Canadian Publishing Industry News
7 February 2017,    
Advertising Week: Rogers Media shows how to integrate the brand into content

With all the talk about content marketing Rogers Media revealed in their session how sports content is produced, consumed and its engagement with their audience. The lessons learned from their presentation can be used to show how and where brands can be integrated into content and the life cycle of this content. 80% of audiences in Canada are sports fans with 7 out 10 females sports fans too.

From left to right: Greg Sansone, Vice-President of Programming, Sportsnet, Matthew Logue, COO, S&E Sponsorship Group, Gord Hendren, President & CEO, Charlton Insights, Tara Slone, co-host of Rogers Hometown Hockey and Sportsnet broadcaster

1. Multiplatform Distribution
Live viewing of sports be it NHL Hockey, Blue Jays baseball and other sports is now available on multiple screens via large screen TVs, tablets, desktops and smartphones. In the digital age live sports is still preferred to be watched on television screens as the real estate is larger with 96% of the content is viewed live. Future developments include 4K TV and virtual reality that are looked upon in enhancing the in-home experience.

2. Social Media Engagement
Engaging with the sports content on social media enables a personal connection as It enables the audience at the event or at home in sharing the moment with friends and make them part of the action. This emotional bond is driven by the hometown connection with the sports team and it was revealed that 18 of the top 20 top trending hash tags on twitter is Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry as the #1 trending topic. Social media amplifies the experience and is the modern day water cooler where fans can engage with each other.

3. Merchandise Sales
The emotional bond audiences have with the local team spurs jerseys sales as fans want to want to wear the team’s jersey as part of the experience at the arena/stadium or at home that creates a personal connection with their team. This is all about the fan experience and creates a great source of revenue for the teams.

4. Video Game Engagement
Sports is unique with this emotional connection and EA Sports that creates video allows fans to grow a deeper relationship with the brand and engage with it in a video games. Rink board ads that are seen at games for example are incorporated in the EA games versions that help integrate the brand in to the content that replicates the live experience.

5. Athlete Brand Ambassadors
Athletes are be part of the process in which fans can engage with their local sports heroes as twitter has enabled to give them a direct connection to them and they become spokesperson for the sport. The star players becomes the focal point of the team and they help strengthen the emotional bond with fans.

6. Special Events/Fan Fests
Special events like Hometown Hockey that is in 24 markets across Canada each year is another way fans can engage with the content through special events. These Fan fests enable fans to see their heroes live as part this emotional connection with the sports team.

7. Sports Media Coverage
Sports media that cover the games for fans creates another content stream for fans to enjoy with articles and video highlights. Fantasy sports are part of the personal experience in how fans engage with the content also.

Sports content is unique, but publishers can now see how fans consume it and how they engage with it.  The session showed how Rogers Media is doing it and is a great reference on what the product life cycle can be for your own content and how it can be monetized.  

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