We received an open pitch from the MLS, asked to consider what we could make with all of their existing video content – in particular, all of the game footage that is rarely ever watched again after live broadcast. And that's the funny thing about media these days, so much is created, but how much is truly accessible? Moreover, in why would anyone want to watch an old game?
In the job just previous to this, I remembered how much I failed at playing Fantasy Football with my coworkers. Mostly because I could never understand what happened or what I needed to care about in the coming week. Digging into this memory, I learned that fantasy sports is insanely valuable, thanks in part to all of the media around it. However, all of the video media around it is terrible! Which is understandable, because how could anyone make a video about your team without knowing anything about your team.
But what if we could use your player list to bring up relevant clips?
This insight led me to recognize that non-linear interactive video could be more than some choose-your-own-adventure thing, but instead allow for extremely personalized experiences. By linking various clips, we could create a show about your team. And your friends team. And everything you could need to know to not fail at playing your coworkers. Another key insight was that video games have figured out how to automate commentary that responds to what players are doing at that moment. The same could easily be applied to news shows!
Opportunities in Fantasy Sports:
Weekly News, Automation, and Personalization
With these opportunities, I looked into how Fantasy Sports is covered in apps, television, online news, and how sports management video games handle the weekly recaps, education, and recommendation. I also talked to friends and family that played religiously. One gentleman talked about how him and his friends even had a weekly conference call where one would act as a TV commentator, discussing what happened. I ended with the following design direction.
How might we create a weekly news show that would cover and discuss what happened to me, personally, and to what happened with my friends, that was also familiar, scalable, high-quality and uniquely interactive?
MVP Elements to Test: Show format, team metadata, browsing athlete data and Video, incorporating related video content, paid media, tone, pacing, and overall information architecture
I created a prototype experience of the show using one week's of MLS footage. With this prototype, we would be able to illustrate how other sports could replicated the format. Also, this prototype would help understand how we would automate the voiceover and what final assets would be required to collect and automate editing of the video content. Click here or the image below to play with the prototype.
Unfortunately, the MLS was not focused on fantasy sports at the time and the NFL was concerned how much this new show format would change their video digestion flow. Hopefully, soon we can bring automated, personalized shows to the world.
Please feel free to contact me. I'd love to discuss the possibilities.