Over 80 guests from the sports, broadcast and media industries joined Grabyo and Little Dot Studios for our 2018 Sport & Social Summit.

Hosted at the beautiful Kia Oval, the event looked at the growing need to create new broadcast types and content formats that reach and engage more connected and mobile audiences – especially across social and OTT platforms.

Joining us for the day were senior representatives from FC Barcelona, Manchester United, ITV, BT Sport, WWE, The FA, Facebook, Twitter, Premiership Rugby, Formula E, MotoGP, Eurosport, Southampton FC, IMG and many more.

Making the most of the fine weather, the afternoon started with a networking lunch overlooking the Kia Oval before delegates headed to their seats for the first of five insightful discussions.

The first session was a spirited discussion between Eric Serra (FC Barcelona), Damien Cullen (The English FA) and Neil Smythe (Hashtag United) about producing 'social first' broadcasts for sports audiences.

Much of the conversation centered around live content. The FA has been working with Grabyo to create a daily live show exclusively for fans across social platforms from the World Cup. ‘The Lions Den’ is a digital-first broadcast that is filmed in Russia but remotely produced by a team in London. The 30-minute show is hosted by TV presenter Craig Mitch, who interviews players, management staff and fans. Fans are encouraged to send in questions during the broadcast and vote in live polls, run through Grabyo Producer.

“It’s about an authentic connection between the team and fans” – D Cullen

This was followed by a presentation by Grabyo partner ABB Formula E, who explained the strategy behind growing its social viewing numbers from 50m to 500m in just 12 months. This provided a fantastic insight delivered by Adam Kemp (ABB Formula E) and Rich Payne (Little Dot Studios) into how each social platform works, where the audience is and maximizing the life of specific content types and formats. Formula E delivers specific content to each platform, notably using Instagram Stories to bring an authentic race weekend experience to fans who cannot attend the race.

“Our Instagram Stories are the next best thing for fans who cannot be at the race” – R Payne

As new buyers for media and rights packages appear, Dave Gibbs (Sky Sports & News), Tracey Keenan (WWE), Phil Lynch (Manchester United) and Alex Gough (PSA/Squash) discussed how social video and OTT viewing is going to impact future business models for media rights and TV. For the panel, it was about working to understand what the customer wants and where they want to consume media. There is a balance between pushing out content to social platforms and providing exclusivity and offering premium content on their owned and operated channels. For Manchester United this means super-serving fans across each region with the content they want to watch on the platforms they want to watch it.

“You need to know where your audiences are and how ready they are to consume your content” – T Keenan

After a brief coffee and networking break, the topic of ‘meaningful social interactions’ was tackled by Leigh Walsh (AELTC Wimbledon), Jaine Sykes (ITV) and Nick Pearce (BT Sport). For AELTC Wimbledon and BT Sport, social platforms provide a medium to engage audiences outside of the live content. This year BT Sport rolled out a ‘no filter’ content series which is based around the stories and events that sit outside the live action; the series has been incredibly successful at finding ways to engage and reach fans whilst making the most of the available rights packages that BT Sport has.

“We measure our success based on reach, revenue and reputation” – J Sykes

Before a final wrap-up from Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon and networking drinks on the KIA Oval terrace, Wayne Davison (Little Dot Studios) broke down the best strategy for ensuring optimal content discovery on YouTube and how to use the platform to push traffic to your website, apps and OTT platforms.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated and to all who attended. Grabyo was delighted to be able to bring together so many industry experts and put on an event to showcase the very best and latest innovations across social and digital video.

Grabyo delivered more than 200,000 clips and 17,000 live events across the Facebook platform in 2017. If you are looking for strategic support and ideas to enhance your social video production output and maximize engagement, please get in touch with our team at hello@grabyo.com.

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