Discover more from Sports Pundit
Overtime's Playbook: Focus on 'Winning' the Group Chat 💬
With over 100 billion messages exchanged daily on platforms like iMessage and WhatsApp, Overtime's CEO Dan Porter emphasises the importance of creating content that can 'win' the group chat.
Not yet a subscriber? Join 1000+ sports business leaders, from Formula 1 to the Premier League, that read Sports Pundit every week to get impactful industry insights.
In today's digital age, the dynamics of sports fandom have undergone a profound transformation.
The emergence of technology and social media platforms has created a virtual arena where fans come together to share their passion, insights, and emotions about their favourite teams and athletes.
At the centre of this revolution is the group chat, a concept that Dan Porter, CEO of Overtime, recently hailed as "the single greatest innovation in sports fandom."
"Sports are inherently social," Porter explained on the Are You Not Entertained? podcast. "That is the greatest thing about going to a live event. A live European soccer game where everybody is singing their chants is really hard to replicate at home, but, as soon as you're on that group chat, you are essentially in a virtual world of live experience with other people. I think without that, sports would be much weaker."
Platforms like iMessage and WhatsApp have evolved into some of the largest social networks, serving as virtual gathering places for fans to connect, discuss games, and share their experiences. It's estimated that 8.4 billion messages are exchanged daily on iMessage, and WhatsApp takes this interaction to another level, with a staggering 100 billion messages sent each day.
As a result, Porter and Overtime devote a significant amount of their focus to trying to 'win' the group chat.
Overtime, in case you aren’t aware, is a dynamic sports media company tailored to Gen-Z. Renowned for its distribution of original sports content across various social media platforms, Overtime has in recent years launched both Overtime Elite, a groundbreaking professional basketball league for 16-20 year-olds, and OT7, a unique seven-on-seven American football league.
Their strategy for all that they do revolves around creating content that resonates deeply with their fans.
Porter, who was speaking live from the Sport Summit Como, emphasised that the "smartest content providers" are those who aim to craft content so compelling that fans are eager to share it within their group chats. For content creators, of which every sports league is one, he believes this is the litmus test for success.
In a world saturated with information, only the most captivating and shareable content finds its way into digital conversations.
This content can manifest in various forms, from engaging social media posts and behind-the-scenes footage to exclusive interviews and interactive polls. By consistently producing high-quality, shareable content, sports teams can ensure that their presence remains prominent in fans' digital conversations. This approach should also extend to broadcasts whenever possible.
“When we think about our broadcast, at its simplest terms, we put ourselves in the fan’s point of view,” noted Marc Kohn, Overtime's Chief Content Officer, in an interview with Sports Video Group earlier this year. What do I want to see that I currently can’t get from a [major broadcaster]? Their broadcasts are immaculate. You watch an NFL game; these broadcasts are stunning. We can’t have 100 cameras on the game. We can’t out-ESPN ESPN.”
Instead, Overtime takes a creative approach by blending high-end television production cameras with a compelling social and visual presence. They employ popular YouTube personalities as game commentators, incorporate graphics tailored to the TikTok and Instagram generation, and craft assets designed specifically for social media platforms, seamlessly integrating them into their broadcasts.
This includes embracing vertical video and airing conversations between players, coaches, and officials, as well as special cameras like the ‘OT Kicks Cam’ - homage to their social media standing as a top sneaker account on TikTok.
"Think about how many people have tried to create second screen experiences as companies and startups - that's just really hard compared to picking up your phone and there's something in the group chat [you have with your mates]," notes Porter.
Instead of trying to control the platform where the fan conversations unfold, Overtime accepts that not all fan interactions will occur on their own platforms. They see their role as providing the fuel to keep these conversations alive, wherever they may be happening.
As Michael Broughton, an experienced sports industry consultant and advisor, recently surmised, there is “too much content, not enough cut through.”
Ultimately, if more rights holders follow Overtime's lead and shift their focus towards understanding what it takes to ‘win the group chat,’ thereby prioritising their fans, the nature of the content produced would inevitably undergo a transformation. This shift would no doubt result in outcomes every sports league desires; enhanced retention of younger audiences and a heightened level of fan engagement and interest.
In the end, it all comes down to a relentless pursuit to please your fans – and serving them in the way that they want to be served is the best place to start.
Want to sponsor this newsletter? I’m looking for an exceptional corporate partner to help me to elevate the newsletter to the next level… Drop me an email if you are interested in reaching a highly engaged, high-achieving, sports executive audience.
What is happening in the Sports Industry? 🎱 🤔
Sports Pundit has published 75 newsletters over the course of the year so far... In the process, covering a number of trends from application of AI, to competitive socialisation 📰 🗞
While some examples become dated, many of the lessons written about continue to apply... including these eight stories aggregated below in this free to download PDF 👇
Entertainment Marketing Lead - Gymshark (London, UK)
Innovation Executive - Arsenal FC (London, UK)
Growth Director - Publicis Media (London, UK)
VP, Brand & Growth Research - WarnerBros Discovery (New York, US)
Senior Analyst, Strategy - Major League Baseball (New York, US)
Do you have a job you’d like to promote to the amazing readers of this newsletter? Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org