It’s an unofficial holiday for corporate America – the opening days of the NCAA March Madness tournament.  It’s a great excuse to watch buzzer beating basketball in the middle of a workday.  Studies have shown that productivity decreases during this time period and for good reason. People have one eye on their mobile phones and one eye on that spreadsheet upon which they are supposed to be crunching the numbers for a deadline.  What keeps us all glued to these screens, risking the wrath of the boss (who is probably watching too, let’s be serious)? Its the underdog team that no one picks that somehow pulls the upset on a last second shot that has us watching the highlight over and over again.  But what is it that we really want to see? Its those authentic fan reactions to the shot from alumni, students and fans everywhere.
A quick search on YouTube for “buzzer beater fan reactions” and you can get lost in a vortex of videos.  Clips of the exhilarated winning fans watching that buzzer beater either at home, at the sports bar or at the game itself are super compelling from a content standpoint…as are the clips that show the despair from the despondent losing fans who were so close to that victory but as their mobile camera shows, it was not meant to be.
For most media companies, the clips of the game winning shot are not available to put on their digital websites or linear programming – companies like CBS and Turner pay billions for the rights to exclusively showcase that buzzer beater.  So – how do local broadcasters, digital publishers and other media companies tap into the excitement and (more importantly) the engagement that comes from these moments?

We at know that literally thousands of these clips are out there – as a content producer/curator, you just need to ask for them and give fans an EASY way to get them to you directly instead of defaulting to social media.  Media companies have recognizable brands, they have apps, they have audiences – incentivize the fans to send the clips for a chance to be part of the conversation on YOUR platform. Why should you let the conversation and engagement happen exclusively on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter? The opportunity is there to acquire these low-cost clips for your owned and operated platforms so you can attract eyeballs, views, engagement – and the associated advertising dollars that come with all three.

Don’t build up the social media company’s audience – give fans a reason to send to you – and they will do it.  So long as you make it “grandma simple” for the fans – they have proven they will upload it to their local broadcaster, favorite blog site or other media company branded platform for that moment of fame and recognition we all ultimately crave.

As we celebrate this national “holiday” of the opening rounds of March Madness, remember that all it takes is a bit of coordinated effort to take advantage of all the great fan-generated moments around the event.  Don’t worry, you can tell your boss you are just doing your job –  it’s all in the name of driving views on your owned properties…and beating Bill in accounting’s bracket.

– Paul Levy, Co-Founder – Burst

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