The debate has gone on for several years as to what the value of the live event is with regard to sports. In this age of instantaneous, multimedia applications with hundreds of applications, why do we need to watch anything live or be there in person for i. After all we can google, youtube or TiVo any event and watch it when we want to watch it, righ. Yes that is true, and the options do present those challenges to event marketers, teams and brands.
However Mark Cuban, in a recent BlogMaverick post, had some great points to the contrary, and at the heart of his post are a few facts which should always be remembered when looking for the reasons why people love sports and even live entertainment. We should never forget that the live event always plays to the emotio.the chance that we will both see and experience something for the first time in real time that we may never get to see live again as it happens. I.s the reason why CNN followed.balloon bo. a few weeks ago. Yes the tape will be replayed millions of times, but the fact that one could witness and experience something live, whether in person or on a big screen, is something that taped shows and movies can never hav.that sharing of a communal experience that plays on the emotions.
The just completed World Series is another great example of why, even with all the choices available, the live event is still king. Despite all the choices, the live sporting event still ruled the evening and remains the topic of choice amongst even the most casual of fan the day after. Now is the audience more fragmented than in previous year. Yes, but tha.s not because the event is less compelling, it is because there are just more choices for the few that would like them. Still even with all those choices the live experience remains number one in viewership and participation. We continue to see that in college football, the NFL, and hopefully in the NBA and college hoops this winter as well. So what does this mean to all those looking to sell or find the right way to reach the best audience for the biggest ban. Same as it has been for years. The pla.whether it is for effective communications, branding or sale.has to be integrated across all mediums. With all the buzz about social media, there is not one brand or team or event that can point to social media as the leader in how they make money and drive extended interest alone. Build buz. Yes. Lead toward an even. Yes. But without the reach of the masse.and that mass audience leads to the live event which has to be in the plan, any program will fall short. For all the buzz that Shaquille .Neal drove with Twitter, if he was.t playing live games on TV in front of millions of people, the interest in him would have been nil.
The great opportunity that now exists, as Cuban pints out, is that the internet has shown to be a great driver back to the live event and the live tune in. All the other piece.streaming video, phone applications, taped shows, twitter, YouTub.have become key integration pieces to drive the masses to watch the live event, and no other entity has the ability to consistently deliver an emotional live event like sports. Reality show. Maybe. Concert. Maybe. However no platform, night in, night out, exists around the world that is as large, as powerful or as emotional as the live sporting event. It is what continues to drive a billion dollar industry and what hopefully will continue to help define how brands can grow exposure into the future.
Some other good reads…the site Celebrity Acquisition has a well time list of baseball marketing winners and losers... the Florida Sun Sentinel's David Hyde had a solid business profile of Dolphins owner Steve Ross… and Barry Janoff's NY SportsJournalism site has a worthwhile q and a with Dr. Bill Sutton on the state of the industry.