In a few short days, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) will face possibly the most important moment of the league’s young life.
From July 25 through August 2, the PLL’s seven teams will each play four games to determine seeding for a single-elimination tournament the following week. The winner of that tournament will be crowned the 2020 PLL champion in lieu of playing out the full season.
Changing the format of the season in this way creates unique challenges for the league’s social media and marketing teams. Nevertheless, with no fans present at the tournament and a packed schedule featuring 20 games in 16 days, their job is more important than ever.
“The Championship Series will be an extremely busy schedule for us with twenty games over the course of two weeks. This type of schedule has forced us to think strategically and prioritize the speed of content production. Our goal is to bring the fan into the experience through our content, so we’re largely preparing to capture great moments when they happen,” Tyler Steinhardt, Director of Marketing for the PLL told Front Office Sports.
In order to bring fans at home closer to the experience on social media in real-time, the PLL has partnered with Slate.
“The PLL is one of the most innovative brands on social media,” added Eric Stark, co-founder of Slate. “They are insanely creative and their forward-thinking approach is helping to push our platform to the next level. We are thrilled to be a crucial piece of their strategy to engage audiences & drive sponsorship value across their player, club, and league channels when they return to play this summer.”
Slate is a content creation platform that allows teams, brands, leagues, media organizations, and now athletes to produce on-brand social content in real-time, all from a phone. Creators can seamlessly overlay their own brand’s custom assets like fonts, borders, animations, watermarks and stickers onto media then quickly resize, adjust, trim and crop to share to any social network in the proper dimensions.
“Slate has enabled us to save time during our social efforts. The platform produces graphics more quickly, so we’re pumping out more content in less time, all while keeping a consistent brand look.”
It’s crucial for the PLL to successfully communicate the brand identity of the league and its clubs to audiences on social, while also maintaining authenticity on platforms like Instagram Stories where fans expect a more raw, behind the scenes look. Slate gives the PLL the best of both worlds.
But it’s not just the PLL’s league and club accounts that are getting a boost through Slate. PLL players themselves have already begun creating their own branded content using the platform in the lead up to the tournament. Steinhardt believes that putting custom PLL Slate apps in the hands of all the players will not only improve the audience engagement on their channels and their ability to activate with partners, but lead to enhanced tune-in for the games themselves.
“We plan on using the players to drive tune-in for PLL action. We are creating and delivering assets for the players via Slate to promote to their personal audiences ahead of our linear television matchups,” Steinhardt said.
An additional benefit of Slate during the tournament will be delivering more integrated sponsored content executions across social platforms, without costing more time to produce.
“Sponsored content can often require a lot of back and forth around creative and copy approval,” Steinhardt said. “By streamlining the production process of good content with Slate, we’re saving time for everyone, while also keeping brand identity in tack for all parties involved.”
The sports industry is changing. For the foreseeable future, fans will be at home and on their phones. The current climate has created a need, more so than ever, to recreate the in-person fan experience through social media content. By empowering brands to deliver higher quality, more dynamic, on-brand content to their audience with less effort in real-time, Slate is giving organizations the tools they need to meet this moment and deliver for their fans and sponsors.