The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and digital sports marketing agency Two Circles have partnered to develop and commercialize the global governing body’s new direct-to-consumer (DTC) content platform under the Courtside 1891 brand.
The two organizations have entered into a long-term agreement lasting until 2029. Two Circles has invested ‘substantial capital’ to develop new digital platforms and create a dedicated team covering product strategy, sales, marketing, data management, and analytics underpin Courtside 1891.
The venture will see FIBA and Two Circles develop, market, and commercialize a new direct-to-consumer basketball content offering under the Courtside 1891 brand.
The new Courtside 1891 product aggregates scores, streams, and schedules from a wide variety of basketball events and leagues across the globe. Courtside 1891 is available as both a web and mobile application. It is intended to act as a central hub for basketball, offering live streams, highlights, schedules, and scores from international competitions and domestic leagues worldwide.
The hope is that the application’s usability, consistent branding, and a wide variety of content will deliver value for basketball fans and provide exposure for competitions that might have struggled to find an international audience otherwise.
The application is available as both a free and paid-for service. At the same time, it will also offer information on where users can access content not streamed on the platform, providing an additional opportunity for broadcast partners.
For its part, Fiba will acquire the ability to develop direct relationships with fans around the world and use data to understand users better. These insights will be used to develop new products and strategies as the partners look to establish basketball as the world’s most popular sports community.
One of the chief ambitions of the project has been to offer something far more dynamic and innovative than applications from other governing bodies.
FIBA’s Courtside 1891 project aims to develop direct, long-term fan relationships worldwide and build a greater understanding of global basketball fan behaviors and attitudes to help create new products and strategies.
As part of priority developments planned for the service, Courtside 1891 will also become a hub to discover live content on other platforms, becoming the easiest place for fans to find out where and when they can watch live basketball from various competitions. Through this, FIBA will support its broadcast partners in delivering FIBA action to the broadest audience possible.
FIBA Secretary General, Andreas Zagklis, said, “We are delighted to embark on this venture with Two Circles. Growing the global profile of basketball and unifying the basketball community is a fundamental piece of our vision. With Two Circles’ expertise in digital strategies that engage audiences and grow direct relationships with fans, this partnership has already provided a new digital platform that all members of the FIBA Family will benefit from and will create unprecedented levels of engagement with our basketball fanbase.”
CEO of Two Circles, Gareth Balch, added, “Direct relationships with fans has become a valuable currency as sports properties transition from the analogue age of broadcast TV to the era of digital consumption and distribution. As an international federation, FIBA has a track record of innovation, and we are excited with the impact our data-driven approach can have in pushing the boundaries and initiating FIBA’s next phase of media distribution and digital fan engagement.”