Grabyo Assists MLS’s DC United With Remote Experiences, Partners With LIGR
D.C. United has partnered with Grabyo to enhance the club’s live digital video strategy and deliver timely content to fans across social media during the absence of live soccer. In addition, LIGR – Live Graphic Systems, a cloud broadcast graphics provider for sports leagues and broadcasters of all levels, and Grabyo are entering a new partnership to deliver the next generation of cloud sports broadcasting for sports leagues and broadcasters looking to streamline in-game production costs while maintaining professional standards and commercial integration opportunities.
As live professional sports remain on hold in the United States and most people currently staying at home in isolation, Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs are facing a new challenge of connecting with fans remotely and creating new sports content for supporters to enjoy.
D.C. United is addressing this challenge by using Grabyo’s cloud video platform to produce and deliver new digital-first live broadcasts to Facebook, Periscope, and Twitch. Grabyo’s browser-based production tools enable the club’s digital team to work safely and remotely from home while collaborating in real-time.
“Our fans are the lifeblood of our club. Connecting with them authentically and providing content they can engage with and experience a sense of fulfillment from is essential to our communications and digital efforts,” said Luis Gonzalez, Head of Digital for D.C. United. “Our partnership with Grabyo, which was formalized at the start of the season, quickly helped us achieve a deeper connection with our fans, and as the current COVID-19 situation has escalated, the service has proven even more valuable during these demanding content-driven times.”
One of the founding clubs of MLS, D.C. United is getting creative with the live content it creates. In December 2019, the club announced the signing of Mohamed “KingCJ0″ Alioune Diop, who is streaming his FIFA 20 matches to D.C. United’s Twitch and Facebook pages from his own home. The world of eSports has rapidly increased in popularity with games publishers, sports federations and clubs hosting live, interactive eSports events that appeal to a cross-section of gaming and sports fans across the US.
D.C. United is also leveraging the popularity of their players by hosting live Q&As and ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) shows with the players at home. The club has started a regular interview segment hosted by midfielder Julian Gressel, titled #GresselSpecial, as well as producing tailored content for its Spanish-speaking fans, including AMAs with midfielder Junior Moreno.
Grabyo’s remote contribution features allow D.C. United’s hosts, players or staff to join a live broadcast using only a single browser link, from anywhere in the world. The guests only need is a connected device with a webcam and microphone.
“D.C. United has been a leader in pro sports, by creating a truly fan-first content strategy in a time when fans are desperate for new content from their favorite teams,” added Mike Kelley, President of Americas at Grabyo. “We are proud to help the club to reach their fans in isolation and fuel their sports passion in these challenging times. Working in the cloud has enabled the club to be agile and leverage its social & digital channels in the best way possible. We can’t wait to see what it does next.”
D.C. United uses Grabyo Producer, Grabyo’s advanced live production platform, to create, produce, and deliver live broadcasts to social, mobile, and web platforms.
Accessed through a web-browser, Producer allows digital teams to overlay graphics and run interactive elements such as polls on a broadcast. Production teams can collaborate to deliver a broadcast from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The official partnership highlights an important step for the democratization of professional, data-infused, and commercially funded sports broadcasts accessible to all levels of sporting organizations and broadcasters, regardless of prior skill or knowledge. A LIGR and Grabyo partnership is a win for rights holders, publishers, leagues, and conferences that want an affordable and flexible broadcast set up, allowing loyal fans to consume high quality live content.
LIGR, who currently support customers like Gravity Media, Belgium Basketball, Football New South Wales, and Queensland Rugby League, has recently announced a $1M investment round, led by Alston Elliot Graphics, the globally recognized leading provider of television sports graphics and data solutions to broadcasters and governing bodies, including the Cricket and Rugby World Cups.
The partnership brings together Grabyo’s leading cloud platform for real-time clipping, live video production, and editing into LIGR’s best-in-breed live sports graphics platform including access to LIGR’s out-of-the-box professional graphics templates and database, sponsorship modules for easy upload, display and reporting of in-game commercial inventory.
The partnership will also include integration into LIGR’s AUTO graphics mode, where a LIGR – Grabyo partnership can be used to completely automate an entire game’s broadcast graphics from the cloud, removing the requirement for a traditional broadcast graphics operator. Combining this with Grabyo’s remote commentary and cloud vision mixing capability, broadcasters and sporting organizations will have a powerful, turn-key solution to produce professional broadcasts, without the traditional cost of production.
“With Grabyo’s powerful cloud production capability, sports broadcasters and organizations will be able to utilize LIGR’s platform to produce a data enriched broadcast experience with world-class graphics in a streamlined, cost-efficient production workflow,” says Luke McCoy, LIGR’s Co-founder and CEO. “This next-generation remote and cloud workflow is completely self-serve, out-of-the-box, and can be up and running in minutes, even for the most unskilled user. This is extremely exciting for sports leagues and broadcasters who have struggled to produce professional broadcasts with real-time match data and commercial integrations under limited budgets”
Together, Grabyo and LIGR will leverage new and existing relationships to offer a streamlined, cost-efficient, and sustainable sports broadcast solution for sports organizations and broadcasters of all sizes in a post-COVID-19 world.
“Today, sports audiences expect more from sports broadcasts,” says Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO. “They expect an immersive viewing experience enriched by context and data. Our partnership with LIGR will allow sports organizations to deliver high-quality live content to digital audiences without the need for costly set up and inflexible hardware, which will ultimately help niche sports to grow their reach globally and engage existing fans with new live content.”