Increased in-stream advertising via the ATP Tour’s owned Tennis TV streaming service helped grow the platform’s revenues by 60% during the six months between December and May, according to data discovery firm CrowdTangle.
The increase in marketing income was aided by a revised digital monetisation strategy adopted in June last year, which has seen the tour’s ATP Media arm proactively post more of Tennis TV’s long-form content for free via its Facebook-owned channels.
Compared to the previous year, that strategy saw ATP Media upload 85% more on-demand video content lasting more than three minutes to the social media network, while the tour also saw a 45% uptick in Facebook followers.
As a result, ATP Media registered a 225% surge in video engagement on Facebook and Instagram during the 12 months leading up to 31st May, with more than 180 million watching men’s tennis content for more than one minute.
The new approach forms part of the ATP’s ongoing partnership with Facebook and content agency LiveWire Sport, with a focus on striking a balance between on-court action and player-led content.
The ATP’s social video output includes daily highlights from the ATP Tour archive and ongoing tour events, as well as year-in-review highlights packages, including the shot of the year and best moments.
Athlete-led and interactive activations have also been utilised to engage younger tennis fans, while player practice sessions and on-court coverage directly after championship matches are also streamed via Facebook Live.
Stuart Taylor, ATP Media’s director of consumer services, said: “As a media entity, it is very important to use Facebook and Instagram as a [free] platform and have a ‘video-first’ approach towards programming content strategy.
“Over the past 12 months, our content strategy on Facebook has further innovated and includes a video monetization initiative using in-stream ads. We look forward to building on and optimizing this, to stay ahead of the curve and continue to help to engage and grow tennis audiences globally.”
This article first appeared in SportsPro, here.