How 15 Seconds of Fame Is Using Big Tech to Increase Fan Engagement for Live Sports

with Brett Joshpe, CEO of 15 Seconds of Fame
With audience numbers on the decline for live sporting events and fan engagement at an all-time low (and falling), sports clubs face a seemingly insurmountable task of trying to get and keep the attention of their fan base in an increasingly noisy social environment. 15 Seconds of Fame CEO, Brett Joshpe explains how big technology may have the solution to the industry’s engagement problem.

15 Seconds of Fame

CEO, Brett Joshpe. Oversees all aspects of the business, from negotiating partnerships, to technology development, to applying the product road maps, operations, strategic direction, personnel.

“In a nutshell, we deliver what we think is the most important content to any consumer, which is content of themselves. And we focus specifically on live events. We’re the first social media company, or technology company that can identify people when they’re filmed on camera at a live event. Whether it be a Jumbotron or a television, we’re able to process the content on any kind of camera feed, identify the people who are on-camera, and deliver that right to their phone.”

What is your perspective on where the sports industry is right now, with regards to the fan experience?

It’s changing constantly. I think technology has crystallized the need for live event venues, teams, and leagues to be more forward-thinking about the fan experience.

If you go to a live sporting event and look around, what you see people doing is basically what you see them doing in every other aspect of life, which is staring at their phones! I don’t know if people in sports want to say it, but in many ways, that’s an existential threat. People used to go to a live sporting event to watch sports. Now, they go to a live sporting event and watch their phones! Some venues have conceded to this reality, but still, how do you still give people a reason to come to a stadium or an arena or a ballpark to watch a live event?

I think there are lots of interesting questions, and I think technology will continue to change. I think the fan experience five years from now may look completely different from the fan experience today.

Why is 15 SoF important to the fans and the teams? How does the platform play into the social media and the venue streaming, especially from a sponsorship standpoint?

I think what we’re doing is incredibly simple, at its core. Conceptually, what we do is rooted in a basic human premise, which is that the most important thing for people, the most important content to people is themselves. That is more so the case than ever before.

People love celebrities, they love athletes, but we are delivering to people the content that is most valuable to them, which we think is content of the fans themselves. We see people caught on camera trying to capture that moment. They try to get their phones out of their pockets to take a picture. Historically, there’s been no way for people to capture those kinds of moments. We’ve created a solution where we can actually give people back that entire moment to keep and share forever. And when people are on camera at a live event, whether it’s a Jumbotron or television, and they receive those clips, the first thing they do is they share on social media.

We get affirmation of this underlying concept on a regular basis. There are fans who say, “I was on the Jumbotron. How do I get my clip?” And we will sometimes have to apologetically say, “We would love to deliver you your clip, but we don’t have a deal currently with your favorite team.”

So, we know it is something that people want. It’s something that they’ve always wanted. For teams, you have fans who are paying a lot of money to go to games. For a family to go to a professional sporting event and have that experience and be on camera, you want to make sure you can deliver it, and we give teams that ability. And when fans share that content on social media, it’s great for the team’s brand.

For sponsors, it’s also a very unique, personal way to connect with fans and consumers. More and more sponsors are looking at advertising, whether its visual advertising, traditional media, or in-venue signage. And they’re asking themselves, “What is the real ROI we’re getting with that advertising?”

And, again, it goes back to the same principle: If you want to connect with people, if you want to give people something that’s memorable then give them something that they can relate to, something that is personal to them.

By delivering this content to the people who are on camera, and providing brands with the ability to buy sponsorships onto that platform, there is both a qualitative factor in the content that we’re delivering, and there’s a quantitative factor because when people get this content, they share on social media. They share it with their friends and their family.

You can buy in-venue signage where you’re being exposed to twenty, fifty, or seventy thousand people, depending on the sport. But really, how many people are actually paying attention to those ads? How many people are actually remembering them? How many people are actually sharing them in any sort of meaningful way? And that’s what our platform is trying to do.

Tell me which three trends currently have your attention.

I pay a lot attention to blockchain development. I think peer-to-peer solutions – whether in finance or otherwise – are the way of the future. I follow that pretty closely.

Social media and big technology companies moving into sports and live events – creating content for live event venues. That there is disruptive potential in some of these deals that people don’t even see coming. That’s something that I’m really tuned into.

The last kind of trend that I’m watching is the decline in fan engagement, and some of the declining attendance numbers. Again, I think that these are real red flags for the sports industry and for live events. I think that if people don’t pay careful attention in the early stages to what the market is telling them, there will be real business consequences down the road. And so, that’s also another thing that I’m watching very closely.