CategoriesCase Studies

PFC «Sochi» partners with SPORTRECS

Football club «Sochi» has started its cooperation with SPORTRECS – a service for sports broadcasts. One of its main advantages and differences from the well-known YouTube platform is that it contains exclusively sports content: broadcasts of matches, various thematic videos.

In the near future the ambitious platform aims to become the main destination for sports television on the Internet – a large number of clubs and federations already cooperate with the service.

Director of business development at SPORTRECS.COM Ivan Katanaev spoke about the plans for the service development and what the platform can give to «Sochi».

– How did you come up with the idea of working with this football club? Is it true that «Sochi» is your first RFPL partner?

– Clubs and leagues are our direct partners. The ones we do everything for. Cooperation with «Sochi» was not our debut partnership with a representative of the RPL, we had already started working with «Spartak Moscow». We broadcast the matches of the second team, which plays in the championship of the RFNL, also the red and white provide us their content. So «Sochi» has become our second elite partner.

– How long were the negotiations going?

– Not too long. We showed all the functionality of our platform, after which the cooperation began.

– How are you different from the above mentioned YouTube? What can you give to the clubs?

– We have quite a lot of differences. In comparison, YouTube is more of a shopping center, which has a lot of different floors with content. And we are like a separate floor gathering sports only. If you want a football or hockey broadcast – you go to SPORTRECS. If you need entertainment content, choose YouTube. If you need eSports – go to Twitch. We are building a platform exclusively for sports organizations and fans. And we give a lot more than YouTube. On SPORTRECS, you can create highlights right during the match (like of goals) and publish them immediately. Literally after 20-30 seconds, any goal scored can be in the social networks of the club. Restream is also possible – transfer the ability to conduct the broadcast to other platforms. For example, to your partners among the betting companies. We did everything to make it as convenient as possible for clubs and federations to be on our platform – we adapt to their wishes.

– Do you plan to implement any projects as a part of cooperation with «Sochi», or everything is going to be limited, for example, to broadcasting the games of the youth team?

– We are a service that allows the right holder to build their own media platform, their own TV. If the PFC «Sochi» ever wants to get its own TV and to work seriously with content – the production, distribution and monetization, then we have everything needed. But we are, in fact, like YouTube, just a platform that allows you to post your content. It’s like asking them to do a joint project with «Sochi» or «Barcelona». YouTube is a service that provides certain opportunities for any club. Like Twitter or Facebook. SPORTRECS is a service that allows you to make sports TV, and whether you go for it or not does not depend on us.

– What are your plans for the future?

– We are building a global platform, working for the future. Now we already have partners in 20 countries, including India and Brazil, as well as the CIS. We are making a service that will focus on sports, so that when one wants to watch a broadcast, he goes to us.

– Do you plan to «hunt» any other clubs of the Russian championship?

– I am sure that we will have not only all the clubs in Russia, but in the whole world. It just takes time to go all the way. I think that within two or three years, our platform will become the same standard for clubs and federations as Facebook is now. Now it is simply impossible to imagine that a professional sports organization does not have a page in this social network. I would like the same to be true for SPORTRECS after that period of time passes.

– What are the current figures for the service?

– I can say that we are growing very quickly in every metric. We had more than 10 million views in October – this is the level of major sports media. If I’m not mistaken, «Championat», the industry leader, has something like 50-70 million views per month. We are growing at such rate that we will be ready to compete with the leading Russian publishers in 6-7 months.

In the nearest future, SPORTRECS will allow content producers to monetize everything, but in the meantime, the service is gaining traction. The creators of SPORTRECS claim that as soon as the certain benchmarks in terms of statistics are gained, advertisers will get much more opportunities than they are currently provided by YouTube.

More creative ideas, rather than the standard prerolls that run before the video, are still in development. The main idea is that advertising does not interfere with viewing in any way. Not being annoying, but working. The creators of the platform promise to tell about all the additions in the first quarter of 2021.

The head of the development department of PFC «Sochi», Alexander Kim, shared his expectations from the beginning of cooperation with a promising platform, noting that for now SPORTRECS is still inferior to YouTube in some ways.

– How did you come to partnering with SPORTRECS? Will the club still be engaged in YouTube activity?

– I heave heard about the SPORTRECS platform for the first time from Ivan Katanaev, I am subscribed to him in social networks. We have mutual friends who spoke positively about him. Therefore, it played a big role in the choice of this service. Our club needs to develop in terms of selling license rights, engage in the commercialization of all club-related processes.

– What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new service for your club? What’s the deal you made?

– Conventional platforms do not always allow you to do this, and SPORTRECS allows you to implement it. I honestly admit that we found certain points in which this service is significantly inferior to YouTube. There is no possibility of rewinding the video, which is, for example, available at the above-mentioned service, as well as at Vkontakte. This is a bit inconvenient for mobile device users. Such aspects are stressful. Now we have completed our integration with SPORTRECS and track all the metrics. The first broadcast of the match of the youth team generated insane numbers in terms of views: almost 10 thousand. This indicates some interest of the third parties – for example, the game had viewers from Nigeria. I think that the next 2 or 3 broadcasts will give us an answer to this, as well as help us analyze the performance deeper. The rest of the videos, usually compilations, don’t get more than a thousand views. We need to understand the nature of such traffic. If the metrics remain the same and continue to grow, we can definitely say that we are interested in further cooperation. If we manage to achieve some commercialization from this platform in the upcoming six months – we will continue to cooperate.

– What are your plans for the future? Will you create a full-fledged «Sochi TV» on this service?

– At the moment we have some challenges with this, I must say. Not all sports organizations have the ability to generate content for such a large number of sites. Five years ago everyone focused mainly on the official website, guest rooms, the blogosphere and social networks. In recent years, everything has progressed significantly in this regard, so we simply can’t catch up with all this yet. I know that this is not only our problem, but also that of many clubs. At the beginning of the year, we tried to focus on Instagram, Vkontakte and the official website. Then TikTok was added. Twitter, for example, was the patrimony of press attache Alexander Grudnev, and it remains so. The end of this year shows that other sites need to be developed. And not only our own, but maybe, the third-party ones also. And each one needs some kind of content. If we are having a match – a huge amount of original media information is being uploaded to a file sharing site. Then we start putting something of it to work. Something goes to YouTube, I take something for two telegram channels, Narek Torosyan – for Instagram. Obviously, we will do the same next year.

In the meantime, «Sochi» is simultaneously filling its accounts both on YouTube and on the SPORTRECS platform. A kind of transition period, which a few years ago happened in the Russian championship when the system of drawing was changed. If the figures for the year turn out to be decent, then the club will fully settle on the new streaming platform.

It is also obvious that the new service gives many advantages to the one who uploads the content. And the main advantage – statistics that show not only the views, but also where your video was opened, as well as listing of sites where the player was placed. We are sure that next year there will be even more pleasant surprises and bonuses from the SPORTRECS platform.