If you are anxiously awaiting the hooks, drives, cuts, blocks, hit sixes or general white washings during The Ashes cricket tournament then you know much more than I do about this sport. The batsman, the wickets, and the bowlers are all terms I have learned about cricket and The Ashes set to start on July 8th, but what really makes The Ashes tournament a must view for marketers is understanding the continued mobile trend of viewers.
Mobile sports consumption has exploded over the last 5 years. MLB, NFL, NBA, MLS, college sports etc… have all implemented options for consumers to view highlights and full length games on their iPad, iPhone, other mobile device or gaming console.
Cricket is no different with the Sky App broadcasting the entire tournament to subscribers, and in ala carte fashion. Consumers are hungry for mobile access, and sports like Cricket are leading the charge. Our Adobe Digital Index analysis used Adobe Social to analyze terms around The Ashes tournament and showed that 10% of social mentions about The Ashes related to viewing on a mobile device. Also, when Sky App announced that the matches would be available on their app, daily average social mentions increase of 146%.
When I looked at several annual or semi-annual special sporting events around the globe, I also found that over 1 in 3 online video views came from a smartphone or tablet. Smartphones hold the lead currently and larger screen devices will only continue to separate the divide.
We have come a long way in only 13 years of sports. In 2002 I watched almost every World Cup game on TV during the tournament. It was only available on Telemundo (a Spanish speaking station) since I wasn’t currently subscribed to cable. The tournament was also held in South Korea so I was only able to view games at Midnight, 3 AM, and 5 AM. That made it a little difficult to watch and stay awake. Thankfully, the exuberant Telemundo announcer’s long chant of “GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL” would wake me up from time to time. As much as I enjoyed watching, overall this was not a great viewing experience as a consumer. Flash forward to 2015 and The Ashes, The Masters, Wimbledon, March Madness, NBA, and MLB make available options to view games on demand on your own time.
For viewers of The Ashes, the app availability will make sure you don’t miss any of the Test matches or white washings this upcoming month.
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