TSN Uses Digital to Provide Real Value To Sports Fans

Tom Hartman

Mark Silver giving a keynote talk at ClickZ Live Toronto 2014. Mark is Head of Digital for The Sports Network (TSN).

Mark Silver, Head of Digital for The Sports Network (TSN), had the honour of kicking off the ClickZ Live Toronto digital marketing conference that took place May 14 – 16. Setting the tone for the event that followed, Silver delivered an intriguing presentation outlining what TSN has been planning for their online endeavours.

TSN Takes Engagement Marketing Seriously

From polishing existing experiences to developing innovative ones, Silver went into depth about how TSN determines opportunities in the online sphere and the importance they place on their digital properties showing everyone that big players can indeed evolve to involve the web world in their marketing strategies. As Silver explained, in a voice and cadence that would make any professional sportscaster proud, at TSN there is a true recognition of the opportunities that exist for the sports industry when it comes to engaging their patrons online. Sports fans, taking particular satisfaction in interacting with anyone else who is interested in the same game, are especially well-suited to TSN’s goal of creating a digiphysical environment for their audience to play in.

Interactive Initiatives Promote TSN’s Brand

play-of-the-year-tsn-logoOutlining their objectives for projects such as Game Tracker and Play of the Year, Silver went into detail about the importance TSN is placing on giving fans more ways to enjoy their sport events. For example, Game Tracker provides more than just useful player and game statistics, but integrates with relevant Twitter feeds adding more dimensions to the already thrilling experience of watching the game. Play of the Year allows fans to go beyond discussing notable plays with friends and colleagues by offering a means to not only of review inspiring plays, but to pit the best ones against one another in a competition for the best play of the year – an initiative that has seen rising in success since it’s launch.

Going Mobile-First With a Responsive Design

new-tsn-sportsTeasing their new mobile-first responsive website, Silver emphasized that they were looking to achieve a more user-friendly layout that would provide visitors with a more natural access to the information they want to consume. This isn’t always so straightforward given the diverse nature of sports fans, yet TSN is undaunted and moving forward with their version of a centralized web platform that will offer users everything they want and more. While we didn’t get to see a live version of this new website, Silver assures us that they aren’t simply hopping onto the mobile bandwagon for trend’s sake. Instead they have thoroughly thought through what they can, should and will provide to their visitors, both first-timers and loyal TSN community members.

Evolving With the Times

“Digital is just one of many, many spokes in a very large wheel.”

Mark Silver

At the end of it all, Silver closed with a sincere acknowledgement that TSN isn’t going to develop their online experiences to the detriment of more traditional broadcasting expectations. Rather, they are playing the long-game by making judiciously audacious leaps paying attention to where and how they land before jumping off again. By the sounds of it, it wouldn’t be surprising if TSN became the perfect case study for how a large corporate entity can stare inevitable change in the face without balking. While it remains to be seen if they will emerge a victor, with a star player like Mark Silver on the roster TSN definitely seems like a team worth betting on.

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