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Shining a spotlight on a revolutionary World Cup TV workflow

Aspera is a data transport and streaming technology company that provides high-speed data transfer solutions, enabling customers to send, share, stream and sync large files and data sets. The company was acquired by IBM in 2013 and now belongs to its hybrid cloud business unit.

In 2018, Aspera worked with Fox Sports on the World Cup in Russia, helping to deliver the largest production in FOX Sports’ 20-year history in terms of personnel, hours and scale. But, this achievement was in danger of flying under the radar. Therefore, Aspera’s main challenge was to effectively promote its work to receive recognition over more established, competing streaming providers.

Brand awareness

Coverage in top-tier trade media of the HPA award win alone had a combined potential reach of more than 26 million readers, helping to drive brand awareness. Coverage included features in The Hollywood Reporter, Multichannel News, TV Technology, Creative Planet Network, SHOOT, Digital Cinema Report, Post Perspective and Broadcast Beat.

Industry recognition

Secured two award wins – the highly coveted HPA Engineering Excellence Award (which honours outstanding technical and creative ingenuity in the professional media content industry) and the “project” category of the IABM BaM Awards (which recognises outstanding technological innovations that deliver real business and creative benefits).

Share of voice

Beat expectations to achieve a massive 76% share of voice in June (compared to 19% and 5% for Aspera’s two closest competitors), partly thanks to the coverage generated from the HPA Engineering Excellence Award win.

Brand positioning

By securing high-profile panel sessions at IBC and the Streaming Summit at NAB Show New York, Aspera was positioned as the leader in high-quality, live streaming and remote production among broadcasters, sports organizations and other content owners.

Aspera turned to the lorries for help meeting several key objectives, the most important being to gain industry recognition for the important role its live streaming technology played in FOX Sports’ revolutionary workflow for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Other key campaign objectives included:

Early on in the campaign it became clear that in order to be successful we would have to think wider than a traditional media relations campaign. So, we developed a two-pronged strategy centred around industry tradeshows and awards.

In terms of tradeshows, we primarily focused our efforts on IBC, NAB and NAB Show New York. For example, we aimed to secure panel sessions at IBC and NAB New York by highlighting the ground-breaking aspects of the project to make it stand out from the crowd, offering a FOX Sports spokesperson alongside Aspera’s CTO to provide both a broadcaster and a tech perspective.

We also promoted Aspera’s CTO as a streaming expert by securing a speaking opportunity at a smaller but highly regarded and more targeted industry event, highlighting his first-hand experience at the World Cup to make him a desirable speaker.

In comparison, our awards programme centred around the HPA (Hollywood Production Alliance) and the IABM (International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers). We targeted two of the industry’s most prestigious awards – the HPA Engineering Excellence Awards and the IABM Broadcast and Media Awards – bringing the entry to life by having Aspera’s CTO present to the judging panel live from the World Cup in Russia.

As a result of our double-pronged approach, we met every objective set to us. From claiming victories at the industry’s most coveted awards, to securing speaking slots at the year’s biggest events, we helped to drive brand awareness and illustrate the success of the project to a wide audience of broadcasters, sports organisations and other content owners.

[The lorries have] brought a lot of brand-new, fresh ideas to the table – these are ideas that we normally wouldn’t have thought of and executed on our own. The lorries are great to work with and we see our relationship with them as a strategic partnership for the business long term.

Richard Heitmann - Vice President and General Manager Aspera

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