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Exclusive: How Commercialisation Is Achievable For All Rightsholders

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n an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport, Epicentre founder, Adam Watt, discussed the options lower tier rightsholders and grassroots sports have to commercialise their sport.

Epicentre, an online media platform offering end-to-end solution for content owners to develop their events from conceptual stage to implementation, was recently selected as a finalist for the Tech Data One Percenters 2021 Program.

As a finalist in the program, Epicentre will film a pitch to the One Percenters judging panel, with the judges to decide on the best cloud solution builders leveraging IBM cloud products, with the first prize winner to receive marketing support to the value of $27,500.

Speaking on the creation and need for Epicentre in Australian sport, Watt said the concept was born out of the lack of commercialisation across second and third tier broadcast sports.

“Epicentre started in 2014 and we predominately provided an online distribution model for content owners, broadly focusing on second and third tier sports,” Watt told Ministry of Sport.

“There wasn’t really any sort of scheduling done with these sports which limited their ability to grow.

“We’re a preferred production partner for Fox Sports, so we can get content up on Fox Sports for them, but the problem is when the organisation asks how much they will get, they’re not really going to get any value for that content.

“In all honesty, it’s hard for Fox Sports and the like to monetise the content when its randomly given to them at the last moment, they need a consistent schedule.

“A lot of those sports didn’t have the budget to make those schedules.

“We started working with a host of clients and we would increase their production capabilities and bring them all the way through,” he said.

On the process of creating a centralised production platform for sporting organisations, Watt said it was all about helping rightsholders get the best commercialisation of their content as possible.

“There was an opportunity to create a platform that services everyone, I don’t want to be a product for sale, I don’t want to be another platform out there where I’m trying to drive people to my platform, I wanted to create a white label solution that sits on a sporting organisations’ website,” Watt said.

“It can be a button in their toolbar for their digital epicentre and in there is all the tools we’ve created to commercialise their content.

“It’s alright if they want to give their content to any broadcaster and there’s tools to take it through that process.

“The tools we’ve developed will help rightsholders commercialise it as much as they can within their own ecosystem, then if it makes sense, throw it on socials or throw it out for a broadcaster.

“We’re a licensed software solution that an organisation can, within eight weeks, have their two apps, distribution, and everything they want set up,” he said.

When asked what the best approach for rightsholders in monetising their content is, Watt said: “Commercialise.”

“Stop worrying about fans, stop worrying about chairs and mics, we’ll create a product which you can use to digitise your membership base and charge a subscription fee.

“We learnt early on that people don’t want to pay for one-off live events, but they will subscribe to something if they know they’re going to get deeper access.

“The term I always use is ‘support your sport’, subscribe to the epicentre of the sport, and the money goes straight to the sport, you don’t have to pay Rupert to watch your sport, the money goes out the door that way.

“If an organisation can commercialise it inside, its all there, the data and sales are all there.

“Once they see it all, they can see a direct correlation to their post and sales, and they can start understanding it all themselves.

“Every epicentre is underpinned by a 24/7 live channel; every organisation gets their own TV channel.

“If they take that and go into a sponsorship or marketing office of a brand and say, ‘we can put your ads in our own TV channel’, the brands will be shocked.

“They own the database and can tell them who clicks through on anything, who liked it, and every piece of data from the linear channel.

“Our model is aimed at sustaining the grassroots offering and then it can grow and move upwards from there,” Watt told Ministry of Sport.