Sportsbeat’s innovative broadcast approach reaches millions on social media for London Marathon

When it comes to cutting edge technology and audience engagement, sport is always at the forefront in adopting new practices, challenging accepted wisdoms and breaking down barriers. 

And as a media and content company providing services to major brands and sports associations in the UK and Europe, Sportsbeat has had to adopt the same forward-thinking philosophy.

As a retained video production partner, Sportsbeat has been working with London Marathon Events – organisers of the Virgin Money London Marathon – since 2013, providing content to power their social and digital platforms. 

However, the brief for this year’s marathon ripped up the playbook with a focus on driving reach and engagement through live video content every day during the week building up to the big day, and on race day itself as 50,000 people took to the streets of London on April 28.

The focus for each day was simple – a presenter-led outside broadcast from the marathon’s race registration event at the ExCeL London exhibition centre, complemented by a half-hour evening studio show shot on location, hosted by Craig Mitch and with guests including Sir Mo FarahPaula Radcliffe and David Weir.

The team was also tasked with multiple live broadcasts from the mass participation start in Greenwich Park, and the iconic finish line in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.

Each live would go out on the event’s social platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and would feature information graphics and lower thirds designed by the Sportsbeat team.

“2019 proved to be a real shift in how the London Marathon engaged with its followers,” said Sportsbeat head of broadcast Ric Sumner.

“Live content was the priority, and while snappy short-form videos were also being constantly produced throughout the week, our strategy was focused on delivering the best audience experience possible every time we went live.

“On social media it was the event’s most successful week in their history, and we played a key role in delivering that. This included more than 1.27 billion impressions on race day and 4.3 million video views on Facebook during race week, including our live content.

“As a live streaming provider for clients including the FA and Guinness Six Nations, we are constantly testing new solutions to provide the best service possible and the London Marathon proved the perfect testing ground for this new service.”