How a 73 year old organization wins at innovation

The companies that win at innovation and successfully scale emerging technologies are the ones that experiment early and know which signs of growth to look at. The National Basketball Association might be a 73 year old organization, it is definitely this type of company.

Having worked closely with NBA at Twitter, not only were they one of the first sports league globally to fully embrace the power of real time public conversation for their audience engagement, they also understood quickly that it would grow the fandom of each team, allow players to express their personalities off the court, extend the reach of their TV broadcast as well as increase the value of sponsorship for their brand partners.

The NBA as also been an early partner of NextVR. With less than 1% of basketball fans globally ever setting foot in an NBA arena, the league turned to technology for ways to replicate the unique court-side experience.

Here is what I have seen them do over the last 4 years working in partnership with the NBA:

  • The relentless appetite to innovate comes from the top. This helps identify trends early and permission to experiment.
  • Everyone comes to new opportunity with an open mind and is willing to let the partner (in my case Twitter and NextVR) guide the project with their expertise.
    The NBA sets the standards and the direction they are looking for in the partnership and then they get out of the way allowing the experts to do their best job.
  • Once the model works, they scale quickly.
  • Finally, once the program is scaling, collaborative creative thinking brings new idea to constantly evolve new products.

Hear more about the NBA innovation philosophy from Adam Silver the NBA commissioner himself at the AT&T Shape conference which took place on June 23 2019.

Marie Sornin

Is binge watching the future of sports broadcasting?

F1-drive-to-survive: Is binge watching the future of sports broadcasting

I grew up in a European household with 3 brothers into motor sports. Needless to say that on Sundays, when the TV was on, Formula 1 was on.
However, I don’t remember ever watching a full grand prix, let alone following a season or cheering for drivers, even though the most epic rivalries of the time between Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher were in full swing.

Yet, last week, something unbelievable happened to me : I BINGE WATCHED F1!

The F1 drive to Survive ten-part documentary series premiered on March 8 2019 a few weeks short of the 2019 season kick off.
The brilliant executive producers James Gay-Rees, Paul Martin and Sophie Todd give the audience an all access look at the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship. Its unparalleled footage to the world’s fastest drivers, team principals and owners, as well as Formula 1’s own management team immerse viewers inside the cockpits, the paddock and the lives of the key players in Formula 1.

This show packs everything an avid fan would want in a season of their favorite sport: the action and the thrill, the victories and defeats, the clashes and crashes, duels, gossip, behind the scenes, etc… the difference with a regular season coverage is that it is all available to you on demand and you can (attempt to) fully control your viewing experience.

So, this anecdotal experience made me wonder: Is binge watching catching up with live sports?

Marie Sornin