With some high-school sports games making thousands of dollars for their institution, it might be time to get in on the action. So, how do you set up an effective monetization strategy and start to make money for your school?
Below, we lay out some of the best steps to take you from conception to creating income for your school.
Setting Up a Streaming Platform
When you begin to set up live streams, you’ll want to look into the platform and learn its limitations. For each, consider whether they support your needs when it comes to visibility and your monetization strategy.
Some of the locations you can stream online, for example, limit the length of time you can live-stream for. Others might not allow you to offer high-quality video unless you pay for it.
Also, investigate whether the platform will allow you to use the software and hardware you already own. Some providers ask that you use specific options to stay compatible, whereas others have a far more user-friendly UI.
Think about the reach of the platform you use, too. If hardly anybody goes onto the site, there is every chance people are unlikely to see you. Think about whether using the largest sites out there would be worth it.
When you sign up, remember to check their Terms and Conditions. Sometimes, they might have clauses that state you cannot share the video anywhere else for a specific length of time. These are sometimes restrictive, so it is important to understand what you are signing up for.
Creating a Monetization Strategy
Your methods for generating revenue will result in whether your goals succeed or fail. Remember that your monetization strategy should neither interfere with viewers or impact the actual games you run. The whole thing should help the school itself if you do it right.
Some of the main methods for picking up extra revenue via a live stream include the following:
Much like in professional leagues, you could require people to pay to watch the games in your high school. This would either be with a one-time fee for a single game or subscription plans allowing you to charge per month.
In general, consider how long your games last and how often they occur. Then, think about how much people would be willing to pay. With several, shorter games it might make more sense for a subscription, and with longer games, a per-game fee would work better.
Remember that whether you can do this or not depends on the platform you work with. Only some will have the capability to handle such services.
You can also gain revenue by allowing businesses to advertise during your games. This might be in the form of sponsored content, or you could place banner ads or pre/mid-roll content into your stream.
In some sports, such as football, mid-roll content can often work well due to the amount of time between plays. With others, you will not want to stop showing the action, or people will become frustrated and leave your stream.
You will also want to consider who will end up as your primary viewer. If you do not know this, try to engage in market research to learn more about your potential audience. With data on who is most likely to watch your live stream, you can cater any sponsorship opportunities to those demographics.
You also need to be aware of any local laws about using advertising during games. Be transparent when advertising, and do not promote sponsored content without making it clear you are doing that.
You could even work with local businesses to try to get a direct sponsorship for your stream. This might be sponsorship for the teams involved, major events, or even single games.
Local businesses have a strong community that will feel good about supporting a team that showcases their brand. There will be a back-and-forth of positive reinforcement, helping both your team and the business in question.
Often a team sponsorship will include placing the business logo of the sponsoring company on the team’s uniform. You may have to investigate if any central authority for that sport has regulations related to sponsored sports kits.
When you reach out to businesses in your area, consider how far your reach goes. You can promote your stream as a place where they can engage with a large number of people in the local area. Try to have exact viewership figures, so they can make an informed decision about what they want to do.
Promoting the Live Stream
If you want to be a success, you need as many people to know about your live stream as possible. As such, ensuring you market it to people far and wide can boost your numbers even further.
Social Media Marketing
Investigate whether your high school already has active Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. They might even have a TikTok you can use, though be aware of the demographics for each of these and ensure they match your target audience.
Promote your stream with regular updates, teasers for upcoming games, and highlights from prior events. You can also use hashtags and engage with other users to ensure people are more likely to see your posts.
Local Media Promotion
Many communities have their own newspapers, TV channels, or similar media sources. By engaging with them, you can get some real community support from your local area.
Think about contacting local journalists, too. Many of them might see an interesting story in talking about a new form of technology the high school is leveraging.
Make sure you also engage with existing fans and talk to them about your service. They are among some of the early adopters you will want to engage with at all times, and also the most likely to talk about what you are doing.
There are several strategies to increase revenue, and help engage fans.
Pivoting Your Monetization Strategy
As you continue to live-stream, you will get a great deal of data about who is watching you and when. Using this, you can think about what changes you might want to make to your event times, price points, and many other options.
Create Incentives to Subscribe or Pay
By offering one-time exclusive content to your customers, you can engage with fans and offer exclusive content which could include:
- Coaching interviews
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- Alternative commentary tracks for games
You can also create incentives for people to return to your platform after they have left for a set period — holiday discounts are one of the most popular ways to do this.
Merchandising Your Stream
While selling access to the platform, you can also sell physical objects too. Use team merchandising to make branded t-shirts, mugs, or other items as they will often sell to some of your biggest fans.
Making Money Through Views
With the above in mind, you can start planning a monetization strategy for your high school’s live-streaming service. Of course, you will want to partner with a professional streaming service that does everything you need from the get-go. This is where we come in.
We help schools get their high school sports events online by providing a dedicated platform for such live streams. All you need to do is get in contact and we can run you through how we can help you reach an audience of potential customers in no time.