Paradigm shift: Season-long sponsorship for Ball Street network

Paradigm shift: Season-long sponsorship for Ball Street network

Thursday, August 17, 2017 Posted by Luke Massey
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Ladbrokes is sponsoring the Ball Street Network of fan channels

Ball Street co-founder Matthew Wilson said that securing season-long sponsorship for its network of fan channels signals a “paradigm shift” from traditional into new media.

Ladbrokes has been confirmed as the network’s 2017/18 sponsor following a successful trial over the final two months of last season. It will include sponsorship of Arsenal Fan TV and Liverpool channel Redmen TV, the very first YouTube football fan channel.

Wilson told TotallyGaming.com: “We were very close to a season long deal at the start of the 2016/17 season but just missed out because the brand in question felt more comfortable backing a newspaper sponsorship (something old and trusted) rather than a Fan media sponsorship (new and unfamiliar).”

Referencing the interest in last season’s ‘Wenger Out’ campaign on Arsenal Fan TV and how this may have alerted Ladbrokes to the influence of this type of media, Wilson said: “It was already happening before Arsenal Fan TV broke through last season and this is less about Wenger out and more about a paradigm shift from traditional into new media.

“For many years, legacy trading deals have dictated where money would be spent and there has been a monopoly on content creation and on distribution.

“Traditional options like cluttered newspapers or TV ad breaks just don't cut it when compared with partnering with creators, and enabling creators to make more content for an engaged community. We can create great value for brands by getting communities to come together and talk about the same thing at the same tight time. This is a new model and quite simply a better form of advertising.”

After last season’s successful trial, which delivered in excess of 20 million views per month, Wilson was particularly pleased to secure a longer-term partnership.

“We are delighted to get the security of a long-term commitment,” he continued. “We offer engagement at scale and have worked on many short-term campaigns but now, with season long commitment it allows us to scale and reinvest in the creation of further long-term value.

“Ladbrokes recognise that any great relationship is long term. They also understand that community leads to advocacy, and advocacy to adoption. This partnership isn't about spamming fans with offers, this is about building a long-term relationship with fans so that, when they want a bet, they are likely to choose Ladbrokes.”

Totally Gaming says: The Ball Street Network is a community of fan-run social channels and creators who curate and create football content. Securing a long-term sponsorship represents a big breakthrough for the company, which has evolved from a media owner model to a hybrid model for 2017/18, by offering white label and packaged services around its ability to build communities.

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