As the sports media landscape has evolved, there’s been no shortage of disruption. But few shifts are as seismic as the emergence of creator-led content.
To feed the modern fan’s desires for authenticity and originality, new waves of independent creators have skyrocketed in popularity, delivering fresh narratives outside the recycled storylines of mainstream outlets.
Now armed with limitless choices, audiences flock to those who provide distinct perspectives, tailoring content to fans’ preferred interests, platforms, and consumption habits. Whereas publishers once functioned as both entities and personalities, legacy publishers must take an honest look inward and identify their unique value at each fan touchpoint.
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ (WBD Sports) Vice President of Content Development and Production, Tyler Price, is no stranger to this transition.
"Warner Bros. Discovery Sports is the division of Warner Bros. Discovery that is responsible for sports broadcasts on its parent company's various channels in the United States, including TBS, TNT, and TruTV. It also operates the online digital media outlets for the NCAA, NBA, PGA Tour, and PGA of America."
Fresh out of college, Tyler and a few friends started a digital marketing agency to help brands launch their digital and social media footprint. A novel concept at the time, the agency quickly grew, landing top-tier clients like Turner Sports (now WBD Sports), and exited to Publicis a few years later.
After the sale, Tyler reunited with WBD Sports to run their social media arm, handling league-adjacent projects like the NBA on TNT, NBA TV, March Madness, PGA of America, and more. Three years ago, this team merged with Bleacher Report, where Tyler now oversees all content across the Bleacher Report platform.
Tyler has largely credited both his and WBD Sports’ success over the years to figuring out how to use content most efficiently and effectively across platforms.
“Our growth has been built on the ability to build the bridges between the seemingly unconnected. As new formats and content mediums roll out, it’s always important to think about the platform before you go into execution. Think about what you’re building for and who you’re building for, and that drives your creative decisions.”
But to free up more time for strategy and planning, publishers must build the necessary infrastructure to produce enough content to meet the demands of the modern-day sports fan.
For WBD Sports, WSC Sports has played a major role in this transformation.
The global leader in AI-powered sports content, WSC Sports helps global sports organizations like the NBA, NHL, and YouTube TV quickly generate personalized sports content, while increasing their reach and providing new monetization opportunities. Since its inception, WSC Sports has grown its current roster to over 430 organizations that use its AI platform to instantly create automated video highlights responsible for reaching billions of fans.
For over six years, WSC Sports has partnered with WBD Sports and its predecessor entities to streamline their content workflows across both owned and operated and third-party social platforms, with unprecedented speed and scale.
“Whether it's building a library of assets around a single player or making sure you don’t miss anything throughout the entire night, it’s such an amazing tool for us,” Tyler said. “I’m not sure our processes look the same without it.”
Not only has WSC Sports’ highlight automation helped improve the speed of WBD Sports’ content creation, but the efficacy of its distribution and personalization. Whereas manual content workflows often require prioritizing coverage of the most popular sports, WSC Sports allows the WBD Sports team to cover everything at once — compartmentalizing content to use at a later date or repurpose across a variety of different formats.
“If we can only create 50 clips per night, that means the Sacramento Kings fan is probably left out in the dark,” he said. “But with the scalability WSC provides, we can tailor both original content and highlights directly to those fans. When paired with our internal content strategy, we’re able to provide fans with a very unique personal content consumption experience.”
As for what the future holds, Tyler emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between athletes and their audience, granting fans unparalleled access to their favorite teams and players.
“We launched live streams with Micah Parsons, Von Miller, and Mookie Betts with this exact goal in mind,” he said. “These allow athletes to authentically share their story while giving our audience a direct line of communication that they didn’t have before.”
But as WBD Sports’s strategy continues to shift, Tyler is confident that WSC Sports’ product will evolve along with it.
“We change our content goals and they change the product to support that. It’s always been a hand-in-hand partnership about what the tool can do, what our needs are, and how we can bring those together.”