In a world where everyone has access to a platform to express themselves, athletes, brands, studios, and networks need to continue high levels of engagement with viewers to impress and secure advertising dollars (e.g., businesses and people paying money to view content). As competition among the different viewing platforms grows, keeping and raising viewership and engagement has become increasingly difficult. It is the competition for the attention spans of consumers as the commodity of time.
The late Kobe Bryant has made more in business than in his playing days. This is the result of the power of brand building through platforms and good investments in himself and others. The growth of name, image, and likeness (NIL) in the high school and college arenas for the next generation of athletic talent will only increase the opportunity for expansion in business acumen and success. More, the current and upcoming talent is more prepared than the past generation because they have grown up on platforms and have seen more and more athletes turn talent into businesses and brands based on sound investment strategy and advisors.
The limitations of consuming content is a question of quality and interest in the eye of the consumer and how quickly the developer and distributer can deliver content. On the other hand, as privacy law protections for consumers grow across these United States, tech businesses, streaming platforms, and companies have to find new ways to track and collect information with the purpose of reaching (or finding) consumers. The strategy is a dual approach: (1) provide good content, but also (2) make it easy to view that content (e.g., cost and access).
With the aforementioned in mind, it should be no surprise that as sports betting has grown post-PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), there have been increasing brand and platform integrations between sportsbooks, esports, crypto currency, sports teams, leagues, athletes, networks, and platforms to increase the gamification (e.g., monetization) and eventually the broader acceptance of gaming and monetary exchange, mirroring Europe’s sports gambling model and the future of commerce in general. Sinclair, for example, which owns a large portion of the regional sports networks (RSNs) in America, is now launching a direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming option to complete its rebranded Bally Sports cable programming. Bally, one might recall, is a casino operator that includes sportsbooks. The streaming option that includes sports betting and gamification is exactly the strategy mentioned previously as to providing content that is engaging (sports betting increases the financial stakes of engagement) and is easier to view (cable subscriptions are declining, while streaming subscriptions are increasing).
Even more direct, DraftKings, the fantasy sports and betting company, has purchased a media company (Verizon’s content business) and has secured deals with Dish Network and SlingTV. DraftKings now plans to launch a streaming service similar to YouTube or Fubo TV to reach consumers directly with betting content and games. No wonder the Oakland Athletics are interested in Las Vegas as a potential move for the franchise, it is closer to the betting action (despite having the largest state population, California does not currently allow sports betting) and their sister franchise, the formerly Oakland now Las Vegas Raiders, already left the state. Indeed, the platform presents the ever-increasing opportunity to reach consumers for athletes and brands.