Updated: Jan 18
Creating a unique sports product, driving value with existing technology.
GBC Digital were introduced to the News UK sports hub product in late 2019, in combination with Wunderman Thompson agency.
The task between Wunderman Thompson, GBC Digital and News UK Tech was to deliver a phase 2 product strategy for a new sports product as requested by Newscorp executives. Our required output included detailed feature analysis, prioritisation and delivery proposal, as well as detailed design, technical estimates and 3rd party integration details. The goal of which was to present a unique, market leading sports product, which was both technically and financially viable.
Product management. We set about understanding the output requirements based on the phase 1 work (carried out over a year previously) and the changes in the market since then.
Competitor analysis to feature proritisation matrices, over time we started to decorate the walls with thousands of post-it notes (see above photo) following workshops with stakeholders across the sporting spectrum within News UK. We were able to identify and focus in on key features to drive user enjoyment, stickiness and business value.
With our team lacking much experience in the sports product world, in addition to the product delivery, GBC Digital were able to get others in the team quickly up to speed with what users would expect, as well as shape new features which would excite.
Scalability and reuse of existing technology were two major areas of focus when it came to our product strategy. Leaning on a strong background of business analysis, we were able to explore in detail the suitability of existing tech and 3rd party contracts (e.g. Opta data feeds) as well as how any product could be repurposed across Newscorp (e.g. for AFL Australia leagues).
We worked closely with betting and gaming experts, with the aim of delivering a simple and informative gambling experience for those who wanted a punt or help beating the bookies. To ensure that the app was suitable for all ages and tastes, we designed all bookmaker integrations with a 'hide' functionality - removing all reference to bets if needed. We knew from our discussions that the accumulator bets were strong revenue drivers for the business - and fitting with our approach that the product was focussed on fun, low cost, low risk bets, we hooked accumulator bets into our predictor games for those who wanted to place a pound here or there.
Gamification was an area we tried to differentiate ourself from the competition. Focussing on a younger audience, we wanted to drive loyalty and repeat visits to the app by adding a competitive edge and profile progression based on engagement and skill. We submitted surveys understanding the types of game (e.g. predictors) that our average users would enjoy, identified the types of user action (e.g. registration) that drove value for the business and finally identified the types of reward (e.g. new features) that would tempt users to engage more often.
GBC Digital and NUKTC presented the product strategy a number of times to senior stakeholders within the TalkSPORT team, as well as C-Suite Newscorp execs.
We focus not only on the content of a presentation but the way we deliver it. To condense 3 months of work into a 1 hour involved cutting out any waffle, interactive demos, straight forward discussion and demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the subject.
Our efforts led to a successful exec sign off, however the impact of COVID-19 meant all new business was put on ice & the phase 3 of the project was delayed.
In Autumn 2020, GBC Digital was engaged once again for the project re-start & the delivery of phase 3.
"We wouldn’t have delivered this without your critical thinking, football knowledge and optimistic energy. Thank you for your help" - Matt Jacobs, Design Lead, Wunderman Thompson
"Worth your weight in gold during the course of this project" - Laura Drysdale, Head of Product, NUK