<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P36XLWQ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

The rights holder playbook: Three winning strategies to make the most of your content

Ziv Leshem, the vice president of marketing at WSC Sports, examines how some of the company's partners are leveraging AI and automated highlights to maximise the reach of their content.

4 September 2023 Ziv Leshem

Getty Images

In an era defined by constant connectivity, sports media rights holders find themselves with unprecedented opportunities to create epic viewing experiences for fans with their content.

Social media channels, owned and operated platforms and linear networks draw hundreds of millions of global viewers each year, offering ample opportunities for rights holders to maximise the value of their rights through cross-platform content. However, to truly capitalise on this potential, rights holders must embrace innovation and personalisation.

The modern sports fan craves more — more content, diverse formats, and personalised experiences. In the fight for consumer attention against giants like Netflix and TikTok, delivering the right content at the right time and on the right platform is essential.

An effective content strategy must be both proactive to anticipate audience needs, and reactive to promptly respond to unexpected moments. It must be agile and ready to adapt to the dynamic nature of live sports.

But how do we continue to innovate and effectively meet the ever-evolving consumer demands?

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation solutions are transforming the content delivery process. With their ability to analyse vast amounts of data and extract valuable insights, these cutting-edge technologies empower rights holders to streamline their content workflows while creating personalised content experiences tailored to individual consumer preferences.

At WSC Sports, this has become our bread and butter.

Below are a few of the most impactful ways our sports media rights holder partners are leveraging AI and automated highlights to maximise their rights and make the most of their content throughout the year.

The power of personalisation

A marriage of native content, robust data analytics and owned and operated platforms are a powerful vehicle for cultivating personalised fan experiences. Through these channels, rights holders can gather valuable first-party data about users’ habits, likes and dislikes. This allows rights holders to craft customised push notifications and emails that serve content (highlights, images, articles, etc.) covering users’ favourite teams and players. This data-driven approach brings users more of the content that is important to them, bringing them closer to the teams and players they admire, and ultimately delivering a personalised experience.

By employing a similar tactic during the launch of their mobile app, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Cleveland Cavaliers now let users create a personalised highlights feed where they can handpick over 24 different types of highlights from their favourite players.

The results? An 83 per cent increase in app downloads and a significant surge in user engagement.

“We’ve created a personalised highlights feed for our fans, where they have the ability to go in, identify their favorite player or their favorite type of play,” says Brandon Jirousek, vice president of digital at the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Using the WSC Sports platform we’re able to deliver those highlights in real-time to our fans through the Cavs mobile app.”

Embracing new content formats

With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form vertical videos have taken centre stage as consumers’ preferred content format for mobile consumption. The numbers don’t lie – more than 75 per cent of US adults spend up to two hours daily watching short-form videos.

To reach younger audiences who prefer quick mobile content, vertical video is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a pivotal cornerstone of any content strategy.

Acknowledging this reality, the NBA has heavily embraced the 9:16 vertical video format by creating a stories-like feed for live games within its app. For example, if a user opens the NBA app during the third quarter of the Cavs vs 76ers game, they can catch up to the live action by viewing these vertical video highlights, all of which were automatically cut, cropped and distributed in real-time using AI from the live 16:9 horizontal game broadcast.

With this strategy, the NBA has tripled its number of views from the previous season, shattering records and delivering exactly what its fans wanted, when they wanted it most.

Leveraging the power of search

Content is only as good as its distribution. Recently, Google began supporting Web Stories for its OneBox – a content medium that perfectly combines the surging popularity of vertical video with the leading destination for online searches. Rights holders can now showcase their content right at the top of Google Search results, providing fans with quick and easy access to highlights, news, scores, standings and more. This is especially powerful during major sporting events where both fans’ emotions and event-related searches are at their peak.

The recent World Cup saw WSC Sports help broadcasters create highlights as Web Stories for Google

During the 2022 Fifa World Cup, WSC Sports helped broadcasters create highlights as Web Stories for Google Search. Those broadcasters successfully leveraged the vast discoverability and accessibility of their content to direct traffic back to their owned and operated platforms, maximising the value of their initial rights investments. Fans responded too, helping to amass more than 365 million story card impressions, with a 30 per cent story click-through rate (CTR).

“The partnership between Google and WSC Sports is changing fans’ behaviours,” explains Sergi Talavera, head of SEO at DAZN Group. “Before you would be searching and just get a live score, now you get a thumbnail with real live action. You can actually click on the story highlight straight from your phone.”

By embracing innovative new technologies and implementing them in content workflows, rights holders can amplify their reach and craft compelling narratives that win the eyes, hearts, and wallets of fans and sponsors during major sporting events.

When done correctly, implementing the above strategies will allow rights holders to forge deeper connections with fans, generate substantial revenue, and maximise the value of their content to its full potential.

The opportunity is there; it’s time to seize it.

At WSC Sports, we use advanced artificial intelligence technology to help global sports organisations like the NBA, LaLiga, ESPN, and YouTube TV to quickly generate personalised sports content automatically. Creating content in real-time and at scale allows them to reach every type of sports fan with the content they most want to see, increasing reach, engagement and monetisation opportunities.

Book a demo now to see the power of WSC Sports’ automated content platform in action.

1 / 1insight articles read

You’ve reached your article limit for this month. Please create a free account to continue enjoying our content.


Have an account?