Traditionally, sports clubs have always earned the vast majority of their revenue from match-going supporters. Until recently, this was true for most clubs at all levels.
For elite sport, the business model has now shifted. The world’s biggest clubs earn more revenue from advertising and TV deals than they do from ticket sales. They have become content businesses – and now that any sports club can easily live stream games and earn ad revenue, this same transformation is possible at all levels of sport.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking of your organization as a content business. However, the old-fashioned sports sponsorship business model doesn’t work in today’s digital advertising landscape. You can’t just take a sponsor’s money, put up an advertising hoarding and forget about it until next season. If you want to retain your sponsors and get them to increase their budgets, you will need to help them create ad campaigns that are optimized for live sport streams.
With this series of blog posts – our Servicing Grassroots Sport Sponsors series – we want to help you make a smooth transition to a content-based business model. As we progress through this series, we’ll help you to learn what makes an excellent live stream sports ad, how to identify and suggest changes to your sponsors, and how to work with advertising specialists to deliver winning ad campaigns.
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When you start live streaming games, you effectively become an advertising platform, just like ESPN, Facebook, or YouTube. Even if your focus is on local sponsors, you are still directly competing with huge ad networks like Google for advertising dollars.
Part of Google’s success in attracting small businesses is the support they offer. Much of this is done automatically through their platform, but the more an advertiser spends, the more help and support they get from Google’s human support team.
To compete with Google, you need to start servicing your sponsors in the same way.
At the grassroots level, you will probably find that some of your sponsors will only provide you with a jpeg file of their logo and a link to their website. To make sure that their campaign succeeds, it’s vital that you don’t just put their logo in the corner of your live stream and leave it at that. Instead, you should do everything that you can to ensure that their ad campaign is a success. That’s the only way to retain sponsors and ensure that they increase their budgets.
To service these clients, you will sometimes have to assume the role of copywriter, designer, or ad agency. This might seem like work that you don’t want to get involved in as a sports organization. But the reality is, if you want to compete with other advertising platforms, you will have to offer these services.
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LIGR is a sports graphics platform, but our team has experience in sports broadcasting and digital advertising. We understand what it takes to design and optimize an ad campaign to run on newly launched digital advertising platforms. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we know the small tweaks that can make a big difference. We know how to test, redesign, and optimize banner ads to ensure that advertisers see a return on their investment.
Digital advertising is not rocket science. There is a basic formula for creating a successful ad campaign. If you check all the boxes, then there’s a good chance your campaign will work and deliver a return.
To learn how to do this, you need to begin with the basics. We will start at the very beginning and go through the elements that make up a live stream sports ad. Even if you are familiar with digital advertising, there are some quirks to live streaming ads that are different from regular digital banner ads, so it’s worth taking time to learn about this.
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Then, once you’re up to speed, we’ll walk you through the process of quality control. You need to be able to critique an ad campaign and judge if it’s likely to succeed before it makes it to air. Once you’ve learned to spot problems, we’ll also teach you how to fix them (by outsourcing this work to budget-friendly freelancers – you’ll be amazed what $50 can buy if you know where to look and what to ask for).
The aim is to help you service your sponsors just like an ad agency would. We want you to be able to confidently explain why a change to their campaign will make it more successful and to be able to offer ad design services as part of their sponsorship deal. If you can give your sponsors sound advice and ensure that their campaigns deliver a return, then their only option is to stay with you and increase their spending.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What are the building blocks of live stream sports ads? What are the must-haves? How are live stream sports ads different from digital banner ads? All this and more will be answered in our next post: The anatomy of a Live-Streamed Sports Ad.
Blogs in this series