How Schools Can Stream Sports Free of Charge and Still Win

When you maximize audience interest, your high school sports teams aren’t just a benefit to the athletes. They’re a benefit to the entire school.

Streaming high school sports is a great way to build an audience of community members, family members, and alumni. Will schools turn a profit if they stream sports free of charge?

The more eyes on your high school games—the more attractive your advertising opportunities are to local businesses. By offering a variety of advertising opportunities, you can increase revenue to support your teams and your school.

Read on to learn more about why free streaming is a great option and how to monetize it.

Why Stream Sports Free of Charge

Streaming technology is absolutely revolutionizing high school sports. However, it may seem counterintuitive to offer streaming for free if you’re trying to find ways to boost your high school sports profits.

Charging for virtual tickets will cause some fans to look elsewhere for their weekend entertainment. Plus, these ticket sales will vary from week to week, yielding inconsistent revenue.

WSN’s approach is to help schools grow their audience first to monetize second. We do this by:

  • Providing schools with professional gear
  • Setting up streaming on multiple channels including Roku, Apple TV, and Facebook Live
  • Offering robust tech support

With high-quality footage and multiple ways to stream, you’re set to cut through the digital noise of live-streaming competitors. By allowing your audience to stream for free, you eliminate any barriers that might cause your audience to stop tuning in.

How Free Streaming Can Boost Your Income

It’s no secret that schools across the country are searching for innovative funding solutions. While options like pay-to-play can put a strain on your district’s families, using streaming to increase revenue is a benefit to everyone. Let’s take a look at how increasing viewership with free streaming can boost your school’s income.

Video Commercials

Streaming offers advertising potential that in-person events can’t match. For businesses, a live stream of high school sporting events means direct access to a key target demographic.

Offer video commercial spots at a few key moments throughout your games. For example, you can insert a commercial when viewers first tune in and as bookends to your half-time engagement. Charge businesses a reasonable premium to get commercials featured on your live stream.

Scoreboard Sponsors

Small businesses have proven to be active supporters of their communities. An estimated 64% of small businesses across the country have sponsored or donated to a local event, including high school athletics.

This kind of support is mutually beneficial. In exchange for sponsorship, businesses get to include their branding materials throughout the event space, particularly in high-visibility areas. With more viewership and all eyes on the scoreboard, scoreboard advertising (aka scoreboard sponsorship) has a lot of appeal.

Instant Replay Sponsors

As you master the art of filming and live-streaming your games, you can start to incorporate aspects we expect from college and professional sports, including the beloved instant replay. No one wants to miss a stellar pass or a game-changing fumble, and instant replays ensure streaming viewers see every second.

Instant replays also create a new marketing strategy for high school athletics. Offer the chance to become an instant replay sponsor to local businesses. In exchange, their branding will receive a spotlight on your instant replay graphics.

Pregame and Half-Time Shows

Pregame and half-time shows present the perfect opportunity to advertise. Audience attention isn’t divided between the players and the sponsors. Instead, they’re focused entirely on the events and activities brought to them by sponsors.

As a bonus, this is also a great way to build sponsorships for your high school’s marching band, cheerleading squad, or color guard!

Title Sponsors

As streaming builds community support around your high school sports teams, local businesses may feel called to help out in a direct way. A title sponsor, in this case, is an organization that provides financial support to a specific team. They may help out by covering costs related to:

  • New uniforms
  • New equipment or equipment maintenance
  • Field or stadium maintenance
  • Travel costs associated with away games

What they get in exchange is up to you. Some businesses are happy simply to publicize their involvement. Others may want more overt branding opportunities like some of the ones we’ve mentioned above.

Platform Advertising

Some platforms, like Facebook and YouTube, have monetization features built right in. On Facebook, this can be as simple as enabling in-stream ads. On YouTube, you can start by setting up a program called AdSense.

Both of these programs will earn a small amount of revenue when viewers watch third-party ads at key moments. For example, they may need to watch one to three ads when first tuning into your live stream. As your viewership grows, you can work toward joining the YouTube Partner Program to earn even more money with views.

In-Person Attendance Boosts

In-person attendance is always a great source of revenue for schools. You can sell tickets, refreshments, and merchandise. You can hold raffles and other contests.

Getting to watch the game from home is sure to inspire many locals to attend in person from time to time. All they need is a little reminder of how much fun your games are!

Get WSN On Your Team

When you stream sports free of charge, you create all sorts of new potential streams of revenue. Spark interest in investing in your school by building your digital audience.

At WSN, our experienced team will always make sure that you have the gear, platform access, and tech support you need to reach a bigger audience. We’ve been helping schools set up reliable live streams since 2010, long before other companies realized the potential of live streaming for high school athletics. Stop settling for less and contact us today.