Powering media collaboration between the Lions, media partners and fans
The British & Irish Lions are one of the world’s greatest sporting brands and the last great touring side in rugby. PT SportSuite’s digital partnership with the Lions was confirmed as they were in the throes of planning for a 2021 tour to South Africa like no other – with players having to be kept in an isolated “bubble”, touring personnel kept to a minimum and Lions fans unable to travel due to the ongoing implications of Covid-19.
Digital Media Collaboration
The Lions DAM
Previously the Lions did not have access to all their historical digital media IP in one location, with video and photo assets either being held by media partners or stored on 3rd party platforms
A branded Lions DAM (Digital asset Management) was established. Powered by industry-leading AWS cloud technology, all historical media assets were migrated into the Lions’ DAM by our team, giving Lions media and marketing personnel a centralised cloud media library with intelligent media services and advanced video/image AI services.
The Lions Media Partner Portal
With content needing to be shared remotely with multiple partners/sponsors, each with various levels of media entitlement, a workflow solution that would allow the various Lions media teams, based in South Africa and the UK, to collaborate and share content quickly, easily and securely – was of critical importance.
The Lions Media Partner Portal, a SportMojos white-label implementation, was established. All Lions 3rd party media partners, suppliers and sponsors were onboarded to their own branded cloud dashboard – giving the Lions media team the ability to upload and share content to specific partners or to all partners via a Lions Partner Community dashboard.
With a changing digital audience not only demanding more video content, but also choice in how and when they consume it, the Lions were looking for a partner to facilitate live and on-demand streaming to the official Lions Mobile App and on-demand streaming to their website.
They needed to set up and manage playlists for each Tour fixture and these playlists needed to be customised to cater for multiple simultaneous videos – allowing for multi-angle functionality.
The team set up automated processes to transcode all video into the required adaptive bitstream format for web and app playback.
PT SportSuite’s video playlist management platform, Imigino Studio, allowed for the setting up of playlists by pulling content from the Lions’ DAM as well as multiple ‘alternative’ video options to cater for the Lions’ unique multi-angle requirement.
With Covid-19 restrictions in full force during the 2021 Tour, fans were unable to travel, leaving the Lions media and PT SportSuite teams needing to think outside the box for a solution that would allow at-home fans to contribute to the Tour and feel connected to the Lions brand and sponsors.
The official Lions Fan Zone was established to capture this behind-the-scenes fan content via incentivised Fan Challenges. Fans could register through a simple Google/Social login process and form, to take part in various media Challenges, including the Vodafone-sponsored Matchday at Home Challenge which asked fans to submit photos/videos of themselves getting into to Lions spirit on matchdays.
By registering and submitting, not only were the Lions growing their valuable database of registered fans, the fans themselves were empowered to contribute to the Tour in a meaningful way while putting themselves in line to win great rewards and discounts on official Lions merchandise.
All fan media, after a simple moderation process, was published back to the Lions Fan Zone Wall, allowing fans to see what their fellow fans were submitting while creating a “digital Sea of Red”.
Bringing it all together
The Lions relied on the PT SportSuite Engagement team to provide all the assets required to effectively market the new Lions Fan Zone to their existing digital audience. We provided collateral over multiple touchpoints, including multiple social channels, newsletters and websites.
To celebrate the success of the Fan Zone campaign, the PT SportSuite Engagement team produced an official Lions Sea of Red campaign video, bringing the fans’ media contributions to life and creating a compelling video asset that triggered high levels of engagement on the Lions’ social channels, with participants keen to see if their submissions had “made the cut”.
What the Lions said
“PT SportSuite have not only helped us connect with our supporters through our new fan engagement platform but have provided support in feeding our live stream through our App, also allowing us to store our archive through a new digital asset management platform.
“Their advice and support has proved invaluable both in the lead up to the Tour and through it and we are delighted with these latest additions to our digital platforms.”
– Nabil Hassan, British & Irish Lions Digital Manager