Surekha Ragavan
Oct 21, 2019

The high value of live sports data—when used in the right way

Brands that work with leagues and athletes would do well to collect data around live sports events, according to Sportradar.

The high value of live sports data—when used in the right way

Where live sport happens, data is being concurrently collected. So much that it’s a product of its own right in the realm of live sport. But what does this mean for fan engagement and experience?

David Lampitt, managing director, sports partnerships, at sports data firm Sportradar, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that this could mean data visualisation to enable fans—who perhaps don’t have access to live footage in their territory—to be able to follow live action from accurate real-time data.

“The fact that there are TV channels now that put on TV programmes that are driven by data and analysis of the sport, they don’t even necessarily need the live pictures or the live rights,” said Lampitt. “Not only has [data] enabled fans to interact with the sport in a different way, it gives them additional insights. It enhances the sporting experience.”

David Lampitt

With the help of AI, Sportradar collects data during a live match and packages it to clients largely made up of three pillars: media and broadcasters; the sports betting and predictive analysis market; and other rights holders including OTT services.

In the media group, where traditional platforms like TV once dominated, Lampitt finds himself increasingly working with social-media partners, app developers and digital publishers. “Ultimately, we want to have a situation where if you’re using Alexa and you ask a question about what’s going on at a live sporting event, you get the answer straight away,” he said.

Meanwhile, OTT platforms have also been actively seeking live sports data.

“Historically a sports rights holder would sell their media rights and [the footage] would be screened on TV. But there's a big gulf between the fans and sports rights holder. There’s a long distance between those two,” said Lampitt.

“With an OTT platform, if a rights holder owns and manages its own platform and is found consuming their sports product on their own platform, they’ve got a direct interface. They then also get to know information about that fan. What their fan’s favourite teams are, favourite players, when fans are consuming content. All of these things, as a rights holder, can help them manage their business model more effectively. It’s all part of the same data and content ecosystem.”

Some examples of OTT platforms that have proven successful include NBA’s League Pass and NFL’s Game Pass.

And of course, each OTT or media platform has its respective data needs. Lampitt said the challenge is making sure that the platforms can tailor the use of that data to the end user.

“So when you think about what a sports rights holder wants, they might want some really deep analytics about team performance that we might get from a tracking chip on a player’s jersey or body suit,” he said.

“And that is different from somebody who just wants to know the scores and the outcomes of the match, or the key moments of the match and have that presented in a way that has a nice narrative.”

Analytics about team performance can be collected from a tracking chip on a player’s jersey. Source: Sportradar

From all of this, where do brands come in? The creative solutions for brands are seemingly boundless, Lampitt implies. For instance, from an activation standpoint, a brand can link an activation around a sponsored athlete to the moment the athlete scores a winning goal. If the brand is connected to a live data stream, they’re able to do that in real time.

“We’ve done quite a bit of analysis around activations and sponsorships and brand partnerships that are linked to live events in a sport, and by a significant margin, they are more successful in the activation process,” said Lampitt.

On top of that, knowing and understanding what the fans want through an OTT platform is a clever use of data for brands.

“You can know and understand the fans if you’ve got those touchpoints through OTT or other ways they’re engaging with the sport, and you can deliver far more powerful calls to action because you’ve got that data built in,” he said.

More on sports marketing...

'Commercial models need to catch up to live sports consumption', says F1 tech provider
By Jessica Goodfellow 

'Tokyo resonates with the whole world': An assesment of Japan's Olympic's prospects
By David Blecken

Why brands should pay attention to non-traditional sports
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