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On Wednesday, LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”) released its 16th episode of the “LEAD1 Angle with Tom McMillen,” where LEAD1 CEO and President, Tom McMillen, interviewed Playfly Sports CEO and Founder, Michael Schreiber, on the topic of multimedia rights (MMR) and related opportunities in college sports. Playfly Sports is one of the big new players in MMR in our enterprise and helps collegiate athletics departments, and other sports enterprises, develop sophisticated strategies to monetize and better promote their media content.
There are a couple new trends in college sports including name, image, and likeness (NIL), and increased over-the-top (OTT) digital streaming, that according to Schreiber, will help create more MMR opportunities for collegiate athletics departments. On NIL, many new advertisers are coming into college athletics using college athletes as influencers to promote their brands. This new trend could indicate that many new companies may be willing to spend money in college sports perhaps more broadly in the future.
In that regard, some NIL critics have stated that one unintended consequence of NIL is that funds that would otherwise be directed to an entire athletics department may now only be directed solely towards individual college athletes. In fact, some of the NCAA’s earliest proposed NIL legislation precluded third parties from contracting with both an institution and an institution’s college athletes. While there may be some examples of displacement, Schreiber, however, believes that third parties, institutions, and college athletes all working together can create even greater opportunities for these stakeholders.
In addition, the trend of athletics departments creating OTT digital streaming, content distributed directly to their fans, as opposed to just traditional linear cable television, according to Schreiber, will also help collegiate athletics departments bring in more broadcast and advertising monies than before. “Direct communication with fans [such as direct to consumer subscriptions] and building media business models [based upon that] is the new focus,” [in terms of consumption] said Schreiber.
In that vein, because the consumption of college sports can be fragmented among interested fans, whether due to geographical, age, or other differences among fans, collegiate athletics departments should consider novel approaches in their MMR efforts to create more “membership” and “community” around their fans, said Schreiber. “We want our partners to “think more like a media company.”
So as college sports evolves with NIL and digital trends like OTT, more revenue streams and other opportunities can be maximized for those athletics departments that choose to embrace it.
More in the recording can be found on the intersection between college sports and the latest MMR trends.