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LiveScore continues to grow its global reach through partnership with La Liga

New technological innovations continue to be an important factor in how football fans consume the world game across broadcast and digital media.

This growing trend was part of the motivation behind La Liga and LiveScore signing a three-year global sponsorship deal at the beginning of the 2019 season.

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a disruption to both organisations’ core business offerings, the partnership has continued to develop ways to engage fans and enhance their experiences.

LiveScore services over 56 million active monthly users in over 200 countries through their app and website.

The organisation wanted to work with the high-profile Spanish competition to continue to accelerate its growth and global reach.

“La Liga undoubtedly has a reputation as one of the best football leagues in the world”, Will Thomas, Head of Sponsorship at LiveScore Group, told the La Liga Newsletter.

“We want to align ourselves with leading sports institutions that share similar ambitions to us, centred around growing fanbases, speed, reliability and digital innovation. We found La Liga reflected many of these qualities.”

La Liga provides LiveScore with multiple digital assets, as well as increasing the visibility of the brand with pitch-side advertising boards, fourth official boards and social media posts.

In saying this, however, the partnership centrally revolves around LiveScore’s sponsorship of La Liga Replay360° technology.

Every time Replay360° is used in a broadcasted match, which is on average six times per game, LiveScore is showcased as the presenting partner responsible for the technological innovation.

Edited clips are also shown on La Liga and LiveScore’s social media channels, with Replay360° generating over 35 million video views and five million positive engagements for LiveScore last season.

“Early indications through our research suggest that we are beginning to get some cut-through in terms of sponsorship awareness in many of our focus markets, amongst both La Liga fans and LiveScore users”, Thomas added.

“Millions of fans watch La Liga matches and follow their social channels, where we regularly appear, so the rights have been a solid base for us to work from.”

The technology is still considered to be a relatively new innovation and one that fans continually appreciate.

“It appears as if the fans love seeing goals from this unique perspective, as engagement sentiment has been very positive,” Thomas said.

“LiveScore is in the business of providing goal updates and scores to football fans, so building on this association is both obvious and important to us.”

The arrival of the global pandemic did force some adjustments, with both parties having to think on their feet when it came to their previously arranged agreement.

“We want to enhance the LiveScore user experience through our sponsorship assets, providing better content and more unique fan experiences and rewards,” Thomas explained.

“Clearly, the pandemic has made this more difficult as it has been impossible since March to utilise things like match tickets, hospitality and ‘behind the scenes’ access. So, we have really focused on what we call ‘the controllables’ and that is broadcast and digital.”

To succeed in this space, LiveScore worked with La Liga to produce video content that was unique to the situation.

“We have collaborated with several past and present La Liga players such as Steve McManaman, Patrick Kluivert, Marc Bartra, Ivan Rakitić, Saúl Ñíguez and Samuel Chukwueze, as well as LaLiga President Javier Tebas, which is enabling us to provide regular engaging content that fans are already enjoying,” Thomas stated.

With around 25% of LiveScore users following La Liga passionately, there was keen interest in this content amongst its own userbase and also from those who follow the La Liga’s digital channels. The first ‘LiveScore Challenge’ films featuring players, as well as accompanying interviews, are already available on both organisation’s social channels with approximately 25 individual videos to be released by the end of the 2020/21 season.

As La Liga continues to enhance its own OTT streaming service, the Spanish competition is in a position to share new findings with partners such as LiveScore who are looking to develop similar offerings.

LiveScore launched a free-to-air live streaming service in June of this year.

“We’ve been delighted with the response at this early stage,” Thomas revealed.

“LiveScore app users in the UK, Ireland and Nigeria are now able to access live matches from some of the top football competitions around the world and over 70% of app users in each of those markets have watched a match so far. Furthermore, 25% of those viewers have gone on to watch more than 10 live matches – a sign that our users are enjoying the action we’re providing.”

Both companies will continue to try to stay ahead of the technological curve, with the data they have gathered through a wide userbase, vital to detect new trends.

“The provision of insight is something we work closely with rightsholders on to shine a light on the popularity of specific competitions around the globe and how LiveScore streaming its content can influence this in a positive way,” Thomas said.

For example, LiveScore can provide La Liga information on the level of interest in certain fixtures and teams in certain markets, with the ability to compare those figures to other leading leagues and clubs across the world.

“From a research and development sponsorship perspective, we are continually sharing key findings with each other on the successes and challenges of the partnership,” Thomas noted.

“From a broader business perspective, outside of the confines of the sponsorship, we are a digital global content business that is accessible to sports fans all over the world and we are always open to providing advice and support to our trusted partners.”

“We are still in the infancy of our partnership, but I am sure future innovations will come as we continue to work together,” he concluded.

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Deltatre: The all-rounder for leading innovations

Boasting a wide range of technologies, Deltatre has proven itself to be a reliable technology provider to football federations, leagues and clubs around the world.

Boasting a wide range of technologies, Deltatre has proven itself to be a reliable technology provider to football federations, leagues and clubs around the world.

Deltatre is changing the way fans consume and engage with their favourite sports, with specialist innovations ranging across over-the-top (OTT) streaming, websites and apps, graphics, data, officiating systems, user experience, and product design.

Speaking to Soccerscene, Craig Harvey, Deltatre’s Vice President of Asia-Pacific explains: “We guide sports organisations through change. Using data and insights, combined with over 30 years of experience in sport, we analyse, design and deliver the next level of growth through technology and services.”

With an extensive client list in football – featuring FIFA, AFC, J League and all MLS clubs, to name a few – Deltatre brings an unrivalled experience to any football organisation that is seeking to build its brand by engaging, understanding, growing and monetising its fans.

Deltatre growth in Asia-Pacific

Deltatre has experienced significant growth in recent years, and has expanded its presence around the world, with over 1000 staff across 11 countries. In 2015, Deltatre made a strategic decision to build a presence in Asia-Pacific and localise its service to adapt to the needs of the clients in the region.

Now with nearly 100 staff distributed across Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and India, Deltatre is better placed than ever to deliver; and clients such as Asian Football Confederation (AFC), J League and India Super League (ISL) are already benefitting from this strategic initiative.

Indeed, the ISL appointment of Deltatre reflected the mission to redevelop its on-screen storytelling of the fastest growing sports property in India. Deltatre developed, designed, and deployed a best-in-class graphics solution for the full season, and implemented sophisticated remote production that ensured adaptability. Such implementation came to the fore this year, considering the significant restrictions imposed by COVID-19 in India, with operations limited to strict bio-secure bubbles in Goa and Mumbai, as outlined in this case study.

Harvey touches on the success on this project: “Delivering live sport can be challenging at the best of times. In today’s world, it takes a new level of commitment, adaptability and innovation to ensure a safe and successful delivery. Delivering this seasons ISL was arguably one of our hardest deliveries, ever, but the toughest times often lead to our greatest moments.”

Leading Innovation

Beyond the world of broadcast, Deltatre is renowned for its work across data, owned & operated digital platforms and OTT streaming services; be it collecting the official data for the Bundesliga, or powering MLSSoccer.com and NFL Game Pass, as a few examples from a distinguished list of projects around the world. In addition, Deltatre provides the technology backbone to managing competitions and events for several organisations, streamlining both internal and external processes and tasks.

Harvey adds, “At our core, we are a team of technology experts with a passion to bring sport to life. Over the past 30 years we have built and refined our products and services to connect the media value chain to maximise performance and operational effectiveness for all stakeholders.”

An area where Deltatre has seen great traction in the past few years is the centralisation of digital platforms for leagues to better support the future of their clubs and members. The multi-tenant approach – using FORGE Multiply – brings unity to every member, large or small, and offers an ecosystem designed to support them engage, understand and connect with their community and fans, and ultimately grow their sport.

“A powerful example of work is highlighted in our recent announcement on becoming the web technology partner for Major League Soccer (MLS), supporting the league and its clubs transform the fan experience.” Harvey said.

Beyond Football

Deltatre’s capabilities and experience extend far beyond football, and sport. In 2018, Deltatre acquired Massive Interactive – which was founded in Australia in 1996 and now uses its office in Redfern as its Australian HQ – bolstering Deltatre’s OTT capabilities with products capable of delivering entertainment platforms for media organisations around the world.

Harvey added: “We predicted that media organisations would consolidate OTT viewing experiences across sport and entertainment, and so the acquisition of Massive Interactive has uniquely positioned Deltatre as leaders in both live and VOD content management, paired with world-class products that deliver engaging experiences at scale.”

Soccerscene takes a closer look at the variety of products and services Deltatre brings to market – all of which could well be applicable to organisations throughout Australia that are looking to augment their capabilities.

DIVA – Bring fans closer to the action.

An advanced OTT player, DIVA offers fans more than simply watching the game. If you’re watching from home, you want to experience every moment in fine detail. You get all the data you could ever want, with the ability to view from multiple angles – available on mobile, web, and Android TV.

AXIS – Drive user engagement.

User experience (UX) is at the heart of AXIS, giving editorial teams the chance to tailor their content to suit each sports fan. AXIS uses an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface that can control all aspects of an organisation’s OTT service to deliver increased engagement, such as design, navigation, promotions, page layout, and content.

Mtribes – Give your users a more personalized experience.

This software as a service (SaaS) platform has been created for real-time insights on user experience. To be successful in digital, data is the key indicator. To understand users, there needs to be the right tools in place to see how the audience is interacting with a service. Mtribes plugs into an existing sports technology stack to be assessed by operators. With the power of data, they can make changes to a service’s features, design, and content depending on a user’s behaviour traits.

FORGE – Engage your fans through storytelling.

A sports-oriented audience is hungry for content and wants that content all in one place. FORGE is the world’s first sport-focused publishing platform that meets the needs of all audiences on a global scale. It offers flexibility for sports operators to tell their unforgettable stories through this modern-day solution. FORGE has been built from the ground up to create a content platform that’s simple to use and lets editorial teams produce content as they like. It also lets teams get a better idea on how much time they engage with their fans and to decide on the appropriate channels.

To see all that Deltatre has to offer, you can find it here.

The commercial numbers of the Premier League as season 2021/22 gets underway

The 2021/22 English Premier League season began this past weekend, with capacity crowds returning to stadia for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Following on from a previous season which included the majority of games being played behind closed doors, it was a welcome commercial boost for clubs across the league.

According to Richard Masters, the CEO of the Premier League, clubs have posted major losses over the past 18 months, but financially those difficulties have been managed well overall.

“Across the Premier League economy in the last 18 months, we’ve lost about UK£1.5 billion plus in revenue and that creates some significant challenges for clubs to manage and they have done that,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“So, it hasn’t been easy but what I can say is with fans back, with some of the broadcast agreements we have put in place, we have got a more secure footing.

“Not just for the Premier League but for the whole of the professional game who as you know we filter a lot of our revenue down to, into the pyramid and into grassroots. So, it’s good news to everybody.”

Some of those financial woes were self-inflicted however, after the embarrassing European Super League proposal led to England’s ‘big six’ clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal) incurring fines of US $30.4 million each for their role in the breakaway competition.

It is likely to be the end of such attempts after a new owners’ charter was introduced in May, preventing clubs from signing up to similar breakaway projects.

“I think the charter changes we agreed to in June are an end to this”, Masters told Sky Sports.

“I think it’s not an end to perhaps some of the issues that created it. It was a bad idea, poorly executed and it’s been consigned to the past I believe.

“We are in discussions with those clubs involved and we will put in place rule changes to make sure that these things won’t happen again. We had a lot of support from the government and in particular, from fans, everybody showed what they thought of the concept.”

What the Super League idea highlighted was the disparity between the leagues ‘big six’ and the other 14 clubs in the league.

A Sportico report outlined that the six big English clubs had a valuation of US$3.67 billion each on average last season, with the other 14 clubs in the league valued at US$3.7 billion combined.

According to multiple Sponsorpulse engagement reports, Liverpool was the most engaging club in the Premier League between late 2019 to mid 2021, with 45% of people in the UK engaging with the team at least once in the past 18 months. Manchester United were ranked 2nd with 42% engagement, ahead of Manchester City with 40% and Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea all on 39%.

Outside of the UK, the big six clubs continue to engage with a range of overseas markets, some more emphatically than others.

Liverpool’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Colombia (54%), South Africa (53%) and Indonesia (52%)

Manchester United’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Colombia (59%), Argentina (57%) and South Africa (57%)

Manchester City’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Colombia (58%), Argentina (57%) and Mexico (55%)

Arsenal’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Colombia (54%), South Africa (53%) and Indonesia (52%)

Tottenham’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Indonesia (50%), South Africa (47%) and China (46%)

Chelsea’s top 3 overseas markets – by percentage of engagement are: Colombia (56%), South Africa (54%) and Indonesia (53%)

The power of these six clubs continues to lift engagement in big markets such as China, India and Indonesia and make the Premier League what it is today.

These three markets all have more than a 50% engagement rate with the Premier League competition overall, which dwarfs Australia’s engagement rate which currently sits at 31%.

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