What do Tomas Nido, catcher for the New York Mets, Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko, and Ahman Green, former Green Bay Packers legend, have in common? Aside from being current or former super stars in their respective sports, they’ve also started inviting fans into their living room to watch sporting events with them—hosting online “WatchParties” in an emerging sports entertainment trend.
“The world started changing from traditional broadcast to traditional broadcasts+ & second screen about 5 years ago,” says David Katz, former Fox VP and founder of the Manning Brothers’ Watch Party. “Fans wanted a more unfiltered and inside view from the players they loved. We popularised this with the Manning brothers, along with Joe Rogan’s Fight Companion live podcast & Watch Party for UFC.”
Joe Rogan’s watch parties for UFC routinely get millions of views from both fans that tune in live, and then those that watch after the fact, to catch the inside analysis, stories, and insights that come from Joe and his guests.
“Technology usually starts at the very high end of the market. The Manning brothers Watch Party costs millions of dollars to produce, but our company has now democratised Watch Parties for any athlete. We’ve built an ultra low latency platform that's completely shoppable for any athlete to host a WatchParty. When 1000’s of fans showed up live for Valentina and her sister Antonina’s event, and then also bought all their merchandise, we knew we were onto something,” says Matt Whitteker, CEO at MILLIONS.co, a social commerce platform for athletes, and the leader in sporting event watch parties.
The NFL Alumni Ventures division has just launched a podcast network currently featuring 9 fully produced shows and plans to launch a show for every team in every major market with a target of 50 unique video podcasts and live event shows. “ Each one of these shows will have a percentage of its events as a Live WatchParty for NFL games,” says Craig Richardson, head of NFL Alumni Ventures. “These live events will have memorabilia sales, contests, and offer an incredible experience for fans,” says Richardson.
The NFL Alumni Ventures division selected MILLIONS.co as their platform of choice to host their events because the platform enables hosts to sell merchandise, memorabilia, and custom products completely turnkey during the broadcast and from the hosts/athletes profile. It makes the event fully shoppable, real time, and provides chat, sharing, and moderation included in the platform. On MILLIONS.co, the host can also amplify their stream by simultaneously broadcasting to Youtube Live and Facebook Live, creating a first-of-its-kind WatchParty platform.
Fox chose to do high end production, Joe Rogan uses YouTube Live with a timer because of the delays the platform has to what’s happening on the screen, so there are various ways to host watch parties on different platforms, but MILLIONS.co is the best solution on the market right now and contains no lag, says David Katz the godfather of watch parties who joined the MILLIONS.co board this year.
College athletes like Ohio State Buckeyes’ Emma Maltais, who won an Olympic gold medal in hockey while playing for Team Canada, made $500 an hour through sponsorship and merchandise sales. Some athletes are generating more than $5000 an hour through a combination of corporate sponsorship for their events and sales of their merchandise and memorabilia, which presents a unique opportunity for NCAA. Olympic, and retired players to stay in the game and generate meaningful revenue for themselves.
Neilsen reports that 86% of sports fans are using second screens while watching sports—laptops, iPads, smartphones, or other monitors. The modern sports fan is using multiple devices simultaneously, and this gives sponsors the opportunity to own all the real estate when they sponsor watch parties.
“When it costs $6M-plus for a Super Bowl commercial, brands who aren't able to spend at that level can get a similar impression profile by sponsoring 500 watch parties from the biggest players (active and alum) who are not playing but are watching and inviting their huge audiences into their living rooms for the game,” says Sean Cantwell of Volition Capital, an investor in WatchParty technology.
In 2022 and beyond, fans won’t be limited to just traditional broadcasts. Fans now get the chance to be in the living room of the world’s biggest stars they follow and will be able to get unique insights, betting tips, never heard before stories, and an inside view into the sports world from the rise of watch parties.
Taking advantage of this opportunity is simple. Just follow the link to MILLIONS.co and get started today!