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Sports and Business: A Match Made in Podcast Heaven

30 May, 2018

By: Michael Popke

A quick Google search reveals that few sports commissions or convention and visitors bureaus produce their own podcasts. A handful of organizations appear to have experimented with the platform years ago but then apparently abandoned it. Podcasts have come a long way in the past five years, though, with almost half of the people in the United States claiming to have listened to one, according to poscastinsights.com. Of those, 80 percent listen to all or most of every episode available of a given podcast, and podcasts attract nearly as many women (44 percent) as men (56 percent).

Sports — practically any angle of sports — is now covered by a podcast. “From authors to athletes, columnists to broadcasters, teams to networks, it seems everyone in sports is elbowing for a seat at the podcast table,” Sports Business Journal reports. “Even with plenty of established sports podcast hits [such as The Bill Simmons Podcastand Pardon My Take], industry analysts see ample room for expansion.”

Two categories among the ripest for expansion? Sports and business, according to Steve Shanks, a partner at Ad Results Media, which places more than one-third of all podcasting advertising. 

Granted, many podcasts that aren’t hosted by Simmons (considered the pioneer of the platform) or other high-profile media figures, athletes or celebrities are not big revenue generators. But they are a way for organizations to promote their services while also sharing content relevant to their intended audiences.

“Conversational and quirky, association podcasts can be much more than shop talk,” proclaims the American Society of Association Executives. “Done right, they can engage professional members with a need to know and larger audiences with niche interests.

If your organization is interested in giving podcasting a try, do your homework first and make sure you can generate enough content to sustain several episodes, maintain a consistent positing schedule and invest in quality audio technology. To get started, podcastinsights.com offers a list of 23 podcast-hosting sites.

“People will not stay tuned in to something that doesn’t sound great,” Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives for the National Association of Convenience Stores — which launched its Convenience Matters podcast in 2016 — told ASAE.

This is the newest form of audio and it has legs,” Traug Keller, ESPN’s senior vice president of audio, concluded in an interview with Sports Business Journal. “First there was AM, then there was FM. Then there was satellite. Then there was streaming — Pandora, Spotify. And now there is podcasting. I think podcasting, when all is said and done, is certainly going to rank as big as any of those things.”

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