As sport organisations attempt to ensure they create enough high quality content to satisfy their fans' growing desire for news, insight and features, we chat to Rich Cheary, CEO of PT SportSuite - a new offering from Publisher's Toolbox - about how sport organisations can harness the power of online content.
Talk us through the inception of PT SportSuite, and how it originally came about?
PT SportSuite is a start-up “spin-off” from parent company Publisher’s Toolbox. As a business, the opportunity to enter the sports fray and apply the lessons we’ve learned working with traditional media groups for 10 years was one we couldn’t pass up, so we invested in tailoring our digital suite of products towards sport organisations.
We’ve always wanted to play a digital role in the sport industry, but wanted to wait until we could provide a compelling, disruptive and unique value proposition. For a number of years I’ve believed that sport organisations and brands could benefit from starting to behave and operate more like modern media groups.
Why did you feel the need to create PT SportSuite, and what did you see within the industry that drove you to believe PT SportSuite is the solution?
Sports organisations enjoy a level of loyalty that brands in other industries would kill for, but the need to transform digitally hasn’t evaded the sporting landscape. In fact, in many ways the average sport fan gets a raw deal, with little in the way of innovation or incentivisation.
Placing the fan at the centre of everything isn’t just a decision; it’s a mindset shift towards embracing technology in all aspects of the business to provide more for the supporters.
This was our motivation; we felt it was the ideal time for us to positively disrupt the sport industry with one of the most advanced digital media ecosystems, that is cost-effective to implement and enables monetisation of digital content.
How does PT SportSuite differ from the competition, and how does its offering help rightsholders?
PT SportSuite is the only truly end-to-end digital media platform for sport organisations on the market today. It is built upon an established, world-class suite of digital products that can operate independently or as part of a larger digital media content ecosystem.
That means sport organisations of all sizes now have a uniquely scalable platform that allows them to focus on increasing media production, cloud storage, media accessibility, publishing, broadcasting and monetisation, all of which allow for the establishment of sustainable digital communities around their brand.
You’ve done a lot of work with Bristol Sport. How did that relationship come about, and how has it been working with the group of teams – creating a digital identity across different sports?
From the beginning our relationship with Bristol Sport has been a partnership in the true sense of the word. We have spent nine months analysing and amending our media platforms to meet the needs of their organisation and various brands, providing us with an excellent case study to take to market.
Bristol Sport were great in giving us their trust in what it is we were trying to achieve – everyone on the media side of their business has been fantastic to work with. Once they realised the upside that PT SportSuite would bring to operational workflow, it was an easy process to implement the various modules across their three brands – City, Bears and Flyers.
How has the industry responded to your offering, and is it being understood how important this can be to them engaging fans, driving commercial revenue, and building a better media output?
There are so many great digital campaign ideas around fan and brand engagement in and around the sport industry. But these ideas are often hard to achieve or unsustainable without a media foundation and asset accessibility, along with communication strategy, integrated tracking and level of personalisation for users.
By leveraging our internal AR capabilities, advanced AI image and video analysis along with fan generated content, we aim to provide a more personalised and tailored brand loyalty service that is measurable and repeatable, allowing sports brands to be confident and satisfied with their investments.
Traditionally, sport has failed to see the link between a strong media output, and the generation of commercial success. This is changing, and we’re seeing leagues and clubs create some fantastic content. Do you feel this is just the beginning of a growing trend?
Sport organisations’ marketing and creative content teams are hard working, and produce some amazing video clips, image galleries and editorial pieces. In our analysis we noticed the majority of this content was going out to social media channels, which is great yet doesn’t result in a tangible return on investment.
We want to change that; we want to provide branded media platforms across web, app and video player that inform, attract and make it simple for fans to access content within an environment that sports clubs and brand sponsors feel they have a sense of ownership of. The digital tide is turning, and we will see better commercialisation of content in the future.
How do you want to grow PT SportSuite? What does success look like this year?
We want to grow the business and digital service offering over the next few years in partnership with sport organisations, be they clubs, leagues or federations. We want to collaborate as a collective to radically disrupt and digitally transform the sporting digital landscape of the future.