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How content is a game changer for sports organizations

Sports are as popular as ever, but the way people are engaging with them is changing. By using the right combination of people, processes, and technologies, sports organizations can come out on top.

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Jordan TorpyAug 29, 2022

No matter how much the world changes, people’s love for sports remains. Following a favorite team, watching a live event, playing amateur sports on the weekend – these activities are popular across all age groups. In fact, sports are more popular with Generation Z than with any other age cohort, which illustrates the staying power sports have in our society.

But the way people engage with sporting events, teams, athletes, and other fans is changing. An evolving media landscape, a proliferation of new channels, and increasingly active teams and athletes on social media are creating new expectations for fans. Audiences expect to be able to engage with the content they want, wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using.

Gen Z’s level of interest in sports is higher than any other cohort, according to PwC’s Sport Survey 2021

With these evolving expectations comes new opportunities for sports organizations. Those who can adapt, meet their audiences where they are, and provide engaging content, have the chance to increase trust in their organization and earn new fans. On the other hand, organizations who fail to adapt to these new trends may see a lack of engagement, decreased interest in their organization, and eventually a loss of fan support.

For fan-centric organizations, it’s crucial to find a way to create and deliver the content their audiences are looking for. This can be achieved with the right tools and processes in place, starting with how teams work with content. A headless CMS, or a modular content platform, helps by putting all an organization’s content in one place. By creating a centralized content hub, organizations can improve the way they connect and engage with fans while also supporting organizational teamwork and efficiency. Let’s take a look at how that’s done.

Connect with fans on all their favorite channels

According to PwC’s Sports Survey, two of the biggest challenges facing sports organizations today are a transforming media landscape and changing fan preferences and behaviors. Both of these are connected to the way in which fans consume sports content today: in different formats, on different devices, at different times. Organizations need a way to get their content to where their fans are while also keeping that content relevant, consistent, and timely.

One of the major benefits of a modular content platform, such as Kontent.ai, is its focus on modular content, supported by a headless architecture. Headless, here, means that content is created without a specific channel in mind. Instead, it’s created in modular elements within the platform. These modular elements can then be used (and reused) for any device or channel. Team stats, for example, can be sent to a website, a mobile app, an info kiosk in a stadium, and anywhere else that can ingest structured data. 

Team stats, stored in a modular content platform, can be shared across multiple channels with ease

Contrast this with how organizations have handled content in the past. Traditionally, website content might be created in a traditional CMS. These systems connect the final presentation of the content with the content itself, which means that any content created within them is tightly coupled to the website where it will appear.

If you want to share that same content across other channels, there’s no easy way to do so. It might require a lot of manual effort, copying and pasting text, editing formatting, and hoping everything worked correctly.

With a modular content platform, content is omnichannel ready from the very beginning. Not only does this make it easier to publish content to other channels–it also makes it faster to publish important information quickly. There’s no need to tweak the formatting and check looks correct on a different channel.

In the end, this means that a modular content platform helps sports organizations connect with fans by making it easier to publish content across all the channels they use. And by making it simpler to publish updates faster, organizations can help boost fan trust by ensuring that audiences are getting timely information.

Transform the web into a full-blown digital experience

A modular content platform can help organizations publish their content on all the channels their audiences use. But it can also help transform existing channels, like a website, from a simple source of information into a complete digital experience. Instead of using the web as a repository of read-only content, it can be used as a place where fans can buy tickets, take a virtual stadium tour, interact with their favorite athletes, or buy merchandise. Doing so requires putting the right tools and processes in place to enable your web to connect with other platforms.

Real Madrid lets fans take a virtual tour of the stadium right from their website, where fans can preview their seats before they buy tickets

The modular nature of a platform like Kontent.ai means it is easy to integrate it with other services. Social media feeds, live scores, ticket sales and more can be seamlessly integrated with your content, creating a holistic digital experience for fans.

A team’s webpage can become a place where fans can read about an upcoming match, see how many tickets are available, and immediately purchase tickets–all from one place. Weather forecasts, recent social media posts from athletes, and fan discussion can all coexist on a website, creating a richer digital experience for fans.

Sports organizations can set up scenarios like these with the help of a modular content platform. Headless architecture means almost any type of digital experience can be built, with a centralized content hub at the core. As fans’ expectations and preferences change, a modular content platform makes it possible to adapt, and create the experiences fans want.

Support winning teamwork

As digital experiences for fans become more complex, it’s important to be sure that content quality stays high. A good team, supported by the right technologies and processes, can help boost customer trust by keeping content consistent, relevant, and up-to-date.

One way to keep teamwork functioning at a high level is to give different people different levels of responsibility and access to the system that’s used to manage content. Giving users access to only the content they need to work on helps reduce errors, keeps boundaries clear, and gives employees confidence that they’re working on what they’re supposed to be working on. 

User roles and permissions go hand-in-hand with properly created workflows for your content. By making sure content is checked by the right people at different stages in its creation, it’s more likely that the final published piece of content will be in its best state. Some content platforms, like Kontent.ai, allow organizations to create different types of workflows for different types of content, allowing for a more granular approach to content governance.

Workflows in Kontent.ai help keep everyone on track

When this all comes together, it leads to smoother teamwork and collaboration, which can in turn help create more engaging content for fans. That’s why more and more sports organizations are turning to new processes and technologies to change the way they work with content. 

How sports organizations put it all together with Kontent.ai

England Hockey uses Kontent.ai to create modern digital experiences for fans of the sport all across the UK. By taking advantage of several of Kontent.ai’s unique features, they have created sites that increase fan engagement and even help drive more ticket sales.

One key feature England Hockey relies on is Collections. For larger sporting organizations, or those with an international presence, Kontent.ai’s Collections is a gamechanger. Collections lets organizations create different boundaries (like team, region, or country) for their content while allowing important things like content models and configurations to be shared across those boundaries. All Collections co-exist within a single Kontent.ai project, so there’s no need to spin up different instances of a CMS for each team or region.

Members of an organization can have separate roles in different Collections. A Marketing Manager for a specific team might have a Supervisor role in that team’s Collection while having a View-Only role in other Collections.

England Hockey uses Collections to run 8 different sites for their 8 Areas. Each site has its own unique look and feel, with its own content. But all the sites are running on a single Kontent.ai project, with configurations and settings shared between them.

England Hockey site
England Hockey runs modern, responsive sites using Kontent.ai

 

All their sites offer fans a modern, responsive web experience, which has driven results for England Hockey. After going live with Kontent.ai, their organic visibility increased by 300% in the first month. They also saw an increase in ticket sales, which are offered on their site with the help of an integration with their ticket provider.

Sports organizations know that improving the way they work with content is critical for their success. The R&A use Kontent.ai to power their Virtual Media Center, which makes it easier for news organizations and reporters to connect with golf’s governing body. And AC Milan and ACF Fiorentina have chosen Kontent.ai as their modular content platform for powering modern digital experiences that connect with fans. If you’re looking for a better way to work with content for your organization, schedule a demo today to get started.

A picture of Jordan Torpy
Written by

Jordan Torpy

I’m a Product Marketing Manager at Kontent.ai. I help teams get the most out of their content operations.

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