Having been brought into Australia for the first time in January, Boston based firm Brizi’s expansion continues with their product BriziCam – a robotic camera system that fans control via their mobile phones – introduced into more major events.
In May, BriziCam was accessible for fans at the Madrid Open, one of the major clay court warm up tournaments that leads into the French Open. It is another major tennis tournament that builds on the company’s portfolio which includes the Australian Open, US Open and Auckland Open.
As tested in Australia, Brizi sets their technology up to allow fans to access a dedicated URL to control, snap and share photos through their favoured social media channels. Sponsors can have their branding on the photos creating a combination of spontaneous yet sponsorable fan content.
Madrid Open organisers gave BriziCam a thumbs up, praising its ability to engage thousands of fans directly in their seats by providing an exciting product for them to use.
Brizi’s Director of Marketing Stefan Kollenberg gave some insights about the company’s experience at the Madrid Open.
Bullpen: Were you able to make discoveries about different types of fan behaviour at the Madrid Open compared to the other tournaments you’ve done?
Stefan Kollenberg: “One of the most interesting findings we had was the ratio of Twitter shares versus Facebook shares and the difference in social following of all the users. These had a huge effect on the level of social engagement generated by these photos.
“In Madrid the Twitter:Facebook ratio was 30:70 whereas Australia had a 20:80 split. The difference in the average user’s social following was also drastic, in Madrid a user averaged 329 Facebook friends and 974 Twitter followers whereas in Australia it was 678 on Facebook and 1786 on Twitter. These differences had a strong effect on the number of engagements per share which was 11.7 in Madrid compared to 29.8 in Australia.”
BP: Statistically, how many photos were taken and engaged with by tennis fans during the Madrid Open?
SK: “Just like the Australian Open, we saw incredible results. In just 9 days, fans took 18,093 photos and when shared they reached over 2.9 million users on social media. These results were exceptional considering the Caja Magica only has a capacity of 12,000.”
BP: Was there anything unique that occurred during their matches?
SK: “Fans really took to BriziCam, they would snap photos and change up their poses continuously, taking full advantage of the unique aerial angle. A few highlights were a group of three who sat upside down in their seats and one women who took 83 photos of herself and friends.”
BP: This time the BriziCam could be accessed through a URL and the Mutua Madrid Open app, what was it like to have the app integration as well?
SK: “We saw that the main source of traffic was direct access through the URL, but the app provided an excellent secondary source of traffic. Overall 95% through the URL and 5% through app. This is consistent with the other events where we have had an integration with the app, our most recent partnership with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers had the same 95:5 split. We continue to test this but these results again show how a web-app is more effective for in-stadium engagement and provides a lesser barrier to entry.”
BP: With the Madrid Open being the first event you’ve done in Europe, what other events has Brizi been involved in?
SK: “We spoke at a few conferences in June, such as the Hashtag Sports Conference in New York City. We hosted an exclusive discussion called ‘Activating Sponsorship on the Most Engaged Fans.’
“Companies, including Facebook and RedBull, spoke at VivaTech‘s 2017 Paris Conference. VivaTech is an international conference that celebrates innovation and the future of tech. There, Brizi represented the emerging sports tech space and held a panel on the future of sports media.”