Why football video is the top scorer for audience engagement

Sebastian Gray - Senior Vice President, Dugout

Creative content and contextual relevance are key to winning new fans, writes Dugout’s Sebastian Gray

Football is such an evocative and powerful sport. I once had the privilege of being in Jakarta with a player for a personal appearance. After a full day of events, we were playing pool – somewhat jet-lagged – at 2am in the hotel, when a member of staff asked if the player could sign something for a family that had travelled 24 hours to meet him. We invited them up for a photo, and the father was trying to take a picture, but was shaking as he found himself standing in front of his idol.

We took the camera to help him out and realised he was filming the experience.

Video offers such a rich and dynamic experience for fans, whether creating or consuming, and this rich medium is at the core of today’s audience engagement.

Adopting premium video is critical for both publishers and advertisers to connect with audiences at an emotional level. Football video is a prime example of this, as by its very nature it lends itself to high quality, creative visual content and generates engaging stories. And our own research shows that half of senior marketers believe video content will become the best way to communicate stories to consumers and fans. 

Video for publishers: Turning images into inventory
Digital ‘real estate’ is congested these days and we are all are fighting for space. By integrating premium video content into their websites instead of static imagery, publishers can increase dwell times and boost interaction – with short, digestible formats being the most effective.

At Dugout, we have seen this through working with The Independent, which uses content from our video library to complement their editorial pieces. The placement of a video player at the top of the page, which then floats when the user scrolls, allows them to combine video with a descriptive written narrative, driving further engagement with their users. 

Video for advertisers: Complementing the content
With so many outlets and strategies available to advertisers today – from outstream and competing in congested feed experiences, to instream pre, mid, and post roll dynamic offerings – we are constantly evaluating how to support effective monetisation. As a video provider, the focus is on having content that is worth a user giving up their time to watch an advert; this value exchange with the audience generates an attractive proposition for advertisers.

Making certain that digital ads appear alongside high quality content in the right context is not only beneficial for generating user engagement and relevancy, but for brand safety as well. 

Video for the audience: Creating a better user experience through premium content
Ultimately, the most important factor when it comes to successful digital content is the user experience. Understanding an audience’s viewing behaviour is necessary to optimise the delivery of video, as users respond significantly better to content in non-intrusive, adaptable layouts. By applying a deep understanding of a football fan’s viewing preferences and behaviour using our data and insights, we have seen video viewing times for our content reach three minutes and 10 seconds; above industry averages.

Whether improving dwell times for publishers, brand safety for advertisers, or the online experience for users, video offers an innovative way to connect with target audiences. Premium content, delivered unobtrusively, is the industry’s most effective tool for ensuring continued brand engagement and maximum ROI.

Written by

Sebastian Gray

Senior Vice President, Dugout


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