big brands and football clubs alike. Everyone wants a share of the pie. Yet, the value of eSports sponsorships has to be measured sophisticatedly.



We’ve heard it before: gaming is the future for brands, in terms of sports, for marketers and what have you. And you can underline that assumption with many statistics. But the sheer acknowledgement of popular gaming stars in today’s media and society is probably the best sign of the changing times. A digital and electronic world was always going to have electronic sports as a treat for people who love to play and to watch it. The importance of gaming for our understanding of sports and sports marketing is there to see, since we can draw on measurement tools and differentiated insights from Media Chain, Twitch and their partners.

Ninja as a marketing maestro: Red Bull can and a million for streaming a new game

One of those popular players is Ninja alias Tyler Blevins. His YouTube channel alone has 21 million subscribers, on Instagram there are another 13,4 million followers. He is amongst the best Fortnite players on the planet and is Twitch’s number one streamer. Thousands of people watch his streams – and that has made brands interested long ago. We take Ninja as an example, because he was paid a staggering million US dollar just to stream EA’s Apex Legends and thereby promote it, as reported by Reuters. Furthermore, he will now be on a limited edition of Red Bull cans, while underwear in cooperation with PSD is also available.

Yet, Red Bull is a major player in the sports world and that collaboration shows again why eSports stars are central to big marketing goals.

While success with Ninja’s face is nearly a given for partner brands, other marketing sections might be more careful. As they want more metrics and assurances, Twitch could provide them with important insights thanks to a partnership with MVPindex from the US. For the company now offers a platform to value branded content and measure engagement data. The value of sponsorships with established leagues, gamers, teams or tournaments shall be exposed on the basis of data.

MVPindex can now measure streams and video-on-demand (VOD) files, as well as value hours watched, concurrent views, and lifetime follower and viewer growth within specific streams.

With the help of AI and speech processing technology, solutions like the Engagement Value Assessment™ (EVA) and new Attributed Valuation Assessment™ (AVA) methodologies are bound to optimise the measurement of the engagement generated in the context of eSports. Stan Woodward, CEO of MVPindex, explains:

Historically, it’s been really tough for brands and agencies to value esports sponsorships because the majority of value is on digital and social, rather than traditional media and on-site activations. That’s why we wanted to bring our proven expertise to the esports industry and offer properties and brands a trusted currency for valuing their sponsorships. The partnership with Twitch is a game-changer for us and for the industry.

And such measurement opportunities like this one on Twitch give brands and marketers something of a safeguard, if they consider tapping into eSports. Drawing up a budget for eSports cooperations – even with lesser known entities – or convincing team members in marketing will be much easier with solutions like these.

Gamers are a good audience for marketing plans

Media Chain has also taken a closer look at the gaming industry. Which means they made a study in the UK, with 1775 people from gaming communities taking part as respondents. The introduction outlines a problem for marketing deciders:

Many brands find it challenging to navigate these audiences due to the cognitive and emotional distance between gaming culture and their marketing teams. Many marketers are guilty of lazily clustering gamers under one banner, creating unsuccessful campaigns built on basic and ineffective insights.

That’s why Media Chain provide us with a few very interesting statistics, based on the UK respondents, though. First of all, they’ve created different kinds of gaming types, like the young, the mature, the hardcore gamer – who spends more than 20 hours gaming per week – or the role-playing and the sports gamer. As they’re all different, they need to be addressed differently, too.

What the study found, for example, is that core gamers, who play like twelve hours a week, are 50 per cent more likely to spend more on quality clothes, food and media compared to the casual gamers, who play less than five hours a week. You can see a pattern there, which might be used for campaigns in advertising. It won’t be a surprise that Gen Z gamers and digital natives prefer digital to physical goods mostly, but it’s certainly interesting that 42 per cent of young gamers (34 years of age or younger) also watch at least ten hours of gaming a week. Thus, the potential to reach them in streams from well-known players is there to see. Especially, if you consider that gamers trust fellow gamers’ opinions. “64 per cent of young gamers and 51 per cent of mature gamers trust other gamers opinions first“. While gamers are unsurprisingly keen on Social Media news and content, they are critical, if brands aren’t authentic with their advertising apporaches. 55 per cent of all gamers stated they have seen ads for products and services that are not relevant to them.

So, better targeting needs to be integrated for the eSports marketing scheme. In the UK, between 2016 and 2018 alone, brands’ total Facebook sponsorship spend with UK gaming page partners has increased by 164 per cent, as per Media Chain. To know the gamer audience is certainly important. From what the study says about the UK, it is rather male (over 80 per cent) and technology-, music- or comics-affine. Fashion for example isn’t too high on the gamers’ agenda.

Knowing your audience, © Media Chain

Half ot the hardcore gamers will pay extra for convenience or ease of delivery concerning products they care about; which could be because they’re so busy playing (and watching streams). That is good to know for potential advertisers as well.

The whole study offers to many answers for the specific gaming industry in the UK: why people tend to play – for example de-stressing or escaping from reality, which might give hints to marketing potentials, too – and what kind of games they play. Shooters, Battle Royale, role-playing and action and fighting are common answers.

Gamers’ favourite eSports in the UK, © Media Chain

First person shooters are also the most watched eSports in that area. There’s a lot to learn for marketers, not only in the UK. Like more data on the rise of Battle Royale or what gamers think about brands. They say that brands don’t care for gamers (38 per cent), don’t understand the gaming culture (33 per cent) or try to speak to gamers in a generic and cool way – which fails (49 per cent). They rather want exclusive offers, USP explanations and so forth. Media Chain’s director of gaming, Tom Sweeney, states:

Brands, if they haven’t already, will need to start shifting their spend away from programmatic, away from traditional media, and into social content – either creating it themselves, or supporting a creator or channel that the audience is already connected with. The games industry has moved in that direction too, and it’s high time that non-endemics followed suit. It’s as cheap as it’ll ever be as supply currently outpaces demand – but that will change as brands realise the value of this audience.

The unfulfilled potential of gaming has been there for a while. Only now brands really try to leverage it and data and marketing solutions are provided with more regularity. Yes, there is a hype around eSports and everyone wants to play a part. But if you play it cleverly and take the many opportunities to help you understand gaming culture and its audience, you could also take your piece of a multi billion Euro industry that is only going to grow now.

Content & Media

Strategische Partnerschaft: Wie der FC Barcelona und Sony Musik und Fußball mischen

Engaging Entertainment Experiences, das möchten Barça und Sony Music mit ihrem neuen Joint Venture liefern. Musiker werden im Club-Kontext auftreten, Spieler und Musiker gemeinsam Inhalte für die diversen Kanäle erstellen.



Die jüngste Partnerschaft des FC Barcelona wirkt wie die globale Fortführung der Beziehung von Gerard Piqué und Shakira. Die Barça-Ikone und die Star-Musikerin verbinden zwei extrem wichtige Entertainment-Welten. Und genau das möchten der FC Barcelona und Sony Music, bei dem Shakira ihr letztes Album veröffentlichte, auch tun und die kommenden zwei Spielzeiten auf Erlebnisse setzen, die das verbindende Element, das dem Fußball und der Musik gleich ist, in einer medienwirksamen Kooperation zum Ausdruck bringen. Konkret bedeutet das Auftritte von Musikern wie Becky G, Nicky Jam und Co. bei Veranstaltungen des FC Barcelona, aber auch eine Kollaboration bei Inhalten für Social Media oder Streamingportale. Ob Shakira und Piqué an diesem Deal mitgewirkt haben?

Für Barça Fans und Menschen jedes Alters: Sport und Musik

Die Musik und der Sport, in diesem Fall Fußball, gehören auch ein Stück weit zusammen. Es gibt Vereinshymnen, Playlists, die für bestimmte Stadien bekannt sind oder Bands, die häufig mit vereinen verknüpft werden. Wer kann You’ll Never Walk Alone an der Anfield Road widerstehen, einem Stück, das eigentlich dem Musical Carousel entstammt, aber auch in der Version von Gerry & the Pacemakers weltberühmt wurde?

Und die Kultband Stone Roses aus Manchester ist eng mit Manchester United verbunden.

Bei Toren in der Bundesliga hören wir Melodien von Seven Nation Army über I Feel Good bis hin zu Rockin’ All Over the World.

Der FC Barcelona geht soweit zu sagen, dass Menschen, egal wie alt, Musik toll finden – und meistens auch den Sport. Um diese zwei Leidenschaften sinnvoll, und gewinnbringend, zu vereinen, kooperieren die Katalanen mindestens für die kommenden zwei Saisons mit Sony Music. Das Ziel dieser neuen strategischen Partnerschaft sind neuartige Entertainment Experiences. In Rahmen dieses Betrebens hatte der Verein erst kürzlich bekanntgegeben, dass man ein Hauptpartner für Konamis eFootball PES 2019 bleiben werde und dass man mit Gaming-Plattform Roblox kooperiert. Letzteres bedeutet, dass Mobile Gamer ihre Avatare im neuen, noch gewähnungsbedürftigen, da Croatia-esquen, Trikot auf Mission schicken können.

Zum Start der Zusammenarbeit mit Sony Music gab es in den USA, wo der Club zur Sommertour weilt, einen Empfang mit populären Spielern wie Neuzugang Griezmann, Busquets, Rakitić , Jordi Alba und Co. sowie einigen Musikern, darunter zum Beispiel Pedro Capó, der bei Instagram immerhin 1,1 Millionen Abonnenten hat, die man auf den Verein aufmerksam machen könnte. Der Wert des Zusammenspiels von Musik und Sport bei solchen Events ist nicht nur der unmittelbare Branding-Effekt, sondern auch ein Markenwert, der in den sozialen Medien über den Verein und das Label, aber auch über die Einzelpersonen vermittelt wird.

Bislang gab es bereits musikalische Performances beim Joan Gamper Trophy-Spiel und beim Barça Fest Miami in den USA.

Mehr musikalisches Entertainment im Barça-Kontext in der Zukunft

In den kommenden Monaten und Jahren, so heißt es vonseiten des FC Barcelona, sollen Künstler, die bei Sony Music unter Vertrag stehen, bei diversen Events des Vereins auftreten. Zudem kann der Club auf den Musikkatalog von Sony zurückgreifen, um Content für die Social Channels zu erstellen. Und gerade beim Content könnte sich die Co-Produktion auszahlen, weil eine musikalische Unterlegung von Szenen aus dem Fußball bekanntlich immer gut funktioniert; man schaue sich nur die zahllosen YouTube Videos an, die Tag für Tag von Millionen rezipiert werden. Barça-Präsident Josep Maria Bartomeu glaubt, dass man mit der Partnerschaft das Fan-Erlebnis auf sämtlichen Kanälen optimieren kann. Und Afo Verde, Chairman und CEO von Sony Music Latin Iberia, erklärt:

We are very excited and looking forward to our prestigious partnership with the FC Barcelona organization. It gives both parties a unique platform to tell stories by combining music and sports. I’m sure that music and Barça fans will enjoy this amazing collaboration.

Geschichten zu erzählen und sie wortreich, mit Klängen und unvergesslichen Melodien, anzureichern, das vermag die Musik. Der Fußball aber schreibt manchmal die besten Geschichten. Zuletzt, beim glorreichen Sieg des FC Liverpool im Champions League-Halbfinale, war der FC Barcelona noch auf der falschen Seite der Emotionen. Doch all diese Momente, die guten wie die schlechten, gehören zu einem Verein und seiner Geschichte. Da aber ein solcher heutzutage eine Brand ist, kann die Verbindung der Vereinsgeschichte mit populärer Musik als cleveres und medienwirksames Entertainment gelten, das letztlich Awareness für beide Partner fördert – und damit im Bestfall auch den Umsatz weiter ankurbelt.

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Joint Venture mit Athletia: Die DFL checkt das Netz auf Piraterie

In Zusammenarbeit mit Athletia wird die DFL die Medienrechte im deutschen Fußball schützen. Das Joint Venture ryghts wird in Social Media, Web und IPTV Piraterie verfolgen.



Sky ist dir zu teuer, DAZN ist nicht dein Ding? Wer digital auf illegale Streams der Bundesliga zurückgreift, dürfte künftig mehr Probleme mit dem Zugriff auf die Spiele haben. Denn die DFL hat mit Athletia ein Joint Venture geschaffen, dass sich gezielt für die Medienrechtehalter einsetzt – und die Piraterie verfolgt. ryghts wird im Rahmen von „DFL for Equity“ dafür sorgen, dass man die Rechtsverstöße in die eigene Hand nimmt.

Medienrechtspiraterie wird der Kampf angesagt

Während immer mehr Nutzer auf DAZN, Sky und Co. setzen, um sich Fußballspiele im Livestream anzusehen, sind ebenso viele User auch mit illegalen Streams zufrieden, die die Partien im Internet ausstrahlen. Durch das Ansehen dieser gehen den Rechtehaltern natürlich Einnahmen in Millionenhöhe verloren; denn wer nicht auf die illegalen Streams zurückgreifen könnte, würde entweder gar nicht schauen oder aber ein Abonnement bei einem offiziellen Anbieter abschließen. Immerhin ist seit einem Grundsatzurteil des EuGH von 2017 nicht mehr nur das Hosten, sondern auch das Rezipieren von illegalen Streams klar rechtswidrig. Dazu erklärte der Medienrechtsanwalt Christian Solmecke seinerzeit:

Das Urteil kam überraschend. In der Sache ging es zwar zunächst nur um einen externen Streamingplayer, schaut man sich die Urteilsgründe aber an, so lässt sich die Entscheidung auch den Abruf von Seiten wie kinox.to übertragen. Im Kern gehen die Richter davon aus, dass sich Nutzer immer dann illegal verhalten, wenn sie beim Streaming von der Rechtswidrigkeit des verbreiteten Streams Kenntnis hatten oder diese hätten haben müssen. Davon dürfte allerdings immer auszugehen sein, wenn aktuelle Kinofilme, die nicht legal abrufbar sind, im Internet im Wege des Streamings verfügbar gemacht werden. Zudem sind neben weiteren zahlreichen Film- und Serien-Streamingportalen wie etwa Burning series (bs.to) auch die Konsumenten von illegalen Bundesliga-Streams betroffen.

Das scheint die Nutzer jedoch wenig zu stören. Denn meist werden auch ihre IP-Adressen bei illegalen Portalen nicht gespeichert, sodass sie kaum verfolgt werden können.

Gegen die Hosts illegaler Bundesliga-Streams geht die DFL nun jedoch aus eigener Kraft vor. Im zusammen mit Athletia gestarteten Join Venture ryghts stehen dem Namen nach bereits die Rechte an erster Stelle. Die DFL hält an ryghts einen Anteil im unteren zweistelligen Prozentbereich. Und DFL-Geschäftsführer Christian Seifert betont:

Die Beteiligung an einer Firma zum besseren Schutz von Medienrechten ist eine stringente Fortschreibung unserer Strategie. Wir möchten weite Teile der medialen Wertschöpfungskette rund um den Profifußball abdecken und daraus auch Dienstleistungen für andere Sportligen entwickeln. Der Schutz vor illegaler Verbreitung wertvoller Inhalte ist mitentscheidend für den wirtschaftlichen Erfolg einer Sportorganisation und ihrer Medienpartner. Deshalb besitzt ryghts enormes Zukunftspotenzial.

Von jetzt an ist ryghts für die „gesamte internationale Piraterie-Überwachung rund um die Ausstrahlung von Bundesliga-Begegnungen“ zuständig, das heißt im Kontext von Social Media, Web oder IPTV. Damit schlägt die DFL zusammen mit dem renommierten Partner Athletia einen anderen Weg ein als vor kurzem noch die spanische Organisation La Liga. Dort wurde die offizielle La Liga App dazu genutzt, um schlichtweg über die Mikrofone der Nutzer auszuspionieren, ob in Restaurants, Kneipen usw. Livetreams zu den Ligaspielen liefen; wenn die Lokalitäten keine Lizenz dafür hatten, konnte der Verband ihnen so zu Leibe rücken. In Kooperation mit Google versucht man auch, mithilfe sogenannter DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Notices zu erreichen, dass die Websites, die illegale Streams anbieten, bei der Suchmaschine de-indexiert werden. Auch auf diese Maßnahme könnten sich andere Ligen verlegen, sofern nicht bereits geschehen. Mit ryghts geht die DFL nun jedoch deutlich in die Offensive – und könnte damit letztlich den Rechtehaltern zu mehr Einnahmen verhelfen.

Die DFL baut Portfolio mit Unternehmensbeteiligungen aus

Das Joint Venture ryghts ist nicht das erste Unternehmen, bei dem die DFL eine starke Beteiligung hat. Hauptverantwortlich für ryghts ist Athletia, die Expertise im Bereich der Bearbeitung von Fällen nicht-autorisierter Verbreitung geschützter Inhalte aufweisen.

Für uns ist ryghts in zweierlei Hinsicht die logische Erweiterung von Athletia – zum einen passt das neue Produkt perfekt in unser Portfolio aus individuellen Dienstleistungen auf Basis von eigener Technologie, zum anderen freuen wir uns, die langjährige Zusammenarbeit mit der DFL auf ein neues Level zu heben und dieses für die Industrie essenzielle Thema nun gemeinsam zu entwickeln,

so Athletia-Geschäftsführer Lukas Klumpe. Im Rahmen des Programms „DFL for Equity“ hatte die Liga letztes Jahr bereits einen Einstieg beim israelischen Startup Track160 bekanntgegeben. Im vergangenen Jahr konnte das Startup, welches eine 3D-Erfassung von Spielerbewegungen auf KI- und Machine Learning-Basis ermöglicht, bei der Spielmacher Konferenz den ersten European SportsTech Award gewinnen. Das Konzept überzeugte auch die DFL. Track160 wurde somit zur „DFL invested company“. Nach eigenen Angaben möchte die DFL die „digitale Wertschöpfungskette des deutschen Profifußballs“ eigenständig bedienen. Daher sollen neben Track160 und ryghts künftig weitere Startups und Tech-Unternehmen zum Portfolio dazustoßen.

Gerade mit ryghts lässt sich die Wertschöpfung womöglich besonders hervorheben, wenn das Joint Venture erfolgreich die Medienrechtspiraterie unterbinden oder zumindest eindämmen kann. Wer den Komfort von zahlreichen Livestreams genießen möchte, sollte auch bereit sein, etwas dafür zu zahlen. Schließlich helfen OTT-Anbieter inzwischen auch, die Preise für umfassende Angebote etwas zu drücken. Die meist etwas zerstückelten Angebote schrecken Kunden dann aber doch ab; vielleicht wird ihnen die Option, illegal Streams zu sehen, aber in Zukunft doch erschwert.

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Die Bundesliga und Disney: ESPN+ könnte die Liga in den USA nach ganz vorn bringen

Die Auslandswahrnehmung der Bundesliga ist bereits äußerst positiv. In den USA könnte die Liga dank der Ausstrahlung über ESPN+ gerade bei jüngeren Fans zur wichtigsten werden.



Im internationalen Vergleich muss die Bundesliga, was ihre Popularität angeht, wohl nur den Vergleich mit der Premier League scheuen. Diese ist beinah überall die beliebteste Liga. Gespickt mit Superstars, Star-Trainern, den aktuellen Europacup-Siegern aus Liverpool und London, einer Menge Geld und einem meist spannenden Titelkampf ist die englische Liga für viele Fans von größtem Interesse. Doch die Bundesliga setzt schon lange auf Internationalisierung, in Indien, China, aber vor allem auch in den USA. Dort könnte die kolportierte Ausstrahlung über den Abo-Dienst ESPN+, der zur Walt Disney Company gehört, die Bundesliga für eine junge, in Sachen Fußball-Tradition weniger vorbelastete und interessierte Zielgruppe zu einem der wichtigsten Fokuspunkte im Fußball machen. So könnte das globale und digitale Interesse an der Bundesliga und dem deutschen Fußball weiter steigen.

Bald noch mehr Zuspruch aus den USA? Schon jetzt großes Interesse am deutschen Fußball

Der Supercup, ausgetragen zwischen dem BVB und Bayern München am letzten Wochenende, wurde in 200 der 211 in der FIFA registrierten Länder ausgestrahlt, wie die DFL selbst angab. Ob FOX Sports (South America), Sky Perfect TV (Japan), Eleven Sports Poland, Eleven Sports Belgium, beIN France oder andere, das Interesse am eher unwichtigen Curtain Raiser zur neuen Saison war immens; immerhin war der Klassiker des deutschen Fußballs zu erwarten. Entschieden wurde dieser mehr oder minder durch Jadon Sancho, der für die Borussia beim 2:0-Erfolg ein Tor vorlegte und eins erzielte.

Sancho ist ein Sinnbild für die junge, attraktive Bundesliga und für den Angriff. Einerseits möchte er mit dem BVB nach dem von den Bayern abonnierten Titel greifen. Andererseits sollen gerade Teams wie der BVB, aber auch Leipzig oder Leverkusen die Bayern dabei unterstützen, die Bundesliga auch im Ausland bestmöglich zu verkaufen. Die Eintracht aus Frankfurt hatte das in der vergangenen Saison mit dem Lauf in der Europa League bestens vorgemacht, muss nun aber auf Star-Spieler wie Haller oder Jovic verzichten, die es nach England und Spanien trieb.

In den USA ist die Eintracht bereits im Januar unterwegs gewesen, um das eigene Engagement vor Ort zu unterstreichen. Im Sommer waren aber auch die Prestige Teams aus München und Dortmund in den Vereinigten Staaten unterwegs. Unter dem Motto 1909% Football wollten die Dortmunder die Fans in den Staaten begeistern, vor allem aber auch neue gewinnen.

Spiele gegen Seattle oder auch CL-Sieger FC Liverpool mit Ex-Trainer Klopp zogen die Massen in die Stadien.

Womöglich werden in Zukunft noch mehr US-Fans incentiviert, die Bundesliga zu verfolgen. Dafür könnte ein Deal mit Disney sorgen.

Die Bundesliga bei ESPN+? Kann der Streamingdienst Zuschauer dank Abos halten?

Während die MLS in den USA weiter boomt, nimmt das Interesse am Fußball im Land von NBA, NFL und MLB gerade wieder Fahrt auf. Mit neuen Franchises wie Inter Miami von David Beckham wird die Fußballlandschaft in den Staaten noch interessanter. Die Fußballerinnen, in den USA ohnehin sehr populär, haben mit ihrem WM-Triumph um Superstar Megan Rapinoe die Leidenschaft nur weiter angefacht. CNN berichtet, dass in den USA über FOX gut 14,3 Millionen das Finale gegen die Niederlande sahen, wohingegen nur 11,4 Millionen im Vorjahr bei den Männern eingeschaltet hatten; ein 22-prozentiger Boost beim Fußballpublikum in den USA. FOX Sports ist noch der Sender, über den man in den USA die Bundesliga verfolgen kann. Doch demnächst soll sich das ändern.

Die New York Post berichtet davon, dass ESPN+ die Rechte an der Liga erhalten soll. Demnach könnte die Bundesliga ab 2020 zum immer größeren Fußball-Portfolio des Anbieters stoßen, der zur Walt Disney Company gehört. Bei ESPN+ lassen sich schon heute die MLS-Spiele oder andere Partien, wie der Community Shield in England, verfolgen.

In Deutschland kann man auf den umfassenden Service des Streamingdienstes nicht zugreifen, wie beim Besuch der Seite humorvoll mitgeteilt wird.

Kein Zugriff auf ESPN+ in Deutschland, Screenshot ESPN+

Doch der OTT Service dürfte, sollte die Bundesliga ab nächstem Jahr tatsächlich in den USA exklusiv dort ausgestrahlt werden, für die Sportfans an Bedeutung gewinnen. So würde ESPN+ für Disney sehr wahrscheinlich viele neue Abonnenten gewinnen können; dass einige Spiele auch linear im TV über ESPN-Kanäle ausgestrahlt werden, steht noch zur Verhandlung. Disney ist auf der Jagd nach Abonnenten und wird solche mit Disney+, das am 12. November an den Start geht und Netflix große Sorgen bereiten dürfte, zahlreich erhalten.

Die Zuschauerschaft, gerade die jüngere, ist an das Streaming gewöhnt. Auch Sport will im Abo auf einer Plattform rezipiert werden. Der Erfolg von DAZN zeigt das deutlich. Einer Studie von Deltare und Massive zufolge sollen in den USA 2021 knapp 6,8 Milliarden US-Dollar in OTT-Dienste für die Sportberichterstattung fließen. Die gleich Studie gibt an, dass 2018 ein Wachstum von 32 Prozent bei Geräten verzeichnet wurde, die weltweit erstmalig auf OTT Sport Content zugegriffen haben. Ein Entscheider der Industrie verrät, wie das Streamingpotential auch für den Sport genutzt werden kann.

Netflix has seen huge success because its pricing is widely affordable. But what the sports industry has seen is that a premium price product creates a barrier to entry – and also to fandom. Putting out highlights and original content as freemium is a great way to bring people into the product with something that can be enjoyed year-round, 24/7. From there, we can encourage them deeper into the ecosystem and ladder them to a fully paid-up subscriber over time.

Relevant werden nach diesen Erkenntnissen besonders Original Content und die Möglichkeiten, einzelne Angebote wahrzunehmen, nicht ein Spiel über 90 Minuten und sonst nichts. Dazu ist das Smartphone mit 49 Prozent nur knapp hinter dem Fernseher (64 Prozent), wenn es um das Rezipieren von Sport Content geht, so Deltare. Das dürfte sich weiter gen mobile Geräte verschieben.

Über OTT können junge Generationen bestens erreicht werden, und nicht nur diese. Die Bundesliga könnte zu einem zentralen Entertainment-Programm in den USA aufsteigen, wenn ESPN+ sich die Exklusivrechte sichert und die Liga – die mit dem Claim „Football As It’s Meant To Be“ bereits eine internationale Marke aufbaut – optimal in Szene setzt. Zusätzlich zu all diesem Potential für Rechtehalter und Fans muss die Liga nun auch zeigen, dass sie als Entertainment Provider mit allen Ligen mithalten kann. Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, oder Lucas Hernández, vielleicht auch Youngster wie Ademola Lookman oder Dodi Lukebakio versprechen einiges. Allerdings muss die Bundesliga sich nicht nur um einen spannenden Titelkampf wie in der letzten Saison bemühen, sondern auch darum, Stars aufzubauen und in der Liga zu halten, um diese für das internationale Publikum langfristig zur Erlebnisarena zu machen.

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This Is Football: Amazon Prime Lures Fans With New Blockbuster Series

Amazon Prime will show This Is Football from August 2nd, a six-part series produced by the best in business, showing the power of football – and its financial appeal, too.



The football streaming repertoire will be augmented come the start of August. Amazon Prime will offer all fans and interested viewers another series, following the success of All Or Nothing: Manchester City. The six-part experience This Is Football is about to lure many more people to the service and will entertain by reproducing stunning moments and heartwarming stories from the world of football. The sport has always been a big part of the entertainment industry, but is merging increasingly with digital experiences like streaming, social media or even podcasts. Users and consumers want stories – and football tells the best of them sometimes.

This Is Football: Allusion and Promise

From August 2nd, fans across the world will be able to watch Amazon’s new series that, as the title suggests, is solely focused on football. There will be six one hour episodes of This Is Football – for the start. Because that series is bound to be successful and should get another season rather sooner than later. Amazon have understood that this sport is so all-embracing, it’s a source for engagement and consumption in the media world. Especially in our new, nearly totally digitised media world. For even if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, but really want to see the series, it’s only a few clicks and you’ll be able to watch, once you subscribed. Football fans want to be entertained, but since their teams are only playing once or twice a week, they need to look elsewhere for more and more content. That’s why social media accounts of all the clubs are producing content without a break. And it might be one reason why entities like 433 or Copa90 have risen meteorically.

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C’est Magnifique!

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Particularly in the summer, when the season is only about to restart soon, football fans are craving some new content. And if it’s of outstanding quality, it’s only going to get a lot of viewers. This Is Football from Amazon promises a lot.

The trailer tells you that it’s about the bigger picture of the sports. For the voice from the off says:

Football is emotion, it comes from the heart. It crosses all barriers, you play football anywhere. Football can actually help bring communities together.

And so the series focuses on the linking element of the sports. Therefore, not only big moments or developments in football will be portrayed, but also the meaning of it. Take for example Iceland’s incredible European Championship campaign in 2016 and how it united the country in joy and expectation, how it brought all those players and their everyday life to the attention of millions of people watching. And how it introduced the Viking Clap in football forever.

But the series will also show the phenomenon Messi or the ‘shocking’ moment of Brandi Chastain in 1999. Central topics will be:

  • redemption
  • faith
  • chances
  • love
  • pride
  • miracles

It’s also important to mention that This Is Football tells about men and women in football. Sports Author John Carlin (Invictus) wrote the series, which will directed by reknowned directors like James Erskine. Lorne Balfe, who has won Grammys and Emmys and has worked on Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Queen or Chirchill, will produce the music. That’s a reminder of how much Amazon is turning this series into entertainment. The title alone is an allusion to media: remember the movie 300 by Zack Snyder and Gerard Butler’s cry: This is Sparta? It was a movie made from a comic strip and very much about aesthetics; the football series on Amazon might be as well. Incidentally, there also was a computer game called This Is Football in the early 2000s.

Football as the most popular sport in the world?

If you look at all the countries, football could easily be the most popular sports globally. That’s what the executive producer of the series, Joe Roth, thinks:

The series is a fantastic collection of stories that provide first explanations why football is the most popular sport in the world.

Well, apart from that, it certainly is a profitable sport and one that provides stories, which can successfully be monetised if put in the right high-quality context. Amazon didn’t need something new, but they put it into a new context, a new world. The best evidence might be that This Is Football is a Starbucks Production in cooperation with Amazon Studios. Adam Bullmore, managing director of executive October Films und executive producer for This Is Football, mentions:

Football is a universal language. Everywhere you look, this sport touches lives and inspires people in a remarkable way. We are excited to partner with Amazon Studios and Starbucks to tell these stories to a worldwide audience.

The worldwide audience is there to watch. We are excited and will see whether it is as good as its word.

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User Spend in DAZN App Grows 9.5 Times Year-over-Year

The DAZN app was the top grossing sports app in the world in May 2019. More importantly for the OTT platform, user spend grew to 11.5 million US dollars.



DAZN has developed into the go to-provider of sports for many a fan. The OTT service is easy to access and offers a wide range of sports in a growing global network. In May 2019, the DAZN app was the top grossing sports app in the whole world, edging out ESPN or Tencent Sports, for instance. Revenue had grown 9.5 times in comparison to May 2018. And the expansion to more countries is only gathering pace.

DAZN is driving up revenue

Ever since the OTT service DAZN entered the sports media stage, it was going to become big, since it disrupted traditional sports coverage and operated contemporarily. For the ability to access their sports package, which you can get for 9.99 Euro a month and which you can unsubscribe from on a monthly basis, is important for the mobile-driven user. That’s why the reception via the app is essential for DAZN, which is owned by the Perform Group. Now, data from Sensor Tower show how much that very app has risen in prominence – and how valuable such a development is for DAZN. According to Sensor Tower, DAZN has been the top grossing sports app, globally, in May 2019 in App Store and Google Play Store revenue. They’ve put ESPN, MLB At Bat, NBA, onX Hunt etc. in their places.

Sensor Tower, top grossing sports app worldwide, May 2019, © Sensor Tower

The App Store from Apple says it’s the number three app in sports, while the Google Play Store states that there are more than five million downloads. DAZN was able to generate close to 11.5 million US dollars in user spending, which is massive and even more impressive looking at the 4.7 million amassed by second-placed ESPN. Compared to May 2018, it represents a growth of 9.5 times for DAZN. The whole Perform Group’s revenue, by the way, had grown to 93 million US dollars for the three months ended 31 March 2019. Interestingly, 37 per cent of the DAZN app revenue came from the US, with also 6.5 percent being generated in Japan. Whilst DAZN has been present in Japan since 2016, the service only launched in the US – with a focus on boxing – last year.

Regarding the revenue numbers, it has been a big success on mobile. And if 6.5 per cent of that revenue come from Japan, the popularity there must be big as well. DAZN are actually the host of the J-League, showing all the games. And indeed, DAZN is kind of a different offer in every market, as trailers tend to show.

New markets, more income

In the last year, DAZN has ramped up their market reach. Currently, they operate in nine markets, with Spain and Brazil the last newcomers. In February, the service announced that the offering was available for just 4.99 Euro in Spain. Apart from a diverse sports offering, ranging from football to MotoGP, fans and viewers will be offered original content, created in cooperation with Neymar Jr. and José Mourinho. Veronica Diquattro, EVP, Southern Europe, DAZN, said:

This is just the start of our journey so our compelling price point reflects that. We will continue to build our portfolio of sports and when we add significant premium content fans should expect that to be reflected in our price, whilst always maintaining our approach of making sport more affordable and accessible. DAZN continues to work with the biggest stars, so I’m also delighted to announce two new ambassadors, megastars of sport: Neymar Jr. and José Mourinho who will also feature in original content on the platform. This is a euphoric moment and we can’t wait to get started.

Mourinho himself, a loved and loathed figure in the football world, commented:

DAZN is giving football fans a new way to enjoy the sport and players they love. Their style of live football coverage is different from what I’ve experienced before. I like their authenticity and pushing the boundaries of sports broadcasting. I’m excited to join DAZN as a global ambassador and connect with football fans around the world with this platform.

All those existing markets, and especially the new ones, will help DAZN further grow revenue. Not least because they give those viewers across the world, who often watch via the app on their smartphone or any other mobile device, always more access to fascinating sports. For example, the MLS, which is generating more attention, due to star players like Zlatan or old heroes like Schweinsteiger and Rooney, will be shown exclusively on DAZN in five markets, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Spain, while it will be shown in Brazil, too, albeit non-exclusively from 2019 to 2022. The service is that prominent, for it often gets important rights for special games such as last month’s Copa del Rey final. And the Champions League lures many viewers as well, of course.

Something DAZN also has to offer, since the end of April 2019, is their global live sports content distribution service for rights holders, called DAZN CONNECT. With that service, DAZN offers clients the opportunity to acquire and distribute the sports they need for their own offering. Gareth Rees, SVP Business Development, said:

We now have more sports content on our network than anyone else in the industry. Combine this with our technological innovation and with customer satisfaction at the core of our service, DAZN CONNECT is well positioned to take some big steps in the coming months. Driven by the demands of sports broadcasting and fans’ viewing habits, DAZN CONNECT offers a faster, more intelligent way of receiving live sport. DAZN CONNECT is built in the cloud to deliver the lowest latency, highest quality and the most secure sports distribution service. With an innovative contribution service, clients can supply live sports back onto the DAZN network, so local coverage can be made available globally, offering up further exposure and coverage for rights owners.

The cloud-native and AWS-integrated DAZN CONNECT is another step, meaning we will only see more content being brought to us by DAZN, in one way or another, in the near future. And their very own app is only going to gain even more revenue, which will probably show, when new statistics are out. Their motto “We’ve got more” is certainly not a mere empty shell for branding.

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Bundesliga meets 433 – Global Attention for German Football

The Bundesliga will partner with digital media specialists 433 in order to provide more engaging content for fans across the world. That’s next level Social Media cooperation.



International recognition is more important than ever for leagues and clubs. And while the Bundesliga has already built a great reputation across the globe, not least due to its “Football As It’s Meant To Be“-theme, awareness can still be augmented, especially in Social Media. Thus, the Bundesliga partners with digital media outlet and agency 433. This special cooperation is bound to use 433’s extremely successful Social Media channels to promote topics and content from the Bundesliga in a digitised world, where users often turn their attentions to different sources. 433 will help give fans more insight and offer behind-the-scenes material, starting during pre-season already.

433 to augment digital Bundesliga attraction

Various news outlets, including SportBusiness Media, have reported on the German Football League’s (DFL’s) partnership with digital media agency 433. This very partnership was struck to strengthen the Bundesliga’s appeal throughout Social Media as 433 and the DFL will create and share content for the different platforms. Not only will highlights and easy-to-digest scenes from games or interviews be shared, but footage from the off-season is bound to be put on the channels as well. Therefore it’s a good time to announce the partnership just now that the season is ending.

The Bundesliga is already a league with numerous followers, the channel Bundesliga_en on Instagram counts 3,4 million followers, on Twitter it’s 2,4 million for the Bundesliga channel and another 839.00 for Bundesliga_en. But to partner with 433 is a shrewd move indeed. On Twitter they may only have a mere 261.000 followers, but on Instagram they do have 20,6 million. What’s more important is that their content yields incredible engagement rates. A study by Axios and Crowdtangle from February underlines that.

433 is amongst the channels with the best Instagram engagement, © Axios, Crowdtangle

The full-service digital and Social Media agency is focused on football and already helps partners like Manchester City, The MLS and LAFC, the FA, FC Barcelona or Real Madrid, Arsenal, AC Milan and many more with digital engagement strategies. As one of the fastest-growing sports communities worldwide, the company from the Netherlands is now at the Bundesliga’s side to spread their storytelling even more and wider. The Bundesliga’s international chief executive, Robert Klein, said:

It’s important that, whilst the Bundesliga is the best attended football league in the world, we work with 433 to expand our storytelling around ‘Football As It’s Meant To Be’ so that we can bring even more fans closer to the game here in Germany. With the channels 433 use and style of content they share, together we will increase social engagement in the league, particularly with younger fans who are our future.

The style of content differs

It is the unique style of content, as quoted by Klein, that makes 433 so engaging. Over 37 million followers on the different channels, from Facebook to TikTok, are proof of that. By their own account, 433 grow by ten to twenty thousand followers a day and generate around four billion impressions in digital media per month. Their main hashtag, #433, like their name a reminiscence to probably the most used tactical formation these days, is easy to remember and used widely. Plus, 433 content is definitely different from the official channels of the Bundesliga, the MLS or what have you. It’s far more divergent, often more funny and engaging or just more creative and interactive.

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Guess the country❓😍 @veo_video

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Moreover, it’s always very much up to date, which in a time of digital content piece staccato is proving to be more important than ever before.

433 will help the Bundesliga bring more content to countries in Asia, South America or anywhere in the world, as they aim to make the league’s brand more attractive in the global competition. For the agency, the partnership with the DFL is great news, too, as it enables them to use even more content regarding players that are very popular internationally, like Reus and Sancho, Neuer and Coman or maybe even Timo Werner. Floris Weisz from 433, chief commercial officer, comments:

The opportunity to work with the world’s most entertaining league is really exciting for us. With the highest number of goals, fierce competition throughout the season, unique fan culture, electric stadium atmospheres and a host of world-class players and rising stars, this is golden content for our channels.

So, the Bundesliga will probably make up some ground in the Social Media universe, because the 433 content machine is certainly only going to keep its momentum.

Agencies like 433 will likely get even more partnership deals over the line in time, for every league or association behind it and every club has to mastermind and optimise their digital strategies – and the entities that already have a combined and engaging fellowship will profit. In the long term, the partners will be able to reap the rewards as well. The Bundesliga is on its way to fight La Liga and the Premier League to become the most sought-after football league in the world; and you can only get there via Social Media and a lot of content, 24/7, these days.

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Dortmund Documentary on Amazon Prime Will Augment BVB Support

Amazon Prime will show a 4-part documentary about Borussia Dortmund’s bittersweet 2018/19 season, which is great for the BVB. And a sign of things to come.



Not only football fans, but also people who like a good sports documentary, have watched All Or Nothing on Amazon Prime, when it focused Manchester City’s 2018 title winning season. Some sports enthusiasts fell in love with the extraordinary Sunderland ’Til I Die series on Netflix. A lot of these formats have entered the main streaming services now. In August, fans around the world will be able to have a look behind the scenes at Borussia Dortmund. Their recently ended season, in which they finished runners-up in the Bundesliga, will be turned into a documentary on Amazon Prime. The format will surely attract viewers aplenty, while the club does earn some extra money for allowing Prime Video such thorough access.

Another Amazon football documentary

The club announced the partnership with Amazon Prime, which will give fans a very special, more intimate look at the proceedings around the Westfalenstadion. Award-winning director Aljoscha Pause, who also created Being Mario Götze, is responsible for the series, which will be shown exclusively on Amazon Prime, starting 9th August. So, the starting date is kind of great marketing for the BVB, but for the Bundesliga as well, as it starts shortly afterwards. Carsten Cramer, Dortmund’s managing director, said:

Pause has once again demonstrated his incredible filmmaking talent and has succeeded not only in discreetly producing a fascinating insight into the everyday goings on at a football club, but also in showing BVB how it really is.

Since the documentary is then available in over 200 countries and territories, the awareness for the vice champions and their unique club environment will be boosted, of course. Furthermore, viewers might be persuaded to track Dortmund’s development in the competitions they’re in, especially the Champions League. Interactions with content from Borussia Dortmund could grow further, because the documentary is so different from the Social Media content and gives people, at the same time, an incentive to learn more about the club and current events.

The BVB captain Marco Reus commented:

Pause and his team very quickly felt like part of our squad as we celebrated victories and processed defeats together. Although ultimately we just missed out on our dream of winning the German championship, I’m still very much looking forward to the finished documentary.

That sounds a bit like it compares to the movie Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen, for which Sönke Wortmann accompanied the German national team during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. But this Borussia Dormund documentary is more than just another series or movie about football. For Amazon, it’s a good way to generate or keep even more viewers. That’s why they pay Dortmund a few million Euro (the number hasn’t been disclosed, apparently it’s five million Euro). For the BVB it’s part of a bigger picture. The internationalisation strategy, for which the club opened a TikTok account for example, gathers more momentum with such partnerships. And the fans, especially the younger ones, need content on all platforms to get all the relevant – and at times irrelevant, but fun – content they want.

While the developments for one of Germany’s and Europe’s most followed and appreciated clubs off the pitch look increasingly rosy, their quest for titles next season is probably off to a good start. Because Dortmund have already brought in the likes of Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt in the space of two days.

More documentaries are surely in the pipeline

Borussia Dortmund only announced the documentary on Amazon Prime last week, but the film team obviously worked with them from the start of the season. And after the success of All Or Nothing (Manchester City) it seems only natural that Amazon invests more and more in such football documentaries. Because the viewership for these is very big across the globe. Plus, the concept is relatively simple, whereas a brilliant execution is not, of course. Aljoscha Pause’s documentary Trainer! is available on Netflix, where you can also find the movie Bobby Robson. More than a Manager, for instance. The new Amazon documentary featuring Borussia Dormund will focus even more on the players’ private perceptions or even lives and therefore take into account the importance of very intimate and individual perspectives. Bred in Social Media, the demand for such content will shape the documentaries – that are surely coming and possibly already in place. And for some clubs, who may not have the international recognition of the BVB, those series can be a source for revenue, new followers and real supporters or at least the start of a special media entity. Let’s see what else will come to our screens via the most common streaming services.

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Fußball im Zeitalter der neuen Medien – HypedBy zeigt wie es geht

Der Konsum von Fußballinhalten verändert sich nachhaltig. Mithilfe der sozialen Medien erreichen Unternehmen wie HypedBy schon heute millionen Menschen. [sponsored]



Instagram ist aus dem alltäglichen Leben vieler junger Menschen nicht mehr wegzudenken und nimmt deshalb auch eine immer größere Rolle in der Markenkommunikation, besonders für Unternehmen, die sich im Sport engagieren, ein. So gewinnt zum Beispiel der einzelne Spieler immer mehr an Bedeutung und wird über Instagram zum Influencer mit Millionenreichweite für seine Sponsoren. Unter den Top 10 Influencern Deutschlands befinden sich derzeit 7 Fußballspieler. Auf Platz 1 liegt dabei Toni Kroos mit insgesamt über 20 Mio. Followern.

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Special day! HalaMadrid!

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Doch auch Sportmedien wie der Kicker oder Sky setzen mittlerweile verstärkt auf Instagram und bespielen ihre Kanäle in Sachen Reichweite und Interaktionsraten sehr erfolgreich. Instagram „erfolgreich nutzen“ bedeutet dabei vor allem die neuen Möglichkeiten zu nutzen, die die Plattform im Vergleich zu konventionellen Medien bietet. Direkte Interaktion mit dem User, Berichterstattung und Meinungsaustausch in Echtzeit und die Möglichkeit, Spielerstars hautnah und als reale Menschen zu präsentieren, gehören dazu. Seine Zielgruppe genau zu kennen, zu verstehen und gezielt mit den richtigen Inhalten und Formaten anzusprechen ist dabei Grundvoraussetzung.

Einen kleinen Einblick, wie Fußball auf Instagram funktionieren kann, gibt auch die HypedBy GmbH, ein auf Social Media basiertes Medienhaus aus München. Mit dem Instagram-Kanal „Fußballhelden“ erreicht HypedBy über 260.000 Abonnenten und erzielt dabei eine Interaktionsrate von über 6%. Dies macht Fußballhelden zu einem der aktuell angesagtesten fußballbasierten Instagramaccounts für junge Fußballfans im Alter von 15-30 Jahren.

Interaktionen als Erfolgsindikator

Die Interaktionsrate stellt bei der Bewertung des Erfolgs von Instagram einen so wichtigen Faktor dar, weil gerade die Interaktion mit und zwischen den Usern diese Plattform von anderen abgrenzt. Facebook und Twitter weisen beispielsweise durchschnittliche Raten von unter 0,1% auf, wohingegen Instagram im Durchschnitt bei ca. 1,6% liegt.

„Interaktionen sind extrem wichtig, da sie ausschlaggebend für die organische Reichweite und somit den Erfolg eines Kanals sind. So haben wir zum Beispiel bewusst bestimmte interaktionsstarke Formate kreiert, die den Austausch der User untereinander wie auch mit uns fördern. Dadurch wissen wir, welche Fußballthemen die User bewegen und was sie zum Mitmachen und Kommunizieren animiert.“


Für hohe Interaktionsraten gibt es natürlich keine Garantien. Allerdings lässt sich mit etwas Methodik und unter Beachtung einiger Grundregeln vieles bewirken. Grundsätzlich gilt, dass Inhalte gut funktionieren, wenn sie Interaktionen hervorrufen, aktuelle und relevante Themen aufgreifen und „snackable“ dargeboten werden. Zudem geht der Trend seit einiger Zeit vermehrt zu Bewegtbildinhalten.

Die richtigen Formate sind entscheidend

Inhalte möglichst nah am Live-Geschehen veröffentlichen zu können ist ein weiterer Mehrwert der Plattform. Denn die Möglichkeit des direkten Austausches mit anderen Usern ist das, was die jungen Abonnenten besonders schätzen. Und so wird, während man das Spiel zu Hause im Wohnzimmer schaut, fleißig kommentiert und seine Meinung kundgetan.

Um die Interaktionen hochzuhalten und die Community in der spielfreien Zeit fortlaufend zu unterhalten, setzen die Fussballhelden voll und ganz auf modernes Infotainment. So werden die tagesaktuellen News oder interessante Statistiken zumeist nicht einfach stupide wiedergegeben, sondern in spannende Quizformate, Umfragen oder Mini Games, die als Instagram Story verpackt werden, veröffentlicht. Die Entwicklung eigener uniquer Formate mit hohem Wiedererkennungswert steht dabei besonders im Fokus. 

Ein erfolgreiches Formatbeispiel der Fussballhelden ist „Beat the Pro“. Dabei kann die Community vor jedem Spieltag gegen einen Bundesligaspieler antreten und die Spielergebnisse eines Spieltages tippen. Zu gewinnen gibt es dann beispielsweise ein signiertes Trikot oder Fussballschuhe des Spielers. Ein etwas aufwendigeres und moderiertes Format ist die „Heldenstory“, bei der der Fußballhelden-Moderator, Marsi, Sportler besucht und sie in einem entspannten Alltagsumfeld ein paar Anekdoten aus dem Leben erzählen lässt. Beide Formate schaffen es, nicht nur den Spieler als Menschen näher zu bringen, sondern aktivieren auch die User und rufen Interaktionen hervor.

Ein passioniertes Team, mit Instagram mitgewachsen

Ein Grund weshalb die „Fußballhelden“ erste Erfolge erzielen konnten und der Kanal gerade dabei ist, sich als Newcomer im Sportmedienmarkt einen Namen zu machen, sind die Menschen dahinter. Viele der zwischen 20 und 30 Jahre alten Teammitglieder sind selbst begeisterte Instagram-User, die die Themenwelten, in denen sie sich täglich bewegen, lieben und leben. Dadurch entsteht ein intuitives Verständnis für die Zielgruppe, ihr Verhalten und ihre Präferenzen, in Bezug auf Themen und Inhalte.

„Auch bringt unser Team eine große Begeisterung und Passion für Instagram mit, sie atmen Instagram. Das ist neben dem Interagieren und Analysieren ein weiterer Grund, warum wir unsere Follower so gut verstehen.“


Beim Blick in die Zukunft ist HypedBy auch für neue Trends offen, sieht aber das Potenzial von Instagram noch lange nicht ausgeschöpft. Die für Werbetreibende so wichtigen Millenials werden weiterhin auf Instagram unterwegs sein, doch neue interessante Plattformen wie TikTok drängen langsam in das Bewusstsein der Öffentlichkeit. Wir dürfen gespannt sein, welche neuen Fußballinhalte in den nächsten Jahren konsumiert werden.

Das im September 2017 gegründete Medienhaus HypedBy ist einer der führenden Betreiber von Instagram-Kanälen in Deutschland. Über die Themenfelder Sports, Motor, Youth, Food und Pets erreicht HypedBy heute bereits über 12 Millionen junge, mobile deutschsprachige Follower. Mit einer eigenen Videoproduktion und kompetenter Content-Erstellung und Vermarktung deckt HypedBy die gesamte Wertschöpfung der Instagram-Kommunikation ab.

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It’s a Women’s Game – Female Football Branding’s on the Rise

Football has long been and is still widely referred to as a sport for men. Yet, female football gets more attention for branding as well as a path into the spotlight; and rightly so.



Marketing and commercialisation have been attributed to the male football universe for the largest part. But as the women appear more and more during broadcasting, in Social Media campaigns and especially on the clubs’ and associations’ digital properties, the women’s football is given the opportunity to finally establish its very own power more widely than ever before. It’s about time to change perception, but also to dip into the hidden potentials that the unique female football has to offer. The DFB has launched a distinct kit for the German women to wear at the soon to begin World Cup, while the UEFA even started a campaign to strengthen the women’s game further. Broadcasters and OTT services turn their attentions to the game and partners are increasingly interested in taking part in this promising journey of growing the value of women’s football brand.

A great time for a diverse football experience – and off the pitch, too

The women’s World Cup in France starts 7 June and of course we do see more female football stars in digital media right now. Football has always been captured as a men’s sport, in the media and in the mindset of some. For sure, all the women’s competitions haven’t been there for so many decades – Manchester United for example only reinstated a women’s team last year. And while Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba or Cristiano Ronaldo earn incredible sums and the limelight, even the most outstanding female footballers are exposed to totally inapproriate behaviour. Like Ada Hegerberg, the absolute superstar playing for Olympique Lyon. After collecting the first Ballon D’Or for a woman in December 2018, moderator Martin Solveig infamously asked her if she could twerk.

It’s just that kind of impudence, bordering sexual harrassment, that is still undermining the value and growth of women’s football. Thankfully, there are more and more examples of the women’s teams being appreciated increasingly, especially in the media. A very recent reminder: Hegerberg scored a 16-minute hattrick in the Women’s Champions League final against the FC Barcelona to give Lyon a fourth successive title.

Not only does she have 255 goals in 254 games now – and Ada Hegerberg is still only 23 years old –, but she also has a collection of 5 league titles, 4 domestic cups and 4 Champions Leagues.

Hegerberg herself, though, stated that things don’t develop very quickly in women’s football. That’s why the UEFA launched a Time for Action strategy in order to augment appreciation for the women’s game. The initiative shall double the number of female players by 2024. UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said:

Women’s football is the football of today. It is not the football of tomorrow. It is UEFA’s duty as European football’s governing body to empower the women’s game. So UEFA will put significant financial investment into the sport, underlining that it dares to aim high and make European football as great as it can be. The actions that we propose and commit to in 2019 will lead to a greater, more professional and more prosperous game by 2024. Time for action.

UEFA’s head of women’s football, Nadine Kessler, thinks that football is more than just sports and therefore has to open up for women even more, so that cultural changes are embraced as well:

Women’s football is football, and football has a huge ability to impact beyond the field of play and break down cultural and social barriers.

The DFB recently launched the new kits for the German women’s team, which are quite popular by now.

But it’s clear to see that the women’s team isn’t quite valued the same as the men’s. The shirt itself is only available in women’s tailoring at Adidas – because demand normally is so small, as the manufacturer told Die WELT. Therefore, men don’t have the chance to sport the nice kit, unless they wear the version aligned to female proportions. And maybe the women’s national teams only appear more in our sports media environment due to the imminent World Cup. The Commerzbank, partner for the DFB’s female team, provocatively advertises the team by incorporating prejudices and the rather unknown status of the female players.

More sponsoring and partner deals for women – but there’s a huge pay gap

It is not all about the World Cup, though. The recent Women’s Champions LEague final, for example, was streamed live in the US by the OTT service B/R Live for the very first time, as SportsPro Media report. The service also posted behind-the-scenes content on Instagram in the stories during the run-up to the game.

In other news, the BBC have extended a deal to show the Women’s FA Cup in until the 2024/25 season. Highlight reels and short form videos will be available over various BBC digital platforms as the broadcaster also has an initiative in place, called ‘Change The Game’. The BBC will also develop podcasts and documentaries focusing on women’s sports more often. And, as the BBC reported a few months back, Barclays, famously the title sponsors for the men’s Premier League in England, will become title sponsors for the women’s league, too. That sponsorship will be worth close to 10 million pounds – miles behind sponsorhip money in the men’s domain. It’s still a step in the right direction, thinks the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, Kelly Simmons:

It’s a real landmark moment in the development of the women’s game. We obviously want to get more fans and more revenue behind the game, making sure it’s secure and sustainable for the future. But also the investment in schools makes sure lots of girls get the chance to play football, which is our pipeline for the future.

And yes, sponsoring is becoming more important for the women’s teams as brands start to realise how important that very universe could be for them. For example, Virgin Media, sleeve sponsors of the FC Southampton, now sponsor the their respective women’s team as well, for the very first time. Marieanne Spacey-Cale, Southampton’s Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football, commented on the website:

It’s fantastic that such a prestigious brand as Virgin Media has decided to make this commitment to the Women’s team.

Meanwhile, in the US Ticketmaster has extended a deal with the United States Soccer Federation that provides ticketing for the men’s and the women’s teams. Women’s football might have more popularity in the US. But it’s also quite favoured in Germany. Initiatives are needed to make it an alternative in more countries and markets. Media need to embrace it, because it does offer inspiration and a ways to possibly reach new audiences as well.

For now however, we can state that women’s football is still rated second-class, at least when it comes to money invested in it. Flyeralarm is becoming the Women’s Bundesliga’s title sponsor and is expected to pay 1,2 million Euro per year for that, earning the right to feature on the teams’ jerseys and in the stadiums, too. As a comparison, that amount of money is earned in the space of two to three weeks by Lionel Messi. The huge pay gap is clear to see. The Sun reports that Aga Hegerberg, closest to Messi right now in the women’s domain, earns a mere 300.000 pounds a year. Average wages for OL’s female players are believed to be at around 145.000 pounds a year – and they’re Europe’s finest. That alone calls for change in the perception of football. Because the sport is not only men’s football. For every Messi there is a Hegerberg, for every Cristiano Ronaldo there is a Dzsenifer Marozsán. There should be heroines as well as heroes; young fans should be made aware of both and it’s on the media and on brands to embrace this as an opportunity. Thus, they can even augment revenues and reach and eventually make women’s football popular enough to grant the players more perspectives and better wages. The current status quo is very much explainable, no question about that. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t change. Whoever realises the underlying potential will be frontrunners in a very promising environment.

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Coppa Italia Attendees Can Parallel-Watch the Game on their Phones from Various Angles



Second screening is quite common these days, but watching a game live in the stadium and simultaneously monitoring proceedings through altered perspectives in the app is indeed a whole new experience for fans. Infront’s new Fan+ service enables supporters to do just that and experience and relive the action from the Coppa Italia at the Stadio Olimpico and on their connected mobile devices at the same time. A few clubs from the Serie A had already successfully tested this intriguing opportunity.

The dawn of widespread in-stadium streaming?

They’ve had it in Serie A with Genoa, Sampdoria and Udinese offering their fans an in-app experience inside the stadium, that enables them to watch the live action – they’re actually there for – on their mobile devices and in various angles. Futhermore, autographs from favourite players can be snatched, other video highlights, news or statistics concerning the game can be accessed. The Infront Fan+ app debuted in December, when Sampdoria Genoa met Bologna. From then on, fans could also order food and drinks from their seats via the app and collect it, when it’s ready.

With 16 different angles including a spiderweb cam, fans can become directors while watching the game live as well. Thereby, the second screening moment known from home is transferred to the stadium.

This particular app experience will now be available for the Italian cup final on May 15th, the Coppa Italia. Contested in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, Atalanta Bergamo will meet Lazio Rome in a final without the biggest names of Italian football. Although Lazio did win the cup six years ago and ten years back as well.

As SportsPro Media report, the Fan+ app will work for that special game. The Lega Serie A chief executive, Luigi De Siervo, commented:

We are excited about the launch of the new app dedicated to the final because it will allow all the fans present at the stadium to live an exclusive and personalised experience. Mobile applications are now increasingly common in everyday life, the real challenge is to be able to provide all enthusiasts with an engaging service that can improve the fan experience.

The improvement of the fan experience is clear to see, when you look at what the app offers, providing supporters with data and insights regarding the pitch-side action straight away.

We are pleased to have concluded this partnership with Lega Serie A for the TIM Cup Final, because it represents an important step in the continuous research and creation of services that improve interaction with the fans at the stadium. We have already successfully launched the Fan+ model with Genoa, Sampdoria and Udinese, and I am sure that this solution can lead Infront to strengthen its role as digital partner of clubs, leagues and federations,

adds Jean Thomas Sauerwein, managing director of Infront Italy.

So, attendees of the cup final in Italy have now got the big chance to put that Fan+ app to the acid test. If it proves successful over time, it will surely be rolled out or made available for many other clubs or competitions, too. For the ability to rerun just seen – or maybe missed – parts of the game is a welcome asset for the digitally engaged or tech-savvy fans. Is it strange, that the supporters in the stadium could have their attention split between the pitch and their mobile devices? Oh yes; but probably that is the case more often now anyway. Digital enhancements don’t stop at the stadium’s entry gates. That’s why Fan+ is only the start of a more disruptive, half digital half real life local football experience. Let’s see how it works at the Coppa Italia – and what is to follow.

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