Ensono helps Sport Buff boost fan engagement, increase broadcast viewing time for largest sporting event in Qatar 2022
Ensono, expert technology advisor, innovation partner and managed service provider, and Sport Buff, the award-winning gamification and fan engagement business, created a scalable data platform to deliver a personalized sports viewing experience and change the way the world watches sports.
Ninety percent of all sports viewers use a smartphone while watching sports. Typically, they’re engaging with friends, other fans, and getting the latest stats or stories from social media. It has become embedded behavior in sports fans, and broadcasters are struggling with how to leverage this new viewer behavior. Sport Buff is an interactive fan platform that offers content tailored directly for the audience. The platform’s on-screen graphics, or ‘Buffs’, fit around the original broadcast to give viewers extra information, engagement, and interaction – through posts, polls, and quizzes – that enhance their enjoyment and understanding and allow them to win rewards and prizes. Ensono evolved the existing Sport Buff platform to scale for increased audience engagement, enable a personalized viewing experience for fans, and allow broadcasters to customize their content based on real-time viewer interest.
“With Sport Buff the fan becomes the player,” said Sport Buff Founder and CEO Benn Achilleas. “We’ve created a platform that provides a unique interactive viewing experience for sports fans who want to do more than just watch sports and for broadcasters to have the ability to level-up their segments by tailoring content not just to what viewers want to see, but what they want to do as well.”
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Sport Buff audiences engage with an average 25 Buffs per match. When asked to be part of Qatar 2022, Sport Buff knew there would be a significant increase in usage. They needed to ensure the platform would run seamlessly when collecting data from hundreds of millions of Buffs. Sport Buff looked to Ensono to evolve the platform and create a solution that could manage the expected volume of users at scale while enabling user profiling, segmentation, and personalization. They also needed a solution that helped them understand content engagement and enable behavioral based modelling in the future.
With the volume of fan engagement expected to increase, Ensono created a data platform built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The platform ‘listens’ for stream activity across all broadcasters. Collected in a data lake, viewer data is centralized from multiple disparate sources and scales to meet viewer demand. The platform curates and restructures all Buff content in real-time, allowing Sport Buff to optimize content and provide a personalized user experience.
Sport Buff had 40 million viewers engage with almost 200 million Buffs during Qatar 2022. They saw a 266% increase in watch time for viewers who were playing Buff versus traditional viewing, and over 20 million extra minutes of broadcast time was consumed via Buff users.
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“We work with multiple sports, esports, and broadcast services, so there are numerous dependencies and external pressures to ensure our platform delivers accurate and actionable data,” said Achilleas. “Ensono took the time to understand our product and viewers and deliver a solution that was flexible, reliable, and really met our needs. Ensono was a true partner who worked with us to create the best solution for our partners and fans.”
“It’s been amazing to work with the Sport Buff team and see first-hand how they’re revolutionizing the fan experience,” said Alan Walsh, Managing Partner, Ensono Digital Europe. “They’ve created a transformative platform and our goal was engineering a solution that allowed for continuous growth and innovation. I look forward to seeing how we continue to work together and deliver a next-generation experience for fans and broadcasters.”
Sport Buff works for rightsholders, broadcasters and consumers as viewers are proven to play and stay with the coverage, then come back for more. Broadcasters who use Buff are proven to be able to increase viewing time, capture valuable data and drive greater engagement with their viewers, as well as create new on-screen sponsorship assets, helping them to better engage, retain and monetize their audience. With cutting-edge technology, proven operational delivery and deep experience in live sports broadcasting, the business has already worked with a range of sports rightsholders and broadcasters across a range of platforms including Web OTT, Android and iOS as well as Twitch and YouTube.
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