This data chimes with insights shared by sports properties and media agencies around the globe. The dichotomy at the core of this is that while live rights make up the lion’s share of revenues (75-85%), the average sports fan is only watching circa 55% of sports content in real time.
Commercial success in sport is ultimately driven by the passion of fans – the number that follow and the extent to which they care. To earn their passion, sport must both recognise and emphasise that it is truly differentiated from other forms of entertainment. Sport is so unique and exciting because it is unscripted, it creates authentic narratives that appeal to our natural instincts about people, success, failure and endeavour.
Sports properties must do everything they can to amplify this key point of differentiation, leverage their owned and operated channels to drive fans back to the athletic brilliance and unscripted novelty that only sport can offer.
The Masters, relative to its golfing counterparts has another significant advantage in this realm, again it is a function of the venue. Producing a Golf Product is really challenging. Operating on the equivalent of 350 football pitches with 140 athletes roaming around is a quantum leap in technology terms relative to mapping 22 footballers inside a stadium! Making technology and infrastructure investments at Augusta National presents a significantly more compelling ROI and business case than those events which might not return to a given course for a decade or two. Augusta National has absolutely doubled down on this fortuitous competitive advantage and invested significantly in technology that has elevated digital expectations for fans in the sport.