The Sydney Sixers, back-to-back champions of the Big Bash League (BBL), have partnered with Stats Perform to use Opta Graphics to surprise and delight fans during their side’s competitive action.
The Sixers star-studded line-up includes the likes of homegrown stars Moises Henriques and Nathan Lyon, as well as overseas players James Vince and Tom Curran.
Throughout Big Bash 10, the Sixers have used Opta Graphics – a web-based platform that allows users to enhance their visual communication strategy – to capture their fans’ attention across digital platforms through engaging, scalable, data-led graphics.
Grabbing consumer attention in a crowded and noisy environment is difficult. It’s especially hard in the fast-paced and fickle world of sports, particularly in a game as frantic as T20 cricket. Within this environment, The Sixers need to find unique and compelling ways to connect with their audience.
One of their key audience segments is the fringe fan (i.e., the more casual cricket fan). As a result, their visual communication strategy needs to be as interesting and exciting as possible to convert these fans into ‘Super Fans’, thus increasing their lifetime value.
How Did It Work?
As we articulated here, visual content is absolutely critical in any sports content strategy. Images more immediately resonate with fans, cut through the competitive noise and connect brands to fans in ways that words just don’t.
To overcome these challenges, the Sydney Sixers used Opta Graphics. By using the tool, they were able to produce quick, consistent, data-led graphics at scale. Opta Graphics enabled this in the following key areas:
Data Integration: In a bid to distance yourself from the noise, data can be a massive differentiator. It helps build new angles and new stories by uncovering novel insights. These new stories build interest amongst audiences. Back that up with continued data-driven insights that tell the reader something new, and fans will stay longer and keep coming back for more.
The Sydney Sixers integrated Stats Perform’s cricket data feeds directly within the Opta Graphics tool. It created new heroes of their players using easy-to-consume, yet eye-catching stats.
The Need for Speed: An added benefit of integrating data into The Sixers production workflow was speed. Numbers and names of crucial moments were pulled through instantaneously and mistake free, saving a significant amount of production time. This was crucial, especially in a stat-heavy sport like cricket. Add on top of that Opta Graphic’s ability to run event-triggered graphics and suddenly production is streamlined seamlessly.
Centralised Content Creation: Opta Graphics provided a centralized location for development, helping to produce graphics at scale while maintaining brand consistency. Templates were built and leveraged to make the more technical aspects of the game more exciting, engaging and easier to consume for the ‘fringe fan’.
Combatting Limited Bandwidth: T20 cricket is fast and frenetic. This puts a big resource and time strain on a team’s design team. The Sixers were able to lean on the Opta Graphics design team to help lessen the load. Automated features and rapid deployment to streamline production enabled the Sixers internal teams to increase their productivity.
Sponsorship: The incorporation of quality data into branded content allows brands to differentiate their output whilst increasing relevance to sports fans. Together the Sydney Sixers and Stats Perform created a variety of data-rich digital assets available for partner branding. This gave The Sixers a suite of assets to pitch to partners that were already aligned with the club and were relevant for their audience. Infusing these assets with data unlocked additional sponsorship revenue opportunities for the Australian outfit.
The results speak for themselves. The Sydney Sixers saw a significant increase in reach and engagement numbers on social content created using Opta Graphics compared to previous templates:
- Utilising Stat Perform’s wagon wheel and bowling heatmaps, The Sydney Sixers’ Pitcher Partners POTM graphic generated over 1 million impressions, an 89% increase on previous templates.
- Their CMS Players Leaderboards templates generated over 525,000 impressions, a 44% increase on previous templates.
- And their Player Match-Up series graphics saw over 314,000 impressions, a 28% increase
And fan-focused assets used as value-adds for partners saw impressively high total number of organic impressions.
- CMC Worm Graph (320,976 impressions)
- Humm BIG Moment (687,838 impressions)
“Opta Graphics proved to be a great addition for the 2020-21 BBL season. They provided a suite of new social media assets which allowed us as a commercial team to quickly customise relevant graphics for our partners, and credibly position them with fan-first content that added value for fans by providing an additional layer of information using Opta’s data.” Andrew Kelly – Partnerships Manager, Sydney Sixers
“It’s been great to work with an innovative team like Sydney Sixers who are looking to find new ways to sustain and grow revenue streams in a challenging and fluid global sports landscape. Digital assets are in great demand from commercial partners and being able to both create new data-led visuals and roll them out quickly through Opta Graphics has become a fundamental part of their matchday cycle.” Steve Cliffe, SVP Sales Asia-Pacific
Using visual content is integral to your marketing efforts or content strategy. They can be the difference between having your content seen or not, engaged with or not and effectively monetised or not.
Make sure you offer your audience, not just compelling content, but visually appealing content that is compelling and can withstand the challenges of different platforms. If you’re interested in finding out more about Stats Perform’s content creation tools for fan engagement, get in touch and we’ll be able to help.