A New Revenue Stream with Video
The newest video systems utilize live streaming and ondemand as a new way for camps and sports academies to monetize video systems. Adding a paid aspect to live streaming and on-demand video helps to offset new system costs and is fully flexible for each facility’s needs. Through systems such as PlaySight’s, facilities choose if they want to offer paid streaming subscriptions on a per-game basis, for a set period of time or any other option they prefer. Then the live streaming and on-demand video is available directly from PlaySight’s portal online — just like renting or buying a movie on iTunes. Customers can download games or watch them via streaming on any device.Ripken Baseball utilizes on-demand video and streaming at its Myrtle Beach and Aberdeen camp and tournament locations. For the youth camps at Myrtle Beach, there is a single camera setup behind home; from this camera, they offer live streaming only.
On Aberdeen’s full-sized diamonds, the set-up is more extensive. They have the same camera behind home and also have a camera zoomed in on the pitcher for ondemand video; additionally, there is a camera on each dugout looking perpendicular at the batters. Via these angles, they can catch the sort of “sweet spot” of the swing. As a composite, the three cameras aimed at home plate catch all angles of a swing.
It isn’t just players and coaches who are using video during Ripken Baseball tournaments and camps to help player development anymore. On-demand video has opened up a new revenue stream for Ripken, where parents and superfans pay per game or tournament to watch from afar. “When a player throws a great game, often parents who weren’t at the tournament in person will want to watch that game. It helps connect all of our customers — even those who can’t make it,” said Brian Bezek, manager of player and business development at Ripken Baseball.
“I think there is a lot of video analysis and player development that these technologies can be used for,” Bezek said. “With four camera angles, coaches can analyze video and see what athletes are struggling with. It’s one thing to be able to tell the player their hands are too far forward or that their stride needs work, and it is a whole different dynamic when you can show them.”
This also means that parents can get in on the action when they can’t make it to camp. These games are available via live-streaming and on-demand video right from any web browser. Parents are watching a game from their offices or homes or even waiting to watch with their kids after camp is over. The way camps and tournaments rationalize this is that after parents pay hundreds of dollars to send their kids to a tournament or camp to continue to develop their skills, the parents will absolutely be willing to pay just a few dollars more to see that development in action. It’s an easy sell to those parents.
In addition to utilizing on-demand video and live streaming for in-game and during-camp analytics, Ripken Baseball is monetizing this video in several ways. They first tested out the services for free to gain interest. Once it proved to be invaluable, they began utilizing several tiers.
Ripken Baseball customers (whether players, parents or coaches) are able to choose anywhere from one day, three days or a whole week or month for a pass. The longer the pass, the longer the customer has access to streaming; many customers opt to pay for a month pass in order to continue reliving the games after the tournament is over. Since there wasn’t much of a difference in cost between a week or month pass, this offering was a no-brainer.
“We’ve been using streaming through PlaySight for a while now. The consistency and quality they offer are the biggest pluses,” Bezek said. Parents and grandparents who can’t make it to tournaments are incredibly grateful that they can pay a few dollars to see their kids play. The latest inclusion, sound, has been Bezek’s favorite part yet. “It has done wonders for viewer experience. It’s like being at the field instead of sitting at home, because you can hear cheering and players being announced to have a better understanding of the flow of the game,” Bezek said.
“PlaySight has been an incredible partner. We’re excited to continue working with them in the future. We can’t wait to see where the technology goes,” he said. “They’ve made it clear they have bought into what we’re doing at Ripken Baseball. We’ve gone from no sound to sound and from monetizing by field to paying by facility. The improvements have made a huge difference. We’re thrilled to see what the next 12 to 18 months hold.”
For more information on on-demand video and streaming, visit PlaySight.com.
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