As one of the largest sports broadcasters in the world, Eurosport was looking for new opportunities to grow and engage its audience in an ever evolving digital content market where the fight for sports rights ownership and distribution was getting more and more competitive.
Code and Theory identified a series of behaviors across sports fans that became the guiding principles for creating a more immersive live sports experience.
Fans have specific expectations for the services they use to follow and watch their sports. Through user research we arrived at a series of principles we recommended Eurosport follow to make sure it would retain and grow its fan-base.
Holistic: Engage fans with options beyond just watching games and reading news articles. We pushed for Eurosport to open up new areas of fandom such as gaming, fantasy, shopping, betting and training.
Flexible: Give fans the access and flexibility they expect. Let them customize their experience and be in control of how they commit to Eurosport.
Personal: Give them a voice. Bring them into the story, make them feel empowered and supported to express themselves.
Unique: Wow them through storytelling. They have many places to go and many options to pick from, so it's important to differentiate Eurosport. Leverage the company's existing access to make something unique.
In order to limit Eurosport’s exposure to the battle for rights, the digital experience was designed for expansion into new areas of fandom through the lens of content. An enhanced, scalable content system aimed to deliver more compelling stories through new formats that could be easily distributed across multiple touchpoints.
With interactive live experiences, we presented a series of new functionalities that could live alongside the live video stream. Additionally, we expanded the system to allow Eurosport to seamlessly incorporate different parts of the sports world such as shopping, training, betting and gaming.
We learned that most fans multitask when watching sports, therefore the goal for immersive mode was to allow users to be able to interact with other parts of the platform while staying within the live environment and providing them with the type of features they want to engage with while watching.
Video Stream Functionality allows users to control their viewing experience through: access to “Immersive Mode,” reacting with Cheer/Jeer, camera angles, save clips, other games, and the news ticker.
Sports Chatroom & Hangouts create a space for users to chat live about the game and comment/react to each other’s posts (this can include photos and videos as well as text). Authenticated Eurosport users can add friends on the platform. When friends are online they can call one another to start a video call while they watch the game.
My Playlist gives users the ability to save and share clips from videos to a dedicated space in their profiles, and the ability to create multiple types of video playlists.
To keep fans on the site even if Eurosport were to lose the rights to the game, we created “Companion Mode,” a way for the app to sync up with the linear feed and provide a complementary experience to the match happening on TV.
Time-Sensitive Shopping Deals are highly targeted and related to the game, for example, an offer to shop Nadal’s Racket for 20% off while watching the game.
Games/Quizzes/Polls encourage users to participate in games that are happening in real-time alongside the match to receive loyalty points.
Sportscaster partnerships give commentators a space in the Eurosport environment to garner a fan-base. Users can then listen to sportscasters' audio commentary alongside the game.
We launched the first version of Immersive Mode in time for the 2018 French Open. Looking forward, we will continue to roll out enhanced live-video pages for milestone events such as the U.S. Open.