Spalk Helps MLSE Reach Multilingual Fan Base

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Jun 17, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Chairman of Maple Leaf sports and entertainment Larry Tannenbaum addresses Toronto Raptors fans at Nathan Phillips Square. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

(Spalk is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

Quite simply, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) are Toronto sports. MLSE owns the 2019 NBA Champions Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Toronto Argonauts, Toronto Marlies, Raptors 905 and Toronto FC II. MLSE recently partnered with Ryerson University to establish the Future of Sport Lab to help highlight and grow some of the world’s most promising technology startups. 

“Through the Future of Sport Lab we continue to establish Toronto as one of the best technology hubs in the world and showcase the amount of talent here,” says Humza Teherany, Chief Technology and Digital Officer at MLSE. “We leveraged the knowledge in our first cohort of FSL to develop tech that enhances our fan experience, business operations and various other disruption opportunities across MLSE.” 

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Among the companies chosen was Spalk. Spalk is a virtual sportscasting studio that enables teams and organizations to provide hundreds of different commentators for live streams. This allows fans to see their favorite teams play while watching a broadcast in their preferred language or simply with a different type of voice.

“Spalk stood out because they’ve got a great team, an easy to understand product and good traction,” says Sumit Arora, Senior Director of Strategy at MLSE. “We chose them because we are interested in growing audience for our teams and bringing innovation to the experience watching live sports and other team content.”

“We’ve really enjoyed working with MSLE and the Raptors 905,” says Ben Reynolds, Co-Founder and CEO of Spalk. “They’re an innovative organization that understands consumption habits for live sports content are changing”

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To bring fans of Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors NBA G League affiliate team, closer to the action, Spalk piloted their technology live at a game. Their technology was used to broadcast the Raptors 905 game in French alongside the primary English stream. The NBA fan base across Canada and the rest of the world is increasingly multilingual. More than 30 percent of NBA League Pass subscriptions come from Asian markets, for example, not to mention more than 20 percent of the Canadian population speaks French as their first language. For reasons like this, this move makes sense for both parties.

“We share a vision with MLSE to provide content that speaks to everybody in their diverse and multicultural fanbase,” says Reynolds. “Spalk’s Virtual Sportscasting Studio provides unprecedented scale to MLSE and the Raptors 905 to achieve this – allowing them to produce dozens of different broadcast grade commentaries on live games without a single commentator onsite.”

In an international city like Toronto, fans are going to come from all walks of life and all corners of the Earth. It behooves MLSE to find new and innovative ways to bring their product to as many of these fans as possible. Through methods like their partnership with Spalk, they appear to be doing just that.

For more information about Spalk or to request a demo, visit today.