Friday saw the Big 12 Conference deepen its relationship with FloSports, announcing plans for the steaming platform to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2017 Big 12 Tennis and Outdoor Track & Field Championships on FloTennis.com and FloTrack.com, respectively. The partnership between FloSports and the Big 12 Conference officially launched in January 2017 and lasts through the end of each sports’ season in 2017.
The addition to the FloSports lineup cements a hot quarter for the company, which just completed its best quarter to date, with more than 58,000 new subs in Q1, as well as more than 300 event rights deals signed in the same period, including 8 year deal with USA wrestling, the Big12, and expansion with JuJitsu federation. Cynopsis Sports spoke with Martin Floreani, co-founder and CEO of the FloSports, about its strategy, partnerships and trends.
Floreani on company goals: Ever since we took the venture capital funding, our plans were to set the right environment into place to transform ourselves as a media company. Within sports media, we have great relationships with event rights holders because we make them more money and build them media equity and because we have a direct-to-consumer product, we have access to more data. Our culture is absolutely obsessed with data. So our plan was three-fold: 1) be 100% digital; 2) provide better value for rights holders than anybody; and 3) be better than anyone in the world as it relates to live events as it relates to data. If we do those three things, we believe 100% that we will be bigger than ESPN one day.
On providing ROI for partners: We know the value of live events better than anyone. When we go into a relationship with a rights holder, we want to make their events as big as we can make it because we are trying to build up their media equity while they are trying to build up their social around the event. We are also trying to build up the biggest economy around those events. So they get more cash up front as well as the media equity component. Our partnership with USA Wrestling is a perfect example of this and we’ve now totally flipped the economic model for a slew of these sports. They were paying for distribution and production. We now pay them an event rights fee, we take care of logistics and build equity in media rights for them.
On trends: The deterioration of cable is pouring fuel on our fire. But there is a bigger story. I was on a SXSW panel, and there was a guy on it who made a lot of his money via advertising on cable. His big thing was that content was king. I don’t think he’s right however, because I think experience is king. Of course you have to have great content, but you also have to have a great product. When you watch cable, you still don’t think you have a great product. You have commercials, you can’t watch what you want when you want it, etc. That’s not the definition of a great product. Our approach is that we cover sports with more depth and authenticity than anyone else. Who you align with someone’s passions, you have a much deeper level of engagement.