Monday, August 21, 2006

VOD: Gold Star to Time Warner

While Time Warner is preparing for a pretty ugly public relations/marketing battle against the NFL and its passionate fans in select major media markets, the cable company started a sports-related video on demand program with the Dodgers.

This is a brilliant idea and something that other sports teams need to embrace. I am really interested to see if this program gains traction in LA.

According to a story in Multichannel News:

"As part of its overall sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the cable operator has acquired archival footage from the team for the platform. The operator and the team will also shoot new footage, such as game highlights, so the site is updated frequently. The cable company hopes to post content the same day it is created."

"The site will also contain coverage of Dodgers charity events and press conferences, and will continue to operate even in the off-season, said Jamie McCourt, vice chairman and president of the team."

"The operator has had ‘introductory’ talks with other Los Angeles teams, including the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, about similar programming."

This is an amazing marketing opportunity for both Time Warner and the Dodgers. The Dodgers will receive a plethora of exposure from the VOD footage and the footage is free to customer. This is an easy way to create interest and hopefully drive more consumers to the games. Time Warner, on the other hand, is using this sponsorship to draw more customers.

This is a perfect example of the “out of the box” marketing that ALL sports teams need to embrace.

This VOD idea is something that Fenway Sports Group needs to work with Comcast, RSN and Time Warner to create packages in New England as well as around the nation. A lot of Red Sox fans in other parts of the country would be willing to pay to watch VOD of Sox footage, press conferences and other events. While I am not absolutely sure, I believe the Sox could keep all the revenue from this project as long as it doesn’t violate the national broadcasting contract.

FSG could also include NESN broadcasts in the VOD which would raise the demand and interest of the station and the team.

I am really excited to see this type of partnership because now sports teams are breaking away from the old time marketing and PR strategies.


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