The Rise of The WatchParty
NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - What do Tomas Nido, catcher for the New York Mets, UFC Champion 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 by hosting online "WatchParties" on MILLIONS.co. The three are a part of the platform's network of athletes whom collectively surpasses 100M sports fan following, now reachable through the emerging sports entertainment trend - the WatchParty..
"The world started changing from traditional broadcast to traditional broadcasts+ and second screen about 5 years ago" says David Katz, former Executive Vice President & Head Of Digital at Fox Sports and founder of the Manning Brothers' Watch Party. "Fans wanted a more unfiltered and inside view from the players they loved. We popularized this with the Monday Night Football with the Manning brothers, and with Joe Rogan's Fight Companion live podcast & watch party for UFC."
Joe Rogan's watch parties for UFC routinely got millions of views from both fans that tuned in live, and then those that watched 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 democratized Watch Parties for any athlete in all sports. We've built an ultra low latency platform that's built for WatchParties, and is completely shoppable. It allows any athlete to host a WatchParty. When 1000's of fans showed up live for Valentina Shevchenko and her sister Antonina's event, and then also bought 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 watch party is the new podcast. The NFL Alumni Ventures division has just launched a podcast network currently featuring 9 fully produced shows, with 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 podcasts will have a major percentage of its episodes hosted 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 and live during the broadcast and from the hosts/athletes profile. It makes the event fully shoppable, real time, and provides chat, sharing, guest hosts, and moderation included in the platform. On MILLIONS, the host can also amplify their stream by simultaneously broadcasting to Youtube Live and Facebook Live, with more social channels on the way, creating a first-of-its-kind WatchParty platform.
"Fox Sports chose to do high end production, Joe Rogan used YouTube Live with a timer because of the delays the platform has to what's happening on the PPV, so there are various ways to host watch parties on different platforms, but MILLIONS 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.
It's not just pro sports that WatchParties apply to - 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 NIL sponsorship and merchandise sales on her WatchParty this year. 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 NIL, Professional, Alumni, and Olympic players to stay in the game and generate meaningful revenue for themselves.
Neilsen reports that 88% of sports fans are using second screens while watching sports via laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other secondary monitors. The modern sports fan is using multiple devices simultaneously, and MILLIONS gives sponsors the opportunity to own the second screen to cover 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 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.
Craig Richardson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-richardson-8a973b9/
Matt Whitteker: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-whitteker-06596011/