Amplifying our VOICE: How Sprint Leverages ‘Unlimited’ Content and Why Teams Could Do It Even Better

Couch vs. Run?

Recently I was lounging on my couch after dinner, debating whether to make the effort to get to the gym or go outside for a run.

You can imagine which one won that battle. So, I ended up tuning into NBC’s THE VOICE. I’ve seen it from time to time until this season. Okay, so I may be a bit of a fan. No judging please.

During the show, co-host Christina Milian popped on camera to promote voting for contestants via mobile, social, and also showcase other behind-the-scenes content, all powered by Sprint. After hearing that, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the partnership and here’s what I found.

  • Sprint has been with THE VOICE from the beginning as the show’s first official sponsor and has expanded on the relationship this season.
  • Sprint’s platform is built around their overall brand campaign, ‘Unlimited’, providing fans with all the content that they crave and then some.
  • Sprint  offers a synched-to-broadcast second screen experience live during the show (voting, polls, chat rooms, Tweets, etc.). FYI, so does Walking Dead.

NBA teams build out platforms for sponsors better than most, but the full digital offering from Sprint grabbed my attention. Could teams synch scripts with games in the same way the Voice does?

Who’s on Second?

According to research firm NPD Group, 87 percent of U.S. entertainment consumers say that they use at least one second-screen device while watching television.  The average Fortune 500 company spends annually on digital approximately 20% of their promotional budgets. It’s safe to say  there’s a huge gap between that and most pro teams. We have to make digital a bigger priority.

Properties have several competitive advantages vs. our media counterparts.

  • Integration. We have the ability to bring a fully integrated, year round solution to amplify a prospect’s brand, reinforce benefits, differentiate and authenticate their messaging, create exclusivity, reinforce loyalty and ultimately drive sales.
  • Activation. Media partners cannot physically bring brands to life like we can on-site to millions of fans a year.
  • Relationship. Media partners don’t have a generational relationship with families and fans like teams do.
  • Community. Teams have an established footprint in the community.
  • DVR-Proof. Teams have eye balls here and now. You can watch The Voice later, but sports fans prioritize time to watch the game now.

Now we just need to better determine how digital can play a bigger role of the solution mix.

The Next Gold Nugget

The ability for us to bring our TV-game viewing fan base closer to the action and provide more real-time content is our next gold nugget.

We can borrow a page out of The Voice’s playbook by better monetizing digital. We can also make the idea more robust with other fan touch points, whether in-arena, community, digital and beyond. This is our next new inventory opportunity. It’s staring us in the face each week, courtesy of Adam Levine, Usher, Blake and Shakira. Well, you know what I mean. Let’s go get it.

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