Is VR The Future of Sports Broadcasts?

vr future of sports broadcasts

Virtual reality is a scorching hot topic in sports right now. Clubs, leagues, and broadcasters are scrambling to address falling TV viewership and get to the forefront of the latest and greatest tech. We’re seeing major investments in VR across the industry to create a content source that can provide a more visceral sports viewing experience. But to this point, I have been largely unimpressed with game-related VR content.

In one of the first ‘big swings’ the NBA rolled out a solid weekly VR stream through League Pass last season. Although it was a good product, I couldn’t watch for more than 10 minutes at a time. It was certainly an immersive experience but I didn’t find it to be better than the traditional broadcast. In fact, I find broadcast VR as a whole to be underwhelming, and it’s not quite at the point where it could be considered a broadcast replacement.

Frankly, it has a long way to go…

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Mentoring at SXSW 2017


Heading to SXSW? Me too! This will be my first SXSW and Austin, TX experience, and I’m pretty pumped to learn, network, and share.

I’m hosting an official SXSW Mentoring Session as part of the Sports Track on March 12th from 12:30-1:30pm and you can reserve a spot if you want to chat for a bit about digital strategy, sports, content, and branding.

I’ll be in Austin from March 10th – 14th, and if you’re going to be in town I’d love to connect. Hit me up @MathewBernstein or drop me an email if you’re headed to SXSW.

SXSW Mentor Session: Mathew Bernstein

The Importance of Brand Stories in Sports

Stories are Important in Sports - Rocky Balboa

Everyone loves a good sports story.

“Storytelling” is undoubtedly one of the top marketing buzzwords of 2017, and for good reason.

As the number of engagement platforms continues to skyrocket so too does the competition for a share of consumer attention. The current landscape demands that businesses in all industries excel at connecting with their target audiences in a meaningful, emotion-driven manner to drive business results. That applies to sports as much as any other business, where creating relationships with fans is critical to lasting on- and off-field success.

Stories are the key to establishing and reinforcing those relationships.

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Is The Capitals’ New Chatbot Smart Enough To Provide Real Value For Fans?


Last month the Washington Capitals announced the launch of a new chatbot for Facebook Messenger. Now that Facebook is allowing brands to build their own chatbots, chances are you have had a chance to interact with at least one. These bots are a unique way to create meaningful customer interactions on a widely used platform, so it makes sense that sports teams are jumping on the bandwagon.

When any new technology launches there are early adopters – eager to get their hands on the technology – who build something just to test the platform, and I applaud that approach. But for a new digital platform to stick and get traction with the fanbase it’s important to add substantial value to fans. It has to be useful and there must be a compelling reason for fans to engage with the bot or they simply won’t use it.

The Caps’ bot has been live for about a month now, so I decided to put it through a series of tests and questions to see just how useful the bot can be using Apple’s latest version of Siri as a benchmark. Here’s how it went…

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Native Is The Future – Sponsored Content Segments in Sports


Screencap courtesy of Digiday.

The World Series is getting a lot of attention right now and all eyes are tuned in to Fox. While NFL ratings are down CBS is reporting that the first two World Series games had an average audience of 18.3 million viewers, the most since 2009, which is promising for the MLB and broadcasters.

Those are impressive numbers. But with the rise of second-screen viewing on mobile devices, the use of DVRs, and even timing bathroom trips with commercial breaks, people are less engaged than ever during commercials. Brands are now demanding additional engagement opportunities and the networks have begun to recognize the need to keep viewers engaged during on-screen promotions. To do this they are turning to native ads and sponsored segments more frequently than ever, and the World Series features a prime example.

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Designed and authored by Mathew Bernstein.
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