With sports still on hiatus, athletes become the new streaming stars
These kind of series have the potential as outlets for future brand collaborations and sponsorships. In some cases, athletes’ brand endorsements have been reduced or dropped as brands make their own cuts due to the pandemic. Last week, Under Armour said it’s renegotiating its sports marketing contracts and seeking payment delays to big-name endorsers.
For brands and platforms that can afford to take on new projects now, live content on streaming platforms is where they’re looking. With the majority of live sports still gone from TV, audiences are craving it. Several brands are renegotiating their current sports contracts with stars to incorporate live content, hoping to grab sports audiences as they wait in limbo.
The North Face, for instance, has a new weekly live interview series on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook featuring its sponsored athletes, such as mountain climber Jimmy Chin and skier Angel Collinson, who talk about their experiences in remote locations like Lhotse, Antarctica and Alaska.
“In a non-COVID-19 world, the primary platform for athlete engagement is on the field and court. But in this unusual time, in the absence of actual sporting events, athletes are embracing social video to not only just engage directly with fans, but to show who they are in an authentic way,” says David Moricca, CEO of video-streaming service Socialive.
Socialive is working with brands like The North Face and athletes like Chase Daniel, along with NBA and NFL teams, to create live social video series that can fill the void of live sports.