We spoke with athletic directors and fans to understand why livestream­ing matters to them. 

Over the fall, we reached out to athletic directors across the country to learn why they chose to livestream their games with Hudl. 

A central theme was that livestreaming gives programs an outlet to go above and beyond to offer every fan a superior experience. It’s a way to level the playing field for your entire fan base, no matter how far they live from your home stadium. 

The benefits of streaming start within the local community and expand well outside it, according to the athletic directors we spoke to. “It provides opportunities for people to be able to tune in from wherever they are in the county and see our kids participate,” said Noel Crum of Johnson Central High School. 

“The people that are going to come to the games, they’re going to come no matter what. We’re providing the people who’d rather sit at home an opportunity to still watch the game,” added Chuck White, athletic director at Martin County High School. “A lot of people don’t want to drive at the end of November when it's getting cold. We can provide them the luxury of sitting at home on their tablet or streaming to their TV to watch a game.”

Many athletic directors found that offering a livestream forged a deeper bond between their program and the local residents. “It just helps further the ties between the community and the team. The opportunity is there now for everybody to view a game at your school,” said Mitch Daulton, athletic director at West Jefferson High School. 

Livestreaming doesn’t just create stronger ties within the confines of a school district. It offers access to alumni or faraway family members who may not even live in the same time zone. “Grandma in Ohio can watch Johnny Joe play 7th-grade B-team football,” said Randy Barnes of Farmersville High School. “Do you know what a big deal that is? It’s huge!” 

It also boosts branding and can bring national exposure to a program. West Jefferson had viewers tune in from California to Maine, and it’s not lost on Daulton what that kind of recognition means for his athletes. “Look at what the kids get,” he said. “They get an opportunity to be viewed across the country by alumni or grandparents that may live in Florida or wherever they are.”

 “Look at our brand now,” said Daulton. “We’re opening up West Jefferson to alumni or people who lived in the area who may not be in Ohio anymore. We’re gaining fans.” 

It just helps further the ties between the community and the team. The opportunity is there now for everybody to view a game at your school. Mitch Daulton, Athletic Director, West Jefferson High School

The Fan’s Perspective

What does livestreaming mean to viewers? We posed the question to fans to understand why they tuned in to a Hudl livestream. 

For most, it’s an opportunity to catch the games that matter to them when they can’t be in the stands. “We wanted to watch the game but didn’t want to attend with small children,” said one fan. “My niece was competing in a volleyball tournament that I couldn’t attend in person,” mentioned another. 

For others, it’s a way to bring a sense of community into their living rooms. “I want to watch at home with friends,” said a fan. Another added, “This is something to be excited about and something to brag about to your friends and family. It's also a great way to host an event at home so you can all sit down and yell at the TV.” Daulton echoed this sentiment, mentioning that some West Jefferson fans watch livestreamed football games outside on a projector, gathered around a bonfire. 

But the most common and compelling reason we heard from fans of the value of livestreaming is the ability to create and enhance connections. Family members separated by distance can close the gap through a single stream. “My nephew said to me, ‘I wish you could watch my games,’” said one fan. “It was as simple as that.” 

Another valuable application is that busy parents can catch the action when game schedules and work schedules don’t align. “Usually, I am busy with my work and seldom accompany my children,” said one parent. “I can cheer for my children through this and narrow the distance between father and son.” 

My nephew said to me, "I wish you could watch my games." It was as simple as that.

The Real Value of Livestreaming

It’s easy to measure the value of livestreaming from the perspective of dollars and cents. But we found that there’s significant value in less tangible areas—like opportunity, community and connection. Athletic directors offer livestreaming to connect a program to its community and give everyone the opportunity to watch. Fans tune in to connect with the athletes, teams and communities they care about most. 

It’s never been easier to bring these benefits to your program. Get familiar with Hudl’s streaming options and create opportunities for your fans to connect with your teams and athletes.

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