Tag: Fan Engagement

Golf Canada Taps Stadium Digital to Launch New National and Provincial Engagement Platform


Golf Canada, along with leading fan engagement company Stadium Digital, today announced the re-launch of golfcanada.ca.

The new platform introduces the roll out of a responsive national website network across Canada’s provincial golf associations, beginning with albertagolf.org. The digital home for the national sport federation is the go-to destination for millions of Canadian golfers and 1,400-member golf clubs across the country.

Developed and powered by Canadian sports technology leader, Stadium Digital, the bilingual platform features a dynamic new content hub to share Canadian golf news, information and highlights of Golf Canada’s slate of championships, programs and services for golfers and member clubs. The sites also feature original content to showcase the next generation of Canadian rising stars as well as informative articles for golf enthusiasts from coast to coast.

“The launch of our new bilingual digital network is an important evolution in golfer engagement for Golf Canada and our provincial associations, allowing us to go well beyond our previous capabilities,” said Golf Canada Interim CEO Jeff Thompson. “Stadium Digital’s network infrastructure platform gives us the much-needed scale so we can connect with our golfers, fans, partners and sponsors in a much more meaningful way.”

The digital network development was supported in part by a grant through the Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) National Sport Federation (NSF) Enhancement Fund. The program was devised to assist NSFs in the creation of efficiencies and enhancements that could benefit other sport federations.

“We are thrilled to see Golf Canada develop this innovative digital network to engage with golf enthusiasts across Canada,” says Chris Overholt, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “The insights learned through this initiative can now be shared with other national sport federations who look to build their own platforms. This is a great example of how sport organizations can work together to strengthen the system as a whole”.

The infrastructure, hosted on the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform, allows for a streamlined interface for users across devices. While all Golf Canada digital content lives on a single network managed by Stadium Digital, the infrastructure allows provincial golf associations to customize the look of their sites and develop their own unique content and sponsorship opportunities to serve local golfers and clubs.

Highlights of the new digital network include:

  • New content hub and video player with full integration of on-demand video
  • Standardized look for teams and championships
  • Content sharing across all provincial golf associations
  • Improved member and golf club services
  • New national and local sponsorship opportunities
  • Bilingual engagement
  • Improved discovery of original content – video, photos and stories
  • Enhanced navigation capabilities

“This is an exciting new era for golf in Canada with so many dynamic young players and a growing number of members and marquee events,” said Mark Silver, President of Stadium Digital. “It has been wonderful working with the team at Golf Canada and the provincial golf associations to develop a new platform and content hub to serve golf lovers and fuel Canada’s passion for golf for years to come.”

Stadium Digital has confirmed that work is already underway to build other Canadian provincial golf associations into the platform and that they are ultimately planning to extend the model to other national sports associations.


CHL and Stadium Digital Launch New Engagement Program for CHL Playoffs

CHL Fanbase offers special rewards for fans along with
new interactive CHL Playoff Predictor Game

Toronto, (March 21, 2017) – The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) kicks off the start of the OHL, WHL and QMJHL playoffs today with the launch of CHL Fanbase – the league’s new digital fan engagement platform. Developed by leading fan engagement company, Stadium Digital, the platform awards points to fans who engage with the CHL’s Playoff Predictor game and gives exclusive access to contests, promotions and events.

The highlight of the platform launch is the new CHL Predictor game which allows fans to predict the results of OHL, WHL and QMJHL playoff series. Participants all have a chance to win a trip to the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

Whether it’s entering a contest, predicting a playoff winner or engaging in partner promotions, CHL Fanbase is an incredible way for us to thank our loyal fans for their ongoing support and engagement,” says Mark Dickie, Senior Manager of Digital, CHL. “Playoffs are the best time of the season. As we lead up to the Mastercard Memorial Cup, we can’t wait to have fans join in on CHL Predictor and guess the outcomes for what are sure to be some compelling series.”

CHL Fanbase is natural digital extension of our services for the CHL, enabling the league to connect with fans on a whole new level,” says Mark Silver, President of Stadium Digital. “Using our proprietary engagement platform not only allows the CHL to recognize and reward its fans, it also empowers the league and teams to track behavioral fan data and ultimately help the CHL to develop custom promotions, programs and other partner initiatives that drive further engagement.”

CHL Fanbase marks Stadium Digital first league-wide fan engagement loyalty platform. The company has successful launched similar team platforms for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts.

About the Canadian Hockey League
The Canadian Hockey League is the world’s largest development hockey league with 52 Canadian and eight American teams participating in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League. CHL players graduate from high school at a rate higher than the Canadian national average. More than nine million fans annually attend CHL games during the regular season, playoffs and at the Mastercard Memorial Cup. The CHL is the number one supplier of talent to the National Hockey League (NHL) and U Sports.

Stadium Digital Powers New Interactive Engagement Platform for Canadian Hockey League and CIBC

Stadium Digital  launched a new interactive video engagement platform today for the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and their league partner CIBC.

CIBC Showdown showcases the best video content from the CHL and delivers it to hockey fans in a new interactive environment.

Available across all online and mobile platforms, CIBC Showdown features a custom-built digital video player and content hub that allows hockey fans to vote on a weekly selection of top highlights from the OHL, WHL and QMJHL.  Fans can share their favorite CHL highlights with friends and family across their own social platforms using the tag #CIBCShowdown.

“With hundreds of awe-inspiring goals, saves and great plays happening across our leagues every week, CIBC ShowDown will be a go-to destination for our fans to vote on the week’s most amazing moments and share some incredible hockey highlights across their social group,” says Mark Dickie, Senior Manager of Digital, CHL. “CIBC’s commitment to the CHL and junior hockey has been outstanding, we are thrilled to have them join us in celebrating the league and engaging with our fans on such a dynamic new digital platform.”

Stadium Digital launched a similar video engagement platform for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The team’s popular Play of the Year  has been a go-to destination for Tiger-Cats fans to vote on the team’s top plays from the past season.

“Sports leagues and teams all possess an incredible archive of relevant and compelling content – and most of it rarely ever gets seen outside of a brief hit on some highlight show,” says Mark Silver, President of Stadium Digital. “The ShowDown and Play of the Year platforms give our partners an opportunity to repurpose their very best content allowing fans and sponsors to engage in a dynamic way.”

Stadium Digital is currently in discussion with other teams and leagues to extend the ShowDown and Play of the Year platforms to new partners.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats Score With Data-Driven Marketing

The IEG Sponsorship Report takes a look at how the Hamilton Ticats in partnership with Stadium Digital transformed the world of sponsorship through its data-driven platform; All Access.

Click here to read the full article

Five Examples Of How The Ticats Integrate Sponsors Into The All Access Program

Niagara College—Gameday Predictor
Niagara College sponsors a fantasy game for each home and away game called Gameday Predicator. The sponsorship affords branding on all marketing and promotions including All Access, in-stadium video boards, Ticats TV Live panel, gameday and social.
Fifty-six percent of weekly active members participated in the Gameday Predicator in 2016, with 55 percent playing more than once throughout the season.
The team branded the Wi-Fi login page in Tim Hortons Field with the Niagara College logo; the first 200 fans who signed in to the All Access program while connected to the Wi-Fi received an Alex and Ani bracelet.

WeatherTech—Great Labor Day Giveaway
Fans who entered the stadium received a lanyard and ticket sleeve containing information about the contest and directions on how to enter.

Via Rail—Ride the Rails Contest
The rail service ran two contests within the All Access program in 2016 that sent two fans on the road with the team to Montreal and Ottawa. The winners received accommodations, game tickets and, obviously, train tickets.

Lou’s Barbeque Co.—Cub Club
Ticats Cub Club (kids club) signup occurred through All Access. Parents first became members of the program and then signed up their children. The data captured was used to target family ticketing offers while simplifying the overall sign-up experience.

RedTag.ca—Redemption for Contest Entries
Fans were able to redeem their “yards” for contest entries to win a vacation package courtesy of the travel agency.

Click here to read the original article 

A Hole in the Fortress

This article was written by Jean-François Codère and has been translated from the french language publication La Presse. The original online version is available in french here.


Live sports events, beginning with the Olympics and NFL football, have long been perceived as the last bastion of the traditional television industry. Now, even this bastion is starting to show signs of weakness under siege from changing consumer habits.
There is no shortage of analyses or rationales to try to understand what might have led to such a significant drop in viewer ratings for NFL football this fall. And many of these reasons are a threat to the majority of sports.


The atypical candidacy of Donald Trump, the unequaled campaign acrimony and the uncertain result until the end clearly had a positive effect on the network news ratings and, conversely, a negative effect on sports broadcasts. The NFL seems to have recovered. Out of the first 20 games broadcasted after the election, 10 drew more viewers than the corresponding game from the previous year. In the 9 weeks leading up to the election, only 9 of the 158 games broadcasted could say as much.


The San Francisco 49er’s quarterback spurred controversy at the beginning of the season by systematically kneeling down on one knee during the singing of the American national anthem before games, as a sign of protest against racism. His gesture allegedly prompted many Americans to boycott football, either in opposition to Mr. Kaepernick or involuntarily out of a sense of unease, so as to avoid being subjected once again to these tensions that infiltrate other areas of their lives, analysts speculated.


In a sport where the average playing career is just 2.6 years, fans have trouble identifying with star players, who are becoming increasingly rare. Many experts are also critical of the quality of play and the officiating. Out of the ordinary celebrations are prohibited. Match-ups between teams with very little national appeal have been thrust into major time slots. In a nutshell, there are questions the league needs to ask itself when it comes to the quality of its product.
It is also important to note that some sports, including basketball and baseball, have done well in the playoffs, but struggle to attract viewers for regular season games.


The NFL and football in general have been hit hard by new research on the effects of concussions. More and more parents, up to half of them according to some surveys, would not want their child to play it. Some viewers are put off by the knowledge surrounding the effects on athletes. However, some would be put off by the actions initiated by the NFL to soften the sport and thereby limit the damage. It’s tough to find a way out of this quandary.


Time demands on viewers are greater than ever, yet the days have not gotten longer. With this in mind, is having them spend three hours in front of their devices too much to ask? “I think so, in any case, I know that it’s difficult for me”, said Mark Silver Stadium Digital President, former Head of Digital Media at TSN and York University professor. “More than the overall attraction of the sport on TV, it’s the level of commitment that may pose a problem,” said John Simcoe, from PwC in Toronto. “There is cause for concern, for example, when you see a more dramatic drop in ratings halfway through the game.”


“Thanks to the power of social media, sports fans can follow their athletes more than ever, especially in their private lives. But what they see, lives of young privileged millionaires, is not necessarily likely to thrill them,” Mark Silver added. “Sometimes, people don’t like what they see, to the point where they no longer watch the games.”


When they talk about television and sports to their students, professors André Richilieu, from the UQAM, Mark Silver, from York University, and Scott Henderson, from Brock University, all observe the same thing: few people actually subscribe to cable and, by extension, to sports channels.


If youth are not subscribing to cable or if older viewers are also watching, albeit occasionally, programs via Netflix and other comparable services, they are not in the process of flipping through channels and potentially stumbling upon a game in progress. Or hearing the broadcast time of the next game for that matter. “People would watch sports because they would watch television and happen upon these programs,” said Scott Henderson, professor of Sports Management at Brock University. “Nowadays, a lot of people have checked out.”


One of the characteristics of sports content is that it quite often consists of highlights that are interspersed with more mundane moments. With the spread of video via social media, it has become easier than ever to disseminate these highlights (goals, outstanding plays, etc.), which often appear on line within minutes after they occur. “The best excerpts are distributed very quickly on social media, so that I can see the big play without interrupting my life to watch the entire game,” Mark Silver says. As such, the sports fan can catch everything (or almost everything), without watching anything (or almost anything).


It’s a problem that is much less noticeable in Quebec, where sports are split up into few teams and two networks, but in the US, it may become a rather complex task to unravel national rights, regional rights and the multitude of networks they own. “Rights are so divided and sub-divided that it can be difficult to decipher where your team is playing,” Mark Silver concluded.


This article was written by Jean-François Codère and has been translated from the french language publication La Presse. The original online version is available in french here.

Ticats to deliver first North American pro football broadcast on Facebook Live

Facebook Live videos have become a big part of the sports marketplace already, with MLB, NFL and NCAA teams experimenting with delivering content that way. That content has been mostly behind-the-scenes interviews and looks, though, rather than a typical game broadcast, but the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats are set to change that. The team has announced that they’re going to live-stream Friday’s preseason game against the Ottawa Redblacks on Facebook Live and make some history in the process.

Read full article on Yahoo Sports Canada

A Fan Centred Perspective on Engagement

Author: Mark Silver

Ask 10 different sports executive what fan engagement means, and I’d bet you’d get 10 different answers, and that’s perfectly okay. The truth is that fan engagement is a personal thing, and it’s only the fan who can truly answer the question.

I would like to propose a moratorium on the use of the term fan engagement by sports properties and the vast ecosystem of agencies and technology providers who support them. Really, what is fan engagement anyway?

As a kid growing up in Toronto in the 80s who closely followed the rise of the Toronto Blue Jays (version 1.0), just being able to watch an away game on television was a family affair. Or, sitting in the general admission bleachers at Exhibition Stadium, where my parents carefully protected me from the ruckus fans, well, that was an entirely different experience, but I’d say that both fulfilled my definition at the time for fan engagement.

Fast forward to today, where I can get every Jays game on any screen and in 4K, I’d still argue that’s fan engagement. And while the Jays have visibly invested in things like loyalty cards for ticket purchasers that double as your ticket and mobile wallet, or they have a great social visualization that fills the jumbotron during warm-ups, I would not consider these investments in fan engagement. We know what they’re up to with the loyalty card, and the social visualization is an easy way to fill the screen with content before the game starts. Both of these initiatives have little fan participation thus not fan engagement and a reason to attend the game.

To get to the point, the challenge of our time is that very few sports organizations are taking a fan-centered approach to fan engagement. I will give the Jays full credit for trying, and because many other sports organizations are doing the same, I’ll stop picking on them, because what I see happening in many organizers is that fan engagement is defined as one thing for ticket purchasers and then something entirely different for families, millennials, fan clubs and sponsors. The only true “fan engagement” activity that spans all types of purchasers and fan demographics is social. However, as we all know, while social is certainly a part of any integrated sponsorship package, and more recently it can be used to transact directly with ticket or merchandise purchasers, it is extremely difficult to obtain any significant reach without buying distribution. The bigger problem is that all this effort and investment in social is only making the social platforms more powerful by aiding and abetting their accumulation of a vast intimate data set of YOUR fans that they are willing to sell to the highest bidder.

At Stadium Digital we define fan engagement based on direct relationships with fans. That relationship could include actions such as purchase, digital content consumption, social activity, contest entry, fantasy play or a attending a game. The essential ingredient is YOU, the sports property, and YOUR fans. As we see it, fan engagement is not bound to those in attendance or the broadcast audience, which is why our Fan Platform was built to bridge the relationship with the fan so they can engage wherever they are. It’s truly for anyone who wants to subscribe to be a member of your fan base, in a relationship that YOU own and control. And when we say control, we mean the data, where YOU decide what data to track, YOU decide who to share it with and how to use it. The data itself becomes your monetizable intellectual property.

For more on how we have helped our clients collect and use data, here’s a recent case study.

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