Boxing in the Digital Era: Focus on SPORTEL 'heavyweight' keynote panel
The 2020 spring edition of SPORTEL will kick off on 3 March, with a high-level conference day including a keynote panel featuring some of the most important personalities from the world of boxing.
Today’s consumers love navigating life with their mobile device on hand, which creates an opportunity for streaming services like DAZN to deliver high-quality content that is relevant to their passions and available at their fingertips. This trend is not only impacting entertainment but is changing the way boxing fans enjoy the sport.
During this “heavyweight” keynote panel, Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy and Former World Boxing Champion, along with Eddie Hearn, Group Managing Director of Matchroom Sport will discuss how this trend has created an opportunity to connect with new consumers, the importance of social media in marketing events, and the role that boxers play in promoting their own fights and viewing options. Additionally, John Skipper, Executive Chairman of DAZN Group will offer insights into how the viewing experience can be more engaging and what the company is doing to pioneer sports streaming.
On this occasion, we asked the three elite speakers some questions for further insights.
Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy
How are boxers embracing OTT platforms? Many of the boxers in the Golden Boy stable are embracing DAZN and their OTT strategy with major enthusiasm. We work closely with our fighters on properly posting the DAZN value proposition on their Social Media channels utilizing strong graphics and images and hard-hitting video. Our fighters recognize that Golden Boy and DAZN are at the forefront of distributing Live Sports to consumers in and out of their homes on their device of choice. Being pioneers is exciting for our athletes as we drive more attention to them with the best in technology and design.
How does marketing differ between an OTT platform vs. traditional channel?
Many of the same practices are utilized for driving attention to fights airing on DAZN that were once airing on HBO, although the message is much different as DAZN is a subscriber based business that offers over 100 fights a year for the fraction of an HBO subscription coupled with the PPV price tag for mega fights. The DAZN value proposition is positioned and explained across traditional radio and TV spots as well as through outdoor and on digital platforms. The major difference is the strategic utilization of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter both via paid and earned media. DAZN and Golden Boy work closely with influencers that can drive subscribers and ticket sales to our fight - the creative is slick and fast moving, driving attention and awareness.
Eddie Hearn, Group Managing Director of Matchroom Sport
How do yourself and Matchroom Boxing see the future of boxing? Boxing is in a good place while interest from broadcasters continues to exist but ultimately, we must keep making the match ups that will engage the fans. As much as the quality and style match ups are important, so to is the narrative that can be told both by the promoter and by the creation of quality content and shoulder programming for each event. For me, this creation is as key to the future as the fights themselves. Boxing is so exciting but the stories are compelling and must be told.
How is OTT streaming through the partnership with DAZN, enabling Matchroom to bring your fights to a wider audience and become more engaging for fans?
With DAZN you have seen the creation of an unrivalled schedule for boxing in the U.S. Whilst the option of watching on a big screen still exists, fans can now stream live events on the go through their devices - a common trend and preferred option for the younger generation of sports fans. From a scheduling perspective, we don’t have the restrictions a linear partner can bring and therefore can broadcast more fights giving our younger emerging talent continued global exposure. With our international schedule, together we have built the ultimate destination for fight fans.
John Skipper, Executive Chairman of DAZN Group
What should U.S. sports fans know about DAZN?
In the U.S., DAZN features the biggest fights in boxing for an attractive annual or monthly subscription price. We’ve seen streaming transform the fields of entertainment and music. And now the same is starting to happen in live sports - the most valuable content in the world. After launching in 2016, DAZN has expanded to nine countries across four continents including Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
What is the biggest difference between boxing on linear vs. OTT?
The scheduling is critical. Last year, we announced “Fight Season on DAZN” as our fall campaign to inform consumers that championship boxing events would be coming their way each month – Gennadiy Golovkin in October, Canelo Alvarez in November, Anthony Joshua in December. The best way to retain subscribers is to provide must-have content each month.